How to Become a Salesforce Consultant- Training and Certification

Running any business is no child’s play. Not only is there the investment, but only the right marketing strategies help boost sales and business. The process is time-consuming, which is where a cloud-based CRM like Salesforce can prove helpful.

What is Salesforce?

Salesforce is one of the oldest, leading, and successful cloud-based CRM software solutions available. It helps organizations manage customers, prospects, and partners’ information in one place.

Its products have been continuously updated, modernized, and strengthened over the years to increase sales and improve customer retention. The flexible tool can be accessed from anywhere, using any device.

Most importantly, it’s cost-effective.

Who is a Salesforce consultant?

Salesforce consultants help organizations generate revenue and give value to clients. They have to work like any other consultant, like meeting clients, and understanding and documenting their requirements.

They accordingly develop and document appropriate solutions, and analyze the impact their changes make to a business. It is after the analysis and revisions that the final document is passed to the dev team to develop the organization’s customized software.

The consultant has to clear any queries the developers have. Consultants who know how to use all the CRM tools to solve critical business problems are the most successful.

It is the consultant’s job to deliver the software to the client for their final approval once it’s ready.

Who can become a Salesforce consultant?

There is no fixed norm for a person to become the CRM’s consultant. Consultants play an amalgamated role and have multiple roles to play.

They have to be a:

  • Solutions Technical Architect
  • Developer
  • Administrator
  • In short, anyone with CRM experience is fit for the role.

Do Salesforce consultants need to have a technical background?

Salesforce works more on clicks and not codes. So no, you don’t need to be technically qualified to become a consultant.

Technically qualified candidates have the advantage of being able to code to meet the client’s requirements and earn more. However, creative non-technical consultants who know the business process, conditions, and adoption strategies can solve business challenges using workflows and process building.

How to become a Salesforce consultant

Follow these 6 steps to become a consultant:

  1. Find out all about the different modules the CRM offers to its users, who are admin, business users, and developers. The knowledge acquired helps you understand CRM better.
  2. Knowing the CRM development tools like Code editor and Overview IDE helps you to code to meet a client’s requirements.
  3. Thoroughly learn and understand products like Pardot, Salesforce IoT, and Social Network.
  4. Get Salesforce certified by answering certification exams to prove your skills as a consultant.
  5. As the CRM is continuously updated every year, consultants need to keep themselves updated too. Learn what is new in each version and the existing system reactions to the changes.
  6. The consultants are those who are comfortable about things like the administration, implementation, documentation, and coding.

Are Salesforce certifications worth the time?

Of course, they are! The certificates offer you these benefits:

  • You gain a competitive edge over others because employers prefer certified consultants.
  • Reaching a level of proficiency in the CRM gives you a sense of personal achievement.
  • Certified consultants can earn more.
  • You learn a lot while preparing for the exam. You become an expert on the CRM, which helps you climb your career ladder.

Types of Salesforce certifications

The CRM certifications are industry-recognized, job-role centric and tracks, and prove your Salesforce expertise. There are multiple types of certifications available based on levels and qualifications.

The different types of certifications make you a:

  • Certified Salesforce developer
  • Certified Salesforce Advanced Developer
  • Certified Salesforce Administration
  • Certified Salesforce Advanced Administrator
  • Certified Salesforce Sales Cloud Consultant
  • Certified Salesforce Service Cloud Consultant
  • Technical Architect

About the CRM training and certifications

These certifications generally comprise of a 60-question, multiple-choice exam and, depending on the certification, spans 90-120 minutes long. Exams for the CRM consultants, administrators, app builders, marketers, and developers are affordable. The first attempts cost $200while retakes cost $100.

Architect certifications are more expensive, lying between $400 for architect specialization and $6,000 to become a Salesforce Certified Technical Architect.

There is no official salesforce training for the certificates, but some preparation helps you fare better.

There is no official training for the certificates, but some preparation helps you fare better. There may sometimes be prerequisites to meet to get certified, and in most cases, it’s another of the CRM’s certificates.

You can take the exam at any testing location or answer it online. Whichever option you choose, you first have to sign up for the exam.

A number of software training institutes are offering salesforce training in Bangalore. One can get registered there to certify in a particular field.

Different Salesforce consultant certifications

There are six certifications designed for aspiring consultants. Their main difference lies in their roles, which revolves around meeting customers and designing and implementing personalized solutions.

These certifications include:

a) Salesforce Community Cloud Consultant

The certificate is for people experienced in implementing, consulting, and other customer-focused roles on a community Cloud. Potential candidates should also be able to identify and provide solutions to platform problems.

b) Salesforce Certified Sales Cloud Consultant

These certified consultants can design and implement Sales Cloud solutions. Examples are application and interface designs and managing and creating analytics for tracking reasons.

c) Sales Cloud Consultant

This certificate is for candidates who can implement customer-oriented Sales Cloud solutions. They should be able to design and implement appropriate Sales Cloud solutions, to provide long-term customer success.

d) Salesforce Certified Service Cloud Consultant

The certification certifies that the candidate can design solutions for contact centres and analytic solutions for metric tracking. Consultants can develop personalized, maintainable, and scalable solutions.

e) Salesforce Certified Pardot Consultant

This certification is for professionals who can design, implement, and maintain personalized and customer-focused Pardot solutions. Their Pardot solutions should help meet the customers’ needs and lead to their long-term success.

f) Salesforce Certified Marketing Cloud Consultant

Certified consultants can configure and implement Salesforce Marketing Cloud Email application tools. They are also certified to identify and solve platform problems.

g) Salesforce Certified Community Cloud Consultant

These certified customers will be able to implement Salesforce Communities applications. They will also be able to help customers configure and manage communities and identify platform problems.

h) Salesforce Certified Field Service Lightning Consultant

Certified professionals will be able to design the CRM solutions for customers. They will also be able to administer and configure appropriate applications on the customer premises.

i) Salesforce Certified Einstein Analytics and Discovery Consultant

The certificate proves the professional’s design and implementation expertise on the Salesforce Einstein Analytics and Discovery platform.

j) Salesforce Certified Nonprofit Cloud Consultant

The certificate proves that the consultant is capable of designing and implementing Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud solutions.

k) Education Cloud Consultant

This certification proves that the consultant can implement customer-oriented Salesforce Education Cloud solutions.

l) Einstein Analytics and Discovery Consultant

A certified consultant can design and implement customer-centric solutions on the Salesforce Einstein Analytics and Discovery platform.

m) Field Service Lightning Consultant

Field Service Lightning Consultants know about the administration and configuration of the CRM. They are also comfortable holding customer-centric consultations.

n) Marketing Cloud Consultant

This certification proves that the consultant can set up and implement the CRM’s Marketing Cloud email application tools. The consultants can also provide tactical and strategic email campaign solutions. The ideal candidate understands, configures, and manages all of the CRM applications and can work with to define their stakeholders’ requirements.

Is Salesforce consulting a lucrative career option?

Yes, it is, but your height of success solely depends on the amount of the CRM skill and knowledge you acquire. The amount you stand to earn also depends on factors like project duration and scope of the engagement. The more certifications you attempt and pass, the higher are the chances of you’re getting more and better job opportunities.

Consultants who only know integration and data migration will not be able to charge a high hourly rate. However, those who can do things like get new Salesforce customers to map their business processes, and train users can quote about $80-$100/hr.

Consultants knowing technical or integration architecture, and back-end development with Apex can quote a Senior Developer or Technical Architect’s rate of $125-$150/hr.

Do Salesforce consultants have a bright future?

The CRM consultants are in high demand today amongst both existing and new customers. The CRM has been around for a long time now and is the winning choice for most managers because of its extensive database.

Consultants who listen well and use the CRM to develop practices and improve an organization’s efficiency have a future as a consultant.

Even though the CRM is a hot topic now, diversify your CRM skills as much as possible as you grow as a consultant. Diversification helps for a smooth transition and integration with other toolsets and platforms if the demand for the CRM ever reduces.

However, that’s a huge IF. As long as businesses grow and change in their functioning, they will need CRM software like Salesforce to manage their team and customers.

And even if the CRM does lose their popularity at all, it’ll be after many years down the road. Till then, you are doing the right thing now thinking about, and working hard to become a Salesforce consultant!

Ranbeer Maver is a Computer Science undergraduate. He's a geek who embraces any new consumer technology with inhuman enthusiasm.