I failed my Salesforce Certified Sales Cloud Consultant exam. It was three weeks ago. It felt terrible to fail, but I made another attempt at the exam this morning. The result? I passed!
For anyone out there studying for the Sales Cloud Consultant exam, I thought I’d share my experience and some of the resources I found helpful on my way to becoming a certified Sales Cloud Consultant.
For context, I should say a bit about my background. My combined years of experience with Salesforce probably totals about 3 (scattered over the last 9 years). Most of my experience has been working with non-profits (who have benefited from substantial experience as a BI/Data Analyst), but I’ve also worked on Sales Cloud implementations.
The Advanced Administrator certification might have lined up more closely with my expertise, but the Sales Cloud Consultant certification seemed like a good way to both highlight and expand on what I’ve learned about Salesforce features that benefit Sales Operations.
I started studying on Trailhead.
The first thing I needed to do was figure out what modules to complete. I found two Trailmixes through a Google search, both quite long (there are a few shorter ones, but I figured I should start with the Trailmixes that covered more, rather than less).
I decided I could skip over Beginner level Admin modules, but not Beginner level Business oriented modules (trails “Build your Sales Career” and “Build and Manage Your Sales Team the Salesforce Way”). This is because in my case, there were many badges covering beginner level admin stuff I learned before Trailhead was around. The modules involving Sales Operations and Sales Strategy (even beginner level) did expose me to quite a bit of new material.
So, I completed all the intermediate/advanced level modules geared to Administrators on the Sales Cloud product – as well as “Build your Sales Career” and “Build and Manage Your Sales Team the Salesforce Way”. Through these modules I got a bit more practice with tools like Multiple Currencies, Collaborative Forecasts, and Enterprise Territory Management – all tools that I hadn’t used very much in my work. I also got introduced to some good Sales Strategies*.
But it wasn’t enough to pass the exam.
The exam did have one or two questions that touched on Sales Strategy and Sales Operations. It did not have any questions related to the steps involved in configuring a feature. So while the Challenges at the end of each Trailhead module might be a good way to get expose to features you are less familiar with, it takes more than that to pass the exam.
The multiple-choice questions present you with scenarios, and you choose the best solution. To get the best solution, you will need to understand feature limitations (for example: you should know which date field Advanced Currency Management uses before writing the exam), or, finding the simplest way to a solution (for example: if it can be done in Process Builder, don’t write APEX code).
To understand these two themes (feature limitations and the simplest way to a solution) I started reading through the helps guides:
- Sales Cloud Basics: https://help.salesforce.com/articleView?id=sales_core.htm&type=5
- Sales Productivity: https://help.salesforce.com/articleView?id=sales_productivity.htm&type=5
- Analyze Your Data: https://help.salesforce.com/articleView?id=analytics_landing_page.htm&type=5
For each feature in described in the help document, I would read what it did (i.e. its benefits, which is typically the beginning of the article), I would skip over the implementation steps (I had covered this in Trailhead), and then read carefully through the limitations.
Knowing the limitations and benefits of each feature (even if you forget the implementation steps) will enable you to quickly to know what the right solution is to a scenario you are presented with – which is not only what you need to pass the exam, but what you need to be a good consultant.
To others considering taking this exam, I would strongly encourage you to review the help files I linked to in detail. And if you fail the exam the first time, don’t get too bummed out! My certification is proof that with a bit of perseverance, you can do it!
* You can see the badges I completed on my profile: https://trailhead.salesforce.com/en/me/jmurphy5
“Territory Management Basics” was the last one I completed before the exam, and I think “Salesforce CPQ Basics” may have been one of the first ones after I decided to study for the exam.