For many organizations, especially our friends at nonprofits, non-governmental organizations, and even start-ups, making time to learn can be difficult. Would you be interested in a flexible, easy to digest, free tool to learn about Salesforce or Pardot prior to purchase, post-purchase or simply at will to skill up in specific features in 30 minutes or less?
Well, let me introduce you to Trailhead!
What is Trailhead?
As described by Salesforce –
“Trailhead is a learning experience platform—a library of educational content that you can access whenever you like.”
And guess what? It is absolutely free.
How can Trailhead benefit you?
Trailhead provides you with resources to prepare you for the start of a new career in the Salesforce ecosystem (or supplement your evolving journey with your current employer). In a way, Trailhead acts as your virtual Salesforce career support hub. You can also download the Trailhead app on your iPhone (sorry fellow Android users – our time will come…soon I hope).
To help, Trailhead outlines a few general roles in the Salesforce family and gives you statistics around them, these include: Administrator, Marketer, Business Analyst, Developers, Consultant, Services, Sales and System Architecture.
Taking it a step further, you can even sign up to become a mentee or a mentor to others who are starting to explore a career change or simply learning Sales Cloud/Pardot for their current role. You might get lucky and get paired up with someone from team Sercante (I have signed up to be a mentor twice!).
You can also set up a profile (like the one below) so you can use it as your Salesforce portfolio with your own URL. Then attach it to your different social media profiles.
What Type of learning resources are available on Trailhead?
With Trailhead you can customize your learning to tailor it exactly for you (or your team’s needs) and, similar to an online course, complete on your own time.
Some of the resources available once you create a free Trailhead account include:
- Modules: Modules are snippets of learning material around a specific topic. (e.g. Email Templates)
- Trails: Trails are a short chain of modules that explore specific features or use-cases (e.g. Email Marketing)
- Trailmixes: A Trailmix is a series of custom trails, in other words you mix modules from different trails into a new learning set.
- Projects: Like the name implies, projects are hands-on exercises with “recipes” you can follow to accomplish specific tasks.
- Superbages: Superbadges are like projects in that they assign specific tasks, but unlike projects, superbadges do not provide you with step-by-step directions to solve specific challenges. They’re great for applying what you have learned to common situations you’d encounter as a real admin.
- Supersets: These are a compilation of superbadges, which help you grow in proficiency in the skills required for specific industry roles.
- Quests: These act as incentives to gamify Trailhead and provide users with prizes;
The more of these resources you complete, the more badges you earn and the higher your point count/rank will be within the Trailhead universe. In fact, some universities are starting to give college credit for these trailmixes in specific programs.
How long does it take to get through a trail or trailmix?
The real answer is, it depends. However you can always tell by the duration time at the beginning of each module. This allows you to use 15-30 minutes during lunch to tackle a part of the module and come back later or after you put the kids to sleep for the night.
Does Trailhead update their content regularly?
In short, yes. Most of the content on Trailhead is relevant to any role in the Salesforce ecosystem.
For those trailblazers trying to stay ahead of the curve, I recommend checking out:
- Trailblazer Radio – Provides you with access to podcasts like: The Admin Podcast, the Developers Podcast and The Trailblazer’s Guide To Careers that can provide you quick knowledge snippets that are easy to digest during your downtime
- Trailhead Live – Need fresh content? Trailhead live provides you with a series of new content webinars and virtual seminars around different topics directly from Salesforce Evangelists.
There are also several additional community components (pictured below) that you can explore to build a community both online and IRL.
How can I use Trailhead at my company?
Trailhead can be leveraged at the individual and team level. However, Trailhead has limited content and isn’t very flexible when it comes to adding 3rd party content. For that purpose, many companies use myTrailhead to onboard their teams or develop new courses around their Salesforce use cases. You can embed videos, text, images, 3rd party links and even quiz your participants. By using myTrailhead you can even recommend modules for your team to review throughout Salesforce.
Not ready to dive into myTrailhead? Another way you can track your team’s progress is by using the Trail Tracker App. With this app, you can incentivize your team to manage their own learning by making monthly or quarterly badge challenges and also provide everyone (or management) with the visibility necessary to have impactful conversations around career development.
We just got Pardot. How do I use Trailhead to get up to speed quickly?
Trailhead is a great tool to leverage in-house expertise. If this doesn’t exist in your organization around Pardot, then I would encourage you to seek support from a knowledgeable Partner who has experience in your industry. Implementations can be tricky to do. It may seem like another cost but the amount of technical debt you can build from a partial or incorrect configuration could prevent you and your team from leveraging Pardot to the maximum.
We lost our Pardot Admin (or I’m the Pardot Admin now…), what do I do now? Can Trailhead help?
In short, yes. However, similar to Salesforce Administrators everyone has a style of doing things and if you don’t have experience working in the tool, even Trailhead can be hard to digest. I would recommend you reach out to a Partner for a system audit to help you create a roadmap of how to pinpoint any deficiencies and help you find solutions that fit your business. This would Once you have a base understanding of the system and ideas for how you want to use it, you can pinpoint which areas of Pardot you can learn from Trailhead.
For training, I would recommend signing up for a virtual course like our Pardot Admin Bootcamp, especially if your timeline is tight and you need to get up to speed quickly.
Additionally, these three Trailmixes can provide you with an excellent starting point to prepare you for your first taste of Pardot:
- Getting Started With Pardot: For Training – This trailmix is tailored for those who want a more in-depth look at Pardot or are pursuing certification and would like to supplement their learning. Get Started > >
- Getting Started With Pardot: For Operations – This trailmix is tailored for the day-to-day operations to get up and running as soon as possible. Get Started > >
- Power User Topics: Pardot Technical Setup, Reports, and B2B MA – This trailmix combines a series of additional topics for Pardot power users. Get Started > >
Take Control of Your Career with Trailhead
You can take control of your career by leveraging Trailhead to learn about roles in the Salesforce universe and also become trained on them fairly quickly. Although Trailhead on its own is not a substitute for real-world experience, using this tool and actively engaging with it can help you prepare for your first junior role as a Salesforce or Pardot Admin.
For leaders exploring how to engage their teams further while they’re remote, Trailhead can become a good way to gamify the process of self and team learning with its point system, quests, and community dashboards.