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Making the Decision to Translate Your Partner Community

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One of my favorite conversations to have with our Salesforce customers is around translating their partner community. Everyone wants to be able to support users in their native language to make it easier to do business with them, but not everyone has the infrastructure in their partner organization to support language localization.

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Here are three things to think about if you’re considering translating your community:

  1. Which languages will you support? This seems like a straightforward question, but we have found that the devil is in the details. For example, let’s say that you’re going to support six languages in your community including Spanish. Can a partner user located in the United States select Spanish as a language? If they can, are you planning to translate all marketing content (e.g. case studies) that is specific to U.S. partners into Spanish or are you okay with them seeing these case studies in English? Also, when that partner goes to register a deal and the form is in Spanish, your partner will fill out the form in Spanish, not English. Are your deal registration approvers in AMER able to speak Spanish well enough to approve the deal? It is important to think through how localization may have unexpected impacts on existing processes and how you may need to modify those processes to accommodate localization.
  2. Who will do the translations and how quickly can they turn them around? There are many things that need to be translated inside your community both up-front (e.g. metadata such as email templates, fields on a form or button, etc.) and on an ongoing basis (e.g. data, such as marketing assets, targeted messages inside of the community, etc). Be sure to plan ample time and budget for translations; it will add time to your initial implementation timeline as well as impact how quickly you can roll out new content to your community in the future. Most of our customers use an agency, rather than doing the translations in-house.
  3. What language do you want to start with? We strongly encourage customers to take a crawl-walk-run approach to localization. Start by making one language available, learn from it and then move onto the rest of the languages. This offers you a chance to fix any process challenges you did not anticipate and will make the transition much smoother.

While there are certainly some challenges with translating your Partner Community, it is important as you move into new markets or geographies to remove linguistic barriers that would prevent your partners from doing business with you.

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