Read my highlights from Mason Frank’s new independent Salesforce salary survey to learn how to maximise your earning potential as a Salesforce pro, or steer the growth of your business using the latest Salesforce product research.
Dreamforce 2019 topped off what has been another remarkable year in the Salesforce ecosystem.
There were plenty of exciting announcements made by Salesforce at the event, including expanded strategic partnerships with Apple and AWS, and brand new tools and services across virtually all core products.
But Dreamforce is just as enjoyable for connecting with independent vendors and consulting partners as it is for learning about new official Salesforce tech. Walking around the Dreamforce Expo was like entering Willy Wonka’s chocolate room, only decorated with innovative data integration services and AI modules instead of candy and liquorice. Horses for courses, I guess!
One thing I look forward to each year is the launch of the Mason Frank Salary Survey. It’s the largest independent Salesforce market report in the world, surveying thousands of professionals across the ecosystem to get accurate and authentic data on salaries, sentiments, and trends across all products and industries under the Salesforce umbrella.
The report helps Salesforce pros benchmark their career against industry norms to steer their area of expertise, inform the best or most valuable training and certifications, and maximise their earning potential.
It’s also really useful for businesses—not only to learn which products are being embraced by Salesforce pros so they can invest in emerging tech, but to ensure their workforce is well compensated and receives benefits in line with the industry standard. This is hugely important for staff retention.
To give you a brief overview of the research, I’ve put together my highlights from the report, with some commentary on what this means for those in the Salesforce ecosystem. While I grabbed my physical copy at the event, you can download an expanded digital edition from the Mason Frank website.
Sales Cloud is the top Salesforce product in 2020
Consistently named the world’s number one sales-centric CRM, Sales Cloud maintains its status as the top Salesforce product, with 83% of respondents reporting proficiency in the technology.
Service Cloud has risen to the third most-used Salesforce product (behind Salesforce Lightning, which isn’t a standalone product of course), which is great news for those looking to operate both their sales and customer service functions on Salesforce.
You may have heard about Salesforce’s expanded partnership with AWS, and this centres around the new Service Cloud integration with Amazon Connect. The move aims to make it easier than ever for contact centre agents to access siloed customer data and get real-time insights to reach a prompt and mutually beneficial solution.
Experience is key, but certifications can’t hurt
We often hear that the most important attribute a Salesforce professional can hold is experience, and this sentiment is shared by respondents to Mason Frank’s survey. The most important factors impacting earning potential were reported to be years of experience with Salesforce (86% considered this important), and exposure to large projects (76%).
Despite this, the majority of respondents to the survey were fresh Salesforce pros, with 38% of respondents having worked with Salesforce for three years or less. A third of respondents had been working with Salesforce for four to six years, while only 13% had been working with Salesforce for over a decade—shout out to anyone part of this exclusive club!
Salesforce certifications were considered to be an important factor in earning potential by 62% of respondents, with the Technical Architect certification topping the list of certs considered most likely to increase your worth by half of respondents. System Architect came in second at 42%.
Salesforce has very clear-cut certification pathways, and 71% of respondents to the survey were Salesforce-certified. By far the most popular cert among respondents was the Certified Administrator credential, with 88% holding the first admin cert, but only 24% having achieved the advanced credential. Platform App Builder came in second at 46%, and Platform Developer I also made the podium at 36%.
While certifications offer a brilliant opportunity to upskill on Salesforce, they’re also used by pros to leverage a higher salary. In fact, 44% of certified respondents experienced an increase in salary after getting certified, with the average pay rise being around 24%. Not a bad return, especially considering that two thirds of those certified said their employer paid for the certification exam in full!
Ambitious Salesforce pros crave new challenges
Salesforce is a tech ecosystem where the demand for talent far outweighs available resource, which makes it easier for pros to move from project to project, should they wish. Over a fifth (22%) of respondents to Mason Frank’s survey indicated they expect to leave their employer in the next 12 months.
As you would expect, salary is the main sticking point for the majority of respondents, but Salesforce pros are also keen to learn and grow in their careers. A third of respondents indicated they would consider changing jobs to explore new challenges.
Mason Frank also analysed the sentiments of those working for partners and end users respectively to learn whether they would consider making the jump one way or the other and why. The results were fairly even; 58% of partner employees would consider working for an end user, while 56% of end user employees would consider working for a partner.
The ability to work remotely and a better work-life balance were named by partner employees as reasons they’d consider moving to an end user, while end users valued the opportunity to expand skills, knowledge, and experience by working on more diverse projects with partners.
As well as these featured findings, the report lists average salaries for job roles at all experience levels across major global Salesforce markets, and this data was compiled using survey responses and actual job placements made by Mason Frank over the last 12 months. I would recommend downloading Mason Frank’s report in full, even if just to benchmark your salary against their original data!