Wed, 29 May 2019
Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we have another live interview from the Sydney World Tour, this time with New Zealander Anna Loughnan, Customer Success Manager at Todd Digital.
Join us as we talk about the importance of female role models, how she found herself in tech, and how she came back and got into Salesforce after twelve years raising her family to be a 4x Ranger.
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Anna Loughnan.
Girls can do anything, but what should I do?
We’re proud to have Anna as our first Kiwi on the podcast. Growing up in New Zealand, there were posters everywhere offering encouragement that “girls can do anything.” The problem was that Anna didn’t exactly what she wanted to do. “Although we had this being drummed into us there was no actual followup,” she says, “there weren’t role models back in the day, so it was just what you were supposed to believe but there was no proof of it.”
All Anna knew was that she didn’t want to do something that was a traditionally female profession. She spent five years overseas working all sorts of jobs, from working at a McDonald’s to being a bartender. She found herself in Ireland and signed up for a postgrad course in computer science, “purely as an excuse to stay away from New Zealand for another year.” As soon as she sat down in class it was obvious: “the veil had lifted and that was my home, basically. It was frustrating because I had grown up with the message that ‘girls can do anything’ but it was my brother who had been bought a computer,” she says, “this was my first exposure to computers and I just had such an aptitude for it.”
How mentors helped Anna discover the Salesforce ecosystem.
When Anna came back to New Zealand in her late twenties, she worked for a while but also was focused on making a family. For twelve years, she worked a little but was mainly raising her three children. When an old school friend was working on a digital transformation project and needed an analyst, Anna got the call. “I found out later that she had to do a lot of hard talking and convincing for them to be comfortable taking someone on who had been out of the workforce for so long, but she had my back,” she says. “That’s what it takes sometimes is somebody else to believe in you.”
Salesforce was a big part of the digital transformation project, so that’s where Anna first encountered the platform. Nowadays, Anna was brought on to work on a startup with an old friend from that first job. “I knew he was an amazing person—he was such an advocate for Salesforce back in the day and he had seen the potential of the platform,” she says, “so I knew anything that involved him would certainly be worthwhile.” As the Customer Success Manager, Anna has to work across the entire platform and know all the things. “I try and know as much as I can about as many as possible, but it’s also good to know how you can find out about all the things if you don’t know yourself.”
The secrets of a four-star ranger.
In addition to being the first Kiwi (Kieran Jameson doesn’t count since she’s on the Trailhead editorial team… but we’ve put a link to her episode below), Anna is the first ever quadruple-star Ranger we’ve had on the pod. That means she has over four hundred badges. How does she find the time to do everything? “What really helps sometimes is making a public declaration,” she says, on Twitter or another community where you can get support. She also signed up with the 100 Days of Trailhead program through Ladies Be Architects. “Until I signed up for that I hadn’t done any super badges,” she says, “it empowered me because just working at Trailhead was an achievement, not necessarily getting a badge every time you sat down to do something.”
As far as advice Anna has for what makes a great admin, “I like being able to relate to people and talk in non-technical terms,” she says, “there’s nothing worse than a highly technical expert you can’t speak in plain English because that really scares people off.” When she talks to people, she’s always thinking about how to make their job easier, which means plenty of automations. Finally, it’s really important to be able to push back and be confident. “You’re such a key part of the business, you’re that face between the business and the technical,” she says, “often the business wants to do something because they’ve always done it that way, but you know there’s a better way. So you have to be confident in your ability to push back sometimes with what you’re being asked to do.”
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Direct download: From_Programmer_to_Mom_to_Admin_with_Anna_Loughnan.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:14pm PDT
Tue, 21 May 2019
Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we talk to Eric Schubert, CRM Administrator at First American Title, who is on his way towards becoming an architect. We talk about how he realized that he already had a lot of the skills he needed, and how he’s approaching learning everything else.
Join us as we talk about his journey towards becoming a Certified Technical Architect as an admin.
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Eric Schubert.
Learning by doing it yourself.
Eric is a Salesforce Platform Administrator, supporting around four hundred users on the platform on both Sales Cloud and Service Cloud. “Before I got into the Salesforce world, I was at an organization that did not want to get a CRM product off the shelf,” he says, “they were building a poor man’s CRM.” Eric’s job was to be the intermediary between the business and the developers, figuring what the business requirements were and then relaying that to the team. He was also the go-to person for training.
While it was certainly educational, it was hard to do the DIY thing and also deliver actually impactful business innovations, so when Eric was offered a job as a Salesforce admin he jumped at the opportunity. He went to a Salesforce.com training class, this was in the days before Trailhead. “This is how training went: you leave the class, you think you know everything,” but really, “you were kind of thrown into the fire.”
How Eric was able to see himself as a CTA.
Right now, Eric is pursuing becoming a Technical Architect. “When I first got involved with Salesforce, they didn’t even have certification exams,” he says. However, at one organization he worked for “there were folks onboard there who, in title, had ‘Architect’ in their title but I felt like the things they were doing like data modeling or solutioning were things I’d been doing for just as long or longer.” That made him take a closer look at the Architect exams, and so far he’s passed eleven certifications.
It’s a major realization that more admins need to hear. You’re already probably doing things on the platform that overlap with what an architect does, and even more importantly, you’re probably thinking like an architect. When you’re solving a business need for your organization, “you have to think about using all the advantages Salesforce gives you out of the box,” Eric says, “or think about if you want to use a bunch of custom objects.” The approach of an architect is just about scaling up that thinking to a broader perspective.
Climbing the certification pyramid.
As far as how Eric is approaching climbing the CTA pyramid, there’s definitely some things on the development side that are a challenge. “I can look at code and get a general gist of what’s going on and what’s happening, but I’m certainly not a developer per-se,” he says about prepping for the Platform Developer I exam. “But being able to pass that exam gave me a little more confidence that I can be able to pass the Systems Architect side of the pyramid with a little more time and study.”
“It’s definitely not easy and I definitely worked hard at it,” Eric says, “but even if you’re not necessarily a developer, there are tons of resources out there right now and practice exams that are available to help.”
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Gillian Bruce: Welcome to the Salesforce Admins podcast where we talk about product, community and careers to help you become a more awesome Salesforce Admin. I'm Gillian Bruce. Today on the podcast, we're going to talk about something pretty exciting admins, we're going to talk about your possible path becoming an architect. A certified technical architect is a very highly coveted spot in the Salesforce ecosystem. And admins, you'll be surprised. In fact you'll find that there's a lot of things that you're already doing as an admin that make it very easy to transfer into that architect skill set. We're going to have a guest on today, Eric Schubert, who is on his way to being an architect. He's currently an admin, and he saw so things that made him really think about pursuing this path to CTA. So I wanted to get him on the podcast to help inspire you and maybe have you think a little bit differently about your career path. Without further ado, let's please welcome Eric to the podcast.
Gillian Bruce: Eric, welcome to the podcast.
Eric Schubert: Thank you. Thank you for having me.
Gillian Bruce: Well, I'm very happy to have you on the podcast, and excited to talk to you a little bit. And I wanted to start to introduce you to our guest with the same question I ask all of the new guests on the pod. Eric, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Eric Schubert: That's a loaded question there. So, what did I want to be when I grew up? Definitely not a Salesforce administrator. That was not really around when I graduated college but wanted to be ... My degree was in Information Systems and Marketing, and I saw myself as probably swimming in the analyst area, being able to help in marketing, to identify trends and being able to help them, you know sell products better, quicker, faster.
Gillian Bruce: Excellent. So I imagine there's two year old Eric saying that he wants to work in marketing analytics realm. Is that how that worked?
Eric Schubert: That sounds about right.
Gillian Bruce: That's great. Well I love that you had a clear vision so early on. That's fantastic.
Eric Schubert: Absolutely.
Gillian Bruce: So tell me a little bit about what you do now.
Eric Schubert: As of today, doing Salesforce.com administration. I support approximately 400 users on the platform. We're using Sales Cloud as well as Service Cloud. Anything that kind of comes up whether it's automation reports, dashboards. Anything to help the business out. They can come to me and we get it filled out for them on the platform.
Gillian Bruce: That's great. So tell me a little bit about how you got to where you're at. So, you obviously have some great Salesforce skills and you got the Salesforce Admin role which is awesome. How did you first encounter Salesforce? Tell me a little bit about how you kind of grew this career.
Eric Schubert: So, before I got into the Salesforce world. I was at an organization that did not want to get a CRM product kind of the shelf. The were kind of building like a poor man's CRM. So I was in my role as business analyst. My job was to work with the business, figure out what the requirements were, and work with the development team to build out this application and then roll it out. Train the end users how to use the application. And as, you know new teams would have come up, make changes to that application. We had an application for creating new accounts, an application for requesting quotes from customers, things like that and nothing, but nothing off the shelf.
Eric Schubert: An opportunity came to me and they said, hey well we see that you've worked with end user, you've worked with the business, with development, we'll give you a CRM off the shelf at Salesforce and you'll learn it and you'll be the administrator for it. You'll help us build all that functionality. So I said, great, let's go ahead and give it a shot. So my first day at that particular organization was in New York, doing Salesforce.com 201 Training. Make my way around the room, so I'd know who you are, where you're from, and like hey Eric Schubert, and this is my first day on the job and that's how my first week went which was learning all about Salesforce. You leave the class, you think you know everything and then you come back to work on week two, and you still obviously don't have all the skills that you need but ... and at the time, there was no Salesforce community. You didn't have Trailhead, you didn't have all the resources that you had available to you at the time. So you were kind of thrown into the fire and with time and you kind of picked it up and was able to to run with.
Gillian Bruce: I know one of the things that you are pursuing or kind of on the journey to right now is becoming a certified technical architect. So talk to me a little bit about how did you learn about what an architect is and how did that strike your interest?
Eric Schubert: So, when I first got involved with Salesforce, they didn't even have like certification exams. It wasn't even out there and available. So first three or four years, wasn't even out there. And then when I started looking for another job at the time, they were like, hey people are looking out there and they're mentioning, they do you have a certification or administrator certification, deliberate certification and I'm like, well I probably could do those. I never really tried. I mean, I've been using the platform for three, four, five year, I hope I can pass an administrator exam. So I said, hey, let me go ahead and take some of these exams and pass them and put that on a resume. So I'm look for an opportunity. I have those certifications.
Eric Schubert: And then where I was in my previous position, there were folks on board there who, in title, had architect in their title but I'm like, I feel like those same types of things they're doing, whether it data modeling, solutioning for a new product test that we're looking to roll out, I felt like I have been on the application for as long as that particular person or longer than that particular person and I feel like I could do that just as well as that particular could as well.
Eric Schubert: So, as those exams came out, I said, you know, I know security, i always love the challenges when someone says, hey, I can't find ... I'm trying to win over a particular account and I get into position privileges or try to edit the record and I get an error. Being able to troubleshoot those and figure out why they can't do this or can't do that, and I said, hey I think I can pass these exams. So, I started going through some architect exams and was successful in passing them.
Gillian Bruce: That's awesome. So I love how you said that, you know, hey looking at some of the things that these architects, who had the title, looking at some of things that they were doing, you as an admin and working with the platform for a while were like hey, I can do that too. I do that. So I think that's a really great realization and one of the things I'd live to get admins thinking about, a little bit more, is that hey as an admin, you actually think a lot like an architect a lot of the time. So, can you tell me a little bit more perhaps about some of those skills and some of those things that you believe have admins already thinking like an architect? You mentioned security. What are some other elements that you think are really similar from the admin mindset to an architect mindset.
Eric Schubert: Well I think when you're presented with a new request from the business about hey, we want to be able to do this or run a particular new business on Salesforce so it's thinking in your mind, okay, well we're already have all the out of the box on the account, object, contact, opportunity case. So do I want to ... does it make sense to use the existing structure? You have to think about all the advantages that Salesforce gives you right out of the box using those standard objects or do I want to go ahead and use the custom object model and if I use the custom objects might have to reinvent the wheel and do a whole bunch of things that I can kind of already get using the standard object model that's out there. Then again, you also want to again like you said talk to security and am I better off taking one approach versus the other approach. Those are things you want to think about when you're looking at the roles and the functionality in building a new application for your organization.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah, and so those are things that admins, especially a truly awesome admin is already thinking about as they build out Salesforce right? So, kind of taking that a very bigger level is the approach of an architect and so I really love that you saw that as a parallel and are now pursuing that as a career path because I think it's really important to think hey, I've got these skills and you know maybe not coming in as a developer but coming in as an admin and saying hey, I can do this. This is something that I can attain, I think is really great. So congratulations on that and I'm excited that so far, you've been able to pass ... how many exams have you passed? Let's just highlight that for a second.
Eric Schubert: Right now, I'm currently 11 times certified. I've just recently back in the end of November, I was fortunate enough to pass the platform developer one which gave me the application architect certification. Again, which was definitely out of my comfort zone because I'm not, you know, I can look at code and get a general gist of what's going on and what's happening but I'm certainly not a developer per se but being able to pass that exam gave me a little bit more confidence that I was able to pass the application architect side that with time and continuous study I might be able to go ahead and now pass the system architect side of the pyramid.
Gillian Bruce: That's awesome. Well congratulations. I have full confidence in you.
Eric Schubert: Thank you.
Gillian Bruce: I think like you said, not having to know the details of every part of the code has you know, but be able to kind of look at it and understand that gist of it enabled you to pass platform dev one which is awesome because I think a lot admins look at something like the platform developer one exam and are a little intimidated but here you are living proof that hey, you can do it.
Eric Schubert: Absolutely.
Gillian Bruce: It's pretty great.
Eric Schubert: It's definitely not easy and I definitely worked hard at it but that's ... as you can see from the pyramid, it's an important exam, you really kind of need that exam in order to pass either side of the pyramid for either architect side. So, even if you're not a necessarily a developer per se, there's a ton of resources out there now and practice exams that are available that should enable to ... allow you to pass that examination.
Gillian Bruce: That's great, and the pyramid you're referring to are the journey to CTA pyramid, which we will absolutely share in the show notes so folks will be able to look that up and hopefully get some inspiration about what they might be able to do and stretch a little bit. So, Eric, I really appreciate you taking the time to chat with us today and I'm super excited about your journey to becoming a CTA and congratulations on already getting through a huge chunk of the program and getting that first architect title.
Eric Schubert: Thank you.
Gillian Bruce: But I have to ask you some lightning round questions before I let you go on the podcast.
Eric Schubert: All right. Let's do it.
Gillian Bruce: All right. So we got three questions. The first lightning round question is a this or that question. So, this question is: french fries or salad?
Eric Schubert: Definitely french fries guy. Salad is ... if the wife forces me to do it then I'll take salad but definitely french fries.
Gillian Bruce: What do you put on your french fries? Do you have a particular condiment that is your go to?
Eric Schubert: Ketchup. For sure, ketchup.
Gillian Bruce: You're a ketchup guy.
Eric Schubert: Oh yeah.
Gillian Bruce: Okay. Got it. Next question is a would you rather question.
Eric Schubert: All right.
Gillian Bruce: So, would you rather take a European sightseeing vacation or a relaxing Caribbean vacation?
Eric Schubert: I would say the Caribbean one sounds a little more enticing right now. Just the idea of sit back and take a couple days off, relax, enjoy the sun, the sand. That's sounds very appealing.
Gillian Bruce: You're speaking my language Eric, I like it. All right. Your last question is what is something on your bucket list?
Eric Schubert: One thing on my bucket list? I would say to go to a continent that I have not been to before. So, Australia would be kind of cool. Africa, even Antarctica, those are some pretty cool places that you can get out to and see parts of the world that you never really get exposed to being here in the United States. That'd be pretty cool.
Gillian Bruce: Excellent. I love it. Well thank you so much Eric again for your time and I am sure that your story has helped inspire at least a few admins to check out the certified technical architect program and think a little bit more about how they might be able to stretch their own careers.
Eric Schubert: Great, I hope they do.
Gillian Bruce: Excellent. Well thanks so much Eric.
Eric Schubert: All right. Thank you.
Gillian Bruce: Huge thanks to Eric for taking the time to chat with us today and help inspire us all to think about this path to becoming a certified technical architect. Now, admins, we have very important jobs and I really love what Eric talked about when he said, hey I saw what these people, what these titles of architect were doing and they were doing a lot of the same things I was doing as an admin. You know, talking about data modeling, process automation, security models. These are all things that he had done every day in his life as an admin, as most of us do, and said, hey I could do that too. So, Eric, took it upon himself to look at what it would take to become a CTA and he said, hey, you know what, I'm going to take some of these certifications because these are the requirements to get there, and he started passing them. So, really exciting, he got 11 times certified. He is actually now an application architect, which is one of the pieces you need in order to become an overall CTA, and this is really important I think for all of us to think about because he really pointed out, we think like architects. When you're deciding whether to use standard objects or custom objects, avoiding reinventing the wheel, that is the same mindset that you need in order to become an architect.
Gillian Bruce: So, if that's something that inspires you, intrigues you, definitely make sure that you check it out. Good news is we're got lots of resources to help you do that. We have an entire page on our Trailhead website dedicated to how you can become a certified technical architect. I put the program link in the show notes. There's also a path to CTA talking about the career opportunities and what it takes to get there. It is a lofty goal but hey, you're already an admin, you'd be surprised how much of the work you've already done.
Gillian Bruce: The other thing that we've got that's on Trailhead is yep, we got a Trailmix for you. So, definitely a good way to get a handle on preparing for that journey, understanding what it takes. So check all that out. Resources and links are in the show notes so that you can find out more about what we talk about today. Now, if you want to find out more about becoming an awesome admin as we all always want to be more awesome, you can go to admin.salesforce.com where you can find blogs, webinars, events, and yes, even more podcast. Now, the best thing about Trailhead, as I mentioned, is it definitely helps you prepare to become to a certified technical architect, but it prepares you to become certified no matter what your certification goal is, and especially if you haven't taken any certification yet, do it. Make it a goal this year to get certified for the first time. There's a lot of great resources on Trailhead to help you get there. Make sure you check it out.
Gillian Bruce: One more thing I'm going to ask you to do before you leave is subscribe to the podcast and share it with your friends. That way you can get it delivered directly to your platform or device of choice the moment they are released. You can find us on Twitter at Salesforce admins no I. Our guest today was Eric Schubert, and he is on Twitter at Schubert Eric. Link is in the show notes. And as always you can find myself at Gillian K Bruce. Thank you so much for listening to this episode and we'll catch you next in the cloud.
Thu, 16 May 2019
Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we have another live interview from the Sidney World Tour, this time with Lorna O’Callaghan, Salesforce Lead at Suncorp Group. She shares how her experience as a Medieval history masters student has translated into a career in tech.
Join us as we talk about the keys to leading a mixed team, how Trailhead has helped her broadened her horizons, and why her team is so focused on community engagement.
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Lorna O’Callaghan.
How a Medieval History degree helps in tech.
Growing up, Lorna wanted to be a teacher, which is actually pretty common among people in the Salesforce ecosystem and especially among admins. These days, she’s just started a new role as a leader of a team of developers, admins, and business analysts, “which I’m really excited and terrified about in equal measure,” she says.
Lorna originally got her masters in Medieval History before she got involved in tech. “I thought it was an unusual career shift, but the more I talk to other Salesforce admins the more I realize there’s a lot of variety out there,” she says. So how did she wind up in Salesforce? Well, it’s kind of a funny story. “I got a call one day from a guy in Dublin who had seen my details in their Salesforce database,” Lorna says, “and as an exercise to prove to the business that the database worked he called me, interviewed me, and I took the job.”
Believe it or not, Lorna’s degree has been super useful in her work as a Salesforce admin and beyond. ”Being taught to come at things from a different angle and having to explain to people what on earth you do in a language that they’re going to understand,” she says, “it has one hundred percent stood to me.”
Prepping for a leadership role.
Today, Lorna is facing down leading a mixed team and is prepping for the challenges that may come up. Trailhead has been incredibly helpful, and she’s already finished all of the manager modules. She’s also been looking at the development framework material to get familiar with it. “It’s definitely a challenge, it’s a little bit outside the comfort zone,” she says, “I’ve managed project teams before but when you’re directly responsible for a group of people it changes things a little bit. I’m very much looking to where I need to upskill myself to be across all of the areas that they are across because it’s vast.”
“But equally,” Lorna says, “I’m really really happy that the team that I have come into are also into the community and really active in the community.” That means that she doesn’t have to go it alone—the team is actively working to organize monthly sharing sessions to help each other with what they’ve been learning outside of work on Trailhead and beyond.
That feeling when your team checks Salesforce before their email.
Before Lorna moved into leadership, she was an admin. So, what makes a good admin, in her eyes? “You’ve got to be a bit inquisitive, you’ve got to have patience and a bit of perseverance to find what you need,” she says, “and not be afraid to make those mistakes.” Things are a bit easier these days with Trailhead, but experimentation is still key if you want to keep adding new skills.
Lorna was really focused on user adoption in her admins days. “We managed to actually get to a point where we had the CEO ringing people up saying, ‘Oh, I just say something in this report or this dashboard,’ and you had people coming in, first thing in the morning, looking at list views for what had come into the system overnight before going into their email.”
The community is the key.
“Salesforce moves really fast. Every release—to be honest, even in between that—there’s so much new stuff that’s coming up that if we, as a team, want to be innovative and want to keep on top of everything then we have to be involved in the community on a regular basis to keep up to date,” Lorna says.
Trailhead is really helpful not just because of the great modules you can do, but because of the amazing community resources available to help guide your way. “Almost every day, somebody is posting, asking the question, ‘Where can I go to find out about something new?’ It just reminds that somebody is new to this every day, and when you see the patience that other community users have in answering those questions there’s a genuine want to help and to impart what they know. Even if you’re on the periphery of it, you can feel part of something bigger than yourself and you can be as involved or not involved as you want to be but the support is there.”
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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 become a more awesome Salesforce admin. I'm Gillian Bruce. Today, we have got a special episode for you, coming from Sydney Australia.
Gillian Bruce: So when I was fortunate enough to go to the Sydney World Tour earlier this year, I had the opportunity to sit down with some local Sydney area Salesforce admins, and one of the admins I got to talk to was Lorna O'Callaghan who actually just started a new job right before we got the opportunity to chat. So it'd be fun to check in on her and see how it's going. But I wanted to get Lorna on the podcast to share a little bit about her career trajectory and how she is approaching now leading a team of developers and admins, and some things that she's really learned along the way to help her be successful.
Gillian Bruce: So, without further ado, please welcome Lorna to the podcast.
Gillian Bruce: Lorna, welcome to the podcast.
Lorna O'Callagh: Thank you, great to be here.
Gillian Bruce: Well thank you for coming to the office today, because we are here in the Sydney office, because we're here for the Sydney World Tour. So it's fun to be in another Salesforce office on the other side of the world. And I wanted to take the opportunity to get some amazing Aussie voices on the pod. And so, Lorna, to introduce you to our listeners, I'd love to ask you the question I ask all of our guests when they first come on the podcast. What did you want to be when you grow up?
Lorna O'Callagh: I think I wanted to be a few things, but probably the one that lasted was a teacher, so yeah. My dad wasn't a teacher but all his brothers are, so there are a lot of teachers in my family and that was something that appealed to me. But, then when I went to university, I did a stint as a substitute teacher for a while, and had some nice classes, but had an awful class, where they threw things at me, and that was the end of the dream.
Gillian Bruce: Okay, well that makes sense. You don't want to ever be standing in front of a bunch of kids throwing things at you.
Lorna O'Callagh: No.
Gillian Bruce: But it's funny that you say teacher. There's a lot of people that I ask that question, and that's one of the common answers I get for people who are in the Salesforce ecosystem, especially Salesforce admins. There's a lot of elements of being a teacher that transfer over into being an admin. So tell us a little bit about what you do now.
Lorna O'Callagh: So I've just started a new role in the last couple of weeks.
Gillian Bruce: Congratulations.
Lorna O'Callagh: Thank you. And it's my first role in a leadership capacity, so I've just taken on a Salesforce team of developers and admins, and business analysts, which I'm really excited and terrified about in equal measure.
Gillian Bruce: That's good. That means you're set up for success, you're going to be great.
Lorna O'Callagh: Yeah, yeah, I hope so.
Gillian Bruce: So you got this brand new role, this brand new team. Tell me a little bit about how you got here. How did you first encounter Salesforce?
Lorna O'Callagh: After I graduated, I got a job as an IT trainer in my university. I thought I was going to go into academia and then IT was the stronger draw. My background is actually, my master's is Medieval History so this is a pretty ... I thought it was an unusual career shift, but actually the more I talk to other Salesforce admins, the more I realize there's a lot of variety out there.
Lorna O'Callagh: But yeah, I got a call one day from just a guy in Dublin who had seen, he had actually seen my details in their Salesforce database. And he was recruiting for his team, and as an exercise to prove to the business, that the database worked, he called me, interviewed me, and I took the job. I never heard of Salesforce before. I was using Microsoft Access at the time as my database. So yeah, I made the move and that was in 2012.
Gillian Bruce: Wow, I love it. So Salesforce helped you get that job.
Lorna O'Callagh: Yes, it did.
Gillian Bruce: In a very different way than we're used to hearing.
Lorna O'Callagh: Yeah, very much so, but yeah.
Gillian Bruce: And it's funny that you say that you did medieval studies, as your official program of study at university, because one of the things that I think I hear a lot in terms of being an admin or working in the Salesforce ecosystem is your job is to actually translate a lot of technical jargon into human speak. And I would imagine there's some parallels to studying medieval studies because you're telling all these very different languages and meetings and things-
Lorna O'Callagh: Yeah, 100%. I think that's probably, actually the training for that has stood to me, a lot I guess just being quite methodical or being taught to come at things from a different angle. And having to explain to people what on earth you do, in something that they're going to understand. So yeah, it has 100% stood to me. So when people say, oh yeah, history, very unusual background to have working in IT, when I explain some of the modules that I would have done just on investigations, then it makes a little bit more sense.
Gillian Bruce: Totally, that's great. I love that. Okay, so you are now, have this new role, you're managing a team of developers and admins, which is amazing. Tell me about how you're going to attack this, because this is a big step. I know a lot of admins, this is maybe they're also looking to get this role where they're starting to lead a team. Tell me about how you're approaching this?
Lorna O'Callagh: Good question. Trailhead, honestly has been really helpful. I've done all of the manager modules and delved a little bit into a lot of the framework stuff, development framework just to prep myself for it. I mean, it's definitely, it's a challenge. It's a little bit outside the comfort zone. I've managed project teams before, but when you're directly responsible for a group of people, it changes things a little bit. So I think I'm very much looking to where I need to up-skill myself, to be across all of the areas that they are across, because it's faster.
Lorna O'Callagh: But equally, I'm really, really happy that the team that I have into, are also really into the community, and really active in the community. So it's that shared desire, I guess, to actually share what we know with each other, and build a team that is very much invested in things like yeah, Trailhead actually. We were only talking the other day about making sure that we have monthly sharing sessions where we can talk about the things that we've recently worked on outside of work. So yeah, I'm pretty stoked, but I think looking at the community is going to help me quite a lot.
Gillian Bruce: That's great. That's great. Well very exciting. Before you were in this leadership role, you did more the admin side of work, right? So, can you tell me a little bit about some things that you think helped you be a good admin that maybe you see as a trait across other admins?
Lorna O'Callagh: Yeah. I mean, when I started there was no Trailhead. And I think a lot of people say this, but it was a lot of Google. And it was a lot of bumping into people who had heard of Salesforce, who can point you in the direction of something useful. And then when Trailhead came along, that was a total game-changer. And again, in Ireland, there weren't really any user groups. There wasn't really a huge community, but then I guess there is that Salesforce quite strong presence in Dublin. So it started becoming more well known. The Success Community really was a big part in learning. But I think you've got to be a bit inquisitive.
Lorna O'Callagh: Like you've got to have patience as well, and a little bit of perseverance to go and find what you need. And I think that you will find it online, or you can get yourself a sandbox and try something out. I think it's probably not being afraid to make those mistakes as well. And that's not something that I was comfortable with early on. But now, as I, I guess a few years into being in the Salesforce ecosystem, I'm a bit more comfortable with making mistakes because you do learn something from it.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah, so I love that. I hear perseverance of course. And being resourceful. [crosstalk 00:08:56] And then willing to make mistakes and take those risks.
Lorna O'Callagh: Yeah, definitely.
Gillian Bruce: That's awesome. So tell me about, you've been doing Salesforce for a while, tell me about a cool thing or a feature that you've used or built something really fun with.
Lorna O'Callagh: So maybe not the coolest or nerdiest thing, but in the company that I started working in, the first time with Salesforce, I'm actually still really proud of what we did with the analytics. Probably my favorite umbrella category is user adoption and user experience. That's where I think I'm probably most passionate. So in that role, I think we nailed it. We managed to actually get to a point where you had the CEO ringing people up saying, "Oh, I just saw something in this report or this dashboard." And you had people coming in first thing in the morning, looking at list views for what had come into the system overnight, before going into their email.
Lorna O'Callagh: And it took a while to get there, but then we had all the different layers for them themselves, for their managers, for the directors, right the way up. And it was kudos for the team, because it showed us that they were genuinely bought into what we were doing, and into the system. So I think that is, I mean, hopefully I'll top it at some stage, but that's to date, that's probably the thing that stands to me most is we really got that right.
Gillian Bruce: Well yeah, I mean when you've got executives really using those amazing reports that you built them. And like you said, users going to their list views before their email, I mean, that's huge.
Lorna O'Callagh: Yeah, it was a massive shift. And yeah, we did celebrate. They didn't quite get why we were so excited, but yeah, it was a big win.
Gillian Bruce: That's awesome. Well congratulations.
Lorna O'Callagh: Thanks.
Gillian Bruce: Now you've just got to up the ante with your next thing, right?
Lorna O'Callagh: Yeah, exactly. No pressure.
Gillian Bruce: So you mentioned a little bit about the importance of the, used to be Success Community, now labeled the Trailblazer Community, kind of the online presence. Tell me a little bit more about the importance of the community, and especially your ability to grow your Salesforce skills.
Lorna O'Callagh: I was only talking to my team the other day about how Salesforce moves really fast. Every release, to be honest, even in-between that, there's so much new stuff that's coming up, that if we ourselves, and as a team want to be innovative, and want to keep on top of everything, then we have to be involved in the community on a regular basis to keep up to date.
Lorna O'Callagh: You know, I recommend Trailhead to so many people, even just recently I was talking to a few ex-colleagues who have gone through redundancy and their implementation consultants for other software, they're end users of Salesforce. But showing them Trailhead, as something they could look into for job seeking, and it's just, it runs the gambit. One of the things I love about it, and it's almost every day, somebody is posting, asking the question, "Where can I go to find out about something new?" And it just reminds me that somebody is new to this every day, and when you see the patience that other community users have in answering those questions, there's a genuine want to help, and to impart what they know. And even if you're on the periphery of it, you can feel a part of something bigger than yourself, and you can be as involved or not involved as you want to be, but the support is there.
Lorna O'Callagh: It's really important for me I think. A lot of people talk about the imposter syndrome, and I think the community massively helps to combat that.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, you said it so beautifully. You captured so many of those elements of the generosity of the community, the passion for people to help each other. And then always thinking about, there's every day there's somebody new whose where you were at some point. And so thinking about that always kind of remembering hey, there's new people trying this out, so even if you feel like you've got nothing to share, you absolutely do. And then like you said, help out that imposter syndrome.
Lorna O'Callagh: Yeah, for sure.
Gillian Bruce: That's great. So you've got this new role, which is a huge challenge I bet. What's next for you in your personal growth, with Salesforce?
Lorna O'Callagh: Very scarily, I'm putting it out there, probably looking a bit more into the development side of things. I think it's something that's been on the to-do list for a really long time. And now is the time to start looking at that. So yeah, I'm pretty scared, but also pretty excited to see what else I can start to learn.
Gillian Bruce: Well, you've got developers on your team now. I'm sure they'd be happy to help you. And I know there's plenty of programs out there.
Lorna O'Callagh: And user groups as well, so that's next I think.
Gillian Bruce: Don't be scared. It's going to be okay. Well that's really exciting. Well Lorna, before I let you go, I'm going to ask you a lightning round question. Don't worry, I hope it's not that scary. We're doing a special down-under version of the lightning round.
Gillian Bruce: All right, so you live in Sydney now, what is one thing you recommend someone to do in Sydney, visiting for the first time?
Lorna O'Callagh: That is a really tough question. I am drawing a blank.
Gillian Bruce: There's a lot to do, I know.
Lorna O'Callagh: There is an awful lot to do. Definitely going to have to pause.
Gillian Bruce: That's okay, that's okay. I gave you a vague one, and you're probably like, there's a thousand things.
Lorna O'Callagh: I don't even remember [inaudible 00:15:00] right now, that's incredible.
Lorna O'Callagh: I probably would say to do the Coogee to Bondi coastal walk. That's something I've done twice now. I mean, do the city. Do the Opera House, do all around Martin Place, beautiful, beautiful architecture. But, yeah, do that coastal walk. A lot of people do, I think it's advertised as Bondi to Coogee, but do it in reverse, because there's less people going that direction. It's beautiful.
Gillian Bruce: Excellent. All right, I'm adding it to my list, doing personal research with my lightning round question, so I appreciate that. Lorna, thank you so much for everything that you're doing in the community, and I'm so excited for what you got on your plate now with this new role, and your growth. And congratulations. Thank you very much.
Lorna O'Callagh: It was really nice to be here, thank you.
Gillian Bruce: Huge thanks to Lorna for taking the time to chat with me when I was in Sydney a few months ago.
Gillian Bruce: One of the things that I think is really interesting that keeps popping up in these interviews is so many people that I talk to, wanted to be a teacher, when they grow up. And when they were a child, this idea of wanting to help teach and enable others, this is a theme I'm seeing across so many people in the Salesforce ecosystem and the community. And I think that's really reflective of this desire to always keep learning, to always give back, help each other, this generosity. One of the hallmarks and it's like secret sauces that we have in the Salesforce community. So I really treasure that, and I thought that was really fun that Lorna also wanted to be a teacher when she grew up.
Gillian Bruce: Now Salesforce has done a lot of Lorna. It's enabled her to make the move from Dublin to Sydney, which is quite a big difference. And her training in actually studying medieval history, has helped her be the translator between technology and business, understanding different methodologies in ways to approach things. You know, it's surprising when you think these nontechnical degrees and these nontechnical studies and programs that you might do in school, can really relate and help you be even better, a Salesforce admin, Salesforce developer. Those are skills that really help you because you are in the middle. You're translating the business need into the technology solution, and then helping people understand that.
Gillian Bruce: The community was also very important to Lorna's trajectory and her career. And one of the things that she's bringing into her current team that she is now leading, which is very exciting, is building the community as a core part of that. You know, as she says, there's constant innovations happening in the Salesforce ecosystem, whether it's on the platform, or with different companies. The only way to really stay on top of that is to be involved in the community, and leverage all the great skillsets and ideas that come from the community all over the world.
Gillian Bruce: Now, user adoption experience is very important to Lorna. And some of the things that she found that really helped with that, are dashboards. You know, she described how she got a CEO excited about talking about a dashboard, which is a really great sign that you have successfully implemented Salesforce. And that users were actually going to their list views before going to their emails in the morning, to get an idea of what's going on. Now, that is an incredibly great sign that you are doing something right as a Salesforce admin. If people really are going to Salesforce as a single source of truth to start their day.
Gillian Bruce: Also, a reminder that you know, she says everybody starts as a newbie. So, understanding and having patience for any questions, having that desire to help each other is really an important aspect of being a truly awesome admin. You know, you are part of something bigger than yourself when you get involved in the community, and you can see that. And the community will give you the support you need to overcome any imposter syndrome that you have going on.
Gillian Bruce: So those are just some of my highlights from our chat with Lorna. Again, it was really great to connect with her while I was in Sydney. If you ever make it to Sydney, I highly recommend looking her up.
Gillian Bruce: If you want to learn a little bit more about some of the things that we talked about on the podcast today, we've got lots of great content for you. So you can always go to admin.Salesforce.com for blogs, webinars, events, and even more podcasts. If you want to learn more about some of the specific things we talked about today, have some great Trailhead content for you. So, Lorna mentioned how she's been preparing for this management, this leadership role using Trailhead. And we talk about how Trailhead has technical skills, technical content on there.
Gillian Bruce: But Trailhead also has a lot of great other skills that you can learn on there, such as Manage the Salesforce Way, which is a whole trail on how you can build up your management skillset, especially if you're new to management, or you're new to management within the Salesforce ecosystem, definitely make sure you check out that trail.
Gillian Bruce: There's also the Create Report and Dashboards for Sales and Marketing Managers module. Again, a great way to help you drive adoption at your company, if you can build dashboards that your leadership really uses as their single source of truth. They're looking them up on their phone, they're interacting, they're showing each other. That is a fantastic tool to make sure that you're implementation of Salesforce is successful.
Gillian Bruce: And, we talked about list views. I think list views are amazing. I mean, that split list view that you can use in console, holy moly, it is a huge productivity tool, and a way to drive efficiency. You can learn more about how you can leverage list views from Kanban, Calendar, all these things in the lightning experience customization module.
Gillian Bruce: I put the link to all three of those pieces of content in Trailhead, in the show notes. So you can go directly there. Now, the best thing about Trailhead, not only can you learn about these skills, but you can also prepare for your certification. So I hope all of you listening have it on your goal this year to at least get one more certification. Maybe it's your first, maybe it's your 17th, either way, getting certified is a great way to show potential employers, your current employer, that you have a mastery and that you're learning constantly on the Salesforce platform. So use Trailhead as a great study guide and a tool to prepare you to get your certifications.
Gillian Bruce: Please remember to subscribe to the podcast, so you can get it delivered directly to your platform, or device choice, the moment the episode is released. Now, we are on all the platforms. We are on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Stitcher, you name it, we're on there. If there's a platform we're not on, please let me know, and we will definitely make sure the podcast gets on there.
Gillian Bruce: As always, you can find us on Twitter @SalesforceAdmns, no I. Our guest today, Lorna O'Callaghan is @LornaOCall, that's L-O-R-N-A-O-C-A-L-L. Link is in the show notes. And myself, @gilliankbruce.
Gillian Bruce: Thank you so much for listening to this episode. And we'll catch you next time in the cloud.
Direct download: From_Medieval_History_to_Salesforce_with_Lorna_OCallaghan.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:28am PDT
Wed, 8 May 2019
Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we’ve got Kel Wetherbee, Director of myTrailhead Marketing at Salesforce, to share all the details of what myTrailhead means for admins.
Join us as we talk about everything this amazing tool can do to create customized training for everyone at your organization within the context of their regular workflow.
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Kel Wetherbee.
Sharing the superhero cape.
When she was growing up, Kel wanted to be an art teacher. “I spent so much of my time drawing and I went to art classes and I absolutely loved it,” she says, “and though I never turned that dream into a reality, I did get into the learning space.” As you might be able to tell from the smooth segue, her focus today is on marketing for myTrailhead.
“I love problem-solving, but I also love teaching people how to problem solve and sharing the knowledge I have with a broader audience so they can wear the superhero cape and not just me,” Kel says. That means helping people learn to use tools like automation, Marketing Cloud, Service Cloud, Quip, and more, to bring scalability to what they’re doing. “There’s so much power in our platform, and I wanted a way to evangelize that,” she says, and what’s so great about her current role is that “I get to evangelize my favorite products in helping people rethink how they can transform their business.”
What is myTrailhead?
So we know Trailhead, but what is myTrailhead? Essentially, it lets you create your own instance of the platform and publish your own custom branded content. “Imagine you want to teach your employees at scale how to use your highly customized Salesforce environment,” Kel says, “you have a way of doing that but it doesn’t stop there.”
myTrailhead lets you create content to teach your team anything they need to know throughout their journey at your company. You can pull in existing Trailhead content or make your own. As Kel says, “you want to empower your employees on how to use tools, but what if you could take it a step further and ensure they’re learning in the flow of work?” You can create an onboarding journey that automatically recommends new content based on what they’ve already learned, or even what they’re doing in their org.
“Imagine a new sales rep is starting and they’ve never created an opportunity,” Kel says, “the moment they create that opportunity, right on the record, they see a widget that shows a recommended badge all about opportunity management.” You can do that right now for free, but imagine if you could also recommend custom content related to the ins and outs of your company you’ve created in myTrailhead. You don’t need to sequester everyone to a conference room to do training—instead, it’s seamlessly integrated into their normal workflow.
The key to great custom Trailhead content.
The best part about myTrailhead is that, as an admin, “you already have the requisite skills to do these amazing things,” Kel says. We already build processes and automations within our system to create business solutions, so it’s easy to shift those skills towards getting the most out of myTrailhead. Process Builder and Lightning Web Components can help, but Kel’s team has also seen people use Salesforce Surveys to get feedback on the content they’ve published the moment someone has completed a badge.
“One thing we firmly believe on the myTrailhead team is it’s not just about having great technology, it’s about having great content,” Kel says. If you’re looking to hone your creative writing skills, there’s a brand new Trailhead module called, “Writing for myTrailhead,” where you learn from the experts at Salesforce who create Trailhead content. If you want to take it a step further, Kel’s team has services that can help.
If you’re looking to get started with amping up learning at your business, start by downloading Trail Tracker. This free tool will help you figure out what your team’s been up to on Trailhead, which can help you plan your own content. myTrailhead is a paid product available for any user that has an existing Salesforce license, so get in touch with Kel’s team to figure out how you can take advantage of everything this powerful tool has to offer.
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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 become a more awesome Salesforce Admin. I'm Gillian Bruce. And today, we've got a topic that I know is hot on everyone's minds. It was officially launched just a few months ago. We are going to be talking about myTrailhead. In order to get the details on myTrailhead, we have in-house expert Kel Wetherbee, who is the Director of myTrailhead marketing, joining us to tell us the details of what myTrailhead means for admins. And I'm going to give you a sneak peek, there is a lot of cool stuff that we can do as admins with myTrailhead. It's going to be a really powerful tool for us to use. Anyway, without further ado, please welcome Kel to the podcast. Kel, welcome to the podcast.
Kel Wetherbee: Thanks for having me. I'm super excited.
Gillian Bruce: Well, it so great to have you on the podcast. You are a first-time guest on the podcast. So I wanted to introduce you a little bit to our audience. And the question I love to use to do that is to ask you, Kel, what did you want to be when you grew up.
Kel Wetherbee: Well, back when I was five, I really wanted to be an art teacher. I spent so much of my time drawing, and I went to art classes, and I absolutely loved it. And though I never turned that dream into a reality, I did get into the learning space.
Gillian Bruce: That's awesome. Okay, so going from wanting to be an art teacher, and now you hinted that you are in the learning space, what do you do now?
Kel Wetherbee: That was just a segue for me to tell you. So, a lot of my career I've dabbled in both IT and some admin work to sales enablement and also sales. When I first joined Salesforce four years ago, I ran a super tiny and scrappy sales enablement team. And my role at the time was to skill up our 9000 sales people. Now we've grown a ton since then, and I was looking for a way to scale, and that's how I kind of got into what I'm doing now, which is marketing for myTrailhead.
Gillian Bruce: Excellent. Okay. So teaching 9000 people sales enablement, I mean that's kind of a huge task. So, what are some things that... you wanted to be the teacher when you were young. You followed kind of... you did IT, some admins stuff, now you're in the sales enablement space. Tell me about some of the elements of that, that kind of drew you to that. What's your passion that kept you in this space, and has led you down this path?
Kel Wetherbee: Absolutely. So, I love fixing things, I love getting my hands dirty, rolling up my sleeves, and I love problem solving. But I also love teaching people how to problem solve, and sharing the knowledge that I have with the broader audience, so they can wear the superhero cape and not just me. And that's been one thing that's really important to me. And I love figuring out a way to automate my job away, and taking things that are seemingly complex and long, and really simplifying that. So, I've been able to really hone in on all on those passions when I started my journey at Salesforce, by starting with sales enablement.
Kel Wetherbee: And I loved our tools and learning about all of the platforms. Not just myTrailhead, but I really honed in on a lot of our technologies. Marketing Cloud, and Service Cloud, myTrailhead, Quip, I used all of those technologies and brought them all to life, and integrated a lot of them to scale what our tiny team was doing. And there's so much power in our platform. And I really wanted to way to evangelize a lot of that. And what I love about my current role, I really do have the dream job.
Gillian Bruce: That's awesome.
Kel Wetherbee: I get to evangelize my favorite products, and helping people kind of rethink how they can transform their business, and really learning meaningful, and valuable, and make sure that you're getting a return out of all of this time and energy that you're putting into these products.
Gillian Bruce: That's awesome. I mean, that's so well put. And that does clearly mean you're in the right spot. Because you can really hear the passion in that. So tell me a little bit more about this myTrailhead thing. You've mentioned it a couple times. We haven't really talked about it on the podcast before. So we know about Trailhead, the fun way to learn Salesforce. What is myTrailhead?
Kel Wetherbee: The easiest way to think about myTrailhead is, you take that same magic of Trailhead that you've all experienced, and if you haven't experienced make sure you visit trailhead.com. But it takes that same magic of Trailhead and allows you-all to create your own private instance of Trailhead, and you can publish your own custom branded content. So imagine, you want to teach your employees at scale, how to use your highly customized Salesforce environment. You have a way of doing that. But it doesn't stop there. You can really skill them up on anything that they need to know to thrive in their career at your company, throughout their entire journey from start and then continual learning ongoing, so you can grow and retain that talent.
Kel Wetherbee: Anything from skills on how do you Salesforce? Enable them to know how to pull their own reports on Dashboard, let's face it, I know you-all are struggling with that. Tap into, pull in any of the content from Trailhead today for free, but also publish your own content. And that's what's key.
Gillian Bruce: This sounds incredibly exciting. Especially for admins who, a big part of their job is onboarding users and training users, right? And like you said, run their own dashboards and reports, what a concept. So I haven't spent a lot of time figuring out how to roll out changes or just implement Salesforce and get users onboarded. This sounds like myTrailhead is the perfect tool to help them do that. Is that kind of one of the biggest use cases you see for why people are interested in using myTrailhead?
Kel Wetherbee: Yeah. It's one of many use cases. It is a top one, and the reason it's a top one is, imagine this. You want to empower your employees on how to use tools. But what if you could even take it a step further and ensure they're learning in the flow of work, right? And it doesn't just have to be on Salesforce, but learning Salesforce is very powerful for the audience that's listening in today. So imagine if you create a new user in Salesforce, and you can have a process kicked off where the learner immediately gets recommended new content via an email or a Chatter. Or you can create an onboarding journey, where once they complete certain learning, they're recommended new things.
Kel Wetherbee: And it doesn't have to be limited to notifications. What if you could put that learning right in the flow of work. Imagine, maybe a new sales rep is starting, and they've never created an opportunity. The moment they create that opportunity right on the record, they see a widget that shows a recommended badge all about opportunity management. Now you can do that today, today, right now for free, by recommending Trailhead free content. But imagine if you could recommend content that you've customized and published on myTrailhead. This is an incredible tool for you-all to scale enablement at the right time, for the right people, with the right profile. So salespeople see certain things where your service reps will see something different in different places.
Gillian Bruce: That is awesome. So, it's really kind of bringing that training experience into the context of their job and what they're doing, without having to go take two days and sit in a conference room, or all of the normal training things that our admins put together for users, that users may or not be excited about. But if they're, like you said, about to log their first opportunity, and they get prompted in the app to, hey, learn more about this, learn about the customized version of that for their org, I mean, that's awesome. It's really cool.
Kel Wetherbee: It's so powerful. It really takes away the communication management and change management. Let's face it, that takes up a lot of our time. And it doesn't have to just be on Salesforce. I know a lot of the folks that are running their Salesforce environments, that's kind of key. But you can take it a step further. And if you happen to manage other systems, you can contextually show recommended learning on other topics like how to use other systems. So it's not just limited to Salesforce.
Gillian Bruce: So, let's talk a little bit more about that actually. So, other systems, we know Trailhead is the fun way to learn Salesforce. We have a lot of great content on there. But how do you put learning about other systems within myTrailhead? Tell me a little bit more about how that works.
Kel Wetherbee: Absolutely. So, the good news is, you don't have to start from scratch, because you-all might be already familiar with all of the awesome content that already exists on Trailhead today. You've got over 500 badges, you've got things on all sorts of different technologies, the hottest technologies of today, Google, and Amazon, and Get, and I could go on and on. But what if you have other systems that you want to skill people up on? You can publish content on really any topic. So whether you deploy a custom app that is Salesforce, that's awesome. You can skill people up on how to use it, and have rich text and videos.
Kel Wetherbee: Or if you wanted to publish content on another system, maybe it's a process that you've built, a request from, or process that you want people to follow. You can publish that content directly on myTrailhead. And then make sure that you can spread the word on it in an automated fashion by using ProcessBuilder and Lightning Web Components to get the word out to the right people at the right time.
Gillian Bruce: That's awesome. So I'm hearing a couple things. So the first thing that I'm hearing is, as an admin, we are already familiar with building these processes and building these automations within our system to streamline existing business processes. All of that knowledge that we have to do that can apply to deploying myTrailhead as well.
Kel Wetherbee: That's the wonderful thing. You already have a lot of the requisite skills to do these amazing things. Some of the top things we've seen admins use to automate learning are going to be... I've mentioned two of them, ProcessBuilder and Lightning Web Components. But also Salesforce Surveys has been a new tool in the admins tool belt, where you can also get feedback on the content that you've published. So the moment that a learner completes a badge, you can kick off a process where a survey is sent out to the learner asking them for feedback. So you can figure out whether or not that content is actually meaningful to the learner and make it even better.
Gillian Bruce: That is so cool. So, another thing that kind of struck me is the ability to create and publish your own content. How does that work. Because, as an admin I'm used to creating, training with Trailhead to get my users up to speed. Now I can leverage the stuff that's in Trailhead. But I may not feel that I know how to write a Trailhead module. So, how does that publishing process work?
Kel Wetherbee: Well, I would say first, I feel everybody's pain. Writing is a challenging skill. Creative writing can be tough. And one thing that we firmly believe on the myTrailhead team, is, it's not just about having great content, I'm sorry... and it's not just about having great technology, it's about having great content, and also great change management. Well, you-all can solve the change management through the automation, and we can provide you the great technology. So what do you do with this content? Well, you've got a couple of options. We have got self-service options for those of you that are adventurous and really want to hone in on creative writing and creating content that's meaningful, it's fun, it's bite-sized and conversational.
Kel Wetherbee: And you can do that by taking a brand new module that was launched recently on Trailhead.com, and it's, Writing for myTrailhead. And so you can go ahead and earn yourselves a badge and learn all about it, and learn from the experts on Team Trailhead that actually write this content. And if that's not enough, and you want to step up your game, and maybe you need a little bit of hand holding or help, we've got some amazing partners that can help. Or, even in-house, here on the Trailhead Team, we have content services. Our User Adoption Services Team can either help with advisory services, or if you want to just have us write your first module from start to finish, we can do that too.
Gillian Bruce: That's awesome. Because I know one of the things that people love about Trailhead, is the fun vibe that it has, how the content is engaging. Like you said, it's not just about the technology, but having great quality content. And I think for me, especially, it keeps me engaged, right? It's like, "Oh, well that's a silly answer." But I'm like totally excited that I saw that and it makes me giggle, and it makes we want to continue learning and continue on that next step in this module, which is really fun. So it's great to know that there's resources out there to help people tap into that, or maybe get learn up on how to do that.
Gillian Bruce: I think that module that you mentioned is great, regardless of who you are in any role. Because there's just amazing tips and tools in there on how to beef up your writing style, just in general. I love that module. We'll put the link to that in the show notes for sure. So let's say I'm an admin, I'm super excited about all of these things that myTrailhead can offer. I am like, "When can I get it? How do I get it? I want it now. How do I sell it to my stakeholders? What's next?" Kel, where do I go, what do I do?
Kel Wetherbee: Well, there's good news. It is available today for all of you. I do recommend if you're looking to just get started and kind of try it on for size, you can do that for free today using Trailhead, and download Trail Tracker today. Just visit the AppExchange, search for Trail Tracker, install it into your org, and start playing around with tracking who at your organization has already been earning them badges. And play around with some of the automation. If you want to take it a step further, and you realize, "I'm ready to start publishing my own custom branded content," this is where myTrailhead comes in. And, it is a paid product, and it's available for any user that has an existing standard Salesforce license.
Kel Wetherbee: And the easiest way to find out more, or to speak with somebody about it, is just visit trailhead.com/mytrailhead, or just visit Trailhead and then go to Four Companies in the dropdown, and then click on myTrailhead. And then you'll find the myTrailhead page with more information. There's a quick demo video, and there's also a form where, if you fill it out, someone from our team will reach back out to you.
Gillian Bruce: That's awesome. Well, that's great. We'll make sure to definitely put those links in the show notes so people can access them. I appreciate you coming on and sharing about myTrailhead. I think it's really exciting. Especially from an admin perspective, it's going to be a really great tool to help with user adoption especially. And so, taking a lot of the annoying parts of change management out of what an admin has to do now that myTrailhead can do that. Now they can focus on-
Kel Wetherbee: Set it and forget it.
Gillian Bruce: Set it and forget it. And then focus on the bigger picture stuff, right? The vision and the direction instead of the little details, which is really awesome.
Kel Wetherbee: That my favorite part. Because when I ran sales enablement, one thing I was looking to do is get out of repetition, and get out of manual tasks, and avoid doing repetitive training over and over again. It wasn't helping me in my career. So once myTrailhead came along, it really helped shift me into kind of this thought leader across the organization. And it helped me gain a lot of trust from our sales leaders and our sponsors on the possibilities. And it helped me home in on, "Okay, now I've got these amazing metrics and I can see how this learning is impacting the business, so I can make better business decisions on what learning comes next." And I never had that type of information. So this will really open up a whole new world for all of you.
Gillian Bruce: That's incredibly well said. And I could not have put it any better. So I think that was awesome, thank you. Well, before I let you go, I am going to ask you some lightning round questions.
Kel Wetherbee: Do it.
Gillian Bruce: All right. Nothing to do with Salesforce. First thing that comes to mind. The first question is a this or that question. Dine in or delivery?
Kel Wetherbee: I would say delivery. I'm not a very good cook. I'm really good at cleaning though.
Gillian Bruce: Well, that's excellent. That's to bring to the table, that's great. All right, the next question is a would you rather. Would you rather take a European sight seeing vacation or a relaxing Caribbean vacation?
Kel Wetherbee: Definitely European. I definitely love adventurous stuff and driving around. My favorite thing to do is get in the car and have no destination in mind. So, I'll go with the first.
Gillian Bruce: I love that, that's great. Okay. And last one is, what is one of your go-to snacks these days?
Kel Wetherbee: Hm. I hate to admit it, but it is organic Dorito, the cheddar ones.
Gillian Bruce: They make organic ones?
Kel Wetherbee: Yeah, I didn't believe-
Gillian Bruce: I didn't even know this.
Kel Wetherbee: ... they have them here in this office, they do. It's a great snack.
Gillian Bruce: Oh. So it makes you feel better about eating Doritos?
Kel Wetherbee: Kind of. Because the word organic is in front of it, so I feel like maybe it's a little bit better.
Gillian Bruce: How do they make it so orange if it's so organic.
Kel Wetherbee: Actually, these ones are like a light yellow.
Gillian Bruce: Oh, okay.
Kel Wetherbee: They're pretty tasty. They're even better with guac.
Gillian Bruce: All right. Now it's added to my list. Thank you. Kel, thank you so much for joining us, I so appreciate your time. And thanks for all the amazing work you do for myTrailhead, and to enable learners everywhere.
Kel Wetherbee: Thanks everyone for tuning in, really appreciate it. And thanks so much Gillian for inviting me.
Gillian Bruce: Huge thanks to Kel for taking the time out of her busy myTrailhead life to join us and talk to us about all the goodness that myTrailhead can offer us as admins. So, some highlights from our conversation. I was very excited, because I think that myTrailhead is an amazing tool that every admin should think about using. If nothing else, we should all be downloading Trail Tracker and using Trailhead as a way to onboard and train our users ongoing. But, myTrailhead is a great way, especially if you've got a very customized version of Salesforce, an app that you've built out for your business, myTrailhead is an amazing way to continue that learning for all of your users.
Gillian Bruce: No matter where they are in the organization, no matter what their job, you can provide training within the context of their flow of work, which is really cool. Because I love the use case that Kel described about, you're logging your first opportunity. And within the app, as you're creating that opportunity, you can have training, customized training pop up right there to help coach you along in the process. How great is that, right? Because we set up trainings all the time for our users, that they may or may not be into, or be distracted all day, checking their phones, and trying to squeeze meetings in. And they're like, "Oh, I have to be in this training." MyTrailhead enables a whole new way of thinking about training, and how to deliver that to your users when they need it, and so it can be really valuable.
Gillian Bruce: So that alone is a great reason to learn about how you can maybe use myTrailhead at your organization, talk to your stakeholders about it. It is an ongoing way that users cannot just learn about Salesforce, but other systems. So if you've got other systems that you're using to help people do their jobs, you can also use myTrailhead to help them learn about that. It's not just about Salesforce. And just general career growth. I mean, we already know that on Trailhead there's all this content about how to grow your career, develop skills outside of tech, and you can access all of that within myTrailhead as well.
Gillian Bruce: So, you get to use the existing Trailhead learning, you get to customize and build your own on top of that, and you can customize how you deliver that to each person in the organization, depending on what their job is. Which is really cool. So, kind of endless possibilities here. I am super excited to kind of see use cases develop and see how admins all over the world are using myTrailhead. The good news is, that if you know how to use things like ProcessBuilder, and Salesforce Surveys, you can absolutely use myTrailhead. Salesforce Surveys works really well with myTrailhead as Kel described to you. So I thought that was a cool use case to point out. And if you're worried about creating content, don't worry.
Gillian Bruce: We've got a lot of resources to help you create awesome Trailhead level content. We all love the witty fun keeping Trailhead weird vibe that is on the content already on Trailhead. We have resources on Trailhead to help you learn how to write that way, if you're creating your own content. Also have a whole team here at Salesforce that's dedicated to user adoption. So, you can actually engage with them, they can help coach you, maybe even write your first module if you really need some help there. And that's a really great way to start learning how to create your own custom myTrailhead content. Overall, myTrailhead is great, because it allows you to set it and forget it, and focus on that big vision, instead of those manual tasks, that repetitive training that you might have to do for all your users.
Gillian Bruce: So it enables you as an admin, to kind of grow into more of a leadership role, and think more big picture about where the system is going, and what you're doing with it, and how your users are interacting. So, give myTrailhead a gander if you will. You can definitely check it out at myTrailhead on the Salesforce website. I've put the link in the show notes. You can also learn more about writing the myTrailhead way. So there's a module on Trailhead that I've put the link to in the show notes called, Writing for myTrailhead. And if you haven't already, I really encourage you all to download Trial Tracker from the AppExchange.
Gillian Bruce: Kel mentioned this, this is a great way to see what your users are doing in Trailhead. You can assign maybe modules or trails, and you can track their progress, you can create reward systems, more incentives, in addition to what they already get on Trailhead with badges and points. So, make sure you check those resources out. As always, if you want to learn more about being an awesome admin, go to admin.salesforce.com for blogs, webinars, events, and even more podcasts. The best thing, you know, we talked a lot about Trailhead. But the best thing about Trailhead is, it really does prepare you to get those certifications.
Gillian Bruce: So whether you have yet to get your first admin certification, or you are on your 10th or your 20th, getting certified is an amazing way to prove your skillset, and really open up doors for you in the career world. So, make sure that you keep certifications in mind as you're working your way through Trailhead, because it really is a great way that you can further amplify and propel your career. Please also remember to subscribe to the podcast, so you can get it delivered directly to your platform or device of choice the moment it is released, so you don't miss a single episode. You can find us on Twitter at salesforceadmns, no I. Our guest today, Kel Wetherbee is @kelwetherbee, keeps it simple, love it. And you can find myself @gilliankbruce. Thank you so much for listening to this episode, and we'll catch you next time in the Cloud.
Wed, 1 May 2019
Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we have Greg Grothaus, father of former guest Jesse Grothaus and retired police officer, who discovered Salesforce through his son’s amazing story and uses the platform as a way to keep his brain engaged.
Join us as we talk about how his curiosity has opened doors for him, what being a good police officer has to do with being a good admin, and how he’s been able to make incredible progress by taking it bit by bit.
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Greg Grothaus.
How a conversation turned into a career.
We’re making history on the Salesforce Admins Podcast this week—this is the first time we’ve interviewed the father of a former guest. If you haven’t listened to Jesse Grothaus’ amazing story, take a listen because it’s one of the best episodes we’ve done. After Jesse suffered severe brain damage in a car accident, he needed to learn new skills to help with his recovery. He used Salesforce and Trailhead to help with that, and now is the founder and CEO of Cloud Pathfinder Consulting.
Greg is a retired police officer. “A lot of things in my life don’t happen because I plan them out, they are things that I stumble into,” he says, “and one day I met a man that was visiting at a church I was attending and I love to meet people and find out their story.” He was a police officer, and as they kept talking Greg eventually asked if he could ride along with him to find out what his job was like. “I got hooked,” he says, “it was a chance to get out and talk to people—which I love doing–and before you know it I was enrolled in a reserve academy and became a reserve police officer.” That transitioned into a fulltime role that eventually became a career spanning over two decades.
“I’m a very nosy person, and I’m very outgoing and outspoken, so you put those things together and that’s a successful cop,” Greg says, “to be able to walk up to anybody that you would encounter anywhere and establish a relationship with them.” It turns out that those skills also translate to what a Salesforce admin needs to be successful.
How Greg discovered Salesforce.
“Late in 2017, I started noticing that my son Jesse was literally obsessed with learning something called Salesforce,” Greg says, “I had never seen him dive into something so deeply and it caught my curiousity.” Over the course of several months, he started asking Jesse to show him a few things and realized he could create a simple app to help him organize his consulting work. “It was a little intimidating at first because it’s so huge, and I really had to take on the attitude of every night I ask myself, ‘Do I know a just a little bit more about Salesforce than I did the day before?’”
In September 2018, Greg passed his admin certification. He had to take the test three times before he was able to pass it, but, he says, “as long as you see that score coming up each time you can say you’re headed in the right direction.” He’s now set his sights on the Platform App Builder next, and although he hasn’t passed it yet he was only two questions away in his last attempt.
Getting into the Flow.
When Greg came across Flows in the 2019 release notes, he got inspired to try them out. “They kept saying this is making flow building easy, this is flows for the common man, and I read that and thought I could do it,” he says. Four weeks ago he didn’t even know what a flow was, but the night before our interview he deployed one into a production environment for a client that gives sales reps an interactive screen when they’re closing out opportunities. “The whole user interface of the new flow building tool is so visually inviting,” he says, “you can have that up on your screen in a Starbucks and someone can walk by and be impressed even if you don’t know what you’re doing.”
“The biggest thing I’ve learned is that I’m 59 years old and I’m learning it and doing, which means everybody else can,” Greg says, “I’m not special, I’m no smarter than anybody else, I’m learning this stuff, so if anybody is out there listening and wondering if they could do it, the answer is yes. All you have to do to start is get into Trailhead, make a user ID, and dig in and it’s free so why would you not try?”
Work with nonprofits to sharpen your skills.
To put his Salesforce skills into action, Greg works with two nonprofits. The first is the Starfish Organization, which grants scholarships to students in Quito, Ecuador. They were working on an older instance of Salesforce, and he’s just been able to migrate them to Lightning. “They were very very afraid of going to Lightning, and I didn’t tell them that I was too,” he says, “I don’t know if they know that that was my first time doing a Lightning conversion but it worked out fine.”
Greg also works with the Humankind Alliance in San Rafael, California. They work to improve trust between members of the community and law enforcement. “What I find interesting and fun and exciting working with a nonprofit in a very small environment like that is you can make things happen very quickly,” he says.
“I tell my wife, ‘this is my version of Sudoku,’” Greg says, and he finds it so rewarding to sit down and talk with someone about what makes it hard for them to do their job and then come back later with a fix.
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