Salesforce Admins Podcast

This week it’s our monthly retro, bringing you the highlights from November’s feast of tasty Salesforce content. For this episode of the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we spotlight all the blog posts, videos, and everything else from this month that you won’t want to miss.

Join us as we talk about great Salesforce content from November and our favorite things about Fall.

You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation between Mike and Gillian.

Blog highlights from November

For Gillian, Samantha Shain’s “How I Solved This: Dive Deep Into the Debug Log” was a standout blog post. “You don’t have to know how to write code, but you can know how to learn a little bit from the naming conventions you’ll uncover in the debug log,” Gillian says. The post that stood out to Mike in November was “Salesforce Release Notes Have a New Home: Salesforce Help!” by Geri Rebstock, about why we’ve moved the Release Notes to a new place.

Podcast highlights from November

This month, Gillian was thrilled to speak to Ariel Ridley about how she built her own app and got it listed on the AppExchange. “I hope that some of our listeners got inspired to build their own apps and share them with the community by listing them on the AppExchange as well,” she says. Mike wanted to highlight his conversation with Mia Pacey, where they talked about her unique “campfire” approach to weekly meetings and user check-ins.

Video highlights from October

“When we make a video, we really make a video,” Mike says, and this month we wanted to make sure you didn’t miss our seven tips on how to pass your Salesforce Administrator Certification exam. Reach out to us on Twitter to let us know which tip helped you the most—or your favorite thing on Gillian’s shelf.

Listen to the full episode to hear about Mike and Gillian’s favorite Fall activities, and how to make a hot apple pie cocktail.



Full Show Transcript

Gillian Bruce: Welcome to the Salesforce admins podcast, the monthly retro with Gillian and Mike episode, where we review the top beast worthy product, community, and careers content from November to help you become an awesome admin. I'm Gillian Bruce.

Mike: And I'm Mike Gerholdt who can't believe it's November already. Holy cow!

Gillian Bruce: What a year it has been.

Mike: Eleven months just flying by all of a sudden. Really just since maybe August, I guess.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. In some ways I feel this year counts as five years. It's like a dog year.

Mike: Right. [crosstalk 00:00:51] I would like fall-

Gillian Bruce: I guess it would be seven years.

Mike: ...Could I get fall back? Because fall was just a day, where I live.

Gillian Bruce: Oh, right. Because it's already winter there?

Mike: Well, periodically, and then it becomes summer. Today it was 65, which in the Midwest in November you're, "Yay! Shorts" and a hoodie.

Gillian Bruce: Fur, says the San Francisco girl.

Mike: I know.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. Oh man. [crosstalk] Well Mike, we had a lot of awesome admin content this month to talk about starting with some of our amazing blog posts. Now, one of the ones that I got pretty excited and nerdy about was the bog post of How I Solve This by Samantha Shane, all about how she used the debug log to help solve a form issue that she had.
I really liked this because it's super nerdy and it's definitely a great way push your awesome admin skills to the next level because she talks about how you can use the debug log to prove... You don't have to know how to write code, but you can know how to learn a little bit from the naming conventions that you'll uncover in the debug log. And what's great about this too, is this was inspired by another trailblazer, Jess Lopez did a session at Dreamforce to help inspire Samantha to do this and it's a great use case. And then a great example and I think it's a good way for any admin to go play with the debug log and see what you can figure out and you'd be surprised what you already know.

Mike: Yeah. I love the How I Solve This series. I think it's great. It ties right back into what we heard at Dreamforce from admins last year of being problem solvers. And to your point of reading the debug log, I feel like it's when you took a foreign language in college, I could always read and understand what was going on, but just don't ask me to regurgitate it or especially write it in a sentence. It's always better reading a foreign language.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. I took way too many years of Spanish to admit that I can't speak it very well unless there are some margaritas involved. So I-

Mike: Then everybody can
Gillian, I chose what I thought was really cool announcement, especially for people getting into the ecosystem. And even some of the long time Salesforce admins who have been around for a while. And that is that the Salesforce release notes have a new home and they're in help. And up until that point, it always made sense that you search out release notes and then you always went over to this help area. And now they're hanging out their quarantining together, forever.

Gillian Bruce: In true 2020 style.

Mike: In true 2020 style. But if you think about it, it makes logical sense, right? Go to one location for everything, and it's all in help. And I think as a new admin coming in it so helps as... See it's literally in the description it so helps because now you know where to go for help. Where [crosstalk] your release notes?

Gillian Bruce: And you do one of the things that I think everyone experiences, especially if they're newer to the Salesforce world is we have so many resources and so many places that you can go to get information about all the things. So to be able to tie these two very, very useful, probably our most useful resources together, I think is really awesome. It's a move in the right direction.

Mike: Yep. A hundred percent agree. Gillian, we did a bunch of podcasts in November. What was one of your favorites? I know we had many, they're all our favorites. Just to be clear.

Gillian Bruce: We don't like picking favorites.

Mike: How about we say that highlight.

Gillian Bruce: Highlights. Yeah. For anyone who watches the crown, we're not picking a favorite child. Okay. So this is one of the ones that I think learned the most and was the most inspired by this month was the podcast I got to record with Ariel Ridley. She is a really amazing PepUp Tech alum. She has got a great story about actually building a lightning transition app with Kelly Walker, who is our light or lightning champions expert here at Salesforce and getting it listed on the app exchange. And it was one of the tools she used to help learn the platform and learn how to build apps. And now she's got an app on the app exchange. She is doing amazing things at Copado. She has really launched her career and the way she talked about how she approached building the app, iterating on it and going through the process of getting it listed on the app exchange to share with the world.
I thought was really inspiring. And I really hope that some of the listeners got inspired to maybe build their own apps and share them with the community by listing them on the app exchange as well.

Mike: Yeah. That was super fun pod to listen to. I'm going to go with, and I just realized that we did a commendable job of having quite a few APAC people on in the month of November because my podcasts that I picked was campfires with Mia. So Mia Pacey talks about what I feel is so vital and that's sitting down and interacting with users and having stakeholder meetings and she calls them campfires because hello, isn't it fun to be on brand with Trailhead? Maybe that's just the marketing geek in me.

Gillian Bruce: Well, and that means S'Mores are involved. Right?

Mike: I brought that suggestion up to her and I'm hoping that she implemented, you can do virtual S'Mores. There's a fun conversation about having S'Mores and fudge Stripe cookies. I realize, I think they call fudge Stripe cookies something different in Australia, but fudge Stripe cookies are a fun way to cheat S'Mores because then you just buy the cookies and the marshmallows and you get S'Mores. You don't have to... It's already half put together.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. I think they call them biscuits in-

Mike: Could be.

Gillian Bruce: Australia. And the UK our cookies are their biscuits. I don't know. That's from watching way too much of The Great British Baking Show.

Mike: I loved it. Listen to that episode because Mia gives you tips on how she communicates this out, how she deals with having lots of different users on a call, separating users out and how she worked with executives to get buy in to keep the branding of campfires going. And most importantly, to have executive support her effort of keeping campfires going, which I think is really key to driving adoption and to having attendance. So it was super fun to do that episode.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah, and we've got some good Asia Pacific representation on the podcast. I think we even have a couple more in the queue. So trying to make sure we still have our global admins represented on the podcast this year. But Mike, we may not have had a lot of videos this month, but there was one video where we try something a little different.

Mike: When we make a video. We really make a video. I was just watching this video. Gillian.

Gillian Bruce: Yes Mike. And how did you feel about it?

Mike: I feel like I learned seven things to help me pass my Salesforce admin certification.

Gillian Bruce: Oh, well, I'm so glad you learned those seven things to help you pass your admin certification exam. Because this was actually based on a blog post from a while ago, but we updated a little bit of the info and it holds true. It's a quick digit nail style video on tips on how to pass the cert exam. And I had a lot of fun recording it. It's a fun to play with some different models there.

Mike: Yeah, and we should definitely have anybody who has watched this video listening to the podcast now. I'd love to know what the favorite thing is in Gillian's background because you got a few things to pick from back there.

Gillian Bruce: I've got quite a collection of- [crosstalk 00:08:57].

Mike: Falcon, maybe the Lego Cody?

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. My little snake plant over there in the corner. I got all kinds of weird stuff going on. I just keep adding to it at some point it's going to be the shelves will just give out and be like, okay. Too much, too much, too much. But yeah, if you watch the video, please make a comment on the video or comment in Twitter. I'd love to know what your favorite tip is. Or like Mike said, putting out weird things in my background is always going to-

Mike: Or tell Gillian what the next digino video should be. That would be fun. What do you want to talk about next?

Gillian Bruce: Or When you take your cert exam? That's really what I want to know because that was the whole point of the video. So we got your cheerleaders right here for you.

Mike: So Gillian, we end each of these episodes. I think it's kind of fun to go retro-ish on things for the month that are appropriate. So I thought I'd pull out what a fall fun activity would be.

Gillian Bruce: I like that.
Now let's also... We just talk about how global the podcast is. So we realized that in other parts of the world, fall is not exactly the same. It's all here in the Western hemisphere. How about that?

Mike: Yep, absolutely. So I listed a few, ironically you would think Apple picking and going to a corn maize is what Midwesterners do. And a lot do, not this guy, not me. Haha I know a corn maze is just called a cornfield to me because they're all of maize. I've ridden a hay ride once, I almost fell off. It was really cold, by the way if you've never ridden on a hayrack, they're really cold. Even if it's warm out, you walk outside, "Oh, it's going to be fun. Hay ride today." Bring extra layers because it is going to be cold.
But I will say my favorite fall activity. I always enjoy it all summer long, even in the spring. So for those of you that are in spring or different seasons, I do love going to a farmer's market. And especially in the fall, I love going because there's usually, at least in my area we get a little bit more of the artists that come out and they do fun, fall wreaths and ornamental, there is a little less produce and a little more crafts. So I always enjoyed the farmer's markets.

Gillian Bruce: It's pretty good. I don't think I've done aside from the farmer's market because I do live in San Francisco. I don't think I've done any of the other things. I've never picked apples except for maybe off of a Apple tree in a friend's yard. And-

Mike: And that's exactly what Apple picking is by the way.

Gillian Bruce: Especially go to an orchard and you're supposed to get a basket and look all picturesque. I never done that [crosstalk]
Yeah. And the corn maize thing, I have never done one of those. We don't have a lot of corn fields in the Bay area.

Mike: No, I've never seen one, to be honest with you.

Gillian Bruce: And aside from riding basically a trailer you'd put a car on. one of those flatbed trailers, with two bales of hay on it, around in a parking lot. That's the closest I think I've ever come to a hay ride.

Mike: it's pretty, pretty close to what a hayrack is. you're not missing much.

Gillian Bruce: There you go. Well, I will say that one of my favorite fall things, and again, we don't get a lot of this here in the Bay area because we don't really have that drastic change in seasons. But I do love looking at TikTok videos of dogs, jumping through big piles of leaves. That is my one of my favorite fall activities because the glee they get on their faces. They just pop, pop, pop through the big piles of leaves. It looks so fun. So that is pretty great. Especially when all you see is either their ears or their tail sticking out of the pile and the sound, anyway.
The biggest change that we get here in the Bay area is we get a little rain. It actually started raining here just last week. And so those cozy, rainy days, we can curl up on the couch and just watch the rain outside and put on all your layers. And I love it. And you get to wear boots. I love boots. So it's the season that you finally get to pull out your boots here in San Francisco. Not that you really need them, but it's an excuse to wear boots.

Mike: I don't know. Some of those step offs of the curbs are pretty high. And if the street is flooding a little bit, then you would want a boot.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah, also fun boots. I like boots. I'm not leaving my house anytime soon, so I don't really need any boots this year.

Mike: You could buy them, look at them. "Oh, remember when we used to wear boots?"

Gillian Bruce: "Remember those boots"

Mike: Well, staying inside on cozy rainy days, sounds like a favorite fall beverage. So I think the big trend...geez, I saw pumpkin spice Cheerios the other day.

Gillian Bruce: ugh.

Mike: We don't have to pumpkin spice everything, one or two things is fine, but-

Gillian Bruce: Isn't Pumpkin pie enough.

Mike: It's more than enough for me.

Gillian Bruce: Okay. Yeah. I'm not, I'm not a big pumpkin flavored person.

Mike: No, no, no. I do like hot cider. That is nice, it feels cozy.

Gillian Bruce: You maul it with some spices. It makes a whole house smell good.

Mike: Yeah. that's fall.

Gillian Bruce: And then you could up your hot cider game by adding a little Tuaca and whipped cream and turn it into a hot Apple pie cocktail, which is one of my favorite fall drinks. Seriously. It's like drinking dessert. It tastes like an Apple pie. It's so good.

Mike: We can definitely try that but not going to pumpkin spice the rest of the stuff. Cocoa maybe. So it is interesting. When I looked this up, hot cocoa came up as a fall beverage. I don't know about you? You can tell me on Twitter different. Hot cocoa to me is when it's got to be winter and there has to be snow on the ground or really cold, but hot cocoa to me, isn't a fall drink.

Gillian Bruce: I am on the same page Mike. I think of hot cocoa as something you get when you go to the ice rink and you need a warm up and you pull off the gloves on your hands and you have the hot cocoa and it burns the top of your mouth

Mike: Ski lodge stuff. But not when there is crunchy leaves out with dogs flying through them.

Gillian Bruce: I wish it could always be like that. Can I get a big pile of crunchy leaves delivered to my front yard? That would be fantastic.

Mike: There's the next billion-dollar startup idea

Gillian Bruce: Be like, look at those bougie weirdo, San Franciscans, ordering piles of leaves to be delivered so their dogs can jump through them.

Mike: Well, we used to be able to order kittens from Uber. How is this any different?
Just add to it. I'd like three kittens and 100 pounds of dried leaves

Gillian Bruce: And you get to come clean them up after too- [crosstalk]

Mike: Yeah. that's got to be part of it. Maybe that's a separate app

Gillian Bruce: And it can be called better be-leaf it.

Mike: There you go. See, free million dollar advice. Go out, get some investor money. See how that works for you. You got at least one customer, Gillian. So there's your pitch.

Gillian Bruce: I don't know if the rest of the household would agree with my decision, but-

Mike: No, it doesn't have to. Oh, fun stuff. Anyway, if you want to learn more about all the things that we talked about in today's episode, minus the billion dollar leaf delivery app, please go to to find those links and so many, many more resources. You can stay up to date with us on all things social for admins. We are at Salesforce admins, no I on Twitter. I'm Mike Gerholdt on Twitter and Gillian is at Gillian K Bruce. So with that, stay safe, stay awesome and stay tuned for the next episode. We'll see you in the cloud.

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

For this week’s episode of the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we talk to Mia Pacey, a Salesforce Admin at Surf Life Saving NSW. She shares how she holds weekly campfires with her users to drive adoption.

Join us as we talk about her Trailhead-inspired weekly Salesforce meetings for her users, how she gets executive buy-in, and how to make a great demo.

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

How Mia drives adoption in a new Sales Cloud implementation.

“I was the fix-it person at my organization,” Mia says, “I loved figuring out ways to help my users do things a bit better.” That meant that she soon found herself getting certified as a System Administrator at a Trailhead Bootcamp in Gold Coast, Australia, and dove straight into a Sales Cloud implementation.

Hitting the ground running has meant doing a few special things to make sure everyone gets with the program. “I work with our users very closely because I feel like they’re very important for user adoption and the success of your platform as a whole,” Mia says, “so I call what I run a campfire.” It’s a weekly time for her users to get together and watch a demo, do a training, or just chat about what they’d like to see on the platform.

What is a campfire?

For Sydney World Tour Reimagined, Mia had viewing areas in her office for everyone to catch all of the different channels and content. “The users loved it so much and it was super engaging as an atmosphere,” she says, “so, I thought, why don’t we just do this again but more of an internal conversation?” That’s how the campfire tradition was born.

Because she’s working in a new implementation, Mia has found her campfires to be especially helpful when it comes to rolling out new features, landing key demos and training, and just generally making sure that Salesforce is meeting her users’ needs. Right now, they have these meetings on a weekly basis at 30-60 minutes a session, so they’re easy to fit in the schedule and well worth the time. “A campfire doesn’t sound scary,” she says, “so calling it that gives the executives something to promote and doesn’t turn off users.”

Making demos that matter to users.

“When I’m thinking about what to demo or what to showcase, I just have to remember it’s not scary,” Mia says, “these are my users—they understand the platform because I understand what they’re using.” In other words, you’re not presenting to an audience of strangers who are coming to it cold. You know something about their experience and what matters to them, and you probably already have the material on-hand from user testing and user stories for a new feature you’ve implemented to make a great demo.

Mia’s sales users are actually some of her biggest fans, “because if I demo something that’s an end-to-end example of what they’re doing in their day-to-day life, they’ll have so much buy-in, they get so engaged,” she says. And remember, you don’t need to have meticulously crafted demos every week, you can also take the time to highlight features, open discussion, and encourage conversation. 



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

On this episode of the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we sit down with Ariel Ridley, a Customer Support Specialist and PepUp Tech alum. We learn how you—yes, you—can build an app and list it on the AppExchange.


Join us as we talk about why it’s so important to get on the phone when you’re troubleshooting, how Ariel built her app, and why you need to put what you’re working on in front of users to get that feedback loop going.


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

Why All Salesforce Admins Need Customer Service Skills

Ariel is a Customer Support specialist helping people when they encounter issues and creating knowledge articles to answer common questions. While most admins aren’t in a direct customer support role, they still need to work with users to make sure they know how to get the most out of Salesforce.

For Ariel, there are a few things that help: “I make sure to ask plenty of questions,” she says, “I’ve found, overall, that it’s helpful between me and the customer if we really discuss what’s going on—sometimes they’ll even resolve the issue on their own just by us hopping on a quick call and going over what’s happening.”

The Transition Helper for Salesforce app

Ariel created her own app, Transition Helper for Salesforce Lightning. “The main goal of it is to establish a plan for moving between Classic and Lightning,” she says. The app provides documentation and links to help orgs create a rollout plan and stick to it. As you move through the app, it asks you a series of questions to help you learn about the components of Lightning and what you need to know in order to transition smoothly. You can also deploy it to your team to help them, too.

For Ariel, there was so much information out there that it felt like many organizations still stuck in Classic simply didn’t know where to start. The Transition Helper for Salesforce helps guide you along a path so you can get started without sifting through pages of documentation and know you’re making the right choices for what you need.

How You Can Make a Salesforce App

Making the app was a bit of a process. They had to plan everything out on paper, first, writing out what documentation they wanted to include and how they were going to structure everything. Once Ariel started building, she made sure to put it in front of friends who were at orgs still stuck in Classic to get their feedback about how she could make it work better. This feedback loop was key to making something simple and effective.

Posting it on the AppExchange was fairly simple. You have to create an account on the Salesforce Partner Community, and then go through some steps to create a listing and complete a security review. “There’s always people available if you have any questions,” Ariel says. “I never would’ve thought that I could have created an app, and now I have one that’s out there that can help a lot of people,” she says, “it’s a great feeling.”



Direct download: Build__Share_Your_App_on_the_AppExchange_with_Ariel_Ridley.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am PDT

For this episode of the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we’ve got new Salesforce Admin Courtney Coen. We learn how she set herself up as a superuser and got certified to be a Salesforce Admin, her approach to solving challenges from her users, and why being a Salesforce Admin is one of the most social jobs you will have

Join us as we talk about her technique for visualizing the process to communicate to her users, how her story shows how superusers can help you, and why it’s so important to be social as an admin.

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

From superuser to Salesforce Admin.

“About four years ago, I was working in a call center and we were doing a lot of things manually, and I hated it,” Courtney says, “I wanted to spend my time helping customers instead of having to count out individual things when we could definitely report on them.” She played around in Salesforce and found the reports and dashboards tab and started figuring it out on her own.

Courtney ended up being the de facto admin for her customer services department and, after she had already built over 150 reports and dashboards, the development team at her company realized they needed to talk. It didn’t take long for them to figure out that she should be a full-time admin, so she got started on the path to certification with the support of the team and her supervisors in customer service, which she finally completed this year in May. “It was very much a story of sponsorship and mentorship, and without everyone’s help I wouldn’t be here,” Courtney says.

How Courtney uses visualizations to explain process changes.

Courtney has a unique visual approach to problem-solving. “The first thing I do when I’m tackling a business challenge is talk to the people who are having the problem,” she says, “and I draw the process we have now and color code it and talk to them about why it’s a problem and what their proposed solution is.” That makes it easier for her to adjust all the different components of the workflow to see where she can save people clicks or add automation to save time.

One thing Courtney uses her visualization method for is to keep her users updated about changes she’s making to their workflows. It’s important to her because not too long ago, she was one. “Users don’t necessarily understand all the technical mumbo jumbo,” she says, “but sending them a visual representation of how you’re going to fix something is a much better way to communicate with them.”

Why being a Salesforce Admin means you have to be social.

Courtney likes to say that being a Salesforce Admin is one of the most social jobs you will have. “As an admin, your users are your customers,” she says, “they’re our customers, they’re our clients, it’s our job to make everything easier on their side.” The first thing Courtney does when she’s handed a new issue is to set up a meeting to talk through the process and, ideally, watch them work through it as it currently stands so she can ask questions.

In the current remote work environment, many of us find ourselves in these days, that can be a little trickier because you can’t just do some SABWA (Salesforce Administration By Walking Around). For Courtney, video conferencing has been a lifesaver: “We’re actually meeting more now than we did before,” she says, and those meetings are paving the way for even more improvements in the org.



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Full Show Transcript

Direct download: SFA_547_MASTERED.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am PDT