Salesforce Admins Podcast

Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we talk to Lynn Guyer, Manager, Salesforce Practice at Forefront Telecare.

Join us as we talk about how she was able to build a no code, out-of-the-box solution for one of her organization’s biggest operational challenges.

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

Scheduling on-call hours for a telehealth organization

Lynn started out as a Salesforce user before she ever found herself sitting in the admin’s chair. That gives her a lot of insight into what things are like on the other side of the screen. So whenever she’s building a solution, she’s really concerned with how it’ll impact other users and what the experience is like for everyone involved in a business process.

As a telehealth organization, they have staff across many different time zones who have to be on-call at certain times. They needed to know who was covering which shift, that those people knew their schedule, and that every shift was covered. She tried a couple of the industry standard solutions to see what they were like, but they each had some significant shortcomings. Ultimately, Lynn decided the best course of action was to build something of her own in Salesforce.

Why research should always be the first step

While Lynn was in her research phase, she looked at each of the existing on-call management solutions to understand their workflows. How many clicks it takes to do certain tasks, whether you can reuse different elements of the schedule week-to-week, and what it looks like from different users’ perspectives. This research really helped her to spec out exactly what she needed and how it should work.

Lynn and her team took their requirements to their Salesforce Account Executive and Solutions Engineer, who suggested they look at Scheduler. It seemed like a perfect fit—it could store and manage all the data they needed but, in order to implement it, Lynn needed to learn Flows. 

How Lynn skilled up quickly in Flow

There are a lot of great self-guided resources out there for learning new skills in Salesforce, but Lynn’s a working mom so she wanted something with a lot of focus tailored to her specific needs. A small group live class proved to be the perfect solution, allowing her to pick up the skills she needed in just a few weeks.

In the full Flow, the request comes into Salesforce from Experience Cloud as a record, which kicks off a series of Flows that check who’s on call, text the people who need to know, assigns the correct user to be the owner, and puts the information correctly into a schedule that everyone can see. In the end, Lynn was able to build a solution to her organization’s problem entirely in Salesforce, without code, made entirely with out-of-the-box features and add-ons.

Lynn is a big fan of keeping things out of the box.“Salesforce does all of the testing for you—that’s what you’re paying them for,” she says, “you’re paying them to test their code for you to use so you don’t have to test your code every release.” Building solutions like this makes them much more reliable, easier to maintain, and you get to benefit from the improvements Salesforce makes with each new release.

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

Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we talk to Erick Mahle, Senior Director of CRM at First Advantage.

Join us as we talk about what 2023 looks like for admins and why we have an opportunity to stand out as efficiency experts.

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

Doing more with less

Erick has seen the ecosystem from a number of roles over the years, starting out as an admin, later working as a consultant, and now on the client side of things as Senior Director of CRM at First Advantage. His wife just landed a role as a junior admin, so he even has the perspective of someone breaking into Salesforce for the first time and starting their career.

It’s a challenging time for a lot of folks, with layoffs and more pressure on everyone in the tech space to do more with less. And we brought Erick on the pod because he recently wrote an insightful article about just that and we wanted to get his thoughts on why admins are optimizers.

The formula Erick uses to measure efficiency

Erick and his team recently implemented Einstein bots in an unusual way. While they were looking into using this technology for customer service, they realized that they could also use it for their sales department, too, to help qualify and assign leads. They also created a screen flow that shows key things in the opportunity that are missing, which helps with the data cleanup needed to do predictive analytics in the future.

The tricky thing about improving efficiency is that there’s not necessarily a clear moment where everyone realizes how much work you’ve done. Erick and his team came up with a formula to track how much efficiency is gained from their projects: they count the number of full-time employees involved in the task they’re improving, the number of times per week that it occurs, and the number of minutes it takes to perform it. This gives them a quick way to evaluate the efficiency gains they could make with automation, which helps them prioritize projects and demonstrate their value to leadership.

How to build trust

To get the ball rolling, Erick recommends the group exercise “Start, Stop, Continue.” You give everyone three colors of Post-it Notes and ask them to write on one color what we should start doing, on another what we should stop doing, and on the third what we should continue doing. You put them up on the wall and talk about them as a group, which opens the door to specific, actionable projects where Salesforce can make a difference.

The most important thing, Erick recommends, is to identify the low-hanging fruit from these suggestions and deliver on them quickly. Once you’ve built that trust, you’ve opened the doors to more feedback, more suggestions, and more wins for Salesforce at your organization.

And if you want to show off your Flow skills, Erick invites you to FlowFest on February 22nd. It’s a 50-minute, hack-a-thon style competition to find the “One Flow to Rule Them All.” It’s free to compete and free to spectate, so join in the fun!

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Full Transcript

Gillian Bruce: Welcome to the Salesforce Admins Podcast, where we talk about product, community, and careers to help you be an awesome admin. I'm your host today, Gillian Bruce, and we are talking about 2023 today. It's been an interesting time, challenges, opportunities, all kinds of wildness happening within the tech space.
Some of us maybe feeling a little weird about the year ahead, but I wanted to get Erick Mahle on the podcast because he shared something on LinkedIn a few weeks ago that really kind of challenged me and had some new ideas I thought that were really interesting to bring two Salesforce admins specifically about what's possible this year and how you should view yourself in this time of change in terms of what you can do and the value you can bring an organization, and really finding ways to demonstrate that. In fact, there are some amazing opportunities for us as Salesforce admins in this space, in this time. Without further ado, let's get Erick on the pod. Welcome, Erick, to the podcast.

Erick Mahle: Thank you for having me. It's a pleasure to be here.

Gillian Bruce: Erick, I want to introduce you to our listeners a little bit to give some context to the conversation we're going to have today. Can you share a little bit about your Salesforce ecosystem journey and where you're at today?

Erick Mahle: Yeah, of course. Back in 2010-2011, I was the accidental admin. My background was actually in marketing and sales. Working for small software companies, you naturally get the hat of becoming the Salesforce admin. Always liked it. Equated it to the grownup version of Legos and building things and putting things together. After a couple of years, an opportunity presented itself for me to become an independent consultant in 2013. I pursued the consulting side for several years. I've ran a consulting firm for several years. I've done independent consulting for a couple of years, up until last year, where another interesting sequence of events outside of my professional life kind of lined themselves up.
I took a full-time position as a senior director of CRM at First Advantage where I am today. I've gotten a chance to see the world from the consulting side. I'm getting a great opportunity to see it from the client side, and even the wife that recently got picked up as a junior admin. I got to see even someone trying to get started in the ecosystem recently. It's been an interesting year, especially the last one, to be in this ecosystem and see and the perspective that I had to gain from it.

Gillian Bruce: Thank you for sharing that. You've got such different perspectives from each chapter of your career so far. Congratulations to getting your wife in the ecosystem. I know that's what we do as Salesforce professionals, right? We just want to get everybody in there with us.

Erick Mahle:Exactly right.

Gillian Bruce: I wanted to talk to you today because you posted something really interesting on LinkedIn, and I wanted to get you on the podcast because I think especially as we kick off this year, it's a challenging time for a lot of folks. We've all seen the headlines. We've all heard about layoffs. We've maybe felt the strings getting tightened a little bit in the tech space, maybe put on some pressure from our leadership about trying to do more with less. Really I wanted to talk to you about this idea of really delivering success now in this environment.
Tapping into some of the things that you shared on LinkedIn, I wanted to start with what's your overall outlook for 2023 for Salesforce professionals? You're on the client side now. You're actually in a position where you're hiring folks. Can you talk to us a little bit about how you see the outlook for the year as a Salesforce professional given everything that's going on?

Erick Mahle:I think there are the positive marks in it. There's a lot to look forward to, especially as a Salesforce professional. Because in this environment, in this economy that we're currently in, we hear a lot about companies tightening their spend. Unfortunately, a lot of the big companies are doing layoffs, all of them within their own reason. But where our rise to glory as a Salesforce professional comes in optimizations and being able to use the systems that we have today better. It's certainly something that I can talk about from my experience at First Advantage. Over the last six months or so, the overarching theme is how do we get more of what we currently have?
We've been able to drive tremendous efficiencies and simplifying processes, consolidating applications where we can and functionality where we can. I think in many ways at First Advantage, we even saw a positive in terms of end user experience. And to be quite honest, my direct report, senior VP, he said it and he's like, "Look, the stuff that we're doing is helping save jobs too, because the savings that we're getting from this and everything is helping make the business case for everyone, not only to help people become more productive, be able to do more with less, but also financially."

Gillian Bruce: I think you hit on a lot of really interesting things there, I mean, especially when you think of the role of being a Salesforce admin, right? I mean, the idea is to help the business become more efficient by using Salesforce solutions and getting creative in terms of how to figure out how to streamline certain processes, how to deliver data better so that people can work more efficiently and get more deals done faster or help serve more customers quicker. Can you expound upon a little bit some of the things that you've seen specifically Salesforce admins or any Salesforce professional do tactically that have really, really helped deliver that efficiency, deliver that success?

Erick Mahle:Automation is one of the biggest things. For us, one of the key things that we've done that made a significant impact was a pretty significant undertaking for our company in the short timeframe was to implement Einstein Bots. We use Einstein Bots. We're going to start using it for customer service, but we actually initially started using it for sales to filter out leads and qualified leads accordingly and using that to be able to assign to folks. That level of deflection helped save a lot of times. It saved a lot of meetings that our BDR team had to go and qualify them and see if they were a real lead, if it was a genuine prospect, and who it needs to be assigned to.
Just the number of meetings that we're saving on that because the bot is able to take that on. That's a fantastic thing that we can do there. We've also done a couple of really interesting projects. We did one called Opportunity Insights, which was really exciting. We basically did a ScreenFlow that shows key things in the Opportunity that are missing. We really want to focus on data cleanup and helping them. We want to get into predictive analytics in the future and all these things, and it starts with a good foundation. We created this little widget that tells them, hey, you're at this stage. Here are the things that we see that you still don't have.
We even do things like, "You marked your competitor as other. Are you sure other? Have you found out anything since you've marked this?" There's a lot of things that we're doing that I think are really helpful in driving more visibility and helping people be more tactical into where they need to put their focus on in Salesforce.

Gillian Bruce: I love that. I mean, those two things you described, personally I love that because those are things that admins can do and deliver completely by digging into the technology and being able to build that out. Einstein Bots have been around for... I remember, I think we did podcasts about it when they first came out. It was three years ago, four years ago maybe. Such a great way to provide a very simple solution that just takes a little bit of thought and build out from an admin. I think the other thing too that you talked about, about basically delivering data and getting those insights that are surfaced.
Again, these are things that Salesforce admins, this is in our wheelhouse. This is what we do. Can you talk a little bit about how you view especially the power of a Salesforce admin within any organization? How do you demonstrate this value to your leadership? Or in order to get more resources or to really make the case for investing more maybe with expanding the use of Salesforce within other parts of the organization, what are some things that you've seen work?

Erick Mahle:One of the interesting things that we started doing internally is that we came up with a basic formula to track how much efficiency we'll gain out of different projects. We actually put that on the other departments when they're asking us for efficiencies in Salesforce and to calculate that for us or put a rough guess. It's three components to the formula. It's the number of full-time employees involved on whatever task we're doing, the number of times per week that this task in particular occurs, and how much time per task per each individual task. We multiply that out and we calculate how much time we could technically save if we were to automate.
An easy case here, sales reps have to put their activities on a spreadsheet and send it to their sales managers or have a half an hour meeting every week with their sales managers. Let's just say it's a small organization, 10 FTEs. Each one of them has to do a 30-minute report. Once a week, you're at 300 minutes right there, if my math serves me. If you put a dashboard together that tracks all of their tasks and activities, you immediately save 300 minutes right there. As the company starts getting more on board with what we're doing and how we're prioritizing, they start actively. It's almost like a game.
On our dashboard, we have who's made the most recommendations and that we've been able to put in there. We highlight it. It's become a little bit of a game. People are like, "Oh yeah, I want to be able to save my time." I tell them, "You know I'm not going to be able to prioritize this until I can put some efficiency to this," and really helping to shape that. It's been an interesting initiative that's catching a lot of traction internally. It's exciting. That's a big one that's making a difference for us.

Gillian Bruce: I love how it's gamified almost. It's like a competition like, "Oh, you want me to work on your idea? Well, then you need to help me fill out the rest of this formula so that I can prove that this is going to deliver real value." I mean, gosh, it's such a clear combination of factors that then... I mean, it doesn't take a lot of explanation to really understand how that works, right? Pretty clear. I'm just imagining happy leaders who are like, "Oh, you saved us 300 minutes a week. Oh, you saved us multiple hours every week." You guys give internal awards of like, yes, I delivered the most impactful solution this week.

Erick Mahle:We haven't gotten to the point of handing out awards yet, but certainly it's useful in our company. Because while I'm not going to say it's rare, but I would say it's uncommon, our Salesforce team actually reports under sales operations where I think the majority, not a vast majority, but the majority would be under IT. Sales operations is actually measured under efficiencies. Our KPIs are to drive X number, X percentage of efficiency across the board, across the different teams. It was a perfect fit in terms of how we wanted to track this, because it immediately just helps put on the dashboard, hey, here's how we're doing as a department on one of our main KPIs. It was a big game changer for us, to be honest.

Gillian Bruce: Well, I think that's interesting you talking about the org structure a little bit and having the Salesforce admins and the Salesforce team sit within sales operations or revenue operations versus just a traditional IT. I actually don't know. I've talked to many admins who actually sit more in the sales or RevOps land versus IT, and I think to your point and the way you just described it, I think there's a lot that if you're sitting in a traditional IT space, learning a little bit from that sales culture, from that competitive culture, from that very drive efficiencies, KPIs, I think that might be a really good methodology to think about, especially if you're not currently in that space.
Because again, it's the idea of proving efficiencies and really demonstrating the value there. I think that's a really great point. Listener, if you are living more in an IT world, take some tips here from Erick. Think about that sales perspective.

Erick Mahle:I'll add one thing, because I've seen in my consulting days companies that they want to get ambitious and do things with Salesforce, but there's just not enough buy-in. If everything that we talked about right now seems like far-fetched like, our sales team or is not going to get behind this or whatever, one thing that usually gets the ball rolling, it's an exercise, I can't take credit for it, but it's called Start, Stop, Continue. It's out there. It is a super simple exercise that will get people talking. You get everyone in the room. Everyone writes their own things they need to start doing, need to stop doing, and things that we're doing today that we want to make sure we don't lose.
And then usually we do them on Post-it notes, and then usually we'll collect all the Post-it notes and line everyone up. And as soon as you start seeing common threads, people start opening up, "Oh, I'm not on the only one that thinks about this. Oh yeah, no, no, no." Suddenly everyone becomes a talker and starts sharing things. And just like that, you get a list of priorities of what's bugging them the most about the CRM. You didn't have to push people to come and give you information. You just naturally draw it out of them. The key piece effort is that you have to execute, right? They've trusted in you that they could share all of these things.
Whatever it is, find the easy pickings and deliver, execute, and that will start the snowball effect of, "Oh, you delivered on this. Oh, I wonder what else? Oh yeah, by the way, this was never working very well before. Can we redo this, or can we figure out a way? Because I have to click here and then go there to click this and say this and say that, can we streamline all of that?" Suddenly now the dialogue starts and you start to change the culture of how sales folks look at Salesforce. I just wanted to add that in, because a lot of times I know companies have a struggle to get people on board culturally. From my experience, it's a great way to make this accessible for everyone.

Gillian Bruce: I love that. It's a great tip. I have been through many a Post-it note feedback sessions in my time. And it is. It's an amazing way to just get the brains working and get the wheels turning about, oh, what's possible? Again, like you said, I'm not the only one who feels this way. Oh, there's some themes here. I think especially given the environment that we're all in, asking to do more with less, it's such a great way to really enable that prioritization that's so important when we're trying to really focus, be efficient, and really find ways to deliver those impactful results very quickly.
Great tip. Erick, you talked a lot about automation, and I know you're working on a really fun community event focused on automation. Can you share what you're working on with us?

Erick Mahle:Of course. This will be our fourth time doing this. It started as a bit of a wonder if it was going to catch on. But at the end of February now, we'll be hosting our fourth FlowFest. This is a global live competition hackathon style where we're going to put I think over 200 competitors from across the world for a chance to be the FlowFest champion. We're going to put them through a series of challenges, and we'll get to do a final head-to-head battle, which is going to be new for this FlowFest. Typically, we get over 2,000 people that have signed up. It's really exciting. For us, we treat it as an educational event.
All of the exercises, we provide a breakdown of all the challenges afterwards. If you want to try to put yourself in the shoes of the competitors, competitors when they register, they get to select the country that they're representing, the companies that they're supporting. If you want to come support your company, support your country, there's space for everyone. We'll be more than happy to have you if you're interested. It's, F-A-N-S, or just look up FlowFest hashtag on LinkedIn. It's trending pretty well. Come join us on February 22nd and maybe you'll pick up a couple of things, or maybe you'll teach us a couple of things too. We'll see.

Gillian Bruce: Oh, that sounds like so much fun. I cannot wait to join. I will for sure be there. Thank you so much for sharing that with us, and thank you for organizing such a fun event.

Erick Mahle:Yeah, yeah. It's funny, because the person who I've started with, the founder of Salesforce, Ben, Ben came to me, I remember, and he sends me the screenshot of the text message. Every now and then he's like... He asked me, he's like, "How many people do you think will show up on the first one?" I said, I don't know, maybe 10, maybe 100 people. I think we had something like 1,600 people register on the first one alone. It kind of was a little bit of an overnight sensation. We had to re-engineer that competition.
We're like, we're not just inviting 10 people on a Zoom and sharing a PDF. We actually built a managed package and an unmanaged package to support the competition. Everyone that competes submits their flows to our main organization, so we get to do the flow review right on the spot and be able to assess if they got everything right or not. It's been one of the most fascinating things that I got a chance to get involved with during my time in this ecosystem.

Gillian Bruce: Oh, that's so cool. I love that you're running it on Salesforce. That's even better. That's the best.

Erick Mahle:That's how you got to do it. It's got to all be powered by Salesforce.

Gillian Bruce: I love it. I love it. Well, FlowFest coming up, what'd you say, February 22nd?

Erick Mahle:February 22nd is the next one.

Gillian Bruce: Another thing I know in your role, Erick, you have helped build Salesforce teams. You have a Salesforce team. For folks out there who maybe are transitioning, maybe they are looking for a new job, or they are thinking about it in this space, what tips do you have for them as they're moving to their next Salesforce role?

Erick Mahle:For me, one of the big things that I'd recommend is that as you're going through the interview process, make sure you understand the team that you're working with. Make sure that you're taking on a challenge that unless you have double digits years worth of experience and you're going into a leadership position, make sure that there's someone more senior than you in that organization, because you really want to make sure that you're continuing to learn. That's on the client side, in particular. If you're on the consulting side, you're going to have tons of peers that you're going to be able to learn from.
Anyone that's been on the consulting side knows that you're learning from a fire hose there. Drink from a fire hose every single day. But on the client side, make sure that there's a structured team. If you're talking to the HR person and you're the most qualified person when it comes to Salesforce there, that could be a bit of a red flag, especially if there's no one else on the Salesforce team. There's a lot of companies there. Tips for employers here as well, Salesforce salaries is a tricky subject. We can make a whole podcast on this, but don't try to spend less and get someone junior because you really want someone that has experience to be able to help you out.
Especially anything that you want to solve in Salesforce, there might be four or five different ways of delivering it. You really want someone that has been there, has that experience, and can also say, "You know what? Here are the four different alternatives. This is the one that I recommend because this is what's going to be scalable. We won't run the risk of having to undo six months worth of work six months later when you want the next step to revisit this." Look out for your own career interests. Make sure that you're going into a place where you can continue to grow. Equally for employers, make sure that you're starting a team with the right person.
I think actually the Salesforce numbers are one Salesforce FTE for every 50 users. I think those are the recommended numbers. Realistically, if you're joining in as a junior admin or what have you, you want to make sure that there's another admin. If you're the second FTE, you really shouldn't be looking at a customer that has less than 100 users or you run the risk of getting into a place that you may not be able to learn from too much. Some of those interesting things that you want to consider when you're looking for opportunities.

Gillian Bruce: I think those are some really interesting tips, being able to demonstrate selecting from a few different options and why you would select that option as a solution. And then I love the tip from the employer too. I think we do often have questions of especially people who are new to the ecosystem or trying to get their first role, we know it's challenging because you don't have the experience and everybody wants the experience. On the flip side, especially if you're trying to get your first role, you don't want to be the only Salesforce person at that organization. Because if that's your first role, you're going to be overwhelmed and you're not going to have anybody to learn from.
I think that's a really interesting perspective. Look for the team that you want to be working with and who you want to be learning from. And then for the more seasoned folks, really being able to understand how to translate your experience and your expertise in those interviews, in that process, in terms of evaluating solutions and explaining the why and all of that. I think those are some really great tips.

Erick Mahle:Equally, just another way to phrase it as well, is that you were mentioning, just like it may be your first job or your first venture in the Salesforce ecosystem, you have to imagine this could also be the company's first venture into hiring a Salesforce expert. They might not necessarily know what to expect, and they might be trying to figure out as they go. That is something that you also got to keep into consideration. Maybe cut them some slack, but also be aware of the position that they're in to see if that fits into what you're looking for.
Just because this is a first entry level job and they also are looking for their first hire and they don't know what they're looking for, this might not necessarily mean it's a win-win for you guys. It might mean that not a lot of people will know who they're looking for and maybe an employment opportunity will come up, but that may not necessarily mean that in the long run this will work well because you're going to be effectively take the weight of the entire CRM on your shoulders without someone to validate ideas with, or sometimes you can't share company internal information.
Even though you can try to go to Salesforce community groups and all of these things, there are certain things with your use cases that you might not be privy to share. If you don't have someone internally that you can count on, that may put you and ultimately the organization in a tricky situation in months to come.

Gillian Bruce: Well, and then you're also charged with explaining and consistently advocating for Salesforce, right? Because oftentimes if it is the case that the company is brand new about Salesforce and you are a brand new admin and this is your first job, you have a lot on your plate because you also have to explain consistently the value of Salesforce and why they should continue to invest in it, which is a lot to do. I think that's some of the themes that we've been talking about right now, Erick, is talking about how you deliver those efficiencies and prove those efficiencies and what you've been able to deliver value-wise.
It takes some experience to do that, and it's not an immediate thing. I think especially the current environment that we're in, figuring out how you can deliver that success now to your organization, it's knowing the tactics and the technology and how to do it. It's also knowing how to explain it and how to demonstrate the value up the leadership chain and make that argument for more investment and more resources. I think those two things are really important, and you've talked about both of those.

Erick Mahle:I've been in this ecosystem for 13 years, and I've used the same quote across all 13. The best way to summarize this is Uncle Ben's old quote from Spider-Man, with great power comes great responsibility. It rings true every single time. With a tool as flexible and as powerful as Salesforce, again, as you're coming up, you do want to make sure that you're working in an environment where you can assess everything that the tool can deliver and be able to identify which is the best path forward. Yeah, totally.

Gillian Bruce: I love it. It's great when we can have a quote from Marvel. Is it Marvel or DC? It's DC, right?

Erick Mahle:I think it's Marvel, but someone might correct me terribly fast once they get to hear this.

Gillian Bruce: My husband will be very angry at me if I got that wrong, which I probably did anyway. I mean, it's a great quote. It is. It's true. The power of the platform is immense, and it's more than just the platform, right? It's the power of the role, and then the role that you have within your organization to help your users and to help the organization as a whole. Erick, before I wrap, if you were to have one message to share with any Salesforce professional, Salesforce admins, Salesforce developers, anybody working in the Salesforce ecosystem for 2023, what is the one message that you want to deliver to them?

Erick Mahle:This is the year of optimization. This is the year of learning tools that will help you optimize, help companies consolidate. We're talking about automation like Flow. Flow Is just blowing up right now. You have integrations with systems. If you want to get a connector, there's a lot of great no-code connectors out there that allow you to start connecting your database with others. We talked about the example that we use at First Advantage of using Einstein Bots to be able to deflect and spare employees from having meetings and save that by running qualification process ahead of time. This is the time to increase your skillset and things that can help optimize an organization.
It doesn't necessarily have to be technical, because it could be your BA skills. Improve your skills. Put your skills to the test of documenting processes, find gaps that are there that people are having to do things, duplicate data entry in one system here and then go into other system there, and try to make the case to help bring those efficiencies to light, not only to make your business case, but to help the company do more with less. I think that's the theme of this year. It's do more with less. That would be my big feedback to anyone that's listening.

Gillian Bruce: I think that's great. I think it's actually a pretty empowering message to share with anybody working in the Salesforce ecosystem, especially Salesforce admins, because we can do this. We got the tools. We got the skills to do it. I really appreciate you, Erick, you coming on the podcast and sharing your outlook, sharing your expertise with us today. Hey, let's look forward to a really strong 2023 for the Salesforce ecosystem.

Erick Mahle:Yeah, it's a pleasure being here. We can talk Salesforce all day. Big pleasure. I'm happy to help share my message and hopefully this gets to help a couple of folks. If one person gets something out of this, I'm more than happy already.

Gillian Bruce: Excellent. Well, thank you so much, Erick. Appreciate it.

Erick Mahle:Likewise.

Gillian Bruce: Huge thanks to Erick for taking the time to chat. I loved some of his ideas about what the outlook for 2023 is for Salesforce administrators I thought were pretty inspiring, pretty optimistic, gave me some interesting ideas about how to think about the role of a Salesforce admin in this current climate of everyone trying to do more with less and trying to really drive efficiency and deliver success, prove the value that you're bringing to the organization. The formula he shared about how he calculates the efficiencies delivered by what he and his team have built I thought were really interesting, focusing on prioritization.
Doing that sticky note exercise, I haven't done that in years, but I think it's a wonderful idea, and I want to bring it back to our team here at Salesforce to help us because we're all under this exercise right now of really trying to streamline and really, really focus on being efficient. Hope you had some interesting ideas that came from what you just heard with Erick. If you have some comments or some questions, I very much invite those. Please, please share those with us. You can share them with us on Twitter. We're @SalesforceAdmns, no I, or you can share them with us on LinkedIn, the Trailblazer Success Community.
You can find us everywhere. We'd love to know your feedback, get that conversation and keep that conversation going. And as always, if you want to learn anything else about how you can continue to be an awesome admin, check out my favorite website, You'll even find the Salesforce Admin Skills Kit there, which touches on some of the things Erick mentioned earlier about it's more than just your technical abilities, it's also the skills like business analysis and data analysis. Those are things that are going to be really important as we focus on really delivering impact and efficiency this year.
And as always, you can find myself on Twitter. I'm @GillianKBruce. You can find Mike on Twitter. He's @Mike Gerholdt. You can find Erick on LinkedIn. He is very easy to find. He's got some great content that he's sharing on there, including information about FlowFest, which is happening very soon. Definitely make sure you put that on your calendar and check it out. I can't wait to check it out myself. It sounds really, really fun. I hope you have a wonderful rest of your evening, rest of your afternoon, rest of your morning. Thank you so much for listening, and I'll catch you next time in the cloud.

Direct download: 2023_Outlook_for_Salesforce_Admins_with_Erick_Mahle.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am PDT

Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we talk to Shirlene Chow, Senior Director of Workforce Development Programs at Salesforce.

Join us as we talk about the programs she and her team offer to help people get started in the Salesforce ecosystem, connect with mentors, and develop their careers.

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

Turn new knowledge into a new job

A common piece of feedback we hear is that while Trailhead is great at helping people skill up in the Salesforce ecosystem, it’s hard to figure out the next steps. How do you turn your new knowledge into a job opportunity?

That’s why we wanted to hear from Shirlene Chow. Her Workforce Development team is all about helping people with those next steps, connecting them with mentorship, interviews, free vouchers for certification tests, and more. The jobs market has been a little tough recently but that makes it a perfect time to skill up into something new.

Why mentorship is so important

Shirlene’s team offers a Salesforce Fundamentals program with classes happening all over the world and, while most admins don’t need to brush up on the basics, maybe you know someone who’d like to learn.

For those more experienced in the ecosystem, the Trailblazer Mentorship program matches you with a Salesforce veteran who can help you 1-on-1 with your job search strategy, your resume, your interview skills, and more. There’s also a new program called Mentor Circles program that puts you in a group setting with several peers and mentors for a longer period of time. Think of it as group coaching.

In almost every #AwesomeAdmin story we hear, Mentorship is one of the key ingredients for success, so we really want to put the word out there so you can take your career in a new direction.

Other programs to help you grow your career

Shirlene and her team also run the Trailblazer Career Fairs, which are now virtual events happening on a global scale. We put you together with engaged recruiters from some our closest strategic partners so you can learn about their organizations and what they’re looking for in a candidate. From there, there are group networking and one-on-one breakouts with individual recruiters. New Career Fairs are happening all the time, so check the Trailblazer Connect Hub for details.

Finally, we wanted to highlight the Salesforce Pathfinder program. It’s a 4-month intensive program to give you the practical skills you need to launch your career. “The goal is to help you be well-rounded,” Shirlene says, “not just with Salesforce technical skills but also business skills, how to work in a team, how to do things in an Agile format, and how to practice your active listening and speaking and presentation skills.”

If all this sounds good to you, take a look at the resources we’re linking to below. And if you want to get involved, you can get listed in the directory and start mentoring other Trailblazers.


Podcast swag

Learn more:


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