What is a Salesforce MVP and how to become one

Every year, Salesforce extends a special invitation to the community to nominate the standout leaders within the Salesforce ecosystem.

What is a Salesforce MVP and how to become one
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Similar to the MVP title in sports, the Salesforce MVP title is an opportunity to recognize individuals who generously share their expertise and actively contribute to the success of the Trailblazer Community.

This year, the nomination process took place in multiple phases from October 25 to November 12, 2023. Now, the list of newly appointed Salesforce MVPs is set to be announced in early 2024. As someone with a massive respect for this title, I'm here to provide you with the inside scoop on what it takes to become a Salesforce MVP.

What is a Salesforce MVP?

MVP, meaning "most valuable player," was initially used in sports. Inspired by the same, Salesforce came up with the idea of Salesforce MVP (most valuable professional) to recognize the key shareholders of the community.

Salesforce started this MVP program first in 2010. The Salesforce MVP title highlights those who show extraordinary leadership, skill, and community presence. You claim the title for one year once nominated and selected as a Salesforce MVP. Generally, Salesforce appoints 20-30 new MVPs in a year, plus the renewed ones.

Last year, more than 2.4K nominations for the Salesforce MVP title were from over 50 countries.

Here is the list of Salesforce MVPs 2023 (new and renewed). Like Salesforce certifications, MVP titles need to be renewed every year.

The difference between both is that the renewal of certifications is in your hands rather than the MVP title. Your MVP status is reevaluated at the end of the cycle – there is no guarantee that you'll retain it.

Why did the Salesforce MVP title originate?

The MVP program didn't just happen – it was a strategic move by Salesforce to acknowledge and celebrate community leaders. There are a few reasons for this. As Salesforce technologies advanced, the need for a strong community of experts became apparent.

Additionally, the growth and popularity of Salesforce among newbies and intermediates depend a lot upon the help provided by the Salesforce community. Hence, the Salesforce MVP program emerged to award those who went above and beyond to contribute to this ecosystem and encourage more people.

What is the Hall of Fame?

Making it to the Salesforce MVP Hall of Fame is the pinnacle of Salesforce recognition. If your MVP title is renewed for five consecutive years, you enter the Hall of Fame. It's an award for honoring sustained contributions to the community throughout the years.

If you get into the Hall of Fame, you will continue to enjoy the perks given to the MVPs, highlighting the impact of your commitment to the Salesforce ecosystem. But that's a far-fetched step. The first goal is to become a Salesforce MVP.

Let's talk about the qualities you should have.

Qualities of a Salesforce MVP

According to an article by Salesforce, the Trailblazer Community team, which comprises 65+ internal Salesforce stakeholders and current MVP title holders, spends about 1K hours reviewing the MVP nominations. They review the nominations based on three key pillars – expertise, leadership, and generosity.

Expertise

Having skill is one thing, but being able to showcase it and position your expertise is another. Hence, expertise is the first quality that separates a Salesforce MVP from others in the community. 

MVPs aren't just acknowledged for their technical expertise – they're seen as authority figures and promoters of Salesforce products and the ecosystem. They actively showcase their expertise by contributing through blogs, podcasts, and community forums.

Leadership

Along with expertise, a Salesforce MVP must have some leadership qualities. Whether leading groups, organizing conferences, or contributing to specialized programs like MVP Office Hours, they represent the Salesforce community. The very nature of representation and contribution is leadership. MVPs also embody a code of conduct aligned with the Salesforce ecosystem.

Generosity

You must be generous enough to devote much of your time and efforts to the masses. Generosity is a standout quality of MVPs. This generosity can be described as giving mentorship, organizing community events, active participation in conferences, and more. Driven not by a desire for personal recognition but by an innate passion to support others, MVPs embody the spirit of giving back to the community.

Salesforce MVP nomination process

The multistage process of becoming a Salesforce MVP involves the following:

  1. Public voting
  2. Evaluations by Salesforce employees and existing MVPs
  3. Peer review
  4. A final review by the Salesforce Community team.

Let's talk about each process one by one.

Community nominations

This process involves individuals nominating themselves or putting forward the names of other professionals within the Salesforce ecosystem. It's an open-door policy where the community can name anyone showcasing outstanding expertise, leadership, and generosity.

Community team and Salesforce stakeholder review

Once the nominations hit the digital stage, the Trailblazer Community team assumes the role of conductors and starts the initial reviews. Following this, Salesforce employees active in the Trailblazer Community resume the reviewing process. This multi-layered process objectively assesses each nominee's contributions and qualifications.

Peer feedback

After the community and stakeholder team goes through the initial round of reviews, the next step involves peer feedback. The current MVPs share valuable insights and feedback on fresh nominations and renewals based on their experience and expertise.

Trailblazer Community team final review

The Trailblazer Community team takes center stage for a final review. This is where each nomination undergoes a comprehensive assessment, ensuring alignment with the core values of the Salesforce MVP program. Once the final decisions are reached, the leadership team approves the list of new and renewed Salesforce MVPs.

Benefits of being a Salesforce MVP

The Salesforce MVP isn't just a title you can use on LinkedIn. It comes with a plethora of exclusive benefits, underscoring the value attributed to the community leaders.

Private Slack channels

You can access exclusive discussions, connect with fellow MVPs, and gain exclusive industry insights.

Exclusive event invitations

You get to attend Salesforce events, network with industry leaders, expand your contacts, and stay updated on Salesforce trends.

Speaking engagements

Showcase your expertise at conferences and enhance your influence and fame within the community.

Certification vouchers

You get support for continuous development, coupons for relevant certifications, and a boost for your profile.

Mentorship and guidance

Receive valuable guidance from experts and contribute to the growth of others.

Unique Salesforce swag

Flaunt your status with exclusive items like MVP hoodies, pins, stickers, and backpacks.

Could it be any better? Now, let's talk about your homework.

How to become a Salesforce MVP

There is no set path to becoming a Salesforce MVP. But if you closely look at the qualities of an MVP, you can get an idea. Below are some steps for you to consider on your Salesforce MVP journey.

Become a Salesforce expert

You must learn hands-on and stay updated on Salesforce products and releases. You need to have knowledge of Salesforce administration, development, and solution architecture.

Get active in the community

You need to start engaging with and helping the Trailblazer Community Groups. You could help others by answering queries, preparing guides, initiating programs like Salesforce MVP Office Hours, and more. You could also organize community events to contribute to community growth actively.

Give back generously

Once you're an active member of the community and have gained the trust of your peers, become a mentor and give back on a larger scale.

  • Contribute actively to community forums and discussions
  • Use your expertise and experience to support initiatives that empower others in the Salesforce ecosystem
  • Attend and actively participate in Salesforce community programs and conferences
  • Network with peers and other MVPs to increase your visibility within the community.

Nominate yourself or get nominated

Once you're confident enough and have been accepted by most of the community, don't hesitate to submit nominations. Although others you inspire will nominate you, there is no harm in nominating yourself. 

Nominate yourself and showcase your contributions and impact within the community. Highlight specific instances of your expertise, leadership, and generosity. You could also encourage those who've benefited from your expertise. Genuine testimonials and recognition from peers strengthen your MVP candidacy.

Keep engaging in the Salesforce ecosystem regularly

Maintain a consistent presence on social media, community forums, and Salesforce-related events. Demonstrate your commitment to the Salesforce ecosystem through regular engagement. 

If you're nominating, offer detailed and thoughtful submissions. Highlight specific instances of contributions, emphasizing expertise, leadership, and generosity. Your work should be in the direction of Salesforce's growth.

You could be the next MVP

Becoming a Salesforce MVP isn't a one-day job. It requires years of hands-on practice and community engagement. You need to devote months of work towards learning and a ton of time and effort helping the community.

Believe in yourself, stay put, and continue your Salesforce journey!

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