There are certain skills any Salesforce professional will need on top of their technical qualifications. If you’re only starting out and are looking to grow into a better Salesforce professional, here are some skills you should consider improving.
While running over 30 interviews on the SFDC Consultant Podcast, with Salesforce Architects, MVPs, Developers and Administrators and asking them about best practices, professional qualities and also what they value the most in a colleague, I was able to identify some commonalities.
The ability to take useful notes is often an omitted skill. In return is one of the most important and rewarding. Having useful notes to guide you throughout your day to day tasks will help you stay focused and clear on the work you need to get done. As a Salesforce Consultant, Administrator, or Developer, you may end up configuring something in your Salesforce Org. It is important to document changes, both in and outside of Salesforce. Within Salesforce, it is recommended you use description fields and outside, a documentation system should be the way to go.
2. Presentation Skills
Presentation skills go beyond the ability to put together a jaw-dropping slideshow. This particular skill involves having the ability to communicate the ideas attached to the visuals on your slideshow. Your presentation will be the key you need to lock in a deal with a potential client.
No matter the field or industry, writing will always be a relevant skill. This is most especially true for those who need to communicate concepts to their clients or even fellow Salesforce professionals. It is important to be clear in your email communications. Writing User Stories is also a form of art. In fact, it is more of art than science. Some people are just naturally good at it but if you keep practising, you will get the hang of things.
Nobody has the answers to everything. At one point or another, you will definitely have to do research. This may be in the form of learning more about a client’s business process or it can also be about digging deeper into a specific type of industry. Whatever the topic, getting good at looking for answers will always come in handy.
When doing research, you may not always find the exact answer to the question you are asking. This is where creativity comes in. People make the mistake of thinking creativity is only for the arts but it isn’t the case. Your creativity as a Salesforce professional will be tested when you stumble upon problems that need tailor-fit solutions. You should use your creativity and adapt to what you find to fit what you need.
6. Continuous Learning
Being able to continuously learn. It’s important to specialize but don’t overlook the importance of learning something new and different. You should always look to expand your knowledge pool as it will support your overall growth and career development.
Problems will always arise no matter how well you plan a project or product. While it is important to understand what went wrong, because it is the first step to fixing a problem, it’s important not to dwell on it. Be sure to always be solution-oriented when faced with adversities.
8. Stakeholder Management
As a Salesforce professional, you need to understand that you have a number of stakeholders you need to support: users, clients, managers, directors, etc. Make sure you manage your stakeholders well.
Working as a Salesforce Consultant always means working with and for other people. It is important to share your skills and support the efforts of the community you move around in.
Networking is a great way to support your career in the short and long term. Your network can be a reflection of your pool of personal and professional opportunities. The ability to build connections is how you’re going to get and keep clients
11. Active and Effective Listening
While words and actions are important, we should not forget that it is more important to listen and understand. Users and other stakeholders will speak to us and we need to make sure we understand exactly what the problems are.
12. Being Present
Being present goes beyond simply listening to your client’s needs and expectations. It is about making them feel heard. It involves actively asking questions and engaging them in conversations that will help them get comfortable with expressing their opinions on certain aspects of the project.
Humility is not something that will come naturally for many. The ability to admit when you are wrong or have committed a mistake is something that your colleagues and clients will value, even if in the beginning they are annoyed by the error you made. Apart from admitting to mistakes, if you are humble enough to know when you don’t know something, this will open doors for more learning. Who knows, you might learn something other people haven’t had the opportunity to encounter simply because they didn’t have the humility to admit they didn’t know.
On top of being able to admit when you made a mistake, it is important to realize you still have the responsibility of making things right after you got it wrong. It is not only important to apologize but to also reassure your customers and teammates that you are doing your best to make sure you don’t commit the same mistakes again. Holding yourself accountable entails to having the awareness to realize how your actions have affected the progress of a project. Having a sense of accountability and living up to the promise of doing better helps keep the trust between you, your team, and your stakeholders.
15. Basic Project Management Skills
Having basic project management skills is not something only project managers should have. Regardless of your role in a team, having a system for how you manage your time and how well you prioritize your tasks can dictate how well you perform. Find a system that works for you or make one of your own and stick to it.
Most of these skills seem like common sense. Unfortunately, they are not common practice. It can be intimidating to look at such a long list of skills. We would not suggest trying to improve all skills at once. Perhaps tackle one or two skills at a time and develop some habits to sharpen those skills. You can also find some supplementary reading materials on the SFDC Consultant website. If podcasts are more your thing, check out the SFDC Consultant Podcast on all major streaming platforms.