We’ve all heard the headlines about Salesforce’s projected impact on the job market by 2026 (additional business revenues for their customers, a partner ecosystem, and new jobs for skilled professionals). While this is exciting for Salesforce professionals, it does beg the question: How do you stand out from the crowd?
With a recession clouding over us, attention has turned from increasing our earning potential to increasing our value and our employability. Even if you are a seasoned Salesforce professional, there are always opportunities to excel in your career.
We hope that these tips will motivate you to push your ‘Salesforce horizons’ this year, and help you become indispensable to your organization, as well as recession resilient. In addition to these tips, check out our collection of salary guides, with role-specific tips for increasing your earning potential.
So, you’re a Salesforce professional – now what? Specializations give you a competitive edge in the market. With core Salesforce skills paired with a specialization, you will sit in the middle of the Venn diagram, appealing to organizations looking for expertise in both areas.
With the Salesforce platform ever-expanding, we identified 30+ specializations available for you to explore. Your path will be determined by:
- The biggest needs of your users: e.g. optimizing Service Cloud because agent productivity is low.
- What your organization’s technology roadmap looks like: e.g. are they planning to explore Salesforce CPQ?
- The specializations the job you’re attracted to requires if you’re planning on leaving your current organization.
We rated specializations by not only the effort to learn them, but also by the demand for those skills; greater demand equals more power when negotiating your salary.
2. Think Beyond the Challenge Presented
You are assigned a task, complete it, and move on. You might be surprised here, but that’s a flawed way of thinking. We can take lessons from good professionals from around the ecosystem:
Good developers see everything as an iterative process: e.g. when writing a trigger, you may work on the same trigger three times because you do it once, receive the learnings from more senior team members, then redo your piece of work. While it’s a slower development cycle, the cumulative effect of improvement is going to result in progression, and more free time to learn more advanced concepts.
Salesforce Business Analysts are the people in your organization who are asking ‘why’ – why a process happens the way it does – to understand what the business needs from its technology. In a nutshell, they act as a translator between the business and the technology it leverages.
Business analysts dive into various sources of information (users, business objectives, data, etc.) to come to their own conclusions. While it’s a full-time job, what’s become apparent is that any Salesforce professional can do business analysis to some extent. We should take the learnings from business analysts and apply them to our own thinking (especially when you don’t have a business analyst on your team!).
Thinking beyond the challenge presented is applicable to all roles in the ecosystem. I outlined a set of questions Account Engagement (Pardot) Admins should be asking before implementing a new feature – while it sounds simple, there are many considerations that will influence how you prioritize roll outs.
3. ‘On-Demand’ Skills
Released in 2022, the Salesforce Admin Skills Kit is a blueprint created by Salesforce, detailing the 14 key skills needed to be an awesome Salesforce Admin. Among the usual admin responsibilities (e.g. user management, security management, process automation), you’ll find plenty of ‘softer’ skills (e.g. communication, attention to detail, business analysis).
These softer aspects could be considered “on-demand” skills, as you may not be able to predict when a situation will arise where you need to exercise these skills. They’re not scheduled as part of a typical day-to-day role, and therefore require a type of intuition that can’t be taught.
It goes without saying – they’re incredibly valuable, especially as these situational skills will get you noticed around the organization, and respected by the higher-ups. You can quickly become indispensable – an advisor to many colleagues.
You may find that you’re the only admin, common in smaller organizations where the budget for headcount is restricted. Wear those many ‘hats’ with style.
4. Build a Personal Brand
With a job, your work identity is tied to your employer; with a personal brand, your work identity extends beyond the role you’re in. Building a personal brand requires commitment; not only is it beneficial for your career, it’s highly rewarding to ‘gift’ your knowledge and insight without expecting anything in return.
To some degree, a personal brand also protects yourself against economic downturns. An employer is less likely to lay off someone who has a personal brand – and should they do get laid off, the individuals with strong personal brands will be able to bounce back into another job much faster.
There are multiple ways you can go about this, and this is by no means an extensive list!
- Make sure that your LinkedIn profile is up to date and showcases your skills. This is your online resume, so include certifications, tools and technologies you’ve used, as well as your volunteering experience. In each role, brag with some figures: for example, KPIs you improved, the size of your database, or how many users you looked after in your org. Similarly, give some love to your Trailblazer.me profile – and link the two together!
- Make sure that you have an active social media presence. For example, post regularly on LinkedIn; short form posts (i.e. 10+ lines) explaining something you’ve recently discovered are really impactful for gaining engagement.
- Participate in the Trailblazer community – most importantly, speaking at in-person or virtual user groups.
5. Watch the Roadmap
Salesforce releases come three times a year: Spring, Summer, and Winter. The Salesforce platform is evolving at such a fast rate that getting ahead of the curve is essential.
Not only will you be in a position to talk about functionality that others won’t be knowledgeable about, being ‘future-thinking’ means that you can make trade-offs. Similar to ‘Think Beyond the Challenge Presented’ (point #2), you shouldn’t build something on Salesforce to simply meet a single requirement you’re faced with in the immediate term. Instead, you question if there will be a standard feature to leverage in future releases.
Salesforce publishes most of their roadmap, so make a note to check this regularly.
This supports your efforts in building scalable solutions that will hold strong even when Salesforce makes platform updates. You will protect your org against sticky situations, such as having to pull everything back to zero if your custom solution bumps up against Salesforce platform updates. Ultimately, your intuition will be incredibly valuable for your organization.
6. Be a Multiplier
Increasing your earning potential means that it’s not all about you! Become a force multiplier for your team, enabling other team members, and users, to work more effectively. These are only a handful of examples of that:
- Developers can become a multiplier by creating reusable components/actions that can be used in Flow by admins.
- Admins can create comprehensive reports and dashboards that answer leadership’s burning questions (easy enough so that they can self-serve).
- Marketing admins can create a set of template assets (landing pages, emails, etc.) and segments for other users to copy per campaign, preventing duplication of work.
As a Salesforce professional, your job is to champion the platform, getting others enthusiastic about using it. When you see inefficiencies, step in and make that other person’s work life more fulfilling.
7. Get Certified
Salesforce professionals love getting certifications – they are a milestone in your career that prove you know what you are talking about! Certifications can potentially be used as leverage if you are looking for a more senior position internally, or looking for a job in another company.
In the annual career survey, respondents were asked whether they experienced an increase in their salary after earning (any) certification:
- 67% did, reporting an average salary increase of 21%.
- 33% did not, with their salaries remaining the same.
Note: In the report’s previous edition, the split was 63% did, 37% did not. While the positive % is higher, the average salary increase has dropped from 26% to 21%.
The chance that your salary could increase the more certifications you earn can’t be ignored, but should be taken with a ‘pinch of salt’ alongside the other factors – namely, applying your experience.
8. Explore Beyond Salesforce
With our heads in Salesforce day in and day out, it’s easy to miss important context. Getting a dose of current events, checking up on what your competitors are doing, and even what Salesforce’s competitors are doing, will enable you to talk with an impressive breadth of knowledge.
Salesforce certifications test technical knowledge of the platform, and the most recent certifications have begun to test soft skills, too. There are many other credentials that you can achieve to boost your resume, and test an abundance of complementary skills:
We hope that these tips will motivate you to push your ‘Salesforce horizons’ this year, and become indispensable to your organization, as well as recession resilient. Here’s a summary:
- Specialize: With core Salesforce skills paired with a specialization, you will sit in the middle of the Venn diagram, appealing to organizations looking for expertise in both areas.
- Think Beyond the Challenge Presented: You are assigned a task, complete it, and move on. That’s a flawed way of thinking. See every task as an iterative process (improve every time) and keep asking ‘why’ when presented with a requirement from the business.
- ‘On Demand Skills’: “Softer” skills could be considered “on demand” as you may not be able to predict when a situation will arise where you need to exercise these skills. They’re not scheduled as part of a typical day-to-day, requiring intuition that can’t be taught.
- Build a Personal Brand: Not only is this beneficial for your career, it’s highly rewarding to ‘gift’ your knowledge and insight without expecting anything in return. To some degree, a personal brand also protects yourself against economic downturns.
- Watch the Roadmap: Getting ahead of the curve is essential. Not only will you be in a position to talk about functionality that others won’t be knowledgeable about, being future-thinking means that you can make trade-offs.
- Be a Multiplier: Become a force multiplier for your team, enabling other team members, and users, to work more effectively.
- Get Certified: Certifications are milestones in your career that prove that you know what you are talking about. They can also potentially be used as leverage.
- Explore Beyond Salesforce: Getting a dose of current events, checking up on what your competitors are doing, and even what Salesforce’s competitors are doing, will enable you to talk with an impressive breadth of knowledge.
In addition to these tips, check out our collection of salary guides, with role-specific tips for increasing your earning potential: