Salesforce integration in high-tech: #5 The cost of maintenance

by Ryan Christensen

When Indeed released its Best Jobs of 2017 list, two of the entries included Salesforce: administrator and developer. And it’s clear why: maintaining and administrating Salesforce is crucial to your investment. Chances are that you’ve already considered this, but if you haven’t or if you have but haven’t yet acted, now is the time to ensure that you have the headcount with the appropriate certifications hired and ramped.


Do you need more certifications?

Salesforce maintenance and administration aren’t processes you should jump into unprepared. Salesforce itself provides training and certification for the following positions, with the Admin alone having four possible credentials (Administrator, Advanced Admin, Platform Application Builder, and a CPQ Specialist):

– Salesforce Administrator

– Salesforce Architect

– Salesforce Developer

– Salesforce Marketer

– Salesforce Consultant

Before you register for certification, understand that it will be a huge time commitment. The administrator course, for example, includes over 40 hours of study material; the advanced administrator course runs over 50.

Then there’s the literal cost to consider. Exams cost $200 on the first try and $100 upon retake. But should you need architect certification, these exams run at $400 each and $200 to retake; the highest certification in that category, Salesforce Certified Technical Architect, costs $6,000 and $3,000 to retake.

Keep in mind that certification is intended for those who already have some experience with Salesforce. Certification in one category will not necessarily translate to another. For example, certification in Sales Cloud won’t make you an expert in CPQ or Einstein.


Do you need more admins?

Hiring a new administrator to manage Salesforce is a crucial course of action. However, despite the number of job applicants on hiring websites who list “Salesforce expert” as a credential, the hiring process is much more nuanced and expensive than you may anticipate.

When interviewing candidates, you should require proof of their actual Salesforce certifications. Fortunately, Salesforce provides a verification service. All you need to do is visit the website, enter the applicant’s name, and see whether he or she is currently recognized and approved by Salesforce. Even if an administrator is available and qualified, it may be more than your budget can allow. According to Glassdoor, the average salary of a Salesforce administrator is over $87,000, ranging from $62,000 to $117,000 (as of March 19, 2019). “Add to that Social Security and Medicare cost, or another $6500.00,” says Gerry Van Mansfeld, CEO at “The benefits the company offers like healthcare, vacation, sick time, etc. This usually equates to about $7 for every hour worked or about $14K per year. Finally, there are pieces of training, certifications, conferences, and other soft costs for consideration. In the event of a bad hire, you may end up repeating these investments.

Many organizations have opted to run their Salesforce practice via a managed services model vs. FTE to ensure a consistent knowledge base of their environment that they can financially forecast against. Simplus is certified in all Salesforce clouds and offers flexible utilization that models to the peaks and valleys of your business demand, giving you consistent expertise when you need it most.


As we conclude this series, the hope is that you have a comprehensive understanding that this investment goes far beyond your licensing agreement. This exposure shouldn’t be a deterrent, though—it should be motivating. With a solid roadmap developed before implementation and an understanding of how we can help you once Salesforce is live in your organization, may Simplus be top of mind as a trusted consideration.


ryancRyan Christensen is the Director of Vertical Sales at Simplus. He has over 12 years of technology sales experience and a diverse background ranging from start-ups to industry-leading enterprise organizations, specializing in SaaS and its services. Ryan recently participated in the CEO keynote at Dreamforce 2017, focusing on the success Adidas is having using Salesforce globally. He is travel-obsessed, fearless on the dance floor, and bilingual in English and Italian.

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