As Salesforce continues to grow as a technology, the demand for implementations and product upgrades around the world increases in turn, but the talent market doesn’t necessarily grow at the same rate.
This means there’s currently a deficit of Salesforce professionals in the ecosystem, making it more important than ever to have a laser focus on where you’re taking your career—if you play it right, you could become a specialist in an in-demand technology or a niche industry, where salaries are high and opportunities are plenty.
Using insights from our latest independent Salesforce market survey, I’m going to explore what you can do to stay ahead of the curve in 2020, and make yourself a superstar candidate whether you’re at the beginning of your career or are a seasoned Salesforce Trailblazer. First, let’s look at understanding where you fit into the ecosystem.
Understanding Where You Fit in the Ecosystem
Gauge your position in the ecosystem by benchmarking yourself against the industry average. We surveyed over 2,500 people in our 2019/20 Mason Frank salary survey and were able to build a profile on the typical Salesforce professional in 2020, who is:
- Working permanent, full-time: 88% of respondents reported working on a permanent, full-time basis, compared to 11% who were working freelance/contract. The remainder were either working part-time, or currently unemployed.
- For a Salesforce Customer: over half (54%) of those who took part are working for an end user organization, while 38% reported working for a partner or consultancy. The remainder either worked for ISVs (4%) or were employed by the vendor itself.
- In the IT services industry: a clear majority of survey participants (42%) across both partners and end users reported working in the IT industry, followed by sales (11%), finance (7%), project management (6%), and marketing (6%).
- As a Salesforce Admin: Salesforce Administrator was the clear front-runner for the most popular job in an end user organization. This may come as no surprise given Admins tend to be sole Salesforce users in small-medium businesses, and many enterprises utilize teams of admins to chip away at their backlog.
- And has been in the role for 1–2 years: over half of all respondents (55%) had been in their current position between one and two years, but generally Salesforce professionals tend to spend an average of three years in each role across their career.
Top Job Roles by Organization Type
The most popular position in a Salesforce customer organization won’t reflect that of a Salesforce partner, of course. Technical and functional consultants were far more prominent in partner organizations, where professionals are expected to have a more well-rounded view of Salesforce technology, so they can go out there and steer the overall direction of client projects, as well as work on an executive level.
Likewise, there were far more technical and solution architects working for Salesforce partners. This is typical of what we find when working with candidates—not many architects work full-time in-house, unless it’s a business transformation project, as this is where end users would lean on partners and contractors.
Interestingly, Salesforce Developer was the second most popular job role across both partner and end user organizations, and was the most popular role above all in ISV organizations. It’s interesting to see such a large makeup of developers, especially considering that only 10% of certified professionals held the Platform Developer II credential.
|Salesforce Customer (‘end-user’)||Salesforce Partner (Implementation/Consulting)||Salesforce ISV Partner|
|1. Administrator||1. Technical & Functional Consultant (hybrid role)||1. Developer|
|2. Developer||2. Developer||2. Technical and Functional Consultant (hybrid role)|
|3. Business Analyst||3. Functional Consultant||3. Administrator|
Which Job Roles and Technologies are in High Demand?
Salesforce Partners predicted Lightning to be the product most in demand by clients in the coming year. Anyone who’s worked on a Lightning implementation has the advantage.
Marketing Cloud is also predicted to be popular among clients, and with this being quite a specialist bit of tech to use, is a good option for a Salesforce Admin with a marketing background to find a specialism.
With two brand new Salesforce CPQ products*, there’s a natural gap in the market for CPQ specialists. Anyone who’s ever worked in the manufacturing or retail industry might find this to be a good natural progression.
(*Manufacturing Cloud and Consumer Goods Cloud, which we will come back to later).
The Most Important Factor
The good news is that as a Salesforce professional you’re already in high demand. That’s not to say you’ll be a high roller from day one—according to survey respondents, the most valuable thing a professional can have is years of experience working with Salesforce technology.
While you can certainly race through Trailhead modules and even blag your Admin Certification with the right training and a lot of coffee, 86% of respondents considered years of experience the most important factor impacting earning potential, compared to just 62% who felt that way about Salesforce certifications. A year of commercial experience using Salesforce is generally enough to make you a commodity.
How to Get Salesforce Experience
Don’t have any experience yet? Don’t worry! Something we’re recommending to our candidate base in 2020 is to reach out to their local network of non-profit organizations to offer assistance with their CRM. Charities very rarely have the resources or get the funding to help with things like their CRM, which aren’t considered as ‘sexy’ as maybe a new website or a clever marketing campaign, so they could be grateful for your assistance.
Some will be using a legacy system or even just a fancy spreadsheet, but if they’re open to product adoption, Salesforce offers a brilliant package for non-profits. Not only will the non-profit success pack (NPSP) give charities access to Salesforce’s market-leading CRM technology, but they’ll also get ten free licenses for Sales and Service Cloud Enterprise Edition.
Even if they aren’t looking to adopt a new product, you’d be surprised how many charities are just one efficient data project away from transforming the way they interact with donors and beneficiaries, and this is all great experience for your portfolio.
Which Products are Worth Getting Experience In
It makes sense to get as much experience using Sales Cloud as possible, given this is consistently named the most used Salesforce product (and is the #1 CRM product in the world). From our survey respondents, 83% reported that they’ve used Sales Cloud, with the majority using it as the primary Salesforce product in their business.
While having Sales Cloud experience will open you up to working with the majority of businesses using Salesforce, on the flip side, having experience using niche products will make you more valuable in those circles. For example, we’ve been waiting to see Marketing Cloud blow up for the last few years, but still, only 33% of respondents to our survey reported using it. Following Salesforce’s MuleSoft acquisition, however, making it easier than ever to use all feasible types of customer data for marketing purposes, it could be the time to commit to learning Marketing Cloud before it goes from a sleeping giant to a hungry beast.
Service Cloud is a similar story, only not as dramatic. Einstein Voice is set to change the game for contact centers around the world by using real-time conversation sentiment analysis to suggest suitable outcomes to agents. As it integrates comfortably with Service Cloud, this could be a game-changer within the customer service industry – in fact, 64% of respondents use Service Cloud, so there is definitely opportunity here if you’re leaning more towards this technology.
CPQ, Manufacturing Cloud and Consumer Goods Cloud
This is not to mention the release of two brand new Salesforce CPQ products, Manufacturing Cloud and Consumer Goods Cloud, which are upgraded, refined, industry-specific versions of Salesforce’s existing CPQ solutions. Given that only 22% of respondents reported proficiency using Salesforce CPQ, holding experience like this will make you a rare find as a candidate and add to your earning potential.
Customer Data Platform and Analytics
When asked whether Salesforce’s acquisition of integration specialist MuleSoft and enterprise data giant Tableau would make them likely to use Salesforce’s Customer Data Platform (CDP), 41% of Salesforce customers said they would be looking to use it. Over a third of respondents would actually be more likely to integrate all of their products with Salesforce to take advantage of the tool.
Having the ability to go into a business on a contract and configure Salesforce CDP could be a brilliant way to make yourself a valuable commodity to enterprise clients. By association, Einstein Analytics would be another strong string to your bow, with a fifth of survey respondents using it and 32% of those who don’t currently are considering it in future.
There are consistent trends when it comes to the Salesforce job market. Experience in the major Salesforce products that are embraced across various industries will increase your overall employability – but for 2020, having experience working with niche technologies and on industry-specific implementations will make you stand out as a professional. Check out the average salaries infographic for an indication of salaries per role type, if you haven’t already.
This post has given you some pointers for specialisations that we think will increase in demand, using the results of our salary survey and experience recruiting for a wide variety of roles across the ecosystem.