Is Salesforce Consultancy the right career path for you or not? Here is my story of how I got started and what I found out along the way..
By Heather Black, Founder and CEO of Supermums
When I decided to be a Salesforce Consultant, I was just 33, so what did I think I was getting into and why did I believe I could do it?
Let us start with the job. I imagined it would be…
- Talking through and redefining processes with teams
- Identifying what goals and indicators were important to define performance
- Understanding how technology could better enhance their team well-being and performance
- Figuring out and implementing technology solutions to meet their needs
I believed I could do it because…
- I had completed the one-week Admin, Advanced Admin and Consultancy Skills course with Salesforce. (The latter they do not teach now but I cover it the content in my Consultancy Skills Course.
- I had worked as a hands-on Salesforce Admin on my own Salesforce System for 2 years.
- I had run a business and was a qualified business coach. I had coached entrepreneurs for several years, asking them questions to improve their processes, strategy, and goals
- I decided to focus on working with other non-profits as it was a sector I knew well and felt passionate about having ran a non-profit for 7 years.
- I investigated what other skills I might need to learn by looking at other people’s credentials and decided I would need to invest in further training to help me upskill.
What I felt unsure about in my early days as a Consultant was…
- How to gather document requirements in a ‘proper’ way for technology projects. This led me learn about formal Business Analysis Skills. I had not heard of the term before, but I invested in a 4-week course, and I was blown away. I loved it. Much of it felt familiar to my business coaching background but it gave me the tools, strategies, and templates to document things properly.
- How to manage technical projects properly. It was clear to see early on that the wish list of clients was not really defined upfront so how I could quote for then. Or that their budget would not cover everything that they had identified during the business analysis stage so how would I deal with this? You want to please clients so it often felt uncomfortable telling them they could not have everything for their budget. I needed to know how to manage this situation properly. This is when I learnt about Agile Project Management. The common method of agreeing a time and budget but being flexible on requirements which is the norm for technical projects. It gave me the framework to manage clients successfully.
- How best to facilitate negative reactions to a CRM system. I lived in my happy place of how wonderful Salesforce was and would start the engagement with the Executive Sponsor who was equally enthused about the changes to come. However, when you get to meet the rest of the team there are quite often a mixture of different emotions towards the new pending CRM…from anger, fear, upset, resentment to excitement too… wow. How do you facilitate a room of managers and staff with a lot of mixed energy in the room? As a Salesforce Consultant, people look to you for reassurance and trust to deliver. I wanted to know how to facilitate this change process in a great way. This is when I decided to do a course in Change Management. I realised CRM projects were largely about facilitating people on a journey of change. This course alongside my coaching skills gave me the knowledge and skills to deploy people strategies aligned to the culture of the organisation.
- How to set up clients for success beyond my engagement. I wanted clients to adopt the system and take ownership of it beyond my help, but how could I achieve this successfully. I realised that there needed to be a risk appraisal at the outset to help clients understand the risks and help them mitigate them with a set of interventions. For example, a simple one being who would be their appointed salesforce admin(s)? W What training could they do to feel equipped?, and how could I get them engaged in the salesforce ohana and trailheads. A common pitfall is that no one takes up the mantel! I now have 20 plus risks in my risk register.
Navigating the road to success
When you feel equipped to handle the different challenges you can feel really empowered to deliver as a consultant. Otherwise, it can be stressful, intimidating, and overwhelming. At the end of the day a business is entrusting you with a major change in how they work.
The Consultancy role was what I imagined it to be, but it required confidence in oneself and a careful orchestration of skills and capabilities to achieve the right results.
Quite often I found myself consulting with a team of managers who were much older than me, so I really had to demonstrate my capacity and skills to deliver, and I appreciated their trust in me.
What is important to know is that you will not get it right all the time. You will learn something new from every project you do. There is need to reflect and do it differently next time by deploying new strategies and learning new techniques. Over 9 years I have learnt a lot and developed a lot of resources to help me, and other consultants do the job well. Over 700 projects and 350 clients later I have seen a lot of what works and what does not. What I do know is that I have only seen projects fail if best practice principles and strategies are not deployed successfully so it’s best to get skilled up and to apply your learning.
As a consultant you will be rewarded by…
- Revolutionising how a business or charity runs to make it more efficient and profitable
- You can make business owners and teams much happier in their job roles
- You get to helping people enter the wonderful world of the Salesforce Ohana
It is a great job if you set yourself up for success. To help you on the way, I have put together some great courses for you. Check them out below
Consultancy Skills Course – starts 16th September
Take this course and equip yourself with essential consulting skills; understand what your team or clients need and how to deliver implementations that succeed.
- Standard fee £1200*
- Early Bird: Pay in full before 19th July and you will get the course for only £1080* AND you will also get access to our “Non-Profit” mini course.
Live sessions will be each Tuesday at 2pm GMT from 14th September. All webinars recorded if you are able to make live sessions.
To access these amazing offers, just add ‘SEPTEMBERSPECIAL21’ at the checkout by midnight on July 19th.
* All prices include taxes. If your believe you are VAT exempt you will need to provide us with relevant evidence. If your company is paying let us know and we can send invoices if necessary.
* Remember to use your discount code at the checkout, refunds will not be given for the difference if you do not use them.
Alternatively check out our Level 4 Business Analysis Course
If you already working in a salesforce role for an employer in England you might be eligible for the Level 4 Business Analysis programme which is free to learners. It’s an 18mth programme providing an indepth learning journey. https://supermums.org/training/salesforce-apprenticeship-programme/