Salesforce is a market-leading SaaS company that holds a whopping 24% of the CRM market, eclipsing its competitors, which makes the Salesforce ecosystem one of the most exciting spaces in the technology world.
Of course, switching careers can come with high barriers to entry, as well as a potential sacrifice in salary. However, Salesforce is an exception, as many new entrants are finding out by landing high-paying jobs to the ecosystem!
What Is Salesforce?
So first off, let’s dive into what the heck Salesforce actually is! Well, Salesforce is a SaaS-based CRM platform. Still confused? Don’t be. SaaS simply means “Software as a Service” and is a cloud computing term that means services delivered from a web browser or app. If you think about it – all these services, such as Netflix, Spotify, Dropbox, or Gmail, are SaaS.
CRM stands for “Customer Relationship Management”. All businesses in the entire world will have some form of CRM. The software simply records who your customers are, what interactions you’ve had with them, and what products they have bought.
If you run a hairdressing salon, you might have a spreadsheet or a notebook of your regular customers. If you run a catering company, you will have the same. However, if you run a 10,000-employee international conglomerate, you will have CRM software. Rather than this software sitting on a server in your company’s basement, it is delivered through your web browser.
Twenty-one years after its founding, Salesforce is the market leader of CRM software – dominating over 20% of the market. Since then, Salesforce has developed a broad range of products to enable companies to connect with their customers. These products include Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, and many more.
Why Is a Salesforce Career So Lucrative?
Before diving into the steps you need to take to kick-start your journey in the Salesforce ecosystem, it’s important to highlight some of the reasons why a Salesforce career is unlike any other! Here are the four main reasons we came up with:
Some of the numbers surrounding Salesforce are staggering. They own 24% of the CRM market, have been growing by roughly 20% YoY, and their revenue is soaring above $30B.
This creates a huge demand for companies that require skilled professionals to improve, maintain, implement, and drive adoption for their newly implemented tech systems.
It’s no secret that technology professionals are some of the highest-paid people in the world. Systems like Salesforce are at the heart of a thriving business – and if you can help people navigate the system and ensure it runs smoothly, you will be well compensated.
In addition, the lack of supply means employers are willing to pay more to secure Salesforce professionals.
3. Flexible Working
Salesforce has been and always will be, a cloud-first company – which means most roles in the space have the potential to be remote. In fact, since the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s entirely possible to find positions that are 100% remote, whilst a large selection of other companies offers a hybrid working environment.
The Salesforce ecosystem also promotes a healthy work-life balance; just check out the Salesforce Happiness survey we conducted!
If starting a new career sounds daunting, I can reassure you that you will be well supported by the Salesforce ecosystem.
Salesforce has one of the biggest communities in the tech world, full of inexperienced and experienced professionals that simply want to help. No matter your background, there will be professionals who have trodden the same path and will be very willing to help you.
How To Get a Salesforce Job?
Sounds exciting so far? Fancy yourself a brand new career in one of the fastest-growing industries around?
Switching careers is never easy, but the great thing about Salesforce is that all the resources are available online. An increasing number of people are dedicating themselves to learning about Salesforce and landing themselves a job a few months later.
In this section, we will go through a step-by-step guide to ensure you upskill in the right areas and build the foundation knowledge required to land yourself a career in Salesforce.
1. Understand Salesforce
If you’re serious about getting a job in the Salesforce ecosystem, it’s important to understand everything you can about what Salesforce is and why companies purchase it.
This might be immediately obvious for some people with a bit of a tech background – but others will need to understand how digital systems enable businesses to grow faster and service their customers better.
You could argue that learning the technical side of Salesforce is easier than the business side. Understanding how to apply the products to build powerful automation and customization that support a business is a vital piece of the puzzle. At the heart of any technical solution, there will be a business requirement – and it’s important to understand how Salesforce solves these requirements.
You can learn more about Salesforce through SalesforceBen.com, our YouTube Channel, as well as our free Ultimate Salesforce Career Course, which will give you everything you need to know about the Salesforce ecosystem – how to train, get certified, and the roles available.
2. Start Training on Trailhead
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a site that had free, comprehensive training on all aspects of Salesforce? Oh wait, there is!
Trailhead is Salesforce’s genius invention to upskill the next generation of professionals. It’s fun, interactive, and pretty much your one-stop shop for learning about the platform. Here’s how it works:
- Trailhead is based around modules. Each module has multiple different units, which are like lessons – finishing up with a quiz or hands-on exercise you need to complete. To get a better idea of what we are talking about, check out the Salesforce Platform Basics module.
- Modules are also organized into trails. Trails are a collection of modules that set you on a specific learning path. For example, Salesforce Platform Basics is the first module in the Admin Beginner Trail.
- Most modules will walk you through how to implement live functionality in a real Salesforce org. To get started, you will need a Trailhead Playground.
If you want to learn about additional training programs, check out the 9 Free Salesforce Training Resources.
3. Dive into the Community
Salesforce has a fun, vibrant, and welcoming community – no matter your experience or background. If you’re serious about starting a career in the Salesforce ecosystem, you shouldn’t do it alone. Here are a few resources to accelerate your networking:
- Salesforce Trailblazer Community: This is Salesforce’s community forum, which acts as a hub for those needing some assistance. Whether you are stuck on a solution or need some guidance for your career, there will be someone willing to help.
- Twitter: If you’re not already on Twitter – it’s a great place to interact and learn from those more experienced, or those also starting out on their journey. Salesforce Ohana Twitter Starter Pack: What and Who to Follow is a great post to get you started!
- Trailblazer Community Groups: If you’re looking for something a bit more personal, why not join a local community group? Salesforce has groups all over the world run by volunteers who want to network and share knowledge with others.
- Slack: There are a variety of Slack groups that you can join for free. Check out our article on Salesforce Slack Communities to Join.
- Other Groups: There are a huge amount of other groups out there, depending on which platforms you are a fan of – for example:
Once you’ve joined one of these platforms, you will realize you are not alone in this journey. There are thousands of people out there who are learning – and everyone can succeed together!
4. Get Salesforce Certified
Once you have a good level of understanding of Salesforce, it will be time to look at getting certified. Salesforce has over 35 certifications that span a number of different products, disciplines, as well as experience levels.
Getting a Salesforce certification will be a requirement for most jobs. At a foundational level, the best cert to aim for is the Salesforce Associate Certification, closely followed by the Salesforce Administrator.
These certifications should be your first major milestone on your path to becoming a Salesforce professional. It proves to potential employers that you have a good level of understanding of the platform.
While the Salesforce Certified Administrator exam is not easy, it is well within reach for those that put the time and effort into learning the platform.
Here are some free resources we have on offer to help you skill up for both exams:
- Salesforce Associate Practice Exam Questions (3 Full Length Exams!)
- Free Salesforce Admin Practice Exam (With Answers!)
5. Get Salesforce Experience
While it’s not impossible for people to get a job with just a Salesforce Certification, you’ll still need some form of practical experience for most roles.
This is the classic chicken and egg situation, where you can’t get a job without any experience, and you can’t get experience without a job.
But you are learning to become a Salesforce professional, so getting creative and creating a solution is the name of the game! There are multiple ways to get more experience without getting a job…
- Superbadges: This concept is similar to Trailhead modules but about then times larger and harder! They run you through complex business challenges, and you must design a solution to meet the requirements. Superbadges are not easy and will be a great addition to your CV.
- Volunteering: This is a fantastic way to help out a nonprofit and get some well-needed experience. To get started, check out our guide to volunteering in the Salesforce ecosystem.
- Real-World Projects: Just because you are still learning doesn’t mean you can’t complete a real-world project. Putting together some requirements and building out a Salesforce Developer org to meet the specification is a great way to mock a real-life client project.
What Job Can I Get?
There is a huge variety of roles and different types of companies you can apply to, once you’ve skilled up using the resources above.
Depending on your background, it may be obvious which career path would be best for you. For example, if you’ve had previous experience in managing projects – it could be an obvious choice to work for a Salesforce Consultancy.
If you’re starting with no prior work experience in the IT sector, have no fear – there are plenty of success stories of people becoming Salesforce professionals with little to no IT experience.
The most common type of role sits within businesses that purchase Salesforce and need internal resources to support the system. This might range from a single Salesforce Administrator in a small business, to a team of 100 or even more – containing Admins, Business Analysts, Developers, and Architects, in a company that uses Salesforce for its 10,000 users. Let’s have a look at a few roles in the guide below:
Salesforce Admin: An individual that helps a company get the most out of Salesforce, extending functionality using ‘clicks, not code’. Admins focus on ensuring the system works for its users, building functionality based on new requirements, fixing bugs, and training users. If you are not from an IT background, becoming an Admin is a great place to start. Read all about how to become a Salesforce Admin on Salesforce’s career page.
Salesforce Developer: An individual that extends the functionality of the Salesforce platform by using code. Developers can be used for more complex business requirements where standard functionality doesn’t cut it. Developers can also integrate with other systems using APIs or Middleware. If you have any previous coding experience, becoming a developer is a great place to start. Read all about how to become a Salesforce Developer on Salesforce’s career page.
Salesforce Marketer: If a company is using one of Salesforce’s marketing products, an individual will be needed to run marketing campaigns and optimize performance. Salesforce has two main Marketing products – Marketing Cloud and Pardot. If you are from a marketing background, this is a great place to start. Read all about how to become a Salesforce Marketer on Salesforce’s career page.
Another common type of role sits within organizations that help implement Salesforce for customers when they first buy it. A good understanding of business analysis and technical knowledge is needed to effectively roll out Salesforce to an organization. Consulting roles arguably have a higher barrier to entry, as customers will be paying high day rates for your expertise. Usually, prior experience is needed; however, many consultancies hire juniors to train.
Salesforce Business Analyst: An individual who will look at a company’s processes and figure out what is working and what is not, in order to create user requirements for the Salesforce implementation. This role is often tied in with a hybrid of the functional consultant role, with an individual taking on both responsibilities. Read all about how to become a Salesforce Business Analyst on Salesforce’s career page.
Salesforce Functional Consultant: An individual that is skilled in the implementation of Salesforce and its many features. Will take user requirements and translate these into Salesforce solutions that will then be implemented. Typically uses “point and click” functionality and therefore doesn’t need to code. They will sometimes be responsible for gathering further requirements and providing user training. This role is well suited for someone that has previous experience in a consulting position. Read all about how to become a Salesforce Consultant on Salesforce’s career page.
Salesforce Architect: Although this role can be found within an end-user, it is most typically associated with consultancies. This individual will be expected to understand business processes and Salesforce products inside out. They will be responsible for overseeing complex solutions and ensuring their success. Read all about how to become a Salesforce Architect on Salesforce’s career page.
Salesforce Developer: Almost identical to the role in the previous section, except you will be working with multiple clients instead of being an internal employee.
Another common type of role sits within a Salesforce AppExchange Partner. These companies build products on top of the Salesforce platform, such as Document Generation tools or Accounting Packages.
These companies can have anywhere from 10 to over 1000 employees, so it’s a very viable option for those looking for their big break into Salesforce.
Implementation Experts: Each app that’s developed on the Salesforce platform will require some level of implementation. This may be something very simple that a Salesforce Admin can handle – but for more complex apps, such as CPQ tools or Accounting packages, implementation will be done.
ISVs will often have specialists that can support this. Depending on your background, research on the type of apps available. Maybe your previous experience will make you perfect for a job with one of them?
Support Roles: Similar to the section above, as well as implementation – ongoing support will be offered by most Apps. If this sounds like something you have experience in, have a look at the apps available.
Other Roles: AppExchange companies will have many roles available, such as sales, pre-sales, marketing, and specialist implementation roles.
Start Applying for Salesforce Jobs
Once you’re armed with knowledge, certifications, and some experience, you will be well-positioned to start applying for roles. At this stage, you’ll need to be fully focused and motivated. It’s most likely that you will not get the first position you apply to, so be prepared to hunt for that perfect job opportunity.
The Salesforce economy is so hot, that you only need one job offer in order to start a new exciting career for many years to come!
There are a bunch of places to explore in order to find companies hiring for Salesforce roles. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Salesforce Ben Jobs: We’ve created the largest dedicated job board for Salesforce professionals. Check out all the open jobs right here, and apply directly on the platform!
AppExchange: The Salesforce AppExchange is full of listings of both AppExchange partners and Consulting partners. If you want to apply to these types of companies – familiarize yourself with the landscape, and check out their individual websites to see open job listings.
Recruiters: As the Salesforce job market heats up, so does the recruitment market. There are hundreds of Salesforce recruitment specialists across the globe whose job it is to get you a role.
Talent Creation: It’s also worth exploring options, such as Revolent, which provide free Salesforce training, certification, and hands-on experience.
While it is true that recruiters don’t tend to fill too many junior positions, they are a great resource to use and build relationships with. Some of the largest recruiters are Mason Frank, Third Republic, and Computer Futures.
A fresh supply of talent is needed to sustain the growth of the Salesforce economy This is a fantastic opportunity for those who want to join the tech sector or perhaps re-skill in a different technology altogether.
I hope this guide has armed you with all the information you need to get started – and remember, SalesforceBen.com is here to help Salesforce professionals advance their careers!