The Salesforce story is pretty inspirational. Two guys – Parker Harris and Mark Benioff – started the company in 1999 with a view to creating a CRM system that was as easy to use as Amazon (which, at that stage, was only an online book store). Fast forward a couple of decades and the company is the leader in a market worth in excess of $40 billion in licence, maintenance and subscription revenues.
The demand for Salesforce remains high but not just for its CRM solution. Salesforce has multiple product offerings and has also created an ecosystem of applications that can be integrated to drive more value from the Salesforce functionality. It’s easy to customise too. For example, Salesforce customers can use the inbuilt artificial intelligence to help identify the most profitable markets and potential new areas for revenue.
Naturally, this additional development does need more Salesforce know-how than that required by the average user. And this is where the phenomenal success of Salesforce is subject to the challenges experienced by just about everybody across the tech world.
There are simply not enough skilled Salesforce experts available and ready to fill the gaps.
A quick look on LinkedIn jobs for the role “Salesforce Engineer” reveals more than 1,500 vacancies. On top of this, IDC predicts that Salesforce will create over 100,000 skilled jobs in the UK over the next four years – not just within Salesforce but across its partner community too.
Far from going away, the pressure to find experienced Salesforce professionals is going to increase.
QA's three Salesforce apprenticeship programmes
Relying on the existing experienced Salesforce experts is not a long-term strategy. Instead, organisations looking to exploit the power of Salesforce’s functionality must find ways of building their own tech talent.
To help solve this problem, QA has partnered with Salesforce to create two new ways of building Salesforce skills. First, a Salesforce developer bootcamp and secondly, three Salesforce apprenticeship programmes.
The apprenticeship programmes are based on existing apprenticeship standards but extended to include some of the Salesforce skills that employers are most in need of. The three Salesforce apprenticeship programmes are as follows:
- Salesforce Business Analyst (based on Business Analyst Level 4)
- Salesforce Service Desk Engineer (based on Infrastructure Technician Level 3)
- Salesforce Marketing Professional (based on Digital Marketer Level 3)
The programmes will provide practical learning closely aligned to the specific career paths of Salesforce Service Desk Engineer, Salesforce Marketing Professional and Salesforce Business Analyst. The QA apprenticeships will be complemented by content from Trailhead, Salesforce’s online learning platform, enabling individuals to continue to develop their Salesforce skills after they have completed their programmes. All three apprenticeships are available for immediate starts.
An apprenticeship programme with a wide range of benefits
Aside from the Salesforce knowledge itself, there are multiple benefits to building your own Salesforce talent:
- Knowledge share: Knowledge acquired through instructor-led training and self-paced digital study provides a continuous flow of the latest digital skills into the workplace, increasing productivity, the quality of products and services and significantly helping to upskill the wider team in the latest IT technologies, reports the National Apprenticeship Service. This in turn encourages colleagues to increase their knowledge too.
- Cost-effective: Obviously, the salary paid to an early-careers apprenticeship will be lower than that of an experienced Salesforce engineer so this could make the apprenticeship route more attractive.
- Increased retention rates: Apprenticeships are also proven to improve retention rates. The National Apprenticeship Service reports that 69% of companies investing in apprentices see a significant increase in staff retention and 73% say that staff morale is improved by introducing apprentices into the organisation.
In England, a Salesforce apprenticeship could be funded through the apprenticeship levy. If your organisation’s wage bill is over £3 million a year, there may be a fully funded recruitment option. Talk to your HR team to find out how you can take advantage of this process.
Ready to build talent differently?
Find out about our Salesforce tech apprenticeships