As Salesforce grows its market share, the demand for more and more skilled, Salesforce professionals also grows. Some companies that are just implementing Salesforce may not have the luxury of a large budget for hiring an already skilled professional, or the ability to send a current employee to a week-long training. For people like this, free and online resources are the only options to gaining the needed skills to properly tackle the challenge at hand. Here’s the 7 best free training resource to share with your team.
Created and constantly updated by Salesforce, Trailhead is a top pick as a free training resource, featuring over 150 individual Modules covering more than 40 different Trails. A Trail is a guided tour along a specific path, to learn specific functions & features. Trailhead Modules are bit-sized, interactive teachings, that check your work to make sure you’ve completed the challenge correctly. There are also more than 25 Projects that give you hands-on practice to learn via step-by-step instructions, as well as 5 Superbadges give you the opportunity to apply what you have learned to real-world business requirements. To help make learning fun, Trailhead award badges for completion of tasks.
The Dreamforce Video Channel on YouTube is another top pick as a free training resource. Dreamforce is expensive and crowded. Many of the keynotes and breakout sessions are recorded and posted to YouTube within a few days after the event ends. Being able to watch the sessions is great, and provides the opportunity to learn from the experts presenting, although it’s not quite the same as being there live, where you can ask questions and interact with other attendees.
The Salesforce Success Community:
This is a wealth of information. Known simply as “The Community” by many, the Salesforce Success Community is home to many things:
- Help & Training: This is your online portal to official Salesforce Documentation, Technical Support, Release Readiness and more. Easily searchable, with online views of documentation or downloadable PDF versions for offline use.
- Answers: This is your go-to source to discover if someone has already overcome a challenge you are currently facing. You can browse by categories, or search for keywords. Once you have retrieved articles, you can see the entire thread of the conversations, including which responses people have marked as best. If you are not finding an existing thread that matches your issue, post a question and wait for the answers to come back from the community!
- Collaboration: Most people would know this as Chatter. It’s what I like to think of as the heart and soul of the Community. This is where the real conversations take place. It’s home to hundreds of specialized groups on topics covering nearly the entire breadth of the ecosystem. There are specific groups for Dreamforce, and it’s the online arm of the local (and physical) user groups. You can even create a group to facilitate conversations on a very specific topic.
- Featured Groups: Groups are a big part of the Community, as I mentioned above. This features links to popular online groups as well as searchable filters to find a user group near you. Get connected to a user group, start attending meetings. They are great for learning more about what the platform and ecosystem offer, plus, you’ll get to meet some local awesome, “Salesforcey” people!
If you are a military service member, veteran or spouse, check out Vetforce. The Vetforce team will help you get access to free Salesforce training, help you become Salesforce certified and even help connect you to companies looking to hire Salesforce trained veteran talent.
ShellBlack.com YouTube Channel:
Salesforce MVP Shell Black, president of ShellBlack.com LLC, has created of Whiteboard Videos that are excellent ways to learn about Salesforce functionality. Videos average 5 minutes in length, so they are perfect for a quick, lunch-time learning activity. Shell tells us that nearly one million minutes of Whiteboard videos have been watched since their introduction!
Zero to Hero:
A great series on Adminhero, created by Salesforce MVP, Brent Downey. The Zero to Hero series takes a fresh look at Salesforce training by simplifying content and using language that most people will easily understand. The only prerequisites Brent requires is that you have at least zero experience with Salesforce, the willingness to learn, some time to go through the content, and a free developer edition of Salesforce to practice in. If you’ve already been going through Trailhead, you already have a developer edition. You are welcome to create a new free developer edition to help keep your learning projects separate.
Salesforce MVP Ben McCarthy has one of the most complete sites publicly available to help you get trained and get Salesforce certified. Ben has compiled guides that he has written based on his personal experiences from studying and passing certification exams. While the training videos that are linked from Ben’s site are not free, the other resources he offers are, including the guides and mock exams.
Staying current with all the innovation in the Salesforce ecosystem is one of the toughest things to do. Hopefully all these resources will help you gain knowledge and stay on top of your game.