In Third Republic’s Salesforce Q&A Series, we speak to industry leaders about what changes they have seen in the Salesforce universe, where they think it is heading, and what this means for those working in the ecosystem today.
We recently caught up with Will Turner, Salesforce CRM Lead @ BW: Workplace Experts. Will took the time to talk with us about his Salesforce career, the importance of getting involved with the Salesforce Community, and the trends and products that he is most excited to see.
Third Republic (TR): Can you give us some background on your Salesforce career?
Will Turner (WT): I have been a Salesforce Admin for almost 5 years. Predominantly working with both Sales Cloud and Pardot products. I then started in a consulting role and moved on to working for Salesforce end-users. With each of my different roles, I have worked across different verticals; Energy, Fitness and Wellbeing, and Construction.
TR: How did you decide on the path you have taken, to become a Senior Administrator?
WT: Prior to Salesforce, my experience has been spent almost exclusively within the business development function, working in a number of verticals. I have held a variety of roles – from Sales to Service, to Account Management and later transitioned into sales support/enablement and sales operations roles. I have identified numerous ways in which to help marketing & sales functions to work more collaboratively in order to improve commercial results. I bought this experience into my Salesforce career, where I have been able to help both functions work collaboratively from a single platform.
TR: What does the average day look like for a Salesforce Senior Administrator?
WT: Typically an average day is spent building relationships with the end-users; whether this is done via re-affirming training/process adherence, troubleshooting issues, helping them build more extensive reports or any activity that helps demystify their perception of using Salesforce. As an Admin it is critical to ensure that your end-users feel empowered to use Salesforce so that they correctly adopt and advocate its use within the business. Happy users = happy Admins, and having that positive relationship encourages users to suggest improvement ideas.
TR: How do you ensure that you continue developing in the ever-changing ecosystem?
WT: There’s no substitute for self-learning, and Trailhead is the obvious place to start. This gives you enough basic knowledge to get familiar with all products and features, however continuing and furthering that knowledge is best done with hands-on practical experience. Experience is without a doubt the best attribute to have on your CV. A consultancy environment is the best place to gain a multi-product experience, however, if you work for an end-user, then learning about the different Salesforce products and how these could add value to your company is the place to start. If you aren’t sure how to ‘sell’ the concept of a new product to your company, then engage with your Salesforce AE and give them all the information.
TR: What advice would you give to someone who is starting their Salesforce career?
WT: Join a local Trailblazer Community Group – learning from other people’s positive and negative experiences, has been the best learning experience I’ve ever had within the Salesforce ecosystem. Networking with people who are in the same role as you is hugely valuable – everyone who attends these groups is willing to share, help and learn. Plus, they’re free to attend, you just have to invest a little of your time. Be resourceful – learn where you can get help and information – Trailhead, Salesforce Documentation, Salesforce Success groups, Circles of Success, Salesforce academies, Trailblazer Community Events (e.g. London’s Calling).
TR: How can people starting out ensure that they stand out from the crowd?
WT: Find a niche and specialise in it. When I entered the Salesforce ecosystem, it was possible for Salesforce professionals to generally specialise in Sales and Service Clouds and be able to stand out from the crowd. This was the time when Salesforce’s marketing automation products were in their infancy, and the niche products (like FSL, CPQ, Commerce/Financial Services Cloud etc) were not offered. Now there is such a range of specific products, it would make sense to become an expert in the area(s) that you are most familiar with and enjoy operating in, in order to be prominent.
TR: How important do you think the Salesforce community is to succeed in the ecosystem?
WT: Massively, the Salesforce community is rapidly expanding as more Trailblazers step forward and create new user groups and events. I know of no other technology that has a community on such a scale or as passionate for genuinely encouraging success, like the Salesforce community.
TR: What emerging trends are you currently seeing in the market?
WT: Einstein – the whole world of AI, simplified and accessible for Salesforce customers; enabling them to harness the power of discovery through data trends, machine learning and most importantly the resulting analytical insights. Salesforce Blockchain – with its focus on clicks-not-code will bring the power of Blockchain to the admin/functional community, enabling Blockchain to be introduced to new markets.
TR: Which of these trends are you excited about implementing?
WT: Einstein – I love data-crunching and delivering visual insights into customer’s data, to enable them to make more informed data-driven decisions
TR: Do you have any further advice for navigating the Salesforce ecosystem?
WT: You can only become more when you develop yourself further – be ambitious and prepared to step outside of your comfort zone in order to grow your potential.