As a Salesforce Consultant, it is important to constantly be updated on the developments and trends in the technological landscape of today’s world. More than just knowing about these trends, it’s important to learn a new relevant skill or two.
However, a lot of professionals make the mistake of sharpening their technical skills but forget to exert the same effort when it comes to their soft skills. In the age of information, where something new is always just a moment away, your soft skills will serve as your foundation. They will make the difference between a good Salesforce consultant and a great one. Moreover, soft skills rarely go outdated. They will remain steadfast in a fast-paced world where change is the only constant.
Here are 5 basic soft skills any Salesforce Consultant will need to become great.
Adapt Your Communication Style
Adapt your communication style based on your audience. Different people have different ways of communicating, which means that people are most likely to react differently to being told the same piece of information. When you speak to a director you need to understand that their priorities and needs may be different than the priorities and needs of a user. Adapting your communication style depending on who you’re speaking with, will help you better connect with them. More often than what you are saying, it is how you say it which will matter more. This improved connection will also make your audience more receptive to what you are saying.
A great Salesforce Consultant should be able to listen to their client’s and stakeholder’s concerns and points. However, there is a difference between listening and actively listening. The latter involves empathy, which is the ability to put yourself in someone’s shoes to get a better understanding of their sentiments. By being more empathetic of your client’s concerns, it will help you focus on tasks that impact your client’s needs, whether it is on a day to day activity basis or in terms of a project as a whole. When you can properly resolve those points, this will also mean you have worked on things that matter to your client which in turn will help your overall productivity.
Understanding Business Process
No matter how similar the product or service, your clients will have different business processes. Each one is unique. A great Salesforce Consultant should be able to understand the client’s business process to come up with a customized solution. This skill entails knowing how to ask the right questions and a willingness to learn something foreign to you.
On top of knowing how to work with Salesforce and communicate with your clients, it is extremely common and equally important to have an area of expertise. While there is a rare breed of Consultants out there who seem to know everything about everything, not everybody will fall into that category. If you are the latter, it is highly recommended you pick an industry or a segment of an industry to study and specialize in. As an example, if you decide to specialize in financial services, one segment can be insurance or you can take up overall banking compliance. While you don’t need to understand every bit of knowledge related to that industry, you should at least know enough that you can bring more value to a project. A similar approach is being used by the majority of Salesforce Consultancies. It is common to find consultancies that concentrate only on certain industries.
Relationship building is an extremely useful skill that a lot of successful consultants have in common. It is a combination of networking and stakeholder management. A consultant’s ability to build relationships will show in how well they can work with new clients, and how well they can maintain positive relations with the one’s they are currently working with. More often than not, a consultant’s next project may come from someone they worked in the past.
The path to becoming a great Salesforce Consultant will be an uphill battle but for as long as you are willing to skill up and continue to grow as a professional, you give yourself a competitive advantage compared to those who aren’t as keen on developing themselves. There is so much to learn and it can be confusing to figure out where to begin. Head on over to the SFDC Consultant Podcast to access topics that may interest you about the world of Salesforce Consultancy.