Career / Industries

Salesforce Industries: The Next Step in Your Career?

By Lucy Mazalon

There are many Salesforce specializations that professionals can dig their teeth into. Our most recent count was over 30 Salesforce specializations that, at the rate Salesforce is moving, will continue to grow each year. 

You may be asking: “What’s right for me?” So, by asking people who already work in these ‘clouds’, we rated each specialization out of five in terms of the demand for skills and the effort to learn. While these ratings are subjective to those specialists already working in the area, and also variable to your prior experience, the exercise helped us to portray the breadth of specializations that exist, and how key industries are in that conversation (with its own, dedicated section). Here’s what that looks like.

Getting Started

After answering “What’s right for me?”, the follow-up question is likely: “How can I get started in Salesforce Industries?” 

We held a LinkedIn Live session called Salesforce Industries: The Next Step in Your Career? that received plenty of attention. I hosted this event in collaboration with Matt Hafford and Michael Ferguson from Cloudway Talent, recruiters with prior experience in the market, who turned their focus to Salesforce Industries – in other words, two people who really have their ‘finger on the pulse’ on the fast-moving Salesforce Industries job market.  

What we observed (and appreciated) was that the session was attended by people who are not only looking to learn Salesforce Industry Cloud, but also those who are already specialized, and also those from the Industries teams at Salesforce. This indicated to us that it’s a hot topic where people from different corners of the ecosystem want to support newcomers to succeed. 

What Is Salesforce Industries?

Salesforce Industries is a collection of Salesforce CRM pre-built solutions, tailored to how specific industries operate. In other words, it is a set of industry clouds that are managed packages, sitting on top of the core Salesforce platform. 

Originally called Vlocity (founded in 2014), it was founded by a team experienced in telco and CRM. Back in the day, it was listed on the AppExchange. The aim has been to provide solutions that have an accelerated time to value, allowing customers to streamline and implement best practices faster, which in turn, reduces the need for custom development. 

In 2020, Salesforce bought Vlocity – which wasn’t surprising – and Vlocity has since been honed, refined, and expanded. Rebranded as Salesforce Industries, more industry ‘cloud’ solutions have been added. While Salesforce can be adapted for any industry to use, we’re defining Salesforce Industries as the specific ‘cloud’ Salesforce offerings; the 12, by our count, are listed. 

  • Communications Cloud: Telco, Support MACD processes, multisite quote and order, CPQ.
  • Media Cloud: Subscriber Lifecycle management, Advertising Sales management, commerce.
  • Health Cloud: Connect clinical data, social determinants, preferences, provider engagement, and support programs.
  • Energy & Utilities: Quotes and rates (single residential/multiproduct/multisite), field execution.
  • Automotive Cloud: Driver Console, dealer groups, vehicle definitions and models.
  • Nonprofit Success Pack: Fundraising and program management, holistic view of every constituent. 
  • Government Cloud: Public Sector solutions, Experience Cloud infrastructure.
  • Financial Services Cloud: KYC, corporate and investment banking, retail/commercial, insurance, wealth and asset management, mortgage & lending.
  • Consumer Goods Cloud: Inventory audits, planogram compliance, return order processing.
  • Education Cloud: Student recruitment and support, Applicant Portal, Admissions Console.
  • Net Zero Cloud: Sustainability management, supplier emissions tracking, Net Zero forecasting.
  • Manufacturing Cloud: Sales Agreements (complete view of run-rate business), Account-Based Forecasting.

Once again, these are specific Salesforce Industry cloud offerings that are pre-built and packaged up for organizations to adopt. You may ask: “Doesn’t Salesforce cater to the construction/legal/travel & logistics/high tech sectors, etc.?” The answer is yes – you’ll find consultancies that have many construction clients, however they might not be working with Salesforce Industries ‘clouds’. If you were to research further, for example, by going to the AppExchange, there’ll likely be a wealth of add-ons to certain parts of Salesforce that would cater additional industries/business functions.  

Salesforce Industries: A Good Specialization?

Salesforce Industries is an area we can all expect to see huge growth in. Because of this, you might be wondering whether it’s actually too late to get into Salesforce Industries.

“We are asked this question often from people in our network. Even though Salesforce Industries has been around a while, we say absolutely, it’s not too late. It’s still growing rapidly. There are certain industry clouds that aren’t utilized by organizations as they have the potential to be in the future. In today’s market, the need to reduce the cost of custom development is becoming increasingly important in order to accelerate time to value” 

– Matt Hafford, Cloudway Talent. 

All of the Industry cloud solutions will need experts to design, build, and maintain them – from consultants, to developers, to architects. 

With Salesforce Industries, there’s so much you can go into, with many opportunities depending on which industry you feel connected with or which you have experience in.  

What’s ‘Hot’ in Salesforce Industries?

Cloudway Talent then provided a break down the industry clouds, based on their experience, into what is:

  • Hot right now: Communications Cloud, Media Cloud, Energy & Utilities Cloud. “These are the most used, with a strong uptake by users, and have the longest tenure as part of the SFI stack. These are where the majority of the requests for specialists come from; our clients predominantly ask for these when they’re hiring for Salesforce Industries across Europe and the US.”
  • Going to be hot in the future: Health Cloud. There are big projects already happening in the US, Europe, and Asia. The future of this cloud is dependent on Veeva (Salesforce and Veeva, previously partners, went through a ‘messy divorce’ recently). The popularity and success of Health Cloud, and thus the demand for skills and the projects available, will depend on how Salesforce and their partner network sell the Health Cloud solution. Companies will be deciding whether to stick with Veeva (and non-Salesforce hosting) or migrate to Health Cloud.
  • And, perhaps where the future’s not certain:
    • Automotive Cloud. “Perhaps a controversial judgment, we’d say Automotive Cloud is perhaps uncertain. Certainly an exciting area, but the Automotive Cloud solution, itself, is relatively new. There aren’t many very large projects happening. Focused predominantly on distributors and OEMs (original equipment manufacturer), it’s not necessarily catering to car dealers (which is a big part of the market).” If you look at the customer success stories Salesforce are showcasing at events, a significant number are catered to the automotive industry (plus, the F1 partnership).  
    • Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP). There’s certainly demand for NPSP specialists within the nonprofit sector, but it could perhaps be a sector with less disposable budget to spend. You could narrow your search to NGOs that have the funding to pay for what is a relatively expensive solution on the market – even factoring in the free licenses, and discounts that Salesforce and its partner ecosystem offers.

The breakdown above is useful for setting the scene, based on CloudWay Talent’s observations in the field. The concluding point is that there is going to be demand for skills across all of these areas and segments, but think logically

“On one side, follow your passions and interests, which could be automotive, the nonprofit sector, or maybe telco. However, at the same time, if you have no/minimal Salesforce Industries experience, or within a certain industry, you should think whether there are going to be enough projects for you to a) gain experience, and b) be able to become an expert and give your career longevity.”

– Michael Ferguson, Cloudway Talent.

Key Skills Required for Salesforce Industries

There are underlying skills that are common across multiple industry clouds, whereas other skills are unique. Not all industry clouds are built the same! Plus, it’s different from Salesforce’s ‘under the hood’ approach.

Focusing on our ‘hot’ industry clouds, let’s take a look at which skills you should focus on learning. In the table below, the industry clouds are listed down the left-hand side (illustrative examples). The skills run across the top header. 

  • OmniStudio: This is the component architecture that assists in designing reusable industry-specific solutions on Salesforce. Likely the one that most people are familiar with because it’s universal across the range of industry clouds. This would be a great place for anyone who wants to get into the Salesforce industry to start learning. Everyone’s gonna have to know this in some way, shape, or form. 
  • Industries CPQ: Designed to address the common configure price quote (CPQ) challenges faced by businesses, supporting order capture, customer quoting at scale, and more. Industries CPQ is not the same as Salesforce CPQ (a common misconception), as Industries CPQ is more complex, catering to the needs of specific industries. It’s currently applicable to Communications Cloud, Media Cloud, and Energy & Utilities. While the table shows that it’s not used in Automotive Cloud, this cloud has its own CPQ-like functionality (vehicle lifecycle management). 
  • Enterprise Product Catalog (EPC): Following on smoothly from CPQ, EPC is about managing product data in a compliant way. For example, in telco, products have to be modeled based on TM forum standards, which can be achieved with EPC. It’s currently applicable to Communications Cloud, Media Cloud, and Energy & Utilities.
  • Patient 360: This is the example that’s completely unique to one industry cloud (Health Cloud); after all, you don’t have many patients in the automotive sector or energy & utilities! The point is, if you wanted to get into Health Cloud, you’d need to learn Patient 360; however, the skill won’t be transferable to other industry clouds. 
  • Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM): CLM supports the authoring of contracts (e.g. according to SLAs) and keeps track of contract changes during negotiation, through to signature. CLM is certainly applicable to Communications Cloud, Media Cloud, Energy & Utilities, and Health Cloud. Again, while the table shows that it’s not used in Automotive Cloud, this cloud has its own CLM functionality (vehicle lifecycle management). 
  • Industries Order Management: Order Management delivers best-in-class capabilities, including commercial and technical order decomposition, order orchestration based on dynamically generated workflows, connection handling, and more. Industries Order Management is not the same as Commerce Cloud Order Management (a common misconception); like the different CPQs, Industries Order Management is more complex, catering to the needs of specific industries. It’s currently applicable to Communications Cloud, Media Cloud, and Energy & Utilities. 

What’s interesting to see when mapping the skills out in this way is that if you think “I’m going to learn Industries CPQ”, you’ve got three options out of those listed in the table. Ask yourself:

  • I’m really passionate about [industry] – what skills do you have to learn? 
  • If I learn [skill/s], but my employer wins a project in [industry] – how can you shift between them? How can you be a specialist, but be most valuable? 

There’s value in being a specialist, but also keeping your eye on being universally valuable.

How to Get Started with Salesforce Industries

Some of the recommendations listed are similar to starting a career in Salesforce, however, you need to target your search:

  • Trailhead: Famous in the Salesforce ecosystem as an incredible resource for both Salesforce core, Trailhead also for industry cloud. There are some amazing trails there that don’t go too deep into the development side.  
  • Online content/training: With just a quick Google search, you can find great resources out there, and amazing sessions being run on Salesforce Industries (definitely more than we were seeing this time last year). 
  • User groups: As the Salesforce Industries technology gets more popular, there will be others that attend your user group that may have a certification, projects, or domain expertise; as we do in the Salesforce ecosystem, you can lean on, and learn from, each other. 
  • Follow key influencers on LinkedIn: Technical experts are turning to LinkedIn to share their insights, including what they’re learning throughout the course of projects. 
  • Get certified: It’s always challenging in Salesforce when you pick a domain to specialize in, but how do you get a job if you don’t have any experience in it, or if it’s not something that your current consultancy has projects in? You have to start somewhere, so get some theoretical knowledge, and then hopefully look for an opportunity where you’ll be able to put that knowledge into practice in the near future.
READ MORE: Complete List of Salesforce Certifications

Salesforce Industries Learning Pathway

Whether you’re already skilled up on the Salesforce core platform, or you’re transferring into Salesforce from an outside role, this learning path outlines the steps you should take, as advised by a Senior Director at Salesforce Industries (who has been involved even from the days of Vlocity). 

  1. If you have a baseline understanding of Salesforce (i.e. you’re platform literate), you could start exploring Salesforce Industries straight away. While you need experience in sales/service, you don’t have to be an expert. Many of the skills you will learn are agnostic across the industries (see the section: Key Skills Required for Salesforce Industries). 
  2. Learn a Salesforce Industries domain as if you are mapping out a customer/user journey, so you understand a Salesforce Industry implementation high-level, and follow requirements like automation through step by step.
  3. OmniStudio is the starting point to get more ‘technical’ with Salesforce Industries. If you understand the ins and outs of how it works, and you are able to communicate with users or customers, then you’d have a great opportunity to have an impact in a project. 
  4. EPC → Industries CPQ → Order Management → Digital Commerce. This is a brief mapping of a flow of the components of a typical project. If you move from OmniStudio, and then work through building knowledge in these offerings, then you’ll have a really good understanding of Salesforce Industries.

Learning Paths for More Experienced Professionals

Something else to note about Salesforce Industries is that the opportunity to enter these domains isn’t only as a Salesforce newbie, or as someone with 2-3 years experience; there are plenty of examples of architect-level roles, particularly in telecoms, where individuals who are really experienced in non-Salesforce roles are able to transition into Salesforce industries. At an architect-level, you’re likely not going to be doing the development work yourself. 

Having domain expertise puts you at an advantage because you: 

  • Understand regulations and governance (this is particularly true in telco). 
  • Can help with user adoption as you understand the challenges (you’ve walked in the ‘shoes’ of the users you’ll be serving). 

How to Find Salesforce Industries Career Opportunities

In the Salesforce Industries world, there is a range of companies that you could work for:

  • Consultancies: While most consultancies may not be fully dedicated to Salesforce Industries, it’ll likely be part of their services offering. They’ll have experts aligned to Salesforce Industries, especially to work with large clients in telecoms, energy & utilities, and media (those are the main three). You’ll get access to large projects and environments, plus, the opportunity to learn from talented colleagues who’ve ‘been there and done it’. You could also gain a nice variety in the industries that you get to support – for example, you may work for a couple of years on a telecoms project, but there could be opportunities to transition into a different industry.
  • Salesforce Industries Start-ups: There are an increasing number of highly specialized startups in Salesforce Industries consulting that only support projects for specific industry clouds, where their niche is so niche that they are only focused on telecoms, or on media only. These consultancies stand a high chance of being the go-to Salesforce partner within that slice of the market. The advantages are that, hopefully, your learning will be accelerated because you’ll be:
    • Working within a smaller team.
    • Probably get to experience more of the end-to-end project. 
    • Work more closely with the senior people that are making the project decisions.
  • End Users (i.e. organizations who are customers of Salesforce): If you want to nail down one domain and become a true expert, working as an employee with a large enterprise is a good route to take. This includes both low-code development, development, and architect roles. While you’ll only see one environment, if your motivation is to have super-specific domain expertise and stand out as one of the leading people in that domain (particularly in the newer industry clouds), then it’s an amazing career path.

You could say there is a risk involved. If there aren’t projects running concurrently (i.e. a gap in between projects) there may be periods of time where you’re not working as hard, or learning as fast as you’d like to. Also, if fully dedicated to one industry and it’s one of the smaller industries, like Health Cloud, you likely won’t find it easy to transition into a Communications Cloud environment because the skills that you’ll have picked up aren’t as transferable as if you go from one of the minor clouds to one of the major ones.  

How Do You Find These Opportunities?

  • Recruiters: There are recruitment consultants who are dedicated to Salesforce Industries. Salesforce Industry skills are still specialized and desired by companies who want a specialist in a particular domain, it’s like finding ‘a needle in a haystack’. Recruiters are great sources of information, and are also motivated to bring new people into the talent pool, matching transferable skills to companies that will accommodate their upskilling.   
  • Job boards: Search LinkedIn, and consider visiting Salesforce Ben Jobs. A clever way is to include for ‘Vlocity’ in your search query, as many hiring managers still refer to it’s original name. 
  • Partners’ Career Pages: You can use the AppExchange to find consultancies who are actively working in the space. Then, jump onto their careers page and see what’s available.  


Having a good mix of industry experience and Salesforce knowledge is key for every Salesforce professional at all points in their career. Entry-level professionals need something to make them stand out in the competitive job market, and more experienced professionals need to provide a well-rounded, specialized skill set for companies to snap up.

Hopefully now you understand a bit more about the different Industries clouds and why it’s worth learning your way around them. Check out our LinkedIn Live on the topic for further information and to see which pathway might be best for you,

Watch the full session: Salesforce Industries: The Next Step in Your Career?

The Author

Lucy Mazalon

Lucy is the Operations Director at Salesforce Ben. She is a 10x certified Marketing Champion and founder of The DRIP.

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