Salesforce Trailhead review

The best way to learn Salesforce

What is Salesforce Trailhead
(Image: © Salesforce)

TechRadar Verdict

Use Salesforce Trailhead to leverage a community of like-minded professionals while learning every aspect of Salesforce, and pick up an industry-recognized certification along the way.

Pros

  • +

    Best resource to learn Salesforce

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    Engaging, gamified content

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    Involved and supportive community

Cons

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    Can be overwhelming for beginners

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    Setting up corporate training with MyTrailhead is a long time investment

Why you can trust TechRadar Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Trailhead (opens in new tab) is the proprietary training environment of the Salesforce CRM suite. Its unique, gamified approach to learning and phenomenal community resources are a big part of the reason Salesforce is one of the best CRM software (opens in new tab) solutions on the market. 

We've broken down what the software is in our What is Salesforce Trailhead? guide. For a full software review however, read our full Salesforce Trailhead review below to understand how you can leverage this powerful tool to learn Salesforce, get certified, and why you should train your employees using it. 

Trailhead review: Snapshot

Trailhead is the Salesforce learning environment. It makes learning Salesforce fun with the help of gamification. Users unlock ranks and receive badges as awards for making progress and learning new skills.

Advanced users can take this one step further by completing a Superbadge, which involves solving an in-depth real-world case study with Salesforce in a simulated environment. Certifications are a step above Superbadges. By completing several Superbadges in preparation and then taking a certification exam, the user can receive industry-recognized credentials and expect an increase in salary of about 25% (opens in new tab) as a result.

Trailhead can also be used to create a fully customized corporate training program for your own organization with MyTrailhead.

If you are looking to create an engaging corporate training experience for your organization or if you want to learn Salesforce in a unique and interesting way, look no further than Salesforce Trailhead.

Score: 5/5

Read on for our full and detailed review. 

Today's best Salesforce Trailhead deal

Get Salesforce Trailhead from $25 / £23 per user/month for employees to get started. (opens in new tab)

Get Salesforce Trailhead from $25 / £23 per user/month for employees to get started. (opens in new tab)The online learning platform is also available to business partners and customers for $2/login or $5/member per month. With Trailhead, users have the opportunity to learn technical, professional skills via virtual resources, gamification learning, mentorship and in-person expertise with Trailhead Academy for Salesforce certification.  

Trailhead’s competitors

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How does Trailhead compare to its main competitors?
Header Cell - Column 0 Salesforce TrailheadUdemy BusinessHubSpot Academy
Score5/54/54/5
ProsFree version, Strong community support, Salesforce CertificationIn-demand courses available across 10 languages, Well suited for corporate training regardless of your business or industry100% free, Professional certifications available, Well suited for corporate training regardless of your business or industry
ConsCan be daunting for beginners, Limited usefulness outside of SalesforceNot all courses are freem, No specialized certification availableLimited non-English language course availability, No live learning—all courses are pre-recorded
VerdictAn unparalleled tool when it comes to learning Salesforce, with a supportive community and lots of industry-recognized certifications available.An online corporate training platform with a heavy focus on live learning with an instructor. Native-level speaking instructors available in 10 languages.Free corporate training platform, with quality learning available on the topics of marketing, sales, content management, and customer service.
View dealsVisit siteVisit siteVisit site

Trailhead key features

Trails

At the core of the Trailhead learning experience are courses, called modules, that are organized into curated journeys called trails. Trails are further grouped into broad topics called Trail Mixes. 

For example, Salesforce Lightning (opens in new tab) users looking to learn about Salesforce Service Cloud (opens in new tab) might want to check out the Service Cloud TrailMix, then navigate to the Get Started with Service Cloud for Lightning Experience Trail, then begin with the first module of that trail, Service Cloud: Quick Look. 

Trailblazer Community

Trailhead would be nothing without its community, the Trailblazers. Every Trailhead user automatically becomes a member of this community upon joining Trailhead and receives access to Trailblazer groups and the community forum. The community forum is organized into topics, usually questions posed by Trailblazers. The user is free to start their own topic or chime in on an existing discussion as they see fit.

Groups enable Trailblazers to come together to discuss frequently asked questions, share ideas, or even host meet-ups and networking events. 

Trailhead: Key Features and Highlights

Rankings

Trailhead comes with a gamified ranking system to encourage user engagement. New users start at the rank of Scout and immediately receive a small badge welcoming them to the ranking system. Afterward, progress is driven by completing courses, quizzes, badges, and challenges. Each comes with a certain number of points. For instance, a challenge typically nets 500 points, while a quiz nets 100. Trailblazers progress through seven ranks until they reach the rank of Ranger at 50,000 points.

Badges and Superbadges

Badges are proof of real-life Salesforce experience. They are awarded after completing a set of courses and an associated practical challenge in a simulated, but 100% realistic, Salesforce practice environment. 

Superbadges are unlocked by completing a series of regular badges, and then a final challenge. The aforementioned Data Security Badge is one of the three required to unlock the Security Specialist Superbadge. Superbadges are industry-recognized credentials and can be showcased on a resume or LinkedIn profile once completed.

Certifications

Salesforce Certifications are an amazing learning resource for all things Salesforce and can be a leap forward career-wise as well. The typical Salesforce certified employee can expect to earn a 25% higher salary compared to an uncertified colleague, and this rises to 40% for IT professionals. 

Salesforce Certifications are lengthy commitments. The Salesforce Administrator Certification, for instance, takes over 47 hours to complete. But investing that time and effort can be well worth it for the resulting career progress and specialist industry knowledge.

Salesforce Trailhead: What’s new?

This year, Trailhead launched Salesforce Learning Paths, a feature that implemented relevant Trails directly into the Salesforce UI. On the back end, your Salesforce Administrator can use Learning Paths to assign relevant Trailhead Trails, Modules, and instructional videos to specific elements of the UI. For example, if you have just launched a new product, your Admin can link your company Trail describing that product to the sales team’s Salesforce Dashboard. This enables the team to quickly access relevant information about the new product launch.

Alongside Learning Paths, custom filters have been added to Trailhead. This essentially enables the Salesforce Administrator to automatically assign certain training materials based on the role and experience level of each employee. For example, new customer service employees can receive new hire training by filtering those materials with the Service role and Beginner experience category.

Trailhead: Pricing

User access to Trailhead is free, but to create your own custom trails and mark them with your unique company branding, you need to subscribe to MyTrailhead for $25/user/month, billed annually. You can also give access to non-employee customers and partners for $2 per login, or $5 per member. 

It is worth noting that MyTrailhead can only be purchased if you have an existing Salesforce license at Enterprise tier or above, or an Enterprise Cloud External Apps license. The External Apps Licence costs $35/member/month, billed annually. The pricing for Enterprise-tier plans varies by product, but expect to pay around $150/user/month.

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Trailhead’s pricing plans
Plan type/featureTrailheadMyTrailheadMyTrailhead for Customers & PartnersUdemy BusinessHubSpot Academy
Cost per monthFree$25/user$2 per login or $5 per memberFree*Free
Cost per yearFree$300/user$2 per login or $5 per memberFree*Free
Access to all learning materials
Trail BuilderXXX
Custom BrandingXXX
Identity for EmployeesXXN/AN/A

*Some courses are paid, others are free. Access to the platform is free.

Testing Salesforce Trailhead

Trailhead is supposed to be easy to use and accessible to everyone, so we created an account to try it out. We ran three tests, including account creation, the accuracy of time estimates for completing a module, and the response time of customer service.

How easy is it to set up a Salesforce Trailhead Account?

Screenshot of Trailhead account creation.

It is quick and easy to set up your free Trailhead Account. (Image credit: Salesforce)

The Trailhead account creation process is easy and hooks you into the gamified rank progression process from the beginning. To create a Trailhead account, simply click Get Started for Free on the Trailhead website. You can create your account in one of two ways. If you have an existing Salesforce account, you can log in with your Salesforce account credentials. If not, you can create an account with your email address. After we made our choice and entered our name, location, and name of business, our Trailhead account was ready to go.

After the two-minute account creation process, we were hooked into the gamified rank progression. We were awarded our Scout badge and encouraged to complete an introductory Module, which would count towards our rank progression and give us enough points to unlock the Hiker badge. Overall, Trailhead’s account setup was fast, enjoyable, and engaging.

How accurate is the estimated time on Trailhead Trails?

Module complete screen for Trailhead and Trailblazer Community Basics.

Time estimates on modules are fair and accurate, assuming the learner has the appropriate level of expertise. (Image credit: Salesforce)

Estimated completion time is a major factor in Trailhead’s modules, as some Trails can have estimated completion times that take hours or even days. We decided to test the accuracy of this period by completing the introductory module Trailhead and Trailblazer Community Basics. According to the estimated time, this module takes 20 minutes to complete.

We were able to complete this module in about 15 minutes. In truth, given our prior knowledge of Salesforce, we were able to skim this introductory course, and quickly complete the quizzes at the end of each unit. An absolute beginner, who is the intended audience for this introductory module, would probably take around 20 minutes to complete it.

Based on this test, we can conclude that Trailhead Trails have accurate time estimates for a user with the appropriate level of expertise. Users with a higher knowledge level than the course was intended for can naturally complete them faster.

How fast is Trailhead’s customer service?

Screenshot of Salesforce customer service chat.

Salesforce’s customer service chat is helpful and responsive. (Image credit: Salesforce)

We posed a question to customer service about the pricing of MyTrailhead through the online chat service channel. Customer service was responsive—the representative responded in less than 60 seconds and was able to resolve our concern within about five minutes. 

If you have questions regarding pricing, setup, or general information on any Salesforce product, the online chat customer service team should be well equipped to assist you and can do so rapidly.

Alternatives to Trailhead

The HubSpot Academy

(Image credit: HubSpot)

Trailhead does not have an alternative, strictly speaking, when it comes to its primary role as a Salesforce learning platform. However, the paid platform, MyTrailhead, is comparable to Udemy Business and HubSpot Academy. 

Read our full  Udemy learning platform review

MyTrailhead is a corporate training platform that enables you to create your own corporate training courses with custom branding and gamified badges. Udemy Business is more focused on live learning with expert instructors, and users can book corporate training courses, free and paid, through the Udemy website. Hubspot Academy is a completely free aggregation of corporate training materials, primarily focused on customer service, sales, and marketing roles. 

Read next 👀

hubspot logo

(Image credit: HubSpot)

Read our full review of popular CRM, Hubspot, known for having over 300 integrations, a user-friendly layout for navigation and high-quality CRM design. Find out why it's an industry favourite.  

Of these three options, MyTrailhead is the most feature-heavy but also the most time-consuming to get working. It is used to design internal training materials from scratch, although numerous templates and shortcuts are available during development. You can also leverage existing Trails on Trailhead if they apply to your corporate training. If you are interested in having full control of your corporate training materials, MyTrailhead is the best option for you. 

Udemy is best for live experiences, although some courses can be expensive. It is also vetted by industry professionals and globally accessible, with professional instructors and courses in 10 languages on a variety of topics.

HubSpot Academy is ideal for users on a budget as, unlike MyTrailhead and Udemy, it is completely free to use. If you do not have any customization needs for your training and are comfortable using pre-existing courses from HubSpot, HubSpot Academy could be your most budget-friendly option for corporate training.

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Trailhead’s features compared to the competition
Header Cell - Column 0 MyTrailheadUdemy BusinessHubSpot Academy
Corporate training coursesYesYesYes
Live learningNoYesNo
Custom branding and self-published coursesYesNoNo
SupportKnowledge base and support ticketsSupport ticketsKnowledge base, phone, online chat
Basic plan$25/user/moFree*Free

*Some courses are paid, others free. Access to the platform is free.

Trailhead: Final verdict

Salesforce Trailhead is a fun and unique platform that allows users to immerse themselves fully in the world of Salesforce. They can set their own pace, complete online modules and trails, and leverage a global community of like-minded Trailblazers for help and support.

Although it has some elements in common with other corporate training programs, we found that the gamification, as well as the depth of community involvement, significantly set Trailhead apart from its competitors.

Trailhead’s Salesforce Certifications and Superbadges make it easy for anyone willing to put in the effort to receive real, industry-recognized certificates and credentials. You can put Certifications and Superbadges on your resume or LinkedIn profile. According to some sources, Salesforce Certified professionals can expect to earn 25% more than their uncertified colleagues.

As a corporate training platform, MyTrailhead allows you to leverage everything that makes the original Trailhead unique, but for your organization. You can create your own modules, organize them into trails, and motivate your employees with customized badges.

Our only criticism is that corporate training with MyTrailhead has a lengthy setup process, and despite existing prefabricated templates, you will still need to create a lot from scratch if you want to make a functional corporate training program with MyTrailhead.

If you are willing to put in the time and effort, Trailhead is an unparalleled corporate training solution and the best way to learn how to use Salesforce.

Further reading

Interested in learning more about Salesforce? Check out our article What is Salesforce? (opens in new tab) If you want more information on CRM software in general, read What is CRM software? (opens in new tab) Afterward, check out the eight steps in the CRM process (opens in new tab) to determine the best CRM provider for your business.

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.