8-Step Recipe for Baking the Perfect Trailhead Trailmix

Megan Petersen
Feb 11, 2019 · 9 min read

With such an a-bun-dance of badges available to earn on Trailhead, a trailmix — like a personal learning playlist of greatest hits but for Trailhead content — can help arrange all this yummy information in a more structured way. Discover the secret sauce of trailmix-ology and how to bake in the perfect set of badges to streamline learning for your organization’s specific business appetite.

Trailhead enables you to learn what you need, when you need it. Trailhead is an ethos, a philosophy, a way of Salesforce-life.

By making learning available to all for free, and adding fun via gamification, Trailhead has inspired a whole learning movement within the #SalesforceOhana.

With all this mouthwatering content available, a trailmix allows you to design the perfect learning path. Simply pick and match any order of trails, modules, projects, and superbadges to save into your very own trailmix.

You can then keep it, share it, assign it, and report on it to your #Trailheart’s content. You may have created your own one already, or have a few favorites you’ve followed.

My nickname is #RangerMegan, so I know a little bit about all that Trailhead has to offer. And I have an easy 8-step recipe for baking the perfect trailmix — ideal for any group of people with a thirst for knowledge that you want to encourage to get learning with Trailhead.

1. Don’t reinvent the (pin)wheel

Why bake a cake when the bakery next door already has the perfect one? Start by checking out the Trailmixes tab on Trailhead, always a great kick-off point to find anything that exists that you can leverage or as inspiration to help you get started.

Click Discover Trailmixes for a curated list of awesome trailmixes, hand-picked by us for being super helpful for our Trailblazers. If you are looking for the latest release content, you’ll always find it as the first tile near the top left of the screen.

If you’re studying for a certification exam, there are a range of trailmixes for that, too. Getting started, building your career, looking for the latest Salesforce release deets, or even starting your #JourneyToCTA… It’s all here.

For specific topics, simply type what you’re craving into the search bar — for example, “User management” — then, on the results page, click More Filters then Content Type and Trailmix. This will bring up all the public trailmixes available on “User management.”

If you can’t find an existing trailmix that tastes quite right, it’s time to bake your own.

🌟 Pro tip: Before starting your trailmix bake off, read this in-depth trailmix post from our very own trailmix expert, Adam Torman, which covers how to create, edit, and share your trailmix.

2. Tickle the fondant fancy of your target audience

Consider who you are baking this trailmix for. Can the same flavor work for everyone? Probably not! You’ll want to break down the content available for different roles and different users at different levels of knowledge. But you’ll still want to keep it simple — try not to create a trailmix for each individual person but rather group users based on their combined learning needs.

And try to group your audiences in the same way as Trailhead categorizes content: by role — Admin, Business User, Developer, and by level — Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced. Working with these filters will make your trailmix creation so much easier.

I’ve also seen companies break down introductory trailmixes by different roles AND products, like this:

  1. Getting started trailmix: Trailhead Basics, Learn CRM Fundamentals for Lightning Experience, Salesforce User Basics
  2. Admin trailmix: Admin Beginner, Learn Admin Essentials in Lightning Experience
  3. Developer trailmix: Developer Beginner, Lightning Web Components Basics
  4. Product trailmix: Discover Sales Cloud, Service Cloud Essentials Basics, Marketing Cloud Basics

3. Whip up a tasty name

Once you’ve determined who your trailmix is for and that it doesn’t already exist, it’s time to get ready, get set, bake! Start by giving it a tasty, meaningful name, perhaps after a business unit, department, or team — like, “Getting started with Salesforce for Sales.” Next, give it a brief overview. Keep it fun and, in true Trailhead style, why not throw in a pun or two?

Sweet! Now you have your trailmix placeholder that will make adding the content super easy.

4. Bake in the badges

To add in all the gooey learning goodness, lead with the Learn Salesforce with Trailhead trail, especially if your trailmix is for people who are just getting started as it will teach them how to use and navigate Trailhead.

Also essential for Salesforce newbies are the Navigate the Salesforce Advantage and Learn About the Fourth Industrial Revolution trails plus the Salesforce Ohana Culture module.

If the whole trail is applicable, then simplify and add the trail. But if there is even one module in the trail that you don’t want to include, only add the relevant individual modules. You want to keep your intended Trailblazers engaged and motivated, so don’t force feed them irrelevant content.

5. Loaf those filters (and read the unit titles!)

Just like baking bread, you need the perfect ingredients to make your learners rise. But unless you’ve completed all the badges yourself, how do you know which ones are the most relevant? Again, just keep in mind what trailmix you are building and who it is for.

The best way to find the best content is by using a feature of Trailhead I simply love: enhanced search.

Let me show you why I love this feature so much. Let’s focus on Sales Cloud — on the Trailhead home screen, type “Sales Cloud” into the search bar. Think about the role and the experience and add these filters to your search. Let’s target beginner end users. Add the “Business User” and “Beginner” filters to your search. Click on More Filters and then Content Type, and select Trails.

A trail is made up of modules. Each module has a series of units which you can see by clicking on the Show Units link (you can only add content to a trailmix at the trail or module level, not individual units). If you want more details, click and read the topics covered per unit and skim the first few paragraphs.

🌟 Pro tip: I like to leave my original search page open so I don’t have to search for this awesome content again. So I suggest you right-click and open modules and units in new tabs.

For our example, let’s choose the Discover Sales Cloud, Sell Lightning Fast with Sales Cloud, Drive Sales with Operational Excellence, and Build and Manage Your Sales Team the Salesforce Way trails. Now, simply hit the ➕ icon under the trail description and you will see the trailmix you created in step 4 pop up at the top of a list.

Click on your trailmix title and bon appétit — this content is now available to be consumed in your trailmix.

6. Time is of the (vanilla) essence

As with any good bake, timing is crucial. Be sure to keep in mind the total time shown to complete your trailmix. You don’t want to overwhelm your learners with long times that they don’t think they can realistically complete.

If you’re running a learning competition over a set period of time — a very effective enablement tool — like 8 weeks to complete 3 trailmixes, make sure those trailmix times are doable in that timeframe!

As a business, you need to think about what feels like a realistic amount of Trailhead learning that teams can achieve on-the-job. If it’s something like 2 to 3 hours a week, or around 30 minutes per day, you’ll want to make your trailmix about 20 hours long.

7. Add a sprinkling of soft-skills content

Just like the yummy additions on top of a cupcake, I always like to mix up learning with a bit of non-Salesforce content. Personally, I tend to choose the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Cultivate Equality at Work, and the Enhance Employee Wellbeing trails, but you can choose anything that resonates within your company.

And, it is a known fact that if you are struggling with a new concept, going off and doing something different, or something that you are familiar with or good at, will reset you into a “can do” mindset. A little sprinkling of soft-skills badges can help those who may be stuck to get their zest for learning back.

8. Make it confection

Now you have a delicious trailmix showstopper that just needs some final frosting. I like to make sure the flow makes sense by grouping trails, modules, and projects together based on topic, product, or user level. You can do this by dragging and dropping the content to change the order.

🌟 Pro tip: I change my screen size to about 80% to better see all the content I have saved in my trailmix and to make reordering much easier.

Once you’re happy with the final order, hit Save. Finally, click on the Share button and select Make public — this will generate your shareable trailmix URL. And there you have it! Your perfectly-baked trailmix, ready for your eager learners to devour.

Trail Tracker: the icing on the cake

Once you’ve created your tempting trailmix, you’ll want to follow your organization’s learning progress. Enter Trail Tracker! A free app available on AppExchange, Trail Tracker lets you track people’s Traihead learning within your own instance of Salesforce.

You can see exactly where your teams are in their Trailhead learning journeys, help guide them toward their best path, and give them an incentive for learning even more. Trailhead (with Trail Tracker) can help scale onboarding, inspire employees to learn, and drive Salesforce adoption. Want to know more? Check out this delectable post.

Rolling (pin) out MOAR learning

Creating the perfect trailmix is just the start. Once you’ve shown your teams how scrumptious (and fun!) it is to learn with Trailhead, they’ll naturally want to continue chasing #AllTheBadges. Getting everyone learning together is a tried and tested way to keep people hungry for more.

Hold a #TrailheadTuesday — a dedicated time when everyone can come together to earn badges and rank up — or a badge-a-thon to add a healthy dose of competition. This way, you can share the joys of trailmix-ology by teaching everyone how to filter and search their own content, introducing a whole new set of trailmix signature bakers into the mix wherever you work or play.

Bake on!

Whether you’re looking to get started with Trailhead (there’s a trailmix for that!), you’re on your #RoadtoRanger (MOAR trailmixes!), or you’re a Trailhead-fan chasing all the badges, we want you — our Trailblazers from all walks of life — to share your story with us.

The Trailblazer

Blaze your trail to a top job by skilling up with Trailhead. Discover how Trailhead brings the Trailblazer spirit to everything we do by putting YOU at the center of learning.

Megan Petersen

Written by

On Team Trailhead at Salesforce. Passionate about my ohana, equality, dogs and puns. Often found dressed as #RangerMegan.

The Trailblazer

Blaze your trail to a top job by skilling up with Trailhead. Discover how Trailhead brings the Trailblazer spirit to everything we do by putting YOU at the center of learning.

More From Medium

More on Salesforce from The Trailblazer

More on Trailhead from The Trailblazer

More on Learning from The Trailblazer

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade