Salesforce launches Trailhead platform for free training

trailhead-profile

On November 13, all Salesforce users got lucky with the public launch by the company of a free training platform called Trailhead to teach its leading customer relationship management (CRM) application. With the financial impact of the Salesforce ecosystem, including SalesforceIQ and Desk.com, forecast by IDC to add 1 million jobs and $272 billion to local economies globally by 2019, the company sees this platform as a way for people to move up the socioeconomic ladder.

“Salesforce is a necessary skill in today’s economy,” says Sarah Franklin, vice president of admin marketing at Salesforce. “And Trailhead is the fast track and easy way to learn it.”

As evidence, in a blog post today, Salesforce outlined some aggregate stats of people receiving higher salaries based on their Salesforce training. For example, roles ranging from Salesforce administrators and developers to marketing and sales managers see 30 percent of new hires with Salesforce skills earning more than $100,000. The company also cited a figure from Burning Glass that qualified job seekers in the Salesforce economy can expect a $20,000 salary premium (in the United States).

Training difficult to get until now

So while the economic effects of Salesforce skills are well documented, the gap to obtaining them is quite large. But with the launch of Trailhead, analysts see the gap narrowing.

“Training is usually difficult to get and is often expensive due to travel expenses and time dedicated,” says Larry Carvalho, research manager and lead analyst in the Platform as a Service practice at IDC. “(Trailhead) removes those barriers as it can be done at your own pace from any connected device.”

In addition, Trailhead will raise the value for individuals in the job market while meeting the skills gap for enterprises, according to Carvalho. And recruiters will find this a valuable point in a job seeker’s favor as a result of time spent on training. It also reduces concern from the hiring company to know they are getting a qualified individual, according to Carvalho.

Trailhead badges and LinkedIn integration

As Salesforce learners master their skills, they earn “badges” indicating their accomplishments. With a new Salesforce-LinkedIn integration also announced today, these Trailhead badges will be quickly accessible on learners’ professional profiles. During Trailhead’s year-long beta phase, learners earned more than 250,000 badges. And these badges have already had a real world impact. For example, beta users including Gita Borosvky, American Red Cross director of CRM programs; and Chris Rodriguez, demand generation manager for LeadGenius, both learned Salesforce through Trailhead to accelerate their careers, according to the company.

“Gita from secretarial work and Chris after serving in the United States Air Force,” writes Adam Seligman, senior vice president, developer relations and Trailhead GM, Salesforce, in today’s blog post.

Integration is big for the job industry because recruiters consider LinkedIn and other professional networks the best source for quality hires, according to Salesforce. Specifically, recruiters in LinkedIn’s Global Trends Report 2015 said that nearly 38 percent of their “quality hires” come from LinkedIn—or other professional networks—a rise of 73 percent year over year.

Availability

The training platform is available under the Trailhead sub domain in the developer section of Salesforce.com. It is currently supported on desktop or mobile in English, French, German and Japanese with no immediate plans to add additional languages.

by Derek Handova

Derek Handova is a veteran freelance journalist and corporate content marketer who contributes regularly to B2B News Network, Economy Lead and Intelligent Utility.