Hiring an in-house Salesforce administrator vs. a consulting partner depends upon several factors: the amount of customization in your org, its size in terms of users, your budget and your hiring area.

How custom is your org?

Some Salesforce orgs run on custom code. A developer has dedicated countless hours building custom workflows, triggers and objects.

In a highly customized org, Salesforce admins need to understand the intricacies of the code in order to avoid interfering with existing functionality.

The development team and the admin need to closely collaborate, coordinating deployments and providing visibility into each others’ projects. This is made easier when both teams sit in the same office.

What’s your budget?

The average salary for a Salesforce administrator is $65,873 (payscale.com).

A consulting package can cost around $48,000 per year, depending on the complexity of the org. The format is often pay as you go with payments made on a monthly basis.

What’s the size of your org?

The more stakeholders involved in Salesforce, the harder it is to manage priorities for your administrator. Each department considers their priorities to be the most urgent. It’s often up to the admin to juggle all these requests and to manage expectations with each stakeholder.

An in-house admin can attend leadership meetings. She can knock on doors around the office, setting timelines and pushing back when necessary. This level of accessibility is more critical when there are multiple competing voices across an organization.

Who is available in your area?

Salesforce professionals are in high demand. Salesforce is the seventh most in-demand software skill, above Python, .Net and C++ (Burning Glass ).  Recruiting a trained admin can take time and resources.

Some companies hire consulting partners to fill the internal void while searching. This enables them to maintain a healthy, supported org in the interim.

Without a Salesforce champion, adoption can stagnate. With a consultant, users have somewhere to turn with questions and requests.

Determining how to support Salesforce is vital to the platform’s long-term success. Some organizations even choose a hybrid, hiring an in-house administrator and a consultant.

Whichever option you choose, the investment indicates your level of commitment to the platform. Team members will be more likely to make Salesforce a priority when they see the company doing the same.