What is Salesforce Trailhead?

What is Salesforce Trailhead
(Image credit: Salesforce)

What is Salesforce Trailhead?

Salesforce Trailhead is a series of online tutorials that teach aspiring professionals to use various elements of the Salesforce (opens in new tab) suite. Graduates receive globally recognized professional certifications that recognize their expertise with Salesforce, our pick for the best CRM software 2022 (opens in new tab) for medium-sized enterprises. Read our full Salesforce Trailhead review. 

What does Trailhead do?

  • Provides a library of courses on every subject related to Salesforce. Courses are organized into series called Trails, and users can either complete an existing premade trail or build their own custom trail.
  • Rewards graduates with resume-worthy accreditations, which come in two types: superbadges and certificates. Superbadges are narrower in scope than certifications. Most certifications require multiple superbadges to complete, as well as a final exam.
  • Provides instructor-led classes through Trailhead Academy (opens in new tab). Classes are available on a wide range of topics and all are available online. Some classes feature optional in-person attendance.

What is Salesforce Trailhead

Join the global Trailblazer community to expand your knowledge. (Image credit: Salesforce )
  • Trailhead members automatically become members of the Trailblazer community (opens in new tab). Trailblazers have meetups, events, and forums dedicated to discussing and mastering the complex, ever-evolving Salesforce suite.
  • Users have full control over how structured they want their learning experience to be. Classes and premade Trails are an option, or the user can opt to create their own custom-made trail, or even to just complete courses one at a time as needed. 

How departments can use Trailhead

Customer Service

Customer service teams can use Trailhead to train their team members to use Salesforce Service Cloud (opens in new tab)—Salesforce’s customer service-specific CRM. Like all Salesforce products, Service Cloud comes with a notable learning curve, and different users might need different levels of expertise for their respective roles. 

The basic Service Cloud: Quick Look Trail might be enough for entry-level customer service agents, while managers could review the entire mix of Service Cloud Trails and even complete the Service Cloud Specialist Superbadge.

The more advanced path is best suited for management team members as it delves into the reporting and analytics side of Service Cloud, which is aimed at evaluating the performance of agents and may not be necessary for agent roles.

Sales

Sales teams can augment the skills of their salespeople with the Sales Manager certification. Salesforce-trained Sales Managers acquire a mixed bag of behavioral and software training. For instance, one course in the Sales Manager certification focuses on best practices for prospecting new leads, while another covers the basics of importing and exporting data in Salesforce. Both skillsets are required to make the most of Salesforce Sales Cloud (opens in new tab).

Sales team members who are not looking for a full certification might use Trailhead for training purposes. Trailhead’s Sales Cloud Basics Trail and Discover Sales Cloud Trail are two courses that could be used to bring new reps up to speed when it comes to learning Sales Cloud.

Marketing

What is Salesforce Trailhead

Marketing Cloud Developer is one of the many professional certifications available through Salesforce Trailhead. (Image credit: Salesforce )

Marketing can use Trailhead to train its staff and certify in-house Marketing Cloud (opens in new tab) developers. The latter are experts in creating landing pages and using Marketing Cloud’s advanced automation functions to create fully automated marketing campaigns.

Staff who do not need the full-scale developer training can still benefit from trails like Get to Know Marketing Cloud and Use Marketing Cloud Connect to Integrate with Salesforce CRM. The latter course can also be used to train interdepartmental liaisons to integrate data from Sales and Service Cloud into marketing campaigns.

HR

Trailhead has numerous Trail Mixes for Human Resources teams. These provide courses on maintaining employee engagement and retention and guides to selecting the right people for an effective sales team.

Although Salesforce does not have a mainline product geared specifically to HR, there are several software concepts that HR team members can be trained on. For instance, the Improve Data Quality for a Recruiting App Trail teaches HR team members how to maintain data quality in an employee database.

IT

IT can utilize Trailhead to certify its staff as Salesforce Developers. Accredited developers receive the tools they need to support their Salesforce Applications in-house, as well as develop and expand on them. 

For a large company, it may be economical to have a few Salesforce Developers on staff rather than hire external consultants every time they need assistance. 

In-house developers also have the advantage of being able to rapidly assist in the event of a problem, which can reduce or eliminate downtime and therefore reduce risk to the enterprise.

Features and benefits of Trailhead

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Corporate training

Trailhead has an array of courses that teach standardized best practices across various disciplines, including service, sales, IT, HR, and management. 

In addition to general corporate training, Trailhead also has specialized courses on specific Salesforce products and how to best utilize those products with the concepts learned in the general training courses.

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Creative and entertaining subject matter

Trailhead’s courses bring together real industry concepts with amusing and creative subject matter to help keep employees excited and engaged. For instance, Trailhead has a popular course on project management entitled Build a Battle Station App, which involves creating a code-free project management app to construct a galactic battle station in space. 

Another project tasks Trailblazers with constructing an automated communication system in Salesforce Chatter and Process Builder—to establish communication with the rovers on Mars!

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Access to global training network

Trailblazers can come together to learn and solve problems in a proactive manner. On the most basic level, all students have access to resources such as meetups, live classes, and forums where they can pose questions to other learners.

The Trailblazer network takes this one step further—many Trailhead Trails are designed by other Trailblazers, whose work is vetted by Salesforce before publication.

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Trailmaker

Paid users can publish Trails unique to their own company, essentially using the Trailhead platform to create their in-house employee training. 

This option comes with fully customizable branding, so users can put their company colors and branding on their trailhead instance. Trailhead’s system of points, badges, and ranks can also be adopted by the user for their own training, allowing for an easily gamified and entertaining experience for trainees.

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Integrated support

Every paid license of Trailhead comes with a two-day guaranteed turnaround on support tickets, as well as access to an array of webinars and events for Trailblazers. Moreover, there is a dedicated customer support community, run for Trailblazers by Trailblazers, that can answer most questions before the two-day turnaround period.

How much does Trailhead cost?

Access to Trailhead is free, but to gain the ability to publish content, participate in the gamified point system and earn certificates, users need to subscribe to MyTrailhead for $25/month per user.

In addition to enabling users to publish content, MyTrailhead also lets them provide additional access for employees and customize their branding. For an additional $2/login or $5/member users have the option to enable MyTrailhead for customers and partners, which enables their clients and industry partners to access Trailhead’s content as well.

At $25/month Trailhead’s pricing is highly competitive, especially considering the number of features that users can unlock. To put this into perspective, Udemy Business (opens in new tab), a leading corporate training provider, charges $30/month for its basic Team package, which limits the number of users and does not allow them to post their own content. Trailhead offers more features than Udemy and at a lower price point.

Trailhead FAQ

What is Salesforce Trailhead?

Salesforce Trailhead is the Salesforce training environment. The purpose of Trailhead is to provide a vast library of courses on every Salesforce-related subject so that its community of students, trailblazers, can learn at their own pace. 

Members can complete individual courses to refresh their knowledge of a particular subject or start a curated Trail of courses created by other Trailblazers or the Salesforce team. They can also create their own Trails, or participate in live instructor-led classes.

Is Salesforce Trailhead training free?

Trailhead training is completely free. All you need to do is create an account. There is a paid plan that enables you to publish your own training, acquire industry-recognized certifications, and create a corporate training environment for your employees. 

This version is called MyTrailhead and costs $25 per month per user. For an additional $2/login or $5/member, you can enable MyTrailhead for customers and partners, enabling them to access your custom training content, as well as the rest of the Trailhead learning environment.

What is Salesforce Trailhead

The seven Salesforce Trailhead Levels: Scout, Hiker, Explorer, Adventurer, Mountaineer, Expeditioner, and Ranger. (Image credit: Salesforce)

What are the Salesforce Trailhead levels?

Trailhead has a gamified points system that incentivises you to complete more courses. Levels, also called Trailblazer Ranks, are ranks you can achieve within that system. While they do not give you any tangible advantage, higher ranks denote your level of experience in the Trailblazer community, which can provide a source of credibility to your published courses. 

You can rise through the ranks by completing courses and challenges. Completing a challenge typically nets 500 points, while doing a quiz nets you 100. Trailblazers start at the Scout rank with 0 points and can progress to the next rank, Hiker, at 200 points. There are seven ranks in total, with the highest rank, Ranger, requiring 50,000 points to unlock.

What is the difference between Trailhead and Trailblazer?

Trailhead is the name of the Salesforce Training environment, while Trailblazer is the name for a Trailhead member. Trailblazers are a global community. They come together for virtual and live meetups, host networking events, and most importantly, help each other learn about the complex and ever-evolving Salesforce product ecosystem.

How long is Salesforce Trailhead?

Completing every single course, challenge, and quiz on Trailhead would take years, but fortunately, this is not usually necessary. Most users come into Trailhead with a purpose, such as learning the ins and outs of a particular Salesforce product or becoming certified in a specific area of Salesforce. The Admin beginner Trail, which is a comprehensive introduction to everything Salesforce, is a great place to start for Trailblazers looking to get their feet wet. It takes about eight hours to complete.

Main takeaways

What is Salesforce Trailhead

Make the most of your career through corporate training with Trailhead. (Image credit: Salesforce)
  • Trailhead is a series of online tutorials that teach professionals how to use every aspect of the Salesforce product suite.
  • The Trailhead learning experience is highly customizable. Users can take individual courses, curated sets of courses called trails, or attend instructor-led classes and workshops.
  • Professionals can earn certifications, either on the customer-facing side or on the software development side of the Salesforce suite.
  • Trailhead is free to use, but users must pay $25/month if they want to develop their own courses or training environments for their employees.
  • Trailhead gives you access to a global network of like-minded individuals—Trailblazers—who host meetups, classes, and networking events related to Salesforce.

Next steps

To learn more about Salesforce, check out how Salesforce wants to make it easier to do business after the pandemic (opens in new tab), learn about how to set up Slack to Salesforce Integration (opens in new tab), and read about how Salesforce looks to push more online sales with the updated Sales Cloud platform (opens in new tab).

Serguei holds degrees in finance and marketing from York University, and brings more than five years of professional experience at their intersection to his writing. His previous roles as a finance advisor involved breaking down and explaining complex concepts in everyday terms, a talent he now brings to his work as a freelance writer.