Salesforce Admins Podcast

Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast we check in with Cheryl Feldman, Assistant Vice President at Alliance Global Investors, MVP, User Group Leader, and “master connector of great people” (according to her Twitter). We simply can’t do a series about Innovation and Careers without talking to Cheryl.

Join us as we talk about the power of mentorship, why finding the right mentor is a lot like dating, and how you can build a career from concentrating on just getting from point A to point B, for now.

You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Cheryl Feldman.

Why finding a mentor is like dating.

“Mentorship, at a high level, is when you find someone who believes what you believe and understands what you want and what your goals are and is going to try to help you come up with a plan to achieve those goals,” Cheryl says. Over her career, she’s mentored a lot of people and been mentored as well, and that experience has made her realize that it’s a two-way street. “I learn just as much about myself when I mentor other people,” she says, “no matter how junior you are, everybody has something of value and something they can add.”

Cheryl’s first experience was approaching the Salesforce Product Owner at her company, who she admired, to essentially ask: how can I be you? While they tried to help, they essentially said that the certifications and background necessary made that dream impossible. “It quickly made me realize that I needed to find a mentor who believed in me as much as I believed in myself,” she says, “and it’s OK if you find someone and have a mentorship session where you realize that it’s not a great match.” It’s a time commitment on both sides, so treat it like dating and make sure that you’ll be willing to put in the work.

Sometimes you have to change the way the world works.

You’re not always going to have the qualifications that someone is looking for, in fact, Cheryl doesn’t have a college degree, but that’s why “learning how to sell yourself and sell your ideas is really important,” especially when you have other experiences or another perspective that they might not realize is applicable. “That first mentor I had told that this is just the way works, but one thing I’ve learned is that sometimes you have to change the world and change the way the world works.”

For Cheryl, forging her own path means that she’s paving the way for others to follow. “I feel really proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish because now, someone else out there who maybe is starting out in their Salesforce Admin career, who sees somebody who’s a Product Owner but maybe doesn’t have a traditional background in technology, can say, ‘You know what, Cheryl did it so I can do it too.’”

Focus on getting from point A to point B.

We probably all want a chance to get mentored by Cheryl but, if you’re not one of the lucky few, we got her to give us her advice on what it takes to build a career in Salesforce. “You have to define what a career in Salesforce means to you. Think of it like managing a project, you want to go from point A to point B, so what is point B? What does that look like for you?” You’re not going to be able to succeed if you don’t know what success looks like because it’s different for everyone.

“Everybody’s career path is different, I really like working in large-enterprise financial services but not everybody likes that, not everybody wants to be a Product Owner. There’s so many different jobs or roles or industries you can work in doing something with Salesforce,” Cheryl says, “so you need to understand what you want out of your career at this point in time while understanding that that’s going to change.”

Building the right career for you.

“When I start mentoring someone we talk about what their point B is for now, and we talk about what it will take to get there and put achievable timelines around those things,” Cheryl says, “and my job as a mentor is to hold them to those timelines and hold them to those things that they have agreed they are going to do for themselves for their career.”

“People really aren’t sure what they want to do in the ecosystem,” Cheryl says, “so what we talk about is what do you really like doing?” If you like spending time with your headphones writing formulas and flows and loading data, that’s a very different career path than a manager personality where you’re helping people get things done. “I would say to try different things,” she says, “because I had people convince me about five or six years into my career that I should be developer but I’m a terrible developer.” You have to know what you like and understand that your career path is going to take off based on what you actually want to do.

Resources

  • Career Development Planning module on Trailhead - https://trailhead.salesforce.com/modules/career-development-planning

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Direct download: Interview__The_Ripple_Effect_with_Cheryl_Feldman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:58pm PST

Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast we’re taking a quick break from the Innovation and Careers series to have a bit of fun. A couple of our Salesforce Ohana community leaders are helping raise money for PepUp Tech with a podcast called Dungeons & Dreamforce. We talk to Mark Ross, Product Director at Clarus Group, MVP, and co-host of the WizardCast, and John Graf, Salesforce Admin at TBS Factoring Service, MVP, Oklahoma City User Group Leader, and Host of the Cloudforce Collective Podcast.

More about this episode: an intro to the magical, wonderful world of Dungeons & Dragons, how Dungeons & Dreamforce got started, and how you can play a role in the action while supporting the incredible world of PepUp Tech.

You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Mark Ross and John Graf.

A basic primer on Dungeons & Dragons.

Dungeons & Dreamforce is a version of Dungeons & Dragons, so if you’re only familiar with D&D from Stranger Things here’s a little bit more about this ubiquitous hallmark of nerdom to help you out. “Dungeons & Dragons is essentially an imagination game,” Mark says, “you have one person who is the ‘Dungeon Master’ (DM) whose job is to kind of adjudicate, but all the other players are there to be another person, a character that they pretend to be, so it’s also like improv.” You describe your actions, and everyone is working together to achieve a goal, whether that’s saving the village from a horde of evil goblins or saving the world, and you use dice to determine how that happens.

In D&D, there are a certain amount of rules that you follow that tell you things like what abilities you have and when you should role, “but honestly there are a lot of people who will play a game with as few rules as possible,” Mark says, “which makes it about group storytelling with everybody contributing to the narrative and having fun while doing so.” The DM often comes up with the world that the story takes place in and the characters that the players meet, but the other members of the group can have a great deal of impact on it too, or even take the game in a wildly different direction than the DM was planning for originally.

The magical world of the Magnificent Lord Benioff.

“Mark and I came up with this idea about two years ago on a podcast that we were recording,” John says, “I was nerding out over Dungeons & Dragons and a lightbulb went off in both Oklahoma City and Kansas City at the same time: Dungeons & Dreamforce.” In the game, they’ve transformed Moscone Center, where Dreamforce is held, into a magical fantasy land with a lot of Salesforce-y puns and maybe a few characters you’ve heard of here and there. “The city of Moscone is ruled by the Magnificent Lord Benioff,” Mark says, and there’s a lot of other fantasy doppelgangers you might recognize, as well as many community members. It’s not just about the puns, however.

“I’ve been taught over the six different Dreamforces that I’ve been to that giving back is a huge part of everything that we should be doing,” John says, “not just as good Salesforce Admins and Developers and community members, but as human beings.” When John’s daughter’s friend was diagnosed with leukemia, he was looking for something to do to support her and came across an organization called Extra Life, which encourages people to play games to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network. “I don’t know about you, but I can’t run a marathon,” John says, “but I’m happy to play a game to help support a good cause.” Dungeons & Dreamforce is inspired by that organization and raises money for PepUp Tech by letting donors have an effect on the story.

The amazing work of PepUp Tech.

PepUp Tech provides computers, Salesforce training, and Salesforce certifications to young people who are traditionally underrepresented in the tech industry. They do amazing work with their Salesforce bootcamp and other programs to help people find ways to give back to the community. Dungeons & Dreamforce is a great example of community members finding a way to use their unique interests and talents to give back, so tune in and support the show or, perhaps, start thinking about what you could do to give back.

Resources:

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Direct download: Ohana_Fun__Dungeons__Dreamforce_with_Mark_Ross__John_Graf.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:35pm PST

Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast we’re coming to you live, again, from the Salesforce London World Tour. This time, we’ve got Gemma Emmett, a Solution Architect at Bluewolf and Golden Hoodie winner.

More about this London Special episode: what an Architect focuses on and the path to becoming one, how you can adopt a future-oriented mindset, and the birth of #LadiesBeArchitects.

You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Gemma Emmett.

The perfect mix of IT and business.

“If you’d asked me when I was about five, I would’ve said that I was going to be an author and that I was going to write stories. I was always writing stories, and I was always bringing them home for my mom and dad to read,” Gemma says, “but if you’d asked me when I was about 16 I would’ve said I was going to be a translator,” but by the time she turned 18 she knew she was going to be in IT.

However, Gemma didn’t want to go down the purely coding or purely technical route, so when the time came she decided to study a mixture of business and IT. That choice ended up working out, and today she’s a Delivery Lead at Bluewolf, which means that when they implement Salesforce for customers she fills the role of the Architect, making sure that everything that they build meets the customer’s requirements while fully understanding the advantages and disadvantages of the solution they’ve chosen to implement.

Everything you need to know about Salesforce Architects.

There are two main types of Architects: Solution Architects and Technical Architects. “The Solution Architects are primarily responsible for the making sure the solution that you build meets the business requirements,” Gemma says, “while a Technical Architect is primarily concerned with how different systems talk to each other, making sure that they’re talking to each other at the right time, that they’re sending the right data, that we’re creating rather than updating, and that we’ve appropriately secured that conversation between the two systems.”

Solution Architects and Technical Architects work closely together, “and our job is basically to argue with each other,” Gemma says. There’s also a coaching component as well, “When we’ve got consultants from an Administration or Development background, part of our role is to help them take on a more holistic view of the system that the customer is implementing.” They’re thinking about the system from a broader perspective, while also trying to keep an eye on how it’ll work in the future, “especially if a customer changes their mind a lot.”

The beginning of the #LadiesBeArchitects movement.

“I started off as an Admin,” Gemma says, but got more and more interested in the broader systems involved that led her towards becoming an Architect. This interest in the broader context of things also was the genesis of the movement she started, #LadiesBeArchitects.

“I started #LadiesBeArchitects after I started working towards the designer certifications,” Gemma says, “and I learned so much that I wanted to keep going.” As she moved her way through the exams, she started blogging to chronicle her experience and help others, “I found other people’s blogs quite helpful, but there weren’t enough resources online to help me get over the hump.” She was using a wide variety of resources spread out all over the internet, and so she decided to consolidate her study notes into something other people could use.

Getting more people Certified.

“#LadiesBeArchitects was born out of a desire to have other people to study with,” Gemma says. While the Architect Trailblazer Success Community was useful, she was interested in bringing people together to have conversations and study together. “I learn better from actually listening to somebody,” she says, and the interactivity is key for her to be able to process what she’s learning. The community quadrupled in only three months, partially because Gemma started working closely with the head of the Architect program at Salesforce about how to diversify who gets certified and help make that happen.

“A majority of certified Technical Architects are men, and when we looked at rough figures it looked like there were about one in 25 female CTAs in the world,” Gemma says, “which is testament to how difficult this qualification is, but also it’s probably testament to how good we women are at beating ourselves up and telling ourselves we can’t do things.”

Resources

Twitter

We want to remind you that if you love what you hear, or even if you don’t, head on over to iTunes and give us a review. It’s super easy to do, and it really helps more Admins find the podcast. Plus, we would really appreciate it.

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Direct download: London_Special__LadiesBeArchitects_with_Gemma_Emmett.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:38pm PST

Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast we’re coming to you live from the Salesforce London World Tour to talk to two incredible UK community leaders, Keir Bowden and Jodi Wagner, to find out about their amazing program, the Speaker Academy.

More about this London Special episode: how the Speaker Academy got started, how they developed their curriculum, and how you can get started working on your public speaking.

You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Jodi Wagner and Keir Bowden.

Live from London World Tour.

This episode comes live amidst the hustle and bustle of the London World Tour, and Gillian could not pass up the chance to talk to the founders of the Speaker Academy. “The Speaker Academy was Keir’s and my brainchild, and it was born out of the fact that we had A.) the same speakers all the time at World Tour and different events, and B.) most of them were men,” says Jodi.

“I’d done a talk at Dreamforce a few years ago about public speaking,” Keir says, “but in terms of how we actually reached people that was all Jodi.” That was about going to Women in Tech meetings, the Developer User Group, and anywhere they thought there would be people who wanted to speak. “We went from 6 people who we used as test subjects to refine our program and just started growing,” Jodi says.

A community that supports each other.

“It’s a six-week program,” Keir says, “it starts out with us presenting quite a lot and we get people to speak a bit, but as we go the amount of talking we do starts to overtake the amount of teaching we do, and the last couple of weeks they’re just presenting to us and we’re critiquing their presentation.”

They’ve been doing the program for a couple of years, and there were three or four speakers just in the Admin Theater at Dreamforce 2017 that absolutely rocked it with how prepared they were. “That’s why I do all of this,” Jodi says, “I love to watch people grow and develop, and two things happen in our program: people get better, and they also get used to speaking in front of each other.” The bonding experience of going through it together and the growth that she witnesses is a huge part of why se’s so passionate about it.

How you can improve your public speaking.

When it comes to becoming a good speaker, the secret is just to practice. “The first talk that I did was for one of the Developer meetups, I volunteered to do it because I thought it would help my career, and then I did it I thought, ‘What have I done? This is going to be awful,’” Keir says, “I was terrified at the thought of getting up because I thought everyone was going to start arguing with me and telling me I was wrong but that was just Imposter Syndrome.” The more you do it the more you start forgetting about the mechanics of it and start focusing on connecting with an audience. Practice really does make perfect.

“I’ll be really honest,” Jodi says, “I had to take public as a formal class three times because I was petrified.” The moment of inspiration came when she was dragged up at User Group to help present something. “We talk a lot about Imposter Syndrome and you know, people are not going to heckle you— most people in the community are here to support you.” The key is just to challenge yourself and do it over and over again and know that you’ll get better as you keep on working on it. “Nothing can happen up there that will actually kill you, so start worrying about the things you can control: make sure that you’re prepared, that your demo is ready, your deck is ready, that you know your lines” Keir says, “once you get up on stage it’s never as bad, it’s always the thinking about it beforehand of what might happen that scares you.”

If you want to be a part of the Speaker Academy, get in touch with Jodi or Keir (Twitter is always great and we have links below), and take a look at the Trailhead module for Public Speaking to get started.

Resources

Twitter

We want to remind you that if you love what you hear, or even if you don’t, head on over to iTunes and give us a review. It’s super easy to do, and it really helps more Admins find the podcast. Plus, we would really appreciate it.

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Direct download: London_Special__The_Speaker_Academy_Story.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:32pm PST

Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast we’ve got Lauren Zolp, Salesforce Product Manager at Figo Pet Insurance, who went from doing her first Trailhead module to becoming fully certified and employed as a Salesforce Admin in 8 weeks, all while her newborn was sleeping.

Join us as we talk about Lauren’s incredible journey, the creativity you need to be an Awesome Admin, and the magic of community.

You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Lauren Zolp.

From military linguist to Salesforce trainee.

“I was really into the arts growing up,” Lauren says, “and you are an artist in your own way as a Salesforce Admin, but it’s quite different than what I had expected.” Instead, she enlisted when she turned 18 and ended up becoming a linguist, learning to speak Urdu. That was her dream job, but it only lasted a year before she sadly medically discharged.

“I didn’t know how to tell people about the skills I learned in the military or how to translate them into a corporate role,” Lauren says. She was unemployed for three years, “I was really down and out,” she says, “but I finally saw something for Vetforce.” She didn’t quite know what Salesforce was (she thought it was some sort of online sales job), but since the program offered training for free she figured she didn’t have anything to lose.

The power of the Vetforce Ohana.

“I was crying at my kitchen table and wondering how, in my 20s, I could be feeling so down and out about my life. I decided that there’s got to be more than I’m feeling in this instance, and there’s got to be a job out there that’s going to make me excited and want to get me up in the morning,” Lauren says. “I got on Muster, which is the Chatter of Vetforce, and it was all these people just answering each other’s questions and talking to each other. I didn’t know anything about Salesforce or Vetforce but I knew that the community was there for each other and that they were there if you needed them to be. It was the first time since leaving the military that you felt like someone cared about you and your success again.”

Going to TrailheaDX 2018 and getting a chance to meet people like Ann Weeby, Mike Halles, and Jesse Grothaus was incredible because it really hammered home that the members of the Vetforce Ohana were just as amazing in person as they were online. “That sense of community that you feel online? It’s real. It’s legitimate,” Lauren says, “it’s incredible and I encourage anyone who can go to these events to go because the community is second to none.”

How Lauren went from her first Trail to certification in 8 weeks.

Coming to Salesforce with no background in it, Lauren was still able to realize the opportunity that working with the platform and becoming an Admin could be. “Day and night I was studying,” she says, “doing all of the Trails that I could.” She had just had a new baby boy at the time, so in between the times he would be up and he would be sleeping she would work on learning the platform (which, if you haven’t dealt with a newborn, is pretty long hours).

“Four weeks after I did my first Trail, I landed a job as the sole Salesforce Administrator tasked with implementation for a startup, which was just mind-blowing to me,” Lauren says. Four more weeks later she took her Admin test and passed, so it only took her eight weeks to go from her first Trail to getting certified. “I always want to tell everyone that you don’t have to be a superhuman to learn Salesforce,” she says, “you can do it, you just need to grab it and run with it because the Trailhead platform makes it easy.”

Onto the next challenge.

“After I got my certification and had that first job, companies began contacting me and trying to get me to work for them, which was just mind-blowing for someone who had been unemployed for so long,” Lauren says.

Lauren had a couple of prospects, but she had her eye on a Salesforce Product Manager position at Figo Pet Insurance that would enable her to not only manage an enterprise Sales Cloud instance, but also Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, and Pardot. “I knew that I didn’t have the skills that I needed quite yet, but that I could take it and run with it if I got the opportunity,” she says. Luckily, Figo agreed, and she’s been working with them for over a month now.

Trailhead

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Direct download: Interview__Lauren_Zolps_Vetforce_Trailblazer_Story.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:11pm PST

Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast we’re talking to the amazing Kelly Evans, Producer at the Futures Lab at Salesforce, to learn about innovation and your career.

More about this Insights session: the different ways you can push yourself and your organization to think more creatively, why you never know where a conversation may lead, and the importance of having fun.

You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Kelly Evans and Gillian Bruce.

The role of the Futures Lab.

As Kelly explains, “the Futures Lab was started by Peter Schwartz, a Salesforce Futurist, really in response to our customers asking us, ‘What is Salesforce thinking long-term?’” To figure that out, “the Lab is charged with creating space, both in time and physical space, for customers and employees to come together and explore ideas. It’s about conversations, it’s about learning, it’s about collaboration,” Kelly says, “that future context, I call it ‘Future’ with a capital F, that we will all be operating in.”

How did Kelly end up on the team? When she joined Salesforce almost 4 years ago, she was looking specifically for somewhere where she could play the role of an entrepreneur in the context of a larger company. She ended up with a role in Ignite, an internal consulting and innovation group at Salesforce, and then eventually worked with the account team that works with the World Economic Forum. “It was working with them to create a program and a platform for Salesforce executives to share their values and our values with the broader community,” Kelly says.

Through that experience, she went to Davos with Peter Schwartz and worked very closely together, which eventually lead to her role at the Futures Lab. As the Producer, her job is designing and creating the experiences the Lab is planning, figuring out who should be included, and “create a space for people to think differently and imagine possibilities,” Kelly says.

The importance of having fun.

When we’re looking at how Admins can apply the lessons learned in the Futures Lab, the first thing that Kelly suggests is to look to the key principles they follow in their work. “The first is have fun and be fun,” Kelly says, “at some point, you need to be really particular about your partners because meeting people and connecting people is key.” There is no remote participation in the Futures Lab because it’s just a different quality of connection in-person.

“The next is diversity,” Kelly says, “for us, diversity in the room is key because that’s what leads to innovation, new thinking, and the challenging of assumptions.” That means a mix of small companies, big companies, young people and those with more experience. “Try to be mindful of what types of people you’re surrounding yourself with, are they hesitant of change or are they imaginative and expansive and optimistic?”

Imagining the future together.

The other core value is imagination. “We get so bogged down in the here and now, the plan and the task and the checklist ahead, but this role has given me the opportunity to imagine and reimagine and reimagine, and I think that flexibility is going to be key. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is so accelerated in speed and change,” Kelly says, “I like that word better than ‘being flexible,” because it brings more creativity, intention, and power behind it.

“The topics that we explore in the futures lab are quite broad,” Kelly says, “for example, future of work, or the future of the industrial Midwest, or what would happen if we had a digital unwinding, if people opted out of the internet, what would the implications be?” The focus is on really big topics. As Peter Schwartz says, “the anxiety that people feel about the future is usually due to a lack of imagination.”

How the Future Lab can help you be a more awesome Admin.

As a Salesforce Admin, you’re the translator between the business problems and the technology that can help solve those problems, so a lot of what Admins have to do is think creatively about different ways to do that and use new tech to help. For Kelly, that means that means you need to “be your own Futurist. Read something you would’ve never read before, a gaming magazine, Popular Mechanics, or whatever that is, to continue constantly learning and getting new ideas. Then be purposeful about sharing those ideas, especially with someone you have nothing in common with, or to create a connection with someone you had nothing in common with before.”

The second thing that Admins can do is “create space with yourself and with others to create and imagine together,” Kelly says. That can be as simple as diversifying your feed, of asking yourself how many people from diverse backgrounds you’re following and making a conscious effort to hear from people of many different ages, industries, etc., that you can.

“Creating stories about the future and imagining puts meaning to facts,” Kelly says, “there’s facts about if you did these things these would be the outcomes, but what about creating stories about that future state that becomes really compelling and fun?” For a really simple example, it’s the difference between getting executive buy-in by explaining all of the benefits of Lightning, versus showing them what a Lightning dashboard could look like.

Trailhead

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We want to remind you that if you love what you hear, or even if you don’t, head on over to iTunes and give us a review. It’s super easy to do, and it really helps more Admins find the podcast. Plus, we would really appreciate it.

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Direct download: Insight__Create_Your_Own_Career_with_Kelly_Evans.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:01pm PST

Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast we’re with Emma Bloksberg-Fireovid, or Emma B-F, a Project Manager at KELL Partners. We get to hear her story about how she found herself in the role from a very non-technical background because she cared so deeply about her company’s mission.

Join us as we talk about how Emma’s eclectic background gave her unique skills for the tech space, why being in tech is about so much more than tech skills, and dealing with Imposter Syndrome.

You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Emma Bloksberg-Fireovid.

The winding road to a life in tech.

Emma has a fascinating story of how she ended up where she is today. “I had been floating through life without a lot of guidance or clarity on what I wanted to do,” she says, “I found myself in a sociology major because I love thinking about how people interact with each other and society, but it was never really clear what was going to come of that.”

Out of college, Emma ended up in nonprofit program management working with low-income youth in Washington, DC who wanted to attain a 4-year college degree. She loved what she was doing and kept at it, but “really quickly I realized that a lot of the organizations I worked in and worked with were really unorganized with the information that was coming in.” The common thread was that she was always the one organizing the information, on sticky notes and spreadsheets and notebooks at first, but that’s what lead to her becoming an Accidental Admin.

Bringing organization to the nonprofit world.

In the nonprofit space, it’s often a challenge to organize all of the information that’s coming in because of the focus on impact and making change. For Emma, that meant that improving the way that her organization dealt with its data was the best way to help that change happen.

“Very early on I realized that being a Salesforce Admin required a lot more than technical configuration skills,” Emma says, “it was critical that to be able to work in a system, get buy-in from your team and leadership, and, in the end, get that budgetary line-item for a system. You have to take care of the people part of it,” which means strategy, communications, and trust building. Those skills didn’t come from Trailhead (although lots of other useful ones did), they came from Emma’s eclectic path to where she ended up, from years of being a camp counselor and tutoring middle school math, “from spending every day getting little humans to get excited about things they had no interest in and had no interest in changing on.”

“One of the reasons I love the Admin role is that we’re in such a unique position to get on the user’s level, to do our best to explain Salesforce and all its magic in a way that makes sense to people,” Emma says. “You can be successful on the platform because I, as a person without previous technical experience, am successful on the platform.” The nontechnical skills that you have are actually what the tech sector is starving for right now. Making sense of the platform and connecting with users to make them feel empowered is critical to the job.

Dealing with Imposter Syndrome.

“When we say the words, ‘Imposter Syndrome,’ it’s a very internal problem,” Emma says, “you have trouble internalizing your own successes.” It can chip away at your confidence because you feel like you’re only where you are today because you got lucky. You’re worried that someday someone will notice that you’re not supposed to be there. “The only reason why Imposter Syndrome exists is because each and every one of us goes through life being told by other people what we’re meant to do, how we’re supposed to act, how we’re supposed to speak, and who we’re meant to be.”

“When I stepped into the technology sector I was surprised to see how many people acted like they knew everything,” Emma says, “which of course fueled my Imposter Syndrome even more because it looked like everyone had it figured out except for me.” However, combating that feeling isn’t as easy as flipping a switch. “You have to be patient with yourself,” she says, “one thing I started to do was to write down every Salesforce I made each week every Friday. All of the sudden, weeks later I had my own accomplishment sheet chronicling all of the work I did.” It also happened to be helpful when it came time to ask for a raise.

Think about what advice you would give to your best friend and have the compassion with yourself to give yourself that advice.

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Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast we’re bringing in Nina Ziebarth-Pavlovich, Innovation Director at Work Differently and a Lead at our Ignite Program at Salesforce. She coaches customers to think differently about solving problems in creative ways and we’ll find out what tips she’s learned along the way.

Join us as we talk about methodologies that you can adopt to get more work done and improve your collaboration.

You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Nina Ziebarth-Pavlovich.

The Ignite team.

Nina’s team at Salesforce is super special and as soon as Gillian found out what they did she had to have them on the pod. “Ignite is a customer-facing team that consults with our biggest customers to help them develop stronger user and customer-centered visions to help them connect in a whole new way,” Nina says.

“Among all the different customers that we work, with, it’s no surprise that we see that digital transformation and software implementation and everything that goes with it is challenging,” Nina says. “When we think about how to tackle these big, complex problems there’s a whole skillset and resources out there that we can use to supplement all the awesome technical work that happens.” These include tools that can help you better understand your users’ experience or that can help you collaborate more tangibly with all of the different partners you need to work with.

Adopting Design Thinking, starting with SABWA.

The way of working that Ignite focuses on is often called Design Thinking and for Nina, there are three hallmarks of the work that you can start applying. The first is to be user-centered. “Before you jump in, stop and ask yourself what the user actually needs,” Nina says, “because if it doesn’t work in the way that they need it to they’re not going to adopt it.” That comes down to getting time with your users and sitting with them as they work. Turns out Mike was onto something when he coined SABWA— Salesforce Administration By Walking Around.

The second key is to be tangible. “So often the meeting is the currency in which things get done, but you’re often left holding the bag or someone else is,” Nina says. Instead, start writing things down so you can look at them. If you’re talking about a workflow, then start putting it on post-it notes and physically map it out so you can see what’s really happening and how you can change it.

Collaborating more effectively with post-its.

The third goal of Design Thinking is collaboration. “When we’re dealing with complex systems or trying to integrate technology across different business units that haven’t worked together in that way you need to understand that no person can do it alone. It’s not about being the smartest but finding a way to leverage all that knowledge,” Nina says.

Ignite uses a structure called Collaborative Cycle and again, it starts with giving everyone post-it notes. First, you need to effectively frame a conversation by clearly stating what big question or you’re trying to address: What are the biggest needs for our users? What hurdles do we expect to encounter? Get everyone to write at least seven of their own ideas on their post-it notes, and then start sharing by posting them up on the board. When you step back and look for themes, “I guarantee that you will see new information emerging, cover a ton more ground, and hear from people who have great insight but aren’t always the first ones to talk.”

Why bad slide design can get you great feedback.

Another key is experimentation. “We always say, ‘roughly right,’ and by that we mean put something out there and show it to someone,” Nina says, “when I show someone something I purposely use the ugliest slides I can so that no one will pay any attention to the design and instead give me feedback about the content.” No one will think that you’ve invested a lot of time into the project, so they’ll be more free with what they have to say, though that doesn’t mean you have to use it.

“Often times people talk about piloting something and our challenge to them is: how can you make it even smaller?” In other words, you don’t necessarily need to build something end-to-end to solicit feedback and get work done. Pick the tiniest part and sketch how you want it to work with stick figures. Again, it doesn’t need to be pretty, but you can save yourself so much time by experimenting early and often.

Resources

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Direct download: Interview__Think_Big_with_Nina_Ziebarth-Pavlovich.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:35am PST

Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast we’re joined by Sovan Bin, the founder and CEO of Odaseva, an AppExchange partner that helps companies large and small get ready for GDPR. He also happens to have over 12 years of experience in the Salesforce ecosystem, so we sit down to talk about what you can do to be ready for the new regulations.

Join us as we talk about GDPR, the nitty gritty of the Right to Be Forgotten, personal consent, retention, and why you need to look at all aspects of your data to prepare for the regulations.

You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Sovan Bin.

The many use-cases of GDPR compliance.

Sovan has a lot of experience working in the Salesforce ecosystem. He started as an Admin, and then was certified as a Technical Architect with a specialty in data. “GDPR is all about data,” Sovan says, “data, security, governance, and compliance improvements.”

Sovan founded Odaseva in 2012 as a data platform, and they work to streamline the GDPR preparation process, “we handle backup, archiving, and GDPR accelerators.” They have 8 use-cases for GDPR, some regarding security and some regarding data management. Sovan works with a number of customers to prepare for the regulations, and that insight can be super valuable for us Admins sitting at home listening.

Odaseva worked with Pathé Gaumont, the number one movie theater company in Europe, to deal with multiple use-cases regarding GDPR. Specifically, they focused on data retention. “When you have consent to collect the personal data of individuals, you have to delete that data after two years.” They also worked with Toyota to implement the Right to Be Forgotten. “If someone calls your company and asks you to remove their data from your systems, you have thirty days to comply and remove it from Salesforce and other systems,” Sovan says.

Implementing changes for the Right to Be Forgotten.

When it comes to actually dealing with implementing the changes you need to make to be GDPR compliant, Sovan and Odaseva mostly work through customized Apps on the AppExchange. “If we talk more about the Right to Be Forgotten, sometimes we think we just need to click on the ‘delete’ button to comply with a request or use a data loader to do that,” he says but as the Admin in charge of GDPR compliance for your company you know that deleting something is a bit more complicated than that, and you don’t necessarily want to lose business information while you’re trying to scrub the personal information.

“Right to Be Forgotten is not always about deletion, it’s about three strategies,” Sovan says, “number one, make sure that you delete real personal data in records or objects where it’s very difficult to predict what kind of information is there.” Some examples would be things like attachments or case comments. “Number two, make sure you don’t touch business data because it belongs to your company,” Sovan says, so things like aggregated revenue with a roll-up summary field on the contact object or opportunities should remain because your dashboards and reports would be affected by that. “Number three,” Sovan says, “is to anonymize the data by changing things like their name and birthdate so the data remains largely unchanged but it’s not easy to come back to the person.”

Sounds like a lot of work, and Odaseva’s main mission is to streamline and automate that process. “They have one button on the contact object that executes this three-layer strategy,” Sovan says, but it’s customized based on what a particular company’s data and org looks like.

Other compliance speed bumps.

Another problem with GDPR compliance comes when you’re dealing with a development environment. Even in a perfect security environment, where accessing all of the data is very restricted and secure, it’s often times the case where a sandbox will have a perfect copy of the data from productions but be much easier to view. “One of the use-cases of GDPR that is quite a quick win to implement is to anonymize the personal data inside the full sandbox,” Sovan says.

“Consider that personal data, from the GDPR philosophy, is the most critical asset that you have to protect with all of your knowledge,” Sovan says, “you have to make sure that you don’t use it, that it’s not being stolen, and you have to be able to delete it on-demand.” So backup is very important for compliance and you have to have plans in place to be able to recover lost data.

Trailhead

Salesforce GDPR Resources - https://www.salesforce.com/gdpr/overview/

More on Odaseva

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We want to remind you that if you love what you hear, or even if you don’t head on over to iTunes and give us a review. It’s super easy to do, and it really helps more Admins find the podcast. Plus, we would really appreciate it.

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Direct download: Interview__How_Companies_are_Preparing_for_GDPR_with_Sovan_Bin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:35am PST

Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast we’ve got the one and only Megan Petersen, Senior Manager of Trailhead Marketing out of Sydney, Australia. We’ll be talking about how Trailhead can help you drive Salesforce adoption at your company.

More about this Insights session: using Trail Tracker, Chatter groups, and Trailmix to boost Trailhead at your company and elevate your own career at your company.

You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Megan Petersen and Gillian Bruce.

Ranger Megan leads the way.

Megan has gotten a bit of a promotion since the last time she was on the podcast— she’s now Ranger Megan. “I’ve been going out to a lot of customers here in Australia to talk to them about how they can use Trailhead within their businesses,” she says, “which is a really great way to up-skill your career within your own business.” You can use Trailhead to do onboarding programs or re-skill your workforce, and there a lot of great tools to help you, like Trailmix and the Trail Tracker.

Trail Tracker is available on the AppExchange that you can download directly into your instance of Salesforce. This tool gives you reports and dashboards for keeping track of how your users work in Trailhead. “I encourage people to set up a Chatter group when they’re doing this,” which lets everyone share their Trailmixes and discuss. “The Chatter group brings it all together, “you can put the shareable link to your Trailmix in there, snapshots of your leaderboard from Trail Tracker, and get a friendly competition going.”

Megan was just working with a customer doing their second phase of their Salesforce rollout and they decided to make Trailhead non-mandatory. Instead, they presented it as an opportunity to take your career to the next level. “Within the first day there was like 40 badges from this group of people,” she says.

Using Trailhead to get back time as an Admin.

“When we talk about training programs,” Megan says, “we need to remember that training’s not just done in isolation, you don’t just do it at the beginning when you welcome someone into the company, things change and evolve, especially with Salesforce, and this is how we can get people to learn about those new features in an ongoing, fun, and digestible way.”

At Salesforce we know it’s been a major challenge for Admins to do training in a consumable way that doesn’t suck up your time. We also know that many people have heavily customized orgs, so it can be hard to see how Trailhead will work for them. However, once you actually break your training you’ll find that Trailhead can really give you back time by covering the basics of navigation and general knowledge of how Salesforce works. The content is also maintained and kept up to date with the latest releases, so you know it’ll stay relevant.

Upcoming customization options with My Trailhead.

Keeping on the subject of customization, the most exciting thing coming down the pipeline is myTrailhead. “You might have fallen in love with the Trailhead experience, but you’re trying to find a way to take that back to your business which has its own cultural values,” Megan says, and myTrailhead lets you do that by writing your own content. You can customize it with your company’s colors, logos, and create the perfect mix of current Trailhead content and your own stuff.

“The best way to get ready for myTrailhead is, ultimately, to start learning on Trailhead the way it is today,” Megan says, “because it gives you users an understanding of how to engage and go through the units,” which gets them used to the fun, gamified, bite-sized learning experience that we all know and love.

Trailhead Webinars

Trailhead

Twitter

We want to remind you that if you love what you hear, or even if you don’t, head on over to iTunes and give us a review. It’s super easy to do, and it really helps more Admins find the podcast. Plus, we would really appreciate it.

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Direct download: Insight__Trailhead_Adoption.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:20pm PST

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