How to Become a Salesforce Consultant in 5 Steps

Salesforce consultants are in high demand. If you work in any kind of marketing or sales department, you likely have heard of Salesforce. The platform has been around for over 12 years and provides a range of tools, but it’s most well known for being a top-rated CRM.

However, with so many custom business solutions and tools packed under one name, Salesforce consultants have an edge when it comes to knowledge, implementation, and guidance for their clients.

What is Salesforce and Why Become a Consultant

Salesforce is a cloud-based customer relationship manager (CRM) that also offers marketing, sales, social media, and analytics tools. Some businesses use it for lead management, email marketing, and automation, while others simply use it for customer support and sales management.

It’s up to the Salesforce consultant to assess what a business is looking for and how Salesforce can meet its needs. Since the service is so robust, consultants will need to learn all of the different solutions offered in order to integrate with their client’s system.

In most cases, your clients will use Salesforce for one of the following:

  • Marketing Tools: Salesforce allows businesses to set up all kinds of marketing strategies, funnels, landing pages, email marketing series, and more. You can fully visualize your marketing plan and measure the outcome with Salesforce tools.
  • Customer Support: If the business is headed downward, it could be your customer satisfaction levels. Salesforce offers some powerful tools to keep track of all customer problems and how these were handled.
  • Sales and Management: Salesforce gives your management team an overview and granular view of what’s happening with several different dashboards, analytics, and reporting features.
  • AppExchange: This allows Salesforce to integrate with almost any application and streamline its functionality.

The software has received multiple updates, and there’s always a new functionality to check out, however. Salesforce consultants will undergo significant training to understand all of these options and how these will help their clients.

What else does it take to become a consultant for Salesforce? Here are some insights in this video “Salesforce Consulting: What You Need to Know.”

These helpful tips go over the basics and advanced side of Salesforce consulting, including pay, intensity, bonuses, and daily activities. You also see how to become a consultant and how to use the freelancing starter kit to help you set up your own consultancy business.

What is a Salesforce Consultant

The core of a Salesforce consultant’s job is to help companies enhance their systems with Salesforce. While typically used as a CRM platform, clients may also need implementation help. It’s up to the consultant to make recommendations and show how Salesforce can solve their client’s challenges.

The beauty of this role is that you can work for yourself or for another business, while networking and constantly working within tech and being around other technically-skilled folks. The pay is also quite high and includes bonuses for landing multimillion clients, which can become easy if you know how to find the right businesses.

Most consultants will need to meet with clients, discuss challenges, research company data, and provide a plan for implementation or development. They’ll need to find the right person at the company to help with implementation and provide an overview of the overall plan to get started with Salesforce, as well as what the long-term picture looks like.

See what a typical work day is like with this video “Salesforce Consultant | A Day in the Life | Work From Home.”

You should already know Salesforce, says this YouTube creator. You’ll learn how Salesforce is used by businesses in all industries as well as how it will change your life.

What Does a Salesforce Consultant Do

Becoming a Salesforce consultant is just the first part of this journey. There are a number of skills you’ll develop as you train and learn about each cloud system.

  • Collect requirements of potential Salesforce clients
  • Manage relationships and communication with clients
  • Create and manage several business projects
  • Create project timelines
  • Design, develop, train, and deploy the planned Salesforce setup

In order to become a Salesforce consultant, you’ll need training and certification through Salesforce. Courses are available online, and once training is completed, you’ll be a certified consultant.

Want to know a personal experience and what skills are truly indispensable as a Salesforce consultant? Watch “Become a Freelance Salesforce Consultant by Bradley Rice” on YouTube:

Bradley Rice is a seasoned Salesforce Consultant who gives you the secrets you need to succeed, including how he makes $100/hour as a consultant.

Salesforce Cloud Specializations for Consultants

There are also multiple certifications available for a variety of specializations, such as a “Community Cloud Consultant” or “Marketing Cloud Consultant.” Each one has a different certification and set of tools, allowing them to work with specific clients who need these specialized tools.

Here is a look at what is required for each specialization:

  • Community Cloud Consultant

The Community Cloud Consultant specialization works for those who want to further develop their community cloud skills within a customer-facing capacity. You’ll need to troubleshoot and resolve all platform issues.

  • Education Cloud Consultant

For those working in the college and university space, the Education Cloud empowers institution and provides a connected campus. Education Cloud Consultants will learn how to implement, train, and troubleshoot the Education Cloud.

  • Einstein Analytics and Discovery Consultant

Want to improve the data, analytics, and reporting of your clients? The Salesforce Einstein Analytics and Discovery specialization covers skills and experience needed for data management, security, and access implementation. You’ll need this specialization to work with different datasets, apps, dashboards, and stories within Einstein Analytics and Discovery.

  • Field Service Lightning Consultant

To become a certified Field Service Lightning Consultant, you’ll need to prove that you can handle the administration and configuration of Salesforce custom installations. Once certified, you’ll consult with customers on field service operations.

  • Marketing Cloud Consultant

One of the most popular specializations, the Marketing Cloud Consultant certification teaches you how to set up and implement the Salesforce Marketing Cloud, which includes email application tools, social media tools, and automation. You’ll use the Marketing Cloud for all kinds of email strategies and campaigns. It’s important to understand how it works and how to work with your client’s marketing team to define specifications needed for their organization.

  • Nonprofit Cloud Consultant

If you work within the nonprofit sector, then this specialization is for you. Nonprofit Cloud Consultants will need to know how to talk to clients and design the perfect setup for their needs. Since these organizations typically have different challenges, consultants will need to know how to set up, train, and help manage dashboards for nonprofits.

  • Pardot Consultant

Candidates for this specialization will be able to design and implement marketing automation solutions through Salesforce Pardot. Marketing automation needs are extremely specific to the business and customer requirements, as well as long-term engagement goals. Once certified, you’ll need to know all of the different ways to create and implement workflows within the Pardot platform.

  • Sales Cloud Consultant

The Sales Cloud is the most popular platform within Salesforce. Consults with this specialization will need to thoroughly understand Sales Cloud, while also being able to design, implement, troubleshoot, and train clients on the platform. Overall, you’ll use your knowledge and skills to ensure your client’s long-term success.

  • Service Cloud Consultant

If you want to help clients looking for customer service and support software, the Service Cloud is a perfect application. You’ll need to know how to design, implement, and manage the Service Cloud, helping your clients manage all of their customer information as well as pull out insights about their customer satisfaction levels.

Consultant Skills Employers Look For

When looking at job profiles and listings for Salesforce Consultants, these are some of the skills that employers typically list:

  • Above-average experience with Salesforce Development and environment tools like AJAX Toolkit, Force, S-Controls, and Apex
  • Must be able to integrate and configure specific Salesforce cloud platforms
  • Must have Salesforce certifications
  • At least 3 years of experience using Salesforce
  • Communication and organization skills when working with clients
  • Ability to work with the technical team to implement and transfer requirements
  • Experience with CRM
  • Experience with implementation requirements for all specializations
  • Capable of designing scalable solutions for client needs
  • Excellent analytical, problem-solving, and planning skills
  • Leadership and presentation skills to effectively communicate benefits and training to clients

Candidates will need to have expert knowledge of specific Salesforce platforms and be able to communicate how those systems would solve the client’s business challenges. For example, consultants would need to know how the Sales Cloud would improve a business’ CRM and sales process. Much of this means training within Sales Cloud for several months or years to become an expert.

Steps to Become a Salesforce Consultant

If you’re a fast learner or already have experience with different marketing systems, sales platforms, CRMs, and automation tools, then you may not need years of experience to become a consultant. In most cases, once you learn about the platform and pass the certification, you can go on to apply for various Salesforce consultant positions.

Quick Results

Here’s a brief look at what it takes to become a Salesforce consultant:

1. Enroll in a Salesforce Consultant Certification Program

You’ll need to join the Salesforce partner community. There are a variety of specifications and points needed to become certified, and you’ll also need to pay the appropriate fees.

Picking a specialization is key for those who want to get started quickly. The most popular specializations are typically Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud, and Service Cloud.

2. Build Your Core Salesforce Knowledge

Along with training and certification, you’ll need to learn all about Salesforce and each Cloud platform, depending on what you want to specialize in. There are plenty of Salesforce courses available online.

It’s important that you’re able to set up and successfully use the platform on your own to be able to show clients, as well as deploy these systems on your own.

3. Demonstrate Your Knowledge

The best way to show that you’re an expert is to talk about Salesforce at networking events or make videos answering questions about Salesforce Cloud platforms. It’s also a good idea to have industry experience in the field where you want to work. For example, building the Sales Cloud is different for retail than it is for travel and hospitality. You’ll want to know how to customize the platforms for each industry, including what products and services would best serve your clients.

4. Work on As Many Salesforce Projects as You Can

Building experience is key before you start working in the field. As a consultant, you need to be comfortable talking about the service as well as what it can do for your client’s business. You may want to use UpWork or other freelance opportunities to get a few projects in your portfolio before applying to jobs.

5. Apply to Job Listings for Salesforce Consultants

There are a variety of job offers online for Salesforce Consultants in all areas. You can search by the cloud name on job sites like Indeed or post your resume on ZipRecruiter. The most successful candidates often build their own website and become their own Salesforce consultancy through the partner community.

Should You Become a Salesforce Consultant?

The real question is what’s stopping you from making a smart career change that pays over six figures, and it’s possible to set up and own your business. You’d work with multiple companies, streamlining their sales and marketing systems to improve revenue and support.

The best place to start may be with the best Salesforce online course. You’ll learn everything you need to succeed and get certified in a specialization where you can truly excel.

My Digital Path Team/ author of the article

Members of our team have more than 25 combined years of experience in IT. They have been educators, held various positions in the IT industry, and enjoy helping students learn more about this exciting field.

Some of our team members do not have a university degree because they are self-taught. They just wanted to learn how to code, which is possible by taking certificate programs instead.

Any courses and university programs that we review already meet our high qualifications to be included in our evaluation programs so that students can have confidence in selecting from the reviewed courses and programs which are most appropriate for their career advancement.

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