Over the years, Salesforce has expanded its platform, modernized it, and strengthened its offerings. However, there is more to Salesforce than just the technology and the company; Salesforce empowers people through employment.
It is estimated that by 2024, Salesforce and its ecosystem are expected to drive the creation of 4.2 million jobs worldwide.
Without a doubt, there will be a significant increase in the demand for Salesforce professionals and one such prominent and coveted role in this career path is Salesforce Consultant.
Now, if you are wondering what a Salesforce Consultant is and what they do, you might want to check out this article here. However, if you already had a brief idea about the role and still have some doubts about kick-starting your career with this profession, you are at the right place!
It’s totally normal to have such thoughts and want to seek advice and inspiration from the Salesforce Consultants community. That’s why today we speak with Katalin Jordans and Sri Behara, two Salesforce consultants, who will shed some light on this responsibility by sharing their key learnings about what they wish they knew during their journey to become Salesforce Consultants.
Defining your potential area and understanding all available resources with Katalin Jordans
1. There are endless possibilities to develop and grow.
Entering the world of Salesforce, you can become a system administrator, a consultant, a developer, an architect or more. And there are different levels of each role. You can focus on the technical side or be the bridge between the business and the technical teams. On top of that, you can specialise in specific clouds or products.
As Salesforce keeps expanding and more products are added to the ecosystem, the number of possibilities keeps growing. Resources to learn the required skills can be found online and offline. Besides the Trailhead Academy, there are numerous institutions and enthusiasts that created courses to follow, recordings to watch, and blog posts to read, all about Salesforce. The Salesforce communities in different countries and cities often organise events to share knowledge and network, and are always available to reach out to with questions!
2. Make a career plan or focus on an area, or you will get overwhelmed.
As the possibilities are endless, so are the ways to get lost in the ecosystem. It’s easy to get excited about all that is possible and fall into the trap of wanting to learn everything. But knowing everything is simply not possible. Focus on an area that interests you, fits your profile or suits the needs of a project that you’re in. Study for one certification at a time and take it step-by-step.
3. The Salesforce community and Google are your best friends. 9 Out of 10 times, someone else has come across the same issue you’re having and you can find (pieces of) your answers online. Don’t spend too much time trying to invent a solution from scratch before researching online to see if someone has had the same problem or business requirement as you.
4. Always discuss potential solutions with peers, to get different perspectives and ideas and come up with the best final solution and learn from each other. Your peers might be colleagues who you work with, people you’ve met in the Salesforce community, or even those on your LinkedIn network who also work in the ecosystem.
5. Building new features is the easy part, the most important part of your work is defining requirements and making a solution design, as well as testing thoroughly to make sure your solutions are solid. Make sure to take your time when designing solutions and don’t jump to create configurations too quickly!
Having the right mindset and mentor with Sri Behara
1. Don't feel that you have to know everything
To be a good Consultant, you don't have to know everything, but you do need to be resourceful. You have to know where to find answers and then always follow up with the client once you have those answers. Google and Salesforce/Trailblazer communities are your best friends for finding the answers to your questions. You will find a seemingly endless number of people helping each other in the Trailblazer community. And, your clients will appreciate when you say, “I’m not 100% certain so let me get back to you on that”, instead of misguiding them.
2. Find a Mentor
As you navigate new pathways, having someone who can guide you can be very valuable. Outside an actual mentor, make sure you’re leveraging knowledge from the people around you, even just running your ideas past them and asking how they would approach a similar problem.
There are many people who are also willing to mentor users who are new to Salesforce or who are looking for guidance from someone more experienced. There is a freely available program on Trailblazer for people who wish to find a mentor (or wish to volunteer their time to help a mentee).
3. Accept that you'll be learning forever
The journey itself is never over. You won’t just earn the title of Consultant and then cruise for the rest of your career. So, enjoy the fact that you will always continue to learn, including informally whilst on the job, through professional networks such as Salesforce user and community groups, and through studying.
4. You are not alone
Do not lose your confidence in the early times. It's ok to make mistakes but you must learn from them. An item that takes you hours to understand now will only take you minutes in the future. Don’t be afraid to take a break from resolving a requirement or fixing a bug and return to it later on, after some rest or after you work on another task too.
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