Get Certified and Jumpstart your Career in SalesforceCategory: Salesforce Posted:Feb 07, 2017 By: Robert
Salesforce is one of the most coveted products in the technology space in the current market. As more corporations are signing contracts to employ Salesforce, which means that a high volume of Salesforce Consultants, Administrators, and Developers are required.
While getting a head start in a Salesforce career, the level of difficulty may overcome by the investment of a certain amount of time. The Salesforce application itself has evolved over time to be highly efficient. This means corporations are now on the lookout for experienced professionals who come with expertise in the use of the platform and knowledge of the platform itself.
Here are a few initiatives for aspiring professionals to take up a career in Salesforce.
1. Get a Free Admin Playground Account
To learn Salesforce one should create a free #Awesome Admin edition account to receive access to all of the features and functionality of Salesforce. This in turn permits one to discover and play with the newest features available in the application and get hands-on experience. Admin orgs are completely free, and will also remain active as long as you login once every six months.
With this org, you can do the following tasks:
- Build new features and functionality in Salesforce (like custom fields, objects, and workflow rules).
- Create and execute APEX code (for those who are developers) including Visualforce.
- Access the Salesforce Success Community, which provides an endless supply of Salesforce documentation produced by Salesforce and the community.
- Install AppExchange packages to test them and become familiar with the install process.
The Admin account is your portal to learning and playing with Salesforce. It’s easy to set up so take a moment to that before you do anything else.
2. Put in some work to learn the application
Post admin account creation, one can utilize multiple resources available which are recommend for getting started. Salesforce Trailhead refers to the interactive learning tool developed by Salesforce which is highly similar to Code Academy in the respect of having modules which one will work through using your admin org. One will learn the basics of Salesforce while earning points and badges. It is an incentivized manner of learning Salesforce which is also totally free.
Force.com Platform fundamentals is a conventional method of learning Salesforce. It is a large book which is really detailed and thorough. While being an excellent resource and providing great in-depth content, it will get you even deeper into the fundamentals of the application. The PDF version is updated with each of the three Salesforce releases.
For professionals who attend Dreamforce, and prefer printed books, it is recommended to get to the Developer Zone to get a hard copy of the most recent version.
Salesforce Cheat Sheets will make a great difference in learning the application quickly. These are quick reference guides which can be printed and hung in at a person workstation. These are not only for new learners, but are also for experienced administrators, which can be referenced on occasion for quick reminders of how to leverage specific functionalities. These too can be found at Dreamforce conferences as a nice printed and laminated hardcopy.
Salesforce’s YouTube channel also prove to be a great resource for those who take well to video learning. Salesforce produced topical how-to videos and hour-long Dreamforce session videos, are some of the expert resources available on one of the most popular social media.
3. Join a User Group and Network
Now networking has been around long before the invention of the internet and is still one of the best ways to learn anything or find help and support to achieve your career goals. In this case it is to learn Salesforce as fast as possible. This application has more than 200 user groups world-wide which by extension means there most probably is one near where you live. They follow the adage for the community and by the community while providing refreshing takes on how to learn the application in the most efficient possible way. New methods and approaches to learn the tools and incorporate new features into daily usage can be found here along with support on troubleshooting issues that are currently plaguing you. The next way to take advantage of this is to converse with the users and earn their contact information to make a more personal connection. This can even help in remarkable ways to gain employment, find local Salesforce talent and even find a mentor.
4. Leverage Your Social Networks
It cannot be said enough, but you need to harness the massive hold that social media has over any task that needs widespread outreach. Social Media is an amazing way to build on your network and engage meaningfully with others in the same community. While Salesforce users prefer Twitter over other forms of social media, you will find similar levels of engagement with fellow users on other existing social media as well.
One has to be proactive on such media, dive into the conversation that is flowing in the forum and participate in the discussions about topics you are interested in.
5. Volunteer for Salesforce Tasks
After gaining a fundamental knowledge of Salesforce, a professional will need to put the skills gained to use to better them. In most cases where a professional has built up a basic understanding of the tool using either self-learning or even a detailed certification, it is advisable to put those well-earned skills to practical use. This will also keep one occupied while looking for a full-time job.
One easy way to do this is to work for a Non-profit Organization for considerably lower remuneration or even on a pro-bono basis. Such organizations will be in dire need of Salesforce professionals due to resource crunches and would require skilled professionals to take on the said tasks for small to medium projects.
A professional can easily find opportunities to volunteer by going through the Salesforce Foundation or Community Corps for virtual or in-person volunteer opportunities.
Salesforce training is designed to ensure that a professional learns and masters the concepts of Salesforce Administrator & App Builder. It will also ensure one passes the certification exams on the first try. The training will help a professional to learn how to administer and configure Salesforce. Most of the training helps learn Salesforce online application development using Force.com basics. Trainings also offer practical hands-on learning approaches followed in the course and will ensure you get job ready by the end of it. There are no particular prerequisites to take up Salesforce training.
Salesforce Training Benefits
A professional can gain and enhance insights in customer and sales relations. And as one keeps exploring in this field they will gain in-depth knowledge and experience, picking up various tools which hasn’t been heard or before. The training also comes with hands on experience with lots of material on live projects which are also industry relevant. One obvious benefit is the leveraging of cloud technology to better the tool with frequent updates through the cloud. One will be able to enhance account planning skills and handling customer and prospect requests with great ease.
Other benefits will include a rise in the person’s analytical skills in understanding and interpreting sales trends and apply them in accordingly. Training will also empower professionals to deploy and utilize salesforce to its fullest potential leading to ground breaking results in sales.
Another interesting benefit of training is that after training professional will have access to job positions that are only accessible to Salesforce Certified professionals. And the opportunities in the market for a Salesforce certified professional are massive in general due to the validation of Salesforce implementation skills. Therefore Salesforce training boosts business value of the certified professional eventually leads to a boost in the pay of an aspiring Salesforce professional as well.
Skills to become a Salesforce Administrator
While most people come across the question of what skills are required to become a Salesforce Administrator, one has to keep in mind that Salesforce is a tool at the end of the day. And like all tools, this one as well can be learned to perfection, given the right amount of time and resources. So, as a professional, one does not have to worry about a deficiency of experience being a hindrance in being a Salesforce professional. To learn Salesforce does not require any particular background. Anyone can learn it.
Fundamentally, a Salesforce Administrator is nothing but a business process expert. Administrators work closely with business stakeholders to learn and understand issues occurring in existing processes or to collect requirements for new processes. Salesforce Administrator skills come are concerned with knowing how to take those process requirements and apply them successfully in Salesforce.
While there is no universal set of skills that a Salesforce Administrator should possess too achieve excellence in the use of the said application. There is a common subset of skills that are found in successful Salesforce Administrators.
- Ability to listen and empathize with customers – This being a client facing position, and users generally being your customers, the innate ability to listen to and empathize with users will give a professional an edge over the others. Simply put, the plain ability to actively listen to customer issues and come up with resolutions will ensure that you do great.
- Expert Communicator – While communication is essential in any job across domains, in this area, it is absolutely critical with the best admins not only being great at listening but being brilliant communicators. This role works with individuals at every level- right from the CEO to the actual end user. It goes without saying that knowing how to communicate with each individual will mean great things to an admin.
- Thinking outside the box – The ability to think outside the box will bring in new methods to solve problems in user issues more easily and much faster. The application is built in such a way that each issue faced by the end user will have multiple resolutions. To ensure all possible solutions and admin needs to be resourceful in thinking and think outside the box. Creative and critical thinking will go a long way here.
While it is slightly hard to say how each person will take to being an Administrator or a Developer, here is some fundamental information on how to make up one’s mind to help make a decision.
Administrators are clearly customer facing, and work with the business on a regular basis and in a more direct manner. Admins can choose to work on declarative development wherein development is done with clicks and not with code.
Developers as the name suggests are usually skilled in coding or have the skill to pick up coding language. These coders usually are seen in working in the background, closely with admins and business users and stakeholders rather than the internal customer or the end user.
Even if a professional is leaning towards the developer’s side in Salesforce, it is still advisable to pick up Salesforce as an admin. This is because creating code for something that can’t be accomplished declaratively with the application is not desirable. The best developers will validate this as well.
Salesforce is a customer relationship management tool (CRM), which means it is used to keep track of and strengthen a company’s relationship with its existing and potential clients. With enterprises customizing products and services to match every need the customer has, Salesforce is quickly moving on to become a must-have from a nice to have. For professionals the world over, this is absolutely the right time to make a career out of Salesforce. A certification in the same would cement the possibility of a highly desirable job placement and lay the stepping stone to a great career.
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