5 Questions about Salesforce Business Analyst Career with Anita Smith

• Date: August 2022 •
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Head of SMM & Community at Twistellar
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You may have noticed that last month, the whole Trailblazer community was counting the days until July 11-the date on which the Salesforce Business Analyst certificate became available for registration. SalesforceBen even called it "one of the most anticipated certs in recent memory".
Twistellar's team talked with Anita Smith - an experienced and certified business analyst, to share with you some tips and her career path in the Salesforce ecosystem.
Last time we talked about the BA's role as one of the key figures on every Salesforce project. Today we will discuss the main milestones of a BA's career from Anita's personal experience.
As a bonus, she shared with us the tools she uses in her everyday work, and Twitter & LinkedIn bloggers to follow in the Salesforce BA domain. So stay tuned and read the full article! And, the 1st question…

1. In your opinion, what skills and qualities are necessary for a BA?

First things first, I have to mention soft skills. That's what will definitely come in handy in the work of a business analyst.
As a business analyst, you will have to be a good listener to catch the needs of the client and bring them to the technical specialists.
If to break down the BA role, a lot of people have done business analysis in their job. Their title just may not sound like that. Before starting my career in Salesforce, I worked in the hospitality industry as a Revenue Manager. While entering Salesforce field, I got an Admin Certification, and together with my previous career it worked well.
But only the highly developed soft skills from that experience allowed me to adapt easily to the requirements of the current job. So, I'm talking about managing:
  • expectations of the customers
  • underpromising
  • overdelivering
So, I stick to these functions, and now successfully deal with them as a Salesforce BA. Also, it's very important to be curious and don't be afraid of asking questions. Asking questions is a great thing!

2. How to begin your career as a Salesforce BA?

Of course, you can go to the Trailhead. There's so much free and accessible information there! The problem is that you can learn it yourself, but you have never done a technical interview before. So that's why I entered a Salesforce Career Development Program "Talent Stacker". There, I was involved in an internal volunteer project and got some experience
I want to highlight that this program helped me to cater my CV and rebrand a LinkedIn profile so that I could apply for a job. Actually, I got my current position by reaching out to my boss on LinkedIn! Also, Scrum Certification is a good base level for your start. It really helps to understand how agile methodology works.
I also recommend following these Salesforce BA domain's influencers on Twitter and LinkedIn:
Salesforce BA domain's influencers
Vanessa Grant
LinkedIn, Twitter

Toni V. Martin
LinkedIn, Twitter
Pei Mun Lim
LinkedIn, Twitter

Ian Gotts
LinkedIn, Twitter
I got so much new information in their blogs. You can always check out any workshops, interviews and even courses in their accounts.

3. What would you say about Salesforce BA certification? How to get prepared?

If you have working experience in software development for at least a year, just go and take it! Well, you should know some technical terminology. It's shown in the exam guide. So you go through it and honestly, it was quite familiar to me because of the Scrum background. Lots of them are about agile methodologies. It seemed to be easier than a normal Salesforce exam.
If you don't have experience, I would advise going through the Trails and watching the videos that are included in a Trailmix because they're really helpful.

4. What are common misconceptions for BAs on real projects?

It's a complicated question, because you know … As Toni V. Martin said, there are different flavors of business analysts. It depends on the company, the client, the project. You just may have different responsibilities.
Sometimes you're doing configuration work in Salesforce, sometimes you're discovering how the processes happen in workshops, building lucid charts on the process maps itself. The same is with documentation. It varies whether you write the user stories or someone else will.
The more projects' experience you get, the better you get. It's not the common path.
The only typical things you have in your toolkit is learning how to do a process map using a lucid chart because you just have to go in the business explaining the current process. You have to map it out in a picture "this is how it currently is and THIS is guys how you would like it to work". And just keep asking questions! Sometimes workshops feel like you're a therapist. But the main thing is not to suggest solutions during it, but just listen to them.

5. And the last question: what tools do you use in your everyday work?

These are the tools that I can admire. I really use them every day. Jira & Confluence by Atlassian are the most spread products that companies use for project management. Lucidchart is the best for the process maps.
Useful Tools for Business Analyst
Useful Tools for Business Analyst
I use Notion for notes taking that I like. To be a good BA you have to write down and document everything. So keep your own notes and keep them super organized!

To wrap it up:

1. Develop soft skills
2. Use different free opportunities
3. Don't downplay the power of LinkedIn
4. Get your Salesforce BA Certification
5. … and just keep asking questions!
We all wish you good luck on your career path, and thanks Anita for the fair and free interview conversation!
If you have additional questions on how to set it up for your business, feel free to reach out to us for a free consultation
CEO, Co-founder of Twistellar
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