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B2C Solution Architect Certification Guide & Tips


For architects who have the knowledge, skills, and experience architecting and driving multi-cloud solutions that span the Salesforce Customer 360 Vision and Platform.

(Functional/technical experience with B2C Commerce Cloud, Marketing Cloud, and Sales, Service, or Experience Clouds).


Exam Topics


The exam will test your knowledge on:

  • Discovery and Customer Success

  • Functional Capabilities and Business Value

  • Architecture Design

  • Data Models and Management

  • Integration


Introduction

The Salesforce B2C Solution Architect certification is a new exam designed specifically to test an Architect’s ability to design scalable solutions in multiple multi-cloud scenarios. The exam will cover many aspects of the platform including Service, Marketing, Commerce, Experience (the new name for Communities), Heroku and Mulesoft. The exam also covers new products such as Customer 360 Data Manager and Order Management System.


Who's the Ideal Candidate?

This exam is for Salesforce professionals who are already proficient in one or more of the products mentioned above. In a multi-cloud solution, there are typically more complexities, such as integrations and feature overlap within Salesforce’s own products. Passing this certification will demonstrate your ability to design multi-cloud solutions that use the right product or feature in any given scenario. It will show that you understand the wider platform, as opposed to a single cloud, as well as building scalable, best practice solutions. To provide an example of why these skills are necessary in multi-cloud implementations, imagine a scenario where you need to send email order confirmations after purchase, in a Service, Commerce, and Marketing Cloud implementation. All three clouds have email delivery capabilities, but each have strengths and weaknesses.


Key Topics



1. Discovery and Customer Success 18%​

The key topics to understand in this section are: Systems of Record in a multi-cloud solution, the key identifiers used to identify customers across the platform, how to manage their data and what risks and considerations should be made when storing / transferring data between clouds. This topic also explores CI/CD (continuous integration/continuous delivery), not only in Salesforce CRM, but also in Commerce Cloud and even Heroku, so ensure you know how this works. An example question may be something like: What customer key would be the best identifier in a solution using both Service Cloud and Marketing Cloud? Options may include:

  • Service Cloud: Contact ID

  • Marketing Cloud: Email Address

  • Marketing Cloud: Contact ID


2. Functional Capabilities & Business Value 19%​

You will be expected to understand the fundamental capabilities of a number of products and the problems they can help you solve. This includes Heroku, Mulesoft, Order Management Systems and Customer 360 Data Manager. Ensure you understand the roles these products play in a multi-cloud solution, and why they might be used. An example question might be: An organisation wants the ability to view Customer Cases in Service Cloud, but the customer has multiple Contact records within the system, sometimes with different identifiers. What tool could be used to help a Service Agent in Service Cloud view this information? Answers may include:

  • Customer 360 Data Manager

  • Use a third party ETL tool

  • Dedupe contacts

In an ideal world, de-duping the contacts would actually be the most suitable answer but sometimes the best answer isn’t easily achievable. In this question they are testing your ability to weigh cost vs benefits to the customer.


3. Architectural Design 23%​

This topic will test your knowledge of how Salesforce products should communicate with each other in a B2C scenario. What security considerations should be made? How should customer acquisition be funneled? For example, a big consideration is the use of the Lead object when Marketing Cloud is involved: it is not recommended to be used, as conversion often leads to duplication. An example question could be: What considerations would an architect need to consider when using Leads in a system that uses both Service Cloud and Marketing Cloud?


4. Data Models & Management 21%​

In this section you will be expected to understand where key data is stored and how the data should flow between the different systems. You will need to be able to explain where different types of customer data should reside, and how they should be updated (e.g. content, personal, and order information). You’ll also need to explain where to store different data types and what considerations need to be made when loading/transferring this data (especially when large volumes of data are involved). An example question could be: In a system that has Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud and Marketing Cloud, which system should a customer edit their personal information in?


5. Integration 19%​

This section is all about the connectors available in Salesforce so that you can integrate the different products involved in a B2C implementation. These connectors enable data flow between the different systems, and you need to understand how they work, what they can sync, what protocols they use, limitations, and considerations. It’s also important to understand integration design patterns and the API resources available in the Salesforce platform. An example question could be: If a customer wants the ability to view transaction information in real-time from a Postgress database, but does not want to store large volumes of data in Service Cloud, what would the Architect suggest? Hint: explore Lightning Connect and Heroku Connect.


Study Strategy

The B2C Solution Architect isn’t an easy exam, you will need to be proficient in at least one of the three core products (Marketing, Service or Commerce) and have a solid understanding of the remaining two to pass this exam. As with any other exam, the exam guide is the first thing you should look at. This will cover the expectations and key topics of the exam that you need to revise for. The exam guide will also have a link to the Trailmix available for this certification, which covers a wide range of cloud products within the platform. There is over 40 hours worth of content there, so be sure you spend enough time to understand them in detail. Unlike other Salesforce certifications, the Trailmix is not the only official Salesforce resource available. Salesforce has also published a curriculum on the Partner Learning Camp which has an additional 40 hours worth of content. There are some overlapping areas, but in my opinion, this resource is vital as it provides videos and interactive content with more context into some of the scenarios covered in this exam. Lastly, be sure you look at the Salesforce B2C Solution Kits site as this will cover many of the scenarios in the exam they will test you on. This site covers common B2C requirements and provides in detail solution guides for each scenario. Some examples of this are “Sending Transactional Messages”, as described in my example earlier.


Exam Strategy

Read the question! It sounds obvious enough, but make sure you take time to read the question and ensure you’ve understood what they’ve asked. Some of the questions describe complex scenarios and often there are keywords in the question that will help you select the answer. I’ve found times where I have read through the question, looked at the answers and scratched my head wondering what the answer is, read the question again and identified a feature or keyword within the question that automatically disqualifies some of the options.

Ask for more time Despite being a 120 minute exam, this is one of the few exams where if you followed my previous tip, you will find you’re rushing the last few questions in order to complete the exam before the time runs out. I would highly recommend raising a case witloh Salesforce at least 7 days before your exam and ask for extra time for the exam. This option will give you an additional 30 minutes for the exam which imo is crucial to give you enough time to understand some of the more complex scenarios given.

Understand the context Reading the question carefully enough to understand the context is extremely important. Unlike some exams where there might only be one true answer, Salesforce will really try and test your knowledge on best practices. One key element is to understand a business’s maturity. It might be a known fact that organisations use Mulesoft to integrate systems, but if a small startup only needs to integrate it’s backend with Salesforce, it might not be the most appropriate answer.


Resources


Tips


  • There are many modules in the Trailmix that have Trailhead playground activities. Ensure you complete these so you understand how the functions work. Simply reading about them is not enough to understand them.

  • There are going to be questions about products you’ve never used before. Ensure you read up on these products to the best of your ability, take notes, and watch the videos in the resources over and over so you memorise the features.


Final Thoughts

I won’t repeat the cliche about how I enjoyed this exam because I didn’t (I hate exams in general), however, I did enjoy learning thanks to the Solution Kits, discovering more about Commerce Cloud (as I’ve never used it before) and the Customer 360 Data Manager tool. Studying for this exam has also made me more confident in products I don’t use as often, such as Heroku.

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