Build Your Practice
After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:
- Build a certification plan.
- Access partner training.
- Develop your team’s skills.
Certifications play a big role in the Salesforce partner ecosystem. When you’re Salesforce certified, it’s a sure sign that you have a core set of knowledge and skills to succeed in certain roles. Since certifications impact your partnership value score (PVS), it’s worthwhile to take some time to cover a few of them here.
|Certification||PVS impacting?||Any prerequisites?||What does it cover?||Why should I get it?|
|Administrator||No||No||Basic Salesforce skills including user and data management, security, and Salesforce feature adoption.||It’s a fundamental certification and a prerequisite for other certifications with PVS impact.|
|Sales Cloud Consultant||Yes||Administrator||Design and implementation of Sales Cloud to meet business requirements.||It counts toward the two minimum certifications for the partner program.|
|Service Cloud Consultant||Yes||Administrator||Design and implementation of Service Cloud to meet business requirements.||It counts toward the two minimum certifications for the partner program. In addition, Service Cloud knowledge is highly technical and, therefore, highly prized.|
|Platform Developer I||Yes||None||Building custom applications and analytics using declarative platform tools.||It counts toward the two minimum certifications for the partner program. A fundamental certification for Salesforce developers.|
|Technical Architect||Yes||Developer||Design and development of high-performance features across multiple platforms.||It shows a technical mastery of Salesforce, boosting your PVS and your firm’s credibility.|
We’re not going to cover the details of each of these certifications in this module. Instead, go to the Certifications for Partners page in the Partner Community. There, we explain how to get certified and connect you with registration information, study guides, and other resources.
An important takeaway from this table is that to qualify as a registered Consulting Partner, you need a minimum of two certifications at your firm. You can have one person with two certifications or two people with a single certification to qualify. The Sales Cloud Consultant, Service Cloud Consultant, and Platform Developer I certifications all count toward your qualification.
Now that you’ve gotten an overview of some recommended certifications, it’s time to think about the certification for your team.
Remember the practice focus plan we talked about earlier? Now’s the time to pull that back up and think about which certifications best fit with your business focus. Which certifications and for how many people do you need to achieve your goals for the year?
With that in mind, you need to pick some employees to start their path to certification. Since you’re involving your team, it’s important to document and socialize your plan. Make sure that everyone understands the value of certifications and has access to the tools they need to successfully obtain the ones that you’ve planned.
Another important reason to document your plan is so that you can get support from the higher-ups at your organization. Since certifications cost money, you’ll probably need them to sign off.
What exactly does a certification plan look like? Here’s a simple one for a firm with a goal of four certified individuals within a year. This table is a simple way to track the number of certifications for each employee and your whole firm, as well as the total cost of your plan. With some slick color coding or font changes, you can also easily see how many PVS-impacting certifications your team will obtain.
|Resource||August||September||October||Program Certs||Fee Total|
|Mary Jotter||Plat. Dev. I||
|Herman Egranger||Admin||Sales Cloud||Service Cloud||2||$600|
||Plat. Dev I||
It’s super important to create a certification plan for your firm. But ultimately, certification is a major individual effort. Not only do your selected employees need to study hard for the initial exam, they have to maintain their certification with each major Salesforce release—that’s three release exams per year!
There are many resources your team can use to prepare for and maintain certifications. The most obvious place to get study materials is the Salesforce certification website through Salesforce Trailhead. You can get more information about each exam, including schedules, sample questions, and study guides.
The certification site hosts a tool called Webassessor that your employees use to register for exams and, once they ace them, verify their certifications. The most important thing for your employees to do when they create a Webassessor account is to include your company name on their profile. The partner program uses this field to track certifications for your PVS.
To make sure that you get credit for the certifications you earn, go to the Webassessor for Partners page in the Partner Community. Then click What You Need to Know to see steps on how to configure your account.
You can also go to the Partner Community to help prepare for certifications. The Education tab contains all kinds of resources, including the Partner Online Training Catalog. You and your employees can sign up for a Partner Online Training org, which offers free, self-paced learning modules to prepare you for certifications.