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Salesforce Career Paths: Which is Right for You?

Demand for Salesforce talent isn’t slowing. With a global ecosystem, and generative AI tipped to boost company performance further, adoption of Salesforce software continues to increase. This means now is an excellent time to consider Salesforce career paths.

Coloured background with text Salesforce Career Paths: Which is Right for You?

According to the IDC’s Worldwide Semiannual Software Tracker, in 2023 Salesforce market share in CRM reached 21.7% and the company gained more revenue than any other CRM vendor.

Of course, more customers using Salesforce software means more specialists are required to support them. 

All this to say, future career prospects for Salesforce experts are great.

But how do you become an expert?

Recently, I was contemplating the vastly different backgrounds our team at MarCloud has. The beauty of pursuing a career in Salesforce is that it doesn’t depend on a university degree or extensive experience in marketing automation. With the right skill set, attitude, and willingness to learn, a Salesforce career is open to anyone.

By Salesforce career, I mean any job role across the products in the Salesforce portfolio. Whether it’s Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Service Cloud, etc. there are versatile job functions that can work across them all. On the other hand, it’s entirely possible to become a specialist in a specific department or software i.e. marketing.

Which career path is right for you, entirely depends on your interests.

Typical Salesforce career options

There are two sides of the coin to consider here. Firstly, the area of Salesforce expertise you want to hone and build a career upon. Secondly, the type of business you want to work for.

Salesforce expertise

At MarCloud, we group the different areas of Salesforce expertise into the following categories:

  • Sales: supporting potential customers to select the right Salesforce marketing tool and partner to help them succeed. If you’re a natural salesperson, a sales role still requires knowledge of the platforms but is less hands-on and technical.

  • Functional: working as an expert consultant on marketing automation strategy and general support, helping customers get the most out of their Salesforce tools. If you’re a strategic and analytical thinker, a consultant role may be the best path.

  • Delivery: hands-on support in customer accounts running campaigns, helping with implementation or integration, and blending a strategic mindset with technical skills. Some consultants may fall into this bucket too, depending on the business. 

  • Technologies: generally people who eat, breathe, and sleep coding and building things! The data scientists and developers who are engineering technical solutions for Salesforce platforms, to solve unique business problems. Naturally, you need to have a technical skillset.

  • Operations: efficient and business-minded people who oversee the day-to-day operations of any company using Salesforce software. They may be across user management and permissions and supporting digital transformation. This role is less platform-specific but still requires a foundation of understanding.

Of course, some businesses may also narrow these categories further i.e. into sales, marketing, and service functions. They may also have extra categories, depending on the business type and their structure. Generally speaking though, most Salesforce careers fall into one of these areas, so your first step is to decide which is best suited for you.

To help, I’ve done a quick Q&A with one team member from each area.

MarCloud team Q&A

Sales - Sam Green, Junior Sales Executive

Q. Sam, where did your Salesforce career begin?

A. It began when I joined MarCloud Consulting

Q. What does a typical working day look like for you?

A. My role as a Sales Executive involves meeting prospective clients and current clients, then scoping requirements for how we can bring in our Consultants to elevate their Salesforce ecosystem. Following this, I send contracts and get deals over the line as won Opportunities.

Q. What advice would you give those interested in a Salesforce career?

A. Educate yourself! There is an abundance of blogs online, from various companies and Salesforce media outlets, as well as videos on YouTube. Trailhead has free resources and you can even play around in a demo org for practical learning. In terms of getting a job in the industry, if you have no prior experience, I would advise that you opt for an entry-level job in a company that offers them. Progression can be fast if you're willing to learn and absorb as much information as possible. 

Functional - Jon Chowdhury, Senior Lead Consultant

Q. Jon, where did your Salesforce career begin?

A. Before it was acquired by Salesforce and in my previous digital marketing role, I was an end user of Pardot (now called Account Engagement). Tom Ryan (Founder of MarCloud) worked with us to optimise the platform and at a later date, MarCloud offered the opportunity to join their fast-growing team of consultants, so I took the plunge.

Q. What does a typical working day look like for you?

A. Busy! Daily stand-ups with the team to consider work in progress and estimates for completion. Planning new projects and contingency planning for when things are not going as forecast. All mixed with some delivery tasks for Account Engagement and Sales Cloud.

Q. What advice would you give those interested in a Salesforce career?

A. Salesforce is an established and well-regarded organisation, providing market-leading solutions that are not going away any time soon. The pathways for a Salesforce career are varied and if you have a curious nature and want to be learning new things, then Salesforce can provide you with a fulfilling career path.

Delivery - Praveena Venuprasad, Delivery Consultant

Q. Praveena, where did your Salesforce career begin?

A. Quite recently, in 2022 as a Consulting Analyst, before moving to MarCloud.

Q. What does a typical working day look like for you?

A. Mainly, I’m implementing Sales Cloud solutions for clients. This includes a variety of tasks including creating objects, fields, reports & dashboards, designing and developing automations using Flows and Apex classes, inspecting client data and making necessary changes using data import/export, and plenty more. Although it’s not always a part of a typical working day, designing solutions also makes up the bulk of project work during the initial planning phase.

Q. What advice would you give those interested in a Salesforce career?

A. The best way to start learning Salesforce is to create and play around in a dev org, to get acquainted with the system. Certifications can build your profile, but project experience and building your skillset are invaluable.

Technologies - Bradley Bayley, Junior Developer

Q. Brad, where did your Salesforce career begin?

A. My Salesforce career began here, at MarCloud. I didn't know very much about it before joining but since working here I have decided to stay in the environment and pursue a career as a Salesforce Developer. There are many interesting and complex systems to get to know and I’ve no doubt that a full career within Salesforce will prove to be very fulfilling.

Q. What does a typical working day look like for you?

A. My work ranges from creating Account Engagement marketing email templates to building Salesforce Experience websites and Lightning web components. There are many tasks within each development project and they can range from easy to very challenging. As a developer, I love the challenging parts as I truly get to problem-solve and come up with solutions that may never have been applied before. I involve myself in UI/UX design to ensure users are getting the best results. Here, I can use my design skills and work with clients to ensure a solution that is on-brand and provides an excellent user experience.

Q. What advice would you give those interested in a Salesforce career?

A. If you are interested in full stack development, it's a good option to become a Salesforce Developer. You will spend your time between coding and point-and-click solutions and you can improve your skills easily because Trailhead is an excellent tool for learning. No two projects are identical, but familiarity with the system allows you to become a true expert, using a range of skills both on the Lightning platform and outside of it. You can work on a range of complex systems. The front end is a large part of what I do, and you can show your design skills while feeding the problem-solver within you on the backend. My main advice would be to just start. Start now and keep learning.

Operations - Liam Rooke, Human Resources Manager

Q. Liam, where did your Salesforce career begin?

A. My Salesforce career began this year by joining the wonderful world of MarCloud. It's been a fantastic journey with a young vibrant company and I'm loving the culture of collaboration between all the professionals in our care. Our multi-platform and multi-discipline experts inspire me every day.

Q. What does a typical working day look like for you?

A. As the HR Manager of a small company, I fulfil a 'generalist' role, jumping across all of the work levels, with no task too big or too small! I'm fortunate to have joined MarCloud at a fantastic period of growth so a lot of my day-to-day is built around creating a platform for that growth. I'm always on the lookout for great Salesforce marketing talent to join us in our journey.

Q. What advice would you give those interested in a Salesforce career?

A. Technology is at the core of most of the roles I recruit for MarCloud. Having a good understanding and being able to articulate your understanding well to all levels of stakeholders is key. My advice for those looking to get that understanding is to follow the MarCloud blog and especially check out the posts authored by our Founder, Tom Ryan.

Salesforce jobs

Once you have an idea of the Salesforce expertise you have or want to build on, you also need to consider the type of companies you’d like to join. For example:

  • In-house: working within companies that use Salesforce platforms to sell their products or services. These include international corporations like PayPal and Snapchat, but also medium-sized enterprises and perhaps even small businesses with the launch of Marketing Cloud Growth Edition. The benefit of working in-house is your role can be fully focused on a single business and use case, rather than juggling multiple, like a consultancy.

  • Consultancies: joining a Salesforce Partner or consulting company that supports customers using Salesforce products. These may include general marketing agencies (working across a range of software) or specialist Salesforce consultants. The benefit of working within a consultancy is the breadth of experience you can build by tackling different types of challenges for various business types. You will also be surrounded by other consultants who can act as professional mentors.

  • Salesforce: naturally, pursuing a Salesforce career means considering whether any of the roles offered by Salesforce themselves could be a good fit for you. This may be especially relevant if you’re interested in the sales side of things. The benefit of working at Salesforce is that you’ll have the first opportunity to learn of new features and products, getting ahead of the curve.

  • Technology partners: there are plenty of AppExchange and software vendors who create apps and technical solutions for Salesforce platforms. Generally, you need to be confident in your programming skills to work at one of these firms. The benefit of working at a tech company is that the work is innovative and diverse.

By this point, you should have a better idea of which type of Salesforce career path interests you the most. Is it a functional role in a consulting company? Or a technical role in-house? Perhaps you’re open to a few possibilities. 

What’s next?

That all depends on where you’re at, currently. 

Breaking into the Salesforce industry requires you to at least be familiar with the software and its features. You can sign up for beginner’s courses across most Salesforce tools and there are plenty online! Take a look at this Salesforce Admin Online Training, for example.

Certifications demonstrate knowledge and credibility (although experience counts for more!). So, if you have some understanding of Salesforce tools but don’t yet have a badge to show it, your CV will benefit from you taking Trailhead certifications.

Lastly, explore the options at the businesses you’re interested in joining and see what their talent success programs look like. 

MarCloud is always searching for hardworking individuals keen to launch or progress their Salesforce career. To support career growth, have an academy focused on upskilling, along with a smooth and supportive onboarding process (and team!). Learn more about a career at MarCloud here.

Tom Ryan headshot

Tom Ryan

Founder & CEO of MarCloud, Tom has been on both sides of the fence, client-side and agency, working with Salesforce platforms for the best part of a decade. He's a Salesforce Marketing Champion and certified consultant who loves to co-host webinars and pen original guides and articles. A regular contributor to online business and marketing publications, he's passionate about marketing automation and, along with the team, is rapidly making MarCloud the go-to place for Marketing Cloud and Salesforce expertise. He unapologetically uses the terms Pardot, Account Engagement and MCAE interchangeably.

Featured resource

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Salesforce Marketing Tools

With the eBook ‘A Guide to Salesforce Marketing Tools’ in your arsenal, you’ll have a go-to, comprehensive, expert guide to understanding and selecting your perfect Salesforce marketing platform(s), be it Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) or Engagement, and the products available to each.

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