Continuing my quest for certification, I passed the Sales Cloud Consultant exam on 23rd Feb 2012. After the rigours of the Technical Architect exams, this felt a lot tighter in terms of scope, plus it was nice to actually receive a result at the end, rather than having to wait on tenterhooks for several weeks.
Please don't ask for or post any exam questions/answers, as this is contravenes the test taker agreement that we all sign up to at the beginning of the exam and devalues the certification.
This is a 60 question exam with 105 minutes allowed to complete and a 73% pass mark. A few tips for the mechanics:
- Read the question carefully. This is one of the wordier exams that I can remember, and if you skim read its easy to misunderstand the scenario. More than once over the years I've caught myself choosing the option that was 100% wrong and only picking this up during a review of the questions.
- Some of the potential answers are flat out wrong, so even if you aren't sure of the correct answer, it may be possible to eliminate the impossible. And as Sherlock Holmes said, when you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.
- I find it useful to note down questions that I'm not sure about with a percentage confidence. This allows me to work out how I'm doing against the pass mark and not feel bad if I've got a couple of total guesses in there!
Areas that are covered are detailed in the study guide available from http://certification.salesforce.com/. The areas that I paid particular attention to were:
- Sharing settings - this comes up on every exam. Its vital to any implementation so its important to understand the detail regardless of whether you are getting certified or not.
- Person accounts - not only what they add to regular accounts but what they don't, in terms of fields and related lists.
- Account hierarchy - again, its important to understand what setting up a parent/child relationship adds (hint: not very much!)
- Territory Management
- Forecasting. Simply because there's so many of them now - classic, Winter 12 and customisable.
- Custom fiscal years - mainly around the impact of enabling this.
- Multi-currency and advanced currency management - the impact this has on reports, dashboards and forecasting, plus which is appropriate to use for particular scenarios.
- Opportunities, products, pricebooks and scheduling.
- Salesforce to Salesforce
In order to revise for this exam, I used the Salesforce help and cheat sheets/FAQs available from the only help. Wherever possible I tried thing out in my developer instance. Some things can't be tried out as they are feature activations, but there's no substitute for doing it rather than reading about it I find. I also watched a few of the Salesforce training videos, mainly so that I could take the knowledge check at the end of each section. Other useful resources were the Salesforce Consultant Resource Center and the question and answer deck at Study Blue.
I can't remember any questions on actual configuration of Salesforce, all those which referred to a specific configuration item were regarding the change in behaviour once the system is configured in that way. Its important to know what business problems the Sales Cloud is solving, as a number of questions present a scenario and ask what Salesforce functionality would be appropriate. Some questions have multiple valid answers and you are asked to choose the most appropriate - in these cases you need to be thinking about clicks not code, minimising the impact on the desired process, impact on adoption and keeping data on platform. Metrics and analytics questions cropped up fairly regularly too. Integration and data migration have been an ever present in the exams and this was no exception. There were a fair few questions around the Software Development Life Cycle too - more than I remember in the old CON201 exam.
When all is said and done though, there's no substitute for consultancy experience. If you've actually been through the end to end process of gathering requirements, designing and building a solution, validating it internally and externally, setting up integration paths and migrating data from legacy systems, you'll find this quite a straightforward exam. Just remember to brush up on the aspects of implementation that you haven't carried out for a while.