Salesforce Careers: What, Why and How?

Many of our colleagues have shared that they wish they knew about the incredible opportunities this industry had to offer before they unlocked the door to the world of Salesforce. With thousands of job opportunities, excellent benefits and a variety of development options, Salesforce has fast become a highly desirable job market to get stuck into. At Performa IT, we love to encourage the new generation of Salesforce community members to grab those fantastic opportunities – so we’re sharing some guidance on some different Salesforce career paths along with some words of wisdom from our very own Performa IT team members.

Salesforce Administrator (Admin)

The majority of accredited Salesforce professionals have obtained their Admin certification. As described by Salesforce, a Salesforce Administrator should possess broad knowledge of customising Salesforce in line with best practice, stay on top of updates by regularly configuring the platform, manage and assist users, and find ways to get even more out of its features. Read below on how to set yourself up for success as a Salesforce Admin.

Start by familiarising yourself with the basic concepts and features of Salesforce. Study the Salesforce documentation, complete beginner-level Trailhead modules, and explore resources like Salesforce Help & Training materials. You can then look to begin earning Salesforce certifications to demonstrate your proficiency as an admin – you don’t need a certification to become an admin, but this will give you a massive head start when job searching. Start with the Salesforce Certified Administrator certification, as it provides a solid foundation. Consider pursuing additional certifications as you gain experience and specialise in specific areas.

Salesforce’s Trailhead platform offers a wealth of interactive, self-paced learning modules for admins. It covers various topics and provides hands-on exercises to reinforce your understanding. Explore trails specific to administrators, such as the “Admin Beginner” or “Admin Intermediate” trails. These trails will also provide you with ‘Trailhead Playgrounds’ that will allow you to experiment, gain practical experience and learn in a hands-on way. Your can leverage Trailhead to build skills with crucial Salesforce elements such as Flow Builder, DevOps, Forecasts and Dynamic Features. Trailhead also leads into the vibrant Salesforce community in which you can connect with other admins, share knowledge, and learn from their experiences. Participate in user groups, attend community events, and join online forums or social media groups dedicated to Salesforce admins to grow your knowledge and network.

Effective data management is crucial for maintaining a clean and organised Salesforce instance. Understand data models, data types, relationships, and security settings. Learn best practices for data import, data deduplication, and data cleanup to ensure data integrity.

Develop a systematic approach to analyse problems, identify root causes, and find solutions. Leverage available resources such as Salesforce community forums, online documentation, and official support channels.

This is a big one – empathising with your user is a must! Colleagues or customers may come to you with issues or asks that may be negatively impacting their working day in a huge way. Take the time to understand their pain-points and needs so that you can implement the best solution, using Salesforce best practices. A major part of an Admin’s day will be liaising with stakeholders regarding improvements and changes to the organisation’s CRM, so having these strong communication skills will certainly appeal to your prospective employer.

Salesforce is a constantly evolving platform, and there is always something new to learn. Stay curious and keep exploring advanced topics such as process automation, analytics, and reporting. Continuously expand your knowledge, Stay Updated with Releases and Enhancements and seek opportunities to learn through webinars, workshops, or advanced certifications.

Be proactive! Take advantage of the available resources, seek mentorship, and actively engage with the Salesforce community. With dedication and perseverance, you can build a successful career as a Salesforce admin.

“My advice to a new Salesforce Admin would be to ensure you engage with the Salesforce community on user groups and trailhead groups, any events e.g. Dreamforce. Join a mentor group. Work towards the Salesforcre Certified Associate exam first, then the Salesforce Admin exam. Use Trailhead go as well as the desktop version of trailhead to complete badges. Above all, its your own journey, take you time and go down the pathway that you are interested in.” – Jane Wade, Qualified Salesforce Admin and Head of Customer Development at Performa IT.

Salesforce Developer

A Salesforce Developer is a Developer with the added USP of understanding the complex back-end of Salesforce. A skilled Salesforce Dev can successfully problem solve and create proactive solutions by understanding when to leverage Salesforce’s declarative (clicks rather than code) programming and when to utilise coding for complex solutions.

As a Salesforce developer, practical experience is invaluable alongside Salesforce-specific learning and accreditations. Work on personal projects to apply what you learn and gain hands-on experience. Building real-world applications will help you develop problem-solving skills and showcase your abilities to potential employers or clients. Open source projects provide opportunities for collaboration and learning from experienced developers. Contribute to projects that interest you, and study well-established codebases to improve your understanding of software development best practices.

Develop your problem-solving abilities by regularly participating in coding challenges and algorithmic problem-solving exercises whilst also practising thorough testing. Write unit tests to verify the correctness of your code and perform thorough debugging to identify and fix any issues. Automated testing tools and frameworks can be beneficial and you can find multiple resources online. Websites like LeetCode, HackerRank, and Project Euler offer a range of coding challenges to sharpen your skills.

Document your code, projects, and processes and embrace version control. Clear and concise documentation helps others in your organisation to understand your work, enables collaboration, and simplifies future maintenance or updates. Use version control systems like Git to track changes to your codebase. Version control enables collaboration, provides the ability to revert changes if necessary, and helps maintain a history of your project.

Demonstrating these key skills on your CVs and applications is a surefire way to be noticed by Salesforce employers. Above all, programming can be challenging at times, but persistence and patience are key. Don’t get discouraged by bugs or setbacks. Keep practising, learning from your mistakes, and pushing through difficult problems.

“Never stop learning and exploring new features and capabilities of the Salesforce platform. Prioritise in building a strong foundation by understanding the core concepts and best practices, and always stay up-to-date with the latest updates and trends in the ecosystem. When trying to research a problem or solution, I have always found that you need to know what you’re looking for to understand the best practices, therefore seeking out opportunities to collaborate with experienced developers to avoid producing a generic, less effective solution.” – Calum Atkins, Salesforce Developer at Performa IT

Salesforce Consultant

Salesforce Consultants are the glue of every project or implementation. They can effortlessly empathise with a user’s dilemmas whilst expertly strategising for the optimal solution. Strong problem-solving, project management and analytical skills help identify patterns, troubleshoot issues, and design efficient solutions that align with clients’ objectives.These are skills you can demonstrate to achieve your dream career!

Develop a strong understanding of the Salesforce platform by studying its features, capabilities, and best practices. Start with the official Salesforce documentation, Trailhead (Salesforce’s online learning platform), and relevant Salesforce certifications. There are a variety of certifications that validate your expertise in different areas. The Salesforce Administrator exam is an excellent place to start, and then aim to obtain more advanced accreditations such as Salesforce Certified Sales Cloud Consultant. These certifications enhance your credibility and demonstrate your proficiency to clients or employers. Your employer may even sponsor you to obtain your certificate!

Understand Business Processes: Salesforce consultants work closely with clients to understand their business requirements. Develop a deep understanding of various business processes, such as sales, marketing, customer service, and operations. This knowledge will help you design effective Salesforce solutions tailored to clients’ needs. If possible, put this into practice by seeking opportunities to work on real-world Salesforce projects, either through shadowing, internships, or personal projects. Practice configuring Salesforce, building customizations, and integrating with other systems using the free ‘Playgrounds’ on Salesforce’s free learning platform, Trailhead.

Effective communication skills are crucial as a consultant. Develop the ability to listen actively, ask relevant questions, and clearly articulate solutions to clients. Build strong relationships with clients and stakeholders, understanding their pain points and presenting Salesforce as a valuable solution. Salesforce projects often involve collaboration with developers and administrators. Understand their roles and capabilities to foster effective teamwork. Collaborating closely with these professionals can help you design and implement robust Salesforce solutions. Build your collaborative network – foster relationships with Salesforce and don’t be shy in sharing your portfolio and your values as these are the crucial aspects that make a company or client want to work with you.

Salesforce releases updates, new features, and enhancements regularly. Stay informed about the latest Salesforce releases, attend webinars, participate in user groups, and engage with the Salesforce community to stay up-to-date with industry trends and best practices. Attend Salesforce events, join user groups, and leverage online resources to expand your knowledge. Explore advanced topics such as Lightning Web Components, Apex development, and integrations to broaden your skill set.

Remember, building a successful career as a Salesforce consultant takes time and dedication. Continuously strive to enhance your skills, adapt to new technologies, and provide exceptional value to your clients.

“Never be afraid to ask the client questions, the more information you have the easier it will make your job. Be confident in your decision and use all the resources available in the Salesforce Community!” – Neena Patel, Salesforce Consultant at Performa IT

To learn more about Salesforce’s plethora of functionality and career options, check out – Salesforce’s free learning platform!