Life as a Salesforce Consultant can be both exciting and challenging. In a client-facing role, you’ll need to stay up to date with Salesforce releases to provide your clients with industry-best practices and help to configure orgs based on business processes.
To help describe the day-to-day life of a Salesforce Consultant, I have recorded my ‘typical day’, including tips and timings, as well as a hypothetical scenario with a fictional client. Please note that this is my interpretation, simplified; consulting roles can vary in terms of workload, and the number of clients you work with simultaneously. I love working for this Salesforce consultancy because it allows for amazing work-life balance. Let’s get started!
What Does a Salesforce Consultant Do?
First, here’s a quick explanation of what a Salesforce Consultant actually does.
In short, consultants work with clients to identify their key requirements, before implementing (and optimizing) scalable solutions. Responsibilities will vary depending on whether the consultant is entry-level, mid-level, or senior, and can range from executing configuration tasks and lead requirement gathering, to ‘big picture’ solution design.
As roles can vary so much, it’s worth reading the comprehensive overview below.
Managed Services vs. Delivery Services
In the consulting world, you can be part of two teams: managed services or delivery services. Let’s dive into the key differences between the two, before taking a look at the daily breakdown of the life of a Salesforce Consultant.
As a managed services team member, you’ll help companies maintain, evolve, and grow their Salesforce solutions in line with their business needs. Typically, your client’s org is already built up, so anything you can think of (such as admin work), you’ll be doing! You’ll be meeting and working directly with your clients, attending status meetings, completing requirements, and working on the configuration.
You may be working on a monthly retainer (e.g. 20 hours per month for 12 months) to help maintain systems on an ongoing basis. But for implementations of new products or features, a project is used – a material-based project with fixed deliverables (cost and/or time period).
As a member of the delivery services team, you’ll be focused on the start-up and development of your client’s org, also known as the implementation process. This means you’ll be creating user stories, listening to your client’s short and long-term goals, and working with various departments to re-create your client’s everyday processes within Salesforce.
Whichever route you end up taking, a key characteristic of a successful consultant is a natural sense of curiosity; you’ll be constantly asking questions to help advise on and support your clients’ requirements and future company goals.
Keep in mind that every Trailblazer’s journey may look different. This breakdown will highlight common tasks depending on your sprint requirements and client interactions, such as daily standups, ticket work, and meetings both with clients and internally with your team.
At the end of the day, we all work to address and solve our clients’ challenges quickly and efficiently. Let’s dive in and talk about how your day might look and how best to prepare for a career in consulting.
6.00am – 8.00am: Stretch, Walk, and Get Moving!
Since you may be sitting for much of your workday, try to get moving first thing in the morning. A walk outside is a great way to energize yourself. You could even rise a little earlier to build in a morning workout at the gym. This will help to activate the brain and get your thoughts flowing. You’ll notice your ideas and self-positivity increase during these walks to help set you up strong for the day.
9.00am: Coffee and Calendar Set
Your coffee is brewed and ready to go! This is your focus time to set up your day for success. Use your calendar to schedule, prioritize, and block time to complete your tasks. You can mark your assignments with specific colors to help prioritize your tasks. You can leave a time open in case you need to meet internally with team members to review any tasks together. Over time you’ll come up with your own system, but for now, here is an example:
Blue: Client work (configuring, note-taking, or document preparation)
Purple: Client meetings
Pink: Internal meetings
Daily Stand Up and Ticket Review
In the consulting world, a daily standup is also known as your daily ‘scrum’ meeting. It’s typically held in the morning and lasts about 15 minutes. This is where you meet with your team to discuss overall progression and blockers, and ask questions on follow-up items. You’ll see your team’s tickets on a Kanban view board interface such as Jira. This is a great time to ask questions or offer help if you have availability.
Let’s dive into the different types of tickets you can be assigned – they might be different and will ultimately depend on the team you’ll be working with.
The first type of ticket you could be assigned is the project worksite, which is known as the Delivery Team, meaning you will be assigned work related to the implementation and creation of your client’s org.
The second type of ticket you can be assigned is from the Managed Services department, which focuses on implementation after the deployment. This can involve reviewing tickets and various org requirements such as enhancing, fixes, and updates. The goal is to leave the daily stand-up with an understanding of your priorities for the day and an action plan for the week. We will showcase some examples below with our demo client so you can see how tickets will look.
10.00am: Focus Time and Ticket Work
This is your time. You have your task, ideas, and questions answered. You’re all ready to go with this time blocked off in your calendar so nobody will disturb you. You get to work on your task, configuring, and testing your client’s requests. You even have some time to set internal meetings with team members to get help with assignments (or a second pair of eyes, if needed) and be ready for client requests. You set up to knock these tasks out and be prepared for the day.
Take this time to reset and get some air. You can even use this time to catch up with the podcast you’ve listed. And don’t forget to refuel!
Client Demo Background
To help explain this next stage, I have created a fictional client: “Cuppa”. Let’s take a look at how your interactions with the client might look.
Client History: Cuppa, a local coffee store that opened in 2021, has seen massive growth. They would like to start a rewards program; customers would receive points every time they buy a coffee or food item. If their customer agrees to join the rewards program, it will be a great incentive to keep them coming back!
Growth Goals: As the business continues to grow, Cuppa would like to track their customers’ favorite drinks to get ideas for new beverages based on real feedback. Once a customer agrees to join the rewards program, they’ll be asked to select their favorite drink. After each purchase, the customer will receive a text message showing the amount of points they have.
12.30pm: Client Prep Time
It’s time to prepare to meet with your client, Cuppa, for the week. Based on your earlier ‘focus time’, you will have a specific list of items you want to discuss and review with them. This is a good time to review configurations, documents, and talking points, or practice your demo before showing the client.
It’s likely that you will have had a ‘discovery session’ towards the start of the project – this will have given you the opportunity to listen to your client’s goals and pain points. It’s important that you are inquisitive, particularly in these early stages, to ensure you understand the challenge your client is facing. A healthy dose of patience, critical thinking, and comprehensive documentation will help to keep your project on track, with maximum engagement and visibility.
Specifically for our demo client, and based on your discovery call with them last week, you have created a process for your baristas to easily capture key customer information in the system. All right, it’s time to head into the meeting – let’s go!
1.00pm: Client Meeting
Smile – it’s showtime! Everybody has joined the meeting, and it’s time to get to business. I have drafted a script to demonstrate how your meeting might go. Remember to use layman’s language to ensure you take your client on the journey with you.
Consultant: Hi team. Based on our meeting last week, we heard that your baristas need to collect two key pieces of information from your customers to join the rewards program which is the following:
- Favorite drink
- Phone Number
A great thing about Salesforce is that you can customize the value of a field at any point of your ‘Favorite Drink’ field. How does everything sound so far?
Cuppa: Great – we’ve been looking forward to this.
Consultant: Terrific! Let’s review the following field values so we can get your feedback. We have listed all your drink menu items, and a field to enter your customers’ phone numbers to sign up for the rewards program and receive their perks!
- Favorite Drink (picklist field)
- Matcha latte
- Flavored latte (blueberry, vanilla, caramel, etc.)
- Black Coffee
- Phone Number (Number Field)
The most exciting part is that you can now track what drinks your customers are enjoying to continue growing your menu and increase sales. Thoughts so far?
Cuppa: Great job, we love it! We have one update and one request. There’s one drink that’s not listed – our new item, Vietnamese Iced Coffee. Could we please add that? Our request is that we create an email field that is optional to the customer, so we can send out promotions for buy 1-get-1 special or coffee shop events for our upcoming live music nights!
Consultant: No problem! We can make the new “Email Field” optional so that your users can promote upcoming events or specials. We can also make that change to the ‘Favorite Drink’ field and add ‘Vietnamese Iced coffee’ to the drink selection. We will update that and get it to you for next week’s meeting!
End of Meeting
Good job! The client liked your delivery and now you have some updates to work on. Make sure you have all your notes from today’s meeting so you can get started creating tickets and planning next steps for you and the team.
3.00pm: Meet and Update the Team
At this point, you and your team can add your notes and updates to the client’s folder. Once your notes are sorted out, this is a good time to start creating tickets as a team (through JIRA, for example), and assign them to you or your team members to complete for the following client meeting. Below is a demonstration of how your ticket will look as you begin creating the new picklist value for your client.
During your daily stand-up meetings, you’ll give an update to the team on your status. This helps keep you and the team accountable for finishing clients requests and being prepared to showcase your new updates.
5.00pm: Task Wind Down
As your day comes to an end, you can finish responding to emails, or perhaps send your client a summary of the day’s discussion ready to review next steps for the following meeting. Lastly, you can take a look at tomorrow’s calendar, complete any final preparation, and accurately update your schedule as needed.
Once you hit the end of the working day, close up that computer and enjoy your evening!
The Salesforce consulting world is known for being busy, but if you love learning new things every day and enjoy working as part of a team, as well as with clients, then this could be the role for you.
Use these tips, block out time for yourself for mental breaks, stay organized, and sort your day to accomplish your ticket work so you can show up to the daily stand-up ready to roll with the team and provide your client with the best solutions.
Will every day reflect the exact content of this article? Most likely not – this is because, depending on the consulting firm you join, your responsibilities and workload will vary.
You might be working alongside a larger team with a few tickets to complete per week and not so many client calls. Or you might be working with a smaller firm, responsible for a large portion of the build and a lot of interaction with the client each week. Wherever you end up, we hope that this gives you a taste of what your day could look like, with some best practices to guide you on your way.
We’re curious to know what your day looks like… Share your thoughts in the comments below!