Over the last several years I have been asked what type of Salesforce jobs and career paths exist for someone just starting or wanting to make a move into the hot Salesforce job market. My short answer is it really depends on what you are good at and what you like to do. There are several different jobs you can perform in the Salesforce eco-system job market, you just need to know what’s out there. This blog will focus on two of the larger organizations within a company (IT and the business) to discover what these jobs are and key responsibilities to perform the job In addition, I will recommend what Salesforce training/certification to acquire if you are interested a specific Salesforce related job. Finally, I will close this blog on what type of companies are hiring and what the Salesforce job demand has done over the last several years, including pay. There are some really informative charts about the Salesforce job trends and pay associated with Salesforce jobs as well.
Information Technology Jobs
I started my career within IT and have worked in/with many of the key roles in IT, including Salesforce. Depending on the company, the Salesforce roles outlined below at times fall within the ‘business’ and not IT, but for the sake of this blog, I will put these jobs under ‘IT’. Below is a list of the most common roles and the recommended Salesforce certifications if you want to seek these roles. Some companies may not be require a certification, but it certainly helps and puts you ahead of others who are not certified.
Salesforce System Administrator – The Salesforce admin is probably the most ‘in-demand’ role for any organization which uses Salesforce. This role requires you to manage administration of a company’s Salesforce instance. The person in this role should have great interpersonal skills, the ability to deal with change, and the Salesforce technical skills to implement that change into the system. Below is a list of some of the key responsibilities of this role.
- Logical, process-oriented thinker
- Works with business to implement Salesforce changes into system
- Basics of Sales Cloud and Service Cloud applications
- Build reports, dashboards, and workflow
- Security and Access
- Standard and Custom objects
- User administration
- Addition of picklist values
- Modification of page layouts
- Email templates
- Salesforce Chatter
- Workflow automation
- Data management
- Salesforce Content and Folder Management
Salesforce Developer (called Force.com Developer by Salesforce)- typically this role is someone who has the skills of the Salesforce Admin, but can also perform additional tasks related to coding and object oriented programming. The native language within Salesforce is Apex and as a developer, you must know the basics of this language and how to apply it to Salesforce. Most developers in Salesforce come from a development background, but that does not have to be the case. Key areas of responsibilities include but are not limited to:
- Salesforce Admin skills above
- Build out custom code (Apex & Visualforce)
- Knows how to integrate Salesforce with other applications/tools
- Broad knowledge of custom application development
- Perform extreme customization of CRM applications
- Know the right mix of declarative and coding capabilities to create completely custom apps for your company or clients
- Build custom applications using the point-and-click capabilities of the platform
- Design the data model, user interface, business logic, and security for custom applications
Recommended Salesforce Onsite training: Building Applications with Force.com (While this above class is helpful, if you can only take one class, take the ADM 201 class and study for this exam on get the certification on your own!)
Advanced Salesforce Admin or Advanced Salesforce Developer– Depending on the company, you may be required to take on additional tasks including that of a senior or advanced technical admin and developer. With these skills, come more pay and more responsibility, but you must think more strategically. The list below are related to advanced administrators (AA) or advanced developer (AD)
- Salesforce Developer (AD)
- Salesforce Admin (AA)
- Change Management (AA & AD)
- Territory Management (AA)
- Collaborative and Custom forecasting (AA)
- Product Catalog (AA)
- Salesforce Knowledge (AA)
- Joined and Custom reporting (AA, AD)
- Many-to-Many relationships and when to use them (AA, AD)
- Service Console and the basics and what you can do (AA, AD)
- Communities and specifically what customers and partners related to them (AA)
- Workflows, Assignment Rules, Escalation Rules (AA)
- Email log, debug log, system audit trails (AA, AD)
- Inbound Email Handler Class and Test Class (AD)
- SOAP & REST Web-services (AD)
- Deployment strategies (AD)
- Test classes and best practices while writing test code (AD)
- Visualforce controllers (AD)
- Static Resources & usage (AD)
Also if you are are interested in securing your Salesforce Advanced Admin certification, don’t forget to check out my blog post here about how to study for the exam.
Salesforce Technical (Solution) Architect – Some companies place this role the ‘Enterprise Architecture’ team within IT some companies even place it within the business. Typically the main function of this role is to ensure the entire Salesforce eco-system is running efficiently. Architects are always thinking about scalability, data load and integration capacity of a system (Salesforce) end to end. As a Salesforce Technical Architect, you must think strategically about current and future states of your Salesforce instance including all integration points. If you happen to secure your Salesforce Technical Architect certification, you will find yourself in high demand within the marketplace. Starting salaries for this type role in many US cities start above $200,000 a year. A few (not all) of the responsibilities of this role are as follows:
- All responsibilities of Advanced Developer/Admin above
- Leading business process discovery workshops
- Taking complex client and solution concepts and articulating them to audiences of varying perception levels
- Being recognized as an expert in Salesforce. Force.com Platform and all integration points for Salesforce (Depending on company, may be other systems too)
- Identifying and monitoring inter-dependencies between various program or project work streams
- License models & Platform security features
- All APIs and common integration patterns
- Object modeling & SSO technologies and flows
- Salesforce1 and other mobile platforms and Salesforce Lightning
Salesforce Training Recommendation: Salesforce Technical Architect (Study guide with recommended classes) – A blog post about the Technical Architect certification will be coming soon.
Business Operations Jobs
Business Systems Analyst (BSA) – I have seen this role operate in both IT and the business, but for this blog, let’s place it in the business. At times, the Salesforce Admin is also the BSA or another role if the company is small. As BSA in a shared services role you will provide an advanced level of expertise in identifying, driving, developing and/or deploying Salesforce changes. Although you do not have to be as technical as a Salesforce admin or developer, you should know Salesforce and how it works. Below represents a majority of what the BSA role does:
- Plans, conducts and documents analysis efforts related to assigned business processes which will map to Salesforce functionality
- Ability to analyze complex business processes and identify efficiency areas to which Salesforce or other systems can provide through automation, customization ect.
- Identify, develop and document requirements that support and communicate needs Business operations stakeholders and supporting teams.
- Initiates and manages business process reviews with stakeholders, documenting business requirements, providing relevant Salesforce solution options
- Creates functional specifications and use-cases to support any associated business system configuration for Salesforce changes.
- Ability to design solutions that anticipate areas of concern, while working with IT who execute the changes
- Understanding of project methodologies (Agile & Waterfall) and how to document requirements for IT
Sales/Service/Business Operations – This role I probably have the least amount of experience in. However I have worked with many resources in this role most of my professional career. The primary role of this person/team is to support business operations (Sales, Services, Marketing ect). Business operations ensure the company is moving to its shared goals through metrics, training, reporting and many other ways which allow their business to operate efficiently. The skills below for this role are all related to Salesforce only and not other business or technical knowledge. As I mentioned, this is not my area, but I do know what they look for from Salesforce:
- Ability to create, edit and build Salesforce reports and dashboards.
- Understanding of the basic Salesforce security model and how their own company is set up (roles and profile)
- Basic Salesforce administration such as password resets, user provisioning and overall user management.
- Understanding of Salesforce Opportunity sales force casting model (for Sales ops)
Salesforce Training Recommendation: Sales Cloud Training for Sales Managers or Service Cloud Essentials for Managers , Building Lenses, Dashboards and Apps in the Analytics Cloud
Marketing, Analytics and Other Roles- In relation to Salesforce these roles are growing by leaps and bounds over the last several years. As with the business operation roles, I have not worked in this space, but have worked with many resources in this space. Salesforce has made an aggressive move into the marketing and analytic space recently with their products brought to market or through acquisitions. I will not put any roles here below, but simply call out the Salesforce tools which cover this space. This space serves anyone who works in marketing, data intelligence, analytics or is part of a reporting team.
- Salesforce Analytics Cloud
- Salesforce Marketing Cloud – ExactTarget, Social Studio, Social.com & Pardot
- Pardot – B2B Marketing Automation
- Data.com – Single source for D&B info and millions of contacts
Salesforce Training Recommendation: Building Lenses, Dashboards and Apps in the Analytics Cloud, Execute and Automate Marketing Cloud Email in the Sales and Service Clouds and a few others that may be relevant to your role.
Companies Hiring for Salesforce Jobs
- System Integration/Partners – A systems integrator (SI) is an individual or business that builds computing systems for clients by combining hardware and software products from multiple vendors. Using a systems integrator, a company can align cheaper, pre-configured components and off-the-shelf software to meet key business goals, as opposed to more expensive, customized implementations that may require original programming or manufacture of unique components. Examples of these company’s are Accenture, Deloitte, Appirio, Cloud Sherpas, PWC all the way down to the local 1-2 man consulting shop. Keep in mind, the roles called out earlier in this blog (Administrator, Developer and Architect) are all jobs hired by system integrators, but they are more likely to be called a ‘consultant’ of some kind.
- Salesforce Customers – When Salesforce sells its products, there is a baseline set of customers which have now grown to over 200,000 customers *(number released by Salesforce). Prior to my role at Salesforce, even I worked for a Salesforce customer; Dell Inc, where we used Salesforce and had > 100 jobs related to using or managing Dell’s Salesforce instance. Other major customers include BMC Software, Coca Cola, Delta Airlines, GE, Pandora and the list goes on here.
- Non-Profits – Salesforce has its very generous 1-1-1 model in which non-profits (501c3 only) can receive the first 10 licenses for free. This has been a phenomenon in the non-profit world who have started to adopt Salesforce in large numbers. The same features (security, flexibility and ease of use ect) the for-profit world can use now non-profits use. These non-profits are in desperate need of Salesforce assistance to help build and manage Salesforce. Weather you are volunteering your time or working part time, this can definitely be an avenue of work.
- App Exchange Companies – There are close to 2000 companies that are built on top of the Salesforce Platform. These companies can be found on the AppExchange and often need Salesforce experts as they continue to build out their specific capabilities. Some of the AppExchange solutions are built 100 percent natively on the Salesforce1 Platform.
Salesforce Job Demand and Pay
This subject is tricky since the demand and pay for Salesforce jobs can change over time. However over the last several years there has been a phenomenal growth in jobs related to Salesforce and the management and implementation of Salesforce overall. To give a sample of how hot the market is for Salesforce talent is, check out this stat; in my hometown of Austin, Texas alone, there is an increase of Salesforce related jobs in this market by over 54% year over year according to the Austin Chamber of Commerce. The following data from Indeed.com shows the growth trends in Salesforce jobs and associated salaries for those jobs:
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