Salesforce even announced a £2.5 billion investment in the UK in 2017, regardless of the crazy uncertainty around Brexit.
Are they crazy?
Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe they are just confident that growth is still possible in this climate.
What does this all mean?
So what does that mean? It means more job opportunities for anyone wanting to get into a dynamic career. The Salesforce ecosystem is one of the maddest, craziest, passionate bunch of people I’ve ever known. Even more so than the Microsoft crowd (shhh, don’t tell them I said that!)
That, and along with the amazing gamification of their free elearning platform, Trailhead, this means that
- Anyone can learn the product. Anywhere, anytime.
- The entry barrier to this world is as low as it can possibly be (I think Microsoft is definitely missing a trick here).
- A lot of people can get quickly certified on the platform, and help drive the growth of the user adoption.
This means that suddenly the talent pool of Salesforce professional will start growing, thereby easing the recruitment woes of partners and Salesforce clients everywhere. No?
While it is true that it has become easier to hire and recruit someone with Salesforce knowledge and certification, the challenge is when they have to implement it in a business setting.
A business user asks you to add a field. Easy peasy, you get that done. How about a picklist on this screen? No problem, done!
Before long, the system is a mess of all sorts of fields that have no real purpose and becomes quickly redundant. Data quality is poor, and “you were just doing your job”.
That’s a simplified example, but information about delivery best practice is not easily available, and those in the know – are consultants. Those people who implement systems as their day job, going into businesses, understanding their pain, identifying requirements, and then building and deploying the system to address the pain.
They do this again and again, for various different clients, in all sorts of industries. They have ‘The Know’.
How do they get ‘The Know’?
Larger consultancies like Capgemini, PWC, Accenture and Deloitte have superb in-house training, which is why they are able to take a graduate and quickly turn her into an outstanding software consultant. Along with very solid foundation in product knowledge and soft skills, they also generally have strong mentoring and on-going coaching in terms of ensuring quality in delivery.
What about if you’re a small to medium sized Salesforce partner, looking to grow your junior talent instead of paying premium for an experienced, seasoned professional?
What if you don’t have your L&D Training department or a fully resourced Graduate Programme to help nurture the young people into conscientious and professional consultants?
That’s when I had my ‘A-ha’ moment.
What if I downloaded all my learnings from my brain and taught them? I have plenty of hair-raising and “character-building” lessons and stories to share. Mainly what to do, and what *not* to do.
After more than 20 years in the consulting industry, working for and with Microsoft partners and Salesforce partners implementing CRM, as a permanent employee, and then freelancing and contracting, occasionally working directly with end-users, I think the stories behind my scars, singed eyebrows and grey hair got told.
So last year, I stepped down from my amazing job at Capgemini and spent some time working on the course materials. These focus on training Consulting and Project Delivery skills for Salesforce Professionals.
Questions, questions, questions
A few years ago, I sent out an open invite to LinkedIn (and had many cups of coffee) to understand the CRM landscape in the London businesses. This expanded my network and also meant that a lot more people directed questions at me with regards to Salesforce (and Dynamics CRM to a lesser extent).
I spoke to quite a few end-user Salesforce admins who wanted to break into the consulting career who asked about the best way to approach this. As of right now, they can apply to companies like Mason Frank’s Tech Academy, or the K2 Salesforce University. These are recruitment agencies, and are able to place them into consulting jobs after the end of their 2-year contract.
I also running open public courses, but in the meantime, I’ll write and blog more in an effort to provide valuable content and help make it easier for those in the Salesforce profession to gain more confidence in delivering projects.
If you want to ask me any question about the world of Consulting, such as how we choose the methodology of project delivery, pros and cons of Fixed Price vs Time & Materials, how to write User Stories, and to what detail the Acceptance Criteria ought to be… stuff like that, feel free to submit a question.
To answer the question posed by the title: Yes. It is the perfect time to do so.
It’s also a hint to my ex-colleagues from the ‘Other Side’. At this point in time, Microsoft is certainly not looking like they are investing as much into their CE (Customer Experience, previously known as Dynamics CRM) platform as Salesforce is.