30+ Salesforce Specializations to Consider in 2023

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So, you’re a Salesforce professional – now what? Perhaps you’re looking to specialize in a Salesforce product that complements your current skill set for a fresh challenge, or to boost your value within your organization? 

Thoughts around the role of Salesforce Admin have been circulating – thoughts that the job market has become saturated with certified professionals and that the demand for admins might be dropping, as well as thoughts that there’s a resurgence for Salesforce Admins. 

That’s where specializations come in; specializations give you a competitive edge in the market. With core admin skills paired with a specialization, you will sit in the middle of the Venn diagram, appealing to organizations looking for expertise in both areas. 

Salesforce Specializations: A Guide

For the most part, specializations have been driven by the major acquisitions Salesforce has made over the past few years – Tableau, MuleSoft, and Slack, to name a few of the heavy-hitters. This guide covers 30+ specializations open to Salesforce Admins, alongside the effort required to learn, as well as earning potential (salary boost). 

READ MORE: Why Salesforce Roles are Trending Towards Specialization

Special thanks goes to Amanda Beard-Neilson, Matt Morris, and Claire Jones, co-leaders of the London Admin User Group for coming up with the original concept, and their support in writing this guide. Find out more about their Trailblazer Community Group here

Salesforce Product Growth: The Numbers

Salesforce’s annual Investor Relations deck predicts the potential growth (total addressable market) in different areas of their portfolio until 2026.

Source: Salesforce Investor Relations September 2022.
  • Digital is defined as Marketing, Digital Commerce, and Cross-CRM.
  • Platform is defined as Application Platform Software, B2B Gateway Software (Stand-Alone), Business Process Management Suites, Create, Digital Experience Platforms, Event Brokers & Messaging Infrastructure, Event Stream Processing (ESP) Platforms, High Control aPaaS, High Productivity aPaaS, and Verify.
  • Data includes ABI Custom Applications, Analytics and BI Platforms, Application Integration Suites, Data Integration Software, Data Science and AI Platforms, Enterprise Reporting Platforms, Full Life Cycle API Management, Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS), Location Intelligence Platforms, and Robotic Process Automation.

What conclusions can we draw from the graph?

  • All areas will experience some rise in demand. 
  • Data will enjoy the greatest rise in demand, followed by Service and Digital.
  • With data grouped into broad categories, judging which specializations will be most fruitful requires us to dig into what the experts think. 

Key:

Effort: Effort to learn, 1 being the easiest, 5 being the toughest.

Demand: Potential boost in your salary expectation, 1 being stable/modest, 5 likely to result in a competitive edge (and therefore, a boost in earning potential).

Platform AreaDemand RatingEffort Rating
CPQ (Revenue Cloud) Sales54
Sales Engagement (formerly High Velocity Sales)

Sales22
Omni-channelService11
KnowledgeService11
Console & widgetsService21
Field ServiceService22
Account Engagement (Pardot)Digital32
Marketing CloudDigital55
Customer Data Platform (formerly Salesforce CDP)Digital2.53.5
Personalization (formerly Interaction Studio)Digital4*4*
Commerce - B2BDigital4.53
Commerce - B2CDigital54
CRM AnalyticsData42.5
TableauData43
Lightning Web Components (LWCs)Platform41.5**
HerokuPlatform25
HyperforcePlatform--
ShieldPlatform4.53.5
DevOps Center
Platform43
OmniStudioPlatform53
Health CloudIndustries23
Financial Services CloudIndustries33
InsuranceIndustries33
CommunicationsIndustries54
Energy & Utilities CloudIndustries53
Nonprofit Success Pack (NSPS) Industries5 (for nonprofits)3
Education CloudIndustries--
Net Zero Cloud Industries3.53.5
MuleSoftData5***5
MuleSoft ComposerData13
Experience CloudDigital/Platform32.5
SlackPlatform3.51.5
NFT CloudDigital--

*Varies by industry.

**Depending on your current proficiency with Javascript.

***Nuances depending on your organization and current Salesforce role. 

Sales Cloud Specializations

The vast majority of Salesforce Admins start their careers working with Sales Cloud, as this is the Salesforce product (almost universally) purchased by organizations. 

With Sales Cloud expanding rapidly, there are more avenues for Sales Cloud-confident professionals to explore. 

READ MORE: Sales Cloud Unlimited: What Does it Actually Include?

CPQ (Revenue Cloud)

Demand: 5

Effort: 4

Salesforce CPQ (configure, price, quote), now known as Revenue Cloud, helps your sales reps create accurate quotes for customers, going beyond rudimentary Opportunities Products and Quotes, to sell complex sets of products and bundles.

Due to the sheer volume of features available, use cases you could encounter, and the differences in maintaining Salesforce CPQ (i.e. deployments) makes for a steep learning curve. 

READ MORE: 10 Salesforce CPQ Features You Should Know About

“CPQ (Revenue Cloud) is an ever-growing field in which resources are scarce. This creates the potential for high earning potential and the ability to work with some very cool companies. CPQ takes some time to learn and understand the basic concepts, but once you understand them, you can apply them to a multitude of use cases. Personally, I like the ability to be creative within CPQ – there’s usually more than one way to achieve a desired outcome, and I like exploring the possibilities in CPQ.” 

Alyssa Lefebvre, CPQ Expert & Solution Engineer

Sales Engagement

Demand: 2

Effort: 2

Sales Engagement (formerly High Velocity Sales) includes Sales Cadence, Work Queue, Einstein Conversation Insights, Einstein Activity Capture, and Inbox.  

For organizations interested in automating and optimizing sales outreach, this is a good option. It’s also an easy segue for Sales Cloud-confident professionals – and even better for those interested in Sales Ops.

Service Cloud Specializations

Service Cloud is another popular Salesforce product that assists a business’s customer support team. 

How much effort does Service Cloud take to learn? 

“I would personally say that learning Service Cloud is on par with learning Flows (now that Flows keep getting easier). While Service Cloud is not as difficult as something like CPQ, there’s many individual features within Service Cloud and each has their own learning curve.”

Stacy O’Leary, 5x Certified Salesforce Administrator

Let’s dive into some of those individual Service Cloud features.

Omni-Channel

Demand: 1

Effort: 1

Salesforce Omni-Channel is a Service Cloud feature which, as the name implies, covers “all channels”, allowing your customer service agents to handle customer concerns via any and all channels with one consistent experience. 

READ MORE: An Admin’s Guide to Salesforce Omni-Channel

Knowledge

Demand: 1

Effort: 1

Salesforce Knowledge gives you the ability to build out a comprehensive Knowledge Base (KB) inside of Salesforce to service your internal agents, partners, and customers.

READ MORE: Introduction to Salesforce Lightning Knowledge

Service Console and Widgets

Demand: 2

Effort: 1

The Service Cloud Lightning console is a UI that has many features, widgets, and tricks for you to help your service agents be more productive. 

READ MORE: Service Cloud Console: Improve Agent Efficiency

“The UI of the Service Cloud Console can make or break a support team.  A confusing layout will cause wasted time, and poor Case resolution for the end customer. Having a good UI that the users understand and aligns with their day-to-day work is priceless.

Watch out for leadership who give you design ideas for what they want, and not what is best for the people actually doing the work.”

Stacy O’Leary, 5x Certified Salesforce Administrator

Field Service

Demand: 2

Effort: 2

Salesforce Field Service is an extension of Service Cloud that provides a comprehensive view of workforce management.

Field Service involves providing services to customers beyond your office or site – which is referred to as in the “field”. Think about mobile employees, like service technicians, who carry out the service in-person; other people involved are service agents, dispatchers, and service managers.

READ MORE: Complete Guide to Salesforce Field Service

Salesforce Marketing Specializations

Salesforce took the marketing automation space by storm when they acquired ExactTarget in 2013 (only nine months after ExactTarget had snapped up Pardot!).

READ MORE: A Brief History of Marketing Cloud and Pardot

Since then, these career paths have gained huge traction. In the first six years of Salesforce ownership alone, according to some sources, Marketing Cloud experienced 6x growth and Pardot saw a formidable 20x growth.

As more organizations are challenging their marketing teams to “do more with less”, those specialists who know how to maximize these tools (without chasing after “shiny new tech” unnecessarily) will be in incredible demand in the job market. 

Pardot (Account Engagement)

Demand: 3

Effort: 2

Salesforce Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (formerly Pardot) is a go-to choice for Salesforce customers looking for a B2B marketing automation tool. Not only is it tightly integrated into Salesforce’s core objects, Pardot’s reasonable price point makes it accessible to many organizations and is appealing to new users as an intuitive tool with a minimal learning curve.

READ MORE: What is Pardot Used For?

“Pardot (Account Engagement) has been designed to be WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get). This keeps users from delving ‘under the hood’, which makes Pardot harder to ‘break’. To truly maximize Pardot, however, you do need specialists on hand with both technical skills and marketing acumen – otherwise, you will be restricted to ‘cookie-cutter’ use cases.”

Lucy Mazalon, former Pardot Consultant, Marketing Champion, Founder of The DRIP

Marketing Cloud

Demand: 5

Effort: 5

Salesforce Marketing Cloud is a digital marketing platform that automates marketing across email, social media, mobile apps, SMS, websites, and more.

Organizations invest in Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC) to combine all marketing channels in one place. With many “studios” and “builders”, Marketing Cloud is a “beast” that requires a significant amount of knowledge to do data management, marketing campaigns, and analytics effectively.

READ MORE: What is Salesforce Marketing Cloud?

“Experienced Marketing Cloud professionals have a significant earning potential, which is typically higher than a Sales Cloud Administrator or Developer with equivalent experience. Salesforce Marketing Cloud is an enterprise platform that takes time to master – I’ve been using it for the past ten years, and I’m still learning!”

Eliot Harper, Marketing Cloud Architect at CloudKettle

Marketing Cloud Personalization

Demand: 4

Effort: 4

Marketing Cloud Personalization (formerly Interaction Studio) is Salesforce’s real-time personalization and interaction management solution that’s part of Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

READ MORE: What is Salesforce Interaction Studio?

“To me, personalization is about building relationships with every single one of your customers, at every single touchpoint, at scale. Customer loyalty and personalization go hand in hand. If you can’t figure out how to talk to your customers like you know them, they’ll find someone who can. Surviving in today’s economy without personalization tools is like going into battle without armor.” 

Pratik Desai, Marketing Cloud Personalization expert


When it comes to rating personalization in terms of demand and effort, there’s no “one size fits all” – in fact, as Pratik points out, it varies by industry. This is down to how organizations in these industries: 

  • Engage with their customers.
  • Are able for Marketing Cloud Personalization (the tool) to work well within their industry (for example, to cater to non-B2C, retail use cases).  

Here’s a breakdown below:

Demand RatingEffort Rating
Retail and Consumer Goods53
Financial Services (B2C)43
Financial Services (B2B)45
Travel and Leisure45
Insurance45
Telecommunications34
Pharma/Healthcare24

Salesforce described this as “walking the ‘personalization vs. privacy’ tightrope”. Marketers are adapting to changes in privacy regulations and calls for data transparency. Personalization will require a specialist to navigate the changing landscape appropriately.

CDP/Genie

Demand: 2.5 (today)

Effort: 3.5

Salesforce Genie, declared the greatest Salesforce innovation in the company’s history, ingests and stores real-time data streams at massive scale, and combines it with Salesforce data. This paves the way for highly personalized customer experiences, delivered in real-time.

Salesforce CDP unifies versions of the same individual across applications, delivering customer experiences based on data sources beyond Salesforce.

READ MORE: What is Salesforce CDP?

As a Salesforce marketer, understanding how CDPs work (data ingestion, unification, transformation and activation) is currently a big plus, but in the future, we think it will be a necessity. 

“It’s definitely a good way to future-proof your skillset.  In terms of earning potential, I’d say that CDP knowledge can easily define whether you’re hired as a “regular” or senior consultant. Having expertise in SF CDP can even land you an architect position, since you have to learn key concepts like data modeling, MDM and data lakes while studying up for the CDP.”

Timo Kovala, Lead Marketing Consultant at Biit

According to Salesforce’s State of Marketing report, the average number of data sources that need to be aggregated, per organization, is steadily increasing – from 10 (2021), to 15 (2022), to 18 (2023 predicted). 

READ MORE: 10 Salesforce Marketing Trends for 2023

To learn CDP, there are Trailhead modules, the Partner Learning Camp curriculum, and accreditation. As a relatively new technology, the learning resources pose gaps when troubleshooting certain issues. Fortunately, there’s online material and the external Slack channel to support you. 

“With the fall of 3rd-party data, marketers need to shift focus towards owned data and unified profiles. For Salesforce marketers, the best way to account for this is to start learning the Salesforce Customer Data Platform. There’s no substitute for learning on the job. It’s a steep learning curve that will involve some trial-and-error but definitely worth it in the longer term.”

Timo Kovala, Lead Marketing Consultant at Biit

“I’m not seeing that certification or experience in Salesforce Genie (formerly CDP) impacts remuneration, but I anticipate that this will change in the next 18-24 months.”

Eliot Harper, Marketing Cloud Architect

Salesforce Commerce Specializations

Salesforce Commerce Cloud is a cloud-based commerce platform that supports online retailers in marketing, merchandising, shopping experience, fulfillment, customer service, and beyond. 

There are multiple concepts you need to understand when working with Commerce Cloud, and one of these is the difference between B2C and B2B Commerce.

“Salesforce is heavily investing in eCommerce with recent additions such as a marketplace, subscriptions, and the move to a service-based architecture. 

If you already know Salesforce Core, the technical understanding needed for Salesforce Order Management (OMS), B2B or B2B2C commerce and Marketplace will come naturally. However, you would need to skill up conceptional, understanding the full product life cycle. 

But I guarantee you, it will be worth your time. We expect a strong growth on core platform-based commerce solutions, and many interesting opportunities for you to take.”

Armin Wurmser, SFCC Director at Merkle DACH
READ MORE: Salesforce B2C vs. B2B Commerce: What are the Differences?

“The adoption of Salesforce eCommerce solutions is gaining momentum and the demand for B2B Commerce and B2C Commerce skills will rise significantly in 2023 and beyond.

I expect many high-paying developer and architect jobs for those skilled in B2B or B2C Commerce. With well-defined learning paths, I strongly recommend learners to focus on this domain and be a part of the next wave of eCommerce powered by Salesforce.”

Gaurav Kheterpal, Commerce expert, 7x Salesforce MVP, MuleSoft Mentor

“Commerce Cloud is growing tremendously within the range of products of the Salesforce ecosystem in all industries. As much of Commerce Cloud’s products are new, or undergoing continuous change to stay ahead, it allows both new and experienced commerce professionals to join a more equal playing field.”

Thomas Theunen, Commerce Director and Salesforce Commerce Cloud Community Leader

Salesforce B2B Commerce

Demand: 4.5

Effort: 3

Salesforce B2B Commerce is still a new and emerging space but the demand in the space will continue to build. Learning the fundamentals of B2B Commerce is similar to working on any core Salesforce work, however, commerce requires knowledge beyond purely configuration (which makes it a little more difficult). 

“B2B Commerce Cloud is one of the emerging spaces within the Salesforce ecosystem, with the potential to open up new revenue streams for businesses who utilize the platform. One of the key benefits for the business is the ability to have a fully connected solution, going from marketing to browsing experience to checkout and fulfillment. 

For those interested in joining the space, there are plenty of opportunities for configuration, development, integrations and strategy work to really get the most power out of your company’s storefront.”

Shane Smyth, VP of Technology at Saltbox

Salesforce B2C Commerce

Demand: 5 (3.5-4.5 earning potential, depending on your role)

Effort: 3

Focused on “Business to Consumer”. It’s a separate technology stack, using JavaScript and web technologies, which has gone through multiple architecture iterations including SiteGenesis, the Storefront Reference Architecture (SFRA), Headless Commerce, and progressive web app development (PWA).

The ideal knowledge foundation includes front-end and full stack development. Compared to B2B Commerce, B2C is known for being more challenging to learn. 

READ MORE: Salesforce B2C vs. B2B Commerce: What are the Differences?

“Moving to composable commerce with Salesforce’s composable storefront will bring mid-term B2C Commerce closer to the service based commerce services from Salesforce. Lots of new opportunities to learn and grow are on the horizon. 

So, you see, even though Salesforce Commerce has been around for a while, there is no better time than now to learn more about it and to start your eCommerce career.”

Armin Wurmser, SFCC Director at Merkle DACH

Salesforce Analytics Specializations

CRM Analytics

Demand: 4

Effort: 2.5

CRM Analytics (formerly Tableau CRM/Einstein Analytics) is a powerful cloud-based analytics and business intelligence (BI) solution on the Salesforce platform. It integrates Salesforce data with external data and provides the ability to analyze large datasets while performing predictive analytics.

READ MORE: Salesforce CRM Analytics

“CRM Analytics (CRMA) is a fun and valuable tool to work with, especially for those who have an analytical mindset, and there are always new features to learn.  I am personally still very early in my CRMA journey but am excited to continue learning so I can help future clients with their analytics projects.”

Jordyn Jaffer, Senior Salesforce Solution Engineer at Sercante, 14x Certified

Tableau

Demand: 4

Effort: 3

Tableau is a powerful visualization tool that aims to ease complexities of data analytics for data exploration and management. Salesforce acquired Tableau (announced in 2019) in a move to bolster their enterprise analytics offering with this best-of-breed platform. 

READ MORE: Salesforce Acquire Tableau

“Data analytics has been a ‘hot’ business area. I see more and more companies investing in business analytics to boost their efficiency and performance. Given that Tableau licenses are usually purchased by more established companies (usually larger companies) the earning potential grows with that too.

Tableau is one of those applications that you learn on the job. The more it is used in varied projects, the faster you will learn. It’s relatively user friendly, and the basics can be picked up easily. Complex calculations and special viz designs can slow down the learning but again the more you are exposed to varied use cases, the more you learn.”

Ausra Puniskyte, Tableau Expert

Salesforce Platform Specializations

Lightning Web Components (LWCs)

Demand: 4

Effort: 1.5 (developer), 3 (admin experienced with Flow/Admineveloper), 4 (no development experience).

Salesforce joined Technical Committee 39, the consortium, which essentially designs web standards and how they’re evolving. Salesforce designed Lightning web components to conform – essentially “vanilla” JavaScript, meaning that they are easy to learn if you understand JavaScript. 

If you don’t understand JavaScript, fortunately, it’s one of the most prolific web languages out there. There is so much material to learn. It’s a case of learning JavaScript but what’s Salesforce-specific is very simple, i.e. additions which you can learn in half an hour – super simple.

“If you’ve got the mindset of an admin who likes to dip their toes into development, or who’s good with Flows, you’ll transition to being able to write LWCs, at least simple ones, easily.

If you’ve got any front-end development experience, for example, other components on Salesforce (aside from Visualforce) the transition should be seamless. While it’s all JavaScript, it’s no longer a case of fighting the framework, rather than writing proper code.”

Alex Crisp, Senior Developer, Seven20 

If you’re brand new to development, you will be challenged the same as you would if you were learning JavaScript from scratch. At least Salesforce provides good tooling for creating LWCs.  Awareness of this tooling is critical; you need to download a separate tool, set up VSCode, connect it to the org, and then push the component to the org once created. It’s not a case of simply going to a web page and “doing some stuff”. 

Heroku

Demand: 2

Effort: 5 (entry-level developer), 4 (mid-level developer), 3.5 (senior developer). 

“I would argue that the demand is dropping. If the demand is increasing, I don’t think Salesforce would have recently got rid of the free tier. This indicates that the demand for it is dropping because it’s no longer acting as a driver for new business.”

Alex Crisp, Senior Developer, Seven20 

Heroku moves development and customizations off platform. If you were to learn Heroku, familiarity with command line tools is ideal (bordering on necessary) and other programming languages.

Effort varies greatly, depending on what you’re trying to do. You can go and download ones provided to you by third-parties (similar to the AppExchange) – follow a setup guide, log into your org, and off you go. For example, Salesforce provides one where you can pull data from Salesforce into Heroku, and run analytics. 

Custom development, however,  is not recommended for someone inexperienced, or risk making dangerous mistakes. 

Salesforce DevOps Center

Demand: 4

Effort: 3

Salesforce DevOps Center is the place to manage releases, with low-code and pro-code development team members working with a single set of configuration and code. The result? Closer collaboration. 

READ MORE: Salesforce DevOps Center

In 2022, DevOps Center went through quite a journey – first announced, released in beta, and General Availability (GA) Dec 9th, 2022.

Everyone involved in Salesforce implementations – product owners, business analysts, admins, architects and developers – need to understand the core principles for driving change. Delivery/release management using DevOps tooling is core to this. 

“The principles of DevOps Center are not difficult to learn, and a strong understanding of the principles makes the tooling easier to learn. However, when you start getting into the detail of DevOps with pipelines, user stories and source-control it can get quite technical because you are moving metadata between Git repositories as you drive the changes through the pipeline of orgs from dev to production. The smaller your team, the more you will be involved in every phase and therefore need to have hands-on experience of using the tooling.”  

Ian Gotts, Founder, Elements

Salesforce Shield

Demand: 4.5

Effort: 3.5

Salesforce Shield is for organizations that need to meet extra security and compliance requirements. Four components make up Salesforce Shield (encryption, enhanced field audit trail, event monitoring, and Einstein Data Detect) with encryption being the main one.

READ MORE: Complete Guide to Salesforce Shield


“Salesforce Shield is certainly a rare skill and will differentiate a candidate. Just like anything with Salesforce, understanding Shield at a deep level plus being able to string that knowledge together with other foundational Salesforce and security concepts is what will set candidates apart.

There is a ton of information available for free. It does require sitting down and putting in the time to understand and think about it, but the effort to learn Shield is not insurmountable.

However, the effort to implement Shield is very different – Shield implementations can be very time consuming due to the manual nature of many of its associated activities. It is highly recommended to work with a partner like OwnBackup who specializes in Shield implementation and is very familiar with the common challenges.”

Devin Bushweller, Senior Solution Engineer, OwnBackup

The learning map and other resources are great for starting out with Shield:

Hyperforce

Hyperforce is a “reimagination” platform architecture to securely and reliably deliver the Salesforce “Cloud” products, on major public clouds, including AWS, Azure and Google.

READ MORE: Salesforce Announce Hyperforce

Currently available in 10 regions, Hyperforce will reach 17 countries by the end of 2023.

Two primary aspects of Hyperforce are security and data residency (i.e. your data is a “resident” in a specific country/region for compliance reasons).

The new External Encryption Ecosystem was created when Salesforce hoped to expand Hyperforce into new regions, but came up against increasingly stringent data residency requirements. Using cryptography, Salesforce can “hand the key over” to the customer, who as a result, will have full control over data. It’s a huge opportunity that will enable Hyperforce to operate in more challenging regions, such as China.

READ MORE: Salesforce + Alibaba: New Partnership to Expand into Chinese Market

Salesforce Industries

“Salesforce Industries are a desired skill set in the Salesforce ecosystem. Since the acquisition of Vlocity in 2020, demand is far out-weighing supply in all regions – this is especially true for Developers and Architects to work with OmniStudio, EPC, CPQ or Order Management.”

By nature, Vlocity projects are usually highly complex and often multi-year projects of high value. Therefore, specialist training and skills are often required. Perhaps most importantly, is speaking the language of the industry your project is in! Can you speak fluent Telco?!

Industries such as Telco, Media and Energy are high priority growth markets for Salesforce. There is an amazing diversity of Industries you’re able to specialize in.

The benefits of becoming an expert in SFI are huge. Especially in the Contracting world, the rates available in SFI are some of the highest in Salesforce.

According to Pedro Jose (a trailblazer in the SFI domain), the opportunities are endless.

“A great place to start would be learning OmniStudio to bridge the gap between the Core Platform and SFI.”

Matt Hafford, Director at Cloudway Talent

OmniStudio

Demand: 5

Effort: 3

OmniStudio is a suite of digital engagement tools that simplify the creation of complex, industry-specific experiences on Salesforce. These configuration-first tools enable designers to create a guided brand experience resembling a flow, with the UI and styling flexibility of Lightning Web Components.

READ MORE: Getting Started With OmniStudio

“With Salesforce’s focus on industry products, there is an urgent need for OmniStudio admins/developers across the ecosystem. As it begins being added to other product offerings, such as Loyalty Cloud, expect to see it become a must learn part of the platform.”

Branden Bellanca, Salesforce Architect Community Leader

Health Cloud

Demand: 2

Effort: 3

Health Cloud is an industry-specific offering that combines clinical and non-clinical data to provide unified and efficient patient experiences within the Healthcare sector. 

Providers have the opportunity to keep in close contact with patients, using their preferred communication channel, and overall, provide outstanding care to patients.

“Despite being released over 6 years ago, Health Cloud has continued to grow in demand. With the increased focus on industry-specific Salesforce solutions, the demand for talent in this area will be steady and should increase in 2023.”

Matt Hafford, Director at Cloudway Talent

Financial Services Cloud

Financial Services Cloud (FSC) is an integrated platform with the goal of driving strong client relationships within the Financial Services Sector. Advisors are empowered with access to a new level of data, with personalization and engagement features to minimize the time spent on administration, such as applications, and performing due diligence, such as KYC (know your customer). 

READ MORE: Top 8 Underrated Features of Financial Services Cloud

“Financial Services Cloud is an original Salesforce Industries, and the demand for experts has steadily grown in this area, as demand for Salesforce, generally, has grown in this area. There’s a huge total addressable market (TAM) that Salesforce has still not saturated. With a lack of dedicated Financial Services Cloud Experts in the market, it is a good place for someone to specialize and grow their career.”

Matt Hafford, Director at Cloudway Talent

Salesforce for Insurance

Demand: 3

Effort: 3

“Salesforce for Insurance builds on the success of Financial Service Cloud, to compete in a crowded and complex app marketplace. Insurance firms can maximize their service and use data to identify new products to policyholders and prospects alike.” 

Matt Hafford, Director at Cloudway Talent

Communications Cloud

Demand: 5

Effort: 4

Communications Cloud handles quoting, pricing capabilities, and enables providers to serve customers purchasing communications product orchestration plans. Like other Salesforce products, Communications Cloud taps into Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, and more, to provide the functionality for this highly specialized, multi-billion dollar industry (and that will continue to grow in 2023). 

“As a former Vlocity product (Vlocity for Communications), the product itself has great adoption in the telecommunications industry. As a result, there’s a lot of opportunities open to experienced consultants across B2C and B2B CSPs (communications service providers). Due to the industry complexities, and the desired integration with many parts of the Salesforce platform, it’s typically an area hard to hire for, and hard to learn.”

Matt Hafford, Director at Cloudway Talent

Energy & Utilities Cloud

Demand: 5 (for nonprofits)

Effort: 3

Energy & Utilities brings specific front-office, middle-office, C&I (commercial and industrial) customers, partners and self-service functionality to consolidate service and improve engagement. The focus is on operational excellence, with predefined industry objects, and hundreds of best practices.

“This is a big growth area for Salesforce, and one of the spaces we have seen the most demand for talent. Unlike some other industry-specific tools, E&U Cloud users regularly ask for dedicated specialists who can really get under the hood of the platform and understand the complex configuration.”

Matt Hafford, Director at Cloudway Talent

Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP)

Demand: 5 (for nonprofits)

Effort: 3

The Nonprofit Success Pack (NSPS) was specifically designed to meet the “unique” needs of Nonprofits, aka NGOs or charities, to aid them in being successful with their mission. Sitting on top of Sales Cloud, NSPS comprises Engagement Plans, Fundraising, Grant Management, and more. 

READ MORE: What is the Nonprofit Success Pack?

“If you are going to focus on working with nonprofits or charities, I would rate learning about NPSP at a 5 in terms of earning potential. Our hiring requirement for our teams that work with nonprofit customers is a minimum of Salesforce Admin certification AND a Nonprofit Cloud Consultant certification.

NPSP is not particularly difficult but you do have to let your mind be open to a different way of doing things than might be standard in Salesforce. You may never use all of the tools available in NPSP (and/or Nonprofit Cloud) but knowing those tools are available and when they would be helpful to implement for a particular use case, rather than reinvent the wheel, will be critical to your success with nonprofits.”

Melissa Hill Dees, Founding Partner, HandsOn Connect, Co-Founder Nonprofit Dreamin

Education Cloud

Salesforce Education Cloud is a collection of objects and tools that provides a 360-degree view of student and institutional data. This means that staff can see everything related to a student and their academic journey, including what and where they study, the staff they interact with day to day, and much more.

READ MORE: Your Guide to Salesforce Education Cloud

Net Zero Cloud

Demand: 3.5 (today)

Effort: 3.5

Net Zero Cloud is a sustainability management solution that enables organizations to perform carbon accounting, emissions forecasting, and also track their suppliers’ impact. 

READ MORE: What is Salesforce Net Zero Cloud?

“The reality is that you’ll find few recruiters hunting for Net Zero Cloud certified professionals, today. However, I foresee this is going to change quickly. Carbon Accounting is starting to become a mandatory activity for organizations meaning the need for dedicated systems and their associated professionals is on the rise.

The content around the Sustainable Development Goals and principles of carbon accounting are new to many of us in the Salesforce ecosystem – so there’s a learning curve involved. While the Trailhead modules and product documentation are strong, there isn’t a wide availability of learning content (compared to other products) which is also why I rate the effort to learn quite high.”

Penny Townsend, Global Lead for Net Zero Cloud at IBM

Salesforce Integration Specializations

MuleSoft

Demand: 5*

Effort: 5

*Nuances depending on your organization and current Salesforce role.

MuleSoft is an integration platform. The Anypoint platform allows you to manage your API connections, run integrations, and monitor and report – all from one cloud-based system. One of the biggest selling points of MuleSoft is the hundreds of existing connectors they have, meaning you can integrate to Mainframes, ERP systems, and SaaS applications using tried and tested templated solutions.

“Having an understanding of what MuleSoft is, and what it isn’t, can add an extra layer of depth. Integrations are essential to almost all businesses across the board. For example, moving data from a storefront (whether it’s a website or mobile app), or perhaps system to system. 

What makes up those processes, how do they work – where, how, and why are they triggered? All of these questions can be answered in the fundamentals of MuleSoft. 

You don’t have to become an expert to gain the knowledge of the powerhouse MuleSoft can be, just daring enough to bring it to life.”

Chris Vickery, Sr MuleSoft Developer, Ad Victoriam
READ MORE: What Can MuleSoft Do for Your Salesforce Org?

“If you approach it from the perspective of ETL tools, I would say MuleSoft is at the top-end of both the value and effort to learn scales. MuleSoft has an API led connectivity which is different from the typical point-to-point integration pattern used in other ETL tools. 

Learning the basics of MuleSoft and its design provides a challenge that once it is mastered will boost your career. MuleSoft is an extremely powerful tool with many pre-existing connectors which helps simplify learning a variety of systems.”

Ethan Van Zandbergen, Data Practice Lead, Ad Victoriam

MuleSoft Composer

Demand: 3

Effort: 1

MuleSoft Composer is a lightweight Admin-friendly version of MuleSoft that sits within Salesforce, offering a declarative interface to create integrations.

Think of an interface similar to Process Builder or Flow, but with the ability to directly integrate with other systems using pre-built connectors. 

READ MORE: MuleSoft Composer

“MuleSoft Composer adds integration capabilities to the admins toolbox, without needing to write a single line of code. This adds to your earning potential and is surprisingly easy to learn since it has a similar layout and functionality to Flow Builder.” 

Christine Marshall, MuleSoft Composer Advocate

Experience Cloud

Demand: 3

Effort: 2.5

With Experience Cloud, you can create portals, forums, websites, and help centers, built directly on the Salesforce platform, and seamlessly integrates with all your CRM data.

The tool is on a low-code platform, which means you can create branded sites using mostly drag and drop functionality.

“In my opinion, Experience Cloud is a core cloud. It’s often coupled with Sales Cloud or Service Cloud to hugely improve customer or partner engagement. This is a valuable skill to help your organization stand out from the crowd!”

Tom Bassett, Solution Architect.

Slack

Demand: 3.5

Effort: 2.5

Slack is a messaging app for businesses; it allows you to message your colleagues directly or communicate with them via dedicated channels set up for a specific purpose. For example, you could use a channel for a project, or for your regional office.

READ MORE: Slack Fatigue? How to Bring Control to Rapid Collaboration

“I’d rate the demand for Slack at 3.5, but trending toward 4.

Many companies we work with have Slack budgeted and run in the IT department – this means, it’s viewed similarly to running email (e.g. Outlook), and not the same group that administers Salesforce. I think that’s starting to change.

I think there needs to be more product education around Slack in that it’s much more than a chat platform. People are doing real work there and have apps at their disposal. 

As Slack continues to become more customizable with things like the next-generation Platform and Workflow Builder, we’ll see this earning potential evolve as the work becomes more valuable.

Much of the platform configuration is intuitive – the result of Slack being product-led for so many years. Enterprise Grid migrations and maintenance may be a bit tricky, but for the most part, it’s very easy to learn and get going.

Slack has certifications and badges just like Salesforce, which can go in-depth into lesser-known areas of Slack that may be not so obvious.”

Ryan Hitchler, CEO and Co-founder, Centro

NFT Cloud

Demand: Too early to say.

Effort: Too early to say.

NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token. The “non-fungible” part simply means that whatever you are buying is unique. Cash or bitcoin, for example, is fungible, as you can exchange one for another. 

READ MORE: Salesforce NFT Cloud: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

NFT Cloud hopes to inspire customer loyalty; for customers that will invest in Salesforce NFT Cloud, they will be able to build communities that their customers feel they are exclusively a part of. 

Salesforce launched their NFT Cloud pilot in 2022. Only time will tell the true demand and effort to upskill on NFT Cloud.

READ MORE: Salesforce Officially Announces NFT Cloud

Salesforce’s State of Marketing Report, released November 2022, found that Web3 was very much something that marketing leaders were thinking about. 

At this point in time, the uptake is split down the middle between those who have an active Web3 strategy (51%) and those who plan to in the future (46%). What’s striking to me, is that only 3% don’t plan to have a Web3 strategy. 2023 is going to be an interesting year for Web3, that’s for sure.

READ MORE: 10 Salesforce Marketing Trends for 2023

Special Thanks

A final special thanks goes to Amanda Beard-Neilson, Matt Morris, and Claire Jones, co-leaders of the London Admin User Group for coming up with the original concept, and their support in writing this guide. Find out more about their Trailblazer Community Group here

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