🔥 Five niches you can take advantage of
Here was a question in the SFXD Discord a few months back:
It’s looking like specialization is king in the [Salesforce] ecosystem…I may choose my own adventure a bit and think about which road to go down, in an app sense. I think a new app specialty will help. CPQ/Revenue Cloud, FSL, and Industries-Vlocity are the top ones I’m thinking about at the moment. Does anyone have any thoughts on the coolest/best app to work on these days?
Instead of thinking about what app to learn next, it’s better to ask yourself what niches to focus on, then the “apps to learn” will naturally flow from there. I will answer this question by outlining emerging trends I’m seeing or have learned about from other coworkers/friends in the space.
These also aren’t some theoretical trends that have no practical value to you. When it comes to hiring for Salesforce BSAs, devs, admins, and product owners, we’re specifically looking for people who have worked on implementations that have dealt in some capacity with the niches I’m about to describe below.
IMPORTANT: None of these companies are paying me to recommend learning their software. If I were, I would 100% be up-front about that. I also wouldn’t be sponsored by anything I wouldn’t use myself.
Here are a few niches you can focus on to make you desirable in this Salesforce market:
Customer Success, at scale
Customer Success (CS) teams are beefing up their headcount to match their companies’ expected growth and retention targets so that they can scale to meet customer demands.
As a practical example, how can you think of automating touchpoints with lower-paying customers so the CS team can spend more time nurturing higher-paying ones? What if you could figure out when to send the right piece of communication to a customer to help them renew or prevent churn?
What you can learn:
- Apps: Gainsight, HubSpot
- Other info: How do they inter-relate with Salesforce to make a seamless experience for the customer?
eSignature companies have made their coin by solving the problem above, specifically benefitting from their customers that grow rapidly. That growth means more documents sent via the eSignature software, which means more customized workflows, which means a career growth opportunity for you by being the eSignature subject matter expert.
What you can learn
- Apps: DocuSign, DocuSign Agreement Cloud, DocuSign Apps Launcher
- Food for thought: Automate renewals with your customers by sending out what they’re on the books for ahead of their renewal period and have them sign it via the eSignature platform of choice. I’ll take some of those royalties when you do it 😉
Companies are shifting from subscription-based business models to usage-based ones. Why?
- Customers can get started cheaply, which removes the cost barrier of getting started with a new product (source).
- Companies that use consumption-based pricing trade at a 50% revenue premium and can grow their revenue base without getting more customers. (source)
What you can learn:
- Apps: Salesforce CPQ, Apttus
- Study up on: CPQ data model, know how companies define what “usage” is. Telcos have had this down for some time.
Imagine this common scenario: As a company grows, so can the product complexity. Each product line could have different selling and booking motions. If a customer bought multiple products, they might get an invoice for each one. In addition to it being a bad customer experience, the Finance department would have clean up the mess, potentially by rejecting orders and throw off revenue projections. In other words, growing pains.
How you could help: Know general revenue accounting practices, Zuora RevPro, Salesforce Revenue Cloud, NetSuite, Salesforce Billing, Xactly (for compensation)
What you could learn:
- Apps: Copado, Gearset, Flosum, SFDX, Jenkins, TravisCI
- Food for thought: Meet with the Copado, Gearset, and Flosum salespeople and find the product that works best for you. Get them to compete for your business!
There are riches in niches, but make sure you enjoy the niche and don’t worry if you don’t find yours quickly.
What Salesforce niches are you focusing on? Are you a Salesforce CPQ expert? Are you the only person who knows about enterprise territory management at your company? Send me your specialties!