6 questions to ask before you hire a Salesforce advisor: Are you certified?

by Amy Osmond Cook, Ph.D.

So, you’re in the market for a Salesforce strategic advisor—you’re looking for someone to help you navigate the difficult terrain of Salesforce implementation, workflow efficiencies, and administration. While there are countless advisors out there just waiting to join your team, not every single of them is going to be right for you. You need to know what to look for and, more importantly, what to ask to find that right fit for your needs. In this blog series, we will be going over six questions your should ask a potential Salesforce strategic advisor.

  • Are you certified?
  • What experience do you bring to the table?
  • Who are your references?
  • Who have you worked for?
  • What is your implementation methodology?
  • What’s your price?

This week, we will discuss the first question: Are you certified?

With the CRM platform still as young as it is, you’re not likely to see anyone list “Salesforce training” under their courses taken at college (though Penn State does offer “Salesforce Reporting Fundamentals,” and others are following suit). However, there are two markers you can look for that indicate that an advisor has studied, been trained, and met professional qualifications for the industry.

 

Salesforce certification

Salesforce offers certification, which is essentially an official stamp of approval that signifies that the professionals in your scope know what they are talking about. Certification exams are available to everyone at certification.salesforce.com for a fee. Though not mandatory, exam preparation courses are also available.

Professionals are also required to take regular release exams to keep their certification. This ensures that professionals stay current on the latest Salesforce system updates.

Salesforce makes it simple to verify that an individual’s certification is current. All you have to do is visit certification.salesforce.com, type in the individual’s name or email, and see the results. Hopefully, you won’t have too many applicants embellishing their credentials, but you can never be too careful.

One important thing to recognize is that there is no all-encompassing certification. Salesforce offers different credentials, depending on individual need. A professional can be certified as a Salesforce administrator, app builder, architect, consultant, developer, marketer, Pardot expert, or specialist, with subclasses to each credential. Understanding the differences of each and matching them with your specific needs will help you hire the right person for the job.

 

Trailhead

If certification is the cake, we’ve now come to the icing. Trailhead is a free interactive learning tool provided by Salesforce that covers the basics of the platform. The website offers 200 modules  covering everything from storytelling and artificial intelligence to app creation and advanced formulas. Upon completing a module, users receive a badge, with “superbadges” awarded for completing multiple modules in a series. Taking a look at advisors’ badges and superbadges on their Trailhead community profiles is a quick and easy way to get a feel for the training they’ve completed.

A candidate’s certifications are going to be your first line of sight into their credentials as a Salesforce strategic advisor. However, there is more that you should be asking as you begin your dive into finding the right Salesforce advisor for your business. Keep an eye out for the next installment of this blog series, where will we talk about identifying a candidate with the appropriate experience to fit your needs.

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