Salesforce Admins Podcast

Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we talk to Brenda Glasser, Salesforce Architect at Ripple and co-leader of the Atlanta Salesforce Architect Community Group.

Join us as we talk about how evangelizing Salesforce and being an advocate for expanding the use of Salesforce within your company can help propel your career.

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

Why Salesforce can do more

Brenda has built out Salesforce implementations at several different organizations over her long career in the ecosystem so we brought her on the pod to share some lessons she’s learned along the way. “Salesforce, as a platform, can do so much within an organization,” she says, but it can be hard to think big when you’re only using one or two clouds and you’re a solo admin.

If your data is in a bunch of different places, or if you are seeing people lose time to tedious manual processes in email or spreadsheets, it can be really powerful to step forward and point out how Salesforce can make things work more smoothly. But how do you take the first steps?

Show your work

Advocating for big changes takes time: you need to build trust and credibility. Brenda recommends trying to find some low-hanging fruit where you can make a big impact quickly. It’s also important to realize that the people in your organization who are struggling the most with Salesforce can be your biggest opportunities. “If they don’t like it, find out why,” she says. After all, it’s your job to help them do their job better, and if you do that you can turn your worst critics into your biggest fans.

The other thing that works really well with stakeholders is building a proof of concept. Gathering some quick requirements and making something can show them that what you’re suggesting is really possible. As the saying goes: you have to see it to believe it. Your Salesforce account team and the Trailblazer community can help you figure things out—you don’t have to go it alone.

How your career can grow with your org

For Brenda, being an effective champion for Salesforce starts with listening. Always be on the lookout for problems you can solve. Being eager to jump in and start building can put a lot of work on your plate, but it also makes you visible to leadership as somebody they can count on.

“If you work for a company that is supportive and committed,” Brenda says, “then that will mean you’ll get additional resources.” You can soon find yourself leading a team, or learning more about the platform and moving into a different role as your org grows. But it’s all about stepping forward and saying, “Hey, Salesforce can do this and I can show you how.”

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Full show transcript

Gillian  Bruce: Welcome to the Salesforce Admins Podcast, where we talk about product, community, and careers to help you be an awesome admin. I'm your host today, Gillian Bruce, and we are going to talk about how you can be a Salesforce evangelist within your own organization. Today we are going to be speaking with Brenda Glasser, who is a community leader. She has been in the Salesforce ecosystem for, I mean, longer than I've been in, maybe around the same time, about 12, 13 years. So a while.
                                                       She's got some amazing experience. She has built out Salesforce implementations at many different organizations. She's at a pretty cool organization right now, but I wanted to get her on the podcast to talk about how evangelizing Salesforce and being an advocate for expanding the use of Salesforce within your own company can help propel your own career. And it's a good topic too, as we round out the year, go into the new year, helping you set a vision for what Salesforce could be in your organization. We had a little bit of an issue with Brenda's audio, so apologies in advance. We did the best we could to make it sound a little bit better, but I promise you the conversation is worth it. So stick with it and enjoy the episode.
                                                       Brenda, welcome to the podcast.

Brenda Glasser:                                        Thank you so much. I'm excited to be here.

Gillian  Bruce:                                        Well, I am very glad to have you on. We've got a really fun discussion in store. But before we get into that, why don't you take a moment and just kind of introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about who you are, what you do, how long you've been in the ecosystem?

Brenda Glasser:                                        Sure. So I'm Brenda Glasser. I live in the Atlanta area. I am currently a Salesforce Architect for a company called Ripple, which is in the cryptocurrency space, which has been an interesting journey for me. Yeah, I've been in the ecosystem, I think about 13 or 14 years. I don't actually know, but I've been around for a while. I got started sort of pre-Trailhead and all that good stuff. And I also help co-lead the brand new Salesforce architect Trailblazer Community Group here in Atlanta.

Gillian  Bruce:                                        That's awesome. So just a few years in Salesforce, still learning the ropes, right?

Brenda Glasser:                                        I am though. That's the thing, is you never stop learning. So I am still learning the ropes.

Gillian  Bruce:                                        I love that. I love that. Well, congrats on leading the new architect group there in Atlanta. Very exciting. Brenda, I wanted to get you on the podcast because with all of the experience that you've had in Salesforce over the years, you had a lot of experience kind of working with organizations and getting them on board with Salesforce and kind of making a case for why they should use more Salesforce. I wanted to get a talk about how admins can really think about setting a vision for Salesforce. And so can you talk to us a little bit about how setting a vision for Salesforce has helped you in your career?

Brenda Glasser:                                        Yeah, absolutely. So I think the first thing is just to know that Salesforce as a platform can do so much within an organization. But I know I have, especially when I was first starting out, where you're in roles, your company is using it maybe for only certain use cases, or maybe they just have Sales Cloud or they just have one or two Clouds, especially if you are a solo admin or working in a smaller org with a very small team, it can be easy to sort of think of Salesforce as smaller than it really is. But as a platform and with everything, all the different Clouds and different offerings, there is really just so much that Salesforce can do for any organization. And so I think as I have been on my Salesforce journey, I've had the opportunity to get experience and learn about a lot of the different Clouds.
                                                       So I really started out in Sales Cloud and then Service cloud, Experience Cloud, marketing, Tableau, all the different stuff. And you sort realize just how powerful it can be and the different business problems that it can solve. So for example, if you are noticing, and this happens in every company, right, that your customer data is disjointed or it's in a lot of different systems. And if you can't easily figure out who are our customers, what did they buy, what's their status? Are they even an active customer or no longer an active customer? If you are seeing manual processes, so things that are being handled by email or in Excel or random other tools, anything like that, if you sort of can start to tune in to some of those things that might be a little bit outside of your day-to-day scope, but you talk to your coworkers, you learn about how the business is operating, it can be really powerful to start to tune in to, Hey, Salesforce can help with this and here's how.

Gillian  Bruce:                                        So I mean, I think, you hit the nail on the head a lot of ways about understanding, hey, Salesforce can do so much, right, even if you're only working on Sales Cloud. It's really good to know, oh, it can do all of these other things as well, especially now with Tableau and Slack and MuleSoft in the house.

Brenda Glasser:                                        Mm-hmm.

Gillian  Bruce:                                        In order to kind of get buy-in from stakeholders to maybe expand the business a bit and expand the use of Salesforce across the business. What are some things that have helped you in the past? Maybe pushed for that? Because I can imagine especially, I mean, a lot of times Salesforce admins we're the only ones in the company who even knows anything about Salesforce, right?

Brenda Glasser:                                        Mm-hmm. Yep.

Gillian  Bruce:                                        So what are some things that have helped you in the past kind of sell the business in terms of getting them to expand the use of Salesforce? Maybe think about bringing more processes within the Salesforce platform.

Brenda Glasser:                                        Yeah, I mean, I think the most important thing really is to kind of build trust and credibility amongst your team and amongst your stakeholders. So if your stakeholders don't know you or they don't trust you, or maybe don't fully buy in to Salesforce, that could definitely make it harder to get their buy-in. So I think trying to proactively find and help support maybe some low hanging fruit and spending the time to understand, hey, if they maybe are not the number one fans of Salesforce within their organization, if they find it clunky or it's not easy to use or they don't like it, I think find out why, right? So really go in with an attitude of, Hey, I'm not here to be defensive. This is a platform and it's my job to help you do your job better. So I think it really does start with building that trust and credibility.
                                                       And then I would say once you have that or you've started to build that, one thing that I like to do is try to whip up a proof of concept, right? So a lot of times it's easy to say, Hey, Salesforce can do this. But if they can't visualize it, they've never seen it in action, it sounds maybe too good to be true, spending a little bit of time to gather some quick requirements, right? It's not going to be the full requirements that you would need for a larger project or if you're implementing another Cloud or something like that. But spend the time to understand a few use cases and then in either a sandbox or developer edition org, build out a proof of concept so that they can see, okay, this actually does work the way that the Salesforce admin team is telling me that it could work.
                                                       And I would say another thing you can do is leverage your Salesforce account team. I am a huge fan of my Salesforce account team, because probably your company is not the only company that has tried to solve these problems, and they can help arm you with collateral and experts to help sell the vision as well. So you don't have to do it yourself. It's not something that you're on your own. There are resources within the Trailblazer community, of course, and within Salesforce itself that can help you put together that story. But again, I think the proof of concept is a really great way to get people to understand, here's how the solution could work.

Gillian  Bruce:                                        Yeah. You got to see it to believe it, right? I mean, that's kind of the idea. And I really like how you broke it down into the two steps, right? First, really establish that trust. Establish yourself as the subject matter expert, as the trusted advisor when it comes to Salesforce, that you can deliver results, you can have an impact. And then when you want to expand, be like, oh look, look what I can do. Look what I can build for you. I think that's a really, really good kind of two step vision setting process there.
                                                       So one of the things too, Brenda, that I know that you've kind of self-described yourself as is an in-house Salesforce evangelist. So can you talk a little bit, I mean, as an evangelist myself, I evangelize, but to a slightly different type of audience in a slightly different situation. So can you talk to us a little bit about what it means to really kind of evangelize and be the Salesforce advocate within your company and kind of be that person? How do you become that? And then how does that help you both in your own career and then you're building solutions?

Brenda Glasser:                                        Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So I think the first part, I just really love building stuff on Salesforce. So for me, it's fairly natural because I really like solving problems. And that's the reason that I fell in love with Salesforce to begin with was something so simple of I can create a field for you, look at that and receiving that feedback selfishly. I love almost nothing more when I can solve an issue for somebody, even if to me it's something really simple, it can really kind of make somebody's day. So for me, definitely I am just super passionate about the platform and what it can do. And so I am always looking for opportunities to raise my hand or poke my head in to say, actually Salesforce can help with that. Do you want to learn more? Do you want to see how? So I think it really starts with, again, listening, looking for problems, looking for opportunities.
                                                       And that can sometimes be challenging because that does put extra work on your plate, because you find yourself in the position where you are signing up for more work. So that is a thing that you do have to balance. And I know that's something I can be guilty of taking on too much just because I'm a little bit too excited about what it can do. But where that really starts to help me personally in my career is I am able to be seen amongst stakeholders, leadership as somebody that they can kind of count on and that somebody who really, truly has the business' best interest in mind. So that means that where if you work for a company that is supportive and is committed, then what that will mean is that you do get additional resources, right? So if you are in a position where you can maybe expand your team, then that can also enable you the opportunity to move into a kind of leadership or management type position.
                                                       So that is a really great way. It also gives you the ability to invest in the platform more, which means you get more cool stuff that you can play with, but that also adds to your resume, that gives you more opportunities to get hands on with different aspects of the platform, gives you opportunities to go and get certifications or trainings or all that sort of thing. So I think by really looking for those opportunities to raise your hand and say, Hey, Salesforce can help with this, that benefits your business, your company, but the benefits to yourself are just, the sky's the limit.

Gillian  Bruce:                                        I love that. It's an investment in yourself, which also turns out to be an investment in the company and in Salesforce too, because the more people like you that are out there, the better the product gets because you give us feedback. But I think one of the things that I heard in that is, hey, it can be a little scary because you're the eager person and you create all this more work for yourself and you create all these opportunities, which means there's just endless things that you can work on.
                                                       How do you find a balance for that? How do you figure out, I maybe have taken on too much, or maybe this is the right time to take on a little more. I mean, I know there's no right answer, but just looking, I think that might be one of the most intimidating pieces of this for folks is being like, yeah, I would be happy to say Salesforce can do that. And yes, I can do that, but oh wait, now I just said I can do all of these things and I only have time to do three things and now I have 10 things that I want to do.

Brenda Glasser:                                        Yeah. So I think one is, and this is something that you kind of develop a muscle for over time I think is setting expectations. So just because you're saying yes, Salesforce can do this is not the same thing as saying Salesforce can do this and I'll have it done by next week. You are constantly having to evaluate and also prioritize with your leadership, with the company's priorities. Just because you as an individual or you as an admin team have identified a problem that you can go solve doesn't mean it's the top priority. So you have to constantly check in with yourself, check in with your team, check in with your manager, your leadership to make sure that you're focusing on the right things at the right time. But also providing that feedback and expectations to your stakeholders to give them realistic timelines, understanding scope, and having them understand they're going to have to participate in the process.
                                                       It is not magic that if you do take on, especially if it is a larger project, it's not just you doing all the work. Your teams and your stakeholders will have to participate in that as well, and do your best to set expectations in terms of when and how a project is going to go down. But it is hard. It's something you have to constantly check in. And I know for me it's not just at work, right? 'Cause I have kids, so I obviously have responsibilities with my kids, I have responsibilities within the home. I try to do as much as I can to give back to the Trailblazer community. But again, I can't go to every event, I can't volunteer with all of the wonderful organizations. So I do have to always kind of reassess, all right, where is my time going? Am I spending my time in a way that I'm not burning out? Which I can't say I'm always successful at that, but I try.

Gillian  Bruce:                                        I mean, I think we all struggle with that, all these competing priorities, all these things that want a piece of us in our lives and figuring out how to divvy that up in the right way. So well said, well said. And I think this discussion ties pretty well with another episode that was recently on the podcast kind of dealing with talking about burnout that was on the developer podcast. So I think it's a really good conversation to say, Hey, yes, you can go be an evangelist for Salesforce and you can help grow your abilities and grow the capabilities of Salesforce within your organization, but also you need to make sure that you're taking care of what needs to be taken care of, which is number one yourself, right?

Brenda Glasser:                                        Yep.

Gillian  Bruce:                                        And making sure that by investing both in yourself by growing your expertise within Salesforce and growing your responsibilities at your role at your company, but that you're not doing it at the compromise of something else.
                                                       So yeah, very good discussion. Things to keep in mind, especially as we're rounding out the year starting the new year. I think this is a good chance to kind of evaluate those things and take them into account. So Brenda, before we totally wrap up, I would love to know, do you have some tips or advice since you're a very tenured person in the Salesforce ecosystem, maybe for some folks that are a little bit newer, first couple years in the role of being a Salesforce admin, what are some tips or advice you have for them?

Brenda Glasser:                                        Yeah, I mean, I think just sort of getting to know even at a really high level what all is available from Salesforce. So again, when we were first starting out, we focus a lot on really kind of the core platform and getting admins search and kind of starting down our certification journey. But I would really recommend spending time on Trailhead or getting involved within the Trailblazer community on some of the other offerings. So there's wonderful Trailblazer groups and conferences and trails on things like Experience Cloud, on Marketing Cloud, on Tableau, on what else is out there. You certainly don't need to be an expert, but I think just knowing what those offerings are can really make a big difference to help you put on your creative problem-solving hat and looking for where there can be opportunities to expand your utilization of the platform.

Gillian  Bruce:                                        I love that. Expand your horizons a little bit. I think that's great, especially your note about you don't have to be an expert to go to a Marketing Cloud user group meeting.

Brenda Glasser:                                        Nope, nope.

Gillian  Bruce:                                        Show up, take it in. Learn something.

Brenda Glasser:                                        Exactly. Exactly.

Gillian  Bruce:                                        Oh, that's great. Well, Brenda, I really appreciate you taking the time to chat with us today, and it's wonderful to hear about how you've learned to be an advocate for Salesforce within your organizations and then how it's really helped you propel your career, and then maybe give some insight to some others for some opportunities. So thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate it.

Brenda Glasser:                                        Oh, well, thank you. Thank you so much for having me on. I really enjoyed it.

Gillian  Bruce:                                        Well, huge thanks for Brenda for taking the time to chat with us. I really enjoyed our discussion and I hope you enjoyed it too. I love talking about being an advocate, wanting to do more work, but also being very cautious about the work that you're taking on and trying to balance that with all of the other things you have and prioritizing. It can be hard sometimes, but I mean, I am very naturally an eager, let's go do all the things person, and I struggle with taking on too much myself. So really good discussion with Brenda about that. I wanted to remind you that as you go into your end of year/beginning of year planning and you're trying to figure out what you might want to learn, we have some really great content on and if you haven't spent time there lately, please go check it out.
                                                       We've got some amazing blog content, especially this last year. We've done an amazing job of really putting together quality content from experts on there. And we've got a lot coming up as well about the upcoming release. So all the Spring '23, is it Spring '23? Yeah. Wow. Spring '23 Release goodies will be on very soon. So stay tuned for that. And as always, if you want to learn anything else about what it takes to be an awesome admin, check all the content out.
                                                       We also have great videos on YouTube like Automate This and Expert Corner and some fun Salesforce Plus content about How I Solved It. And so yeah, just check us out, Make it a priority to hit us up there. You can follow our guest today, Brenda Glasser on Twitter. She is (@BrendaGlasser). She's also very active on the Trailblazer community, so find her there. You can find my co-host Mike Gerholdt (@MikeGerholdt) on Twitter and myself (@GillianKBruce). You can find All Things Awesome Admin using (#awesomeadmin) on Twitter or (@SalesforceadminsknowI). Hope you have a wonderful rest of your day or evening or morning, and I'll catch you next time in the Cloud.

Direct download: Propel_Your_Career_by_Being_a_Salesforce_Advocate_with_Brenda_Glasser.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am PDT