Salesforce Specialist: roles, responsibilities, salary, and hiring

Hiring a Salesforce specialist to build out reports and dashboards has never been easier thanks to the proliferation of global freelancers willing to do that type of work at a very affordable rate. 

But hiring an experienced Salesforce consultant with the ability to zoom out, evaluate your current processes, and build out custom solutions that resolve the root causes of your unreliable data is a bit tougher. 

In this guide we’ve pooled our combined 50+ years of experience working with Salesforce to help you find the perfect Salesforce specialist for your company. 

What is a Salesforce Specialist?

In a nutshell, a Salesforce specialist designs and builds processes to fit a company’s operations needs within the Salesforce CRM platform. We’re using it here as a catch-all term, but there are many different types of Salesforce specialists who go by different names. 

These include:

  • Salesforce admin 
  • Salesforce analyst 
  • Salesforce developer 
  • Salesforce consultant 
  • Salesforce architect 

While some of these are synonyms of the same role, there can be key differences. For instance, a Salesforce analyst/admin is more involved in implementing configurations, usually defined by a more senior Salesforce architect/consultant, and won’t be involved in the “bigger picture” strategic design of solutions. 

On the other hand, Salesforce architects/consultants play a much more strategic role. They’ll spend more direct time with key stakeholders getting to the root causes of a company’s ops problems. 

Salesforce architects/consultants lead client projects, oversee complex data migrations, reduce a company’s operational debt, and create project plans and marshal resources internally.

A Salesforce developer will build out custom functionality that goes beyond the declarative functions built into Salesforce, often at the request of a Salesforce architect/consultant. 

What’s considered an entry-level, mid-level, and senior-level Salesforce Specialist?

  • 0-1 year: entry level 
  • 1-3 years: mid-level 
  • 4-6 years+: senior level 

The Responsibilities and Duties of a Salesforce Specialist

The responsibilities of a Salesforce specialist will vary depending on their experience level, role, and the specific needs of their clients.

In general, a Salesforce specialist will: 

  • Gather client requirements and spend a long time understanding the specific roadblocks and problems preventing a company from operating more efficiently and growing their revenue 
  • Configure and customize the Salesforce platform to the specs of a company’s needs
  • Train and educate other staff on best practices and proper data entry in Salesforce 
  • Automate sales and marketing processes 
  • Lead User Acceptance Testing (UAT) 
  • Clean up CRM data within Salesforce 
  • Create reliable integrations with Salesforce and other programs like Outreach and Salesloft 
  • Map out customer journeys and translate them into Salesforce 
  • Audit data to uncover data integrity issues and/or opportunities for process improvement
  • Create dashboards and reliable reports for key stakeholders that help drive strategic decision making 

Don’t Hire for a RevOps Role Before Reading This Guide

When you’re ready to hire in-house for operations, what should you look for? What combination of skills will make the biggest impact? How can you make a smart hire today and support a long-term hiring strategy? This white paper steps through:

  • Categories for a first operations hire
  • Recommended interview questions
  • The exact evaluation matrix Iceberg uses to hire for its own team

Must-have Software for a Salesforce Specialist

We hope it goes without saying that the main software for a Salesforce specialist to be proficient in is Salesforce, but the list doesn’t end there. Many companies use other software that pull data from Salesforce, so it’s important that any Salesforce specialist can help set up and maintain these integrations. 

Top must-have software for a Salesforce specialist: 

Average Salary of a Salesforce Specialist

Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect to pay for a full-time Salesforce specialist on average based on data from Glassdoor, LinkedIn and other open data sources.  

However, it’s worth noting that as there are many different Salesforce roles, it’s more difficult to get a reliable average. Here we’ve focused on the average salary of a Salesforce admin, but bear in mind the averages will be higher for other Salesforce roles, like architects or analysts. 

USA:

  • New York: $83,351
  • San Francisco: $89, 291
  • Chicago: $80,273
  • Austin: $70, 827

Europe:

  • Spain: €36,700
  • France: €54 299
  • Germany:  €52,840
  • Ireland: €32,484
  • Sweden:  SEK 46,000
  • Poland: zł131 594 

UK:

  • London: £62,000
  • Bristol: £60,938
  • Edinburgh: £43,367

Australia

  • Sydney: AUD $128,232
  • Melbourne: AUD $100,000

How to Hire a Salesforce Specialist

When it comes to hiring a Salesforce specialist, you need to ask yourself one question: are you looking for a strategic partner or a proverbial ‘yes person’? 

Too often CROs and VPs of Sales think their main issue is that they need better reports (especially after a firm dressing down at a board meeting). So they hire someone who’ll implement whatever dashboards or reports they think they need. 

But there’s a bigger picture here. 

Salesforce dashboards and reports are really just the tip of the RevOps iceberg. To put it bluntly, hiring a Salesforce admin just to implement basic systems modifications is like asking a plumber to build your entire house.

You want somebody who has the ability to hit pause, zoom out and ask you enough questions to understand where this all fits in the greater picture. That’s how you’ll ensure the right type of data is being stored, that there’s a consensus among your teams, and your reports actually make sense. 

However, hiring someone in-house with the strategic thinking that only comes from years of experience in the operations trenches can be very costly (just look at those salaries above). 

So, what are your options if your budget won’t stretch to hiring a senior Salesforce analyst, but you still need that strategic partnership to clean up your ops?

An alternative can be to hire a RevOps agency.

By hiring the right RevOps agency you unlock not just one specialist, but an entire RevOps team who can handle your account for a fraction of the price of hiring just one specialist in-house.

Another benefit of hiring a RevOps agency is that they can begin implementing strategic solutions much faster than an in-house hire whose attention is divided with their day-to-day tasks. 

But before rushing to hire an independent RevOps agency, make sure to ask the following questions: 

  • Do you outsource any of your work or do you have a fully in-house team who’ll handle our account? 
    • This is important because many agencies will outsource work to subcontractors who have no idea about you or your business. It’s best to choose an agency with an in-house team. 
  • How long do your clients usually stay with you? 
    • This can give you a clear indication of how much their clients value their work 
  • Do you have any case studies I can check out? 
    • A great way to determine if the agency is able to get tangible results for their clients or not 
"What few people realize is that few reports are trustworthy without the right infrastructure in place."

As an operations-focused sales leader and founder of Iceberg RevOps, Taft Love has seen the chaos that making the wrong hire can cause to your revenue operations.

If your company is ready to bring on a new in-house hire then you can start your search by looking close to home. 

Do any of your current team members show a great aptitude for optimizing Salesforce, spotting issues with processes, and translating data into something tangible?

Then they might be in for a promotion. 

Investing resources in upskilling your current team can pay back dividends, especially as your new hire already has extensive knowledge about your company, customers and what process issues may be holding back the operational efficiency of your company. 

However, bear in mind that if you promote a current team member, they’ll still need to learn from someone. Make sure to consider how you’ll provide access to a more senior Salesforce analyst who can help them succeed in their new role. 

Alternatively, you can advertise for the position on a variety of platforms, usually for a small fee. 

Here are just some suggestions:

But before putting out ads for the new role you’re hiring for, you have to know what to put in the job description. 

We’ve included our very own job description to help you see what we look for in a Salesforce Consultant at Iceberg RevOps.

Salesforce Specialist/Consultant Job Description Template

Your Salesforce specialist job description isn’t just a place to dump a lot of facts about requirements and aptitudes, it’s also a great opportunity to highlight your brand values to help you attract the best-fit candidates. 

Your job description template should include 4 sections: 

  • Introduction about your company 
  • Duties and Responsibilities 
  • Requirements and Qualifications 
  • Benefits of working at your company 

Feel free to copy this template and change what you need to make it relevant to your company.

Iceberg RevOps is Hiring a Salesforce Consultant

Company Description

Iceberg is a fast growing Revenue Operations consulting firm that serves (mostly) SaaS startups that are building their first dedicated sales and marketing teams. Most of our clients are VC-Backed Seed, Series A, or Series B companies.

Job Description

We are looking for a Salesforce Consultant with a focus on Sales Operations to partner with project managers and systems admins to develop the best possible tech stack for clients. 

You will be responsible for working directly with client teams, identifying operational gaps, and marshaling internal resources to solve them. Because your work will impact all Revenue teams (marketing, sales, customer success), communication and collaboration are core to the role.

This is a strategic role, so it is not simply completing tasks that are assigned to you. You will be both a technical expert and an advisor to our clients. Help them understand what they should do — not simply do what they ask without considering the operational implications of their requests.

You’ll enjoy a flexible work schedule with the option to work 100% remote. You’re a great fit for the role if you’re entrepreneurial, data-driven, and enjoy helping others succeed.

What you’ll do:

  • Interview clients to understand their specific needs. The process is: discovery, requirements gathering, project planning, documentation, testing, deployment
  • Advise and manage roadmaps for fast-growing companies to optimize their revenue generation process, with a focus on the tech stack, insights, and operations/enablement across the entire revenue engine (marketing, sales, success)
  • Create processes, automation, and dashboards in Salesforce as well as other systems connected to Salesforce. Examples include: HubSpot, Pardot, Outreach.io, ZoomInfo, LinkedIn Sales Nav)
  • Create project plans and marshal resources internally to ensure that high quality is delivered on time

What you’ll get:

  • Competitive compensation
  • Flexibility (100% remote)
  • Constant training and development from some of the best minds in revenue operations
  • A new set of skills. There are more Salesforce and CPQ administrators every day, so you’ll learn a set of skills that will help you differentiate yourself from the crowd
  • Internal opportunities to advance
  • A chance to build a strong resume. The operations professionals we’ve worked with in the past now work at some of the most exciting companies in the world.

Qualifications:

Must have:

  • 2+ years of Salesforce Admin experience
  • Experience supporting sales teams
  • Demonstrated aptitude to execute sales operations functions, including forecasting and sales process optimization
  • Ability to map business processes, flows, and data models; configure workflows, fields, and objects; and take requirements for other team members to execute
  • High attention to quality and detail
  • Strong organization and communication skills
  • Adaptable – we’re growing quickly and need your flexibility

​​​​​​​Nice to have:

  • Experience working as a consultant where you’ve seen operations across many different companies
  • Advanced Salesforce Certifications
  • Experience with both large and small sales teams
  • Knowledge and experience with other sales and marketing tools:
    • Sales engagement (Outreach, SalesLoft, Etc)
    • Salesforce native apps (LeanData, Distribution Engine, Etc)
    • CPQ tools
    • Marketing automation

How We Help Salesforce Specialists

We usually bridge the gap for fast-growing companies who aren’t quite ready to hire a full-time, qualified Salesforce expert, but who still need help cleaning up their operations from a team of experienced RevOps specialists.

Having said that, we can also step in as your RevOps partner if having a Salesforce admin isn’t bridging the strategic gap that you need. 

Here’s how we can support your operations team: :

  • Meet with senior leadership to discuss your current challenges
  • Meet with team leaders across the organization to reach a consensus
  • Perform an audit of your current Salesforce process and integrations
  • Diagram a proposed solution
  • Stress test the solution in a sandbox environment
  • Work alongside your operations team to configure the new process in Salesforce
  • Offer training support for your team 

If you can check 3/6 of these boxes, it’s time to invest in professional Salesforce consulting

  • You don’t have a lot of confidence in the accuracy of your reports and data
  • Your growing company has moved on from founder selling to dedicated leadership, meaning your sales process is now more complex 
  • You’re tired of watching your pipeline grow or shrink with no clear reason
  • Your employees (and you) are spending a lot of time chasing tactical gremlins that distract them from their work 
  • Your current Salesforce workflows aren’t scalable and now you’re struggling
  • You’re losing track of leads and hunting down your sales team for regular updates

How’d you do?

The thought of overhauling your current Salesforce setup might seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.

We believe in building solutions using a minimum-viable-product approach. We work swiftly to tackle the urgent problems in your sales and marketing operations then re-evaluate your operations as they evolve. 

To make sure our clients get the best of us, we commit to only working with a select number of them at any given time so we can execute weekly sprints that give you ETAs in days, not weeks.  

Get in touch today to learn more about how Iceberg can support you.

FAQs About Hiring a Salesforce Specialist

Who should hire a Salesforce specialist? 

A tell-tale sign that you need to hire a Salesforce specialist is that you’re struggling to understand your reports, losing track of leads, and there’s a lack of consensus among your teams. Poor data management is costing companies real revenue every single day and investing in the right RevOps team can help you finally get ahold of the right data that’ll drive strategic decision making.

What skills should a Salesforce specialist have?

– Detail oriented 
– Analytical 
– Able to blend strategic thinking with functional applications 
– Strong organization and communication skills  

What certifications does someone need to become a Salesforce specialist?

A great place to get certified either as an admin, consultant or developer is via the official Salesforce certification programs. Programs such as Admin 201 is a great starting point for new admins.
 
But if someone wants to make Salesforce their career they should go beyond the Admin 201 examination and even specialize as a consultant, CPQ specialist, Marketing Cloud Administrator, Pardot specialist, or Platform App Builder. 
Trailhead credentials can be leveraged to gain experience working in companies like non-profits and it’s that real-life experience where they’ll really cut their teeth.

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