If you have experience using your technical expertise with both Microsoft Power Platform and Dynamics 365 to implement and extend sales solutions for your organization, the Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Sales Functional Consultant Associate certification could be just right for you. It’s designed to highlight those same in-demand skills. This certification demonstrates that you know how to apply technical knowledge to implement simplified experiences for sellers that enable them to focus on building customer relationships. A Microsoft Certification validates to the world that you have these skills—whether you’re just starting out, looking to use your functional consultant prowess to advance your career, or wanting to change to a new, in-demand career. Use this industry-recognized Microsoft Certification to help shape the direction of your journey.
Companies are investing heavily in new technology, such as cloud infrastructure and the next generation of automation. There’s a need for employees and consultants who can adapt innovations that bring better solutions to customers. The Microsoft approach to certification focuses on building a strong learning culture and encouraging learners on their journey. This drives tech intensity. A Microsoft white paper on role-based tech training and certifications reports that 91 percent of IT professionals with certifications believe that the effort employees put into acquiring new skills strongly contributes to their success in digital transformation.
You can add your certifications to your résumé and your LinkedIn page to alert organizations to your expertise. In this post in our series on discovering your career path, we look at the benefits of earning the Dynamics 365 Sales Functional Consultant Associate certification. Plus, we suggest other certifications that can be useful for functional consultants who want to call attention to their broad variety of skills as seasoned professionals.
You fit the profile for this certification if you’re a functional consultant, a sales or business professional using Dynamics 365 Sales to empower your organization, a developer looking to hone your consulting and configuration skills, a solution architect on a path to the solution architect certification, or an IT professional. As a candidate for this certification, you must have knowledge and experience configuring Microsoft Power Platform, plus you need to know Dynamics 365 model-driven applications and data modeling principles. This certification lets you market yourself more effectively for projects and lets your organization know that you can use Dynamics 365 Sales to empower the sales force. It’s a great way to help advance your career.
As a candidate for this certification, you work with your organization’s stakeholders, such as solution architects, developers, and testers, to gather requirements and implement Dynamics 365 Sales solutions. You model Dynamics 365 Sales data, and you extend Dynamics 365 solutions using Microsoft Power Platform components, including Power Automate and Power Apps. You perform key tasks, like configuring the Dynamics 365 Sales application and Dynamics 365 organizational security.
In this role, you need experience with both Microsoft Power Platform and Dynamics 365, so you’ll take two exams to earn this certification:
Many people in technical careers have more than one certification, especially when they feel an urgency to validate skills in multiple areas. Like you, they want to do great work and be rewarded for it. So it’s no surprise that 80 percent of respondents in the 2020–2021 Microsoft Dynamics Salary Survey from Nigel Frank believe that Dynamics 365 certifications are important for increasing earning potential. Plus, 74 percent listed “understanding business models” and “having business acumen” as hard skills that would make them more attractive to employers.
Obtaining a variety of certifications can help you as you explore different pathways to success. Certifications can give you career flexibility and promising earning options. The Global Knowledge 2020 IT Skills and Salary Report found that IT professionals with certifications, on average, earn more than their peers without any. Interestingly, the survey found that the more certifications a professional holds, the higher their average salary. In fact, 12 percent of individuals who received a raise attribute it to new skills. IT professionals who obtained a new certification saw their salary increase nearly $13,000.
In a Pearson VUE Value of IT Certification report, professionals list their top reasons for certification as improving professional standing, increasing technical knowledge, and increasing their chances of a salary increase. Plus, 67 percent of the respondents indicate greater self-confidence in their abilities, and 55 percent note that the knowledge they gained was transferable to actual work situations.
Depending on your own unique career path, you should investigate the different Microsoft Certifications available to you. They signal that you have the skills that organizations are looking for when they hire and advance employees. Certification, combined with your expertise and experience, can help you take the next step in your career.
If you’re new to Microsoft Power Platform and Dynamics 365, check out Microsoft Certified: Power Platform Fundamentals (pass Exam PL-900) and Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Fundamentals Customer Engagement Apps (CRM) (pass Exam MB-910).
If you want to use your skills to open up your career options, consider exploring other Dynamics 365 associate certifications:
To further your career, when you’re ready, you might want to pursue an advanced solution architect certification: Microsoft Certified: Power Platform Solution Architect Expert (complete a prerequisite and pass Exam PL-600).
Sales acumen, business expertise, and technical skills characterize sales functional consultants. You’re driven by solving problems, and you have experience working on teams that focus on creating solutions that benefit your organization’s customers by helping to make the sales force successful.
However, if you don’t feel ready to take the two required exams just yet, we have a few suggestions for you. Try working on a Dynamics 365 model-driven app implementation project. Or you might work with a functional consultant or a solution architect who regularly uses Dynamics 365 Sales. Be strategic about taking your two required exams. One approach would be to focus on first passing the required exam that fits your skill set best. Just by reading this blog post, you’ve probably noted that Exam PL-200 is a paired requirement for this certification and several others, so it might be a good exam to take first. Find more support by exploring training opportunities or taking an instructor-led course. No matter where you are on your journey, we have training that can help you get underway.
To get started with this certification, check out our Dynamics 365 Sales Functional Consultant Associate certification journey map. You can also find the journey map in the resources section on the Dynamics 365 Sales Functional Consultant Associate certification and exam pages.
To map out your journey, follow the sequence on the Dynamics 365 Sales Functional Consultant Associate journey map. Start at the beginning by deciding whether this certification is a good fit for you.
Next, choose the training you’ll need to be prepared. To understand what you’ll be measured on when you take the two required exams, review the Exam PL-200 skills outline guide and the Exam MB-210 skills outline guide on their respective exam pages. Then sign up for the training that fits your learning style and experience:
If you prefer to learn from an instructor, review the instructor-led training from Microsoft Learning Partners. To learn more, check out Microsoft Learning Partners: Teaching the skills of tomorrow, today.
Check the journey map to explore taking a practice exam for this certification.
After you pass the exams and earn your certification, you can continue to add to your technical expertise by taking one of the other certifications described in this blog post or by exploring other certification offerings. Consider our associate and expert certifications when you achieve the next milestones on your career journey. Use this diagram to map out the possibilities: Microsoft Power Platform and Dynamics 365 certification paths.
Join other sales functional consultants in a community! Share your career journey with colleagues who have similar interests in Microsoft Power Platform and Dynamics 365 technologies. Here are some places where you can share and gather information and learn from your peers and others.
When you earn a certification or learn a new skill, celebrate your accomplishment with your network. It often takes less than a minute to update your LinkedIn profile and share your achievements, highlight your skills, and help boost your career potential. Here’s how:
When your Dynamics 365 Sales Functional Consultant Associate certification expires, we’ve got good news. You can renew your current certifications by passing a free renewal assessment on Microsoft Learn—anytime within six months before your certification expires. For more details, read our blog post, Stay current with in-demand skills through free certification renewals.
Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power Platform resources
Are you ready to build connections for the future, as the business environment evolves and changes? As a sales functional consultant, you have a passion for providing sales solutions that satisfy customer needs. People look to you when they want to know how to be more efficient, collaborative, and productive. You need to be ready with the best business and technical solutions that have a human touch. Certifications signal that you have what it takes to build a new future—for your organization and your customers.
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