How to start a career in Salesforce

I get a lot of questions asking how to start a career in Salesforce. First off is you need to set a goal and plan on achieving that goal. Without a plan, you won’t achieve success, I also get a lot of messages generally from three groups of people:

  • Those who are in IT and have a background in development or Administration/Configuration of other similar tech systems.
  • Those who come from a totally different industry and want to “get into Salesforce”,
  • Finally students with maybe little or no IT experience.

This is my take on these groups and where you should start with potential ideas in developing your plan to achieve a successful career in Salesforce.


From nothing to Salesforce Admin/Developer?

Just this morning I received a message just on this:

The great thing about Salesforce is when you start out you don’t need to know any programming languages. When you create business applications in Salesforce, a lot of it is “click development” or “click configuration” to create applications. Not to say this is “easy”, but it’s all learnable! I have a great belief that if you put your mind to it, you can achieve anything even if you and others think you can’t. I wanted to be in a Harry Potter film, it took me around eight months but in the end, I made it… but that’s a story for another day.

Get Certified, get Experience!

Key to getting a job if you have no experience is to get certified and some work experience. I recommend starting with the Salesforce Certified Administrator certification (see details below). Then is the tricky thing with experience and there are a number of things you can try to get experience (again see below).


From a totally different industry?

It’s odd that people from different industries don’t think they have transferable skills. I think this comes from the perception that Salesforce is a “technical system” (ok it is but hear me out!). Salesforce is a system that enables companies to manage their day to day operations. That could be Sales, Service, Finance, Operations, Marketing, Manufacturing… you name it! It can touch every part of a business. The businesses that implement it well, are those that consider it a business system that is there to enable and support their workforce. Then there are those companies that think of Salesforce is an “IT system” and should be implemented by IT, but realise too late that actually it’s a business system and should be run by the business. Because of this you still have invaluable experience that can complement a career in Salesforce.

Play to your strengths

In the post above James wanted to change his career from accounting to Salesforce. That’s brilliant, BUT you may be up against other people who have been in the Salesforce world a lot longer than you. But there will be a lot fewer people that have both Salesforce experience as well as a background in accounting. Use your strength in Accounting, and marry it with Salesforce. Try and find a company using Salesforce and using or wanting to implement/integrate an accounting system (eg FinancialForce, Xero, Sage etc) or researching the apps available and how finance fits into the Salesforce eco-system. Doing this will make you a lot more valuable in the market than someone who has just “1 month’s experience with Salesforce”. Now Salesforce has started bringing out their own specific industry cloud offerings (Health Cloud, Financial Services) so now you are in an even better situation if you come from these specific industry verticals.


From an SAP/Oracle/Siebel/Other CRM to Salesforce?

CRM Growth World Wide

I admit it, I did work for an SAP consultancy as well as another CRM company before working with Salesforce. Trust me you have transferable skills! You have knowledge on how CRMs can be used to automate business processes, you may have experience in integrating a CRM with internal systems (this happens a lot in Salesforce projects) so you may have even used the same internal systems, but also understood the challenges (eg: bad data quality). Now, of course, it depends on the role you Business Analyst, Developer etc but you do have some valuable skills. I found this when I moved to Salesforce from the previous CRM company as a Development Team Lead. I spend just a month studying and learning as much as I could about Salesforce. I then applied for jobs and received two job offers! one from a very large consultancy! 🙂

In my career, I’ve always tried to be one step ahead of the tech curve. IT moves SOOO fast and you don’t want to be left behind. As you can see from the growth rate of Salesforce… do you really want to wait?


How to get started in Salesforce?

Your first goal is getting a paid job working with Salesforce. To achieve this goal everything comes down to making you look as attractive as possible to a new employer. I think this comes down to three areas:

  • Certifications
  • Experience
  • Passion


There are A LOT of Salesforce Certifications. But the one I recommend the one to get first ‘Salesforce Certified Administrator’. The reason for this is it gives you a good overview of the whole of the core Salesforce platform. It allows you to “understand the lingo” when people talk about workflows or Opportunities, you understand what they are talking about. There are two main ways you can learn to get certified:

My ‘Salesforce Certified Administrator’ Online Course
Access from Udemy
 Salesforce’s online Training
Training that Salesforce provides

My A Cloud Guru course gives you focused training on the Salesforce platform with test questions for the exam. I’m also there to help you every step of the way. Trailhead is a site that Salesforce has set up to allow you to learn Salesforce in a modular way, and is a great resource for all kinds of areas of the Salesforce platforms and tools.


If you can get experience in Salesforce this always looks good on your CV. But can be hard to come by but there are a couple of ways you can do this: is the charitable arm of Salesforce that gives out the Salesforce platform to charities around the world (In fact my charity uses Salesforce). But charities can be tight on money so volunteering with a charity that uses Salesforce is a great way to get some experience on your CV. Know a local charity? Why not approach them and say you are looking for experience and sign them up to (it’s free) to get their free Salesforce org and then configure it for them to solve some of their challenges running a charity. A great way to help a local charity as well as get experience for yourself!

Create some apps in Salesforce!

Prove your knowledge of Salesforce by creating some business apps in Salesforce. Salesforce provides free “Salesforce Developer Orgs” which is a fully functioning Salesforce tool but limited to a couple of user licenses and limited space. But you can create business apps within it. If you can say on your CV that you have created, for example an invoice management application with approval processes and automation then this could go a good way in proving your ability with Salesforce.

London’s Calling 2018

The largest European Community Salesforce event is back! Come learn Salesforce and collaborate with the community.

Register at

Dreamforce 2017

What is Dreamforce?

Dreamforce is an annual user conference hosted by in downtown San Francisco, bringing together thought leaders, industry pioneers and thousands of IT professionals. This is Salesforce’s big annual event, in 2016 over 170,000 people descended on San Francisco for the event.

I have spoken at Dreamforce for the past 5 years.


My reflection on India Dreamin

Fellow YouTuber Salesforce Huck & others

I’m now sitting in New Delhi Indira Gandhi Airport ready to fly back to London. Actually, ready wouldn’t be the correct word, I want my Indian adventure to continue 🙂

I arrived 3 days ago and since then it’s been a whirlwind immersion into Indian culture, passion & learning. After working with so many people in India over the years it was great to finally meet some of them!  The welcome and kindness from everyone was incredible.

When Shiv & Viney invited me to India Dreamin I asked them what they wanted me to talk about. The answer, ANYTHING. So I got my thinking cap on and then it dawned on me. This month, 20 years ago I started University and so my talk as about how technology has changed over the years, how to find a career you’re passionate about, and looking into the future how to keep relevant in a changing world.


What I loved about this Dreamin event was how brilliantly everyone showed us the Indian culture, in dance, hospitality and fun. The passion and energy from the cultural dancing was infectious and Erica Kuhl did brilliantly keeping the energy throughout her final keynote.



Anyone who has met up with Shiv knows he loves having selfies! What I didn’t know is that so does the rest of the attendees at India Dreamin 🙂 It was fantastic to see the enthusiasm that everyone had to talk, engage … and take a selfie 🙂 It was a true honour.

Hands-on Training

One of the great moments of the day was doing a Hands-on Training workshop with lots of eager minds wanting to learn more about the Salesforce platform. The aim of the workshop was for the attendees to build their first application in Salesforce.

One of my favourite moments of the hands-on was teaching @SFDC_Kid who as was really motoring through the trails! His t-shirt said it all. A genius in the making! so much so I added him to my talk about passion. For me, he summed up the passion in wanting to learn and succeed.


Women in Tech

One of my favourite sessions was the Women in Tech session. Right at the end of the session someone stood up and talked about their challenges with juggling a career and childcare, and the help she had received from a Women In Tech group in India. She talked about how she found the group so valuable to talk to other women with similar challenges. The session also talked about imposter syndrome, something that until a couple of years ago I didn’t know anything about. I think its such an important topic to tell to men and women alike.


The Scale

It’s hard to describe how big this Dreamin event was. The largest global Salesforce Dreamin event used to be MidWest Dreamin, but no more. India Dreamin had over 1300 registered to attend.

Here is a picture I took from the Stage that gives you a little bit of an idea of the scale of the event.

The Salesforce MVPs

It was also great to so many Salesforce MVPs who had come out to support this inaugural Indian event. I hope this continues! 🙂

I can’t recommend India Dreamin more to anyone in India wanting to learn cloud computing but also to all those who present at other Salesforce events around the world. I really do hope Shiv, Vinay and all the organisers do this event next year so that others can go out, present and embrace the India culture.

Thanks everyone! The Vlog is coming soon!!!


India Dreamin

Very excited to say that I will be heading over to India to present at India Dreamin 2017! Looking forward to seeing all the people who I’ve worked with who live in India!!

Automation Hour with Francis Pindar

After the success of my last Automation Hour talk webinar I’m doing it again in Jan 2018! Come learn some advanced features around Process Automation within Salesforce.

Registration Link:



The Power of One: The best reporting trick of all time!

I had the honour of speaking at the Salesforce World Tour this year with the amazing Stefanie Bialas. She showed us the power of “The Power of One”, this is her blog on really how powerful it is!

Superpower Salesforce with the Power of One

Yeaahh, you’ve managed to build some excellent reports monitoring the pipeline of your company or also enabling marketing to contact all your prospects in the DB. And suddenly someone comes along and asks “How many opportunities do we actually have in the pipeline? The record count seems way to high” or “That’s awesome, now I can contact all our prospects. How many companies do we actually contacts?”. So how to address this in order to answer those questions?

You’ve probably noticed by then that the record count for reports like Opportunities with Products or Contacts and Accounts count the total number of child records associated with the parent record. So for opportunities, this is, for example, the sum of each product line item. Or a number of contacts associated with each account. How can you do this now to have a record count of the parent record, counting every record only ones? The answer is, use the Power of One!

Simply described the Power of One is a custom formula which you best create on each object and holds simply the value 1. When you sum it up in a report, 1 will be the result for each line item.
Here now a step by step guide helping you to setup the Power of One. I am taking the account and contact example to demonstrate this here but this works in the same way for all the other objects.
Go to your setup menu and select the object you’d like to count each record separately of. Create a new field:


For Step 2, fill in a name for your newly created field in “Field Label”. With tab, a field name will be created automatically. Number is what you should select as formula return type with zero decimals.

With next you will go to step 3. Now you get to write your formula which will be used to calculate the value you’d like to have displayed in your newly created field. Think again of what the purpose of this field is, we simply want to count the parent record only ones within our reports. And therefore all you need to insert into the formula canvas is 1 as a number:

That was easy, wasn’t it? Now save your newly created field and test it out. For the test go to your report tab and select for our example here “Contacts and Accounts” as a report type.  As usual first select the records you want to look at, then group the account field. Now your report will look like this:

As you can see the record count next to each account name counts the number of contacts associated with each account. That’s great to tell how many contacts we will have and can contact, but we won’t be able to answer the question of our Marketing Director how many companies we are contacting this way. Now your newly created superpower formula comes into place. Add it from the side panel with the quick find and drop it onto your report builder. Hoover over your field to open up the menu for the field and select “Summarize This Field”. You will get a window as shown below:

Check the checkbox “Sum” and click on apply. Now save and run your report to see the magic. When you scroll to the very bottom of your page you will now see two numbers. One being the classic record count as we know it, in this case counting each contact held in the report. And a second one which is the SUM of the Power of One for each individual account record. This number is logically lower (or the same) than the total count of the child records and gives you the total of accounts in your report. Yeeaahh!

Now share this with your manager and make yourself a well-deserved coffee.

Stefanie Bialas | ステファニ ビアラス

Marketing Operations Europe | NTT Europe




Slides from the World Tour London:

How to supercharge Pardot with Text Messages

Join me and the rest of the Pardot geeks at Guinness World Records where I demo how to supercharge your Pardot and get near 100% read-rates on your marketing using SMSs!


London’s Salesforce World Tour

The ‘Salesforce World Tour London’ is Salesforce’s largest Sales event in London. This yearly event has sponsors, talks and workshops throughout the day. Last year I was invited to do a couple of talks at the event its always a great event with simply loads of people there. They had a trailhead zone which is a great place to pick the brains of Salesforce gurus and get free advice!


Sign up now FREE