S Eliškou Netopilovou

Můj první podcast – s Michalem Mravináčem – se vám prý moc líbil. A tak tady mám dalšího člověka ze Salesforce. Eliška Netopilová vystudovala diplomacii, k Salesforce se dostala jak slepý k houslím u zákazníka, pak přešla k partnerovi a nakonec přímo do Salesforce. A právě tenhle mix svých životních zkušeností vnímá jako velkou výhodu.

Přechod do Salesforce znamenal i zvětšení projektů, na kterých dělá. Koordinace je výrazně náročnější a současně znamená zpomalení projektu, včetně toho že je potřeba ještě víc přemýšlet o tom co člověk dělá. Hlavně nadnárodní projekty jsou náročné tím jak se problémy multiplikují a člověk musí myslet i na různé zákonné rozdíly.

Quip na projektovou dokumentaci včetně finálních dokumentů, Chatter a Slack na okamžitou komunikaci, aktuálně se vše migruje na Slack. A Slack umí kanály přesouvat do složek, což jsem vlastně dosud nezaregistroval.K tomu na projekty typicky produkty Atlassianu – Jira, Confluence, Bitbucket – na vlastní řízení projektu.

Pozice není až tak důležitá, zajímavější je vědět na kterém projektu člověk dělá. Typicky neimplementují sami, doplňují na projektech partnery a pomáhají jim získat to nejlepší ze Salesforce.

Pozice v Salesforce Professional Services jsou rozdělené na solution a technické:

  • Solution architekt – analyzuje potřeby, navrhuje řešení a současně ho implementuje; orientace na komunikaci s klientem;
  • Senior Solution architekt – komunikuje s managementem, navrhuje high level řešení, připravuje release updaty, neřeší detailní potřeby;
  • Technical architekt – APEX, integrace, nemusí nutně vyvíjet, ale musí umět kód číst;
  • Program architekt – hodně technický člověk, který umí skvěle komunikovat a má přehled i o technologiích mimo Salesforce, hodně seniorní pozice na velkých projektech;
  • Custom Success Specialista – měli by být na projektu ideálně úplně od začátku, měli by mít vazbu na management zákazníka, kam firma směřuje a současně rozumět tomu co se dodává; mají nejsilnější vazbu na produktový management interně; musí být schopni to uřídit na té politické úrovni.

Čím vyšší pozice tím víc se solution a technika prolíná.

Po vzdělávání se musí pídit malinko sami, rozdíl ve zdrojích oproti partnerům asi není až tak velký, jak by člověk čekal.

Může si člověk vybírat na kterém projektu chce dělat? Až tak moc ne, jsou kolečka v systému. Lidé se vybírají podle informací co o sobě zadají v systému. Vazby jsou důležité, lidé se vzájemně na projekty doporučují pokud spolu rádi spolupracují.

Nábor do Salesforce – doporučení věci zjednodušší, potom pohovor s recruiterem a pak začínají kolečka pohovorů, většinou jsou tří fázové – konzultační pohovor, technický pohovor a pokud projde tak je panelový pohovor se 4 – 5 lidmi, kde je i praktická case-study. Co největší množství lidí z různých pozic je právě k dosažení nestrannosti.

A tak pokud chceš do Salesforce i ty, tak pošli Elišce životopis a třeba tě doporučují, a jinak budu rád, pokud se přihlásíš k odběru a případně necháš i zpětnou vazbu. Díky!

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Working From Home, Karen Mangia

Salesforce MVPs get some extra benefits and I’m glad I’m one of them. This year we could order what we want from a special collection, so not only I got a new microphone, so my podcast sounds better, I also got this new book from Karen Mangia about working from home.

New equipment

Actually what new you can learn after 18 months working from home, right? I was surprised how many notes I made while reading the book, so let’s wrap it up here.

Research shows that delays of 1,2 seconds via video will make people perceive a responder as less friendly or focused, when it’s really just their internet connection!

The truth is I’m most likely less friendly or focused, it isn’t just the connection. But jokes aside, I’m really surprised how people complain on their connection all the data even people from countries where I would expect no problems and speedy connection. I love the internal debate we have on chat, where people boost how they have 200Gbps or 500Gbps connection while they still keep their camera off because it is slow, while I’m on my mobile from day 1 and lately limited to 10Mbps and have no problem at all. Maybe except being perceived as arrogant.

But you know what I see every time I look at a piece of sheet music? A lot of white space. Without a pause, music is just a noise. The rests in music aren’t signs that the composer is being lazy – it’s the composer being smart.

This is strong point and something I miss the most. Not having transitions. It is great that I can finish a call, have a lunch with family and go back to another call, but I’m really missing the transition between office and home, between work and family. And no, walk around the house to get this feeling back is not a solution, at least for me. So should I really try to have a dance party before making a dinner?

When you invest in something new, you must divest of something else.

Back-to-back video meetings have suddenly become the new routine. … Is that always-on routine serving you? Putting you at your best?

I remember two changes in my life during Covid. The first one was how suddenly meetings stopped right at the end, not a minute longer. And how much I (still) appreciate it.

The second is one project, where people were not afraid of 15 minutes long meetings, which is awesome, because why spend an hour on something you can solve in 15 minutes. The only problem I immediately noticed was how suddenly even the smallest breaks I had on my calendar disappeared.

Now I’m trying to go to task #2, as I have no problem with rejecting meetings from #1 and #3:

  1. Does it have to be?
  2. Does it have to be me?
  3. Does it have to be me right now?

Spectacular Online Meetings

I love to read all the stories how people improved their home office to look better. Michal’s description is the last I read and really like it even though I don’t really follow the advice. At the beginning of lock-down I bought a standing table and then I got the microphone and light as seen above. No better chair, additional screen or anything other improvement, not really a space to do make something great in our 3+1 flat shared by 5 people.

But I like the idea to rethink your budget – before Covid I would be requested to go to client locations quite often and „what would I spend on that meeting“? Just put those money into your home office setup and it kind of costs you less and improve your delivery a lot.

You cannot do a three-hour working session anymore.

Be human

I must say that I hate voice messages as I need to listen to them and really focus, text is so much easier and quicker to process.

At the same time it is an interesting idea to send a client a video message with a few quick takeaways which you recorded while you walked your dog outside and even had a time to say hi to your neighbour. I mean – so unexpected, human and real, we probably don’t have to pretend we are all business all the time.

Shorten meetings, more to the point, smaller audience.

Unfinished slides which you co-create with the client. Another interesting idea, totally understand the feeling of ownership client will immediately get.

Segment, check-ins, built in breaks, during which you summarise what was agreed so far so there is less miscommunication.

This chapter was really good and full of interesting ideas, takeaways and things you need to be aware of.

Redefining Success in the New Normal

When you see the replies you can immediately feel better (hopefully). Because success is not a title, money or anything else. Success is being happy and it also doesn’t matter whether someone else validated it.

The key to more success is actually less.

Less obligation. Less commitment. Less overreacting. Less pressure. Less discouragement.

And this one is absolutely awesome and I feel I really suck at it.

Success isn’t about repetitively demonstrating that you can push harder, so that you can shove heavier rocks up higher hills. Success is demonstrating that you can get other people to join you in your charge.

Virtual events

Obviously the chapter about virtual events was really interesting to me. We did CzechDreamin, I also helped with Nonprofit Dreamin and in both case I shared the same feeling – why would people pay for it, when there are tons of another events/webinars/videos. And also what is the difference between webinar and event, what really defines it?

And then I read about events who went virtual, still charge hundreds or thousands of dollars for a ticket and their attendance went even higher.

All the platforms are cool, but they don’t make the difference.

Surprisingly no recording can be a solution as people have to focus, not hope to replay later – at the same time attendees don’t really understand why there will be no recording.

Swag box is another big thing, we all love them and when you get them before event … there is not more which can beat it. The only downside, from European perspective, is how expensive the postage can be. We thought about it for CzechDreamin and the costs were higher than the costs of the swags, so it didn’t really make sense to us. Plus all those CO2, right?

In-Person Check-In – are they serious? It looks like a ridiculous idea but I really love especially it for the more expensive events.

Be intentional about not taking every meeting on camera. Take that call while you’re walking around your blok. Get some fresh air, get away from your screen, give your eyes a rest. Give your mind a slight mental reboot. These micro adjustments can have macro impact on how you feel by the end of the day.

Get connected

Connections are everything these days and I know that I struggle with networking. Still some advices here really surprised me.

Avoid connection requests which obscure the true intention behind. Requests such as „Can I pick your brain?“ or „Could we get coffee or virtual coffee?“ Actually I love to send these requests because those are the real reasons, I don’t really plan much further. And immediately offer reciprocity? Introductions I can make, the insights I can share. To me this feels strange and bounding and not sure I would accept such request, because what they really want when they immediately list what all they can do for me?

Write a recommendation – I did it a long time ago, that was a great feeling, to write the recommendation on LinkedIn just because I wanted, not because someone asked. Need to put it on my list again. And it is also super hard I would say.

Get it and read it

Obviously you can buy the book at Amazon and enjoy it yourself. Or if you are based in Czech Republic I’m more that happy to pass it forward, just let me know. Because it is full of interesting ideas and things which will make you stop and think again.

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B2B Solution Architect

Have you heard? There is a new certification and Shoby Abdi greatly summarised what you need to pass it.

This certification makes so much sense and even though you will see B2B Commerce in most questions you don’t really need to know it, I had maybe 4 questions where I could use the knowledge. Which makes it really similar to the B2C Solution Architect, where you didn’t have to know a lot about B2C Commerce features, you cared only about the integration points.

While the name suggest that it might be similar to the B2C architect, just focused on different target group, I would say those two exams are completely different. The B2C Solution Architect referred a lot to B2C Commerce, Marketing Cloud and Service Cloud and you needed more the technical knowledge, understand integration patterns and what is the use case for each system. Plus it has quite weird list of prerequisites.

B2B Solution Architect has simple prerequisites – Application Architect Certification. And I would say it is more about processes, there are questions about project management, how to correctly order the implementation in terms of which products first and which later, what needs to be done when, etc. I would say my preparation for PMP exam helped me a lot.

This credential validates that a B2B Solution Architect can provide guidance, as well as combine guidance from different enterprise architecture viewpoints to create solutions that generate strategic business value for customers, including:

Business: demonstrate business leadership by guiding companies on a multi-cloud solution journey emphasizing differentiating customer experiences

Delivery: drive successful outcomes by advocating for multi-cloud implementation considerations and best practices based on use-case delivery knowledge which spans the Salesforce Customer 360 Vision and Platform

Technical: provide technical leadership by selecting the proper multi-cloud product features that best align with a company’s vision and business value goals

Which makes it also great for those on the CTA journey. Some people might say they want to focus on the CTA exam and do this later on, I would argue to go for this even before CTA because you don’t need extra knowledge and you should be able to pass it as preparation for CTA as it is highly related.

The PLC (for partners) preparation course also has a great section about Business Process Mapping (great job Elements.Cloud), which will explain why process map like this is not sufficient.

Not good enough business process map

Do you know? Well, there is not enough details for each step, it can flow back as well, no idea who are the actors, „happy customer“ is not a process, there is no input to the first box, … In short, there are ways how to make it better so you really understand the proces down the road.

Customers have a problem with slow quoting, uses ticketing system they want to move to Salesforce and wants customers to be able to place orders via website. What will you do first?

a) put together detailed plan for all streams;
b) start with CPQ implementation;
c) implement all clouds together;
d) start with Service Cloud implementation.

A lot of interesting questions you need to think about, some are not as clear as this one. In short – if you feel you know how to manage project, set the right priorities, this is the right certification for you.

Salesforce Certified B2B Solution Architect certification
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About Customer Experience with Eric Dreshfield

Eric Dreshfield, the Kevin Bacon of Salesforce community, short and humble guy who everyone knows. And we were lucky to have him at Prague (even though just virtually) to tell us more about how he got into the Salesforce ecosystem and also about the Customer Experience.

Enjoy podcast with Eric first so you get to know him better and then you can get deeper to find out more about ActiveCampaign.

Eric is in SF world from 2009, 2 years unemployed, got temporary job for 8 weeks in support for IT company, worked two jobs, after 7 months still on the job, HR asked whether he wants to get more money and become full time employee on a position they created for him – BA for launching Service Cloud. He then founded user group and a year later MidwestDreamin and interesting journey since then.

MidwestDreamin probably was not the first community led but the first using the Dreamin name. How it started? No money to send him to Dreamforce but willing to send him if he pays himself, but he rather broad Dreamforce to him. Found hotel which didn’t want downpayment and who were happy to just get his „business“ proposal how much money he can get and how many attendees bring. And people started to talk about it, so he repeated and also wanted to move to bigger city, but it didn’t work out as Salesforce announced their event in similar date and same city. Don’t do it yourself is the most important learning.

Reunion Breakfast started someone else as a starter for those who were first time to Dreamforce, but the following year he overtake as the original founder didn’t work in the SF space anymore. So he just found a restaurant with only one requirement from them – one bill, which he agreed for. $34 000 donated to Project Night Night, who supports homeless children, from 2011 as a result of these activities.

Almost every single position change resulted from connections Eric has, having network might help a lot, hence Kevin Bacon of the Salesforce ecosystem (6 degrees of separation from anyone in the world).

Conferences are not that much about knowledge, he barely scratches the surface of what Salesforce can do, they are more about connections to him.

New admin with admin cert, what should I do next to land my job, learn Marketing Cloud or Pardot? Actually there is also CPQ and Field Service which are hot area with not enough talent, so they can give you a nice boost to start your career.

Why It’s Important to Consider Your Customer’s Experience in Everything You Do

You don’t just sell, you need to budget, track sales, go to events, plan, … how can you manage it all as a small business owner?

75 % of consumers are more likely to make a purchase from a company that knows their name and purchase history.

Customer experience is a challenge as people tell 10 others about negative experience but can be also multiplier as customers increase the purchasing with positive experience.

Customer Experience can be Challenge as well as Multiplier

Customer Experience Automation – treat every customer as your most important customer no matter how many of them you have.

Personalization is first step in marketing automation, and right, marketing automation might be a bit of extra content you need to create, but it does wonders to upsell and cross-sell. And as you create the content just once and use again and again it really should save work.

ActiveCampaign integration with Salesforce is around a bit more than a year and the company has roughly 150 000 customers. Managed package available on AppExchange integrated with leads, contacts and accounts, primary customers are B2B companies.

It has the ability to sync any standard and custom field and have a component which visualise the activities on Salesforce side – completed automations, site tracking, email opens and more – and also let them act on the customers, such as put them into specific journey, so sales people doesn’t have to access AC at all.

ActiveCampaign inside Salesforce

And the automations looks awesome, I have to wonder why even use Salesforce native tools and not go with ActiveCampaigns. Scoring, website integration, creation in Salesforce only when lead is ready, assignment rules support, pre-build automations you can just use and not create from scratch. Actually, the reason might be that custom objects, campaigns or opportunities are not supported yet, but will be.

14 days free trial, 20 % discount to non-profits, no time to waste, go and test it.

Check the slides or recording.

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Salesforce User Experience Designer Certification

Certified User Experience Designer badge

New kid on the block aka new pokemon (as Tomas said at CzechDreamin) aka certification which created a lot of buzz lately.

And also certification which I would say is better when learning than when passing as you can pass it with just Platform App builder experience, I would say. But maybe I was just lucky with questions.

The Salesforce UX Designer credential is intended for individuals who are aspiring or experienced designers wanting to build and design human-centered experiences on the Salesforce Platform.

The learning trailmix is pretty awesome, I passed most of the modules a while ago and really enjoyed the learning process. The last module I did was „Writing for Web Accessibility“ which is a topic I never really paid much attention to, always thought that font size, contract, image descriptions (this is a big topic as well), and right use of headings are the most important part. Surprisingly, there is more to do and suddenly I don’t know how to express myself. Are you able to describe what is where on screen when you cannot use left, right, above and below?

To maximize the experience for visually impaired users, avoid terms that require the user to physically see the layout or design of the page in order to understand the content. This includes words that refer to color, size, shape, or location to enhance comprehension. You can use these descriptors, but don’t rely solely on this type of language to be understood. 

Next great article was about charts. It is so simple to choose the right one to show your data on dashboard, right? Actually not and even though I know it before I was still surprised with all the biases we can pass just by poor choice of graph. Also reminded me of the podcast with John Demby how Tableau didn’t have a pie chart because it is against all good practices.

Surprisingly you also need to know about SLDS, where you can find details about it, and its naming conventions. I felt as half developer at this moment.

I got a few questions about contrast, font size or which research methodology to use, but surprisingly I got also more than enough about how to use path, page layouts, lightning pages and a few other things.

At the end I passed and I agree with everyone who says it is an important certification and we should push ourselves and customers to be better in this area.

Salesforce UX Experience Designer Certification
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