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Salesforce certification training can lead to well-rounded employees

Daniel Peter believes Salesforce certification training helps him be a better all-around employee, a step he once again took most recently with a CPQ Specialist accreditation.

Having earned 22 out of 25 possible certifications, Daniel Peter can't estimate how often his Salesforce certification...

training helps at work.

Peter doesn't claim that a Salesforce certification has little value; in fact, the training informs his work as a lead applications engineer for the San Francisco-area ERP software provider Kenandy Inc. It's just difficult to guess how often the knowledge from Salesforce certification training comes into play on the job because it has meshed so well with his overall work experience.

"If you're in an industry that's changing fast, if you don't stay on top of it, you'll end up with a legacy skill set," Peter said. "Certification shows your employer you will stay on top of your profession."

Motivation for certification

Peter believes this commitment to self-improvement, whether through Salesforce certification training, his Salesforce MVP honor or other extracurricular pursuits -- and not the certificates themselves -- positively influence his pay rate.

Daniel PeterDaniel Peter

His pay did not immediately increase after earning any of his 22 Salesforce certifications, contrary to how many other credential holders have seen salary hikes after they completed courses that demonstrated they had mastered specific niches of Salesforce concepts.

"A pay increase comes from your motivation to grow and increase knowledge," Peter said. "A certification is a great way to do that, but if you're growing in any way, so is attending Salesforce conferences and participating in Trailhead [Salesforce's tutorial program that's separate from certification]. If you're doing a great job at work, it's because you've done enough self-work, and any of that growth will show up in your pay."

CPQ, the latest addition

Peter earned accreditations in all eight Salesforce certification tracks. His most recent certification, earned in June, was the CPQ Specialist credential, the only one in that track.

CPQ Specialist training aims to impart knowledge and skills in designing, building and implementing quoting flows through the Salesforce Configure Price Quote (CPQ) platform.

It's a unique body of knowledge that you can't learn just by knowing Salesforce. Training is especially important for this one.
Daniel Peter

Peter builds Kenandy's core ERP packages, and the Salesforce training helped him form a mental blueprint for configuring Salesforce's CPQ platform, as well as how it can integrate with Kenandy's offering.

"It's good that I know this stuff. It's informing how I build our products. I need to understand how users are using Salesforce," Peter said. "It's a unique body of knowledge that you can't learn just by knowing Salesforce. Training is especially important for this one. It gets very deep. You're essentially asking: 'How do I configure my product with one with infinite complexity and rules?'"

Employers find direct, indirect benefits

Many employers do compensate their employees for earning Salesforce certifications. These employees receive the equivalent of a 10% boost in base pay at the median, and an overall range of an 8.5% to 11.3% boost in pay, according to Foote Partners' tracking of compensation data from 3,038 employers and more than 262,000 workers in the U.S. and Canada.

Peter immersed himself in Salesforce certification training because it was mandated when he worked for his former employer, Safari Books Online. He had no prior developing experience with Salesforce. He didn't have to pursue all the certifications, but it became his goal because he wants to know everything possible about Salesforce. He acknowledges that, at some point, he won't remember some of the training.

He became so absorbed in Salesforce culture that he is now the lead organizer for the 3,000-member Bay Area Salesforce Developer Group, the second-largest in the world. About 150 members typically show up for monthly meetings, which can swell when Peter is able to land a guest speaker from the nearby Salesforce headquarters or other Bay Area tech firms.

Peter's evangelical efforts on behalf of the company helped land him his current year-long stint as a Salesforce MVP -- a peer-nominated honor that recognizes knowledge and leadership in the larger Salesforce community.

The only Salesforce training mountain left for Peter to conquer is the Architect track, an area where the top certificate, Technical Architect, is considered the toughest to earn because it demonstrates an all-around technical understanding of how Salesforce's products interact. Peter is just shy of the summit after earning the System Architect and Application Architect certifications earlier this year.

"When you get all of these certifications, you're going to have an overlap on subjects," he said. "But to have that overlapping knowledge makes it easier for you to move around careers."

Next Steps

How to prepare for Salesforce certification exams

How to pick the right Salesforce certification track

Salesforce courses could lead to better jobs

This was last published in August 2017

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