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Everything You Need to Know About Salesforce Certification

Everything You Need to Know About Salesforce Certification

Everything You Need to Know About Salesforce Certification

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As one of the most powerful yet accessible customer relationship management platforms available today, Salesforce’s reach continues to expand. Its huge ecosystem, with many associated applications and a strong community, makes it one of the most lucrative platforms for IT and marketing professionals..

Ranked by International Data Corporation as the #1 CRM platform for the last 10 years running, Salesforce continues to boom and roles involving expertise in the service are becoming ever more sought-after and desirable. This means that Salesforce-certified professionals are increasingly in demand.

If you're looking to get your foot in the door when it comes to Salesforce jobs, there's no better time than now. The average salary of a Salesforce Administrator ranges between $80,000 and $120,000, depending on their previous experience and certifications. Newly qualified Salesforce Certified Platform Developers can earn an average of $120,000, rising to $132,000 after 5 years of experience.

Before you take the plunge into getting certified though, it's helpful to understand the process. This article is here to answer any questions you have about getting a Salesforce certificate so that you can make an informed decision. We'll cover everything from understanding the certification process to studying tips to pass the exam. Let's get started!

Getting Ready for Salesforce Certification

When considering Salesforce Certification, it is essential to recognize that obtaining a certification is a significant commitment that demands both time and dedication. Prior to embarking on this journey, take time to reflect on your motivations and perhaps ponder the following:

Are You Willing To Put in the Work?

Achieving a Salesforce certification is no easy feat, but it is obtainable with enough dedication. With the help of resources such as tutorials and Trailhead materials, you can reach your goal of becoming certified in no time.

Certification Objectives

What are your primary objectives in obtaining a Salesforce Certification? Reflect on how certification aligns with your career aspirations, personal growth, or professional development. Consider the specific benefits and opportunities that certification can offer.

Evaluate the knowledge and competencies you expect to gain. Assess how these skills will augment your expertise and enable you to excel in your current or desired role.

Are You Ready To Invest in Yourself?

Salesforce is an awesome tool that can take you far in your professional life. Don't just take our word for it – ask any member of the Salesforce community. However, to really reap the benefits of Salesforce, you need to invest in it from the start. We're talking about an investment of both time and money here.

The amount of time you invest depends on the certification path you choose. Plus, there's usually a fee for the training. And then there's the cost of each certification exam - at a minimum they cost more than $200 each - and if you don't pass, there's also a fee for taking the exam again. Different certifications come with different exam and retake costs, so keep this in mind when deciding which certifications are right for you!

Continued Learning Commitment

Completing the entry-level exams for certification is just the first part of understanding and using the Salesforce platform. The knowledge you gain won't be useful forever unless you keep up with the changes and updates that occur periodically.

Salesforce offers maintenance exams three times a year to ensure that learners are aware of any updates and feature releases associated with their products. This lets you seamlessly incorporate the new capabilities into your job, allowing your team members and customers make benefit from them. Continuing education is key when it comes to becoming an expert in Salesforce – but don’t worry – everything you need to keep topping up your Salesforce skills is already out there!

Real-Life Scenarios

Salesforce certification options are all about revision and continual learning. One surefire way to pass this all-important certification is with real-world scenarios. The Salesforce entry-level exams are heavily based on scenarios, giving you business requirements and leaving it up to you to choose the correct solution in the eyes of Salesforce. Knowing this, you should seek out Salesforce certification training that emphasizes hands-on learning.

What is a Trailblazer? A Trailblazer is a term used in the Salesforce community to describe innovative leaders who leverage Salesforce technology for business transformation and actively contribute to the community.
Which is the right Salesforce certification for you?

The Right Salesforce Certification for You

If you're eager to begin your Salesforce certification journey, it's important to select the qualification that best meets your needs. However, with so many certifications out there it can be hard to know which one to go for. System Architects, Sales Cloud Consultants, Architecture Designers, Discovery Consultants.... the sheer number of titles is overwhelming. But have no fear – we’ve got you!

If you’re a beginner, you’ll start with a foundation-level exam such as the Administrator certification or the Platform App Builder certification. But even these entry-level exams are tailored to meet a specific need – so it's important to consider which one is best for you.

Salesforce Administrator Certifications Explained

This credential is intended for Salesforce beginners who wish to expand their knowledge in order to help their companies maximize the power of the Salesforce platform, and benefit from additional features. The Administrator Certification serves as the foundational level and is a prerequisite for taking the Advanced Admin, Sales, and Service Cloud exams, so if you’re new to Salesforce certification, this is the one for you.

While they may be beginners to the certification process, Salesforce Administrator candidates are expected to have some Salesforce knowledge and experience. Candidates should possess the ability to effectively maintain and customize Sales Cloud and Service Cloud applications, and know their way around the CRM. Additionally, they need to have basic user, security, and data management know-how, as well as the ability to construct dashboards, reports, and workflows.

The Administrator certification can be followed by an Advanced Administrator credential, which recognizes Administrators who are proficient at utilizing advanced Salesforce features and functionality to solve a wide range of business challenges. These certificates can serve as gateways into plenty of Salesforce Marketing certifications, as well as Consulting and Sales certificates.

Other certifications you can gain after the initial Administrator certifications include:

  • Business Analyst Credential: Designed for individuals who understand business needs, capture requirements, and collaborate with stakeholders to build Salesforce solutions that drive business improvements.
  • CPQ Specialist: Tailor-made for individuals who have hands-on experience in implementing Salesforce CPQ and can demonstrate expertise in designing, building, and implementing quoting flows using CPQ.
  • Marketing Cloud Administrator: For administrators who can configure Marketing Cloud products using best practices, understand subscriber data management, and excel in troubleshooting and fulfilling user requests.
  • Marketing Cloud Email Specialist: Designed for those with expertise in email marketing best practices, including message design, subscriber and data management, inbox delivery, and integrating external applications with Marketing Cloud email.
  • Pardot Consultant and Pardot Specialist: For individuals experienced in implementing customer-facing Pardot solutions who are capable of designing and implementing Pardot solutions aligned with customers' business requirements, and fostering long-term success.
  • Salesforce Consultant: This credential is for those who can collaborate with stakeholders to define requirements, customize the platform, and empower users for maximum Salesforce utilization. They implement and optimize Salesforce products in a scalable and tailored manner, aligned with clients' needs.
  • Service Cloud Consultant: Designed for individuals experienced in implementing customer-facing Service Cloud solutions that align with customer business requirements and are scalable and maintainable.

Salesforce Certifications for Developers

If you have your sights set on a career as a Salesforce Developer, the Platform App Builder credential is the place to start. It’s designed for those who are skilled in designing, building, and implementing custom applications using declarative customization capabilities provided by the Salesforce platform.

Certified Platform App Builders have the opportunity to pursue the Platform Developer I and Platform Developer II certifications. These credentials are specifically designed for individuals with advanced programmatic skills and experience in extending the Lightning Platform through Apex and Visualforce.

Other credentials you can work towards after becoming a certified Platform App Builder include:

  • Marketing Cloud Developer: Designed for those who have practical experience developing across the entire platform, creating customized messages, and landing pages, and utilizing Marketing Cloud scripting languages. Marketing Cloud Developers are skilled in advanced segmentation, reporting, analytics, and data configuration.
  • B2C Commerce Developer: This credential is specifically tailored for individuals who possess extensive experience as full-stack developers in the context of Salesforce Commerce Cloud Digital. These developers have a deep understanding of the Salesforce B2C Commerce platform and possess the skills and expertise necessary to build robust and scalable e-commerce solutions.
  • JavaScript Developer I: Designed for developers who are skilled in creating front-end and/or back-end JavaScript applications for the web stack and who excel in using JavaScript technologies such as Lightning Web Components.

Salesforce Architects: Superheroes of the Cloud

Salesforce Architects are like superheroes in the Salesforce ecosystem. As trusted advisors and leaders, they are known for their deep knowledge, exceptional problem-solving abilities, and knack for designing robust systems that can handle any challenge. Their role is to understand what a business needs and then come up with a plan to make it happen. A Salesforce Architect takes the business requirements and designs a system architecture that fits perfectly, ensuring scalability and flexibility.

The Salesforce Architect credentials are divided into two categories:

  • Technical Architect: A certified Technical Architect is a strategic advisor with extensive expertise in functional, platform, and integration architecture. They provide executive-level guidance for business transformation and effectively communicate technical solutions to stakeholders. With their delivery framework, they ensure quality and successful implementations.
  • Solution Architect: Salesforce Solution Architects drive digital transformation by aligning business and technology, defining the strategy for successful solutions, maximizing business value through feature selection, and promoting best practices for seamless customer experiences across multiple clouds.

Becoming a certified Salesforce Architect is no easy task, but it's an exciting journey for those who love technology and problem-solving. Achieving Architect Certification requires a combination of skills, experience, and continuous learning.

As you can see, there are many certifications available – and we didn’t even cover them all! With that in mind, be sure to take time to define your goals and decide which credentials fit your skillset and align with your career aspirations. Then, get ready to dive into the exciting world of Salesforce certification!

Salesforce teamwork

Understanding the Salesforce Certification Exams

The certification process doesn't have to be intimidating. All you need is the right training and you’ll be ready to take the exam in no time.

The Salesforce Certified Administrator exam consists of 60 multiple-choice questions and has a 105-minute time limit with a passing score of 65%. Check the requirements for each different exam beforehand to make sure you meet all the criteria. It's also a good idea to invest in some certification training that includes practice tests too.

There are several learning paths available depending on what sort of certification you’re looking to get. The Salesforce Admin training will prepare you to pass two Salesforce certification exams while teaching the core administrative features of the CRM along with analytics and customization skills for specific implementations. Don't be daunted by the process – if you're prepared properly then taking your Salesforce Certification will be a breeze!

Trailhead: Your Secret Weapon

Trailhead is Salesforce's online learning platform that provides interactive and self-paced courses for individuals seeking to learn Salesforce skills and earn certifications. It offers a comprehensive and structured learning path with modules, projects, and quizzes to help you easily grasp Salesforce concepts. Trailhead offers a hands-on and practical approach to learning, allowing you to gain real-world experience and apply your knowledge. Practice your skills, track your progress through badges and certifications, and make full use of this most valuable resource for your Salesforce certification preparation.

The Art of Studying for Salesforce

When it comes to preparing for their exams, Trailhead has got you covered with their comprehensive study guides and helpful guidelines. These study materials are like your trusty companions, providing you with a roadmap of the topics you need to be familiar with.

What's even more fantastic is that the study and exam guides not only list the subjects but also highlight their importance, giving you valuable insights into where to focus your efforts. Given Salesforce's extensive range of functionality, it is common to encounter features in the exams that may not have been encountered in your regular Salesforce work.

Don’t forget that there’s a whole community of Trailblazers out there who can help. Check out our list of Salesforce Influencers to follow for the latest insights, tips, and trends.

Registering for the Certification Exams

When it's time to put your skills to the test, Salesforce utilizes the WebAssessor online training module and testing platform. It offers a great user experience and makes taking the exams a breeze. Here’s how to go about registering and taking the Salesforce exams:

  • Simply head over to the Salesforce Certification page and keep an eye out for the registration link. This nifty little automation will whisk you away to the WebAssessor login page. Don't worry if you don't have an account yet; you can easily create one in a few simple steps.
  • When registering for the exam, you will have the option to select a testing center or choose the convenience of taking the exam from your own home. You will be provided with a list of available dates and times, allowing you to choose the option that best suits your needs.
  • After completing the registration and payment, keep an eye on your inbox for an email containing the all-important payment receipt and the confirmed date and time of your exam.
  • If you've chosen a testing center, remember to arrive 15 minutes early on the scheduled day, armed with two forms of identification. In the email receipt, you'll also find a special test code. Simply bring a printed copy of the email or show the code on your phone to the test administrator.
  • Upon completion of the exam, be prepared to receive your results immediately. Whether it brings you joy and celebration or prompts reflection on areas for improvement, you will gain a clear understanding of where you stand.

If you weren’t successful the first time around, don’t panic. You can retake the same certification exam up to three times within each cycle. As you prepare for your next attempt, remember to focus your studies on the functionality you found challenging. You've got this!

How to pass your Salesforce Certification Exam

Tips To Ace Your Salesforce Certification Exam

When it comes to passing Salesforce certification exams, there are tried and true methods that can boost your chances of success. Following these tips will give you the best shot at passing with flying colors and showing off your Salesforce smarts!

Discover Your Test-Taking Style

Understanding your test-taking style plays a crucial role in choosing between online training modules and in-person exams. If you're someone who finds writing things down helpful for memory recall, an in-person exam might be the perfect fit for you. At a testing center, you'll be provided with paper and a pencil, which can be a valuable aid not allowed during online exams.

Test Timer Starts on Your Cue

Prepare yourself, get set, and go! Exams often feel like a race to the finish line, but don't worry. In the Salesforce certification exam, the race doesn't begin until you're fully prepared.

Whether you choose a testing center or the convenience of online proctoring from home, all exams have a designated time limit. However, the timer won't start ticking when you arrive at the testing center or sit down for your online exam. It will only commence once you click that magical start button. So, take a deep breath, gather your thoughts, and remember that you have complete control over when your certification journey officially begins.

Master Time Management

Preparing for a certification exam requires effective time management. It's just as crucial as the broad knowledge you've acquired leading up to the big day. Ask yourself, "How long should I dedicate to each test question?"

Let's break down a typical Salesforce exam to help answer that question: Imagine a two-hour exam with 60 questions. By managing your time wisely, you can allot approximately two minutes per question, ensuring you can tackle all exam questions within the given timeframe. A handy tip is to answer the questions you know first and then revisit those that require more time to complete.

Forget About Tracking Letters

As you reach the end of your exam, you may have marked several questions to review. But here's a key reminder: the order of the answers may change when you return to review a question.

So, instead of focusing on memorizing the order of your selected answers, concentrate on jotting down keywords. These will help you confidently make final answer selections during the review phase.

Read Questions with Care

Sitting a Salesforce certification exam can be a nerve-wracking experience. Stay calm and avoid the common mistake of not fully reading (and rereading) each question.

Before selecting your answer, carefully read the entire question and all available choices. Some questions can be lengthy, so taking this step is crucial to ensure you grasp what each question is truly asking.

Remember, with a clear mind and careful reading, you'll navigate the exam with confidence. Now armed with these friendly tips, you're ready to conquer your Salesforce certification exam. Stay focused, stay positive, and let your knowledge shine bright!

The benefits of getting Salesforce certified

Discover the Benefits of Salesforce Certification

Once you embark on the learning journey of becoming Salesforce certified, you'll discover a multitude of incredible benefits. Not only will you experience the inherent joy of learning and personal growth, but you'll also reap tangible rewards that will boost your career to new heights. Some of the main benefits include:

Deepen Your Knowledge

When you earn a Salesforce certification, you're not just gaining a surface-level understanding. It's an opportunity to dive deep into the platform and uncover new tools and features you may not have come across before. It's like unlocking a treasure trove of knowledge!

Get Hands-On Experience

With Salesforce certification programs, you don't just learn theory. They provide you with practical experience through case studies and live projects, giving you a taste of real-world scenarios. You'll be equipped with the skills and confidence to tackle any challenge that comes your way.

Master Account Planning

By becoming Salesforce certified, you'll gain a comprehensive understanding of the platform's inner workings. This means you can swiftly navigate the application lifecycle and handle customer requests with lightning-fast precision. Say goodbye to slow response times and hello to efficient account planning!

Reap Rewards for Your Expertise

Having a Salesforce certification not only demonstrates your expertise but also positions you as a valuable asset to your company. You'll be equipped to optimize Salesforce and tailor it to meet specific requirements, making you a true CRM superstar.

Endless Success Opportunities

In this era of sales cloud and service cloud computing, businesses of all sizes are seeking maximum output from their applications and cloud platforms. Salesforce enables you to boost business effectiveness and presents incredible opportunities for success. That's why there's such high demand for certified Salesforce experts. Get ready to soar to new heights!

Start Your Salesforce Journey Today

The world of Salesforce is abuzz with exciting advancements and brimming with promising career opportunities. With its constant growth and continuous improvement, you will never run out of new things to learn.

By obtaining a Salesforce certification, you can give your career a boost and become part of an extraordinary community comprising successful learners, Salesforce professionals, and Trailblazers who can provide unwavering support at every step of your journey. Moreover, you can gain access to Salesforce's state-of-the-art technology and business expertise. So, why wait any longer?

To find out how the flair-Salesforce connection works to enhance HR processes, check out our blog here.


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