Why It’s Not Enough to Be a Super-User: 4 Reasons to Get Salesforce Certified

The path to becoming a Salesforce Administrator is about as zig-zag-y as it gets. Some Administrators come from IT backgrounds, but I’ve found most come from a position in Operations, Sales, or Customer Service. I myself was a Sales Manager before I made the unlikely leap. While hands-on experience is a wonderful first step to becoming a Salesforce ninja, becoming officially certified is essential for your professional growth.

1. You don’t know what you don’t know.

While you may be very versed in the Salesforce functions that your company uses, it’s important to understand the areas of Salesforce that you currently don’t. Without a firm grasp on the many capabilities of the platform, it isn’t possible to know that you are providing a best-practice solution to your business problem. With credentials, you and your managers will have confidence that you are leveraging the platform to it’s fullest potential when you present your business solutions.

2. Maintenance exams keep you current.

In order to maintain Salesforce credentials you are required to take an exam three times a year alongside the Salesforce release cycle. It would be really easy to get out of the loop with all the new and exciting updates without this discipline. More than once as an Admin I’ve taken a new feature and presented it to my manager for consideration to implement into our business. In doing so, I ensured that my company was getting the maximum value possible for their Salesforce investment, a contribution that does not go unnoticed.

3. Be in the club.

As the number of certified Salesforce Administrators has increased, so too have the number of ways that we can support and network with each other. There are LinkedIn groups, local Chatter groups, and special events in your city open only to Certified Administrators, and validation of credentials is required before entering. These groups can be an invaluable resource from general best practices to help with complex formula fields.

4. Boost your career.

Once you have your certification in hand you can add flair to your resume, LinkedIn profile, and email signature. The Salesforce Administrator badge communicates your expertise and demonstrates that you took the time to learn and understand the platform. It shows your current boss that you are dedicated to being and indispensable part of your company’s growth. It shows potential employers that you are qualified to address the customizations on any area of the platform. And of course, boost your earning potential! According to the Denver Salesforce User Group’s 2013 Salary Survey, Salesforce users with no certifications made an average salary of $69,600, while those with one certification made $86,850 – a difference of $17,250 a year!

Now that you are convinced to sit for the Salesforce Administrator certification exam, you need to study! The exam is designed to test your knowledge, not your test-taking abilities. The general consensus is that the test is challenging, so, make sure you’re prepared! Salesforce offers a Study Guide and other resources to prepare. However, an instructor-led course that includes hands-on practice will not only help you pass the exam, but is your best means of retaining the knowledge and putting what you’ve learned into practice.  Here at OpFocus, we we offer such a class. Led by our CEO, our 5-day Salesforce.com Platform Configuration and Administration Essentials Course is held in our Burlington, Massachusetts office.

Let us help you learn how to optimize your platform! Contact us for details on our schedule courses or private class options.