Making the professional switch to Salesforce may seem daunting, but it can be satisfying and lucrative. It’s not just a new technology, it’s a whole new ecosystem filled with thousands of solution options. Your choice may seem like a tough one, but look what Salesforce is saying about its growth, “The Salesforce ecosystem is expected to grow by 3.3 million jobs and create 859 billion dollars in new business revenues by 2022”. (The Salesforce Economy Forecast)
So, you have decided to make the switch (good choice!), but knowing where to start and where to focus can be the difference between a new career taking off and soaring or one that fizzles and never meets expectations. Ending up on the right path is critical and I believe there are three steps you can take to becoming a Salesforce guru.
First, you need to get your hands wrapped around the idea that technology is only part of the solution. You will bring the most value to your customers by displaying how you can help improve their processes and center them around their customers and/or employees. Start off by building a strong foundation around process improvement, customer and employee experiences and then make sure you can translate those into your customers terms.
Second, get certified. Salesforce offers over 20 certifications aimed at supporting its platform (Hint, find something you like and are good at and focus on that). There are many paths that can be taken, but you need to start with the Administrator Certification. Once you have the admin. certification your path as a Salesforce consultant opens up and allows you to gain an understanding into the specific clouds that make up the Salesforce platform. Take a look at Salesforce Consultant Certifications Overview. Find the cloud aspect you like the most and start your study. Try not to limit yourself to just the technology, do everything possible to expand your understanding of how businesses operate. For example, if you decide to focus on Service Cloud, read up and truly understand the theory behind Knowledge Centered Service.
Finally, certifications and knowledge alone will not be enough. One of the most daunting tasks any consultant faces is attempting to decipher what a customer verbalizes as their needs with what their customer is actually asking for. While this may sound strange, understanding how to solve the gap between the two is where you will separate yourself from your peers. The secret is the “art of listening”. Over the years I have worked with some of the best and worst consultants. The key differentiator is the good ones listen 80% of the time and talk 20% while the bad ones solution on the fly, talk more than their customers, and try and enforce their will on the customer without understanding what the customer really needs.
A successful Salesforce career starts with the understanding that you will need to build up your business acumen, master the platform, and learn how to really listen. Salesforce can be one of the most rewarding career changes you can make and every day we watch people grow into a world class Salesforce consultants. Are you the next one?