Salesforce is the world’s most popular CRM platform, with at least a 20 percent market share, and there are more jobs than ever at companies that use Salesforce platforms and applications. There are many new interesting Salesforce specializations that you might not even know about beyond CRM. Ben McCarthy, founder of the world’s most popular Salesforce blog, SalesforceBen discussed with Simplilearn marketing manager Ryan Ward the rising demand for Salesforce experts in the job market today, typical salaries for Salesforce professionals, and more.

You can watch the full webinar here or just read the highlights below.

The Salesforce Story

Salesforce is a classic start-up story. Parker Harris and Marc Benioff started it in an apartment where they wanted to create a CRM system that was as easy to use as Amazon. Now, they’ve turned it into a huge company that has many streams and products, from sales marketing to analytics.

The majority of Salesforce products have to do with sales customer service, but Salesforce can be used for “literally anything,” says McCarthy. And while Salesforce job positions have always been pretty much the same (admin, consultant, technical architect), the specializations are becoming even more apparent. “You really need to stand out and have that specialization,” says McCarthy, “and one of the best is Lightning—you really want to be ahead of the curve on that.”

Salesforce’s Integrations

Salesforce integrates with popular marketing automation and email marketing tools including:-

  • ExactTarget (acquired by Salesforce)
  • Pardot 
  • Marketing Cloud
  • HubSpot
  • MailChimp

If there is no app readily available to integrate Salesforce into a certain kind of software, one can be built. Basically, if a company isn’t integrated with Salesforce, it “really is doing something wrong,” says McCarthy.

  • The company constantly innovates
  • The amazing culture created by the company and the platform that brings people together
  • The online community provides help for people who have questions or problems
  • A lot of effort put into making its system  easy, customizable, and integrative
  • Other Salesforce products that automatically lay out a roadmap for you: Once you’ve done sales, you can switch to service and then marketing automation.

Shortage of Salesforce Professionals

Currently, there just aren’t enough people trained in Salesforce to meet companies’ needs. One reason is that Salesforce still isn’t a household name the way some of its competitors are. Unless you're in the business, you own a company, or you work at a company that uses Salesforce, it’s very unlikely that you actually know what it is—it's not a consumer-facing company. 

However,  some established and high-profile companies around the world use it. For example, T Mobile, 21st Century Fox, Adidas, Coca-Cola, Unilever, and most of the big pharma companies use Salesforce. And, IDC released a paper in October 2017 saying that by 2022, 3.3 million jobs are expected to come into the Salesforce ecosystem—not just at Salesforce but at its partner users. Salesforce has been growing 25 to 30 percent year on year, and the companies that use it are growing as well—and they need more Salesforce pros to support that growth. Because the ecosystem is huge and still growing, the Salesforce job market is very safe, McCarthy says. And, the skills you learn as a Salesforce pro are highly transferable–they’re invaluable even if you wish to switch to another industry.

Developing Salesforce Skills

Whatever budget you have, there are tools available to help you become familiar with Salesforce and develop your skills, such as:

  • Developer organisations—you can sign up right now for free and get Salesforce and start practicing
  • Trailhead, which is geared toward people learning the Salesforce platform
  • Simplilearn’s Salesforce certification training programs can really help you develop skills and advance up the career ladder. Some of the material is written and some are videos, and it’s all self-paced, covering the basics to advanced material. And, each certification is in a very specific area.

Salesforce in the Working World

How do you decide which path—administrator, developer, or app builder—is right for you?

There is some overlap, but each path is pretty distinct. All three are entry-level certifications. The administrator is very geared to standard functionality on Sales and Service Cloud, but there is an element of extending it, an implementation needs to be customized to fit in the business. Platform App Builder is geared toward extending the Salesforce platform with declarative functionality—it has less to do with standard features like quoting, managing your leads or pipeline, and more to do with how you can use process automation to completely automate business processes. The developer certification is geared towards programmatic customizations of Salesforce—Apex (which is Salesforce's programming language) and Visualforce, the custom UI language. 

What role can those new to the workforce expect to start in with Salesforce?

Admin, consultant, or developer is a good role to start off with, but there are a lot of other roles available as well, such as sales operations and sales administrator on the business process side, McCarthy says.

What types of companies are likely to hire someone at the entry level and offer opportunities to build a Salesforce career?

Consultancies are especially good because they find it easy to train people in Salesforce, and when you’re surrounded by consultants, the knowledge is especially easy to pick up, McCarthy says. He also advises looking at nonprofits, because they often hire entry-level people due to smaller budgets. Even working pro bono for one is a great way to gain experience.

What are some entry-level job titles you can search for online?

Admin, consultant, and developer are just a few, but there are different terms for “sales” in the descriptions, so you should search for “Salesforce” in the description.

What platforms can you use to search for Salesforce jobs?

LinkedIn and Glassdoor are great; also, because Salesforce is such a hot market, recruiters can also be valuable resources. McCarthy advises to build up a network and find someone who’s invested in you.

How can you stand out with your résumé and cover letter? What soft skills might help you in your application process?

Understanding the sales process and how salespeople think is highly valuable, McCarthy says, and anything you’ve done that’s client-facing or in customer support is important.

What’s a typical Salesforce salary?

Indeed’s estimate for Salesforce administrators in the U.S. is about $90,000 per year. In India, it’s 410,000 rupees. Indeed’s estimate for Salesforce developers in the U.S. is $109,000 per year and 510,000 rupees in India.

If you have five or more years of experience, what are the ideal backgrounds for those three main job titles of admin, consultant or developer?

If you’re a developer, Apex is very similar to the Java programming language, so switching from Java should be pretty painless. Anyone in sales or who understands business processes is very well-placed to become an administrator or a platform app builder. As Salesforce is a database, any background in computer science will be an advantage, McCarthy says.

A Salesforce career is rewarding both personally and financially, McCarthy says. And the more quickly you get into it, the more quickly you can start reaping the rewards!

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