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If you’re an ops professional, then chances are you’re a fan of Salesforce Ben. It’s one of our favorite resources for Salesforce news and education. Sonar’s co-founder, Brad Smith, recently hosted a Q&A webinar with Salesforce Ben founder, Ben McCarthy. The audience got to submit their most pressing career questions, and the answers they got were full of gems. Check out the recap below.

Get to know our special guest, Ben McCarthy, aka Salesforce Ben:

As the founder of Salesforce Ben, like many ops professionals, Ben’s career hasn’t followed a simple path. He’s done a bit of everything you could possibly do in the Salesforce ecosystem, from working as an admin to starting his own Salesforce consultancy. Now, he’s the Co-Founder & Chief Revenue Officer at Nymble, an ISV specializing in integrating Google Ads and Salesforce to provide marketers with full visibility of their Campaign ROI.

Which skills are most in-demand?

For starters, Ben points out that, if you can master flows, you can do pretty much any automation on the platform. Specialization is also essential. Salesforce has grown its product set so much, from the sales cloud and the marketing cloud, to CPQ and lightning. You can’t stand out from the crowd by just being an admin. Specialization will help give you an edge. “You’re always going to be in demand if you’ve got a specialization in Salesforce.”

How can you get up to speed quickly in a new role?

One of the perks of social distancing is that all User Groups have gone virtual. So you can pick a Salesforce UG event on the topic of your choice (the Salesforce Ben Events tab is a good place to find events). Trailhead is also always a great option, with plenty of modules for your specific area of interest.

Brad also noted that it’s a good idea to ask what’s the biggest problem the company’s facing at the moment. Find out what the business needs, so you can achieve an outcome for the business and for yourself.

What are some tips for exam preparation?

Ben’s approach to preparing for exams was to take extensive notes on the modules, piece by piece. Writing and typing information helps with retention. He also focused on understanding how features work, and not so much just memorization. So, if the exam includes complex questions about products and price books, you may not have memorized the exact answer. But if you understand the ins and outs of how things work, you can work through it to get to the right answer.

I have my admin cert, what’s next?

In addition to looking at the certifications that will help your career most, it’s a good idea to get certificates for tools that you’re already using. You may learn things that you wouldn’t come across while doing your day-to-day work. Salesforce Ben’s Certification Pathways infographic outlines all the avenues you can take in the certification process. 

How can consultants build relationships with Salesforce AEs while we’re all remote?

Since he started his own consultancy, Ben has a lot of experience in this area. It’s important to remember to proactively offer value to the AEs, and not just reach out to them when you need them to clean up records or fill you in on the status of an opportunity. Their goal is to sell, so you need to share insights that will help them generate more pipeline or close more deals. That can be giving them insight into an account that you’re familiar with. Or, if you have a technical background, you can fill a gap in the presales process since the Salesforce solution engineers are often not available. Adding value to them will help you garner future leads.

This is just a small piece of what we covered. Watch the full episode for Ben’s tips on tracking metrics, switching from Process Builder to flows, and more. Watch the full Q&A below.