Trailhead: Why we love it and some of our favorite courses

The Trailhead® training platform offers courses for everyone, from IT architects and engineers to marketers, to learn Salesforce® in a fun and engaging way. In fact, it’s so engaging that about 200,000 people used it to learn how to use Salesforce within Trailhead’s first year of existence.

At Rackspace, we use Trailhead to sharpen our Salesforce skills and ensure that our technology implementations always deliver transformative business value. But Trailhead isn’t just a must-use training tool for our team—it’s something we all want to use.

I asked the Rackspace team why they enjoy developing their Salesforce skills through Trailhead and which courses they’ve found most helpful for implementing Salesforce and training end-users on how to navigate it. Read on to find out which Trailhead courses you should try first, according to our team of experts.

What makes Trailhead so appealing?

Trailhead makes learning about the many different aspects of Salesforce technology easy, no matter how much time you have, what role you work in, or which skill level you’ve reached.

Over 100 “trails” provide guided learning paths that develop your Salesforce skills through a series of modules. Some trails take as little as an hour to complete, while others take a deep dive into a product or feature for 20 hours or more. Trails are labeled by level (beginner, intermediate, and advanced) and the type of Salesforce user (business user, administrator, marketer, or developer), so you can find the right trail for yourself. If there’s a particular area of Salesforce that you’d like to really study up on, trailmixes feature a collection of relevant trails to give you a comprehensive overview.

“Salesforce has done a fantastic job with Trailhead,” says Megan Truett, Salesforce Project Manager. Truett has always been impressed by how the mountain of Salesforce knowledge is broken down into small, consumable chunks, and this has really helped her learning process. “The practical application at the end of most modules is the perfect way to ensure that you actually understand what you just read. Plus, the gamification of the points and being awarded badges for completing the courses makes for fun motivation.”

Taking the time to go through trails makes a huge difference in using Salesforce with confidence and skill—and that doesn’t just go for our team. Clayton Bruckert, Senior Salesforce Architect, explains that going through end-user-oriented modules with our clients can really help them to get comfortable with their new Salesforce technology. “Adoption goes more smoothly, and clients can manage their instance and discover new features for themselves.”

How can you get the most out of Trailhead?

Trailhead makes it easy for any member of an organization to find trails and learn course content effectively—you just need to know what you want your team to focus on. With so many trails and learning modules available, it can be overwhelming for you and your employees, if you don’t have clear goals for how to use Salesforce.

The good news is that the extensive Trailhead offerings very likely includes a module, trail, or trailmix that suits your needs perfectly. There are courses for everything from nonprofits to financial service companies. After you’ve honed in on what you and your team should learn about, you can filter through trails, browse through your options, and start exploring the Salesforce knowledge you want to build. That’s exactly what we’ve done at Rackspace.

You can use the myTrailhead feature to facilitate your in-house development and onboarding process. This part of the Trailhead platform enables you to customize training programs to your exact needs while providing the same user-friendly, self-paced learning experience. It opens up new possibilities and takes your Trailhead usage to the next level.

Which are our favorite trailhead courses?

Since Trailhead launched at Dreamforce 2014, we’ve been trying out the different trails, earning badges, and boosting our technical knowledge across the board. So which courses do we recommend?

Karisa Booth, Head of Service Delivery Marketing Cloud, suggests starting with the basics—specifically, with the CRM for Lightning Experience module. “You need to know what a CRM is and best practices before you can do any custom automation.”

I created a Salesforce Crash Course trailmix for new clients to provide a helpful overview of using Salesforce for this very reason. I also love the process automation badges. Getting the superbadges is great, too, because they demonstrate that you can really configure.

Jeff Richards, Chief of Technical Architecture, also enjoys the superbadges and recommends the four Lightning superbadges. “You have to go through the associated modules to unlock them—it’s as close to a real-life situation as you can get without doing a real-life implementation.”

Chris Zullo, Solutions Sales Leader Marketing Cloud, has a different take. “If it’s not marketing, it doesn’t matter!” While he might be only partially kidding, his top pick is still the Marketing Cloud Trailmix.

Learn more about Salesforce Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

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Chris Whitehead

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