One of my prouder accomplishments since joining Red Argyle has been getting my Sales Cloud Consultant and Service Cloud Consultant certifications. Before becoming a Salesforce Consultant, I’d already passed the Admin and Advanced Admin tests, and with adequate preparation, their level of difficulty was manageable.
So when I say that the Sales Cloud and Service Cloud Salesforce Consultant tests were tough, I’m not joking around. And it wasn’t simply a matter of how much Salesforce you have to know. The style of the Salesforce Consultant certification tests is fundamentally different from what I’ve seen on the Admin, Advanced Admin, and Developer tests. What makes these tests so different, and what can you do to be ready for them?
The simplest way I can explain it is this: The Admin and Developer tests are about what you CAN do. The Consultant tests are about what you SHOULD do. They expect you not only to have a solid knowledge of Salesforce’s capabilities, but also of how those capabilities can be applied to the problems faced by businesses. Part of this is an awareness of common challenges facing sales and support processes, such as the key KPIs for a call center. Another part is knowing the pros and cons of the different ways to solve a problem using Salesforce.
There’s also a great emphasis on understanding the consultative process, including the 6 phases of an engagement. This is a place where having practical experience in developing and delivering solutions is of great use. In fact, the Salesforce Consultant tests seem as though they were designed to make sure that you have a certain level of practical experience under your belt. As far as addressing gaps in your knowledge, the training materials listed in the study guide available through Premier Support and the Partner Training Portal (downloadable PDF available here) are incredibly helpful for filling them in. I watched every webinar and read every document on the recommended training list, and the test seemed to touch on each of them in some way.
If this sounds intimidating to you, that’s good. The Salesforce Consultant tests and certifications aren’t for people with only a passing interest; there’s definitely more of a specific audience–Salesforce professionals. But they’re not impossible either. The study guides give you a good idea of what to expect and where to get more information, and your career experience will definitely help as well. Analyze the test requirements, study to fill in the gaps in your knowledge, and be ready for some real head-scratchers. The difficulty of the challenge makes success feel that much more awesome.
Are you looking at taking a certification exam? Do you have any thoughts or feedback on preparing for the different tests? Let us know in the comments below, or get in touch with us via social media.