#SalesforceQA – Andrew Hart, Salesforce CTA & Director of Architects @ OwnBackup

In our most recent #SalesforceQA, we caught up with Salesforce CTA and Director of Technical Architects, Andrew Hart.

Andrew talks about what led him to his current role, the appeal of the Salesforce platform, and offers advice for those just starting out in the industry. 

To hear more about Andrew’s journey to CTA, join us at our first IN-PERSON Salesforce Republic meetup in partnership with OwnBackup.

Salesforce Republic (SR): Can you tell us a little about your career journey/background?

Andrew Hart: I’ve spent most of my career (21 years) in CRM Consulting. Working with customers who have been implementing CRM solutions. For the last 9 years, this has been in the Salesforce and Enterprise space.

I’ve been lucky enough to work at some of the largest partners there are, as well as at Salesforce themselves.

Before I was a consultant I worked at a supermarket where I did pretty much every role, from data analytics to stacking shelves and collecting trolleys!

SR: What are your responsibilities as a Director of Technical Account Managers at OwnBackup?

AH: The TAMs work with our biggest and most complex customers. My role is to support, enable, motivate and grow this team.

Being a hiring manager is being a custodian and gatekeeper of the company culture and it’s something I take seriously.

The Success organisation at OwnBackup, where my team sits, consists of the Support, Customer Success Managers and Implementation team and we work closely together on all elements of the ‘day to day’. We are continuously looking for ways to make things easier for our customers so there is a lot of collaboration with the rest of the CSG Leadership team.

And I also work closely with the Sales teams to help with go to market materials, and pitching the service. Making sure they have all the information they need to first identify customers who will be more successful with a TAM and then to help customers understand the offering and the benefits that they can expect.

SR: What are some of the key traits you need to succeed as a Technical Account Manager?

AH: It’s a tricky skillset to find in people, and I use the job title to explain why this is:

  • They need to be Technical. To understand OwnBackup, of course, and Salesforce. But also other technologies that play a part in an enterprise landscape. Anything that affects or impacts the data lifecycle
  • They need to be good with their accounts. Their customers. So good at building relationships and trust, getting to know people, businesses and industries.
  • And sometimes they need to be a manager. They need to set milestones and RACIs; hold people accountable and ensure that activity is moving forward.

If I need to answer in one sentence, I would say that they need to be technically curious problem solvers. The current team have different backgrounds but they all have that in common.

SR: What would be the 3 pieces of advice you would give to someone looking to develop their career as a Technical Account Manager?

AH: I think this is true for any career path in customer-facing industries:

  1. Don’t lock in on a single industry. There is undoubtedly a place for industry experts and I am not downplaying that. But today, more than ever, customers are looking to learn lessons that cross industry lines.
  1. Experience and learning both play a role. Don’t fixate on certifications to the detriment of actual project work and customer engagements. Equally don’t ignore certifications as you’re too busy. Both are important to build skills and stay current.
  1. Learn *around* a subject. Salesforce is just one technology after all. Instead of jumping straight into Flow (for instance) take time to understand programmatic principals. Learn about Identity Providers, Data Warehouses, Middleware, encryption and certification providers. Technology doesn’t start or end with any single product or company.

SR: What makes Salesforce such an interesting platform to work in every day?

AH: It’s always different!

There are 180,000+ Salesforce customers and every single one of them is using it in a slightly different way. So although there are lessons that you can learn; that are valid across different customers, there is always something new to consider.

If you’re a Salesforce professional and would like to join Andrew in our Q&A series, please get in touch with us today!

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