Salesforce Admins Podcast

Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we’ve got the Monthly Retro for July.

 

Join us as we talk about the latest and the greatest Salesforce content from July and the wide variety of midwest-specific treats we tried at Midwest Dreamin.

 

You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation from our Monthly Retro.

Live Events

 

Dreamforce is just around the corner, but we’ve been busy visiting in-person events. We recently stopped by Midwest Dreamin and WITness Sucess, where Mike introduced Gillian to the wonders of puppy chow and scotcheroos. We’re also including a link to a letter that can help you convince your boss to help you get to Dreamforce.

 

Blog highlights from July

Cheryl Feldman’s comprehensive guide on the User Access and Permissions Assistant was a standout post from July. There’s a lot of cool features to play around with, particularly with reports, so make sure to take a look.

 

Video highlights from July

We’re really excited to relaunch How I Solved It on Salesforce+. Jennifer Lee and Marc Baizman team up to solve real Admins’ real problems. The first episode with Andrew Russo is up now, but keep a close eye as more are on the way soon.

 

Podcast highlights from July

While we’ve had some really cool people on the pod over the years this month we had our first Olympic medalist, Christine Magnuson. She’s now a Solution Engineering Manager at Salesforce, and 

 

 

Podcast swag

 

Social

Love our podcasts?

Subscribe today or review us on iTunes!

 

Full show transcript

Mike Gerholdt: Welcome to the Salesforce Admins Podcast in the July monthly retro for 2022. I'm your host, Mike Gerholdt. And in this episode, we'll review the top product, community and careers content for the month of July. Imagine that. To help me do that is the very familiar and keynoting voice of Gillian Bruce. Hi Gillian.

Gillian Bruce: Hello there, Mike. Nice to be here with you.

Mike Gerholdt: It's good to be back on a pod with you. It's been a month.

Gillian Bruce: It's been a month. It's been a busy month.

Mike Gerholdt: Yes. Quite a few things that we have done and it's been hot all over the world. Just hot everywhere.

Gillian Bruce: Except for where I am.

Mike Gerholdt: Right.

Gillian Bruce: I am still wearing a sweatshirt.

Mike Gerholdt: Don't tell anybody.

Gillian Bruce: Our heat has been on for the last couple weeks.

Mike Gerholdt: Oh my God.

Gillian Bruce: Because if any of you don't know this, for most of San Francisco, June/July is some of our colder months because we are covered in fog and we don't get to see the sun. So it's about 55 to 60 degrees. It's foggy. So if you want to break from the sun and the heat, come on over to San Francisco.

Mike Gerholdt: People are going to be flocking to San Francisco now.

Gillian Bruce: But you got to hurry because it's about to change. Our summer starts the end of August and goes through November. Then we get sunshine and gorgeous weather, but it never gets 100 degrees. That's just craziness.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. So it's going to be gorgeous weather for Dreamforce, which we'll talk about later. Teaser.

Gillian Bruce: Sure is.

Mike Gerholdt: But let's talk about blog content. So we had some really cool, again, ton of blog posts that went out this month. But the one that I want to highlight is the one that Cheryl Feldman wrote on Analyze, Report and Manage Permissions with User Access and Permission Assistant. Not a short title.

Gillian Bruce: But you're permitted to use as many words as you'd like in your title.

Mike Gerholdt: Yes, at some point. But this is really cool. So user access and permission assistant. She details everything that basically admins have been wanting for, I don't even know how long. She even tells a story of when I first joined Salesforce almost a year ago and it took on permission sets, and how do you work with the permission assistant and what can you do with it? The coolest thing down is the third one, report by user permission sets and permission set groups to understand who has what. If you need a moment to sit down, I completely understand.

Gillian Bruce: Game changer.

Mike Gerholdt: I got goosebumps just reading that sentence.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah, if you're an admin and you don't use this, I don't know what to say.

Mike Gerholdt: Well, your days are very long, that's what I would say, while you troubleshoot things. So yeah, this is really cool. There's also a video. And then of course, a link to the app exchange listing. Get all over this because just to sound old, it was a lot different when I was an admin. You had profiles and page layouts and you didn't have to troubleshoot things. We didn't have the tools to be as granular as you can now, and it's just amazing. But with that you need the ability to report on stuff and this is so cool.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. The technology's come far long ways since your old, early admin days.

Mike Gerholdt: Since back in the day. I walked uphill both ways in the snow just to do a page layout.

Gillian Bruce: Barefoot.

Mike Gerholdt: Barefoot.

Gillian Bruce: Well, Mike, we also have some pretty incredible video content. You mentioned a video in the last post, but we have some videos that I am very fond of and feel so excited to release out on the wild, that have just been released, or at least the first episode has been released this month. That is How I Solved It on Salesforce. Plus we have taken the incredible show that Marc Baizman and then Jennifer Lee have been doing with admins showing how they've solved real actual problems in their orgs. We gave it a little extra production love and shined it up and put it on Salesforce+, which is our free online streaming platform. It's really exciting.
We have five episodes that we're going to be releasing over the next few weeks. But the first one came out and it's all about Andrew Russo, who is an incredible, awesome admin, expanding on that blog post he was featured in many months ago about managing users and really getting into a demo and showing us some of the things that he's built. Man, it is awesome. It is super fun. Watch it. We had a lot of fun making it.

Mike Gerholdt: It shows. You're now a streaming star, Gillian. You could watch stuff on Hulu and Netflix.

Gillian Bruce: I got to say, I feel really special that I'm on the same platform as one of my idols, Kara Swisher. So I feel special about that because they do clips from Kara Swisher's podcast that she does with Scott Galloway, Pivot, on the Salesforce+. So the fact that I get to be a part of the same platform that she is, makes me really excited.

Mike Gerholdt: Kara Swisher, future guest of the Salesforce Admins Podcast.

Gillian Bruce: I am working podcast all my angles there to try and make that happen. So we're just going to put that out there. Kara, we want you on the podcast.

Mike Gerholdt: Yep. Because Kara, listen, so many people do. So you could spend the weekend and watch some Stranger Things or How I Solved It on Salesforce+.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. It's not a huge time commitment. The last few episodes of Stranger things, which I still haven't watched because there's an hour and then a two hour episode.

Mike Gerholdt: Seriously? That's like a plane ride.

Gillian Bruce: By the time I get the kids to bed, I have about 30 minutes before I fall asleep. So it's really tough. It's tough.

Mike Gerholdt: But you could watch your Salesforce+ video in those 30 minutes.

Gillian Bruce: Sure could, because I think they're 10 minutes-ish, if that.

Mike Gerholdt: They're consumable.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. There are really actual hands-on tips that you can start using yourself that you can play with, with your own Dev org or Sandbox. Every single one of these episodes, you're going to be able to get something very tangible that you can put to use.

Mike Gerholdt: Your own non-production org.

Gillian Bruce: Yes. Don't do it in production.

Mike Gerholdt: No. We did a bunch of podcasts, July was fun for pods. But one that stood out, Gillian, I actually listened to this on the way to a car show, so I'm a listener of our own podcast. But you did this great interview with Christine Magnuson. Can you tell us about it?

Gillian Bruce: Okay. Well, it was really exciting because she's not only the first Olympian that I've talked to, but the first two time silver medalist Olympian. She competed in Rio and Beijing and she's a swimmer, and now she is got an amazing career. She's a manager of solution engineers here at Salesforce, which means she manages a very technical team. So I wanted to get Christine on the podcast because as you'll listen to her episode, if you have not, go listen to it as soon as you're done with this episode, because-

Mike Gerholdt: It's really good.

Gillian Bruce: It's so good. She talks about the idea of transferable skills. How she really evaluated how she could take the skills that she had as an Olympic athlete and transfer those into another career. How she really had a very detailed strategy behind that. She explains the story. Then she also talks about in her role, she works with a lot of admins. So what things she has seen that makes a very successful admin, and how you get your admin team. Because again, she comes at it from a solutions engineer perspective. So she has seen a lot. In fact, her team supports the largest Salesforce implementation that exists. So they have a lot of knowledge. Anyway, listen to Christine's episode. It's awesome. It's an uplifting one. It'll put you in a good mood for the rest of the day.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. Oh, for sure. There were so many things like, I was driving, I wanted to take notes.

Gillian Bruce: Maybe you can listen to it again.

Mike Gerholdt: Yep. Absolutely. Then just to round out our discussion of, I feel like it's one of the last few months of summer, but we have Dreamforce coming up. We also have some community events that are happening.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. Mike, you and I and Jennifer Lee actually got to go to a community event, I guess it was a duo community event this month, Midwest Dreamin and WITness Success. I got to go because, well, you were the MC of the whole event.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, I popped up on the stage for a few highlights and Midwest-isms Midwest Dreamin.

Gillian Bruce: Oh, yeah. Actually, can you share one of those Midwest-isms because they're pretty amazing.

Mike Gerholdt: So people in the Midwest use weird terms, one of them is op. Usually we say that as an excuse me or oh, I'm sorry, op. And I op a ton. Man, you go grocery shopping with me because the cart always leaves the aisle before and you're going to run in somebody, op I'm sorry. But so I said, what if we took a whole bunch of Midwest terms and made them into Salesforce features. One of them is op, which I said is clearly a validation rule. Because if Salesforce could be very Midwestern it wouldn't fire the validation rule, it would just say, op. I believe that was one of them. I did put it out there. So for those of you that live in the Midwest or visited the Midwest, you know we like to eat puppy chow, which is actually Chex Mix covered in chocolate with confectioner's sugar all over it. Gillian, you and I kicked around what that feature would be.
Adam Olshansky actually came out on Twitter and said puppy chow is really like custom metadata because it's wonderful and you can use it anywhere. I felt that's very apropos because the second you get puppy chow out, it's everywhere. That confectioner's sugar, I swear it finds every nook and cranny of your life to be.

Gillian Bruce: It's so uniquely a Midwest thing. I remember growing up as a kid, occasionally some kid would bring some to school and I'd be like, what is this magical craziness?

Mike Gerholdt: I know. Yeah. You go to our gas stations, everywhere. You walk into a Casey's and there're cups of puppy chow for you to buy right by the register, along with with scotcheroos. I don't feel like scotcheroos are very Midwestern.

Gillian Bruce: I have no idea what that is. So it's clearly-

Mike Gerholdt: Oh, a scotcheroo is basically like a rice crispy treat, but made with a lot of butter scotch and then covered in chocolate.

Gillian Bruce: Oh. So it's like a healthier rice crispy treat.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.

Gillian Bruce: I'm kidding.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. But it's so good.

Gillian Bruce: It sounds delicious.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. It's so good.

Gillian Bruce: Okay. All right. Yeah. So those were great and there were lots more. So if you were there, you had lot more.

Mike Gerholdt: Or check Twitter for some people tweet them out, hot dish. What do you think that is as a feature? It was fun. Little time filler before Gillian gets up on stage and wows the crowd with admin skills. I think a few people even tweet about the heels you were in.

Gillian Bruce: Well you always got to have a good pair of heels to deliver a talk properly, at least for me. Maybe not the same for you, Mike. But yeah, I had the honor of giving a keynote and it was really great to get back up on stage in front of actual people. It was exhilarating to do it, and it felt really fun to share very important content about skills and transferable skills and how to really discover your skills, hone them, and then find ways to use them to help make you shine. So, really amazing experience. Then Jennifer Lee stayed for WITness Success and presented a session about Flow, which I also saw all kinds of Twitter love for.
The reason I wanted to bring up these community events is because Dreamforce is coming and we would love you to come to Dreamforce. If there's some reason that you can't swing it, there are community events happening near you all of the time. So whether that's your local user group or there's a Dreamin event in your region, you can find out all about that on the Trailblazer community. I highly encourage you to go, especially now that people are coming back together in person, it's really incredibly valuable and powerful. I had so many amazing talks with folks. I had some people coming up to me with tears because of just the meaningfulness of being connected again. Especially in the Salesforce community, there's so much you can get by being in person with each other. So I highly encourage you to check out your local community gatherings.

Mike Gerholdt: I agree. To be honest with you, I showed up, I wore a mask for a while.

Gillian Bruce: So did I, until I got on stage.

Mike Gerholdt: So we're past that now. Yeah. There were times that I actually checked out of some areas because I'm not too comfortable with this many people. That's okay, it's up to you. But it was great. So many people that I hadn't seen in person in forever.

Gillian Bruce: It felt good.

Mike Gerholdt: You mentioned Dreamforce. I will include a link in the show notes to the convince your boss letter, which is on the homepage. If you haven't registered for this little event that we're doing in September. I have actually used versions of this letter when I was a customer, rewrote it, changed some things around. I will say it's effective. It's super easy to customize. It'll be great. We're going to have session content up, so you can start talking to your boss about the sessions you're going to go to and the keynotes you're going to see. There's that unspoken just ability to connect with people that doesn't happen anywhere else. You're sitting in a session and you're both there to learn Flow or something, next thing you know, you leave with a new best friend that helps you solve that problem.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. It's people that you never would've probably connected with, either virtually or in your own local community. Also, it's just going to be great. We're going to have so much fun at Dreamforce. We talk about it being the ultimate family reunion and gosh, aren't we all ready for that. So it's going to be really magical, really fun. I know our team is planning all kinds of really fun, exciting things for admins.

Mike Gerholdt: A few things in the works.

Gillian Bruce: Just a few.

Mike Gerholdt: Stay tuned.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. Can't tell you anything yet. It's top secret.

Mike Gerholdt: Nope. Not yet. Gillian, you said it's going to be nice weather because it'll be past the cold.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. San Francisco summer is late August through early November. I grew up here and every year I forget, and then I'm like, all right, we're going to have summer. It's just three months later than everybody else.

Mike Gerholdt: It just comes at a different time. Good.

Gillian Bruce: Late bloomers out here on the west coast.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. All right. Well, if you want to learn more about all things we talked about in today's episode, please go to admin.salesforce.com to find those links and many more resources. You can stay up to date with us on social for all things admins. We are @Salesforceadmns, no I, on Twitter. Of course, Gillian is on Twitter. She is @GillianKBruce, and I am @MikeGerholdt. Give us a follow. You can read about puppy chow or other Midwest-isms, more so on my Twitter feed. But with that, stay safe, stay awesome, and stay tuned for the next episode. We'll see you in the cloud.

Gillian Bruce: Roar.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.

Gillian Bruce: Is that the first thing that's going to be on the recording, roar?

Mike Gerholdt: I don't know if that's a lion or is that a cat?

Gillian Bruce: It's like a lion cub.



Direct download: July_Monthly_Retro_with_Mike_and_Gillian_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am PST

Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we’ve got the Monthly Retro for July.

 

Join us as we talk about the latest and the greatest Salesforce content from July and the wide variety of midwest-specific treats we tried at Midwest Dreamin.

 

You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation from our Monthly Retro.

Live Events

 

Dreamforce is just around the corner, but we’ve been busy visiting in-person events. We recently stopped by Midwest Dreamin and WITness Sucess, where Mike introduced Gillian to the wonders of puppy chow and scotcheroos. We’re also including a link to a letter that can help you convince your boss to help you get to Dreamforce.

 

Blog highlights from July

Cheryl Feldman’s comprehensive guide on the User Access and Permissions Assistant was a standout post from July. There’s a lot of cool features to play around with, particularly with reports, so make sure to take a look.

 

Video highlights from July

We’re really excited to relaunch How I Solved It on Salesforce+. Jennifer Lee and Marc Baizman team up to solve real Admins’ real problems. The first episode with Andrew Russo is up now, but keep a close eye as more are on the way soon.

 

Podcast highlights from July

While we’ve had some really cool people on the pod over the years this month we had our first Olympic medalist, Christine Magnuson. She’s now a Solution Engineering Manager at Salesforce, and 

 

 

Podcast swag

 

Social

Love our podcasts?

Subscribe today or review us on iTunes!

 

Full show transcript

Mike Gerholdt: Welcome to the Salesforce Admins Podcast in the July monthly retro for 2022. I'm your host, Mike Gerholdt. And in this episode, we'll review the top product, community and careers content for the month of July. Imagine that. To help me do that is the very familiar and keynoting voice of Gillian Bruce. Hi Gillian.

Gillian Bruce: Hello there, Mike. Nice to be here with you.

Mike Gerholdt: It's good to be back on a pod with you. It's been a month.

Gillian Bruce: It's been a month. It's been a busy month.

Mike Gerholdt: Yes. Quite a few things that we have done and it's been hot all over the world. Just hot everywhere.

Gillian Bruce: Except for where I am.

Mike Gerholdt: Right.

Gillian Bruce: I am still wearing a sweatshirt.

Mike Gerholdt: Don't tell anybody.

Gillian Bruce: Our heat has been on for the last couple weeks.

Mike Gerholdt: Oh my God.

Gillian Bruce: Because if any of you don't know this, for most of San Francisco, June/July is some of our colder months because we are covered in fog and we don't get to see the sun. So it's about 55 to 60 degrees. It's foggy. So if you want to break from the sun and the heat, come on over to San Francisco.

Mike Gerholdt: People are going to be flocking to San Francisco now.

Gillian Bruce: But you got to hurry because it's about to change. Our summer starts the end of August and goes through November. Then we get sunshine and gorgeous weather, but it never gets 100 degrees. That's just craziness.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. So it's going to be gorgeous weather for Dreamforce, which we'll talk about later. Teaser.

Gillian Bruce: Sure is.

Mike Gerholdt: But let's talk about blog content. So we had some really cool, again, ton of blog posts that went out this month. But the one that I want to highlight is the one that Cheryl Feldman wrote on Analyze, Report and Manage Permissions with User Access and Permission Assistant. Not a short title.

Gillian Bruce: But you're permitted to use as many words as you'd like in your title.

Mike Gerholdt: Yes, at some point. But this is really cool. So user access and permission assistant. She details everything that basically admins have been wanting for, I don't even know how long. She even tells a story of when I first joined Salesforce almost a year ago and it took on permission sets, and how do you work with the permission assistant and what can you do with it? The coolest thing down is the third one, report by user permission sets and permission set groups to understand who has what. If you need a moment to sit down, I completely understand.

Gillian Bruce: Game changer.

Mike Gerholdt: I got goosebumps just reading that sentence.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah, if you're an admin and you don't use this, I don't know what to say.

Mike Gerholdt: Well, your days are very long, that's what I would say, while you troubleshoot things. So yeah, this is really cool. There's also a video. And then of course, a link to the app exchange listing. Get all over this because just to sound old, it was a lot different when I was an admin. You had profiles and page layouts and you didn't have to troubleshoot things. We didn't have the tools to be as granular as you can now, and it's just amazing. But with that you need the ability to report on stuff and this is so cool.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. The technology's come far long ways since your old, early admin days.

Mike Gerholdt: Since back in the day. I walked uphill both ways in the snow just to do a page layout.

Gillian Bruce: Barefoot.

Mike Gerholdt: Barefoot.

Gillian Bruce: Well, Mike, we also have some pretty incredible video content. You mentioned a video in the last post, but we have some videos that I am very fond of and feel so excited to release out on the wild, that have just been released, or at least the first episode has been released this month. That is How I Solved It on Salesforce. Plus we have taken the incredible show that Marc Baizman and then Jennifer Lee have been doing with admins showing how they've solved real actual problems in their orgs. We gave it a little extra production love and shined it up and put it on Salesforce+, which is our free online streaming platform. It's really exciting.
We have five episodes that we're going to be releasing over the next few weeks. But the first one came out and it's all about Andrew Russo, who is an incredible, awesome admin, expanding on that blog post he was featured in many months ago about managing users and really getting into a demo and showing us some of the things that he's built. Man, it is awesome. It is super fun. Watch it. We had a lot of fun making it.

Mike Gerholdt: It shows. You're now a streaming star, Gillian. You could watch stuff on Hulu and Netflix.

Gillian Bruce: I got to say, I feel really special that I'm on the same platform as one of my idols, Kara Swisher. So I feel special about that because they do clips from Kara Swisher's podcast that she does with Scott Galloway, Pivot, on the Salesforce+. So the fact that I get to be a part of the same platform that she is, makes me really excited.

Mike Gerholdt: Kara Swisher, future guest of the Salesforce Admins Podcast.

Gillian Bruce: I am working podcast all my angles there to try and make that happen. So we're just going to put that out there. Kara, we want you on the podcast.

Mike Gerholdt: Yep. Because Kara, listen, so many people do. So you could spend the weekend and watch some Stranger Things or How I Solved It on Salesforce+.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. It's not a huge time commitment. The last few episodes of Stranger things, which I still haven't watched because there's an hour and then a two hour episode.

Mike Gerholdt: Seriously? That's like a plane ride.

Gillian Bruce: By the time I get the kids to bed, I have about 30 minutes before I fall asleep. So it's really tough. It's tough.

Mike Gerholdt: But you could watch your Salesforce+ video in those 30 minutes.

Gillian Bruce: Sure could, because I think they're 10 minutes-ish, if that.

Mike Gerholdt: They're consumable.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. There are really actual hands-on tips that you can start using yourself that you can play with, with your own Dev org or Sandbox. Every single one of these episodes, you're going to be able to get something very tangible that you can put to use.

Mike Gerholdt: Your own non-production org.

Gillian Bruce: Yes. Don't do it in production.

Mike Gerholdt: No. We did a bunch of podcasts, July was fun for pods. But one that stood out, Gillian, I actually listened to this on the way to a car show, so I'm a listener of our own podcast. But you did this great interview with Christine Magnuson. Can you tell us about it?

Gillian Bruce: Okay. Well, it was really exciting because she's not only the first Olympian that I've talked to, but the first two time silver medalist Olympian. She competed in Rio and Beijing and she's a swimmer, and now she is got an amazing career. She's a manager of solution engineers here at Salesforce, which means she manages a very technical team. So I wanted to get Christine on the podcast because as you'll listen to her episode, if you have not, go listen to it as soon as you're done with this episode, because-

Mike Gerholdt: It's really good.

Gillian Bruce: It's so good. She talks about the idea of transferable skills. How she really evaluated how she could take the skills that she had as an Olympic athlete and transfer those into another career. How she really had a very detailed strategy behind that. She explains the story. Then she also talks about in her role, she works with a lot of admins. So what things she has seen that makes a very successful admin, and how you get your admin team. Because again, she comes at it from a solutions engineer perspective. So she has seen a lot. In fact, her team supports the largest Salesforce implementation that exists. So they have a lot of knowledge. Anyway, listen to Christine's episode. It's awesome. It's an uplifting one. It'll put you in a good mood for the rest of the day.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. Oh, for sure. There were so many things like, I was driving, I wanted to take notes.

Gillian Bruce: Maybe you can listen to it again.

Mike Gerholdt: Yep. Absolutely. Then just to round out our discussion of, I feel like it's one of the last few months of summer, but we have Dreamforce coming up. We also have some community events that are happening.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. Mike, you and I and Jennifer Lee actually got to go to a community event, I guess it was a duo community event this month, Midwest Dreamin and WITness Success. I got to go because, well, you were the MC of the whole event.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, I popped up on the stage for a few highlights and Midwest-isms Midwest Dreamin.

Gillian Bruce: Oh, yeah. Actually, can you share one of those Midwest-isms because they're pretty amazing.

Mike Gerholdt: So people in the Midwest use weird terms, one of them is op. Usually we say that as an excuse me or oh, I'm sorry, op. And I op a ton. Man, you go grocery shopping with me because the cart always leaves the aisle before and you're going to run in somebody, op I'm sorry. But so I said, what if we took a whole bunch of Midwest terms and made them into Salesforce features. One of them is op, which I said is clearly a validation rule. Because if Salesforce could be very Midwestern it wouldn't fire the validation rule, it would just say, op. I believe that was one of them. I did put it out there. So for those of you that live in the Midwest or visited the Midwest, you know we like to eat puppy chow, which is actually Chex Mix covered in chocolate with confectioner's sugar all over it. Gillian, you and I kicked around what that feature would be.
Adam Olshansky actually came out on Twitter and said puppy chow is really like custom metadata because it's wonderful and you can use it anywhere. I felt that's very apropos because the second you get puppy chow out, it's everywhere. That confectioner's sugar, I swear it finds every nook and cranny of your life to be.

Gillian Bruce: It's so uniquely a Midwest thing. I remember growing up as a kid, occasionally some kid would bring some to school and I'd be like, what is this magical craziness?

Mike Gerholdt: I know. Yeah. You go to our gas stations, everywhere. You walk into a Casey's and there're cups of puppy chow for you to buy right by the register, along with with scotcheroos. I don't feel like scotcheroos are very Midwestern.

Gillian Bruce: I have no idea what that is. So it's clearly-

Mike Gerholdt: Oh, a scotcheroo is basically like a rice crispy treat, but made with a lot of butter scotch and then covered in chocolate.

Gillian Bruce: Oh. So it's like a healthier rice crispy treat.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.

Gillian Bruce: I'm kidding.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. But it's so good.

Gillian Bruce: It sounds delicious.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. It's so good.

Gillian Bruce: Okay. All right. Yeah. So those were great and there were lots more. So if you were there, you had lot more.

Mike Gerholdt: Or check Twitter for some people tweet them out, hot dish. What do you think that is as a feature? It was fun. Little time filler before Gillian gets up on stage and wows the crowd with admin skills. I think a few people even tweet about the heels you were in.

Gillian Bruce: Well you always got to have a good pair of heels to deliver a talk properly, at least for me. Maybe not the same for you, Mike. But yeah, I had the honor of giving a keynote and it was really great to get back up on stage in front of actual people. It was exhilarating to do it, and it felt really fun to share very important content about skills and transferable skills and how to really discover your skills, hone them, and then find ways to use them to help make you shine. So, really amazing experience. Then Jennifer Lee stayed for WITness Success and presented a session about Flow, which I also saw all kinds of Twitter love for.
The reason I wanted to bring up these community events is because Dreamforce is coming and we would love you to come to Dreamforce. If there's some reason that you can't swing it, there are community events happening near you all of the time. So whether that's your local user group or there's a Dreamin event in your region, you can find out all about that on the Trailblazer community. I highly encourage you to go, especially now that people are coming back together in person, it's really incredibly valuable and powerful. I had so many amazing talks with folks. I had some people coming up to me with tears because of just the meaningfulness of being connected again. Especially in the Salesforce community, there's so much you can get by being in person with each other. So I highly encourage you to check out your local community gatherings.

Mike Gerholdt: I agree. To be honest with you, I showed up, I wore a mask for a while.

Gillian Bruce: So did I, until I got on stage.

Mike Gerholdt: So we're past that now. Yeah. There were times that I actually checked out of some areas because I'm not too comfortable with this many people. That's okay, it's up to you. But it was great. So many people that I hadn't seen in person in forever.

Gillian Bruce: It felt good.

Mike Gerholdt: You mentioned Dreamforce. I will include a link in the show notes to the convince your boss letter, which is on the homepage. If you haven't registered for this little event that we're doing in September. I have actually used versions of this letter when I was a customer, rewrote it, changed some things around. I will say it's effective. It's super easy to customize. It'll be great. We're going to have session content up, so you can start talking to your boss about the sessions you're going to go to and the keynotes you're going to see. There's that unspoken just ability to connect with people that doesn't happen anywhere else. You're sitting in a session and you're both there to learn Flow or something, next thing you know, you leave with a new best friend that helps you solve that problem.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. It's people that you never would've probably connected with, either virtually or in your own local community. Also, it's just going to be great. We're going to have so much fun at Dreamforce. We talk about it being the ultimate family reunion and gosh, aren't we all ready for that. So it's going to be really magical, really fun. I know our team is planning all kinds of really fun, exciting things for admins.

Mike Gerholdt: A few things in the works.

Gillian Bruce: Just a few.

Mike Gerholdt: Stay tuned.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. Can't tell you anything yet. It's top secret.

Mike Gerholdt: Nope. Not yet. Gillian, you said it's going to be nice weather because it'll be past the cold.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. San Francisco summer is late August through early November. I grew up here and every year I forget, and then I'm like, all right, we're going to have summer. It's just three months later than everybody else.

Mike Gerholdt: It just comes at a different time. Good.

Gillian Bruce: Late bloomers out here on the west coast.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. All right. Well, if you want to learn more about all things we talked about in today's episode, please go to admin.salesforce.com to find those links and many more resources. You can stay up to date with us on social for all things admins. We are @Salesforceadmns, no I, on Twitter. Of course, Gillian is on Twitter. She is @GillianKBruce, and I am @MikeGerholdt. Give us a follow. You can read about puppy chow or other Midwest-isms, more so on my Twitter feed. But with that, stay safe, stay awesome, and stay tuned for the next episode. We'll see you in the cloud.

Gillian Bruce: Roar.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.

Gillian Bruce: Is that the first thing that's going to be on the recording, roar?

Mike Gerholdt: I don't know if that's a lion or is that a cat?

Gillian Bruce: It's like a lion cub.



Direct download: July_Monthly_Retro_with_Mike_and_Gillian_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am PST

Today’s Salesforce Admins Podcast we’re replaying our episode with Lissa Smith, Senior Manager of Business Architecture at Salesforce. In the context of the launch of the Salesforce Admin Skills Kit, we wanted to revisit our conversation about how she hired a team of Salesforce Admins, what she looks for in the interview, and important advice for anyone hiring a Salesforce Administrator.

Join us as we talk about how to stand out when you’re applying for a job, and what makes the difference between and junior and senior Admin candidate.

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

Why you should listen to Lissa’s advice

Lissa started out as a Salesforce Admin. “I’m obsessed with improving processes and solving problems,” she says, “so I’ve been happy in this space for 15 years.” One thing she did a lot of in previous positions was hiring Salesforce Admins. It’s something we know that many of our listeners are curious about, so we thought we would take the time to hear about her process.

The first step is to get a new headcount approved, and Lissa was able to hire both junior and senior-level Admins. She’s interviewed candidates with backgrounds only in Trailhead or a program like PepUp Tech, as well as more experienced folks who had been in the space for years. “Overall, what I was always looking for was someone who was motivated and excited,” she says, “regardless of if they were brand new to the ecosystem or had been doing it for a long time, I wanted someone who could identify and look for problems and then come up with ways to solve them.”

The difference between Admin roles

When looking at someone for those junior-level positions, where a candidate didn’t necessarily have any paid experience on the platform, there were a few things that Lissa looked for. She wanted to see apps that they had built, even if it was simply to track their job applications and interviews or books they had read. Anything that used the platform to show her that they understood what it was capable of doing.

Another thing that could make a less experienced candidate stand out was someone who had experience as a user on the platform. Understanding and empathizing with the customer experience as a salesperson or customer sales rep is a really important skill because you’ll know where your users are coming from.

For more senior positions, you could get by with less experience building things on the platform if you understood something key about business analysis, whether that was documentation or process analysis. For principal admins, she was looking for a thorough understanding of the platform and advanced certifications.

Tell a good story

The important thing to realize about hiring for these roles and something that comes up time and time again on this podcast is that even though Lissa was hiring Salesforce Admins, the roles she was hiring for were often not called that explicitly. They could be business analysts or system admins, but those roles need those Salesforce Admin skills.

No matter what, make sure that you’re telling a story that shows you can identify a problem and build a solution that makes everyone’s lives easier. “It’s the story that sells your skills,” Lissa says, “when you tell a good story it’s showing off your communication skills, it shows that you understand the why.”

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Full Show Transcript

Mike Gerholdt: Welcome to the Salesforce Admins Podcast, where we talk about product, community, and career to help you become an awesome admin. This week, we’re talking with Lissa Smith, Senior Manager, Business Architecture here at Salesforce about her strategy for hiring a Salesforce Admin. That’s right. We’re kicking off 2022 by putting our best foot forward and helping you get the information that you have been talking about in the community and on social, around finding and landing that perfect admin career. So let’s not waste any time and let’s get Lissa on the podcast. So, Lissa, welcome to the podcast.

Lissa Smith: Awesome. Thank you. I’m excited to be here.

Mike Gerholdt: Well, it’s good to kick off the new year, talking about starting your career, getting hiring on as a Salesforce Admin. And I think you are one of the most perfect guests to have on to talk about that. So let’s dive right in, because I know everybody’s interested. How did you get started in the Salesforce ecosystem?

Lissa Smith: Yeah, I’ve been working in the Salesforce ecosystem for about 15 years now. And most of that was as a Salesforce admin. I actually started on a sales team and moved into an admin role shortly after that because I really liked building reports and that just kind of took off from there. I’m obsessed with improving processes and solving problems and I just love the Salesforce platform. So I have been happy in this space for 15 years.

Mike Gerholdt: 15 years, that’s a veteran level.

Lissa Smith: Yeah.

Mike Gerholdt: Long time. Now, one of the important things that kicked off our conversation internally here at Salesforce was you told me, you were in charge in previous careers prior to joining Salesforce for hiring Salesforce admins. And as I say that, I can feel everybody’s earbuds just tighten up a little bit more, as they listen to the podcast. Because I will tell you as somebody that pays attention to the community and everything that’s on social, that is probably the number one question of I’m doing Trailhead. I’m getting my certification. Now, how do I get hired as a Salesforce admin? So tell me a little bit about what you did to hire admins and kind of what that position was for you?

Lissa Smith: Awesome. Sure. So, yep, before working at Salesforce, I actually led a team of 13 Salesforce admins and business analysts. And it was a team of, I mean, they were definitely hashtag awesome admins. They’re a really great team. And eight of them, I hired myself and of the five that I kind of inherited when I got promoted into that role. Three of those five, I was involved in their hiring process as well. So I participated in their interviews. And so of those 13 at 11 of them, I was involved in the hiring of-

Mike Gerholdt: So most?

Lissa Smith: … most of them. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah.

Mike Gerholdt: I was… You lost me on the math.

Lissa Smith: Yeah.

Mike Gerholdt: Everybody’s hiring process is going to be a little bit different. Let’s start at the beginning, you had a baker’s dozen admins on your team when a spot opened up, what was kind of those initial first steps that you did as a hiring manager?

Lissa Smith: Yep. So I actually had several different levels of positions that I opened up and so I had to get headcount approved to get those positions. I saw a need, developed a business case internally to get that headcount approved. And so I was able to get headcount for some junior admins and some senior and principal level admins as well.

So I was kind of hiring all different skill levels, which made it also interesting when I was reviewing resumes and going through the interview process because some of those admins had only the Trailhead background or had gone through Pathfinder, PEP and tech programs like that, which are amazing programs. And that was their background, the Trailhead and those programs.
And then I also hired other admins who had been working in the space for quite a while and were more senior. So different mindset going into those interviews and different approach when looking at those resumes. But, overall, what I was always looking for was someone who was motivated and excited. I really love the Salesforce platform. I really love my job and really love what I do.

I don’t think everyone has to love their job a 100% of the time, but you don’t have to settle. And so I wanted to look for people who also were motivated and excited and passionate, and really those passionate and proactive problem solvers, regardless of if they were brand new to the ecosystem or if they’d been doing it for a long time.

I wanted somebody who could identify problems and look for problems and then come up with solutions and come up with, or just identify those problems and then come up with ways to potentially solve those problems. And I think that’s what every hiring manager is looking for like, how can you help me solve my business problems?

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. I want to go back. You mentioned junior admin, senior principal. And I know those levels are different at different categories, as somebody that’s hired admins and you’re thinking, “Okay, I need a junior Salesforce admin.” What was a junior Salesforce admin for you?

Lissa Smith: To me, it was somebody who really didn’t have experience on the platform, paid experience on the platform.

Mike Gerholdt: Oh, that’s important. I’ve never heard that term paid experience. I think that’s a good callout.

Lissa Smith: Yeah, it’s a good differentiator because, I mean, I did want somebody who had gone through Trailhead modules, had built out their own apps. As I was talking to candidates, there were candidates who had built apps to track their interview and application process. And they were excited to share that with me.

So maybe they hadn’t been paid to do admin work, but they had built cool apps and tracking even, just all sorts of apps that they had built. It could be the books that they’re reading or genres and author. Just something that they had done using the platform to show me that they understood the capabilities because they hadn’t had that paid experience, or maybe they had experience as a user on the platform.

So maybe they weren’t ever an actual admin, but I interviewed several candidates who had been Salesforce users. So they understood and could empathize with the customer experience. So as, like a salesperson or as a customer support rep or they had used the platform. And I just think that’s a really important skill to have somebody who has been a user on the platform.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. I’ve got friends that start off as users and they make for the best admins. Just plain and simple.

Lissa Smith: Absolutely. And then there’s so much out there now on Trailhead and with these different programs that you can take different training and go through these different programs and do all the Trailhead and do the super badges and earn your certifications. That’s all available now to anyone. But the people who were going out there and proactively figuring out, how they can solve a problem.

I have a bunch of house plans. I keep thinking, it would be really great if I had some sort of automated app in Salesforce that reminded me when I need to water my plants because some of them are on, in every two-week cycle and some of them are more frequently.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.

Lissa Smith: And just that could be something that someone could build for themselves. And then it gets them that experience using the platform.

Mike Gerholdt: And you could capture pictures so you could see if the [inaudible]-

Lissa Smith: It’s so true, right?

Mike Gerholdt: … yeah. Don’t get us started. So junior admin, I like your definition paid… really the differentiator is they have a lot of knowledge. They have a lot of curiosity. I inferred that.

Lissa Smith: Huge.

Mike Gerholdt: Huge.

Lissa Smith: Yes. Huge.

Mike Gerholdt: Big problem solvers, but really didn’t have that paid experience. So was paid experience the differentiator for you in junior admin versus senior admin? I think that’s the term you used.

Lissa Smith: Yeah. I think that would be probably the biggest. So the senior admins that I was hiring for that I interviewed, they had been working as an admin. They were a system admin in their org and understood platform capabilities. They may not be super experts, but they had been doing it for one, three years, just depending on that. Also, there were business analysts that I was hiring too. So all of it, the titles were actually business analysts.

So some were even more senior from a business analysis perspective and maybe had less experience building on the Salesforce platform. But they really understood documentation and analysis and process analysis and had been doing that for a long time, so they could still come in. And with that experience and the help of me and other members of the team and Trailhead could build on that experience and be a more senior admin.

And then the principal admins are the ones who come in. They already understand flow and when to use flow and they are, and this was a few years ago. So that now flow is everywhere. But a few years ago, it was a little harder to find some of those candidates, or they have several certifications and understand when to use a feature, when not to use a feature, when some of those more advanced topics too, that when you’re thinking about even just admin certification, some of the security and sharing rules and that it’s important for all admins to know, but they’ve been there, done that-

Mike Gerholdt: Sure.

Lissa Smith: … and really get it.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. Little more org-wide implications to different things as opposed to the features. Got it.

Lissa Smith: Yep.

Mike Gerholdt: Got it. No, that’s often. And I think one big thing that I heard was rarely were you hiring Salesforce admin. And we had just done a podcast on this in December with Leanne and Jay and I. Salesforce admin is that strong identity that we have, but rarely is it in our job title. And even your job title, senior manager, business architecture. Sometimes our job titles isn’t what we are.

Lissa Smith: Absolutely. Yeah, yeah, for sure. I don’t know that. And I have said, 15 years, I’ve been in this ecosystem, most of those as a Salesforce admin. And I don’t think my title has ever been Salesforce admin, so that’s very true.

Mike Gerholdt: And that’s something that we see a lot in, not only our ecosystem, but other ecosystems too. Is rarely does the persona or the identity of the person also be the job title because companies have different naming conventions. So I know in a lot of the programs that we speak at, there, I was on LinkedIn. I couldn’t find Salesforce admin. Well, it may be, as you mentioned, you were hiring a lot for business analyst.

Lissa Smith: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mike Gerholdt: So-

Lissa Smith: Yep.

Mike Gerholdt: … that’s great.

Lissa Smith: Yeah. And then what they ended up being were business analysts who were system admins in Salesforce and they were writing requirements, but also doing some of the config and building and, or a lot of the config, all of the config.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.

Lissa Smith: And actually working with users to solve those problems, so-

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. Had that responsibility.

Lissa Smith: … Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. That’s key. So junior admin, senior principal, I keep kind of anchoring on those because the next part is, you mentioned, they had showed apps that they had built. I did this great podcast with Gordon Lee, which I’ll link to in the show notes where we talk about as new admins, there’s this trust gap. And I think you talked about it or inferred it actually in the junior admins is, they built apps, they showed me, they did all the learning, they just didn’t have that paid experience.

And I think there’s that trust gap of, you haven’t been paid to do this. So you have to span kind of that gap with me, I would love to know, what were some of the questions? I’m a, put on my hat, I’m a Salesforce admin, and maybe one of these roles looking to apply, and I’m getting ready to walk into an interview with Lissa Smith. What are some of the things she’s going to ask me?

Lissa Smith: So I really like the, tell me about a time when questions. Tell me about a time when you had to collaborate with people, maybe you disagreed with, or tell me about a time where you had to manage a project. Are you responsible for a project or a program? And this doesn’t have to be even Salesforce related. I think it’s really important for candidates to come to an interview prepared with maybe a repository of stories that their success stories, these don’t have to be on your resume, these don’t have to be anywhere.

But if you were writing your success stories in work and just life, I mean, I had, I heard about Eagle Scout Projects. It doesn’t have to be work. But your success stories, problems you identified, ways that you solve those problems, how you collaborated with others while solving those problems, how you prioritized, how you influenced others, how you communicated, how you learned, how you asked questions. Come up with a list of those stories, of those problems that you solved and run through those stories out loud with a friend or family, out loud run through those stories.

So that when someone like me comes in and says, “Tell me about a time that you collaborated with multiple stakeholders or when you proactively identified a flawed or inefficient process.” You can come in and say, “Oh, well, which one of my stories can I tell?” Like, come up with… And then tell those stories in a meaningful way too. It shouldn’t just be like I could say, “Well, I built a way for sales people to register their customers and prospects for a training that we offered.” Well, that doesn’t really tell me anything.

But if I come in and say, “You know, I got an out-of-office response from someone on the training team that told me how many seats were left in the training.” And I realized, why are they managing that? And this is a true story, in an out-of-office response, why are they telling sales people? There are only six seats left in this training in the San Francisco training for July 15th, if you want to register, write me back.

Mike Gerholdt: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Lissa Smith: So I worked with the training team to develop a solution for this in Salesforce, right on the contact record that allowed the salespeople to enroll from the contact and they could see how many people will… How many seats were left in each training. And then the training team could see the actual revenue impact of adding these contacts to their training. I mean, it’s a much better story than just, I made this way for sales people to register people in training and automated it and even getting too much into the details. It’s the story I think that sells your skills and makes it more meaningful to the hiring manager too.

Mike Gerholdt: It’s a richer story-

Lissa Smith: Absolutely.

Mike Gerholdt: … you’re walking through those two. I’m thinking it’s comparable to, it was a sunny day. I went for a walk. Okay. I don’t have much visualization to that. But the second story that you told was, it was a sunny day and my parents ware coming to town and you’re adding context and you’re adding depth. Right. And you’re also, to me, showing something that I feel is very important for [Edmonds], you’re showing your critical thinking skills, you’re showing how you, not only saw an out-of-office, you saw an out-of-office with an opportunity.

Lissa Smith: Absolutely. Yeah, 100%.

Mike Gerholdt: Love that. I love that.

Lissa Smith: Yeah. And I think that everyone, I mean, there, like I said, Eagle Scout Project. I mean, there’s these transferable skills that you have, that all, everyone has. And I think it’s just, you really have to sit down and focus and how can I translate these skills into this job description?

And I think it’s also pretty job description specific too, you’ll want to look at the job description and see what is this role asking for? Are they asking for that someone with strong process automation skills? Okay, well, then let me look through my list of stories, my role at expert repository of stories, and see which ones might relate to process automation.
It might be this, my out-of-office story here, or is there a lot of mention of collaboration in the job description? Is there a lot of a mention of working with stakeholders? Okay. Well, let me think of my past experience and make sure that I’m coming prepared to this interview with examples of how I’ve done that.

And good stories too. Like you said, you can give numbers, you can give the facts, but when you tell a good story, I mean, it’s also showing off your communication skills. It’s showing off that you understand the why, which is really important. And it feeds into a little of that passion too, that you can hear the passion in someone’s story. You don’t really hear a passion in facts.

Mike Gerholdt: Right. That’s true. How would you… So I’m listening to this and I’m lack of a better term, playing devil’s advocate. And thinking, “Boy, if I was a new admin and I’m applying for that junior role, and maybe I don’t have the paid experience, maybe I’m fresh out of Pathfinders, or I’m fresh out of college, and I’ve got two Salesforce certifications or 120 Trailhead badges. I don’t have those relatable stories. Were the interview questions for junior admins maybe a little bit different, or were the answers or way that I should be thinking about answering as a junior admin, a little bit different?

Lissa Smith: I think a little both. The questions are pretty much the same for me. I mean, in thinking of past skills, if you were a bartender, you could figure out how to translate the skills that you used as a bartender to managing projects, prioritizing, there’s collaborating with others. There’s still a lot of those transferable skills. And being able to tell that story, I think is part of this that’s huge. So it’s a lot of the same questions.

Mike Gerholdt: I think you absolutely 100% nailed it because I’m thinking of the college student. And you’re like, “Well, the time that I really had to collaborate, well, I don’t have a time in the workplace. But let me tell you about this project I was on in advanced biochemistry where I had a difficult teammate. You could walk through a scenario there, and it’s showing you the same principles and skills. It’s just a different environment that they were used in.

Lissa Smith: Absolutely. I also, personally, I mean, even, I think certification can be a story in itself and it was for some of the candidates that I hired.

Mike Gerholdt: Oh, how so?

Lissa Smith: I heard stories of, it took me five times to pass my certification exam, is what a candidate told me. And they told me that kind of slumping, shoulders down, disappointed in themselves. I would reframe that story. I was so persistent, I went back and I know that content inside and out, it wasn’t just guessing to pass that exam. I know that content inside and out, it took me five tries and I passed, that’s, it’s, it can all be a story. It can all be something that sells you. And so even certification can be a story. It’s all in how you frame it.

Mike Gerholdt: One thing I wanted to touch on in this point was I shared with you prior to the call, kind of that admin skills that we’d rolled out. Rebecca showed us in the admin Keynote at Dreamforce. And I know it was the first time you’d seen it. So I kind of blindsided you with it. But of those 14 skills, was there one that stood out for you?

Lissa Smith: Problem solving stands out the most for me. I mean, when I come in, me, personally, into an interview, I am selling myself as a passionate, proactive problem solver. That’s what I am. I’m enthusiastic. I love finding problems. I love helping connect dots to figure out how to solve those problems. I think that’s the heart of an admin, they’re problem solvers and excited to find ways. So for me, personally, I hate saying, “No, that’s not possible on the Salesforce platform.” Because I can pretty much always figure out a way to do it. And so I feel that’s the heart of an admin.

But the learner’s mindset, piece, I think that’s another huge one. When you are looking for roles, admins who are looking for roles, I think it’s important to connect with a company that thinks that this is important too, that failing is okay, that trying new things is okay, innovating is okay. And gives you time to learn and to go to the new release readiness training, to do Trailhead to continue to learn. I think that’s really important when looking for a role.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. I would agree 100%. You need to interview that company for culture. And the one thing I always tell people is, the person you’re sitting across the table from, are you enjoy sitting across the table from them? Because that’s going to be your job. Do you enjoy? If it’s an in person interview, do you enjoy the atmosphere? Do you enjoy just kind of that culture, that feeling that you have there? Because that’s something that’s really hard to change.

Lissa Smith: So important. Before I joined Salesforce, I was a leader of a Salesforce Trailblazer community group here in Indianapolis. And I was very involved in the community, in the Trailblazer community, at the women in tech meetings, at the admin meetings, at the developer meetings, still I am. Although now, everything’s different and virtual.

Mike Gerholdt: Yes.

Lissa Smith: I can participate in meetings all over the world there.

Mike Gerholdt: Everywhere.

Lissa Smith: Yeah. But having a hiring manager who participates in those meetings, I think is, or having a manager, not even a hiring manager, a manager who participates in those meetings is huge. Because they, first of all, the hiring managers, if you’re listening here, go to those meetings because you will find all the excited, passionate candidates you’re looking for.

A large majority of the admins that I hired were already very active within the community. And I already knew them and they already knew me. And I was somebody that they wanted to work for because they knew I was excited about the community and participated in it. And they knew, I would give them time to go to those meetings during lunch, back when they were always in person at lunchtime. It was-

Mike Gerholdt: In the Midwest, those meetings are always over lunch so that we could have meatloaf or lasagna or [inaudible] very ridiculously heavy, Midwestern, a hot dish.

Lissa Smith: Right. Yeah. And I know that that’s not something that’s consistent. But not all hiring managers even know that this exists or even managers know that this community exists. So I think it’s really important for managers to get involved in the Trailblazer community. And there’s a lot of… A ton of great talent. I mean, it’s just packed full of amazing talent.

People who are motivated and excited and then have this big network of people to connect with if they run into issues or if they need help, especially for those junior admins, that it’s something they haven’t done before. But they have this huge network of people that they can connect with. Now, all over the world. Thanks to… I mean, it was already all over the world, but even more so now that everything’s so virtual, they have this network.

Mike Gerholdt: No, I’m with you. And I actually was thinking about that because the number of stories, you go back a few years on the pod, we told the Zac Otero story of how Zac got his certifications and was relentless of going to user groups and introducing himself. There’s a lot of stories where that’s a great place to meet people, if you’re looking to get hired because they share the same interests. And I think it’s something you pointed out early on in our discussions was hiring managers should be at this. It may be called a user group, but hiring managers are users too.

Lissa Smith: Absolutely.

Mike Gerholdt: So-

Lissa Smith: Yep.

Mike Gerholdt: … I love that point. And it’s also, if I was thinking about it, would I want to interview with a hiring manager that I’ve seen at user groups, or would I want to interview with a hiring major where I have to explain user groups?

Lissa Smith: Yes. It’s such a good point. Yes, exactly.

Mike Gerholdt: Very different. So one thing, I think it’s, in common talk about because I feel you’ve run the gamut. I hope we’ve given everybody kind of a good insight into hiring admins and being the hiring manager. But I’d love to know a little bit about what you do at Salesforce because your title’s intriguing.

Lissa Smith: Yeah. So senior manager of business architecture here at Salesforce. I’m responsible for our internal Salesforce instance for sales people. So processes, tools, governance, user experience, within our internal Salesforce instance and within Slack. And I’ve been working a lot on the Slack for sales project for-

Mike Gerholdt: Wow.

Lissa Smith: … the past year and the rollout of Slack now. So it’s very fun and very exciting.

Mike Gerholdt: I will tell you, it’s always been a personal goal of mine when we started the podcast to have on as many Salesforce admins as possible. And I mean, Salesforce, Salesforce admins. But I say that a little tongue in cheek because I think it’s important. And I just did a talk with Pathfinders recently, the reason I bring that up and I say that is, your title, senior manager, business architecture isn’t something that I might search for on LinkedIn as a job-

Lissa Smith: Right.

Mike Gerholdt: … as a Salesforce admin. Right. And I think it’s important that we understand the identity and persona is called that, but the job title and the job descriptions may be very different.

Lissa Smith: So true. And I was lucky with this role that the word or the phrase, Salesforce admin, was included in the description that they were looking for somebody that had previous Salesforce admin experience. And so it showed up in a… This was a 10-year-old job search that I don’t even know how to turn off. It comes into my-

Mike Gerholdt: No.

Lissa Smith: … and it’s fine because I can see the landscape, especially when I was hiring admins, I could see who else is hiring here in Indianapolis. And I could see those other job descriptions and… But this one came through. And like you said, it was senior manager, business architecture. What’s that? And why did this even show up in the job search? I’m not even looking for a job and dug into that. And it’s really cool. And it’s Salesforce uses Salesforce to sell Salesforce, SuperMeta. There’s got to be a team that’s responsible for that. And-

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.

Lissa Smith: … it’s pretty exciting to be on that team.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. I mean, I think in The Matrix, it’s taking the red pill, but for some reason taking the blue pill, right? So, I mean, you don’t have to give us details. But what kind of projects do you work on that I think… And the reason I ask that is, I want to be clear, not digging into your work-life, but I’m digging into analogous to what Salesforce admins would be doing. So what are, if somebody’s listening to this and thinking, “Hey, maybe I’ll become a Salesforce admin.” What’s kind of your everyday look like?

Lissa Smith: Sure. Yeah. So, I mean, we’re looking at new features. We often get them very early, as customer zero we get them first. So we’re looking at those new features. We also want dynamic forms on standard objects. So we want to be able to have that and make our user experience better. So we’re evaluating new features, we’re looking at how can we make user experience better. We’re collecting feedback from users. We’re governing our objects as well and our processes. We’re making sure that-

Mike Gerholdt: That’s a whole podcast in of itself.

Lissa Smith: … yeah, absolutely it is. We’re now looking at our digital HQ at Slack and how do we incorporate Slack into our processes. Make it Slack first, make Slack the platform of engagement for our users and ultimately, improve and make their processes more efficient. So it’s a day-to-day talking to users, understanding what users are doing and then making things better for them.

Mike Gerholdt: Sounds all the stuff we talk about in the central habits, which just makes me happy. It’s very good. Well, Lissa, this has been a very fun podcast. You are welcome back, anytime. If you have an idea, top of mind that you want to talk about, I will be super excited to see what Twitter has to say about this episode because I know it was one of the very first things that always pops into my inbox. Every time I check the community is, people asking for hiring or interview or questions or just anything around getting a job as being a Salesforce admin. And I thought it was a great way to kick off 2022. So thank you for helping me kick off 2022 on the podcast.

Lissa Smith: You’re welcome. Happy new year. I’m very excited to be here. I’m excited for the future of all of the new Salesforce admins and I’m rooting for you. And, yeah, excited.

Mike Gerholdt: So as I write, that was an amazing episode with Lissa. We literally probably could have talked for another hour, so I’m going to have to have Lissa back on the podcast. But to do that, you got to tweet me and tell me, what did I forget to ask Lissa on this episode? And then I’ll start compiling and we’ll get her back as soon as possible. What would you love to know about a hiring manager and asking questions to get that perfect admin job?

So be sure to tweet at us. And if you’d like to learn more about all things, Salesforce Admin, go to admin.salesforce.com to find more resources, including all of the links that I mentioned in this episode, as well as a full transcript. Now, you can stay up to date with us on social. We are at @SalesforceAdmns, no “I” on Twitter. Gillian is @gilliankbruce and, of course, I am @mikegerholdt. So with that, welcome to 2022 and stay safe, stay awesome and stay tuned for that next episode. We’ll see you in the cloud.



Direct download: Replay__Hiring_an_Admin_with_Lissa_Smith.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am PST

Today’s Salesforce Admins Podcast we’re replaying our episode with Lissa Smith, Senior Manager of Business Architecture at Salesforce. In the context of the launch of the Salesforce Admin Skills Kit, we wanted to revisit our conversation about how she hired a team of Salesforce Admins, what she looks for in the interview, and important advice for anyone hiring a Salesforce Administrator.

Join us as we talk about how to stand out when you’re applying for a job, and what makes the difference between and junior and senior Admin candidate.

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

Why you should listen to Lissa’s advice

Lissa started out as a Salesforce Admin. “I’m obsessed with improving processes and solving problems,” she says, “so I’ve been happy in this space for 15 years.” One thing she did a lot of in previous positions was hiring Salesforce Admins. It’s something we know that many of our listeners are curious about, so we thought we would take the time to hear about her process.

The first step is to get a new headcount approved, and Lissa was able to hire both junior and senior-level Admins. She’s interviewed candidates with backgrounds only in Trailhead or a program like PepUp Tech, as well as more experienced folks who had been in the space for years. “Overall, what I was always looking for was someone who was motivated and excited,” she says, “regardless of if they were brand new to the ecosystem or had been doing it for a long time, I wanted someone who could identify and look for problems and then come up with ways to solve them.”

The difference between Admin roles

When looking at someone for those junior-level positions, where a candidate didn’t necessarily have any paid experience on the platform, there were a few things that Lissa looked for. She wanted to see apps that they had built, even if it was simply to track their job applications and interviews or books they had read. Anything that used the platform to show her that they understood what it was capable of doing.

Another thing that could make a less experienced candidate stand out was someone who had experience as a user on the platform. Understanding and empathizing with the customer experience as a salesperson or customer sales rep is a really important skill because you’ll know where your users are coming from.

For more senior positions, you could get by with less experience building things on the platform if you understood something key about business analysis, whether that was documentation or process analysis. For principal admins, she was looking for a thorough understanding of the platform and advanced certifications.

Tell a good story

The important thing to realize about hiring for these roles and something that comes up time and time again on this podcast is that even though Lissa was hiring Salesforce Admins, the roles she was hiring for were often not called that explicitly. They could be business analysts or system admins, but those roles need those Salesforce Admin skills.

No matter what, make sure that you’re telling a story that shows you can identify a problem and build a solution that makes everyone’s lives easier. “It’s the story that sells your skills,” Lissa says, “when you tell a good story it’s showing off your communication skills, it shows that you understand the why.”

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Full Show Transcript

Mike Gerholdt: Welcome to the Salesforce Admins Podcast, where we talk about product, community, and career to help you become an awesome admin. This week, we’re talking with Lissa Smith, Senior Manager, Business Architecture here at Salesforce about her strategy for hiring a Salesforce Admin. That’s right. We’re kicking off 2022 by putting our best foot forward and helping you get the information that you have been talking about in the community and on social, around finding and landing that perfect admin career. So let’s not waste any time and let’s get Lissa on the podcast. So, Lissa, welcome to the podcast.

Lissa Smith: Awesome. Thank you. I’m excited to be here.

Mike Gerholdt: Well, it’s good to kick off the new year, talking about starting your career, getting hiring on as a Salesforce Admin. And I think you are one of the most perfect guests to have on to talk about that. So let’s dive right in, because I know everybody’s interested. How did you get started in the Salesforce ecosystem?

Lissa Smith: Yeah, I’ve been working in the Salesforce ecosystem for about 15 years now. And most of that was as a Salesforce admin. I actually started on a sales team and moved into an admin role shortly after that because I really liked building reports and that just kind of took off from there. I’m obsessed with improving processes and solving problems and I just love the Salesforce platform. So I have been happy in this space for 15 years.

Mike Gerholdt: 15 years, that’s a veteran level.

Lissa Smith: Yeah.

Mike Gerholdt: Long time. Now, one of the important things that kicked off our conversation internally here at Salesforce was you told me, you were in charge in previous careers prior to joining Salesforce for hiring Salesforce admins. And as I say that, I can feel everybody’s earbuds just tighten up a little bit more, as they listen to the podcast. Because I will tell you as somebody that pays attention to the community and everything that’s on social, that is probably the number one question of I’m doing Trailhead. I’m getting my certification. Now, how do I get hired as a Salesforce admin? So tell me a little bit about what you did to hire admins and kind of what that position was for you?

Lissa Smith: Awesome. Sure. So, yep, before working at Salesforce, I actually led a team of 13 Salesforce admins and business analysts. And it was a team of, I mean, they were definitely hashtag awesome admins. They’re a really great team. And eight of them, I hired myself and of the five that I kind of inherited when I got promoted into that role. Three of those five, I was involved in their hiring process as well. So I participated in their interviews. And so of those 13 at 11 of them, I was involved in the hiring of-

Mike Gerholdt: So most?

Lissa Smith: … most of them. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah.

Mike Gerholdt: I was… You lost me on the math.

Lissa Smith: Yeah.

Mike Gerholdt: Everybody’s hiring process is going to be a little bit different. Let’s start at the beginning, you had a baker’s dozen admins on your team when a spot opened up, what was kind of those initial first steps that you did as a hiring manager?

Lissa Smith: Yep. So I actually had several different levels of positions that I opened up and so I had to get headcount approved to get those positions. I saw a need, developed a business case internally to get that headcount approved. And so I was able to get headcount for some junior admins and some senior and principal level admins as well.

So I was kind of hiring all different skill levels, which made it also interesting when I was reviewing resumes and going through the interview process because some of those admins had only the Trailhead background or had gone through Pathfinder, PEP and tech programs like that, which are amazing programs. And that was their background, the Trailhead and those programs.
And then I also hired other admins who had been working in the space for quite a while and were more senior. So different mindset going into those interviews and different approach when looking at those resumes. But, overall, what I was always looking for was someone who was motivated and excited. I really love the Salesforce platform. I really love my job and really love what I do.

I don’t think everyone has to love their job a 100% of the time, but you don’t have to settle. And so I wanted to look for people who also were motivated and excited and passionate, and really those passionate and proactive problem solvers, regardless of if they were brand new to the ecosystem or if they’d been doing it for a long time.

I wanted somebody who could identify problems and look for problems and then come up with solutions and come up with, or just identify those problems and then come up with ways to potentially solve those problems. And I think that’s what every hiring manager is looking for like, how can you help me solve my business problems?

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. I want to go back. You mentioned junior admin, senior principal. And I know those levels are different at different categories, as somebody that’s hired admins and you’re thinking, “Okay, I need a junior Salesforce admin.” What was a junior Salesforce admin for you?

Lissa Smith: To me, it was somebody who really didn’t have experience on the platform, paid experience on the platform.

Mike Gerholdt: Oh, that’s important. I’ve never heard that term paid experience. I think that’s a good callout.

Lissa Smith: Yeah, it’s a good differentiator because, I mean, I did want somebody who had gone through Trailhead modules, had built out their own apps. As I was talking to candidates, there were candidates who had built apps to track their interview and application process. And they were excited to share that with me.

So maybe they hadn’t been paid to do admin work, but they had built cool apps and tracking even, just all sorts of apps that they had built. It could be the books that they’re reading or genres and author. Just something that they had done using the platform to show me that they understood the capabilities because they hadn’t had that paid experience, or maybe they had experience as a user on the platform.

So maybe they weren’t ever an actual admin, but I interviewed several candidates who had been Salesforce users. So they understood and could empathize with the customer experience. So as, like a salesperson or as a customer support rep or they had used the platform. And I just think that’s a really important skill to have somebody who has been a user on the platform.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. I’ve got friends that start off as users and they make for the best admins. Just plain and simple.

Lissa Smith: Absolutely. And then there’s so much out there now on Trailhead and with these different programs that you can take different training and go through these different programs and do all the Trailhead and do the super badges and earn your certifications. That’s all available now to anyone. But the people who were going out there and proactively figuring out, how they can solve a problem.

I have a bunch of house plans. I keep thinking, it would be really great if I had some sort of automated app in Salesforce that reminded me when I need to water my plants because some of them are on, in every two-week cycle and some of them are more frequently.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.

Lissa Smith: And just that could be something that someone could build for themselves. And then it gets them that experience using the platform.

Mike Gerholdt: And you could capture pictures so you could see if the [inaudible]-

Lissa Smith: It’s so true, right?

Mike Gerholdt: … yeah. Don’t get us started. So junior admin, I like your definition paid… really the differentiator is they have a lot of knowledge. They have a lot of curiosity. I inferred that.

Lissa Smith: Huge.

Mike Gerholdt: Huge.

Lissa Smith: Yes. Huge.

Mike Gerholdt: Big problem solvers, but really didn’t have that paid experience. So was paid experience the differentiator for you in junior admin versus senior admin? I think that’s the term you used.

Lissa Smith: Yeah. I think that would be probably the biggest. So the senior admins that I was hiring for that I interviewed, they had been working as an admin. They were a system admin in their org and understood platform capabilities. They may not be super experts, but they had been doing it for one, three years, just depending on that. Also, there were business analysts that I was hiring too. So all of it, the titles were actually business analysts.

So some were even more senior from a business analysis perspective and maybe had less experience building on the Salesforce platform. But they really understood documentation and analysis and process analysis and had been doing that for a long time, so they could still come in. And with that experience and the help of me and other members of the team and Trailhead could build on that experience and be a more senior admin.

And then the principal admins are the ones who come in. They already understand flow and when to use flow and they are, and this was a few years ago. So that now flow is everywhere. But a few years ago, it was a little harder to find some of those candidates, or they have several certifications and understand when to use a feature, when not to use a feature, when some of those more advanced topics too, that when you’re thinking about even just admin certification, some of the security and sharing rules and that it’s important for all admins to know, but they’ve been there, done that-

Mike Gerholdt: Sure.

Lissa Smith: … and really get it.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. Little more org-wide implications to different things as opposed to the features. Got it.

Lissa Smith: Yep.

Mike Gerholdt: Got it. No, that’s often. And I think one big thing that I heard was rarely were you hiring Salesforce admin. And we had just done a podcast on this in December with Leanne and Jay and I. Salesforce admin is that strong identity that we have, but rarely is it in our job title. And even your job title, senior manager, business architecture. Sometimes our job titles isn’t what we are.

Lissa Smith: Absolutely. Yeah, yeah, for sure. I don’t know that. And I have said, 15 years, I’ve been in this ecosystem, most of those as a Salesforce admin. And I don’t think my title has ever been Salesforce admin, so that’s very true.

Mike Gerholdt: And that’s something that we see a lot in, not only our ecosystem, but other ecosystems too. Is rarely does the persona or the identity of the person also be the job title because companies have different naming conventions. So I know in a lot of the programs that we speak at, there, I was on LinkedIn. I couldn’t find Salesforce admin. Well, it may be, as you mentioned, you were hiring a lot for business analyst.

Lissa Smith: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mike Gerholdt: So-

Lissa Smith: Yep.

Mike Gerholdt: … that’s great.

Lissa Smith: Yeah. And then what they ended up being were business analysts who were system admins in Salesforce and they were writing requirements, but also doing some of the config and building and, or a lot of the config, all of the config.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.

Lissa Smith: And actually working with users to solve those problems, so-

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. Had that responsibility.

Lissa Smith: … Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. That’s key. So junior admin, senior principal, I keep kind of anchoring on those because the next part is, you mentioned, they had showed apps that they had built. I did this great podcast with Gordon Lee, which I’ll link to in the show notes where we talk about as new admins, there’s this trust gap. And I think you talked about it or inferred it actually in the junior admins is, they built apps, they showed me, they did all the learning, they just didn’t have that paid experience.

And I think there’s that trust gap of, you haven’t been paid to do this. So you have to span kind of that gap with me, I would love to know, what were some of the questions? I’m a, put on my hat, I’m a Salesforce admin, and maybe one of these roles looking to apply, and I’m getting ready to walk into an interview with Lissa Smith. What are some of the things she’s going to ask me?

Lissa Smith: So I really like the, tell me about a time when questions. Tell me about a time when you had to collaborate with people, maybe you disagreed with, or tell me about a time where you had to manage a project. Are you responsible for a project or a program? And this doesn’t have to be even Salesforce related. I think it’s really important for candidates to come to an interview prepared with maybe a repository of stories that their success stories, these don’t have to be on your resume, these don’t have to be anywhere.

But if you were writing your success stories in work and just life, I mean, I had, I heard about Eagle Scout Projects. It doesn’t have to be work. But your success stories, problems you identified, ways that you solve those problems, how you collaborated with others while solving those problems, how you prioritized, how you influenced others, how you communicated, how you learned, how you asked questions. Come up with a list of those stories, of those problems that you solved and run through those stories out loud with a friend or family, out loud run through those stories.

So that when someone like me comes in and says, “Tell me about a time that you collaborated with multiple stakeholders or when you proactively identified a flawed or inefficient process.” You can come in and say, “Oh, well, which one of my stories can I tell?” Like, come up with… And then tell those stories in a meaningful way too. It shouldn’t just be like I could say, “Well, I built a way for sales people to register their customers and prospects for a training that we offered.” Well, that doesn’t really tell me anything.

But if I come in and say, “You know, I got an out-of-office response from someone on the training team that told me how many seats were left in the training.” And I realized, why are they managing that? And this is a true story, in an out-of-office response, why are they telling sales people? There are only six seats left in this training in the San Francisco training for July 15th, if you want to register, write me back.

Mike Gerholdt: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Lissa Smith: So I worked with the training team to develop a solution for this in Salesforce, right on the contact record that allowed the salespeople to enroll from the contact and they could see how many people will… How many seats were left in each training. And then the training team could see the actual revenue impact of adding these contacts to their training. I mean, it’s a much better story than just, I made this way for sales people to register people in training and automated it and even getting too much into the details. It’s the story I think that sells your skills and makes it more meaningful to the hiring manager too.

Mike Gerholdt: It’s a richer story-

Lissa Smith: Absolutely.

Mike Gerholdt: … you’re walking through those two. I’m thinking it’s comparable to, it was a sunny day. I went for a walk. Okay. I don’t have much visualization to that. But the second story that you told was, it was a sunny day and my parents ware coming to town and you’re adding context and you’re adding depth. Right. And you’re also, to me, showing something that I feel is very important for [Edmonds], you’re showing your critical thinking skills, you’re showing how you, not only saw an out-of-office, you saw an out-of-office with an opportunity.

Lissa Smith: Absolutely. Yeah, 100%.

Mike Gerholdt: Love that. I love that.

Lissa Smith: Yeah. And I think that everyone, I mean, there, like I said, Eagle Scout Project. I mean, there’s these transferable skills that you have, that all, everyone has. And I think it’s just, you really have to sit down and focus and how can I translate these skills into this job description?

And I think it’s also pretty job description specific too, you’ll want to look at the job description and see what is this role asking for? Are they asking for that someone with strong process automation skills? Okay, well, then let me look through my list of stories, my role at expert repository of stories, and see which ones might relate to process automation.
It might be this, my out-of-office story here, or is there a lot of mention of collaboration in the job description? Is there a lot of a mention of working with stakeholders? Okay. Well, let me think of my past experience and make sure that I’m coming prepared to this interview with examples of how I’ve done that.

And good stories too. Like you said, you can give numbers, you can give the facts, but when you tell a good story, I mean, it’s also showing off your communication skills. It’s showing off that you understand the why, which is really important. And it feeds into a little of that passion too, that you can hear the passion in someone’s story. You don’t really hear a passion in facts.

Mike Gerholdt: Right. That’s true. How would you… So I’m listening to this and I’m lack of a better term, playing devil’s advocate. And thinking, “Boy, if I was a new admin and I’m applying for that junior role, and maybe I don’t have the paid experience, maybe I’m fresh out of Pathfinders, or I’m fresh out of college, and I’ve got two Salesforce certifications or 120 Trailhead badges. I don’t have those relatable stories. Were the interview questions for junior admins maybe a little bit different, or were the answers or way that I should be thinking about answering as a junior admin, a little bit different?

Lissa Smith: I think a little both. The questions are pretty much the same for me. I mean, in thinking of past skills, if you were a bartender, you could figure out how to translate the skills that you used as a bartender to managing projects, prioritizing, there’s collaborating with others. There’s still a lot of those transferable skills. And being able to tell that story, I think is part of this that’s huge. So it’s a lot of the same questions.

Mike Gerholdt: I think you absolutely 100% nailed it because I’m thinking of the college student. And you’re like, “Well, the time that I really had to collaborate, well, I don’t have a time in the workplace. But let me tell you about this project I was on in advanced biochemistry where I had a difficult teammate. You could walk through a scenario there, and it’s showing you the same principles and skills. It’s just a different environment that they were used in.

Lissa Smith: Absolutely. I also, personally, I mean, even, I think certification can be a story in itself and it was for some of the candidates that I hired.

Mike Gerholdt: Oh, how so?

Lissa Smith: I heard stories of, it took me five times to pass my certification exam, is what a candidate told me. And they told me that kind of slumping, shoulders down, disappointed in themselves. I would reframe that story. I was so persistent, I went back and I know that content inside and out, it wasn’t just guessing to pass that exam. I know that content inside and out, it took me five tries and I passed, that’s, it’s, it can all be a story. It can all be something that sells you. And so even certification can be a story. It’s all in how you frame it.

Mike Gerholdt: One thing I wanted to touch on in this point was I shared with you prior to the call, kind of that admin skills that we’d rolled out. Rebecca showed us in the admin Keynote at Dreamforce. And I know it was the first time you’d seen it. So I kind of blindsided you with it. But of those 14 skills, was there one that stood out for you?

Lissa Smith: Problem solving stands out the most for me. I mean, when I come in, me, personally, into an interview, I am selling myself as a passionate, proactive problem solver. That’s what I am. I’m enthusiastic. I love finding problems. I love helping connect dots to figure out how to solve those problems. I think that’s the heart of an admin, they’re problem solvers and excited to find ways. So for me, personally, I hate saying, “No, that’s not possible on the Salesforce platform.” Because I can pretty much always figure out a way to do it. And so I feel that’s the heart of an admin.

But the learner’s mindset, piece, I think that’s another huge one. When you are looking for roles, admins who are looking for roles, I think it’s important to connect with a company that thinks that this is important too, that failing is okay, that trying new things is okay, innovating is okay. And gives you time to learn and to go to the new release readiness training, to do Trailhead to continue to learn. I think that’s really important when looking for a role.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. I would agree 100%. You need to interview that company for culture. And the one thing I always tell people is, the person you’re sitting across the table from, are you enjoy sitting across the table from them? Because that’s going to be your job. Do you enjoy? If it’s an in person interview, do you enjoy the atmosphere? Do you enjoy just kind of that culture, that feeling that you have there? Because that’s something that’s really hard to change.

Lissa Smith: So important. Before I joined Salesforce, I was a leader of a Salesforce Trailblazer community group here in Indianapolis. And I was very involved in the community, in the Trailblazer community, at the women in tech meetings, at the admin meetings, at the developer meetings, still I am. Although now, everything’s different and virtual.

Mike Gerholdt: Yes.

Lissa Smith: I can participate in meetings all over the world there.

Mike Gerholdt: Everywhere.

Lissa Smith: Yeah. But having a hiring manager who participates in those meetings, I think is, or having a manager, not even a hiring manager, a manager who participates in those meetings is huge. Because they, first of all, the hiring managers, if you’re listening here, go to those meetings because you will find all the excited, passionate candidates you’re looking for.

A large majority of the admins that I hired were already very active within the community. And I already knew them and they already knew me. And I was somebody that they wanted to work for because they knew I was excited about the community and participated in it. And they knew, I would give them time to go to those meetings during lunch, back when they were always in person at lunchtime. It was-

Mike Gerholdt: In the Midwest, those meetings are always over lunch so that we could have meatloaf or lasagna or [inaudible] very ridiculously heavy, Midwestern, a hot dish.

Lissa Smith: Right. Yeah. And I know that that’s not something that’s consistent. But not all hiring managers even know that this exists or even managers know that this community exists. So I think it’s really important for managers to get involved in the Trailblazer community. And there’s a lot of… A ton of great talent. I mean, it’s just packed full of amazing talent.

People who are motivated and excited and then have this big network of people to connect with if they run into issues or if they need help, especially for those junior admins, that it’s something they haven’t done before. But they have this huge network of people that they can connect with. Now, all over the world. Thanks to… I mean, it was already all over the world, but even more so now that everything’s so virtual, they have this network.

Mike Gerholdt: No, I’m with you. And I actually was thinking about that because the number of stories, you go back a few years on the pod, we told the Zac Otero story of how Zac got his certifications and was relentless of going to user groups and introducing himself. There’s a lot of stories where that’s a great place to meet people, if you’re looking to get hired because they share the same interests. And I think it’s something you pointed out early on in our discussions was hiring managers should be at this. It may be called a user group, but hiring managers are users too.

Lissa Smith: Absolutely.

Mike Gerholdt: So-

Lissa Smith: Yep.

Mike Gerholdt: … I love that point. And it’s also, if I was thinking about it, would I want to interview with a hiring manager that I’ve seen at user groups, or would I want to interview with a hiring major where I have to explain user groups?

Lissa Smith: Yes. It’s such a good point. Yes, exactly.

Mike Gerholdt: Very different. So one thing, I think it’s, in common talk about because I feel you’ve run the gamut. I hope we’ve given everybody kind of a good insight into hiring admins and being the hiring manager. But I’d love to know a little bit about what you do at Salesforce because your title’s intriguing.

Lissa Smith: Yeah. So senior manager of business architecture here at Salesforce. I’m responsible for our internal Salesforce instance for sales people. So processes, tools, governance, user experience, within our internal Salesforce instance and within Slack. And I’ve been working a lot on the Slack for sales project for-

Mike Gerholdt: Wow.

Lissa Smith: … the past year and the rollout of Slack now. So it’s very fun and very exciting.

Mike Gerholdt: I will tell you, it’s always been a personal goal of mine when we started the podcast to have on as many Salesforce admins as possible. And I mean, Salesforce, Salesforce admins. But I say that a little tongue in cheek because I think it’s important. And I just did a talk with Pathfinders recently, the reason I bring that up and I say that is, your title, senior manager, business architecture isn’t something that I might search for on LinkedIn as a job-

Lissa Smith: Right.

Mike Gerholdt: … as a Salesforce admin. Right. And I think it’s important that we understand the identity and persona is called that, but the job title and the job descriptions may be very different.

Lissa Smith: So true. And I was lucky with this role that the word or the phrase, Salesforce admin, was included in the description that they were looking for somebody that had previous Salesforce admin experience. And so it showed up in a… This was a 10-year-old job search that I don’t even know how to turn off. It comes into my-

Mike Gerholdt: No.

Lissa Smith: … and it’s fine because I can see the landscape, especially when I was hiring admins, I could see who else is hiring here in Indianapolis. And I could see those other job descriptions and… But this one came through. And like you said, it was senior manager, business architecture. What’s that? And why did this even show up in the job search? I’m not even looking for a job and dug into that. And it’s really cool. And it’s Salesforce uses Salesforce to sell Salesforce, SuperMeta. There’s got to be a team that’s responsible for that. And-

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.

Lissa Smith: … it’s pretty exciting to be on that team.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. I mean, I think in The Matrix, it’s taking the red pill, but for some reason taking the blue pill, right? So, I mean, you don’t have to give us details. But what kind of projects do you work on that I think… And the reason I ask that is, I want to be clear, not digging into your work-life, but I’m digging into analogous to what Salesforce admins would be doing. So what are, if somebody’s listening to this and thinking, “Hey, maybe I’ll become a Salesforce admin.” What’s kind of your everyday look like?

Lissa Smith: Sure. Yeah. So, I mean, we’re looking at new features. We often get them very early, as customer zero we get them first. So we’re looking at those new features. We also want dynamic forms on standard objects. So we want to be able to have that and make our user experience better. So we’re evaluating new features, we’re looking at how can we make user experience better. We’re collecting feedback from users. We’re governing our objects as well and our processes. We’re making sure that-

Mike Gerholdt: That’s a whole podcast in of itself.

Lissa Smith: … yeah, absolutely it is. We’re now looking at our digital HQ at Slack and how do we incorporate Slack into our processes. Make it Slack first, make Slack the platform of engagement for our users and ultimately, improve and make their processes more efficient. So it’s a day-to-day talking to users, understanding what users are doing and then making things better for them.

Mike Gerholdt: Sounds all the stuff we talk about in the central habits, which just makes me happy. It’s very good. Well, Lissa, this has been a very fun podcast. You are welcome back, anytime. If you have an idea, top of mind that you want to talk about, I will be super excited to see what Twitter has to say about this episode because I know it was one of the very first things that always pops into my inbox. Every time I check the community is, people asking for hiring or interview or questions or just anything around getting a job as being a Salesforce admin. And I thought it was a great way to kick off 2022. So thank you for helping me kick off 2022 on the podcast.

Lissa Smith: You’re welcome. Happy new year. I’m very excited to be here. I’m excited for the future of all of the new Salesforce admins and I’m rooting for you. And, yeah, excited.

Mike Gerholdt: So as I write, that was an amazing episode with Lissa. We literally probably could have talked for another hour, so I’m going to have to have Lissa back on the podcast. But to do that, you got to tweet me and tell me, what did I forget to ask Lissa on this episode? And then I’ll start compiling and we’ll get her back as soon as possible. What would you love to know about a hiring manager and asking questions to get that perfect admin job?

So be sure to tweet at us. And if you’d like to learn more about all things, Salesforce Admin, go to admin.salesforce.com to find more resources, including all of the links that I mentioned in this episode, as well as a full transcript. Now, you can stay up to date with us on social. We are at @SalesforceAdmns, no “I” on Twitter. Gillian is @gilliankbruce and, of course, I am @mikegerholdt. So with that, welcome to 2022 and stay safe, stay awesome and stay tuned for that next episode. We’ll see you in the cloud.



Direct download: Replay__Hiring_an_Admin_with_Lissa_Smith.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am PST

Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we talk to Belinda Wong, VP, Product Platform Management at Salesforce.

Join us as we talk about why sometimes Admins who are doing the best job go unnoticed and everything user access policy.

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

Thank you, Admins

Belinda is a Salesforce veteran in the midst of her 16th year with the organization. She actually got her start as an Admin way back when. She knows what it’s like to be asked over and over again to “just make it work” when so much more goes into understanding the problem and coming up with a solution that makes sense. She feels like often all you’ll get is a thanks for sorting things out without a deeper appreciation of what you’ve actually pulled off, so to everyone out there who’s been in that situation: she says thanks.

“Some of the best Admins I’ve talked to know how to anticipate,” Belinda says, they’re doing the research before a new Release drops to ensure everything goes smoothly. It can often feel like you get recognition only when you put out a big fire when things going smoothly on the other 364 days of the year is actually the bigger achievement.

What the Login Access Policy will mean for you

One thing Belinda and her team are working on to improve productivity for Admins is adding the ability to better group together Permissions and find ways for Salesforce to help with that out of the box. “We’ve had standard profiles for 20 years—they haven’t really come along,” she says, which is why they’ve been moving into creating standard permission sets and permission set groups to help.

Belinda and her team are working on Login Access Policy to really tackle those problems and help you manage everything. It’ll not only include permissions sets but also things that are currently a little more peripheral, like record level access controls, public groups, and more. Look out for an early pilot of that later this year (safe harbor) and hopefully, try it out and give Belinda your feedback.

Be sure to listen to the whole episode for what Belinda’s up to with video games and knitting, and what you should wear to Dreamforce.

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Mike Gerholdt: Welcome to the Salesforce Admins Podcast, where we talk about product, community, and career to help you become an awesome admin. This week I'm talking with Belinda Wong, who's the VP of product management at Salesforce. Now, before we get into the conversation with Belinda, she has been at Salesforce for 16 years. That's a long time. And she is actually heading up... I'm sure you're familiar with the name Cheryl Feldman. If not, Cheryl's working on all of the user access and permission policy things. So Belinda heads up that area. She has a really interesting take on some of the things that we do as admins I look at it as kind of celebrating zero. And so that's going to make more sense when you listen to the podcast, but really doing those things where we're being preventative and working ahead. Belinda even gives some advice on how to coach that up to your manager and make a big deal of being proactive. So with that, let's get Belinda on the podcast.
So Belinda, welcome to the podcast.

Belinda Wong: Thank you, Mike. I am so excited.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. Well, it's your first podcast, which is hard to believe because I feel like I have spoken to Belinda Wong quite a bit in my career, but maybe just not on the podcast. So welcome to your first podcast.

Belinda Wong: Thank you. Thank you. I'm excited.

Mike Gerholdt: Now, you have a really cool title, VP product management at Salesforce. So hey, you've done some things. I would love to start off by you kind of introducing yourself to what are some of the products that perhaps you've managed that admins have used?

Belinda Wong: So I am nearly at my 16th year.

Mike Gerholdt: Oh, congrats.

Belinda Wong: Finishing my 16th year at Salesforce. So I have done a lot of different things here. But from a product perspective, I moved into product management probably about halfway through that stint. I started off with owning our licensing and provisioning framework basically. I call it our digital delivery. This is how we play the role of the FedEx and UPS for all the products that Salesforce sells. So that was my first product. Then I expanded into some of our authorization space. And it was originally called admin, but it's really authorization, meaning how do you entitle your users. And think profiles, permission sets and all the goodness around that. So those are my two main areas. I started off doing the direct management. And then now I have a team of PMs. You guys will know that I recently brought Cheryl Feldman to take over that authorization space and she's been amazing.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, rockstar. Rockstar.

Belinda Wong: Yeah, absolutely rockstar. So that's my space. I affectionately call it entitlement services. So it's basically all the capabilities and services to entitle your system as well entitling your end users. Is that helpful?

Mike Gerholdt: Gotcha. Yeah. I mean, you are part of the delivery and now you're the person that keeps the doors locked or unlocked and gives admins the ability to hand out permissions. I like it.

Belinda Wong: That's great. I'm going to steal that.

Mike Gerholdt: Okay. Use it. So it feels like last year, but it was actually just April, if you can believe, that we did TrailblazerDX in San Francisco and we were crossing paths in the setup area. And I will joke, we found the most splinterable picnic table, I think, available on the planet to sit down and have a chat. One of the topics that you brought up, which was really keen and why I wanted to have you on the podcast, was you said sometimes tasks that admins do are undervalued. And I'd really love for you to elaborate more on that.

Belinda Wong: Yeah, absolutely. In fact, my personal history with Salesforce started as an admin. I mean, before I joined Salesforce as an employee, my first introduction to Salesforce was administering an org for a startup. So one of the things that I figured out that, I mean, it was a great learning and it was also the reason why I fell in love with Salesforce as a product to start with is all the flexibility, all the things that you can figure out, but at the same time, people don't necessarily appreciate it, right? I remember being on the receiving end of, "Just make it work," you know?

Mike Gerholdt: Right.

Belinda Wong: "Just give me the... Look, he could do something that I can't. Just make it so that it works." Since then, I've talked to a lot of administrators that's come up to me either in conference shows or I've reached out and talked to that that said the same thing. It's like, my users just want it to work, so they don't necessarily appreciate how much time the administrator has to go and understand what happened, have to go figure out what is or isn't set up right. And at the end of the day, all they get appreciated for is, "Okay, you fix the problem. Great!" Not that you spent 20 hours figuring out how to do it. And that's the part that I think we need to really highlight and just give that thanks. And I want to thank every administrator, everybody out there that's had that experience, even if it's only once in a while. But it's like, thank you. Thank you for persevering and staying with us.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, I think there's... And I'll paraphrase. I read a note somewhere that kind of summarizes what you said, which was, a pipe in a house is clogged and person calls the plumber. Plumber comes over and says, "It'll be $400 to fix it." "Well, how, long's it going to take you to fix it?" "Oh, it'll be fixed in five minutes. You're not paying me for my time. You're paying me for the fact that I know how to fix this in five minutes." I think that's what you're saying, right? It's a little bit of the reverse of that, but it's like, "Thank you for doing the thing I asked. However, I lacked to gain the insight into the amount of time that it took for you to get that correct."
I mean, I have auto bill set up on how many of my home bills and cell bills and stuff like that. When the money just comes out of your account and you pay the bill and the service always works, you have a really hard time finding fault with the service. It's when the thing doesn't work that you're like, "Yeah, this company's horrible," right?

Belinda Wong: Exactly. Exactly. And that's the other part, is talking about another underappreciate, is that anticipation. Some of the best admins that I've talked to anticipates, right? They're the ones doing all the research on, "Hey, I hear a release is coming. Let's go learn about what's going to change. How's that going to impact me? I'm going to go figure it out before it actually impacts my end users." And again, they're doing it naturally. They just know that's the best way for them to get ahead of what might be problems. But I don't see that as appreciated by all the companies and the managers out there so we should advertise that that is important work.

Mike Gerholdt: Right. So let's talk about that because I feel like there's always one part and I listen to other podcasts and like, "Yeah, that's a problem." It's really easy to point out problems, but I think the second part of that is like, "So what's a solution?" I mean think of it from, I'll put it very astutely right into your seat, you're a manager of people and if you have somebody that does anticipate problems and does it very well and somebody that doesn't, what are things that you do to try and coach the other person and reward one of them for doing that and kind of help the other person not? Or conversely, what should that admin think of them out there, learning all the release notes, proactively putting out, "Here's what's coming. Here's things we need to think about," but feeling that undervalue from their manager? What should they do to communicate that to their manager? What would you want communicated to you?

Belinda Wong: I'm going to tell you a story. One of the things that I say especially for about my licensing and provisioning area is we are an enormous success when there are no incidents, right?

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.

Belinda Wong: But reporting zero incidents is not normally what people do. Although, I do. Now that I think about it, I don't know if they have them around anymore but I remember days when I would go into the office, this was like my pre Salesforce days, I worked at an environmental engineering firm. You would walk into the office in the kitchen and there would be a poster that says, "Number of days with no OSHA violations."

Mike Gerholdt: Oh, yeah. There's a construction site I go past to take my dog to daycare and they have a sign that's similar to that.

Belinda Wong: Right. But you notice that the metric they're reporting is a number that goes up, right?

Mike Gerholdt: Mm-hmm.

Belinda Wong: And we seem to have a natural tendency towards the bigger the number, the more vanity the better it is to have. But the reality is, what we want to measure is no incident. We actually want a zero.

Mike Gerholdt: Right.

Belinda Wong: But in that particular story, they had to represent it with a number that goes up so that people recognize the importance, like bigger is better. So maybe that's what we need to do is to say, "Let's figure out how to celebrate that. A no incident is not just, 'Okay nothing happened,' but that there's greatness in that. There's a metric what we should come up with to celebrate that." I don't know if that answers the question.

Mike Gerholdt: No, I do think... Yeah, it is funny. I didn't realize that, but I drive past that construction site and you notice the double or triple digit number. And then sometimes you drive by and you're like, "Oh, it's at five. Something must have happened, right?

Belinda Wong: Right.

Mike Gerholdt: And it's similar to like that auto bill that I have set up on some of my accounts. When they just bill me and my cell phone service works and I don't have issues, it's kind of cool. But man, you can get me flaming mad if I get out in the middle of nowhere and my cell service drops or something happens and it's like, "Wait a minute, I forgot about the 364 other days that boring was not even celebrated, but it totally meant they were doing their job."

Belinda Wong: Exactly. Yeah. I think that's what I would... I think your question was about how I would coach the people into, "Okay, you're not anticipating" because they got attention for the incidents that happened, right?

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.

Belinda Wong: We always jump on escalations. So the person's name had recognition because there was an escalation. I mean, you could say there's a small negative connotation to that, but it's still, there was recognition. Whereas the other person who was doing the job, like doing their job well, was not getting recognized, right? So my coaching or my job as a manager would be, okay, let's find a way to celebrate that. And like I said, let's find a way that people understand it's important and that they see that big number or that big recognition.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. I think a lot of what we talk about in admin relations and putting together sample dashboards is, "Look at all of the stories or the case tickets that I've burned down over the month." Like, "Look at all the things I've solved." I think the reverse of that is also... And I apologize I can't remember the year, but I know at Dreamforce one year we had a presentation that an individual in the community did. It was like dashboard of zeros is what I remember.

Belinda Wong: Right.

Mike Gerholdt: It's almost like celebrating that, right? Thinking through, "I know we want to talk about here's all the big stuff that's happened, but let's talk about how this dashboard month over month is still zero." And that could be number of incidences because we've anticipated problems that were coming up and proactively worked on solutions. So thinking that through, I can hear admins in my ear. They want to know like, "So Belinda, you manage Cheryl and you got this whole team of people. What's some of the stuff that you're proactively working on to make admins life easier?"

Belinda Wong: There's a couple of efforts that in our authorization space that we're looking at. One upcoming is something called user access policies. So one of the things that we know will improve our administrators productivity is to be able to better group together permissions, and maybe even to have Salesforce be much better at providing the prescriptive out of the box representation. I mean, the reality is we've had standard profiles for 20 years. They haven't really come along.

Mike Gerholdt: [inaudible].

Belinda Wong: We've started moving into a space we call permission sets and permission set groups. We've slowly started to put out standard permission sets, but usually along with incremental add on features, things like Einstein or maybe Health Cloud coming out with, "Hey, this is how you can configure a Health Cloud person." But we need to get a better way to do that in a standardized across all of our features and services. And that's what user access policy is intended to be, is a way for us to create a grouping that not only includes the permission sets, but also things that are a little more peripheral, like the record level access controls, like public groups and things like that. So look out for that. That is definitely on Cheryl's roadmap, user access policies. We're looking to do that, a pilot, an early pilot of that this year, so safe harbor. And then really get more feedback and iterate on that over the next year or so.

Mike Gerholdt: So is that feature functionality just a result of technology changing or the granularity of Salesforce needing to be even tighter? I guess the question I'm poking at is really for kind of newer admins. What about the profile doesn't work? And I say that because I've got a profile on Twitter and I've got a profile on Facebook and I've got a profile on other things that I log into. And I think maybe the new admin looks at that as like why are we splitting this up a little bit more?

Belinda Wong: The main aspect of it is definitely the growth of different types of functionality in the platform. I mean, when we first started 20 years ago or over 20 years ago, we only had sales, right?

Mike Gerholdt: Mm-hmm.

Belinda Wong: So profiles were set up to say, "Okay, you're a standard sales user. You do a little bit of contract management, or you just need read-only access to the sales objects."

Mike Gerholdt: Right.

Belinda Wong: We've since grown into service cloud. We've grown into experience communities, portals. And our enormous app exchange ecosystem has added a lot more ISV partner solutions that sometimes play with the same objects, but often are their own set of entities, right?It's kind of like that bolt on. You start putting all this stuff onto the one item, it's like, "Oh, let me put on an extra pocket on this jacket. Let me put this badge or this pin." So now you've got this really heavyweight jacket that you have to put on. And you actually have to change it completely when something needs to be tweaked.

Mike Gerholdt: Right.

Belinda Wong: So what we've said is, "You know what? We need to redesign that jacket so that it is more like the type of jacket where there's an inner lining that you can take off, or the sleeves comes off and you can actually be able to use this in a much more flexible way." That's kind of where that thought process, that design was coming from.

Mike Gerholdt: No, that's good. That's a really good analogy. I never really thought of that. I can only say, to me, I see it akin to a lot of the changes that we saw with Apple products. Like if you remember when the iPod came out, well, we synced it with iTunes, right?

Belinda Wong: Mm-hmm.

Mike Gerholdt: And then the phone came out, except now the phone has apps. But you get apps through iTunes, right?It kind of felt weird. They really had to figure out a way to kind of like, this one thing can't do everything anymore, you know?

Belinda Wong: Right.

Mike Gerholdt: I like your analogy of pins and buttons. You end up with this huge, massive jacket that isn't as functional because you've just kept adding to it as opposed to being able to scope out that vision. So it's a great analogy. Belinda, one of the things that I love to ask and feel free to answer however you wish. We've had a few PMs on and we'll probably see you at Dreamforce. Admins will be walking around. What is something you love to do in your spare time when you're not making user access policy products awesome for Salesforce admins?

Belinda Wong: So my two favorite hobbies, they're actually very different, but my two favorite hobbies, my first favorite hobby really the time sync one is video games.

Mike Gerholdt: Ooh.

Belinda Wong: It's actually a way for me to get connected with my own family, because my husband's a big video gamer.

Mike Gerholdt: Okay.

Belinda Wong: The two of us from even before we had children, we would sit side by side and play Final Fantasy in Co Op mode together. It was a great way for us to learn from each other and really connect and be together, because I was always the puzzle solver while he was the one who was like the fighter. He was much more dextrous than me, but we would get to a portion of the game where he is like, "I can't figure out where to go from here anymore." And it's like, "No, you just need to solve that little... Move those boxes around and then you'll be able to get to that extra passage way."
And we started doing that with our kids too. It's like we would play the Lego. I mean, Lego is big French. They take all of these different movies and then turn them into games with the Lego characters. So we just love those. We just love those. Our time sync is family time, video gaming. Although we also do occasionally board games when we're like, "Okay, maybe we're a little over indexed on the screen time now."
But the other thing that I do for me, which is more of a personal thing is knitting.

Mike Gerholdt: Ooh.

Belinda Wong: Because I just love being able to produce something. I'm not as talented as other crafters that we have at Salesforce. I am just totally envious of what Chris Duarte can do with the [inaudible] machine. But I've been trying to figure out how do I want designing, knitting a cap with the cloud on it and stuff like that. I'm working on it. Maybe I'll figure it out by Dreamforce and get you in.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. I will take anything knitted. I love knitted stuff. It's so cool. That's so neat. I think you probably tapped into a lot of the things that I see our community do. I know there's a lot of video game people out there. Josh who hosts the Dev Podcast is a big video gamer. I think they're also on Twitch. I don't know if you Twitch stream your video games. That's a whole thing I just figured out, but you can watch a channel where you watch people play video games. One of my friends' kids told me about it. And I remember thinking to myself, "That's got to be incredibly boring." And then later that night I found myself two hours in watching somebody play a video game on Twitch. And I was like, "Okay. Note taken." So, yeah. Interesting.

Belinda Wong: Yeah. I haven't quite gotten into that yet. Although my daughters do. My younger daughter loves Roblox.

Mike Gerholdt: Oh.

Belinda Wong: I mean, that is the video game of choice for at least my 11 year old.

Mike Gerholdt: Okay.

Belinda Wong: And she's watched people do... That and Minecraft, because she's loves the building aspect, being able to just make giant towers and things like that.

Mike Gerholdt: Yes. Yes.

Belinda Wong: So I've seen her do watch a Twitch channel on Roblox or Minecraft.

Mike Gerholdt: Right. Yeah.

Belinda Wong: I haven't gotten into it myself yet.

Mike Gerholdt: I did the Minecraft Creative mode for a while. I totally got into it. And then I built this huge house thing. I think it's Creative mode or something, Design mode, you can fly around. And I was flying around and I got lost. I couldn't find my way back to this big house that I had built. And I was just so devastated that I was like, "Oh." And so I just never picked it up again.

Belinda Wong: No.

Mike Gerholdt: That, and then I made the mistake of going online and seeing other stuff that people had built. And I was like, "Oh my thing's not even close to that." So hey, there we go. But yeah, video games and knitting. Belinda, thanks for taking time out of the day and talking about some of the stuff you're working on at Salesforce and recognizing that some of the things our admins do that we've always realized are things that they should talk a little bit more about.

Belinda Wong: Yeah, absolutely. And thank you for everything. I want to just say again, thank you to all the admins and everything they do in making Salesforce easy to use.

Mike Gerholdt: So it was great talking with Belinda. We can always go down host different alleys. I'd love to know if there's video game players or knitters out there. I see that all over my Twitter feed quite a bit. And holy cow, if you're coming to Dreamforce this year, it's going to be warm, but bring something knitted because that's going to be super cool. I truly wish I could knit. I have not picked it up. I played some video games, but it was neat to see some of the hobbies that Belinda has. I really enjoyed her advice that she gave us as admins about thinking about some of those tasks that we do and the time we put into it and celebrating ourselves and also paying attention, being ahead of the curve and anticipating new features, new releases or maybe new issues. It's always worth bringing those up to our managers as well as we work through those things.
So of course, if you want to learn more about all things Salesforce admin, just go to admin.salesforce.com to find resources including any of the links that we mentioned in today's episode as well as a full transcript. Of course you can stay up to date with us on social, we are @SalesforceAdmins. No I on Twitter. Gillian is on Twitter. She is @gilliankbruce. And of course, I am on Twitter @MikeGerholdt. And with that, stay safe, stay awesome, and stay tuned for the next episode. We'll see you in the cloud.



Direct download: Celebrating_Admins_with_Belinda_Wong.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am PST

Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we talk to Christine Magnuson, a Solution Engineering Manager at Salesforce and 2008 Olympic swimmer and two-time silver medalist.

Join us as we talk about what skills transferred from being a top athlete to working in the Salesforce ecosystem, why you shouldn’t sell yourself short, and why Admins are great partners in Solution Engineering.

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

Transitioning into a Salesforce career

Christine is officially the first Olympic medalist we’ve had on the pod. “You have to constantly check yourself that you’re in reality,” she says, “you’re just among the best of the best in what they do and it’s an honor to be in that community.”

So we know how she got her start, but how did Christine wind up in Solution Engineering? She started with a master's in Public Administration and hit the pavement to network. Almost anyone was willing to give 30 minutes to an Olympian asking about their lives. “Actually,” she says, “I don’t think you need to be an Olympian to call somebody up to ask about what they do and what they like and what they don’t—everyone says yes because they like talking about themselves.”

How Sales was the perfect jumping-off point for Christine

The overwhelming advice was to start in Sales because it applies to so many different things. “I came to realize that it was really about me believing in the product I was selling,” Christine says, “and as long as I believed in the product I was doing everybody else a favor by telling them about it and not them doing a favor for me.” The business she was working for had started leveraging Salesforce and, since she was the youngest person on the team, she was the de facto accidental Admin.

Christine found herself working at Quip soon after they were acquired. She worked in Sales for a year “but I nerded out on the product so much and working with the PMs and the marketing team and having that cross-functional view was really fun for me,” she says, so when they decided to build out the Solution Engineering team she volunteered. From there it was a transition to the core team working with key Salesforce clients like Amazon, Dell, and BMWare.

Why Admins are visionaries

Admins are particularly helpful in this work because they know their user base inside and out: what they want to do, where their pain points are, and what needs automating. “Some of the Admins I work with are so innovative about not just thinking about what is a small step forward, but what are five steps forwards and should we be taking those big leaps forward,” Christine says.

One of the secret powers that good Admins have is the ability to use the tools already in Salesforce to the max. As the old saying goes, when you have a hammer everything looks like a nail, and sometimes in these large organizations, Devs jump straight to coding and customizing when there might already be a tool you can use in your org. 

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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 am your host, Gillian Bruce. And today, we have a first, listeners. We are joined by a two-time Olympic silver medalist and solution engineering manager at Salesforce, Christine Magnuson. She has so much great knowledge and experience to share. I asked her about all of the things, everything from what's it like to build a team of Salesforce professionals to how do you transfer skills from being an elite athlete to working in the Salesforce ecosystem, and so much more. So without further ado, let's welcome Christine on the pod. Christine, welcome to the podcast.

Christine Magnuson: Thanks so much for having me.

Gillian Bruce: Okay. So it is official. You are the first official Olympian and medal winner to appear on the Salesforce Admins Podcast. I just have to lead with that because it's pretty amazing. Tell me, what was it like to win a silver medal at the Olympics? Two of them.

Christine Magnuson: Two of them. Well, I am happy to be your first. I have a feeling I won't be your last, but very excited to be the trailblazer here on that front. Yes. My Olympic career was so fun. I mean, I highly suggest becoming an Olympian if you have the chance to.

Gillian Bruce: Totally on my list.

Christine Magnuson: Yes. Exactly. Sign yourself up. It's a really amazing community to be a part of, and to stand up and represent your country in that form is just such an honor. It takes your breath away. You have to constantly check yourself that you're in reality. And just to be in that space with so many amazing competitors from not just Team USA, but around the world. It's so such a hard feeling to describe because you're just amongst the best of the best in what they do. And it's an honor. It's an honor to be amongst that community. And it's something that it never leaves you. Once you're an Olympian, you're always an Olympian. There's never former Olympians. There's just Olympians. And so it's definitely a club that you're part of for your entire life once you're there once, and that's pretty incredible.

Gillian Bruce: So it's like being part of Salesforce ecosystem, right? I mean, once you're a part of it.

Christine Magnuson: It's like being a ranger. Once you're a ranger, they don't take it away. You get to be a ranger for life. Now you can always do more, but yes, it's 100%. It doesn't leave you. You can always come back. I mean, how many boomerangs do we know in this Salesforce... Well, Salesforce is a company. Of course, there's boomerangs, but then also just in the ecosystem as well.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. Once you get in, you can't really get out because it's a good place to be. So speaking of that, talk to me a little bit about your transition from being an amazing Olympic athlete to now being... I mean, you work with solution engineers here at Salesforce. Tell me a little bit about that journey.

Christine Magnuson: Oh, man. I have the best job. At least I think so. So when I retired in 2013, I had just finished up my master's program from the University of Arizona. I have a master's in public administration. I thought I wanted to go into non-profits or athletic governances, and then through that experience, really felt like I wanted to actually go into the corporate world and get more experience before applying those things potentially back to those communities. And so I networked with really anyone who talked me. Good news was that pretty much everybody was willing to give 30 minutes to an Olympian who was just asking them about their lives. Actually, I don't think you'd need to be an Olympian to call somebody up and say, "Can you tell me about what you do and what you like and what you don't?" Everyone says yes. They love talking about themselves, which is great.
And so I net networked my way and everybody said, "Sales is a great place to start. You'll never regret it. You can apply it to so many different ways even if you end up not liking sales." It took me a while to realize that that was the case. When you think about sales, you think about that used car salesman and people selling, pushing things on you that you don't want. And I came to realize that it was really about me believing in the product I was selling. And as long as I believed in the product, I was doing everybody else a favor by telling them about it and not them doing a favor for me. And so-

Gillian Bruce: That shift. Yeah.

Christine Magnuson: Total shift in mindset. And so I joined a great small company out of Chicago that was placing consultants into life science companies and learned full life cycle sales from them. And they were also doing a lot with their Salesforce implementation during that time. And of course, I was one of the younger ones in the company and new to sales, and they were like, "Christine can figure this out. What should the experience be?" And so I was the super user. And then towards my end, I was actually part-time admin with no qualification whatsoever other than I could pick it up. That's I think the amazing thing about the product itself is that you can pick it up without going and learning how to code. And so I really fell in love with the technology.
I had moved to San Francisco because I was in Chicago and Chicago's really cold. Growing up there, I knew what it meant. And I spent a couple of adult years there and just decided to get out. So I moved to San Francisco, wanted to get into tech, and there was this little company called Quip that had just been acquired. They were ramping things up. I joined their sales team, did sales for a year, but felt I was basically... I nerded out on the product so much and working with the PMs and the marketing team, and having that cross-functional view was really fun for me, that when they decided to build out the solution engineering team, I raised my hand and everybody around me was really supportive. And so I moved to the new role, was immediately put on some of our top accounts, which was mind-blowing to see how these really complex accounts worked. And a few years later, I was leading the SE team and helping expand my knowledge across the US with our [inaudible] based team.
And now, about six or nine months ago, I came over to what we call core, which is thinking about the whole Salesforce portfolio for particular customer bases. And I have the honor of leading some really elite SEs who cover companies like Amazon and Dell and VMware and a few others. And they're just some of the sharpest individuals that I've ever met. And I get the honor of managing them and then meeting with our customers and seeing what they're doing and trying to help them through a lot of really complex issues. And so I'm never bored. I'm always using my brain. And it's a really fun job, and all because I just nerded out on the Salesforce products.

Gillian Bruce: Well, you're preaching to the choir here because admins are the ultimate Salesforce nerds. We're very proud of our nerdom.

Christine Magnuson: I love it.

Gillian Bruce: And I think what's so interesting is you interact with admins and customers at these very complex companies and these complex implementations. I want to touch more on how you transferred some of your skills as an Olympian to your skills in the Salesforce ecosystem. But before we get there, can you talk to me about some of the things that you see make an admin at one of these very complex implementations successful?

Christine Magnuson: Yeah. I think when they really understand their user base, that helps an extreme amount because they understand what their user base is trying to do, where they can automate, where they're struggling. And so the more they can understand their end user, the better. And then it comes down to, okay, understanding the actual implementation, pros and cons. Let's be real. No implementation out there is perfect.

Gillian Bruce: What? What are you talking about?

Christine Magnuson: Well, if somebody knows of one, please call me and let me know how it went and how you got there. But it's just because things change. Companies grow and you can't predict the future when you're implementing. And so hindsight is 20-20. But some of the admins I work with are so innovative of not just thinking about what is a small step forward, but what are five step forward? Should we be doing five steps instead of one in certain areas and taking those big leaps forward? And how does global changes affect us? Not just scale and a global distributed user base, but also data residency requirements. And oh my goodness, how do we push changes if we're going to have multi-org? And what does hyper force look like? And all of these things, they're a part of the conversation. And that is one, really fulfilling, I think for everybody involved because we're getting the full picture, but it helps us break down what is realistic for this customer moving forward and what's their timeline? It's all about being in sync. But some just really great work being done out there by our admins.

Gillian Bruce: I love that. Knowing your user base, knowing what your users are trying to do, and then really that forward visionary thinking of what the product can do and the direction that things are going. I think very, very important skills and traits of every successful admin. So it's great hearing it from you because you really work with some of the most complex.

Christine Magnuson: Yeah. I'll add in one more because I know a lot of our admins work with IT groups. I'm renovating my house right now. I was talking to you about that earlier. When you talk to somebody who's a builder, they always want to build. And if you're talking to somebody who is a woodworker, they're just like, "Oh. Do this." And it's always in their frame of reference. And when we talk to customers, if we're talking to a highly IT-oriented or builder-oriented customer, they're like, "Oh. We'll just customize it. We'll just build it." And I think one of the powers that admins can come in is saying, "That's out-of-the-box. Stop building. Stop wasting our time and stop doing over-customized things that are going to hurt us down the road because again, we can't predict the future. Let's do as much out-of-the-box as possible. And then we can apply our own flavor to it if need be. And the customer or the user base should tell us if we actually need to do that or not."
And so that's the third one I would put in is they're so valuable with saving their company's time by not developing things that are already just there for them.

Gillian Bruce: You hit the nail in my head with that. That is something that is just... It comes up time and time again. And often it's like you mentioned, working with IT. There's also sometimes that conflict when you're a developer mindset versus an admin mindset because they'll go straight to like, "Oh. I can build this really, really cool thing that's super complex and blah, blah, blah." And the admin's like, "Hold up a second. You realize that we already have this in Salesforce."

Christine Magnuson: Totally. We already own it.

Gillian Bruce: Why don't you spend your time customizing something on top of that? Let's start with this base first.

Christine Magnuson: I know. And some of these larger customers, they have a lot in their contracts that they should be using. It's just use it. You've already paid for it. So if you use more of it, it's kind of free because you've already put that-

Gillian Bruce: It's included.

Christine Magnuson: Yeah. It's included. You've already made the investment. So get more value out of it. And so stepping back and making sure that they're using that full value is something that the admins can do so much for their companies on.

Gillian Bruce: Oh. I love that because that's such... I mean, again, talk about not only driving efficiency for the users and the user base and helping people get their jobs done, but you're saving the company resources and time as [inaudible]-

Christine Magnuson: It's huge. The ROI behind it is huge.

Gillian Bruce: I love those three really, really great points. So I want to dive back into the story of Christine for a second. So we have been talking a lot about the admin skills kit, which we just launched at TrailblazerDX a few months ago, and it's all about helping identify those business skills that help admins be successful. So on top of the product knowledge, these are things like communication and problem-solving, designer's mindset that really make an admin successful. And one element of that is we have language in there about how to represent these skills in the context of the Salesforce ecosystem. So this is how it might look like on your resume. This is how it might look like in a job posting you create to hire someone with that skill. How do you think about transferable skills? Because clearly you transferred a very unique skillset from being a very high level competitive athlete, an Olympian, to now the technology sector and the Salesforce ecosystem. So can you talk to me a little bit about how you managed transferring your skillset?

Christine Magnuson: Yeah. Well, especially from the athletic world... and we're talking to the Team USA athletes about this right now... is what are those athlete skillsets that we probably took for granted, frankly? When you're in an elite level of whatever it is, but in my case, athleticism, you are surrounded by other people in that environment. And so you just start to take those skills for granted because they're normalized. And so how do you actually step away from that normalization and say, "Actually, that wasn't normal. That was special. And how do I articulate that it is special?" And so when it comes to the athletic population, we're very good at time management. When you're going from practice to school or work back to practice and you have to... I mean, even fitting in meals and strategic rest, all of that goes into just having really good time management.
And especially now in a remote workforce world with distractions all around us and family coming in and out, my dogs were just here, it can get a little crazy. And so being able to focus on time management is huge. So that would, I would say, is an obvious number one. Two, coachability. Oh, my goodness. We're always constantly going to be learning new technology and picking up new skills and we should be getting feedback about how we're doing and what more should we be doing? And being able to... And athletes, believe me, we tend to be confident people. Takes a lot to stand up in front of a lot of people with a bathing suit on.

Gillian Bruce: Sure does.

Christine Magnuson: Most athletes don't lack in confidence, but I will say we know when to check our egos at the door because somebody's about to make us better. And that translates really well to a workforce where you have to actually invite feedback. Not everybody is good at giving or receiving feedback, and we can all get better by doing it. When somebody gives me feedback, it's such a compliment to me. They have just invested in me. They took the time to think something through, invest in me, and make me better. What a compliment, even if the feedback is harsh. And athletes are so used to that.

Gillian Bruce: Feedback is a gift, right? Isn't that what we were saying? Yeah.

Christine Magnuson: Exactly. All feedback is good feedback, even if it's-

Gillian Bruce: It doesn't feel good.

Christine Magnuson: It doesn't feel good. Exactly. And so the feedback loop is huge for athletes. The other, which I think we definitely take for granted, is attention to detail. Attention to detail, but still flexibility. So when I was swimming, I was talking to my coach about moving my arm a slightly different way at a slightly different angle. It was maybe an inch difference, and then doing that thousands, tens of thousands of times perfectly. And so that attention to detail is huge. But also knowing that you're working within a rule of constraints, and sometimes you need to be flexible. My first job, I remember coming in and working with somebody who's in operations, and they were extremely rule-oriented. There was no breaking her rules. And I had a situation where I was like, "Hey. I think we need to break this... We're going to have to do this differently," is how I phrased it. And she was like, "Absolutely not."
And it shocked me because I had the logical argument. I had all of my data. I had backed it up and I said, "This is why this is different." And she said, "Nope, too bad." And I was just like, "I've never encountered someone like you before. I have to change the way I communicate." And all of it was really interesting lessons learned, but I think athletes can stay pretty fluid in these really changing dynamic environments. Still know what rules are important, but then apply details to them like, "Well, do we even make a shift here or shift there?" So that's kind of two in one with the flexibility and detail. But I would say that's another big one.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. And I like the way that you paired those two together because especially as I think about admins specifically, the attention to detail is critical because you got to dot all the I's and cross all the Ts and make sure everything is locked down or assigned correctly or every single workflow is thought of. But at the same time, you do. You have to remain flexible because you may have to adjust that solution and adjust it for this specific user type or adjust it for this specific situation and... Yeah.

Christine Magnuson: Oh, my goodness. Yes. I mean, how many companies do we see right now holistically changing their business models? Moving to subscription. I mean, what a huge difference and what an impact on their Salesforce instances. Totally complex. You need to be very into the details, but you also need to be flexible because we're going to change a lot. And we're probably not going to predict everything on day one no matter how good we are planning.

Gillian Bruce: We can't see the future. What are you talking about? Come on.

Christine Magnuson: Oh, man. Well, maybe some of them out there can. I've never been good at it.

Gillian Bruce: No. I mean, I think that's really interesting. One of the things that I hear a lot from admins who are either transferring from another industry into the Salesforce ecosystem is really that idea of not throwing away all that experience they had let's say if they worked in a warehouse for 15 years or worked as a teacher. And it can feel like you have to start at ground zero a little bit because everything sounds different. It looks different. But I really like how you identify those skills that you were able to take from something that's very seemingly different from the technology space, but then rethink about them and apply them in a way that has made you successful in a completely different industry. What tips and advice do you have for someone who's maybe in that moment of like, "Oh, my gosh. I'm switching my career and I feel like I don't know what I can pull from."?

Christine Magnuson: Yeah. My advice is actually... and I've done this with a couple of my direct reports... is step back and take your titles away. Have literally a pen and paper. Go old school. Sit down away from all technology and think to yourself, "What do I love to do on a day-to-day basis? What skills do I love and want to develop more? And where are my strengths?" Almost a strength finder type exercise, and just write them down. And then we are like, "Okay. What are the skills do I think I need for this new career?" And then cross-reference and don't forget that a lot of them transfer, but maybe just the verbiage is different.
And so here's a great example. I did swim clinics all the time when I was swimming professionally, which meant I had anywhere between 30 and 100 kids, ages between 6 and 18 for four hours in a day where I was teaching them something and taking photos with them and telling them about life as a professional swimmer, as an Olympian. My storytelling and presentation skills and public speaking skills were pretty well-honed because if you can hold the attention of a bunch of eight-year-olds, guess what? A room of business people who are supposed to pay attention to you, a lot less intimidating and probably more on topic.
And so I was thinking, "Oh, yeah. I'm good at public speaking." Well, no. I'm good at storytelling. Do you know what every job in corporate America needs, is more storytellers? And how do I fit this into a really logical timeline and personas and make it interesting to people? Well, okay. I was just using the wrong verbiage. And so you'll find a lot of that, I think, no matter what careers you're talking about. Both my parents were teachers. Oh, my goodness. The things that I learned from them that I apply now today, there's a long, long list. And so take that time and make that list for yourself. And then if you're not sure how it translates to the other side of things, you can have conversations with people who are already there and maybe show them the list.
Heck, use your thesaurus. Sometimes, it's as simple as that. You're like, "I didn't think that. That was kind of similar." And so it's just a translation exercise. But really step back and think about the skills you probably take for granted because those are the ones that you'll end up keeping into your job that will stay with you and still be of real high value to your employer.

Gillian Bruce: Great advice. Well, and we've got the admin skills kit to help elucidate at least 14 of them that [inaudible]-

Christine Magnuson: There you go.

Gillian Bruce: ... help you see some connections there.

Christine Magnuson: Exactly.

Gillian Bruce: One other thing I wanted to talk to you about, Christine, is I mean, I could just keep you on the podcast for hours and hours and hours, I'm sure. But you've got an actual job to do. But before we get to wrapping, I wanted to ask you, in the context of the Salesforce admin skills kit, I know that you actually pulled me a while ago like, "Hey. I'm going to send this to one of my customers." From a customer who is hiring an admin or... I'm sure you talk to your customers all the time who are trying to figure out how to properly build a team to administer Salesforce. Could you maybe share what are the common issues that they usually face? What are some things that an admin listening to this who's either hiring someone or wanting to hire someone or be that next best person who can get hired, what kind of advice can you share from being in your role and what you've seen?

Christine Magnuson: Well, the war for talent is real. So I'll talk about Amazon for a second. And this is all public knowledge. You can go on their website and just do your own search and find this yourself. If you search AWS and Salesforce... I did this the other week... there were over 440 jobs listed. That's just AWS. And Amazon is big. They have a lot of Salesforce instances. They are hunting for talent and they're hunting for talent at all levels. And I think that's where we sometimes forget is everyone thinks like, "Oh. To go work at a company like Amazon, oh, my goodness. I need to be so senior." And that's just not the case. They need people of all levels. And sometimes they need the doers who are in on the details more than the strategic thinkers. They got a bunch of strategic thinkers. They need the doers.
And so when you go look at their websites and then have conversations with them, they're willing to invest in somebody who's sharp and has the basics and is willing to just learn with them and continue to upscale as they're with the employer. And so I think don't count yourself out. If you're looking for the job, apply to a job you might not think you're qualified for. And whether they put you in that position or a different position, it starts the conversation, and I think it's really good for everyone. So definitely don't undersell your skills. They're needed out there right now. There's a lot of companies. I cited one, which is probably extreme example, just because the volume of people they have. But every company out there that I talk to is concerned about more talent in-house, in their tools, and Salesforce is a go-to tool.
For those hiring admins, I would say take a little bit of the DEI approach, diversity, equity, and inclusion. It doesn't need to be somebody who checks all your boxes for every role. Talk to people. Be a little bit more flexible. Tell your recruiters to be more flexible. I mean, I have found some of the best people on my team who were not either in the Salesforce ecosystem or where they weren't SEs. And they're amazing because they come with such transferable skills and they maybe had a basis in one or the other. And so working with your recruiters to be really flexible and take that diversity, equity, and inclusion approach of, "I don't need somebody who checks all the boxes. I need the right person for the job." And that's a different mindset.

Gillian Bruce: I love that. That is great advice. It's very rare that we talk about the employer, the hiring manager perspective on the podcast. So I think that is really, really excellent advice. Christine, oh, my gosh. Thank you so much for everything you-

Christine Magnuson: Thanks for having me.

Gillian Bruce: ... [inaudible] with us today. I feel so lucky. You're my first also Olympic medalist that I've ever gotten to speak to. So it's a double whammy. You're the first one on the pod. It's my first time getting to talk to an elite Olympian. So thank you so much. And also, thank you for all you do at Salesforce. I mean, you have clearly done a lot already, and I know you're going to do more. And thanks for being a great advocate for admins and advocate for athletes and people transferring skills, and we'll have to have you back on at some point.

Christine Magnuson: I would love to come back on. Thank you so much for having me. I love the admin community. They make such a difference. And when we find really good ones to work with, it's so much more fun for me and my team. So thank you. We appreciate you. Keep doing what you're doing. And of course, give some love to your SEs out there at Salesforce and other ISV customers. We're a good crew. We love working with you.

Gillian Bruce: Hey. A good SE makes every admin happy too, I got to tell you.

Christine Magnuson: It's a partnership. It's a partnership.

Gillian Bruce: Well, thank you so much, Christine. And thank you for joining us on the podcast, and we will have you back.

Christine Magnuson: Love it.

Gillian Bruce: Wow. That was an amazing conversation. Christine has so much great knowledge to share. Everything that she shared about identifying those skills that she had for being an elite athlete and how to transfer them into her Salesforce career, I mean, everyone can identify with that. I love that. Take time. Turn off all the devices. Get out a pen and paper and really think about what your skills are, and then map them. And then I also really appreciated hearing about how you should strategize when you build a team of admins, about thinking about diversity, equality, inclusion, and thinking about maybe applying for that job that you aren't necessarily ticking all the boxes for. Working with admins at those really big implementations who have hundreds and hundreds of people who work with Salesforce, you don't have to be an expert to apply for those jobs. I thought that was a really interesting perspective.
So I hope you got something out of this episode. I got a ton. And wow, I got to talk to an Olympic medalist. Amazing. Anyway, thank you so much for joining us today. If you want to learn more about anything we chatted about, go to admin.salesforce.com. You'll find the skills kit there to identify some of your transferable skills. And as always, you can follow all of the fun on Twitter using #AwesomeAdmin and following Salesforce admins, no I. If you want to follow our amazing Olympian we just heard from, Christine Magnuson, you can find her on Twitter @CMagsFlyer. She is a swimmer. So put that together. You can follow me on Twitter @GillianKBruce and my amazing co-host Mike Gerholdt @MikeGerholdt. I really hope you enjoyed this episode. I hope you're inspired to go out there and reach for a medal. And with that, I'll catch you next time in the cloud.



Direct download: From_Olympian_to_Solution_Engineer_with_Christine_Magnuson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am PST

Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we talk to Christine Magnuson, a Solution Engineering Manager at Salesforce and 2008 Olympic swimmer and two-time silver medalist.

Join us as we talk about what skills transferred from being a top athlete to working in the Salesforce ecosystem, why you shouldn’t sell yourself short, and why Admins are great partners in Solution Engineering.

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

Transitioning into a Salesforce career

Christine is officially the first Olympic medalist we’ve had on the pod. “You have to constantly check yourself that you’re in reality,” she says, “you’re just among the best of the best in what they do and it’s an honor to be in that community.”

So we know how she got her start, but how did Christine wind up in Solution Engineering? She started with a master's in Public Administration and hit the pavement to network. Almost anyone was willing to give 30 minutes to an Olympian asking about their lives. “Actually,” she says, “I don’t think you need to be an Olympian to call somebody up to ask about what they do and what they like and what they don’t—everyone says yes because they like talking about themselves.”

How Sales was the perfect jumping-off point for Christine

The overwhelming advice was to start in Sales because it applies to so many different things. “I came to realize that it was really about me believing in the product I was selling,” Christine says, “and as long as I believed in the product I was doing everybody else a favor by telling them about it and not them doing a favor for me.” The business she was working for had started leveraging Salesforce and, since she was the youngest person on the team, she was the de facto accidental Admin.

Christine found herself working at Quip soon after they were acquired. She worked in Sales for a year “but I nerded out on the product so much and working with the PMs and the marketing team and having that cross-functional view was really fun for me,” she says, so when they decided to build out the Solution Engineering team she volunteered. From there it was a transition to the core team working with key Salesforce clients like Amazon, Dell, and BMWare.

Why Admins are visionaries

Admins are particularly helpful in this work because they know their user base inside and out: what they want to do, where their pain points are, and what needs automating. “Some of the Admins I work with are so innovative about not just thinking about what is a small step forward, but what are five steps forwards and should we be taking those big leaps forward,” Christine says.

One of the secret powers that good Admins have is the ability to use the tools already in Salesforce to the max. As the old saying goes, when you have a hammer everything looks like a nail, and sometimes in these large organizations, Devs jump straight to coding and customizing when there might already be a tool you can use in your org. 

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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 am your host, Gillian Bruce. And today, we have a first, listeners. We are joined by a two-time Olympic silver medalist and solution engineering manager at Salesforce, Christine Magnuson. She has so much great knowledge and experience to share. I asked her about all of the things, everything from what's it like to build a team of Salesforce professionals to how do you transfer skills from being an elite athlete to working in the Salesforce ecosystem, and so much more. So without further ado, let's welcome Christine on the pod. Christine, welcome to the podcast.

Christine Magnuson: Thanks so much for having me.

Gillian Bruce: Okay. So it is official. You are the first official Olympian and medal winner to appear on the Salesforce Admins Podcast. I just have to lead with that because it's pretty amazing. Tell me, what was it like to win a silver medal at the Olympics? Two of them.

Christine Magnuson: Two of them. Well, I am happy to be your first. I have a feeling I won't be your last, but very excited to be the trailblazer here on that front. Yes. My Olympic career was so fun. I mean, I highly suggest becoming an Olympian if you have the chance to.

Gillian Bruce: Totally on my list.

Christine Magnuson: Yes. Exactly. Sign yourself up. It's a really amazing community to be a part of, and to stand up and represent your country in that form is just such an honor. It takes your breath away. You have to constantly check yourself that you're in reality. And just to be in that space with so many amazing competitors from not just Team USA, but around the world. It's so such a hard feeling to describe because you're just amongst the best of the best in what they do. And it's an honor. It's an honor to be amongst that community. And it's something that it never leaves you. Once you're an Olympian, you're always an Olympian. There's never former Olympians. There's just Olympians. And so it's definitely a club that you're part of for your entire life once you're there once, and that's pretty incredible.

Gillian Bruce: So it's like being part of Salesforce ecosystem, right? I mean, once you're a part of it.

Christine Magnuson: It's like being a ranger. Once you're a ranger, they don't take it away. You get to be a ranger for life. Now you can always do more, but yes, it's 100%. It doesn't leave you. You can always come back. I mean, how many boomerangs do we know in this Salesforce... Well, Salesforce is a company. Of course, there's boomerangs, but then also just in the ecosystem as well.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. Once you get in, you can't really get out because it's a good place to be. So speaking of that, talk to me a little bit about your transition from being an amazing Olympic athlete to now being... I mean, you work with solution engineers here at Salesforce. Tell me a little bit about that journey.

Christine Magnuson: Oh, man. I have the best job. At least I think so. So when I retired in 2013, I had just finished up my master's program from the University of Arizona. I have a master's in public administration. I thought I wanted to go into non-profits or athletic governances, and then through that experience, really felt like I wanted to actually go into the corporate world and get more experience before applying those things potentially back to those communities. And so I networked with really anyone who talked me. Good news was that pretty much everybody was willing to give 30 minutes to an Olympian who was just asking them about their lives. Actually, I don't think you'd need to be an Olympian to call somebody up and say, "Can you tell me about what you do and what you like and what you don't?" Everyone says yes. They love talking about themselves, which is great.
And so I net networked my way and everybody said, "Sales is a great place to start. You'll never regret it. You can apply it to so many different ways even if you end up not liking sales." It took me a while to realize that that was the case. When you think about sales, you think about that used car salesman and people selling, pushing things on you that you don't want. And I came to realize that it was really about me believing in the product I was selling. And as long as I believed in the product, I was doing everybody else a favor by telling them about it and not them doing a favor for me. And so-

Gillian Bruce: That shift. Yeah.

Christine Magnuson: Total shift in mindset. And so I joined a great small company out of Chicago that was placing consultants into life science companies and learned full life cycle sales from them. And they were also doing a lot with their Salesforce implementation during that time. And of course, I was one of the younger ones in the company and new to sales, and they were like, "Christine can figure this out. What should the experience be?" And so I was the super user. And then towards my end, I was actually part-time admin with no qualification whatsoever other than I could pick it up. That's I think the amazing thing about the product itself is that you can pick it up without going and learning how to code. And so I really fell in love with the technology.
I had moved to San Francisco because I was in Chicago and Chicago's really cold. Growing up there, I knew what it meant. And I spent a couple of adult years there and just decided to get out. So I moved to San Francisco, wanted to get into tech, and there was this little company called Quip that had just been acquired. They were ramping things up. I joined their sales team, did sales for a year, but felt I was basically... I nerded out on the product so much and working with the PMs and the marketing team, and having that cross-functional view was really fun for me, that when they decided to build out the solution engineering team, I raised my hand and everybody around me was really supportive. And so I moved to the new role, was immediately put on some of our top accounts, which was mind-blowing to see how these really complex accounts worked. And a few years later, I was leading the SE team and helping expand my knowledge across the US with our [inaudible] based team.
And now, about six or nine months ago, I came over to what we call core, which is thinking about the whole Salesforce portfolio for particular customer bases. And I have the honor of leading some really elite SEs who cover companies like Amazon and Dell and VMware and a few others. And they're just some of the sharpest individuals that I've ever met. And I get the honor of managing them and then meeting with our customers and seeing what they're doing and trying to help them through a lot of really complex issues. And so I'm never bored. I'm always using my brain. And it's a really fun job, and all because I just nerded out on the Salesforce products.

Gillian Bruce: Well, you're preaching to the choir here because admins are the ultimate Salesforce nerds. We're very proud of our nerdom.

Christine Magnuson: I love it.

Gillian Bruce: And I think what's so interesting is you interact with admins and customers at these very complex companies and these complex implementations. I want to touch more on how you transferred some of your skills as an Olympian to your skills in the Salesforce ecosystem. But before we get there, can you talk to me about some of the things that you see make an admin at one of these very complex implementations successful?

Christine Magnuson: Yeah. I think when they really understand their user base, that helps an extreme amount because they understand what their user base is trying to do, where they can automate, where they're struggling. And so the more they can understand their end user, the better. And then it comes down to, okay, understanding the actual implementation, pros and cons. Let's be real. No implementation out there is perfect.

Gillian Bruce: What? What are you talking about?

Christine Magnuson: Well, if somebody knows of one, please call me and let me know how it went and how you got there. But it's just because things change. Companies grow and you can't predict the future when you're implementing. And so hindsight is 20-20. But some of the admins I work with are so innovative of not just thinking about what is a small step forward, but what are five step forward? Should we be doing five steps instead of one in certain areas and taking those big leaps forward? And how does global changes affect us? Not just scale and a global distributed user base, but also data residency requirements. And oh my goodness, how do we push changes if we're going to have multi-org? And what does hyper force look like? And all of these things, they're a part of the conversation. And that is one, really fulfilling, I think for everybody involved because we're getting the full picture, but it helps us break down what is realistic for this customer moving forward and what's their timeline? It's all about being in sync. But some just really great work being done out there by our admins.

Gillian Bruce: I love that. Knowing your user base, knowing what your users are trying to do, and then really that forward visionary thinking of what the product can do and the direction that things are going. I think very, very important skills and traits of every successful admin. So it's great hearing it from you because you really work with some of the most complex.

Christine Magnuson: Yeah. I'll add in one more because I know a lot of our admins work with IT groups. I'm renovating my house right now. I was talking to you about that earlier. When you talk to somebody who's a builder, they always want to build. And if you're talking to somebody who is a woodworker, they're just like, "Oh. Do this." And it's always in their frame of reference. And when we talk to customers, if we're talking to a highly IT-oriented or builder-oriented customer, they're like, "Oh. We'll just customize it. We'll just build it." And I think one of the powers that admins can come in is saying, "That's out-of-the-box. Stop building. Stop wasting our time and stop doing over-customized things that are going to hurt us down the road because again, we can't predict the future. Let's do as much out-of-the-box as possible. And then we can apply our own flavor to it if need be. And the customer or the user base should tell us if we actually need to do that or not."
And so that's the third one I would put in is they're so valuable with saving their company's time by not developing things that are already just there for them.

Gillian Bruce: You hit the nail in my head with that. That is something that is just... It comes up time and time again. And often it's like you mentioned, working with IT. There's also sometimes that conflict when you're a developer mindset versus an admin mindset because they'll go straight to like, "Oh. I can build this really, really cool thing that's super complex and blah, blah, blah." And the admin's like, "Hold up a second. You realize that we already have this in Salesforce."

Christine Magnuson: Totally. We already own it.

Gillian Bruce: Why don't you spend your time customizing something on top of that? Let's start with this base first.

Christine Magnuson: I know. And some of these larger customers, they have a lot in their contracts that they should be using. It's just use it. You've already paid for it. So if you use more of it, it's kind of free because you've already put that-

Gillian Bruce: It's included.

Christine Magnuson: Yeah. It's included. You've already made the investment. So get more value out of it. And so stepping back and making sure that they're using that full value is something that the admins can do so much for their companies on.

Gillian Bruce: Oh. I love that because that's such... I mean, again, talk about not only driving efficiency for the users and the user base and helping people get their jobs done, but you're saving the company resources and time as [inaudible]-

Christine Magnuson: It's huge. The ROI behind it is huge.

Gillian Bruce: I love those three really, really great points. So I want to dive back into the story of Christine for a second. So we have been talking a lot about the admin skills kit, which we just launched at TrailblazerDX a few months ago, and it's all about helping identify those business skills that help admins be successful. So on top of the product knowledge, these are things like communication and problem-solving, designer's mindset that really make an admin successful. And one element of that is we have language in there about how to represent these skills in the context of the Salesforce ecosystem. So this is how it might look like on your resume. This is how it might look like in a job posting you create to hire someone with that skill. How do you think about transferable skills? Because clearly you transferred a very unique skillset from being a very high level competitive athlete, an Olympian, to now the technology sector and the Salesforce ecosystem. So can you talk to me a little bit about how you managed transferring your skillset?

Christine Magnuson: Yeah. Well, especially from the athletic world... and we're talking to the Team USA athletes about this right now... is what are those athlete skillsets that we probably took for granted, frankly? When you're in an elite level of whatever it is, but in my case, athleticism, you are surrounded by other people in that environment. And so you just start to take those skills for granted because they're normalized. And so how do you actually step away from that normalization and say, "Actually, that wasn't normal. That was special. And how do I articulate that it is special?" And so when it comes to the athletic population, we're very good at time management. When you're going from practice to school or work back to practice and you have to... I mean, even fitting in meals and strategic rest, all of that goes into just having really good time management.
And especially now in a remote workforce world with distractions all around us and family coming in and out, my dogs were just here, it can get a little crazy. And so being able to focus on time management is huge. So that would, I would say, is an obvious number one. Two, coachability. Oh, my goodness. We're always constantly going to be learning new technology and picking up new skills and we should be getting feedback about how we're doing and what more should we be doing? And being able to... And athletes, believe me, we tend to be confident people. Takes a lot to stand up in front of a lot of people with a bathing suit on.

Gillian Bruce: Sure does.

Christine Magnuson: Most athletes don't lack in confidence, but I will say we know when to check our egos at the door because somebody's about to make us better. And that translates really well to a workforce where you have to actually invite feedback. Not everybody is good at giving or receiving feedback, and we can all get better by doing it. When somebody gives me feedback, it's such a compliment to me. They have just invested in me. They took the time to think something through, invest in me, and make me better. What a compliment, even if the feedback is harsh. And athletes are so used to that.

Gillian Bruce: Feedback is a gift, right? Isn't that what we were saying? Yeah.

Christine Magnuson: Exactly. All feedback is good feedback, even if it's-

Gillian Bruce: It doesn't feel good.

Christine Magnuson: It doesn't feel good. Exactly. And so the feedback loop is huge for athletes. The other, which I think we definitely take for granted, is attention to detail. Attention to detail, but still flexibility. So when I was swimming, I was talking to my coach about moving my arm a slightly different way at a slightly different angle. It was maybe an inch difference, and then doing that thousands, tens of thousands of times perfectly. And so that attention to detail is huge. But also knowing that you're working within a rule of constraints, and sometimes you need to be flexible. My first job, I remember coming in and working with somebody who's in operations, and they were extremely rule-oriented. There was no breaking her rules. And I had a situation where I was like, "Hey. I think we need to break this... We're going to have to do this differently," is how I phrased it. And she was like, "Absolutely not."
And it shocked me because I had the logical argument. I had all of my data. I had backed it up and I said, "This is why this is different." And she said, "Nope, too bad." And I was just like, "I've never encountered someone like you before. I have to change the way I communicate." And all of it was really interesting lessons learned, but I think athletes can stay pretty fluid in these really changing dynamic environments. Still know what rules are important, but then apply details to them like, "Well, do we even make a shift here or shift there?" So that's kind of two in one with the flexibility and detail. But I would say that's another big one.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. And I like the way that you paired those two together because especially as I think about admins specifically, the attention to detail is critical because you got to dot all the I's and cross all the Ts and make sure everything is locked down or assigned correctly or every single workflow is thought of. But at the same time, you do. You have to remain flexible because you may have to adjust that solution and adjust it for this specific user type or adjust it for this specific situation and... Yeah.

Christine Magnuson: Oh, my goodness. Yes. I mean, how many companies do we see right now holistically changing their business models? Moving to subscription. I mean, what a huge difference and what an impact on their Salesforce instances. Totally complex. You need to be very into the details, but you also need to be flexible because we're going to change a lot. And we're probably not going to predict everything on day one no matter how good we are planning.

Gillian Bruce: We can't see the future. What are you talking about? Come on.

Christine Magnuson: Oh, man. Well, maybe some of them out there can. I've never been good at it.

Gillian Bruce: No. I mean, I think that's really interesting. One of the things that I hear a lot from admins who are either transferring from another industry into the Salesforce ecosystem is really that idea of not throwing away all that experience they had let's say if they worked in a warehouse for 15 years or worked as a teacher. And it can feel like you have to start at ground zero a little bit because everything sounds different. It looks different. But I really like how you identify those skills that you were able to take from something that's very seemingly different from the technology space, but then rethink about them and apply them in a way that has made you successful in a completely different industry. What tips and advice do you have for someone who's maybe in that moment of like, "Oh, my gosh. I'm switching my career and I feel like I don't know what I can pull from."?

Christine Magnuson: Yeah. My advice is actually... and I've done this with a couple of my direct reports... is step back and take your titles away. Have literally a pen and paper. Go old school. Sit down away from all technology and think to yourself, "What do I love to do on a day-to-day basis? What skills do I love and want to develop more? And where are my strengths?" Almost a strength finder type exercise, and just write them down. And then we are like, "Okay. What are the skills do I think I need for this new career?" And then cross-reference and don't forget that a lot of them transfer, but maybe just the verbiage is different.
And so here's a great example. I did swim clinics all the time when I was swimming professionally, which meant I had anywhere between 30 and 100 kids, ages between 6 and 18 for four hours in a day where I was teaching them something and taking photos with them and telling them about life as a professional swimmer, as an Olympian. My storytelling and presentation skills and public speaking skills were pretty well-honed because if you can hold the attention of a bunch of eight-year-olds, guess what? A room of business people who are supposed to pay attention to you, a lot less intimidating and probably more on topic.
And so I was thinking, "Oh, yeah. I'm good at public speaking." Well, no. I'm good at storytelling. Do you know what every job in corporate America needs, is more storytellers? And how do I fit this into a really logical timeline and personas and make it interesting to people? Well, okay. I was just using the wrong verbiage. And so you'll find a lot of that, I think, no matter what careers you're talking about. Both my parents were teachers. Oh, my goodness. The things that I learned from them that I apply now today, there's a long, long list. And so take that time and make that list for yourself. And then if you're not sure how it translates to the other side of things, you can have conversations with people who are already there and maybe show them the list.
Heck, use your thesaurus. Sometimes, it's as simple as that. You're like, "I didn't think that. That was kind of similar." And so it's just a translation exercise. But really step back and think about the skills you probably take for granted because those are the ones that you'll end up keeping into your job that will stay with you and still be of real high value to your employer.

Gillian Bruce: Great advice. Well, and we've got the admin skills kit to help elucidate at least 14 of them that [inaudible]-

Christine Magnuson: There you go.

Gillian Bruce: ... help you see some connections there.

Christine Magnuson: Exactly.

Gillian Bruce: One other thing I wanted to talk to you about, Christine, is I mean, I could just keep you on the podcast for hours and hours and hours, I'm sure. But you've got an actual job to do. But before we get to wrapping, I wanted to ask you, in the context of the Salesforce admin skills kit, I know that you actually pulled me a while ago like, "Hey. I'm going to send this to one of my customers." From a customer who is hiring an admin or... I'm sure you talk to your customers all the time who are trying to figure out how to properly build a team to administer Salesforce. Could you maybe share what are the common issues that they usually face? What are some things that an admin listening to this who's either hiring someone or wanting to hire someone or be that next best person who can get hired, what kind of advice can you share from being in your role and what you've seen?

Christine Magnuson: Well, the war for talent is real. So I'll talk about Amazon for a second. And this is all public knowledge. You can go on their website and just do your own search and find this yourself. If you search AWS and Salesforce... I did this the other week... there were over 440 jobs listed. That's just AWS. And Amazon is big. They have a lot of Salesforce instances. They are hunting for talent and they're hunting for talent at all levels. And I think that's where we sometimes forget is everyone thinks like, "Oh. To go work at a company like Amazon, oh, my goodness. I need to be so senior." And that's just not the case. They need people of all levels. And sometimes they need the doers who are in on the details more than the strategic thinkers. They got a bunch of strategic thinkers. They need the doers.
And so when you go look at their websites and then have conversations with them, they're willing to invest in somebody who's sharp and has the basics and is willing to just learn with them and continue to upscale as they're with the employer. And so I think don't count yourself out. If you're looking for the job, apply to a job you might not think you're qualified for. And whether they put you in that position or a different position, it starts the conversation, and I think it's really good for everyone. So definitely don't undersell your skills. They're needed out there right now. There's a lot of companies. I cited one, which is probably extreme example, just because the volume of people they have. But every company out there that I talk to is concerned about more talent in-house, in their tools, and Salesforce is a go-to tool.
For those hiring admins, I would say take a little bit of the DEI approach, diversity, equity, and inclusion. It doesn't need to be somebody who checks all your boxes for every role. Talk to people. Be a little bit more flexible. Tell your recruiters to be more flexible. I mean, I have found some of the best people on my team who were not either in the Salesforce ecosystem or where they weren't SEs. And they're amazing because they come with such transferable skills and they maybe had a basis in one or the other. And so working with your recruiters to be really flexible and take that diversity, equity, and inclusion approach of, "I don't need somebody who checks all the boxes. I need the right person for the job." And that's a different mindset.

Gillian Bruce: I love that. That is great advice. It's very rare that we talk about the employer, the hiring manager perspective on the podcast. So I think that is really, really excellent advice. Christine, oh, my gosh. Thank you so much for everything you-

Christine Magnuson: Thanks for having me.

Gillian Bruce: ... [inaudible] with us today. I feel so lucky. You're my first also Olympic medalist that I've ever gotten to speak to. So it's a double whammy. You're the first one on the pod. It's my first time getting to talk to an elite Olympian. So thank you so much. And also, thank you for all you do at Salesforce. I mean, you have clearly done a lot already, and I know you're going to do more. And thanks for being a great advocate for admins and advocate for athletes and people transferring skills, and we'll have to have you back on at some point.

Christine Magnuson: I would love to come back on. Thank you so much for having me. I love the admin community. They make such a difference. And when we find really good ones to work with, it's so much more fun for me and my team. So thank you. We appreciate you. Keep doing what you're doing. And of course, give some love to your SEs out there at Salesforce and other ISV customers. We're a good crew. We love working with you.

Gillian Bruce: Hey. A good SE makes every admin happy too, I got to tell you.

Christine Magnuson: It's a partnership. It's a partnership.

Gillian Bruce: Well, thank you so much, Christine. And thank you for joining us on the podcast, and we will have you back.

Christine Magnuson: Love it.

Gillian Bruce: Wow. That was an amazing conversation. Christine has so much great knowledge to share. Everything that she shared about identifying those skills that she had for being an elite athlete and how to transfer them into her Salesforce career, I mean, everyone can identify with that. I love that. Take time. Turn off all the devices. Get out a pen and paper and really think about what your skills are, and then map them. And then I also really appreciated hearing about how you should strategize when you build a team of admins, about thinking about diversity, equality, inclusion, and thinking about maybe applying for that job that you aren't necessarily ticking all the boxes for. Working with admins at those really big implementations who have hundreds and hundreds of people who work with Salesforce, you don't have to be an expert to apply for those jobs. I thought that was a really interesting perspective.
So I hope you got something out of this episode. I got a ton. And wow, I got to talk to an Olympic medalist. Amazing. Anyway, thank you so much for joining us today. If you want to learn more about anything we chatted about, go to admin.salesforce.com. You'll find the skills kit there to identify some of your transferable skills. And as always, you can follow all of the fun on Twitter using #AwesomeAdmin and following Salesforce admins, no I. If you want to follow our amazing Olympian we just heard from, Christine Magnuson, you can find her on Twitter @CMagsFlyer. She is a swimmer. So put that together. You can follow me on Twitter @GillianKBruce and my amazing co-host Mike Gerholdt @MikeGerholdt. I really hope you enjoyed this episode. I hope you're inspired to go out there and reach for a medal. And with that, I'll catch you next time in the cloud.



Direct download: From_Olympian_to_Solution_Engineer_with_Christine_Magnuson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am PST

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