As someone who has been in the Salesforce ecosystem for over 12 years, I had always thought one day I would love to be a consultant. The ability to work on multiple Salesforce implementations for many different clients in a vast array of business verticals really appealed to me. I’ve always loved learning how companies conduct their business.
As a Salesforce customer, I had worked with a few different consultants, some fantastic and some less than fantastic, but what always impressed me was the depth and breadth of their Salesforce knowledge. I knew I wanted some of that action!
Getting to know Salesforce
I started working with Salesforce in 2008 when my VP of Marketing asked that I find the team a new CRM. I evaluated several different products and landed on Salesforce as the solution we needed. I quickly figured out that the power of the tool was in the platform and the ability to build new functionality that wasn’t out of the box. In short order, I was hooked and was ready to give up my AVP title to pursue Salesforce full time.
One Salesforce Administrator position led to another and then eventually I found myself in charge of all Salesforce products for a nationwide, privately held company with multiple different business units under one roof. My job was to work with these business units to understand their individual business needs and then roll out a custom Salesforce solution for their group in a way that also merged their data with the all of the other business units within the company. This felt an awful lot like consulting to me, so when it was time to make my next move, I thought this is it, I’m ready to make the leap.
Ready to share my knowledge
When I formally started my search for the perfect Salesforce consulting shop, I interviewed with a few different firms that I felt embodied the culture I was looking for. As I interviewed and spoke with the respective recruiters one sentiment really stood out to me. It seemed that there was this underlying, commonly held opinion that only those who were already consultants were qualified to be consultants. It was the age-old dilemma of not being able to get experience until you already have experience.
Ultimately, I landed an amazing position as a Solution Architect for Silverline — but it wasn’t easy. So, if you are in the same boat and want to break into consulting, here are some resume and interview tips straight from someone who knows:
- Talk about your internal clients: Just because the product owners or subject matter experts that you work with are employed by the same company as you, does not mean they are not your clients. Bonus points for talking about challenging clients and how you dealt with them.
- Talk about your work in terms of projects: Salesforce is a constantly evolving product and it might feel like one giant body of work but try to break those features that were rolled out into individual projects and talk about the challenges and successes that you experienced during those projects.
- Talk about specific business problems: We all know Salesforce is an incredible tool but where it really shines is in its ability to simultaneously tackle tricky business problems and make the end-users lives easier, so highlight those stories.
- Talk about the numbers: Anytime you can, talk about the percentage of time saved by your Salesforce solutions or a specific dollar amount of new business closed due to improved workflow. This goes a long way toward explaining why your solutions have a true return on investment.
I hope these tips will help you land your next (or first!) Salesforce consulting gig… maybe even at Silverline. I’ve been a Solution Architect here for a little over a year now and it is one of the very best decisions I’ve ever made. Best of luck!