How Long Does It Take to Learn For Your Salesforce Certification Exam?

That depends! Not the answer you wanted? Bear with me. There are a number of factors contributed to your experience, study materials, career goal and more. You are going to make this work using the guidelines we’ll discuss in this article.

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

“Success isn’t overnight. It’s when every day you get a little better than the day before. It all adds up.” 

Dwayne Johnson | actor and former pro-wrestler

One of the most popular questions around Salesforce Certifications is how long or how much time it takes to get ready for the Salesforce Certification Exam. And this is indeed a very important question to ask yourself. Understanding the timing will help you prepare accordingly and avoid the frustration.

While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, we can certainly apply a rule of thumb to give you some direction. Therefore, in this article we will break down the most relevant factors that will contribute to the date you’ll register your Salesforce Certification Exam for. These factors include:

  1. Your Salesforce experience
  2. Your available study time per week
  3. Study materials at your disposal
  4. Your Salesforce career plans
  5. Your desired Salesforce Certification exam date

Your Salesforce Experience

Have you had any experience with Salesforce yet? If yes, then we need to look at the type of experience.

This includes the type of Salesforce User, the type of Salesforce Org, type of involvement, and time spent in the system. Here are a few examples of what this may look like:

Type of Salesforce User:

  • Trailhead Learner completing Trailhead Modules and Projects
  • Salesforce Business User like a sales person using the User Interface, not the Setup
  • Salesforce Administrator working in the system setup

Type of Salesforce Org:

  • Trailhead Playground/Developer Org
  • Production Org such as Enterprise Edition, Essential Edition etc.
  • Robust org setup or disorganized org

Type of involvement:

  • Trailhead Learner completing step-by-step projects or completing complex SuperBadges
  • Business User working in the User Interface only, no Salesforce Setup
  • System Administrator configuring the Salesforce Setup, differentiating between simple setup items (e.g. setting up Users) or complex customizations (creating Custom Objects/Apps, Workflows, Flows etc.)

Time spent in the system:

  • Daily usage
  • A few hours per week
  • Irregular login

Where do you think you fit in? How confident do you feel about your experience with Salesforce?

Based on your previous experience, you may consider the following time frames:

0 Experience: 3-6 months

6 months+ Experience: 6-8 weeks

12 months+ Experience: 3-4 weeks

However, you need to consider how much time you can afford to study. Therefore, let’s look at the weekly study time and how this can affect your timeline.

Hours Per Week You Have Time to Study for your Salesforce Certification Exam

What does your daily life look like? Are you currently working a full-time job? Do you have kids or other people to care for? Do you have any leisure activities/hobbies to attend to?

This will help you determine how much time you can free up to focus on your Salesforce studies. You have various options, such as studying full-time or part-time or casually.

If we take the number of hours per day or week into consideration, the time frame may look like this:

And that’s not all, yet. We also need to look at the study materials you’re learning with as well as your learning pace to work through the materials.

Salesforce Study Materials at Your Disposal

You’ve got a lot of options to choose from in regards to how you are learning all the Salesforce Certification knowledge topics. These include Trailhead Modules/Project, video tutorials, study workbooks, practice exams, quizzes, and others.

If you are a Salesforce Newbie, you will certainly have more knowledge topics, or more material, to work through than someone with prior experience. And even if you are experienced, you may need to work through topics you thought you are confident in to make sure you’re not missing something you may not have been exposed to yet. At least, that’s what I’d suggest you should do. 🤓

What’s the best way to learn all that Salesforce knowledge to prepare for your certification exam?

With so much content out there, we’ve collated the essential details into a comprehensive Salesforce Certification Guide. It’s an 8-step guide telling you exactly what you should do in order to reach your exam day and pass at the first attempt. It also includes important information about what happens after you got certified. Because this is where your career really starts off. 👔

Your exam day will only be as successful as the Salesforce knowledge and skills you are bringing with you. The key to a successful exam day, therefore, is HOW you prepare yourself.

This means learning the right content in an effective way for your brain to absorb all that knowledge and retain it. It’s not just about “learning” it’s about “understanding”. There is science behind this, combined with real-life experience from other Salesforce learners.

Here are the recommended study materials that will help you prepare and give you the confidence for your exam day YOU want to have:

Salesforce’s Trailhead Modules and Projects – Each Salesforce Certification requires a different set of knowledge and tools. You will learn these through Trailhead Modules and Projects. The ones relevant for the Salesforce Certification you are preparing for are collated into so-called Trailmixes.

Salesforce Video Tutorials – Video tutorials are a great way to learn in a well-structured and coordinated way. Especially if you are a visual learner who prefers some guidance. Our video tutorials will not only help you “learn” but will offer plenty of opportunities for self-guided practice to help you “understand” what you’ve been learning about.

Salesforce Study Workbook – If you enjoy reading, taking notes, and even like to print out pages to pin at your desk, then our Study Workbooks are perfect for you. They give you a summary of all exam knowledge topics for review, and also include links to the Trailmixes mentioned earlier, so you can deepen your hands-on practice.

Salesforce Practice Exams – I believe these are a must-have for everyone. Because they do two things. One, get you familiar with the exam format and complexity of questions and answers. Two, they help you determine whether you are actually ready to take the exam. They are used to identify your strength and weaknesses, including detailed explanations and additional learning resources to strengthen your weaker knowledge areas.

NOTE: If you are a Salesforce Newbie, I would not recommend to start learning with Practice Exams, rather use them at a later point in time. They are meant to check in on your existing knowledge of the Salesforce features and functionalities.

And again, it depends on your prior experience. Salesforce Newbies may need all of the study materials, Salesforce Experienced may only need the Study Workbook and/or Practice Exams. Choose for yourself, it’s YOUR Salesforce Career!

And this brings us to the next factor.

Your Salesforce Career Plans

Now, we need to look at your Salesforce Career plans. This means, how important is the Salesforce Certification to you and how fast are you looking to use it to make a career move.

A Salesforce Certification is not a must-have to move into a Salesforce job, however, it will likely open more doors if you have at least one. You may even be in a current Salesforce job, maybe as an accidental Administrator, and you’re considering adding that Salesforce Certification to your CV but you’re not in a rush.

The urgency to gain the Salesforce Certification will also determine your exam deadline. And this takes us to the last but certainly not least factor.

Your Desired Salesforce Certification Exam Date

If you already have a date in mind, you can take the table from above and count backward to determine how many hours per week you would potentially have to study.

For example:

You’re desired exam date is 4 weeks from today. Two scenarios:

  • As a Salesforce Newbie, you’d have to study almost 240 hours per week. 🤯 I guess this is not very realistic. You may need to consider moving out that exam date.
  • As a Salesforce Experienced, you’d have to study 40-120 hours per week based on the type of experience. You may or may not be able to make it in 4 weeks.

🌶 Keep it realistic, and use the table above to determine your potential exam date. Yes, you can book your exam date already. This may help to push you forwards. However, if it’s an unrealistic date, you may get super stressed out and even fail while you could have prevented that by setting a realistic date.

If you are not sure whether you should book your exam date already or not, I’d suggest you get started with your learning curriculum. As you progress over the next few days or weeks, you get a feel on how well you are managing the complexity of the knowledge topics and your learning pace. Remember to make use of the Practice Exams to determine your exam readiness. Once you have a better idea, you can certainly go ahead and book that exam date.

We provide a Study Checklist to track your learning progress in combination with a traffic light system. This will give you a good idea of whether you are leaning more towards the sooner or later exam date.

What Else

Extended Hands-on Practice

Hands-on practice is included in any of the above-mentioned study materials. However, if you are a Salesforce Newbie or even if it’s just a few new topics you are studying, you should double-up your hands-on practice. The more you get your hands on the system, the better you’re learning success will be. And learning success means “understanding” your knowledge topic, which in turn will help you pass the exam. PLUS, retain the knowledge for your upcoming job interview.

This means you can either retake the Trailhead Modules/Projects in a new Trailhead Playground, or try on your own in a Developer Org. Alternatively, go and complete Trailhead Superbadges. They are based on real-life business scenarios and requirements which you need to set up in a Trailhead Playground all by yourself without any guidance. They are pretty tough and therefore the perfect way to really deepen your Salesforce skills. Yes, they do require a bit more time and patience. You can skip them, however, I’d really recommend you complete the ones listed in your Trailmixes. Superbadges can even be linked to your LinkedIn profile page, just like you can with your Salesforce Certification. That should tell you something. 💡

Here’s one which is part of the Salesforce Administrator Credential Trailmix:

Salesforce Documentation

Provides an extensive library of product features, knowledge articles, how-to documentation and so much more. While you are studying through your knowledge topics, you may want to read through some of the provided references on help.salesforce.com. They often contain additional or contributing information you should at least have a browse through. This also helps you get familiar with Salesforce Help and how to use it, because you’re going to need it, not only to prepare for your exam but also as an on-the-job reference. 🤓

Salesforce Release Notes

Contain important updates to the Salesforce platform. Each Salesforce Certification Exam is based on a release cycle. Which release cycle it is, is provided to you on the exam guide. Therefore, before you sit the exam, it helps to have a look at the exam relevant topics.

For example, if you are studying for the Salesforce Administrator, you should have a look at Analytics, Configuration, Einstein Automate, Sales, Marketing and Service.

This should give you plenty to contemplate. I hope you’ve been finding this helpful to determine your realistic exam date. Let me know in the comments when you are planning to take your Salesforce Certification Exam. We’re here to support you and help you keep going!

We make learning Salesforce simple with our range of well-structured Salesforce Video Tutorials, downloadable Study Workbooks, and realistic Practice Exams. Available for Salesforce Administrator, Advanced Administrator, Platform App Builder and more.

All materials are in line with the official Salesforce Certification Exam Outline including regular release updates.

Plan Your Salesforce Certification Studies – Use a Traffic Light System

Using a systematic approach to plan your study time in order to prepare for you Salesforce Certification Exam will make all the difference. It will allow you to stay on track by organizing your Salesforce learning schedule and allotting specific times for different types of knowledge topics. In this blog article you will learn about the traffic light system and how to use it to avoid distractions and improve productivity.

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

“To know that we know what we know, and to know that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge.”

Nicolaus Copernicus

Prepare Your Salesforce Certification Exam Studies For Success

Using a systematic approach to plan your study time in order to prepare for your Salesforce Certification Exam will make all the difference. It will allow you to stay on track by organizing your Salesforce learning schedule and allotting specific times for different types of knowledge topics. In this blog article, you will learn about the traffic light system and how to use it to avoid distractions and improve productivity.

Track Your Salesforce Learning Progress

The first question everyone, who is preparing for a Salesforce Certification Exam, is asking themselves is “What do I actually need to learn?”.

Therefore, BEFORE you get started with your learning efforts, the first thing you need to do is understand which Salesforce knowledge topics you need to be proficient about.

This is where the Salesforce Certification Exam Guide comes in. It contains an overview of the exam topics you need to know about. Now, the thing with the exam guide is that it’s more of a high-level overview. It doesn’t quite provide you with a list of sub-topics. Because it’s often the sup-topics which will be asked about in the exam.

Plus, the exam guide does not allow you to tick anything off let alone highlight any topics with our traffic light system we’ll get to shortly.

Here comes our Salesforce Study Checklist to the rescue. The Study Checklist will help you stay on track with your studies. And in combination with the traffic light system, it will organize your study schedule so that you spend more time doing things and less time wasting time.

There are two approaches to incorporate the Traffic Light System.

Approach #1 is for Salesforce Newbies:

If you are totally new to Salesforce and you are starting from scratch, you’ll work your way through the topics in the given order. The order follows a logical structure allowing you to learn each topic step-by-step and build up your knowledge as you progress. Why? Because a lot of the subsequent topics often require the knowledge of the preceding topics. As you progress you’ll tick off each topic and see how you are moving towards the end.

Here’s an excerpt from the Study Checklist of our Salesforce Administrator Certification Course:

Once, you’ve gone through each topic, you’re not done. I don’t want to punish you, not at all. BUT, as a new Salesforce learner, the next step is to deepen what you have learned. Because…by the time you’ve reached the end you will have forgotten at least 50% of what you thought you had learned. This is perfectly normal.

It’s all about repetition and practice. Therefore, you’ll now go back to the top and go through each topic again. For each topic, however, you will now use the traffic light system to classify them. Here is what this may look like:

🟢 Green = **too easy** Topics you know well and you would be able to set up in Salesforce in your dreams.

🟡 Yellow = **uuuhm** Topics you feel like you know but you’re not 100% confident with.

🔴 Red = **never heard of** Well, you probably have but you don’t recall. That’s what I mentioned earlier in regards to the 50% you’ve already forgotten.

Here’s what this may look like:

Approach #2 is for the somewhat-experienced Salesforce learner:

If you’ve already been exposed to Salesforce either through your current job or through the Trailhead platform or else, you probably don’t need to work through all the knowledge topics in chronological order. You can take the approach backward and start with the part where you go through each topic and classify them using the traffic light system.

You’ll then go over to work through each unit in the order of the colors. You’ll begin with the red ones, followed by the yellow ones, followed by the green ones. Then, tick off as you go through each.

Like in this example:

By using the Study Checklist in combination with the Traffic Light System, you can create a schedule that prioritizes the red learning topics while also leaving room for deepening your skills in the yellow topics as well as reviewing your expertise in the green topics.

Setting Realistic Salesforce Certification Exam Study Time Slots

Prioritizing and tracking your study progress is one side of the medal, the other side is your timing. Here are a few tips on how to manage your study time:

  • Set up your learning environment. This includes setting up your Trailhead Account and creating Trailhead Playgrounds.
  • Keep it quite. Turn off your mobile phone. If you live with family members or room mates, tell them not to disturb you.
  • Learn in bite-size chunks. Break down your study goals into smaller buckets, maybe 2-3 learning topics a day. Each knowledge topic is different in length and complexity. Some require 5 minutes, other may need 2 hours. Don’t worry if you don’t tick off more than one, the next day you might tick off 3 at once.
  • Take regular breaks. You can study 0.5-2 hours each day or schedule 3-4 hours on your weekend days. Don’t try to study for hours on end if you know you won’t be able to focus.

CONCLUSION

All of the above will help you stay motivated and avoid feeling overwhelmed. Studying for your Salesforce Certification Exam takes time and patience. Having a plan and tracking your progress will keep you sane. 🤓

We offer a range of Study Checklists you can download for free. They are included in our Free Salesforce Certification Preview Courses. Go here to get access: https://www.welearnsalesforce.com/collections?category=free-salesforce-preview-courses

Let me know in the comments if you’ve been finding these tips helpful. Do you use any other learning methods that you have found useful? I’d love to hear about it!

WHAT ELSE…

We make learning Salesforce simple with our range of well-structured Salesforce Video Tutorials, downloadable Study Workbooks and realistic Practice Exams. Available for Salesforce Administrator, Advanced Administrator, Platform App Builder and more.

All materials are in line with the official Salesforce Certification Exam Outline including regular release updates.

Restriction Rules – Yet Another Data Security Management Tool?

Hell YESSS! Nothing is more important than protecting your customer’s sensitive data you are storing in your Salesforce Org. You can land in prison if you don’t. Ok, I’m being overdramatic, but nevertheless, data protection is a serious topic. So how about we break down the entire model and see how the Restriction Rules fit in? Let’s go!

Hell YESSS! Nothing is more important than protecting your customer’s sensitive data you are storing in your Salesforce Org. You can land in prison if you don’t. Ok, I’m being overdramatic, but nevertheless, data protection is a serious topic. And your data security toolset just got a new addition. 🤯

Whether you are a new Admin, experienced Admin, App Builder, Product Owner or otherwise involved with the Salesforce Setup, understanding how to protect sensitive data stored in Salesforce is probably one of the most important aspects of setting up and managing a Salesforce Org.

We all know that the Data Security Model is already rather complex and now you have been given yet another tool. So how about we break down the entire model and see how the Restriction Rules fit in? Let’s go!

Salesforce Data Security Model & Where Restriction Rules Fit In

Now, as I mentioned above, the Data Security Model is complex and consists of many layers. In general, we have four layers/levels:

Organization-level = This is where you manage the first entry point of a Salesforce User, their login to the system. This includes things like IP Ranges, Login Hours, Password Policy, and so on. Anything that authenticates the User BEFORE they get access to Salesforce.

Object-level = This is what the User will have access to AFTER they successfully logged in. All Salesforce data is stored on Salesforce records that belong to Salesforce Objects. Hence, you will typically use tools like User Profiles, Permission Sets, and Permission Set Groups to manage access to Salesforce Objects.

Record-level = This is where things really start to get interesting with managing access to records that contain all that sensitive or not-to-sensitive data. Therefore, you want to be very careful which records Users should have access to. The baseline tools you’ll have available, are Organization-Wide Defaults (OWD), Role Hierarchy, Sharing Rules, Team Sharing, and Manual Sharing. PLUS, you guessed it, Restriction Rules.

Record-level sharing is the most complex of all our four layers, so here is how they are built up:

Field-level = Is all about managing access to the individual data types (= fields) stored on Salesforce records. You can choose between No access, Read access or Read/Write access.

Now that you know WHERE Restriction Rules fit in, we’ll discuss HOW they work.

HOW Do Salesforce Restriction Rules Work

While your baseline Record-level Sharing Model pretty much opens up access to records, Restriction Rules take away access. In other words, they limit the User’s record access to a sub-set of records they used to have access to. It’s like setting a permanent filter to display only pre-defined records. Why would you need to do that? Good question! We’ll look at some examples shortly.

Now, Restriction Rules can also be used for Objects that do not support any or some of the Record-level Sharing tools.

Let’s look at some examples for both scenarios:

An example where Restriction Rules limit access:

Let’s say you have a Recruiting Team, of which the Recruiting Assistants have access to Positions of the status “Open”. They have hired a Junior Recruiting Assistant, to support with open Positions which need to be filled by the end of the month.

We’re assuming the OWDs for Position is set to “Private”, a Role Hierarchy has been set up including the Role “Recruiting Assistant”, and a Sharing Rule is in place which shares all open Positions with the Recruiting Assistant Role. This Role is also assigned to the Junior Recruiting Assistant. What now?

Well, the Junior Recruiting Assistant has been assigned the Title “Junior Recruiting Assistant” on the corresponding User Record. And this is where we bring in the Restriction Rule. You will use the Restriction Rule to only display open Positions with a Close Date of the current end of the month, to Users with the Title “Junior Recruiting Assistant”.

This may look like this:

The result is this: The Junior Recruiting Assistant already had access to all open Positions because of the Sharing Rule. Of these open Positions, the Restriction Rule limits access to open Positions that contain the date of the current end of month.

Why could you not solve this with a Sharing Rule? Because Sharing Rules don’t support sharing based on User Criteria which are not Role-related. You could use a workaround though, like adding another Role “Junior Recruiting Assistant” to the Role Hierarchy and using this to create a secondary Sharing Rule. However, this makes the Role Hierarchy more complex and will have additional implications on other Sharing Rules, Reports, etc.

As a Salesforce Administrator, you always want to find the least complex but most effective solution. 🤓 Now, you have one, and that is Restriction Rules.

An example where Restriction Rules are the only option:

We’ll use the “Activity” Object which does not support Sharing Rules.

First up, the Object “Activity” relates to “Tasks” and “Events”, and supports OWDs such as “Private” and “Controlled by Parent”. If we chose “Controlled by Parent”, Users who have access to the associated Parent record (what you select in the “Related To” field), maybe “Account”, can see ALL tasks and events of the Accounts they have access to. You can’t restrict access to certain Tasks or Events of those Accounts, even if you selected the OWD “Private”. The latter would limit access to Tasks/Events a User owns.  You wouldn’t be able to open up access to specific Tasks/Events Users do not own, because Sharing Rules are not supported.

How do we fix this? Exactly, with Restriction Rules. Let’s look at a more specific example:

Let’s say you wanted Users of the Marketing Department to only have access to Tasks which have been marked as “Marketing Follow-up”. Again, we’ll use the OWD “Controlled by Parent” as the baseline setting.

Next, we’ll go to the Object Manager and select “Task” and then select “Restriction Rules”. From here, you’ll determine a meaningful Rule Name, specify the User Criteria (like the Department field on the User Record) and then specify the Record Criteria (like the checkbox field “Marketing Follow-up”).

This may look like this:

The result will be: The Marketing Users used to have access to all Tasks of their Accounts because of the OWD “Controlled by Parent” on the Activity Object, but now get a limited view to Tasks marked as “Marketing Follow-up” because of the Restriction Rule.

What Else You Need To Know About Salesforce Restriction Rules

Restriction Rules have only been made GA (Generally Available) in Salesforce’s Winter’22 Release. They still have a number of limitations around where and how you can use them. As always, keep an eye on the Release Notes for updates around the capabilities of Restriction Rules.

Here are some of the key items you currently need to consider before you set up Restriction Rules:

  • Only support Custom Objects and the following Standard Objects: Contracts, Events, Tasks, Time Sheets and Time Sheet Entries
  • Enterprise and Developer Editions only support up to 2 Restriction Rules per Object, Performance and Unlimited Editions up to 5
  • One Restriction Rule per Object per User
  • User Criteria and Record Criteria are limited to a small number of data types (e.g. boolean, date, string)
  • You can’t add more than one User criteria or more than one Record Criteria
  • The Operator is limited to “Equals”
  • Recently Viewed List Views still show records a User may have previously had access to, however when a User attempts to open the record, they will get an error

Make sure to familiarize yourself with the full list of considerations: https://help.salesforce.com/s/articleView?id=sf.security_restriction_rule_considerations.htm&type=5

While the capabilities of Restriction Rules are still rather limited, they already open up great opportunities for System Administrators. They have been put in place for a reason. 🤓

Let me know in the comments if you have been using Restriction Rules and how they have been working for you.

If you want to learn more about Salesforce’s Data Security Model, it’s part of our Salesforce Administrator Certification Course. You can sign up for a Free Preview first to get to know our Video Tutorials, Study Workbooks, and Practice Exams.

From Failure To Salesforce Passion – My Personal Story

I’ve always wanted to do something different but didn’t quite know what it was. I knew I loved working with people, I knew I didn’t like sitting at my desk all the time. But what does that mean? How does that help me find out which career I should be pursuing instead?

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

Have you been thinking about changing your career, doing something else that you enjoy more? Maybe turning a hobby into a career? But you don’t know how to do it or whether it’s worth it?

Very good questions! You won’t know until you try it out. It’s a risk but without taking any risk you won’t be able to move forward in life and truly discover who you are and what you want to do.

I’ve been asking myself the exact same questions and it took me a long time to find the answer. I’ve written about my own journey before but I wanted to look at it from another angle.

I’ve always wanted to do something different but didn’t quite know what it was. I knew I loved working with people, I knew I didn’t like sitting at my desk all the time. But what does that mean? How does that help me find out which career I should be pursuing instead?

There is no one-fits-all answer. But…if you don’t even start looking around, you will never find the answer.

TAKING THE LEAP OF FAITH TO BECOMING A SALESFORCE INSTRUCTOR

In my case, what happened was, that my partner suggested I try out a career as a Salesforce Trainer. I could work with people and could walk around a classroom all day. So far this sounded like the perfect fit. But, I would also have to present in front of a lot of people. I had never really done any presenting before, maybe back in school, which I remember vaguely I quite enjoyed. But that’s been a very long time ago. So I really had no clue if that’s something I would be able to make a profession of.

I played it through my head, imagined standing up in front of a large classroom, talking to students, showing them something on the computer. It was all there in my head and looked pretty. However, it’s very different to actually doing it in real life.

It took me about half a year to finally take the leap of faith and just go for it. I guess I was desperate enough to get out of my old job that pushed me ahead. I really had no clue if it would work out or not.

I boldly applied for a job as a Salesforce Trainer with a small boutique training provider and did get a job offer. What? Without much prior experience in this area, it must have been something else that was convincing enough to hire me. What I’m saying is, that it’s not always about having years of experience in a certain field, it’s a lot about soft skills, character and attitude.

THE FIRST STEP INTO THE WORLD OF SALESFORCE WAS THE HARDEST

The first step was done. The next step was to get certified by the Salesforce University which is now the Trailhead Academy. This was a requirement in order to be eligible to teach Salesforce’s official courses. The certifications included the technical certification like the Salesforce Administrator as well as the Salesforce Instructor Certification to teach the Salesforce Administration Essentials class.

The technical part wasn’t too hard, but getting the Salesforce Instructor Certification almost turned into me quitting the whole thing. 🤯

So what happened? A real new challenge came my way. Something that forced me to jump into ice-cold water and really stepping far outside my comfort zone. It’s not something I do every day, so I wasn’t quite prepared how to get ready for this Instructor Certification. I had so many questions, like: “How do I become an Instructor?” and “What does it need to be a good instructor?” or “How do you manage a class full of students?”

Do you know what I did? I studied all the course materials and exercises and felt well prepared to take the instructor certification exam. Guess what happened? I FAILED MISERABLY. I wasn’t prepared at all. The Salesforce Master Instructor who led my certification exam session became one of the best mentors I’ve ever met before. He wasn’t shy about telling me what I did wrong. That included telling me straight up that I had no hands-on practice, I didn’t know how to deal with difficult questions asked by students and so on and so forth. I cried! And I never cry, NEVER. But this made me cry, I felt humiliated and I wanted to hide in a dark cave where no one could find me.

Of course, that was not an option. The Master Instructor was very kind and explained exactly which steps I needed to take to prepare and practice and get ready to truly become a great Salesforce Instructor. I did follow his advice and completed every single step he asked me to do. I read tons of Salesforce documentation, practiced the hell out of the system, did some role-plays and practiced even more until I felt like I had turned every stone. I registered for another instructor certification exam session and PASSED WITH FLYING COLORS.

IT’S ALL ABOUT PREPARATION

There we go. It’s all about preparation, well, the right type of preparation of course. I had a few more instructor certifications to complete for different types of classes, and I never failed a single one again. Because I learned so much the first time around, it taught me a lesson for life.

Every single time I’m learning a new skill, not just something Salesforce related, but also things like becoming a Yoga Teacher or learning how to sew my own clothes, I vividly remembered what it takes to learn something properly in order to achieve the results I want to get.

I’ve been taking this approach into my Salesforce Classes to transfer my Salesforce knowledge to my students in a way that makes sense and shares the skills it needs to put the knowledge into perspective. I’ve been teaching for many years successfully, so I guess this learning concept is working. In order to reach even more students, I’ve decided to create my own Salesforce Learning Platform www.welearnsalesforce.com which contains a range of Salesforce Courses for beginners and beyond.

TRUST THE PROCESS!

So what can YOU take away from this? If you want to do something different, be courageous and take the first step. Trust the process of putting in the work and you will achieve your goals.

And if you are interested in learning Salesforce with me, I will give you all my experience and expertise to help you become a successful Salesforce Professional, no matter which Salesforce career path you choose to take.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my personal story and maybe found some inspiration. Let me know in the comments which career path you are currently considering (even if it’s not Salesforce 🤓).

WHAT ELSE…

We make learning simple with our range of well-structured Salesforce Video Tutorials, downloadable Study Workbooks and realistic Practice Exams. Available for Salesforce Administrator, Advanced Administrator, Platform App Builder and more.

All materials are in line with the official Salesforce Certification Exam Outline including regular release updates.

How Do Salesforce Lightning Record Pages, Dynamic Forms and Page Layouts Go Together?

When designing the look and feel of Salesforce Record Pages, System Administrators usually start off by creating and arranging Page Layouts. However, more recently, Salesforce has introduced Lightning Record Pages followed by Dynamic Records.

You may have been wondering how they are different, or not, and how they actually play along? Can they be used together, or separate? What’s the deal here? 🤔

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

When designing the look and feel of Salesforce Record Pages, System Administrators usually start off by creating and arranging Page Layouts. However, more recently, Salesforce has introduced Lightning Record Pages followed by Dynamic Records.

You may have been wondering how they are different, or not, and how they actually play along? Can they be used together, or separate? What’s the deal here? 🤔

Back To The Future – An Evolution from Salesforce Classic to Lightning Experience

Let’s take a quick tour back to where things started. At the time I got introduced to Salesforce, which was still in the good old Salesforce Classic times, we used to work with Page Layouts to design and structure the contents of the Salesforce user interface (we’re ignoring any Apex coding for now and focus on declarative development).

With the introduction of the Lightning Experience (LEX) user interface, Salesforce started structuring the user interface with so-called Lightning Record Pages. Lightning Record Pages are pretty much an extension of Page Layouts. This means, Page Layouts are still being used, but have been integrated into Lightning Record Pages and appear as a Detail Tab as well as a Related Tab. Record Pages also contain many other components like a Highlights Panel or Activities and so much more, which can be added and arranged as needed. This makes the design of Salesforce Record Pages so much more flexible, allowing Salesforce Customers to tailor the record components to their specific business needs.

And that’s not all. More recently, Salesforce has released so-called Dynamic Forms. It’s an upgrade of Lightning Record Pages to make them even more dynamic. I guess that’s why they came up with the name.

How Salesforce Page Layouts, Lightning Record Pages and Dynamic Forms Get Along

Now, each has its own features and specifications and do depend on one another. Let’s go through step by step and understand when to use which one.

In case you work for a company that still uses Salesforce Classic, forget about Lightning Record Pages or Dynamic Forms, you only need to worry about Page Layouts. However, this company will eventually have to move to LEX, and other companies use LEX already anyways. So, I guess there’s no way around understanding all three. 🤓

Even though Page Layouts are an integral part of Lightning Record Pages, you still need to manage Page Layouts separately. Page Layouts are used to add, remove, arrange Fields, Sections, Related List, Action Buttons and a few other items.

When you move to set up a Lightning Record Page for the same Object, you will need to add components, including those components that represent what you build on your Page Layout.

For example: If you want to display Fields, you need to add the Record Detail component. If you want to make Related Lists available, you need to add one of the Related Lists components. If you want to display the Standard action buttons like Edit, Delete and so on, then you need to use the Highlights Panel component.

This means, as part of building a Lightning Record Page you are breaking down the Page Layout elements into its main pieces and arrange them in any order required. Every Salesforce business works differently, so it’s crucial for user adoption success, to arrange all record components in a logical and intuitive way. And that’s what we love Lightning Record Pages for.

And then it gets even better, with Dynamic Forms. Dynamic Forms allow even more creativity because you can arrange Page Layout Sections (and their associated Fields) in any form and shape. This means, with Dynamic Forms you can even break down the Record Details component into its sections. Plus, you can make fields or entire sections appear or disappear based on the Field or Component Visibility settings. And there’s more, you can even customize the Highlights Panel in order to manage every single action button.

Something like this only used to be possible with Visualforce Pages or Custom Lightning Components. But Salesforce wants to make customization as easy as possible, that’s why they introduce more and more point-and-click tools like Dynamic Forms. No more coding skills required, almost. 👏🏻

Designing Salesforce User Interfaces with Object Manager and Lightning App Builder

And now, let’s break down the steps you’ll need to follow to get things right:

StepsDesign withAssign toBenefits
1. Create Page Layout (or use Default Page Layout)Object ManagerUser ProfilesArrange Fields, Sections, Related Lists, Action Buttons etc.
2. Create Record TypeObject ManagerUser ProfilesTailor business processes and allocate corresponding Page Layouts
3. Create Lightning Record PageLightning App BuilderOrg or
App or
App + Record Type + User Profile
Arrange page components including Record Details (= Fields and Sections from Page Layouts), Related Lists, Highlights Panel etc.
Use visibility settings to manage access to components
4. Upgrade to Dynamic Form
 
NOTE: Currently only available on Record Pages for Custom Objects.
Refer to Release Notes for updates!
Lightning App Builderas aboveFreely arrange Sections from a selected Page Layout.
Use visibility settings to manage access to single Fields or entire Sections.
Reduce number of Page Layouts
 
TIP: If you want to move only one field, add a section first, then move the field in there.

As you may have noticed, Page Layouts are the basis to building Record Types, Lightning Record Pages and Dynamic Forms. This may change in the future to support even more dynamic user interface designs with declarative tools, so keep your eyes open on future release updates.

Let me know in the comments if you have been using Dynamic Forms yet and how you like them.

WHAT ELSE…

We make learning simple with our range of well-structured Salesforce Video Tutorials, downloadable Study Workbooks and realistic Practice Exams. Available for Salesforce Administrator, Advanced Administrator, Platform App Builder and more.

All materials are in line with the official Salesforce Certification Exam Outline including regular release updates.

Is A Salesforce Career For You?

Based on your background, getting your foot into the Salesforce Career Market can feel easy or it can feel overwhelming. If you belong to the latter category, then this article will help you understand what it takes to make an informed decision whether or not a Salesforce Career is for you. We’ll then explore how you can turn your Salesforce Career Aspirations into a logical and organized process. This will leave you feeling at peace and confident that you can reach your Salesforce Career Goal indeed, which often starts by getting a Salesforce Certification.

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

Let me start by asking you a few questions:

Are you new to the Salesforce ecosystem?

Have you been getting confused by all the information out there?

Do you struggle to understand what Salesforce is and how it works?

Do you feel like you keep forgetting what you have already learned?

If the answer to at least one of the above questions is Yes, then keep on reading. The concept I’m going to walk you through applies to any new topic or area you are getting into. Therefore, this article is for everyone who is either brand new to the Salesforce ecosystem or wants to revive their Salesforce talent.

WHY ARE YOU LEARNING SALESFORCE 🤔

Whenever you start learning about a new topic, or you got a new device or you want to learn a new hobby, it helps to understand why you want to learn more about it, or better, why you should learn more about it.

Why is the Why relevant? If you don’t know what you are learning something for, you may lose interest as well as motivation very quickly. Understanding the Why and how you will benefit from it, will not only give you purpose but also reason and motivation to keep going, even when the process gets tough along the way.

For example, if you have no idea why you should learn Salesforce or whether you will actually be able to find a job in the Salesforce ecosystem, why should you even get started? Only because everyone else around you does? Only because someone said you can earn so much money with a Salesforce job? These are potential motivators for sure, but not the reasons why a Salesforce job would actually be something for you to pursue.

The good news is, Salesforce jobs have very different faces and pretty much everyone can potentially find a suitable role. You don’t have to have any IT background whatsoever. Salesforce jobs range from Salesforce Administrator to Salesforce Developer to Platform App Builder to Salesforce Consultant, to Business Analyst, Product Manager, and on and on.

This means the first thing you need to look into are the requirements of the Salesforce job role that sound most appealing to you. Or rather, browse through all of them and pick those that seem most attractive.

‘Appealing’ or ‘attractive’ means, they speak to a skill or belief or philosophy that you agree with. Let’s take the Salesforce Administrator job role as an example. This role is primarily about working with people on a daily basis, such as answering questions, setting up users, fixing issues, managing change requests and so on.

Therefore, if you are someone who is more of an extrovert person and happy to deal with daily requests from business users, plus you like getting your hands on an IT-based system, then this might be the job to go for.

However, if you are more of an introverted person who prefers to work quietly in a quiet environment, then a Salesforce Developer or Platform App Builder role might be better suited to you.

Therefore, make yourself familiar with the different Salesforce job roles and Salesforce career paths to see if any of these may suit you: https://trailhead.salesforce.com/career-path/

Source: trailhead.salesforce.com

HOW DO YOU REACH YOUR SALESFORCE CAREER GOAL

Once you’ve decided that a Salesforce career might indeed be something to pursue, you’ll move on to the next phase. And this is exploring Trailhead.

You have probably heard of Trailhead, Salesforce’s own learning platform. It includes a lot of information about Salesforce career profiles, Salesforce Certification paths and even more content on all the learning topics around their entire Salesforce product line and Salesforce ecosystem, and even beyond that.

Trailhead is huge and it can be rather confusing to find out where exactly you should get started. What you need to get your head around is that it takes time and patience. It won’t take forever, but it’s important to take it step by step. Avoid trying to understand and learn everything at once. 🤯 Your brain can handle a lot but it’s still not a machine.

In order to get started, I’d recommend taking the following steps:

  1. Identify your preferred Salesforce career path (as mentioned earlier)
  2. Familiarize yourself with the corresponding Salesforce Certifications and their requirements, for example the Administrator Credentials
  3. Follow the provided learning units of the selected Salesforce Certification, for example the Administrator
  4. Get involved with the Salesforce Community, a.k.a Trailblazer Community to connect with peers, ask questions or share your own experiences and knowledge
Source: trailhead.salesforce.com
Source: trailhead.salesforce.com

Of course, there is so much more to explore. But again, don’t rush it, you’ll get there. I promise! 🤓

HOW DO YOU STAY MOTIVATED THROUGHOUT YOUR SALESFORCE CAREER-BUILDING PROCESS

The toughest part in all of this is staying motivated and seeing your progress. You may be a self-driven person, you may be not. In any case, it can be helpful to follow a guided structure and build a routine to stay on track and see how you are getting closer to your Salesforce career goal. Or maybe, you’re still not yet sure whether a Salesforce career is for you, I’d say get to know it better first.

And that’s why we have created a 21-Day Salesforce Beginner Challenge. It takes you through every single step in your Salesforce discovery process in bite-size chunks. Every day we will send you an email with tasks to complete. This starts pretty much with the steps above, then moves into setting up your Trailhead Account and Trailblazer.Me career profile then takes you all the way into the Salesforce platform to gain hands-on experience and start building your Salesforce skillset.

Throughout this challenge, you’ll get to know both the Salesforce platform as well as the Salesforce ecosystem. This helps you understand whether or not Salesforce is the place to be for you. It also gets you set up already in case you decide to keep going.

Now, why is this challenge 21 days long? This period of time is generally considered to be required in order to form a new habit. While we are talking about learning Salesforce, we’re also talking about keeping on track as well as staying motivated by building a routine. You’ll get into the habit of logging into Salesforce on a daily basis. Some days you’ll spend 15 minutes in there, others may take up to two hours or more. That depends on the complexity of the task and your own personal curiosity to explore the Salesforce Platform. You will probably want to spare some days for other things, but what matters is, that it becomes a more natural task.

Now, go find out if a Salesforce Career Path is for you. Join our Free 21-Day Salesforce Beginner Challenge today! Why not? 🤷‍♀️

(In case you are already on our 21-Day Challenge, maybe it’s time to choose a Salesforce Certification path to prepare for. Learn more.)

Let me know in the comments why you think a Salesforce career might be a great option for you or why it may not be. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

New Salesforce Advanced Administrator Certification Exam Guide – December 2021

Trailhead by Salesforce have not only switched their certification exams over to the Winter ’22 Release, they have also updated the exam outline of the Salesforce Certified Advanced Administrator Exam Guide. We have summarized all important updated for you. Plus, you will find links to topics you may not yet be familiar with so you can study up in no time.

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

Salesforce Advanced Administrator Certification Exam News

Trailhead by Salesforce have not only switched their certification exams over to the Winter ’22 Release, they have also updated the exam outline of the Salesforce Certified Advanced Administrator Exam Guide.

First up: NO NEED TO FREAK OUT! If you have booked your cert exam or you are planning to register, please know that the majority of topics have not changed. We have summarized all important updates for you. Plus, you will find links to topics you may not yet be familiar with so you can study up in no time.

As for the most part of the new exam outline, you will find changes around wording, structure and then a few additional topics. HOWEVER, as with every release cycle, you need to be familiar with the relevant Release Notes anyways. Some of the new topics are now considered baseline knowledge and as an Advanced Administrator, you will likely have heard of most of them already.

What is changing? 🤔

Salesforce Advanced Administrator Certification Exam Topics & Weighting

10 Exam Topics have been re-grouped into 7 Exam Topics. The weighting has increased significantly on the following topics:

  • Objects & Applications -> increased by 8%
  • Auditing & Monitoring -> increased by 4%
  • Process Automation -> increased by 7%

Other topics have either not changed or have been decreased:

  • Security & Access -> no change
  • Sales Cloud / Service Cloud -> combined and decreased by 9%
  • Data Management / Analytics Management -> combined and decreased by 7 %
  • Environment Management & Deployment (formerly Change Management) -> decreased by 3%

Many exam objectives from the original 10 exam topics are the same. Some topics have simply been moved to another section, reworded or extended to cover more complex scenarios.

A few new topics have been added, however nothing dramatic you wouldn’t already have come across as an Advanced Administrator. These topics are:

Security & Access

Objects & Applications

Auditing & Monitoring

Cloud Applications

Managing orders

Data & Analytics Management

Process Automation

The following exam objectives are being removed entirely:

  • Salesforce Experience Cloud Security Settings
  • Salesforce Content

Mapping Table of New to Current Salesforce Advanced Administrator Certification Exam Outline

Our Salesforce Advanced Administrator Certification Course follows the current exam outline of 10 exam topics. This means the course contents you need to prepare for the certification exam still cover the majority of relevant exam topics, including the main part of the above-listed topics. We’ll be adding the few remaining topics very shortly.

Here’s an overview of how our course curriculum (a.k.a. exam outline) matches with the New Salesforce Certified Advanced Administrator Exam Outline.

NEW SALESFORCE ADVANCED ADMINISTRATOR EXAM GUIDEOLD SALESFORCE ADVANCED ADMINISTRATOR EXAM GUIDE
Security & Access (20%)Security & Access (20%)
Objects & Applications (19%)Extending Custom Objects and Applications (8%)
Auditing & Monitoring (10%)Auditing & Monitoring (6%)
Cloud Applications (11%)Sales Cloud Applications (10%)
Service Cloud Applications (10%)
Data & Analytics Mgmt (13%)Data Management (10%)
Analytics – Reports & Dashboards (10%)
Environment Management & Deployment (7%)Change Management (10%)
Process Automation (20%)Process Automation (13%)

Please leave us a comment below and share any questions or other thoughts with us.

We’d love to hear from you!

WHAT ELSE…

We make learning simple with our range of well-structured Salesforce Video Tutorials, downloadable Study Workbooks and realistic Practice Exams. Available for Salesforce Administrator, Advanced Administrator, Platform App Builder and more.

All materials are in line with the official Salesforce Certification Exam Outline including regular release updates.

TOP 10 SALESFORCE WINTER’22 RELEASE HIGHLIGHTS

The Salesforce Certification Exams have just switched over to Winter ’22. That’s right! Even though all Salesforce Orgs are already well into the Winter ’22 release cycle, the Salesforce Certification Exam cycles follow a slightly shifted time frame to give you a chance to catch up.

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

The Salesforce Certification Exams have just switched over to Winter ’22. That’s right! Even though all  Salesforce Orgs are already well into the Winter ’22 release cycle, the Salesforce Certification Exam cycles follow a slightly shifted time frame to give you a chance to catch up.

Whether or not you are planning to get a Salesforce Certification, keeping up-to-date on the latest Salesforce features gives you a competitive advantage. Let’s get to know the TOP 10 Salesforce Release Highlights that we believe are most important to YOU:

#1 Flow Builder becomes less scary

For many Admins or Salesforce beginners, Flow Builder can feel very overwhelming. But, it really doesn’t have to be. As with everything, it just needs time and practice for you to become confident. Plus, Salesforce is adding more and more click-not-code features into Flow Builder with every release, truly making Flow Builder so much easier to work with.

Developing Flow Builder is one of Salesforce’s priority items. Please note that you still need to be familiar with Workflow Rules and Process Builder because many Salesforce Customers have many of those in place. Check out my article on Why You Should Still Learn Workflow Rules and Process Builder.

And because Flow Builder is a priority, there are so many exciting updates, here is a list of some of my favorites:

Subflow Element in Record-Triggered Flow

Rollback Pending Record Changes When A Flow Element Fails

Outbound Message Available for Record-Triggered Flow

Avoid Creating Incompatible Resources from Choice Components

Choose More Options When You Debug a Flow

#2 Manage Record Access with Restriction Rules

The Record Sharing Model consists of Org-Wide Defaults, Role Hierarchy, Sharing Rules, Team and Manual Sharing. You will now have another tool at your hands to manage any remaining exemptions with Restriction Rules. Restriction Rules were previously in Beta and have now become generally available which is awesome.

While your baseline Record Sharing Model pretty much opens up access to records, restriction rules take away access. It’s like setting a filter criteria to display only selected records of those that a User already had access to.

Tip: Restriction Rules are currently only available for custom objects, contracts, tasks and events.

Source: help.salesforce.com

#3 Use Session Activation for entire Permission Set Groups

This feature was only available for individual Permission Sets and can now be used for entire Permission Set Groups. Permission Set Groups are used to allow assigned Users to complete very specific tasks. Access to these permissions can be limited to pre-defined sessions like a certain time frame during a workday. This is typically applied when highly sensitive data is involved.

No Tip, just use it. 😉

Source: help.salesforce.com

#4 Permission Set Groups assignments with Expiration Dates

I can’t believe it’s finally here, even though it’s currently in Beta. So let’s hope it stays for good. Managing the many Profiles and Permission Sets plus Permission Set Groups is hard enough, but removing permissions when no longer needed just adds to the pile. You can now have permissions sort of remove themselves by setting an expiration date. It can be used for both individual Permission Sets or entire Permission Set Groups. Once enabled you’ll find another button at the top. Go check it out!

Tip: Must be enabled in Setup under User Management Settings.

Source: welearnsalesforce.com

#5 Einstein Search is now available by default

With each release, Salesforce’s own AI tool Einstein becomes even smarter. One of which is Einstein Search. It has been available for a while though but now it’s turned on by default, and most importantly, at no extra cost. Einstein Search supports three key features: Personalization, Natural Language Search and Recommended Results.

Tip: Einstein Search features can be enabled/disabled in the Setup under Einstein Search Settings. Note: Developer Orgs/Trailhead Playgrounds are not supported.

Source: help.salesforce.com

#6 Gauge Charts in Dashboards respond dynamically

Charts used in Dashboards reference the data of the underlying report. However, when you apply a Gauge Chart the KPIs you wish to track against the data in the report, need to be defined manually. Therefore, the targets stay static. With the new ‘Dynamic Gauge Chart’ feature, you can make the entire Gauge Chart respond dynamically based on the filter criteria specified in the underlying report.

Note: This feature is currently in Beta and may not become generally available.

Tip: In order to make use of the Dynamic Gauge Chart, you need to enable this feature in the Setup under Reports and Dashboards Settings.

Source: help.salesforce.com

#7 Even more Inline Editing in your Reports

Not sure why this is in Beta, Inline Editing in Reports is not new but is being improved. I guess Salesforce is still finetuning its capabilities. With this release, Users can even inline edit date, picklist or lookup type of fields (not all but most of them 😉).

Tip: Inline Editing must be enabled in Setup under Reports and Dashboards Settings.

Source: help.salesforce.com

#8 Expand Your Collaborative Forecasts

Forecasting becomes more flexible. Salesforce has added a new category called “Most Likely” which sits in-between Commit and Best Case.

Tip: In Object Manager, select Opportunities and open the field ‘Forecast Category’. Note: You can label the field with any name you like, however it won’t match the category and can confuse yourself and the Forecast Users. And don’t forget to match relevant Opportunity Stages to this new Forecast Category!

Source: help.salesforce.com

#9 Territory Assignments Rules run on selected Accounts only

Territory Assignment Rules typically run through all your Accounts which can take a fair amount of time. No more! You now have the option to choose a subset of Accounts only.

No tip, just enjoy the new pop-up when you click the Run Assignment Rules button.

Source: help.salesforce.com

#10 Change the Sort Order of Upcoming and Overdue Activities

This may not be as exciting for Admins as it may be for Users. This one is a great addition for any Sales or other User who relies on Task and Event management. Salesforce has added an option to sort the list of Upcoming and Overdue Activities by oldest or newest.

No tip, just use it.  😉

Source: help.salesforce.com

There are so many more features to explore. Go check them out and remember you can earn points for learning all about them: Winter ’22 Release Highlights

Let us know in the comments which feature you enjoy the most. We’d love to hear from you!

WHAT ELSE…

We make learning simple with our range of well-structured Salesforce Video Tutorials, downloadable Study Workbooks and realistic Practice Exams.

And if you are brand new to the world of Salesforce, make sure to sign up for our FREE 21-Day Salesforce Beginners Challenge.

Profiles and Permission Sets – The Big Misunderstanding

Profiles and Permission Sets are THE tools to manage Salesforce User permissions, permissions to manipulate data that lives in Salesforce records. BUT… what about access to these records? Is that not covered by Profiles and Permission Sets too? So you thought, but not quite. It’s all about understanding how they play along with the entire Data Security Model. What does this mean? Let’s break it down into edible pieces.

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

Profiles and Permission Sets are THE tools to manage Salesforce User permissions, permissions to manipulate data that lives in Salesforce records. BUT… what about access to these records? Is that not covered by Profiles and Permission Sets already? So you thought, but not quite. It’s all about understanding how they play along with the entire Salesforce Data Security Model. What does this mean? Let’s break it down into edible pieces.

What you really need to understand is that Profiles and Permission Sets have to be seen from a record owner’s perspective. It’s like going into a public parking garage. 🚗🚙 One of the cars is yours or is the car you have the key to. However, all the other cars are there too but you can’t drive them. Not without a key. 🔑

It’s the same with accessing Salesforce records. A Salesforce Object is like a parking garage and contains a lot of records. However, not all records are necessarily accessible to you. A Salesforce User Profile only determines which Salesforce Object a User can go into. It does not determine which of the records within the specific Object the User can actually ‘drive’. Therefore, we need to discuss how Salesforce Users get access to the individual records.

SALESFORCE DATA RECORD ACCESS MODEL

That’s where the Salesforce Data Record Access Model comes into play. That’s the one that determines whose records you are allowed to access, like giving a User one or more keys to drive selected cars. It’s the highest priority of every Salesforce Organization to protect the data of their customers, partners, supplies and others. Not every Salesforce User should have access to every Salesforce record, only those they need to work with on a daily basis, in order to fulfill the job they were hired for.

Unfortunately, this is not the case for many organizations. Especially smaller organizations oftentimes leave record access open to everyone because they don’t have the capacity to get to know the Salesforce Setup items. And what makes things worse, most Salesforce Users are given a System Administrator Profile. Sounds familiar? I hope not, but I’m sure it does. 😉

We won’t discuss the entire Salesforce Record Access Model in this article. We’ll focus on the two most important elements from a Salesforce User perspective. And this is about what they can DO in Salesforce and what they can SEE after they’ve logged in.

WHAT SALESFORCE USERS CAN DO

It all starts with Profiles and Permission Sets for sure. They are used to determine what Users can do in Salesforce, including what they can do with the records they have access to. This is referred to as ‘Object Permissions’. The four essential permissions you need to be familiar with are Create, Read, Edit and Delete. In short, the ‘CRED’ permissions. There are two more, but let’s stick with CRED for now.

Salesforce provides a number of Standard Profiles to get you started with, so you don’t have to define and select them all from scratch. These Standard Profiles contain a carefully selected combination of Object and other permissions Salesforce has determined relevant for most common job functions. But remember to clone them first and save them as Custom Profiles. Only assign Custom Profiles to your Salesforce Users because Standard Profiles cannot be changed. You have been warned. 😉

And please also consider that Profiles should only contain the very minimum of permissions. Everything else is managed through Permission Sets and Permission Set Groups.

WHOSE SALESFORCE RECORDS USERS CAN SEE

As mentioned earlier, Profiles and Permission Sets only determine which parking garage (Salesforce Object) Users can get into, but not which individual cars (Salesforce records) they will have the keys to.

When we apply this concept to the CRED permission, this looks like this:

DO = Create – Set up a new record within this Object

SEE = Read – Access to the Object

DO = Edit – Change data on records within these Objects

DO = Delete – Get it out of Salesforce

By default, when a Salesforce User has been granted access to a Salesforce Object, they automatically have full access to records they created and own. This does not apply to records a Salesforce User does NOT own.

However, also by default, Salesforce does not restrict access to many Salesforce records, to begin with. That’s why it often appears as if Users automatically have access to all records when they have Read access through their Profile. While this makes it easier to get started with Salesforce it makes it harder later in life when you do need to take away access.

And that brings us to the Sharing Settings. The baseline settings which determine whether Users have access to all or only their own records is managed through the Organization-Wide Defaults (OWD). Each Object has a specific access level selected.

The access levels you can choose from vary by Object. Here is what the most common access levels mean:

And this is just the starting point. As soon as you choose something like Private or Read-Only you will have managers and executives come yelling and screaming why they can’t see their teams’ data anymore. It’s because you’ve taken it away. 😱 But the good news is, that you have other tools to give access back by business unit or other specifications. 😅 And this makes up your Data Record Access Model:

Now you know why Profiles and Permission Sets alone do not dictate access to Salesforce records. You must use them in combination with the Sharing Settings:

DO = Create – Set up a new record within this Object

SEE = Read – Access to the Object -> Access to individual records managed through Sharing Settings

DO = Edit – Change data on records within these Objects

DO = Delete – Get it out of Salesforce

This is a lot to take in. The entire Data Security Model including record access is pretty complex and needs time and practice. I hope this article has clarified some of the key elements you need to consider when it comes to data security.

If you’d like to dive deeper, we have it all covered in detail in our comprehensive Salesforce Administrator Certification Course. You can get a sneak peek at our Free Salesforce Introduction Course. Have a look, no strings attached. 🙂

Let me know in the comments if this is helpful.

WHAT ELSE…

We make learning simple with our range of well-structured Salesforce Video Tutorials, downloadable Study Workbooks and realistic Practice Exams.

And if you are brand new to the world of Salesforce, make sure to sign up for our FREE 21-Day Salesforce Beginners Challenge.

8 HOT TIPS TO PREPARE FOR YOUR SALESFORCE CERTIFICATION EXAM

Getting a Salesforce Certification will unlock career opportunities you didn’t know were out there. But first, you need to get it, before you can add it to your CV and LinkedIn Profile. Let me share my 8 hot tips with you how you can pass the exam at 1st attempt so you don’t loose any time to find your Salesforce Dream Job.

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

Getting a Salesforce Certification will unlock career opportunities you didn’t know were out there. But first, you need to get it, before you can add it to your CV and LinkedIn Profile. Let me share my 8 hot tips with you on how you can pass the exam on 1st attempt so you don’t loose any time to find your Salesforce Dream Job.

Of course, I can’t promise you will pass the exam, but I can promise that your chances to pass will increase significantly.

🌶 HOT TIP #1 – Study the official Salesforce Certification Exam Guide.

It’s been created for a purpose. 😉 It contains all the information you need to know about the certification and the exam, such as timing, cost and most importantly the exam objectives and their weighting. The greater the weighting, the more complex the topic, the more you need to deepen your skills.

🌶 HOT TIP #2 – Study the right Salesforce exam relevant topics.

You’ve got the exam objectives right there. BUT… they can be hard to interpret. Each exam topic contains a number of sub-topics. To help you understand better what the exact topics actually involve and what they mean, I’ve created a Study Checklist for you. Each exam objective, which is represented as a section, is broken down into individual topics in chronological order. It includes the obvious topics plus topics beyond what the exam outline tells you. Because I don’t want to leave you guessing. 🤓

This comprehensive Study Checklist will help you focus on all Salesforce exam-relevant topics and learn in a structured way. You want to be able to connect the dots otherwise you will get lost in the maze of Salesforce features and functionalities. As amazing as they are, you can’t possibly learn them all at once.

The Study Checklist is also a great way to tick off each topic as you progress and add notes to help you learn and review.

Of course, just knowing the topics won’t help you understand how they work. So…keep reading….

🌶 HOT TIP #3 – Study and practice with Trailhead, that’s what it’s there for.

Hands-on practice is the best way to memorize all that knowledge you are learning about. Use our WeLearnSalesforce Trailmix. It is based on the official Trailmix that you will find in the exam guide. However, I’ve optimized it into a more logical structure and added some modules and projects to fill some gaps giving you a well-rounded learning experience.

🌶 HOT TIP #4 – Don’t freak out!

It can feel overwhelming and you may find yourself lost with all that content on Trailhead. Trailhead is mainly text-based which can be cumbersome to work through. Plus, not all topics are actually covered on Trailhead yet.

That’s why… I have created Study Workbooks for you to keep you calm and focused. The Study Workbook covers all topics you will find on your Study Checklist and explains each topic with diagrams, flowcharts, checklists and best practices along with detailed descriptions. Each learning unit also contains additional learning resources like links to the corresponding Trailmix modules or projects and links to other supporting Salesforce Documentation.

And for those of you that love watching videos and prefer learning in a more guided way, I have created a comprehensive Salesforce Video Tutorial for you that gives you the complete learning experience. It almost feels like you are sitting in a classroom with the instructor upfront teaching you all about each topic, showing you around in Salesforce to see how things come to life. And we’ll do plenty of hands-on exercises together.

🌶 HOT TIP #5 – Check out Salesforce customer stories.

Why? Wouldn’t it be nice to see how Salesforce works in the real world? Indeed it would! While I’m including real-life business cases in our study materials, reading about Salesforce customer stories is a great addition. Salesforce has an awesome collection of customer stories showcasing how and why they are using Salesforce. These stories give you an idea of which Salesforce Products and features they are using. This helps you build the bridge between business and system requirements.

You can even use these scenarios to design your own version of a solution in your own Trailhead Playground or Developer Org. You get more hands-on practice plus you are building your own system experience which you can showcase with recruiters and potential future employers.

Source: salesforce.com/customers-success-stories

🌶 HOT TIP #6 – Check your exam readiness.

Once you have learned everything and gotten familiar with business use cases, you have probably forgotten half of what you have been studying. That’s perfectly normal.

That’s where Practice Exams come in handy. Practice Exams are the perfect way to test your knowledge and identify your strength and weaknesses. And, they give you a chance to get familiar with the exam format and complexity of exam questions and answers.

I have created a bundle of realistic Practice Exams for you so you can check your exam readiness. The results include detailed explanations and plenty of resources to help you deepen your learnings.

🌶 HOT TIP #7 – Register for the exam when you feel confident and you are ready to take it.

You will need to register through a Webassessor account. If you don’t have one yet, you can easily create a new one.

Some say that you should register for the exam ahead of time, like three months into the future. This gives you a deadline you can work towards. However the exam is easy to reschedule and you may find yourself postponing it, or, taking it, just for the sake of it because it’s booked, but then you may fail. You may not. But if you do you’re not only losing time but also money. The certification exam is US$200 and the retake is US$100.

What I recommend instead, is, yes, absolutely plan for it. Put a date in the calendar by when you’d like to be ready. When you get closer to that date, check in on your learning progress, for example with Practice Exams. If you reach at least 80-90%, you have a pretty good chance to pass the real exam, meaning you can go register. Of course, I can’t promise you will pass but the more you practice the more likely you will.

Upon registration, you will have to choose your test taker style. You can take the exam onsite at a Kryterion test center or online from home or work or anywhere you choose, as long as you have a computer, internet and a webcam. Both options are of course proctored.

The online option will require you to install some software to access the exam. Exams taken at a Kryterion test center only require some form of ID and a happy smile. You are even given scratch paper too, which you won’t be allowed to use in an online exam.

Get familiar with the requirements for each test taker style and choose the one you prefer. Many locations offer plenty of time slots throughout the week, so you should be able to book something not too far in the future.

🌶 HOT TIP #8 – Keep practicing! Practice practice practice.

Get your hands on the system. Trust me. That’s the best way to memorize what you are learning. You still have time, go back to the Practice Exams, do them again, practice weaker areas even more. This will give you so much more confidence.

I’ve put all these steps into a comprehensive Salesforce Certification Guide. It contains even more useful tips and tricks. No go ahead, and download it right away. It’s free, with no strings attached.

I hope you’ve been finding these hot tips helpful. Is there anything else you’d like to know? Please leave me a comment. I’m here to help! 🙂