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Review of Coursera’s Salesforce Sales Operations Professional Certificate

The Salesforce-powered economy is predicted to create $1 trillion in new revenue and 4.2 million jobs by 2024 – with such high-rising demand, is the Salesforce Sales Operations Professional Certificate the right place to start your Salesforce journey?

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Coursera Professional Certificate – Salesforce Sales Operations: Our Verdict (2023)

Course Rating

4.1 / 5

With Salesforce skills in high demand, Coursera’s Salesforce Sales Operations Professional Certificate offers a comprehensive and well-structured program to enter the world of Salesforce and CRM. More accessible than trying to jump straight into Trailhead, the certificate program will equip you with essential knowledge and practical skills through its four courses and provide valuable career support, making it a solid choice for you if you aim to excel in sales operations.


  • Well-structured and comprehensive program that will launch you into Salesforce
  • Integrated with Trailhead
  • Suitable for complete beginners


  • Can be challenging to fully grasp sales operations in Salesforce if no pre-existing experience
  • Some integration issues between Coursera and Trailhead

Time-limited offer
$100 USD off your first year of Coursera Plus Annual (expires 1 April 2024)

With the diversifying ways in which a customer connects with businesses in today’s world, such as through phone calls, emails, WhatsApp messages, social media interactions, physical interactions, and many more, it has become an even greater challenge for businesses to keep a unified view of the customer and provide them with the best service. Failing to do so can reduce customer retention and, in turn, decrease sales. This is where Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software comes in handy.

In today’s world, CRM software has become a vital tool for all businesses, regardless of their size. It helps solve the abovementioned problem, provides a way to organize your accounts and contacts, and automates tasks to decrease manual effort and human error. This becomes even more useful for businesses as the world moves increasingly towards remote work.

Salesforce was among the first companies that took CRM to the cloud so businesses can access all their information online at all times, regardless of where they are. The part of the economy running on Salesforce is predicted to create 4.2 million jobs by 2024. With such demand, instructors from Pathstream have collaborated with Coursera to create a Salesforce Sales Operations Professional Certificate course, which will take you from someone who doesn’t have any experience with a CRM platform before to someone who not only understands its workings but also has completed a fictional social media company’s Salesforce implementation project.

In this review, we’ll look in more detail at what this program offers and if it might be a good fit for your career plans.

The homepage of the Professional Certificate on the Coursera website
Homepage of the Professional Certificate on the Coursera website

Table of Contents

Overview of the Salesforce Sales Operations Professional Certificate

Over four courses, the Salesforce Sales Operations Professional Certificate program aims to give the student the confidence to use the tools available in different Salesforce clouds – such as Sales Cloud and Service Cloud – in order to make sales processes more efficient and effective. It also helps the student strategize how to use the tools available to improve communications with customers on different platforms.

It starts by teaching you the basics, such as what CRM is, what Salesforce does, how the sales process works, the different roles on a sales team, and the differences between B2B and B2C sales. It also explains the workings of Trailhead, a learning platform by Salesforce itself, and how it can enhance your learning process.

In the second course, you learn how databases are organized in Salesforce using objects, records, and fields, how Lead Management works, how to associate leads with campaigns, and how Salesforce has tools to identify the most valuable leads.

The third course explains Opportunity Management by explaining the different stages an opportunity goes through before being converted into an account or contact (customer), how to use Chatter, and how to create and use contracts, orders, price books, quotes, and products to progress deals.

In the final course, you learn about the Customer Success Manager role and how to use reports and dashboards in Salesforce to visualize your sales outcomes.

The courses included in this Professional Certificate
Courses in this Professional Certificate

In addition to the above, each course has a section for Career Support, which gives you tips about interview etiquette, resume best practices, the right way to job search, and even creating a LinkedIn profile.

It is important to note that I had full access to the paid program. There is also an option to audit the course, which gives you free access to all videos, readings, and exercises, including the career tips. However, if you audit the course, you cannot attempt quizzes and assignments and will not get a certificate of completion. The Audit option is perfect for you if you want to learn the skills or want to try the course before investing.

Level and prerequisites

This Professional Certificate does not have any pre-requisite knowledge. It’s designed for the beginner level, where no prior experience in Salesforce, sales, or CRM is necessary to get started.  However, having a basic understanding of databases and being generally tech-savvy may help you understand things a bit more clearly. However, if you’re truly dedicated, you will have no problem earning this certificate and landing a job in Sales Operations, even with zero pre-existing knowledge.

Each course in the certificate builds on the next. Many of the concepts in the later courses use the terms taught in the first course, “Sales and CRM Overview,” so investing more time in it is important if you’re entirely new to these tools.

How much does the Professional Certificate cost?

This Professional Certificate is included in the Coursera Plus subscription, which costs $59 monthly. This subscription also includes 7000+ courses, hands-on projects, and job-ready certificates. This Professional Certificate is estimated to be completed in 3 months, which would add up to $177.

Another option is to purchase only this certificate, which would cost you $49 per month and $147 in total for three months. Since the price is more or less the same, I recommend the Coursera Plus subscription, as you can gain multiple certificates simultaneously.

Since the courses on Coursera are flexible, you can always complete the course quicker than three months and pay a lesser amount. And there is always the option to Audit to get much of the course for free!

Is the Salesforce Sales Operations Professional Certificate worth the money?

Other resources, such as Trailhead or platforms like Salesforce Ben (see the Alternatives section towards the end of this review), can teach you the same skills. However, for those, you would need to create your syllabus and fill in the gaps for any missed topics. And while those learning platforms are capable (and will even be used in this Professional Certificate!), they miss some key functionality available on Coursera

The best thing about this course is that it’s detailed, well-structured, and help build your knowledge. It also links to external resources where it’s necessary for better understanding. On top of all this, it also provides you with industry tips and guides you through portfolio-ready projects that can help you break into your first job with Salesforce!

Reading materials related to job searches
Reading provided related to job searches

Although the name of this certificate is Salesforce Sales Operations, the concepts in these courses can be used to build upon and ace any other role available in the Salesforce industry, such as Salesforce Administrator or even Salesforce Developer. You can use this as a starting point to pass the certification exams offered by Salesforce itself.

Lastly, if you accelerate your learning, you can gain this certificate in less than a month and won’t have to pay the full amount for three months. Considering all this, it won’t be wrong to say that this Professional Certificate provides adequate value for money.

Syllabus overview

The complete Certificate program has four courses:

  1. Sales and CRM Overview
  2. Lead Management in Salesforce
  3. Opportunity Management in Salesforce
  4. Reports, Dashboards, and Customer Success in Salesforce

Each course is divided into four modules, each covering a specific topic with lecture videos, readings, between-video polls, and quizzes. Each module also has links to Trailhead modules along with the hands-on practice of tasks in Salesforce playground organizations. Each quiz and assignment has a deadline for its submission and a passing score. No need to worry if you miss too many deadlines; you can always reset them and start over.

Who are the instructors?

The Professional Certificate is developed by Pathstream, a career mobility platform that partners with companies to build digital skills career programs. The four courses are led by Anthony Jones, who introduces himself as your “personal coach,” and Angela Prakash, both of whom are from the learning design team at Pathstream.

You also get to work with the Trailhead learning environment. To complete a unit, you must either pass a multiple-choice quiz or a challenge in a Salesforce playground organization. And you get points each time you do!

Points are awarded on Trailhead for completing a unit
Points are given on Trailhead for completing a unit

Anthony Jones introduces and wraps up each weekly module and provides real-life examples to ensure everyone is on the same page. He adds rhetorical questions to explain the topic but then also provides you an opportunity to think over it and submit a poll to see how your thoughts compare to other students in the course. This helps make sure the lectures feel more interactive than what you would expect in an online environment where they seldom are.

Poll conducted by Anthony Jones during course videos
Poll given by Anthony Jones in between course videos

Detailed review of the course

Course structure

Each of the four courses included in this Professional Certificate is structured into four segments, which are envisaged to be approximately a week long each (although you can complete it faster or slower than that). Most of the weeks end with a graded task in the form of a quiz. The passing score for each quiz is 80% or more, and you get to attempt it three times every 24 hours. After each attempt, you get feedback about each answer, which you can then use in your next attempt.

Each course starts with an introduction about the course and how it relates to the Salesforce Sales Specialist role (as well as other Salesforce-focused careers), as well as an outline of the course syllabus and best practices while taking the course. The courses all feature video lectures and readings, practice quizzes, guided or independent projects in Trailhead, weekly recaps, and finally, a graded quiz.

Weekly course layout
Weekly course structure

There are also discussion prompts where students can add their thoughts and read other students’ answers/reviews. This activity is not graded, nor is it compulsory to receive a certificate, but it is a great way to get to know your classmates.

Example of a discussion prompt
Discussion Prompt example

For the readings, many of which feature informative diagrams and similar, it’s up to the student to mark it done, and they can do so whether they quickly skimmed through the article or read it in detail.

Sample of a Reading unit
Example of a Reading unit

The Practice Quizzes have a few MCQ questions to help you prepare for the actual graded quiz. In the end, just like in the graded assignments, you acknowledge that you have been honest while attempting the quiz and sign off with your name. You receive positive and negative feedback on your answers upon submitting. The graded quizzes are similar to the practice quizzes, but with more questions.

Feedback provided on quiz answers
Feedback on quiz answers

Course 1: Sales and CRM Overview

Starting off by discussing the challenges businesses face today, this course provides you with an introduction to Salesforce. It discusses the use cases for Salesforce and helps students navigate Trailhead, the official learning platform of Salesforce. In the second week, the course covers the sales process, including organizing and tracking the sales process and the different roles on a sales team. Some important terms learned through this week include B2C, B2B, Lead, Prospect, Salesforce, and more.

Video lecture in Course 1
Video lecture for course 1

During week 3, this course goes into detail about why having CRM software is beneficial to companies and how manual methods of storing and tracking data affect profits. New terms mentioned during this week include sales quota, database, sales commission, and data hygiene.

The last week finally introduces Trailhead and also outlines Sales Cloud, Salesforce’s most popular product. There are readings available on how to set up your Trailhead account and Trailhead playgrounds, followed by a practice quiz on Trailhead to test your understanding.

The course closes off with a section on Career Support with readings such as “Preparing for the Job Search” and “Why Resumes Matter” and videos outlining the exact structure of good resumes.

This course can be taken as an introductory course to get into any field of Salesforce. For example, a student can gain an understanding of CRM, Salesforce, and Sales Cloud from this course and then go on to become a Salesforce Administrator instead of opting for the Sales Ops Specialist role.

Reading material on the responsibilities of a Salesforce Admin role
Reading on what the Salesforce Admin role entails

Course 2: Lead Management in Salesforce

This course starts by explaining another job role, a marketing associate who can also use Salesforce to unify and organize their data. It explains how data can be moved from your CSV files into Salesforce, followed by a guided project that teaches you to do exactly that.

Sample of a Guided Project
Example of a Guided Project

In the second week, the course looks at leads and has a guided project to edit and filter leads in Salesforce. It also covers Campaigns and has another guided project to work with Campaigns in Salesforce. The week concludes with an independent project that asks you to solve some problems for SimplySocial, a fictional social media management company.

In the third week, you find out about Sales Development Representatives (SDRs), their everyday tasks, and how Salesforce supports them. This week also has two guided projects teaching you how to log communications actions and track leads in Salesforce.

Finally, the last week starts with a guided project to create email templates in Salesforce. Next, you learn to convert leads, followed by yet another independent project to convert leads for SimplySocial.

The Career Support section in this course helps you craft your personal story so you can easily answer the first question asked by every interviewer, “Can you tell me about yourself?

Course 3: Opportunity Management in Salesforce

The third course of this Professional Certificate introduces Chatter, a collaboration tool of Salesforce, and how another role, namely Account Executive, can use Salesforce to their benefit. The first week focuses on Opportunity stages and sales pipeline management.

Example of a video in Course 3
Course 3 video example

The guided project in the second week teaches you how to progress an Opportunity through its stages. The independent project asks you to help Amy, an account executive from SimplySocial, close Sales deals.

The third week introduces you to terms such as price books, quotes, contracts, “parent-to-child” relationships, and more. Each important term has a guided project to get some hands-on practice. The final week teaches you about using Contracts and Orders.

The Career Support section in this course gives you tips about creating a good LinkedIn profile.

Course 4: Reports, Dashboards, and Customer Success in Salesforce

This course introduces Service Cloud and the role of a Customer Success Manager in a sales process. The guided projects teach you how to work with Cases opened by customers, how to work with Knowledge, and the Service Console.

The independent project asks you to help Cadran, a customer success manager at SimplySocial, support customers in an organized way. To do so, you will create new Cases, create and organize a Knowledge Base, create Knowledge articles, and analyze Business cases.

Introduction to the independent project of the course
The introduction to the course's independent project

The third week looks at these tools from a Sales Manager’s point of view. It teaches you how to build and understand Reports in Salesforce by selecting formats and applying filters. The final week of the course and the whole certificate touches upon Charts and Dashboards in Salesforce. The concluding independent project asks you to help Samantha, a sales manager at SimplySocial, produce reports and dashboards that detail how the sales teams are performing.

The Career Support section outlines how to finally start the job search in the Salesforce industry.

Combining all the work you did in the independent projects for SimplySocial, you have a complete project to add to your portfolio. You solved problems using Salesforce from multiple employees’ point-of-views, and it’s definitely something the recruiters should know! In the final wrap-up section, you’re provided with readings on other Salesforce professions you can pursue with the knowledge you gained through this Professional Certificate.

What do others say?

At the time of writing, this Professional Certificate has a rating of 4.6 stars based on 921 reviews on Coursera, which is quite positive. Students who have taken the course claim that it has greatly helped them in securing their desired position in Salesforce. Other students have praised it for being “educational and easy to understand” and for the options it has provided for hands-on projects, both the guided ones and the independent ones. One student pointed out how certificates help you earn better than others in the Salesforce industry, and gaining this particular certificate has made them a priority at their company. Timothy S wrote about his 5-star review,

"Very well prepared and informative; touches on the many aspects at work behind the scenes of sales and marketing, defines and organizes the working parts, gives a healthy dose of "sales speak" and shows how incomplete customer data and performing redundant tasks interfere with success (and demonstrates a software service that can help make things right).”

Some students seemed to have struggled with understanding the complexity of sales processes. This makes sense if this is something you have never come across before. Moreover, a few students struggled with verifying the completion of their Trailhead badges or modules on Coursera.

Alternatives and complements to this Certificate

If looking for alternatives to the Professional Certificate on Coursera, the best one is the Trails and Trailmixes provided by Trailhead, the learning platform provided by Salesforce. The basics provided in this course about what Salesforce is and terms such as objects, records, and more can be learned from a Trail named “Admin Beginner.” Another called “Transform Your Business with Sales Operations” explains the sales roles and processes. The Trail named “Sell Lightning Fast with Sales Cloud” also teaches you about the tools available in Sales Cloud.

Points system on the Trailblazer profile

On the downside, trying to get into Trailhead straight away would be too overwhelming for most Salesforce novices. There is not one specific place to get all the information on Trailhead, and you would need to explore multiple Trails to learn what you can get all together in the Salesforce Sales Operations Professional Certificate. In this certificate, you get a complete structure from a novice to an expert and links to the relevant Trails where needed.

Salesforce Ben is another learning platform that can be used to read up on these topics.

Conclusion and recommendations

With Salesforce skills in high demand, Coursera’s Salesforce Sales Operations Professional Certificate offers a comprehensive and well-structured program to enter the world of Salesforce and CRM. More accessible than trying to jump straight into Trailhead, the certificate program will equip you with essential knowledge and practical skills through its four courses and provide valuable career support, making it a solid choice for you if you aim to excel in sales operations.

Each course’s content is thorough and interactive, with real-life examples. While free alternatives like Trailhead exist, this certificate’s structured approach and portfolio-ready projects are what make it unique.

Student reviews generally reflect high satisfaction, highlighting its effectiveness in securing Salesforce-related roles. However, some issues with integration and verification require attention from the instructors and Coursera’s end. Overall, Coursera’s Salesforce Sales Operations Professional Certificate is a worthwhile investment for aspiring Salesforce professionals.

Time-limited offer
$100 USD off your first year of Coursera Plus Annual (expires 1 April 2024)