The 10K View: Predictions for the Salesforce Talent Ecosystem

Our fifth annual Salesforce Talent Ecosystem Report confirmed what everyone already knew: Salesforce is enjoying another winning year. 

Data shows the ecosystem is still on a healthy growth trajectory, all despite mounting speculation of an impending recession in the United States and tumultuous global macroeconomic trends. In fact, global talent demand grew 19% in 2022; a reflection of Salesforce’s projected $31B in revenue for 2023. 

Year-over-year, Salesforce’s increasing customer demand raises the ceiling for its talent and partners. Experienced Administrators, Developers, Business Analysts, Consultants, and Technical and Solution Architects are seizing the moment to level up their careers by specializing in specific clouds and industries. Aspiring Salesforce professionals continue to get educated, get certified, and take aim to break into the ecosystem. 

Additionally, each year we also see the merging and creation of new Salesforce partners to cater to evolving customer needs. Everyone is riding the digital transformation wave because it’s a matter of sink or swim, and Salesforce is helping companies survive and thrive in our rapidly changing economic environment. 

Download the 2022 Salesforce Talent Ecosystem Report 

Our research this year has proven, once again, that it’s a great time to have a career in the Salesforce ecosystem. 

We won’t claim to be able to predict the future of how our ecosystem will evolve, but given 10K’s relationships with seasoned experts, customers, and partners of every size across the globe, our team does have a few ideas of how this year’s top findings will play out. 

Nick Hamm, Chief Executive Officer

Nick’s 2022 Key Takeaway: India’s talent growth is continuing to outpace North America

North America and India hold the two largest concentrations of Salesforce talent, with North America’s talent population being about 40% larger than India. However, as growth rates in North America continue to slow, the same trend is not holding in India. 

It’s entirely possible that by 2025, India’s talent population will be at least as large or larger than North America.

It’s entirely possible that by 2025, India’s talent population will be at least as large or larger than North America. This will establish India as a formidable contender that can’t be ignored by any Salesforce customer or partner looking to scale their teams.

Matt Gvazdinskas, Chief Strategy Officer

Matt’s 2022 Key Takeaway: Despite the top five partners growing their total certified talent by a combined 31% YoY, their share of overall certified talent over the last five years has dropped 7%.

This trend will continue and we will see more experts specialize and migrate to smaller partners. I think this finding also proves two things: customers see the value in working with smaller, specialized partners and experts desire to work with smaller teams where they can make an impact and build relationships. 

Customers seem more comfortable now than ever relying on small businesses to support their important investment in Salesforce because these small firms have attracted such incredible talent in today’s modern work environment. It really is a great time to have an entrepreneurial spirit in this ecosystem.

Mike Martin, Chief Customer Officer

Mike’s 2022 Key Takeaway: Despite talks of a global recession, this year saw a 19% increase in global talent demand.

Additionally, established markets saw demand grow by 17% and emerging markets saw a 45% increase. There have been many macroeconomic forces at play over the past year, including a looming recession. 

Customers are tightening budgets and searching for efficiencies – and that’s where further investments in digital transformation initiatives (AKA, Salesforce products) will come into play. It’s the key to process improvements and efficiency gains. From 10K’s side of things, we continue to see strong demand for Salesforce experts across both our direct customers and partner customer base. Our team expects customer demand to grow well into 2023.  

Jared Miller, Chief Operating Officer

Jared’s 2022 Key Takeaway: For the second year in a row, South America was the fastest growing emerging market at 15% YoY.

Over the past year, we have noticed an increased appetite from our clients to explore South America for talent. Not only that, but we are also seeing many experienced architects and developers in the early stages of building their own companies to capitalize on the talent emerging there. While timezone compatibility will remain a huge driving factor, the current talent and training that is taking place will continue to support and increase their growth for the foreseeable future. Everyone needs to keep their eyes on South America’s growth. 

Everyone needs to keep their eyes on South America’s growth. 

Kristin Langlois, Chief Talent Officer

Kristin’s 2022 Key Takeaway: Administrator supply decreased by 20% in established markets and 16% in emerging markets.

With the largest share of talent, the surprising drop in Salesforce Administrators consequently drove the overall decrease in global talent supply. The decrease in Administrators is probably not a fluke. Despite incoming talent with their sights set on breaking into the Salesforce ecosystem, I predict we will continue to see the Administrator supply decrease. We will also see the supply of specialized roles, including Business Analysts and Consultants, increase.  

I could see Salesforce reexamining how to define an Administrator (seen here with their Admin Skills Kit). The current expectations of the Administrator role have evolved tremendously compared to the early years of Salesforce. Not only that, Administrators earn lower salaries compared to other more specialized roles; a recipe for inevitable burnout. This could lead to talent bypassing the Administrator route altogether and choosing Business Analyst, Consultant, or Solution Architect careers from the get-go. 

Customer demand continues to swell year over year. 

If you’re a Salesforce expert with at least five years or more at full-time consulting gigs, there’s never been a better time to go independent with the safe bet of being wildly successful. Especially if you hold specialized skills specific to product, industry, or large-scale implementations. Salesforce customers at large are looking for you and working with Salesforce talent platforms like 10K can connect you with the right ones while providing support for your independent business.

10K’s Fifth Annual Salesforce Talent Ecosystem Report Shows First-Ever Decrease in Global Talent Supply

This is 10K’s fifth year conducting research on the supply and demand of talent and partners in the Salesforce ecosystem. We’ve seen some incredible trends take shape over the years, and despite some ebbs and flows, one has remained steady—customer demand continues to flourish; a reflection of Salesforce’s projected $31B in revenue for 2023.

Download this year’s Salesforce Talent Ecosystem Report

Salesforce’s sustained growth continues to help spur new career opportunities for talent, both fresh and experienced. In addition, each year we see the merging and creation of new Salesforce partners, their sights set on riding the wave of digital transformation programs necessary for companies to survive and thrive in rapidly changing economic environments.

The wave of digital transformation accelerated nearly three years ago thanks to COVID whipping up a storm of unforeseen challenges (unemployment, economic uncertainty, the world moving largely online, etc.). It became a matter of sink or swim—companies had to invest in technology or get left behind.

These waves have affected talent as well, ultimately spurring the Great Resignation and the Great Reshuffle. The Salesforce ecosystem was fortunate to weather, and perhaps even thrive, during the “I quit” storm, made evident by 2021’s global talent supply and customer demand increase. It was, and still is, an excellent time to have a career in the Salesforce ecosystem.

However, for the first time ever we saw Administrator supply decline and the lowest demand growth we’ve ever recorded.

Salesforce’s growing suite of products and capabilities has given talent more opportunities to expand their careers, either by increasing their expertise across a wider range of clouds or by going deep and specializing in select areas. With Administrator being the most popular entry point into the Salesforce ecosystem and the role with the highest concentration of global talent, the acceleration of specialization has created a springboard for thousands of experts to jump from.

Our research this year confirmed that Salesforce talent is seizing the moment and leveling up. We’ve seen Administrator supply and demand swell over the past several years. However, for the first time ever we saw Administrator supply decline and the lowest demand growth we’ve ever recorded. At first, these shifts were quite surprising, but the data revealed this has been years in the making.

Now, in 2022, Salesforce customers are seeking more specialized roles to carry their digital transformation efforts into the next phase. The top three roles in demand by growth overall were Business Analysts (+55%), Developers (+21%), and Solution Architects (+18%).

South America and Asia (not including India and China) have talent populations that now rival (and even exceed in some cases) Australia and New Zealand.

It’s also been exciting to watch the evolution of talent growth in emerging markets. South America and Asia (not including India and China) have talent populations that now rival (and even exceed in some cases) Australia and New Zealand. The constant supply shortage of experienced talent in established markets, increasing career mobility and salary demands, and Salesforce’s international expansion have driven the creation of entirely new talent populations that are becoming important waves in the ocean of talent available to customers and partners.

We hope you find this report as valuable to your own talent and business strategies as we do at 10K. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts, and thank you for your continued support.

Why Independent Salesforce Consultants Are Ready to Weather a Recession

Talks of an impending global recession and subsequent rounds of layoffs are gaining traction. The headlines are everywhere. While there are plenty of predictions, headlines, and advice being offered to prepare for what a recession may look like, it’s important for workers to take stock of where they stand. The good news is that the Salesforce talent ecosystem is well-positioned to weather a potential storm.

For Salesforce customers, now is the time to strategize on how to move forward in a cost-effective way without compromising your investment or growth. If you’re a Salesforce expert currently sitting in a full-time position, you might consider looking into entrepreneurship and branching out on your own. And if you’re an independent consultant, you can view these tumultuous times as an opportunity. Here are a few reasons: 

The Salesforce Ecosystem is Healthy and Growing 

Layoffs have already started happening at tech giants like Netflix, Robinhood, and Better – and it doesn’t stop there. As of July, more than 28,000 workers in the U.S. tech sector have been laid off in mass job cuts, as reported by Crunchbase. But Salesforce isn’t your average tech giant, with their ability to continuously innovate their products, win new customers while retaining existing ones, and beat out their competitors.

In the last 23 years, Salesforce has not only survived the three biggest financial downturns in recent history, but they’ve also grown its market share across all of its product categories despite them. In the CRM category alone, they own nearly 24% of the market. 

The force of Salesforce’s skyward trajectory is also evident in the products and partner companies that are established exclusively to serve the platform. Blackthorn, Gearset, and Qualified – three products built for Salesforce – have raised $16 million, $55 million, and $95 million respectively, just in the last couple of months. Additionally, the Salesforce partner ecosystem continues to grow year over year – +14% in 2021 according to our annual Salesforce Talent Ecosystem Report.

The proof is in the numbers – investors, companies, start-ups, and talent continue to bet on the success of Salesforce.  

Customers Learned Big Lessons From the Pandemic 

Digital transformation is more than a buzzword. It’s an effective driver for cost savings and a necessity that every active Salesforce customer will lean into during the tough economic times ahead. 

According to 10K’s Chief Talent Officer, Kristin Langlois, “I think it’s unlikely we’ll see an influx of net-new Salesforce customers, but those already invested have one choice. The money has been spent, and the work still needs to be done.” 

That said, more companies may act on budget cuts in the way of layoffs or hiring freezes. This will be an interesting trend to watch because many companies have learned important lessons about talent management and retention efforts in the wake of the Great Resignation and Great Reshuffle. Instead, a “cooling off period” could take the place of massive layoffs

No matter how it shakes out, there will inevitably be talent gaps and demand for project-based workers to fill them. That’s where independent Salesforce consultants can seamlessly step in. They are the ideal talent solution to address this unique moment. 

What a Recession Could Mean for Salesforce Talent in Traditional, Full-Time Roles 

For Salesforce experts working in traditional, full-time roles, the time to explore entrepreneurship is now. It’s all about freedom and building a business that serves specific passions, needs, and goals. 

We can’t claim independents are totally insulated from the effects of a recession. They might just face a different set of challenges – less luxury of choice in project work, longer hours, etc.. However, one thing independents won’t have to worry about is waking up on a normal Tuesday and getting laid off. Independents control their own destiny; they’re not at the mercy of a CEO’s whims. 

Recession or not, going independent in the Salesforce ecosystem is a solid bet to make. Experts taking the leap from full-time jobs to independent consulting is a trend we’ve been watching closely for the past few years. Our recent 2022 Independent Salesforce Consultant Report found an impressive 40% of independent Salesforce consultants started their own business during the pandemic between 2020 and 2022. 

The benefits of the independent lifestyle are real-game changers. They’re also reliable, especially as customer demand continues to grow. 

Salesforce customers recognize independent consultants are a cost-effective talent source. We’re confident that any hiring manager who isn’t catering to independents in their talent strategy today will be singing a different tune in the months to come. It will be interesting to see how Salesforce talent demand trends evolve in response to a recession. 

Independent consulting is not a fad – more than half of independents say they are unlikely to return to traditional full-time employment. And who can blame them? 

Whether you’re an independent consultant looking for work, a full-time employee looking to make the transition, or need specialized talent to fill in the gaps during these tough and uncertain times, 10K is here to help get the job done. 

10K’s Independent Salesforce Consultant Report Shows Post-Pandemic Entrepreneurship is on the Rise

The way we look at work has changed dramatically over the past decade, and that change has accelerated since the spring of 2020.  

Major global challenges gave the world pause, and for many, a time to reflect on what is most important. With far-reaching circumstances outside our control, many of us faced the blunt reality of how quickly life can change.

Life is too short to spend the majority of it doing work that’s too stressful, doesn’t respect you, or makes you feel good. 

Cue up the “Great Resignation” and what some are now calling the “Great Reshuffle.” Workers continue to walk away from the jobs and companies that don’t provide the flexibility they deserve, and many are embarking on an entirely different journey – entrepreneurship. 

Download the 2022 Independent Salesforce Consultant Report to see this year’s top findings. 


The Salesforce ecosystem is vibrant and lucrative, where people of all skill levels and backgrounds can find and fall in love with new tech careers. This is in part thanks to Trailhead democratizing ongoing education in a way that no other major tech company can compare. The opportunity to learn new skills and meet customer demand has paved the way for Salesforce talent, new and seasoned, to advance their careers in the ecosystem. 

This is important because the customer demand for Salesforce expertise is skyrocketing. So much so that an impressive 40% of independent Salesforce consultants started their own business during the pandemic between 2020 and 2022. As a Salesforce partner and advocate for Salesforce talent, it’s encouraging to see more and more Salesforce experts capitalize on the opportunity to bet on themselves. 

An impressive 40% of independent Salesforce consultants started their own business during the pandemic between 2020 and 2022.

Our 2020 Salesforce Talent Ecosystem Report marked the first time we surveyed and presented research on independent Salesforce consultants. Now, we are proud to present the first report entirely dedicated to the growing population of independent Salesforce talent. 

Our goal is to shine a spotlight on who these experts are, what they value, and where they need support. We have a strong sense of duty to create awareness for independents and connect them with the customers who need them. 

Building your own business is far from easy. It takes guts. And more than that, it takes trust. I’ve had the privilege of working with some of the Salesforce ecosystem’s brightest independent consultants, from architects to developers, integration specialists, and more. They are a highly-motivated breed of talent with the courage to be their own boss. They are also some of the most experienced, skilled, and engaged Salesforce professionals around, demonstrating a genuine commitment to solving complex customer challenges and building solutions for real impact. 

We invite you to become more familiar with the Trailblazers and innovators shaping the future of the Salesforce consulting ecosystem. They are the force that will continue to take the Salesforce ecosystem to new heights for years to come. 

See this year’s top findings. 

10K and Salesforce Announce Inaugural Trailblazer Diversity Report

The tech industry at large is making a noble effort to bring awareness to diversity and promote equality within their workforces. Salesforce was one of the first to do it, making a strong commitment to delivering equal opportunity and inclusion with a stated goal to “build a workforce that looks like society.” Other tech giants including Google, LinkedIn, and Microsoft have initiated annual reporting to measure the demographic evolution of their global workforces. These annual reports are an essential part of helping companies understand how they stack up in their progress toward leveling the playing field for every worker, everywhere.

“In partnership with Salesforce, we’re proud to introduce the 2021 Trailblazer Diversity Report.”

While these tech giants have led the charge in measuring and reporting on diversity within their own internal workforces, their influence for equity expands beyond their virtual four walls to the external ecosystems they enable. In many ways, driving toward a more diverse ecosystem accomplishes more than these companies could ever directly control through the hiring practices of their own HR departments. Yet none of these companies have tackled the challenge of measuring and reporting on the impacts they and their partners are having on their respective ecosystems. For Salesforce specifically, the question isn’t if its talent ecosystem of Trailblazers has a bright future ahead—IDC’s 2021 research claims that the Salesforce economy will create 9.3 million jobs by 2026. The more important questions are, “Who exactly is the Trailblazer community?” and “Is the Trailblazer community becoming more diverse?”

To architect DEI initiatives that will create real impact, we have to first put a lens to where the Salesforce talent ecosystem’s demographics stand today.

In 2018, 10K set out to answer those questions with our first Salesforce Talent Ecosystem Report. As a Salesforce partner, we’re advocates for the talent ecosystem. We want to understand who our experts are and what they need so we can better support them. Promoting diversity is also the spirit of my work as a board member for PepUpTech, a nonprofit focused on creating opportunities for underrepresented persons in tech. Our work is important, but I often wonder what kind of impact we and other nonprofits with similar missions are having on the progress of our ecosystem. Salesforce, thankfully, is also invested in gaining an intimate understanding of our ecosystem’s talent. With their partnership, this report is our inaugural Trailblazer Diversity Report. Measuring diversity requires special intention and careful methodology, so while this year focuses solely on North America, we anticipate a global report in the future.

This year’s report introduces a general workforce overview across common roles and includes demographics such as age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability status, military status, education level, location by state, employment status, number of years in the ecosystem, industry, job department, and company size. The report also presents each role’s specific makeup of gender and ethnicity. Our goal is not to provide commentary on the survey’s results, but rather to better inform you, the reader, about the makeup of our shared ecosystem for you to digest and form your own opinions.

Our goal is not to provide commentary on the survey’s results, but rather to better inform you, the reader, about the makeup of our shared ecosystem for you to digest and form your own opinions.

To architect DEI initiatives that will create real impact, we have to first put a lens to where the Salesforce talent ecosystem’s demographics stand today. We plan to repeat this research and report findings on an annual basis to help stakeholders understand how and where we are making progress and where extra attention may be needed. It’s only with that intimate understanding that we can know where investment is needed to move the needle, provide equitable opportunities, and deepen our connection with every member of the Trailblazer community—every voice, everywhere.

More Salesforce talent ecosystem resources from 10K

The Organizations Advancing Diversity and Inclusion in the Salesforce Talent Ecosystem

The 10K View: 2021 Salesforce Talent Supply & Demand Trends

The Organizations Advancing Diversity and Inclusion in the Salesforce Talent Ecosystem

The pandemic accelerated a few trends that changed the way we work. Most notably, companies prioritized digital transformation en masse, and workers across every industry started the pursuit of real work/life balance. At the same time, the pandemic also highlighted growing disparities across genders and race, amplifying an important global conversation — how can the Googles, Facebooks, Microsofts, and Salesforces of the world do more to promote diversity and inclusion? The world has had plenty of time to reflect and the push for equality is here to stay. 

In their Quarterly Equality Update in August, Salesforce asks an important question, “As representation increases and we become more dispersed, we ask ourselves: how can we ensure that everyone is supported and thriving, especially our most marginalized communities?” 

This was one of the sources of inspiration for our first annual Salesforce Talent Diversity Report set to be released early next year. In partnership with Salesforce, we will present where the talent ecosystem stands across multiple data points including gender, ethnicity, sexual identification, and more. To create D&I initiatives that will make a meaningful impact for the people who need it most, we have to first understand where and who our Salesforce experts are. 

As a Salesforce partner that represents 500+ independent experts across the world, we’re fervent advocates for our community and their development. We have been watching the progress of gender diversity since 2018 with our annual Salesforce Talent Ecosystem Report and support nonprofits and other efforts dedicated to creating upward mobility for incoming talent. Here are a few of the organizations, groups, and initiatives our team considers essential to promoting equality in our ecosystem:

Nick Hamm, 10K Chief Executive Officer
PepUp Tech

PepUp Tech’s mission is to give motivated, underserved students the access, skills, mentors, and confidence needed to begin careers in tech and help diversify the industry.

I’ve been a proud board member of PepUp Tech since 2019, and the proof of this organization’s impact is in the numbers. An astounding 94% of PepUp Tech graduates are placed in high-paying jobs and, on average, make six times more than they made before entering the Salesforce ecosystem. And the best part? The program comes at a cost of zero dollars for participants. 

PepUp Tech is more than just a Salesforce training program. You’d be hard-pressed to find another job training program that has these types of outcomes while asking nothing in return from participants other than their time and dedication. Their program is made possible by workforce investment grants and generous donors who believe that the opportunities the Salesforce ecosystem holds should be available to everyone.

Jared Miller, 10K Chief Operating Officer
Black-Owned Business Salesforce Mentorship Program

In 2020, Salesforce established the Racial Equality and Justice Task Force to accelerate its efforts to create systemic change and focus more deeply on areas it felt could have a real impact. One of those areas was investing in Black-owned businesses.

In November of this year, Salesforce kicked off a year-long mentorship program that provides 25 Black-owned business founders with sponsorship, education, and networking opportunities to help grow and develop their businesses. The program will pair each mentee with a Salesforce mentor and VP-level sponsor/advocate who aligns with their development goals. 

Over the next year, mentees will attend quarterly sessions taught by university professors on topics like business strategy pivots, marketing in turbulent times, and talent optimization. Mentees will also have an opportunity to learn from some of Salesforce’s largest customers, partners, and suppliers during monthly meet-and-greet sessions. The impact of this brand new initiative is still TBD, but our team is looking forward to seeing its growth and influence on the talent ecosystem. Helping people with their entrepreneurial goals will only benefit the Salesforce community as a whole.

Mike Martin, 10K Chief Customer Officer
Salesforce Women’s Network and Salesforce Women in Tech Diversity Group

It’s no secret there is an enduring gender disparity in tech. According to Mason Frank, women, on a global scale, make up less than 20% of the tech industry. 

Since 2015, Salesforce has taken steps to actively address the gender pay gap and other inequalities. The Salesforce Women’s Network, an official Salesforce Equality group, focuses on women’s “professional and personal development, allyship, supportive connections, and taking action on gender equality. We are the largest Equality group and our programs include content and activities to support our values of empathy, trust, well-being, and advancement of women.”

Empowering the community to raise awareness and eliminate prejudice with the right tools is another important part of the equation. Trailblazer community groups serve as a useful platform to influence and advocate for change. 

The Salesforce Women in Tech Diversity Group offers a forum for conversations surrounding mental health awareness to exploring the intersection of feminism and using privilege for good. They recognize “…women we share common challenges, but as minority women we also face unique challenges and stigmas. This group [provides] support, encouragement, mentoring, and opportunities to collaborate and network.” 

Giving Tuesday may have passed, but there’s no better time than this holiday season to get involved and help make a brighter 2022. Whether it’s a monetary donation, your time, or raising awareness within your network and community, every effort to promote diversity and inclusion will help make the Salesforce ecosystem a better place to work for everyone.