The Salesforce Admins podcast features real-life Salesforce Admins, product managers, and community leaders who transform businesses, careers, and community with clicks, not code. This 20min (sometimes a bit more) weekly podcast hosted by Gillian Bruce features Interview and Insight episodes to empower Salesforce Admins who are implementing Enterprise CRM solutions. There may be some (digital) confetti. For more than our most recent episodes, go to https://admin.salesforce.com/salesforce-admin-podcast.
Here's the Latest Episode from The Salesforce Admins Podcast – Gillian Bruce:
This week on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we’ve got Tiffany Spencer, COO of Esor Consulting Group and the founder of HBCUforce. We learn how she helps students gain the experience they need to land their first Salesforce job.
Join us as we talk about why process and solving is key to working in tech, how to gets hands-on experience with superbadges and case studies, and some great tips for networking effectively.
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Tiffany Spencer.
Producing an impossible report
Tiffany says she does everything, and she’s really not kidding. “I’m a consultant, a CRM manager, a business architect, a solution architect—it kind of depends on who you ask that day,” she says, “a big part of it is working with individuals that I train and helping them understand how to better utilize the Salesforce platform and how to continue on their journey.”
Tiffany started as an admin for a small land development company after only a week of training and quickly became all things Salesforce for her organization. “It was a really great position where I was able to play many roles,” she says, “I was the admin, I was the BA, the project manager, the architect, the trainer, and that sink-or-swim moment set the tone for all of my other positions.” She went on to several roles as both an admin and later a business analyst.
The craziest part about her whole journey is that that first job never mentioned Salesforce in the job description. Little did she know that her chance encounter with the platform would shape her entire career.
Bringing Salesforce to Students
Tiffany is the founder of HBCUforce, a nonprofit organization that partners with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to create programs that provide early access to cloud computing careers through exposure to Salesforce and their partners. She got the idea about two years ago when she visited her alma mater, Bethune-Cookman University, and decided to pop in a classroom. She started talking with some students about their career plans and explained to them what she does, and when she saw their interest she realized she could work with the school to create a program to show them exposure to everything a career in Salesforce can offer.
While many students aspire to land a position at Microsoft or Google, Tiffany’s found that they don’t often know that Salesforce is just as big (and innovative) of a company. Not only that, but 97% of Fortune 100 companies use the platform. In technology, it’s really about processes. Tiffany always tells students, “I’m not a coder, you don’t have to be a coder or a programmer or a developer to be in technology. There are all these other pieces of the puzzle that help developers do their job that you can be involved in.”
Getting Your First Salesforce Job
When you’re looking to get your first Salesforce job, Tiffany has a few tips that she’s seen work for her mentees. For one thing, you can do case studies and superbadges to get some hands-on experience. The other thing that really helps is getting familiar with Agile, whether that’s using a tool like Jira or Trello or even reading the Agile Manifesto.
Tiffany also tries to give her mentees opportunities to tackle real-life problems by bringing them into her pro-bono projects. If you don’t have a Tiffany in your life (yet), there are still ways to seek out something to get you started. “There are plenty of Tiffanys in the Salesforce ecosystem,” she says, “people are more than willing to guide and help so the first thing to do is to get involved with the community.” Start with your local community group, or organizations like PepUp Tech or Salesforce Military. “There’s not a shortage of people doing amazing things,” she says, “so you just got to get out there and start networking and connecting.”
- Salesforce Admins: @SalesforceAdmns
- Tiffany: @TheTiffSpencer
- Gillian: @GillianKBruce
- Mike: @MikeGerholdt
Full Show Transcript
Welcome to the Salesforce Admins Podcast where we talk about product, community, and careers to help make you an awesome admin. I’m Gillian Bruce.
And I’m Mike Gerholdt.
And today we are talking to Tiffany Spencer, who does all of the things in Salesforce. She is the Chief Operating Officer of SR Consulting Group, and she is also the founder of HBCUforce. She’s based in Orlando, Florida, and I wanted to get her on the podcast to share something she’s very passionate about and some things that she has to help all of you who are maybe seeking your first admin job. So, without further ado, let’s welcome Tiffany to the podcast.
Tiffany, welcome to the podcast.
Thank you so much for having me.
We’re thrilled that you can join us. And I wanted to give you an opportunity to introduce yourself a little bit to our listeners. Can you tell us what you do?
I do everything. No. So, on several places it says Salesforce.com Superhero, but I am a consultant, a CRM manager, a business architect, a solution architect, it kind of depends on who you ask that day. And so, at this point, I have been able to kind of create just a mix of roles and day to day things that I do, and a big part of it is working with individuals that I train and helping them understand how to better utilize the Salesforce platform and how to continue on their journey.
Wow. So, you do all of the things. So, you know all of the Salesforce things, right?
All the things, everything except for developers. Whatever they do, I don’t know that.
That’s okay. That’s why there’s lots of them we can work with, right?
So, now that you told us that you basically can do all of the things, can you give us a little brief overview of your journey and kind of how you got there?
Sure. So, I started as an admin for a small land development company. The job title was actually business analyst and my very first week at the job, they sent me to the week long admin training and I became the Salesforce administrator. I was not familiar with Salesforce and I became all the things to that company. And so, it was a really great position where I was able to play many roles. So, I was the admin, I was the BA, I was the project manager, the architect, the trainer. And of course at the time, I didn’t know I was putting on all of those hats, but kind of my very first role for almost two years, I was everything Salesforce and that kind or sink or swim moment is how I started my career, and it kind of set the tone for, I think, all of my other positions.
So, from there, I went on to do a few more admin roles, and then I went into some business analyst roles, actually had to work for a really large corporation, I worked for a global company. So locally here, there’s a company that… They’re in, I don’t know, four countries and I was able to work in their org and they used everything from territory management to advanced currency management. And I think that was my second or third position.
And then I got to go be a BA at SunTrust now Truist. And of course, being a BA in a large corporation, in a Salesforce organization, that was a whole different hat, a new experience. And so, I’ve just been able to be a part of so many different organizations that do very different things, which makes me just this really weird mesh of a person, which naturally, is why I went into consulting.
I wouldn’t call it weird mesh. I will ask, so the first position you mentioned intrigues me, you said it was land management?
Yeah. They were a land development company.
Okay. And it was a business analyst?
So did you know you were going to be working in Salesforce? I think a lot of the people in the community that Gillian and I talk with, “I’m applying for a Salesforce admin job. What should I look for?” Based on your description, that first job, but I wouldn’t know that Salesforce was included in it.
It definitely wasn’t included in it. And in 2007 or six somewhere back then, it definitely wasn’t.
Back when we used to count date and time.
Yes. It definitely didn’t say Salesforce Business Analyst, it literally just said Business Analyst.
I don’t even think that Salesforce came up in the interview or the job description, anything.
Wow. So, you got the job and then all of a sudden, “Hey, by the way, you’re going to also learn Salesforce.”
Yes. So, it was like, “Surprise! You’re the person.” I was the admin. And on top of that, that company actually went through a reorg. So, they were moving from Atlanta to Orlando, where I am, and some of the executives that made the initial decisions about Salesforce were not moving with the company. And so, I got to do not only the go live in training, but then I got to do a re-implementation when all the new executives said, “But I think Salesforce should do this.”
Well, there you go, learning quickly, right?
I mean, just get getting it all under your belt super fast.
Yes. And my customer success manager, I think that’s what they were called at the time, whoever that was was amazing. I don’t know who you are, but if you worked with a company and someone eight years ago in Orlando, it was me and you were amazing.
I feel like we could totally have like a retro Oprah Winfrey moment where we, “We have that customer success major on the line with us right now!”
That would be so awesome! [crosstalk 00:06:52]-
“Joining us from Tampa Bay.” We don’t, sorry. We had known that earlier. We were better podcast.
Yeah, would have been awesome.
Yes. I owe that person everything. Literally, they were like my lifeline. I’m like, “They’re asking me how to do this look up field or whatever.” And totally just was on the phone with my CSN like every week.
So when you got started with that land management company, and I don’t mean to be stuck there, but it sounds like business analyst was a huge part of what you did prior to being at that company or was something you were definitely predisposed to. Do you find that working with Salesforce, that’s a large part of your job?
I think so. I think once you get past being excited about just knowing how to create the field and add the field to the page layout, then you take the next step of, “Why am I adding this field? Are you sure we need it?” And I think that’s how you naturally move down kind of the BA kind of path there or add that skill set to the admin skillset.
So, one of the things, Tiffany, that you also do in addition to all of your Salesforce hats is, you are very active in the community and you have created something pretty awesome that I’d love to learn a little bit more about, and it’s called HBCUforce. Can you tell us a little bit about what that is and what you’re doing with all that?
Yes. If you could see me, I’m a smiling ear to ear, but-
We can hear your smile.
Yeah. HBCUforce is a nonprofit organization that partners with Historically Black Colleges and Universities, HBCUs, to implement programs that provide early access to cloud computing careers through exposure to Salesforce and their partners.
Okay. So, that sounds amazing. You have a huge passion for this, I am hearing your smile through the headphones I have on. Tell me a little bit about kind of your motivation behind doing that, what some of the activities are that are happening in that space. Because I’m very intrigued and I want to know more and I even know what our listeners probably do too.
Yeah. So, I started about two years ago, I’m very active at my alma mater and I was visiting a classroom, I like to pop in and, because it’s a smaller school, I keep in touch with the professors there. And I was talking with some students, some computer science and computer information system students, and just asking them about their career plans. They were probably sophomores, juniors, and they had all these, I don’t want to say random, but just various career paths. And I asked them about being a consultant or be in a business analyst. I explained to them what I do and they were just were not as familiar with Salesforce as I would have hoped, nor were they kind of familiar with like what a BA is or what a consultant is.
And so, I started talking to them about Salesforce and about what I do and the opportunities there. And they were really interested and I wanted to continue to share just all the amazing opportunities that a career in the Salesforce ecosystem could give them. And so, I started working with Bethune-Cookman University for a few months, and then I took that model and decided to take that same information to other HBCUs.
So I think one of the things that was interesting that you said is that you were shocked that students didn’t really know about Salesforce. I run into that. I think a lot of us who are so in deep with the Salesforce bubble probably have that happen to us a lot where we were like, “Oh yeah, Salesforce, blah, blah, blah.” And then someone’s like, “Wait, what? You mean salespeople? I don’t understand.” So, can you-
Yeah. I mean, it’s crazy, right? But I bet that moment of realizing like, “Okay, so these people don’t even know about these opportunities in this whole industry.” Can you talk to us a little bit about kind of how you usually approach that? Because I think everyone listening is probably already in the Salesforce bubble, so help us get some tips on how to let people know, who don’t know, about Salesforce and the ecosystem and opportunities there.
So one of the first things I usually say to just kind of get their attention is that Salesforce is as big of a company as Microsoft and Google. When I try to explain just the sheer size and the impact of Salesforce, I mean, I want them to know that, hey, students look at Google and Microsoft as the places to be, and I want them to understand that Salesforce is right there, you definitely want to be there.
So I start with that. And then I always like to tell the cool story about the app store, that Salesforce had the first app store. We actually gave the app store to Apple.
Yeah, that’s fun Salesforce trivia that very few people know.
And so, since I was like, “Oh wow, really?” Really, it’s true. And then I like to tell students, and anyone I meet, that 97% of the fortune 100, those companies use Salesforce, that it’s used across all of the top companies in the world, especially here in Orlando. Disney’s everything, so I tell them, “The mouse uses Salesforce.” So, that makes it special.
When you’re talking with students, obviously we can all think back to when we were in college and just trying to be exposed to different things, do you find some students have a certain predisposition to be more interested in tech that would lead them into working with technology or understanding that? I remember way, way back thinking, as you looked at different careers, some careers were better if you were able to think in 3D, as they called it. If you’re putting Lego blocks together versus being able to think in math, like writing code.
Yeah. I’ve run across different students. So definitely students that are interested in math, but students that are interested in processes, students that like to think a little bit deeper around how things work or want to put the pieces of something together, I think, tend to be more steered toward technology. And then, I always tell people, sometimes they think about technology as coding and they can’t wrap their mind around coding. And I always try to encourage students that, “I’m not a coder, you don’t have to be a coder or programmer or developer to be in technology.” That there are all these other pieces of the puzzle that make developers… That help them do their jobs. And so, there’s pieces before and after the fact that you can still be involved in.
And just a general liking of technology. So I just like technology. When I was younger, I participated in many summer camps where you took apart the computer and took apart the computer board and put it back together. I don’t know if that sounds nerdy, but it was fun to me.
Not nerdy on this podcast.
So yeah, I think those students that have that curiosity of how things work with businesses and business processes, and I think they kind of have a general leaning toward technology type careers.
I mean, it kind of also speaks to how fast technology moves. If you look in the last few decades, it went from… You see the first Apple computer and that was technology, and that was exactly what you explained, to now technology is using WiziWig and online builders, like Flow, to automate things. Yeah.
So, Tiffany, I’d love to hear a little bit about kind of HBCUforce, some of the students you meet are actually kind of getting exposed to Salesforce and going through training, do you have any stories that you want to share maybe about some of the early successes that might be happening with this organization?
Yeah. So, one of my very first students that… In the beginning, I had a group of like five students that I bribed them with pizza and said, “If you just come sit at my dining room table then we could do Trailhead.” And they did it.
Hey, college kids are starving, right?
And so, those guys and my husband, we would sit at my dining room table because it was summer and school was out, so I couldn’t do it at the school. But one of those students, Ryan Williams, who is now a senior, he started when he was a sophomore. We took a field trip to Coastal Cloud, which is about 30 minutes from the school. And Coastal Cloud did an amazing half a day for them, where the CEO, Tim, like, “Tell them about what a consultant does, and let me tell you about Coastal Cloud.” And they did this really cool demo with some Ferrari dealership or something where they were showing them how this works. I don’t know what it was, but it was really cool and then offered my students a chance to intern there.
So Ryan is interning with Coastal Cloud for probably two summers now, and during his school year, he just passed his admin certification a few months ago. And so, he’ll graduate from college as a certified admin with two years of hands on consulting experience.
That’s so awesome! Congratulations!
So, just think about how valuable he is to a partner now, or any customer. But specifically, if you think about the partner ecosystem, how they would love to hire new grads, but then they’re like, “But they’ve never worked at a consulting company. They’ve never worked with a client. They don’t know how an enterprise project works.” But Ryan does.
Yeah. That’s amazing. And I think a lot of people who are passionate about being in the Salesforce community try to kind of bridge and solve that gap like you just described. And so I think, that’s incredible that you’ve had that success and I know it’s so early and it’s just one story there’s going to be so many more. One of the things you mentioned is, when people apply for those first jobs, they say, “Oh, you don’t have experience with this. And you don’t have hands on experience.” Talk to us a little bit about that in terms of… You said Trailhead was one of the things you were doing with the students, but it’s more than that. So you talked about how they got the internship, but what are some things that help you prepare to get that first Salesforce first job that aren’t just Trailhead or before you get that internship?
Yeah. So I think, there’s a lot of different areas and things that I try to touch along with students or anyone in the community that I train. So, one is definitely getting a lot… Doing the super badges and case studies to get some hands on experience. I like to bring in the individuals that I’m training and some of my nonprofit pro-bono projects, or even paid clients as a resource so that they get some good hands on experience that they can include on their resume so that they have the experience of working on a project or working as an admin and kind of getting those questions and learning how to go to Google and go to all of the Salesforce resources to look up an answer and go down the help document rabbit hole that we love. That’s really important to know how to do.
The second thing is, I have students who use JIRA or Trello so that they get familiar with Agile and even reading the Agile manifesto or reading some books on Agile and Scrum, I think, is really helpful because everybody’s doing some version of that somewhere.
Yeah. I mean, those are two things I think are really important, and one of the things that I loved you point out is the importance of Agile. I mean, we use it at Salesforce, I think every tech company anyone’s encountered, as you said, uses some version of it. I mean, that’s a whole different kind of skillset to learn. I remember, gosh, I think I took a project management course in college that we spent the entire semester learning about Waterfall and I remember talking to a friend who was at a-
It’s a semester you’re never going to get back, Gillian.
Total waste of time! And I remember talking to a friend who was working at it at a venture capital company that was in the tech space, and I was describing what I was doing. And I was like, “This is great. I’m going to get the certification.” They’re like, “Yeah, don’t do that.”
You know what? You got to listen to TLC and just don’t go chasing waterfalls.
That’s what I was thinking in my head-
Yeah, you were.
… when you said Waterfall.
Everyone else was.
Please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to.
Well, that took a turn. Now I’m going to have TLC in my head all day. [crosstalk 00:21:28]-
Mike, are you doing a dance with your shoulders and [crosstalk 00:21:32]-
Oh yeah. Yeah, there’s a reason that this is an audio podcast. Let me tell you.
Oh my goodness. That’s awesome. Well, the other thing, Tiffany, that you mentioned that I think is something I’d love to maybe dive in a little bit more is the idea of you’ve been able to give opportunities to these students to actually work on real life problems. So, if you maybe don’t have a Tiffany in your life, how would you kind of seek out some of those opportunities?
Yeah. So, there’s plenty of Tiffany’s in the Salesforce ecosystem. People are more than willing to kind of guide and help. And so, I think one of the first things you have to do is get involved with the community. So, get involved with your local community group, join one of the many different just groups out there. Like Pep Up Tech has a ton of different trainings that they offer, and if you’re a veteran then Salesforce Military has a lot of programs. I mean, there’s just so many groups to get involved. I always tell people, between the community groups, the chatter groups or the community groups, and Twitter and LinkedIn. I mean, you can definitely find someone somewhere. There’s just not a shortage of people doing amazing things. So you just got to get out there and start networking and connecting for sure.
So, Tiffany, let me ask you to kind of go one level deeper on that. Because I hear that a lot and I know Gillian’s heard that a lot and, truth be told, when we speak at universities or do training sessions with cohorts, we tell people to get involved. What is one thing that they can do to get involved? Because I think they hear that a lot, “No, I’ve got to get involved.” And then they either go to the Trailblazer community or they go to Twitter and they’re like, “I don’t know what to do.”
So, I think you have to identify someone that you connect with or you think you might connect with, or maybe identify five of them, but find someone and in reach out to them instead of a meeting, whoever answers first. I get inbox messages all the time and I take the time to respond to people. So I think one, I think you should reach out to someone to set up a meeting, especially the Trailhead mentor program. But then I think us, in the ecosystem, if we can take out the time to then respond and kind of guide those people. Otherwise, you’re right. I mean, I don’t know how you would start without having someone to kind of answer questions and a lot of what I do, I try to record, or I try to put it into a blog post to be able to answer a lot of the questions I get all the time, but I always make myself available for like a 15 minute meeting as well.
That’s good advice. Thank you.
That’s really good advice. And I think, for those maybe who aren’t looking for that first job, but as you mentioned, if you’re already in the community, take that five minutes to respond to that message. It can mean a lot to somebody. And I think, Tiffany, you are the epitome of how generous the community can be, and I think maybe folks who are in the community, but not sure how to contribute, it’s as simple as that, being available.
Yeah, it really is everything to someone because I think we take for granted how… We’re just used to the ecosystem. We’re used to logging into Trailhead and knowing what all the links mean and all the community groups are. But if you just imagine someone new and they’re logging into the community groups for the first time and seeing 100 chatter groups they can join, then finding their first community group, and, “What does this even mean?” I mean, it’s overwhelming, honestly.
It’s a nice problem to have, but it is a problem to have, right?
So just don’t take that for granted, somebody may just need a little bit of direction.
Yeah. Tiffany, as we kind of wrap things up and there’s admins out there looking for their first job, maybe it’s with a land management company, what are some of the tips that you would give people for getting their first admin job?
So I tell people that don’t look for job titled Salesforce admin. There are a lot of companies even here in Orlando that use Salesforce but don’t have an entry level position called Salesforce admin. Sometimes it’s just called something else. And so, instead, it’s better to just do a keyword search for Salesforce. I don’t even do salesforce.com. I do a key word search for Salesforce and sometimes even for just CRM and sometimes SFDC, because again, depending on the company and how new they are to Salesforce, job descriptions can be interesting.
And so, I think you’ll find a lot more results that come back with more entry level positions where maybe you’re utilizing Salesforce, maybe you’re helping someone in the company runs Salesforce [inaudible 00:27:08] to be more like a power user, and I think that’s a good first job until you find an admin job, because sometimes there just isn’t one. The second thing is, have a lot of alerts setup’s, so LinkedIn alerts, Indeed alerts, and as soon as you see a job, you should really try to apply within the first day or two. So, those are my very first admin job tips.
Those are great.
Those are great. And I love your point about, don’t worry about the title. We have seen a zillion different titles for essentially Salesforce admin jobs. So that’s a really good tip.
Yeah. I’ve seen everything but junior Salesforce admin, everything.
Yeah. I don’t think I’ve actually seen anyone officially have a top job title of junior Salesforce admin.
Yep, it’s not called that, I promise.
That’s great. Well, Tiffany, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us and share your passion about HBCUforce and what you’re doing to help students get exposed and included in the amazing Salesforce job space, and for sharing some really valuable tips as well. So, I really appreciate you. Thank you.
So it was great to meet with Tiffany and to hear all of the things that she’s doing around HBCUforce, and her passion and excitement totally comes through with everything that we discussed about. So three things I learned in our quick discussion with Tiffany. The first, process and solving, or kind of understanding how things work, was really key to what she sees in a lot of the students she works with and in herself for working with Salesforce. And I have to agree. I mean, I think it’s why we probably use Lego bricks in a lot of the analogies that we talk about.
The next thing, and this is so relevant to a lot of the conversations I’ve been having, is doing super badges and reading case studies to get even more hands on experience. And then of course, when it comes to connecting, you’re probably going to hear this a lot, like, “Oh, connect to people in the ecosystem or reach out to people on social.” I love her suggestion of find and follow at least five people that you feel you could connect with. And it could be connecting with them, “Hey, they do Salesforce. And they also like this other thing that I like.” Maybe it’s cooking Food Network stuff or whatever. I don’t know, but I love her suggestion with finding five people. It’s a very tactical thing you can do.
And then the last thing that I learned, in terms of looking for a Salesforce admin job, or looking at your Salesforce admin career, you don’t have to look for the job title per se. Excellent, excellent suggestion is instead, do a keyword search on Salesforce or CRM. She has a few other suggestions, but look at all the things that, that position entails and that’s really how you can kind of grow your responsibility and grow more of what you’re in charge of. And you can be, I believe Tiffany referred to herself as a Salesforce superhero, so I kind of like that term, we’ll run with that.
And of course, if you want to learn about more things Salesforce and Salesforce admin go to admin.salesforce.com to find more resources. And just a reminder, if you love what you’re hearing, please pop on over to iTunes, give us a review, it helps admins find our podcast, it brings the podcast closer to the top of the iTunes listing so that more admins, like the ones that Tiffany works with, can listen to our podcast, get great tips and we can help more people succeed.
You can stay up to date with us on social for all things admins. We are @Salesforceadmns, No, I. Our guest today was Tiffany Spencer, and you can find her on Twitter. There’s a pretty cool name @thetiffspencer. I am Mike Gerholdt on Twitter, you can find me @mikegerholdt, I tried to keep it simple. And our host today, Gillian is @gilliankbruce. So with that, stay safe, stay awesome, and stay tuned for the next episode, because we’ll see you In the cloud.
The post How to Get Your First Salesforce Job with Tiffany Spencer appeared first on Salesforce Admins.
This week on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we talk with John Demby, Lead Creative Strategist at Tableau. Join us as we talk about how Tableau got its start with Pixar, the amazing things people are doing on Tableau Public, and how to start tinkering with this powerful tool today.
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with John Demby.
Producing an impossible report.
John first found out about Tableau while he was working in pre-sales at a Salesforce customer. He wanted to create a report to see where people were spending their time, but was running into problems with one company, in particular, that was in their org seventy different times because of all their different legal entities.
“With the tools I had in Salesforce, I couldn’t produce a report,” John says, which is how he came across Tableau. “Within 15 minutes, I had a dashboard I couldn’t have had before,” he says. He was able to group data, create aliases and hierarchies, all with a simple drag-and-drop interface. When he was looking for a new opportunity and Tableau became a possibility, it was a no-brainer.
Bringing better data visualizations to everyone.
Pat Hanrahan, Tableau’s Chief Scientist, originally started at Pixar developing the RenderMan Interface, which helps translate data into visuals. Behind Tableau is the idea of automatically rendering data using design best practices to create the clearest visual representation possible. “Tableau doesn’t ask you, ahead of time, to pick a chart type,” John says, “based on your actions and what you’re doing and how you interact with the interface, it figures out what the best chart type is for what you’re trying to do.”
As Tableau has grown, the community has played a big role in driving innovation. There’s all sorts of community-driven content, not just for business reporting but visualizations for Game of Thrones or the Marvel Universe. “The community has really helped us take Tableau to the next level,” John says, “they’re the ones who have helped us find all of the uses cases and all of the goodness and the ability to discover data that has transformed Tableau into what it is today.”
How Tableau makes a positive impact.
As an organization, Tableau is really focused on having a positive impact on their community through the Tableau Foundation, working to overcome everything from poverty, inequity, and climate change, to global health issues. “Early on, we realized that getting Tableau in the hands of students and teachers was really critical,” John says, and so they offer free one-year licenses for K-college.
Listen to the full episode for all of the amazing things you can do with Tableau, but the bottom line is that they’re focused on helping you see and understand your data better. “There’s no other way to explore data unless you can see it,” John says, and Tableau helps you dig deeper than you ever thought possible.
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Full Show Transcript
Mike Gerholdt: Welcome to the Salesforce Admins Podcast where we talk about product, community, and careers to help you become an awesome admin. I’m Mike Gerholdt.
Gillian Bruce: And I’m Gillian Bruce.
Mike Gerholdt: And joining us today is John [Demby] from Tableau, to talk about all the amazing things that Tableau can do. And I got to tell you, we really geek out in this episode because there’s a lot of fun stuff for admins to learn, and understand, and get into some visualizations. We’ll share those in the show notes. So, with that, let’s get John on the podcast.
So John, welcome to the podcast.
John Demby: Thanks. Thanks for having me.
Mike Gerholdt: It was so much fun working with you and the Tableau team for TrailheaDX. I told Gillian, as a follow up we had to get you on the podcast. Had to hear your story about how you got started with Tableau and some of the amazing things that are going on in the Tableau community. And then just us chatting before we even pressed record, I’m like, “There is so many neat things that we have to talk about. This could be a 17 part podcast.” Gillian, this could be an entire season.
John Demby: Yeah, yeah. We just keep bringing John back for more, more fun. Yeah.
Mike Gerholdt: It’s the John Demby Tableau corner.
John Demby: Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: I mean, it could be a thing.
Mike Gerholdt: Right, I think it should be. So John, let’s get started. For those who didn’t see you at TrailheaDX virtually, haven’t met you, kind of, where did you get started? How did you get started using Tableau?
John Demby: Yeah, so I’ve been with Tableau for almost four years now. But my journey started back in, it was a Salesforce journey. I was a Salesforce customer working at another software company. I was in presales just like I have been here at Tableau. And I led a team that was a global team, and we logged our time in Salesforce. So just like you’re used to using Sales Cloud. We’d have accounts, we’d have opportunities, I’d have my guys and gals actually log their time against this. And then I’d want to see a report just to see where we were spending our time. Well, the problem was probably like a lot of people encounter, companies have lots of different names, and so sometimes those companies are in your Salesforce or once, twice, in this case there was a company that had three letters that starts with an I that was in our Salesforce work 70 different times because they’re 70 different legal entities.
And I couldn’t, just with the tools I had in Salesforce, produce a report that let me see where we were spending our time. And so, a Google search, and this was seven years ago. I did a Google search, the first thing that came back was Tableau, never heard of it. Downloaded it. Installed it on my computer. Took a export out of Salesforce and opened it up into Tableau. And within 15 minutes, I had a dashboard that I could not have had before. It actually allowed me to group data, create aliases, all this kind of stuff, hierarchies, drag and drop. And then best of all, Tableau’s built with a lot of visual best practices so, it didn’t even ask me what kind of chart or vis it wanted, it just showed it to me. I just clicked on it and it’s like, “Wow, okay, I see a little bar chart, this is where my guys are spending their time.”
So that’s my Tableau story and Salesforce story. And then fast forward, I was looking to do something different and the stars aligned, and then minute Tableau came on my radar I knew that’s where I wanted to go, so.
Gillian Bruce: That’s awesome. I mean I love how you describe what a lot of admins do, right? Is they Google, they try to find solutions, trying to figure out how to make this work. But, the fact that you landed on Tableau and were so quickly able to kind of get what you needed out of it. I mean I can hear the, “Ha, ha. I kind of fell in love with this at first site.” In your story.
John Demby: Oh yeah, and then as we started looking for other things to use it within that particular company, next thing you know our sales ops people are using Tableau. Some of our sales teams are using it to look at different things. I believe we even started doing some forecast reports in Tableau. Again, for the same reasons, because they were able to aggregate and quickly combine data, and different data sources in Tableau in a way that they just hadn’t been able to do before.
Mike Gerholdt: I think, and that to me was the really cool part is, in seeing the visualization, kind of the demo that you did for TrailheaDX. And then talking with you now, a lot of what I would deal with as an admin is, there’s a lot of structured data that we have in Salesforce, and then there’s also, because it’s Tuesday, an executive decides to throw you a curveball of, I need all of this structured data in Salesforce. And then, oh by the way, I have all this other kind of unstructured data that so and so’s been keeping in a spreadsheet and I got to put it all together. And watching you walk through that visualization and combining that data, that to me was just the neatest part. I also thought, in talking things through with you, the one thing that you said Tableau didn’t render for the longest time was a pie chart.
John Demby: Oh yeah, yeah. In fact we reluctantly were drug to that thing.
Mike Gerholdt: Tell me why. Because everything else in the world has a pie chart as the default choice.
John Demby: So, it’s really simple. I mean, if you’re going to compare really in essence, more than two things. So if I’m going to look at something and I’ve got three attributes, or something like that. So maybe I’ve got three regions of a country or something like that. The minute you go to a pie chart, you can’t visually discern the size differences. But if I convert that to bar chart which is a best practice, I can very easily see that one bar is slightly larger than another bar, but on a pie chart I can’t see that, or a donut chart, I’ll throw that in the same category.
And so that was one of the reasons that Tableau, just because it wasn’t a visual best practice, didn’t support pie charts. And so later we did, we have added those and stuff like that. But it’s a visual that you won’t see on a lot of Tableau dashboards just because most of our community realizes that a better visual to compare more than two, or more than three things, or three or more things, would be a tree map even would be better than a pie chart, so.
Gillian Bruce: So you’re saying people should go on a pie chart diet.
John Demby: Yeah, yeah. Actually, that’s the quickest thing you’ll see a lot of people go is like, “Oh no.” A lot of times I’ll see a customer’s dashboard and the first thing I see is 15 pie charts and I’m like, “Okay, let’s step back from the ledge of the pie charts here for just a second.”
Mike Gerholdt: What, are you opening up a bakery over here?
John Demby: Yeah.
Mike Gerholdt: Is this a dashboard or a bakery?
John Demby: Yeah, there you go, so.
Gillian Bruce: So, let’s back up just for a second John. So I know you are clearly a Tableau expert, a leader, can you give kind of a high level overview for admins who maybe have heard Tableau but really have no idea what it is and how it interacts? You talked about how you couldn’t get what you wanted from the native kind of Salesforce reporting tools. Can you kind of give a high level overview for admins about what Tableau is and how it interacts with kind of the core features of Salesforce that admins are used to?
John Demby: Yeah, and I’m going to take a one step back, because there’s something that makes Tableau different than anything else that’s out there. And it’s kind of how Tableau was built on the ground up. So when Tableau first came to market, it really was around 1999, 2000. It was really born out of Stanford. One of the cofounders and creators of Tableau worked for a really small kind of movie company, animation company. You might have heard of it, called Pixar. And he was one of the cofounders of an application called RenderMan. And he is what makes Pixar Pixar. So it’s a whole idea of taking data and rendering it visually.
And so then what happened there at Stanford was, they started looking at other data. Could they build a system that would automatically render best practices, look at data, and give it to you in a visual way. And so that’s where Tableau kind of came out of. And it was a different way of just looking at just mounds and mounds of data, but to look at it from a visual perspective. And it’s one of the reasons why when you use Tableau, and you start exploring your data, one of the things you’ll find out very quickly is Tableau doesn’t ask you ahead of time to pick a chart type. It actually, based on your actions, and what you’re doing, and how you interact with the interface, it figures out what the best chart type is for what you’re trying to do.
And so, when you add all that in to just data exploration. Just connecting to data and trying to understand and get insights from your data, that ability to have a helper, or a tool, or a platform like Tableau that just lets you almost immediately see those insights, and find things, and outliers, and things that you didn’t know about. And then with other clicks, make things interactive. To me it’s one of those things that if I’m an admin, I want in my toolkit. I want to be able to, when I get some data, be it either Salesforce data or any other data, and somebody asks me to explain what’s going on, Tableau is really going to give me that edge up where I can see that data very quickly. So that’s kind of my thought in why an admin and stuff would be really interested in Tableau.
Gillian Bruce: I had no idea the connection to Pixar. That makes me love Tableau even more because everything Pixar does I’m a huge fan of.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: It’s amazing.
Mike Gerholdt: Wow. That’s so cool. Let’s talk John, about the community. Because you were bringing up with us about some of the public visualizations and the kind of, just this whole… Because I feel like there’s a big crossover in the admin community of individuals that really, really love digging into data and also helping others understand it.
John Demby: Yeah. I mean, one of the things that’s amazing with Tableau is, just like with Salesforce is, our community. We have fans. I mean I literally, I can… Back before COVID when I used to fly or get on a plane to go see customers and stuff like that, if I wore anything with a Tableau logo, I almost felt like people were asking me for my autograph or something. Because they were like saying, “Oh wow, you work at Tableau?” And they’d want to tell me all the things they do with Tableau. And the community is what keeps, and has really helped us innovate.
And so we were talking earlier about a great place where you just want to immerse yourself, is Tableau Public. And it’s a good example of where our community really dives in and creates and shares amazing things. There’s over a million and a half pieces of content up on Tableau Public. We’ve had two billion views. It’s a platform where we’ve had major Fortune 500 companies build out annual reports that are visual, that you’ll find up there. You’ll see content that’s been shared on newspapers and websites and news organizations. You’ll see nonprofits use it. And then if you’re into Game of Thrones, or Star Wars, or Marvel, or you just pick your favorite hobby, you can dive into and see some amazing things.
But coming back to the community, it’s the community that really has helped us take Tableau to the next level. And they’re the ones that have helped us find all of the use cases, and all of the goodness, and the ability to discover data that I think has transformed Tableau into what it is today.
Gillian Bruce: So Tableau Public is a place where I mean, you kind of said, pick your topic and you can probably find something that somebody’s built on Tableau Public. Which is exactly what I plan to do later today, by the way. I’m trying to resist doing it now. Tell me a little bit more about how someone… You described your begin with Tableau… I’m a Salesforce admin, I’m super interested in this, what are the first steps I take? Do I start with Tableau Public? Is there some kind of trial thing I can play with? Where do I go to kind of start dabbling?
John Demby: Sure, yeah. So one of the things is, yes. You can get a trial. It’s a 14-day trial and it’s fully functional. You can go up to the website, get it right now. What that’s going to give you is what we call Tableau Desktop. So that is a solution that would install on a Mac or a Windows machine and allow you to connect to any kind of data you could expect. From a relational database, to cloud data sources, to cloud-based apps like Salesforce and others, to just spreadsheets and csv files, to spacial data. You name it, you can probably connect to it in Tableau. But that’s a great place to get started.
And then the support is amazing. We actually kind of adopted the, what I call the YouTube learning mantra. So the idea of people wanting to watch very short videos and how-tos. And so you’ll see on your website a tremendous amount of videos to help you get started. You have a question about filtering, go watch the three minute video on filtering.
And then the community is ultimately the last piece. Get plugged in on Twitter, start asking questions. You’ll really kind of learn that the community is so embracing. They help people figure out things. It doesn’t matter where you go look them up. It could be Tableau community, it could be Public, it could be Twitter, it could be anywhere. And that’s a great way to get started.
Mike Gerholdt: If there’s a long pause on the website it’s because one of us is searching Tableau Public and finding something incredibly amazing.
John Demby: Yeah, there you go. Well you know-
Gillian Bruce: Mike stop it, focus.
Mike Gerholdt: Totally, totally wasn’t doing that. Totally wasn’t reading about The Dark Knight and Joker.
John Demby: Yeah, there you go. But you know what else is… I’ll tell everybody here too. This is something, I’m a parent, most everybody, if you’re not a parent you know kids, or you know people that have kids, or you know a teacher out there. And so, one of the things that Tableau did early on was, we realized that in all of the things that we want to do for good, we do embrace, just like Salesforce does, nonprofits. And we try to do good with our software. We’ve done some amazing stories, if you go look at our Tableau Foundation, about helping stamp out malaria. Helping with Ebola. Nowadays we’re everything COVID up on Tableau Public in our data hub.
But early on, we realized that getting Tableau in the hands of anybody, especially kids and students and teachers, was really critical. And so you can actually go to tableau.com, I think it’s tableau.com/student, or tableau.com/teacher. Our academics, or something. And you’ll actually see where you can sign up for a one-year license for free. And that’s K through college. And we encourage those that are in college, when they go off to their internship, to take Tableau with them, use it at their internship to help kind of propel their career and things like that. My kids have used it in high school. We’ve had data kids where we’ve shown things… I think at one point we had an event in, it might have been Hong Kong or Singapore, where we had a seven year old come up and show a visualization.
And you’ll see some of that on Tableau Public. You’ll actually see some kid’s visualizations as well. So if you see one that’s a little bit more Pokemon-oriented, that might be a kid that actually has charted his Pokemon collection or something in Tableau. So but yeah, it’s things like that I think is what makes Tableau, Tableau.
Gillian Bruce: I mean, that’s so cool. I think especially now where a lot of people with school age children are having a rough go of it given the current climate of maybe school’s happening, maybe it’s not happening, oh my goodness. I mean, what an amazing kind of resource and oppurtunity for students to dig in a little bit. I can just imagine the As that I would’ve gotten on so many reports had I had access to Tableau and been able to tinker around. I mean, I would’ve looked amazing to my teachers, so-
John Demby: Yeah so, so let me tell you a funny story about that with my middle daughter. So she just graduated, but she took stats her senior year and they had to go get… They were analyzing I think, football metrics. So they had to pick a team, she picked Cincinnati Bengals, mostly because I went to TCU, we’re a TCU family. And Andy Dalton, who used to play at TCU is the quarterback there. So that’s why she picked the team, not because they’ve ever won anything, right?
Gillian Bruce: I was going to say, that’s an interesting choice in a team.
Mike Gerholdt: [crosstalk] clearly their winning record.
John Demby: [crosstalk]. Yeah so, but so she had all this data but then the stats teacher was asking her things like, “Well, I’ve got to have the mean. I’ve got to have this and that. All these stats questions.” And I said, “Well look, let’s just take that data you just got from the Cincinnati Bengals website, let’s load it up into Tableau, let’s build this little quick visual.” And then there’s an info card that you can click, and then it gives you all the stats. And I said, “Write them all down. Give them to your teacher.” She’s like, “This seems like it’s cheating.” And I said, “Well, I don’t know if it’s cheating or not but, at least they gave you all the answers without you having to go run all these complex statistical analysis.” So maybe it was cheating. But, that’s the kind of thing that I think is really enlightening in Tableau, and some cool things you can do. And yeah, she got an A, I think, so.
Mike Gerholdt: Even though she picked the Bengals.
John Demby: Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: The only winning thing the Bengals have ever been a part of.
John Demby: Right.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.
John Demby: Right.
Gillian Bruce: All right. But I think that’s so cool because, to your point though, it’s not cheating because the technology exists out there and you know how to use it. And I think that really ties back to kind of admins, we should all pay attention to this because, I mean, it is incredibly powerful. And just like the teacher wants to know these specific data points, you’ve got executives that want to know the same thing and you can save hours and hours and probably years of training to be a data scientist by tapping in to the power of Tableau and being able to pull that.
John Demby: Oh, absolutely. Yeah. Absolutely.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. And Gillian, I also hear tinkering.
Gillian Bruce: Yes.
Mike Gerholdt: Which is a lot of what we talk about on the podcast, a lot of what Leanne talks about. Just the ability to kind of get in there and tinker with something, but also have the tool intuitively help you, right? I don’t think necessarily, it’s cheating. It’s just, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time you build something that has a wheel, right?
Gillian Bruce: Yeah, there’s a reason we invent stuff, right?
John Demby: Yeah, yeah.
Mike Gerholdt: And this helps, you get that a little bit farther. And to me, I think it helps make the subject more interesting so that you really do want to dive into it. And as an admin for me, I’m thinking, well this the very important part that I can help my users understand why it is so critical that they input the right data, so that we get the right output so that we can make the right decisions.
John Demby: Yeah it is. I mean it’s a… And even just I think, Tableau just in general as a… Our tagline is, “We help people see and understand their data.” And so much of that is the exploration and seeing your data for the first time. If you look at it in a spreadsheet, you’re not going to see anything. But if you start bringing that data in, you’ll be amazed at what you can find. You might find… We could spend hours talking about stories where, in one particular customer, an intern came in, used Tableau liked we talked about. They gave them… This was an auto manufacturer. They gave them some data that was related to warranty claims, and said, “Do something with it.” And then he came back and found about $6.5 million of fraud.
Mike Gerholdt: Whoa.
John Demby: And basically what he found out was, there was some dealers that were selling cars on paper, then they were performing different warranty things, and billing it back to the car manufacturer, and then they were putting the car back in inventory. And so, I mean, and that was just one example but just finding just, even outliers in your data that make you wonder, “Okay, why is this…” And over the last couple years, we built some of that technology into Tableau. We actually have a feature now that’s called explain data that, if I’m looking at a chart, or looking at a whatever, and I click on something because it doesn’t seem right, it’ll actually analyze all the data and then come back with a report saying, “The reason this is higher than this is because you had these particular things going on.” Or it may be one unusual record that you should take out, or something like that.
So really, just seeing your data, that’s what Tableau’s all about. And there’s no other way really to explore data unless you can see it. And that’s the hard part that I think a lot of people don’t understand.
Mike Gerholdt: I’m going to nominate that as soon as Salesforce figures out how to make Tableau talk that it sound like Jarvis from Iron Man.
John Demby: Yeah, I think that makes sense. Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: Oh [crosstalk].
John Demby: We do have natural language so we can sort of talk to Tableau, but no, we don’t have a voice out. So that would be it. That would be an interesting-
Mike Gerholdt: Not yet. But forward looking statement.
John Demby: Yeah. Add thing.
Mike Gerholdt: John this was super fun. We need to have you back and do a Tableau corner every, I don’t know, every time you feel like it.
John Demby: Yeah, no. Anytime. I would love to come back, share more stories, examples that customers have used Tableau both with Salesforce and just with data inside of their organization to do transformational things. Tell you a little bit more about things we’re working on and the solutions, some additional kind of exciting things that we’re doing to make access to data even easier. And all that kind of stuff. But yeah, I’d love to come back anytime.
Mike Gerholdt: Cool. I’m definitely… We’ll include a link to the Tableau Public so you can shop the cool Tableau things. I will also include the link to the Joker one that I found.
John Demby: Yeah, there you go.
Mike Gerholdt: And I think we’ll probably include something about Game of Thrones.
Gillian Bruce: Yep. There was a pretty morbid one that I found that I am very excited to dig in further tonight, so.
John Demby: There you go. Well my work is done here. I guess I have helped you explore the interesting side of data. But yeah, and you know just in closing on that, Tableau Public just turned out to be a, I don’t know if I want to use the word life saver, but it’s become a critical component to the COVID thing. I can even show you, if this was visual, I could show you the spike in Tableau Public traffic that happened once organizations started building COVID-19 dashboards. There’s maybe almost every state probably has something built up on Tableau Public. You have organizations, people have looked at the Tableau data hub for COVID-19, and reswizzled that data and published in sites. And so, the spike in the amount of resources that… I mean traffic doubled when COVID happened. And it was because it was a public, free, sharable resource that people could create those insights very quickly and then share them out to the world, even embedding them in their own websites or whatever. So yeah, big fan of Tableau Public. Like I said, it’s kind of the YouTube of data visualization out there.
Gillian Bruce: I love it. Thank you so much John, I really appreciate you taking the time to share with us. And I am excited to hear more and see what else people do with Tableau, with the Salesforce connection now. I mean gosh, there’s so many possibilities, this is really fun.
John Demby: Yeah, we’re excited. Sky’s the limit. I mean now that we have all these different additional resources and stuff there’s amazing things on the horizon for us and for Salesforce.
Mike Gerholdt: Sweet. Thanks John.
John Demby: All right, thank you guys.
Gillian Bruce: Well that was a great conversation with John. Gosh, we could really talk with him forever. Which, don’t worry, we’ll have him back. So you’ll get more of John for sure. Some top takeaways, I mean geez, so much we talked about. Especially about Tableau and all the amazing things you can do. My top three takeaways are number one, I didn’t know that Tableau had roots in Pixar which is pretty amazing, and that explains a lot about how amazing the visualizations are. Kind of that focus on visually representing things in the world.
Tableau Public, check it out. It is such a cool resource. As John says, it’s like the YouTube of visualizations. So take some time to poke around there. There’s some really amazingly powerful data sets in there. Especially given all the things happening in the world right now that are helping a lot of organizations do important work. And you may be able to find one about the death rate of Game of Thrones and who’s responsible for the most deaths. Hint, Khaleesi’s responsible for more than half of them. And I’m not surprised.
All right, and thirdly, anyone can tinker with Tableau. So admins, this really is one of the most powerful tools that you can now add to your tool belt. You can sign up for a free trial for 14 days and if you really kind of want to use this and implement more in your org, I mean, use that trial to kind of demonstrate what you can do, show that to your executives, get some buy-in and then hey, Tableau and Salesforce, we’re now one, we play together. So bring that into your org and I promise it’s going to be a huge one. You’ll get the As on all those reports that you otherwise might get from your executives.
Mike Gerholdt: #tinkerwithtableau.
Gillian Bruce: Ooh I like that.
Mike Gerholdt: I know, it’s good. They could a tweet a picture of what they tinkered with.
Gillian Bruce: I love it. I love it. Tinkering is great. Well if you want to learn more about all things Salesforce admin, make sure you go to admin.salesforce.com to find more resources. And as a reminder, if you love what you hear on this podcast, please make sure to pop on over to iTunes and give us a review. I know Mike and I absolutely pay attention to those, we read them, we really appreciate your feedback, so take a moment and do that for us please. It helps more people find us and get all this great information.
You can stay up to date with us on social for all things admins @salesforceadmns, no i, on Twitter, and you can find myself @gilliankbruce, and my amazing other host Mike Gerholdt @mikegerholdt. Stay tuned for the next episode and we’ll catch you next time in the cloud.
July is almost over, and that means another special episode to recap great Salesforce content this month. This week on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, Mike and Gillian are back with a new What Do We Call It episode. If you have a better idea for a name, reach out on Twitter. We’re all ears.
Join us as we talk about the latest and greatest Salesforce content from this month, and all the great things that happened at TrailheaDX.
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation between Mike and Gillian.
We Did TrailheaDX!
The first ever virtual TrailheaDX happened on June 25th, but don’t worry, you can still catch all of the great content. “What was really special about this was there wasn’t the barrier of having to pay to fly to San Francisco, there wasn’t the barrier of having only so many seats in the room, there wasn’t the barrier of conflicting sessions,” Gillian says, “we had so many more people getting the content we spent a lot of time creating.”
- The Admin Channel
- TrailheaDX ‘20 Global Gatherings
- How to Get Started With the Salesforce Anywhere App
- Bonus: LEGO Cody
Blogs and Videos
There’s some amazing blogs and videos you missed, covering everything from how setup home has changed in Lightning Experience to how to think through using the Einstein Prediction Builder. “Since the advent of having AI as part of platform, we’ve really tried to stress how important it is to think about the implications and the uses of this really powerful technology,” Gillian says, “it’s like training a dog: you train it for good, not for evil.”
- Take a Tour of Setup Home in Lightning Experience
- Einstein Prediction Builder: Thinking through predictions with bias in mind
- How I solved this: Intuitive Record Links
If you didn’t listen to every episode, there are a few this month that are worth taking a listen to. We talk flow builder and automation tools, service cloud, and how to optimize your org for better performance. Something that is very top of mind for everyone these days is how to get back to work safely, and our episode with Wade Wegner about Work.com has a lot of information you should check out.
- Flow Builder & Automation with John Kucera
- Getting to know Work.com with Wade Wegner
- Service Cloud with Purvi Desai
- Lightning Speed with Chris Marzilli
Trailhead Live honestly makes webinars feel dated—it’s on-demand culture. Tune in and you’re ready to go. This month, we’ve had a lot of great content for people newer to the ecosystem and maintenance for those that need a refresher, as well as Trailhead News to keep you in the loop.
The Way Back Machine
We go back to see what was going on around now in days past. There’s everything from Einstein bots to a live episode from TrailheaDX with an amazing story and everything in between.
- 2 Years Ago: How Einstein Bots Work with Molly Mahar
- 3 Years Ago: How John Schaaf Reinvented his Career with Trailhead
- 4 Years Ago: It’s Possible: The Story of Zac Otero
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Full Show Transcript
Gillian Bruce: Welcome to the Salesforce Admins podcast and the We Still Don’t Know What to Call it episode, where we talk about product, community, and careers to help you become an awesome admin. I’m Gillian Bruce.
Mike Gerholdt: And I’m Mike Gerholdt.
Gillian Bruce: And Mike, we got a lot to talk about because it’s been a little while since we did one of these we don’t know what to call it episodes.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. We don’t know what to call it, but we know what to talk about. That’s for sure.
Gillian Bruce: There’s no shortage of us being able to talk about things.
Mike Gerholdt: No, we just can’t name things very well.
Gillian Bruce: Well, you know we all have strengths in other areas.
Mike Gerholdt: We we have a lot to taco about as we wrap up the month.
Gillian Bruce: Lettuce get to it.
Mike Gerholdt: That’s all I got. We’re going to shred the topics.
Gillian Bruce: I’ll meat your puns with…
Mike Gerholdt: Dammit, I was thinking of that one too. Now, I’m out, I’m out. Never getting a pun off with Gillian, especially if you’re like T-ball league. I’m like T-ball down here.
Gillian Bruce: Jalapeno in your face.
Mike Gerholdt: Right. Anyway, to try and switch gears to not be punny. TrailheaDX, holy cow.
Gillian Bruce: Oh my gosh. TrailheaDX. It happened, it was amazing. It was the first ever virtual TrailheaDX. And I mean, Mike, we pulled off a thing.
Mike Gerholdt: It was fun. So I think I just as we head into it, I don’t think anybody listening to the podcast really understands the work that we put into some of the events, the virtual event for this one was super fun to get ready for. Yes, you have yours, I have mine over my other side of my pile of [crosstalk 00:02:05].
Gillian Bruce: You got that TrailheaDX props you know-
Mike Gerholdt: I do. I have lots of props.
Gillian Bruce: Because he did a ton of video. I mean…
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, no, this is a fun, like seriously fun learning experience for everybody involved.
Gillian Bruce: We all became like Salesforce TV producers.
Mike Gerholdt: Right. Yes. And some of us are more TV producers than others. That’s for sure.
Gillian Bruce: But I mean, you know what I think was really interesting is normally for an in person event, we have hundreds of sessions that we put together and we are-
Mike Gerholdt: It’s almost too much.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah, and we’re so used to that format. And maybe there’s 100 people in a session. What was really special about this is there wasn’t the barrier of people having to pay or fly to San Francisco, right? There wasn’t the barrier of having only so many seats in the room, there wasn’t the barrier of conflicted sessions and all of that. We had so many more people getting the content that we spent a lot of time creating, which I think was pretty rewarding.
Mike Gerholdt: Yes, no, it was… There was a wide array of things to talk about and we fit a lot into short sessions and it was interesting. It was a lot, boy, it was just a ton of fun to put together, seriously like working with the PMs. This is from a content creator standpoint, this was the first time that we really got to see the polished product before it got broadcast. Usually it’s you walk out and you’ve been through rehearsals and you’ve seen people present, but this was wow. Here’s what it looks like now. We’re ready to go. It was just very cool. Very cool.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah, and I think what was also interesting is it forced us to kind of bubble up the things we thought were the most important, because it’s very hard to take hundreds of sessions and boil that down into what we had, eight 18 minute episodes, so to speak.
Mike Gerholdt: Ish. Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: And you had the live ask me anything panel that you hosted with some of our other PMs. It was very cool and the great thing is that this content is also totally available for anyone to go watch it on demand, which is…
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, you didn’t miss it. You didn’t, so if you didn’t participate on the June 25th date of TrailheaDX, you didn’t miss anything. Right? I feel like this is a fun analogy. I binged watched Breaking Bad a few years ago and I didn’t miss anything that people that watched it in the moment we’re having. Right? And you can go back and watch everything in the moment just as it was happening. You could do TrailheaDX tomorrow if you wanted to.
Gillian Bruce: You could, although you do miss out on the fun little interstitial things that we did.
Mike Gerholdt: Right, because Gillian you were the MC.
Gillian Bruce: I did, I got to MC for five hours, it was a marathon, but it was really fun because we had a Trailblazer Lounge where we had trailblazers from all over the world. So we had like [Olay] from Ukraine, and Roy from Israel, and we had several people from India. We had Tiffany from Florida. I mean, we had seven different trailblazers from around the world, joining me in the lounge to do live chats about what they’re doing in the community, which was really cool. And we had a master Lego brick builder, [Aaron] joining us in the lounge. He built a live… Live, he built it live, I don’t know. He built it over the live [crosstalk 00:05:50].
Mike Gerholdt: He live built.
Gillian Bruce: He live built. Instead of dead built? I don’t know.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: Anyway, he built a Lego [Cody] that’s like over two feet tall over the course of the broadcast and it was so cool, because if you were live, you got to help vote what went on Cody’s base and it was really cool to [CA 00:06:08].
Mike Gerholdt: A nose.
Gillian Bruce: A nose? Yeah, so it was really fun and fun fact, I get to go pick up the Lego Cody structure this weekend.
Mike Gerholdt: Oh my.
Gillian Bruce: So maybe next broadcast you’ll see.
Mike Gerholdt: Get some rope and stanchion outside of your house and have walking tours.
Gillian Bruce: Totally. Drive by.
Mike Gerholdt: So there’s the admin channel, which was a lot of what I got to work on. And there was a ton of episodes, well eight episodes there, and the ask the experts. Ask the experts was really fun because we dove into service cloud mobile and security, which I felt were three areas that don’t get a lot of ask the expert people, and so those were really cool. But if you missed any of this, your user groups are having global gatherings. In fact, I’m going to do one tomorrow, which would be last week when this airs, and we’re going to sit and chat about what was some of the stuff at TrailheaDX. And there would be people there that watch some of the videos, people there that didn’t watch some of the videos. The last user group I was at, we talked about some of the people that watch just stuff in the developer channel or just things in the architect channels. So that was really cool.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah. I just did a global gathering myself for the Santa Barbara community group and it was interesting. There was about half of the people at the meeting had not watched any TrailheaDX content. So it was a great way to highlight some of the things I was like, “So you need to go watch this one.”
Mike Gerholdt: I feel like it’s like showing up to the book club, having not read the book.
Gillian Bruce: Oh, you’re supposed to read the book? You’re not just supposed to drink wine at book club?
Mike Gerholdt: Sure [crosstalk 00:08:02].
Gillian Bruce: Oh, I’ve been doing it wrong.
Mike Gerholdt: It’s that commercial where the guy asks his Amazon card to like, tell me the story behind something. Nope. It’s funnier in my head, like a lot of things are.
Gillian Bruce: It’s all right Mike. It’s all right. So TrailheaDX was fun.
Mike Gerholdt: Hmm. It was. I thought, so. We also have Salesforce Anywhere, anywhere.
Gillian Bruce: Anywhere.
Mike Gerholdt: And everywhere.
Gillian Bruce: All the places.
Mike Gerholdt: And we have a link that we’ll put up in the show notes about the blog post that we did about Salesforce Anywhere. Gillian, I think it was the most interesting, fun launch was when we got Salesforce Anywhere for our team.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah. I think it was… Was it like an all hands call or something was going on?
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: And I was around in our own like [62 org 00:00:08:57], which is our own Salesforce instance. And I was like, “Whoa, there’s a new button up by my profile picture. Let me click that.” I was like, “Salesforce anywhere.” And I was like, “Oh my gosh.” And so I started sending all kinds of trailmoji, and gifs, and really putting the Salesforce Anywhere technology to the test for our team.
Mike Gerholdt: It’s what we do.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah. So it’s really fun. Salesforce Anywhere is… I mean, it’s live collaboration within Salesforce. It just kind of continues to bringing that ability to work with your peers no matter where you all are on the same thing within context, which I think is really powerful.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. Or Quip.
Gillian Bruce: Yep.
Mike Gerholdt: Or mobile like that was the nerdy part for me, was, oh, wait a minute. I can publish this from a chat in Quip, and it showed up in Salesforce Anywhere on my phone right away. It was, I don’t know.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah. It’s all connected.
Mike Gerholdt: It’s anywhere.
Gillian Bruce: Anywhere and everywhere.
Mike Gerholdt: Okay. So true to what we do in this episode is help you dig through the month that was and get ready maybe for the month that is, I don’t know about that.
Gillian Bruce: I think they’re really like new months at this point, I feel like we’re still in a holding pattern since March, but…
Mike Gerholdt: July is long. June happened. May didn’t feel the long. We had a, in the U.S., we had a holiday. I guess we had a holiday in July too, but it still feels longer. I don’t know why. It’s like when you sleep and you wake up in the middle of the night and you’re like, oh man, it’s got to be time to get up, and it’s like 02:00 AM.
Gillian Bruce: Well it’s the summer where you take a vacation, but you can’t go anywhere. So yeah, everything seems longer.
Mike Gerholdt: Where did you go for your vacation? The edge of my yard.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah, my backyard or the weird corner in the living room, that I never go to. I don’t know. It’s exciting.
Mike Gerholdt: Okay. So let’s dive into some blogs and videos that came out that maybe read, maybe you didn’t read, maybe you should go back, much like all of the TrailheaDX video content you can go back. So the first one I have on the list is take a tour of Setup Home in Lightning Experience.
Gillian Bruce: I mean, if you haven’t done this in a while, it’s a highly, highly recommended activity for all admins to do because Setup, I mean, gosh, you think about what Setup was like four years ago.
Mike Gerholdt: It was painful.
Gillian Bruce: Oh man. Now you’ve got things like… I mean, remember when the object creator tab, like the fact that you could see all of your objects just in one tab in Setup was like, boom, mind blowing.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: But that was kind of the beginning, and now there’s a whole bunch of stuff now and Setup Home that, I think the team’s done a very good job of listening to feedback.
Mike Gerholdt: Yes. I also… I mean, looking through this post, here’s what I probably have taken for granted is if you’re an established user, and I mean, geez, I’ve been using Salesforce for like 14 years now, the new Setup Home, you just kind of like intuitively know where stuff is. But if you’re a new user, which I think a lot of people listening to the podcast might be, you just didn’t intuitively know where things were or new things appear, right? Like the create button off to the right, or you probably just went to the familiar things. I don’t know. I found this post incredibly insightful in calling things out that I had just taken for granted.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah. I mean, I think as most admins do, we just tinker and we figure it out, but then to actually understand the why and all of the rationale behind designing some of the things, why they’re designed, makes it a lot easier to understand how to best use them.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. So moving on Einstein Prediction Builder, thinking through predictions with bias in mind. So this is like a re-publish. I helped the team go through this and kind of reread this. I thought this was… I love reading about how we can use Prediction Builder. I think Prediction Builder for admins is so incredibly easy to use that it’s almost wrong of us to not have a conversation about what can we use Prediction Builder for, and also thinking through, so are we gathering all of the right data to help guide say, sales, and what opportunity they should most call? Because I mean, time’s valuable, right? So if you’re going to go through, yeah, I got to make all these phone calls, but boy, if you’re like me, I’d really want that momentum early on. Give me the calls that I know I need to make, and also how do I make sure that I’m going through and grabbing the right data so that I’m not perhaps building a prediction that sways us in a certain way?
Gillian Bruce: Yeah. I mean, it’s a topic I think that we very early on, since the advent of having AI as part of our platform, we’ve really tried to stress how important it is to think about the implications and the uses of this really powerful technology. And it’s not that hard to think about these things, you just have… I mean, we have frameworks for this and it’s really just like paying attention. I mean, you train Einstein, so it’s like training a dog, right? Train it for good, not for evil.
Mike Gerholdt: Right.
Gillian Bruce: I mean, unless you want one of those like crazy junkyard dogs, I don’t know.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah, I think it’s a great post Mike and I think it’s really cool because it’s one of the things that admins can do to be AI experts, which is pretty awesome.
Mike Gerholdt: AI experts.
Gillian Bruce: AI experts.
Mike Gerholdt: AI experts. So how I solve this, which is part of what Mark on our team is fostering, these are just fun to read, right? So we had how I solved this intuitive record links. I think these spawn for those people that haven’t read it or missed out on Dreamforce. We collect a lot of data at Dreamforce and our team sat down and we kind of brainstormed, what do admins want out of all of this? And we looked for the answers in the data and a lot of the answers was, show us an example of literally how you solve this, and so that’s where that came from. And Mark’s been doing a great job fostering going out into the community, getting these stories, helping them build these blog posts, and so that’s kind of where that came from. So I anticipate these will continue because you’re solving really cool things that I think other people need to know how to solve.
Gillian Bruce: Well, yeah. And this example was from the Nonprofit Success Pack, but it’s totally relevant to any, basically any record or any object that you want to put this on. This is a really cool concept that you could absolutely find relevancy for your own org.
Mike Gerholdt: Yep.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah. Very cool.
Mike Gerholdt: Yep. I love that series. Fun series.
Gillian Bruce: Very fun.
Mike Gerholdt: So those are the blogs.
Gillian Bruce: Lots of blogs, but you know what? There were also a lot of podcasts.
Mike Gerholdt: There were a few podcasts, just a few, hey, in no particular order, but in the order that they came out, let’s see Gillian, you kicked off July with Flow Builder and Automation with our friend of the pod, John Kucera.
Gillian Bruce: John is one of our long time friends of the pod, long time awesome admin advocates, even before we had this program, had begun this program. I mean, his roots are back in trying to improve that Setup experience for admins. John has now the amazing responsibility of overseeing a lot of the flow tooling, and it was so cool to talk to him because again, we talked about, think about what flow looked like three, four years ago and think about what it looks like now.
Mike Gerholdt: Do I have to? Please don’t make me.
Gillian Bruce: I know it gives me anxiety. I mean, I remember way back when one of the first projects I worked on with John was trying to figure out how we were going to end of life, Google AdWords for Salesforce. And now he’s like, “Yeah, look at the cool, shiny things my team are building now. We’re not just killing old stuff we’re making the future happen.” So it was really cool to talk to John about Flow Builder, automation tools in general, talking about the future vision of where Flow is going, and hint, hint, nudge, nudge the future is Flow.
Mike Gerholdt: Very much, very, very much. Okay. And then Gillian, we had a fun episode of getting to know Work.com with Wade Wegner, who I think probably has forgotten more than some of us have learned.
Gillian Bruce: Wade, I don’t even understand how he does everything he does, but fun fact, Wade is definitely vying to get some time with the Lego Cody structure that was built at TDX, because apparently he and his kids are huge Lego fans. So we might have to arrange some Cody visitation, but Wade, I mean, Wade’s team built Work.com in like what? A month and a half, not even?
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. And it continues to get better too.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah. So it was great talking with him, Work.com it’s new, but it’s a really cool way to help get your business back on track after all the disruption that we’ve all encountered this year, whether you’re ready to reopen offices or you’re just trying to get all of your employees back into the groove, really enabling your business to get back on it. And it’s a great set of tools and the team did such a cool job of pivoting real quickly and developing this for our customers.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. And it helps you think through, I think the one thing that I learned from that podcast, it helps you think through at executive level, what is all involved and how do we track this all in one place? And as an admin, hey, you’re perfectly positioned because you understand Salesforce. So you’re in the driver’s seat to help set this up and it’s going to be really fun and you get to be in all of those conversations. Plus I like logistical conversations, figuring out how to move people and get in elevators, and that just, I don’t know, it seems kind of neat.
Gillian Bruce: Well, and that’s the thing I think that’s interesting about Work.com for admins, it gives us the opportunity to work with different business units, right?
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: So now, we’re very familiar with working with our sales teams, and our service teams, and our IT teams, but now it’s working with HR, it’s working with facilities and when those teams realize the power of Salesforce that you can bring to them to help make their lives easier as we get back into this next phase of pandemic life, I think it’s-
Mike Gerholdt: Quarantine.
Gillian Bruce: Right.
Mike Gerholdt: Quarantine life.
Gillian Bruce: Quarantine life.
Mike Gerholdt: Be positive, quarantine life.
Gillian Bruce: Well, why are we in the quarantine? Anyway.
Mike Gerholdt: Well, I know, but…
Gillian Bruce: I think in the U.S. we’re feeling it a lot more than other places, unfortunately, but it’s cool because it gives admins the opportunity to become an advocate of Salesforce with new parts of the business and establish themselves as leaders with new parts of the business, which is kind of cool.
Mike Gerholdt: Yep. And then if you listened to the podcast last week, which I’m sure you all did.
Gillian Bruce: Absolutely.
Mike Gerholdt: Just edge of your seat, Lightning Speed with Chris Marzilli, so that was another fun episode that we kicked off. I think Gillian, that was the first episode with my new microphone.
Gillian Bruce: Yes. It sounds… Your voice-
Mike Gerholdt: Which is the highlight of the episode.
Gillian Bruce: It sounds so smooth. It’s like syrup dripping off the back of a spoon.
Mike Gerholdt: Right.
Gillian Bruce: Right?
Mike Gerholdt: I wonder who’s going to…
Gillian Bruce: Anyone remembers that you get bonus points.
Mike Gerholdt: I know seriously, that is…
Gillian Bruce: Callback.
Mike Gerholdt: [crosstalk] machine. So Chris came to us with this presentation because he actually works with varying customers of different size on their Salesforce implementation, really optimizing their Salesforce implementation. I think if you listen to the podcast and you should, I had a big takeaway of lazy load, but a lot of what I took out of the podcast was really, it’s almost thinking of it like a delivery truck culture, kind of like how do you deliver, put what needs to be on the truck for that time, as opposed to everything. Right? And it’s the same with pages, and he talks through that and using Dynamic Forms, and thinking through user experience to optimize page load times. So it was a really unique way, because too often I feel like Salesforce admins are just throw it in the truck, and next thing you know, you got this huge thing that you’re trying to load all the time when [user just needs a field. 00:00:22:53]
Gillian Bruce: Well, yeah. And I think we get… There are so many cool new ways to customize things and admins we have all these options. Chris really breaks it down as like, look, if you want to make it speedy, this is how you do it. And I think that, that’s really… It was great to talk to him. I mean, I learned a ton, so I thought it was great. And Mike, we almost forgot to talk about Purvi, Purvi and Service Cloud.
Mike Gerholdt: Oh yes. I know. Well, I was saving the best for last.
Gillian Bruce: Oh, okay.
Mike Gerholdt: That’s why.
Gillian Bruce: All right. That makes sense.
Mike Gerholdt: I was saving that because I have a renewed respect for Service Cloud, and I really feel like as Salesforce admins, if we’re not in those service discussions by now, we need to make them happen or get in those doors, because I mean, just the other day I had one of my vacuums break down, which it’s so odd that machines break breakdown anymore. Right? It used to be commonplace, but I called the service center and they said, “If you’re on a phone that we can send you a text message, because so many of our service centers are shut down. We would like to do that. So press one, if you’re on a phone,” which mobile phone, yes, boom. And literally, it was like six texts, they troubleshot what the issue was, and vacuum’s fine.
And so I’m assuming that was a bot that did that, but as a Salesforce admin thinking through service, this is where we need to be, because our sales teams are probably out there hammering out phone calls, but our service teams are what are going to retain those customers. And to me, that was just like, okay, that was amazing. And I also have adapted to the culture of I don’t really want to, if I don’t have to talk to somebody on the phone, I know it’s so weird to use your mobile phone to talk to people.
Gillian Bruce: I know we shouldn’t even call it a phone anymore.
Mike Gerholdt: I know.
Gillian Bruce: I mean, it’s mostly a texting and internet device in my [land 00:25:06].
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. Yep. Yep, but so the podcast that we did was with Purvi was we covered a little bit about what was in her TrailheaDX session, but really dived, I think, deeper into the idea of personas, and working through personas in the call center, and understanding how what types of case solvers you have, and how they operate the fastest. Because for me, and working with Purvi on her TrailheaDX session was amazing. She had really fun ideas about how to shoot the video and get the video and the demo done, but also just thinking through Salesforce Service Cloud, the end user is really consuming the product at the moment of interaction with the customer, as opposed to like Sales Cloud, where they could be entering their call notes later or prepping before. This is like real time [how to search 00:26:10] knowledge articles. So yeah.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah. I mean, it’s like, your customers are actually touching Salesforce, right? As opposed to just you using it, and then… I think that’s a really good point. I hadn’t thought about that.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. And she walks through chats and she’s a huge macros fan, which coincidentally, we may have a Did You Know video on macros.
Gillian Bruce: Macros are awesome.
Mike Gerholdt: Macros are amazing.
Gillian Bruce: Macro tacos. All right.
Mike Gerholdt: [crosstalk] Taco.
Gillian Bruce: Speaking of taco, you know what else starts with T? Trailhead Live?
Mike Gerholdt: Right. Nice segue.
Gillian Bruce: Thanks.
Mike Gerholdt: That was smooth.
Gillian Bruce: Like syrup dripping off the back of the spoon.
Mike Gerholdt: Right.
Gillian Bruce: So we had some really cool Trailhead Live content this month. In fact, we’ve now got a regular cadence of every Friday, every Friday morning, Pacific time, we’re doing an admin essential habits session.
Mike Gerholdt: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yep. And I would say Trailhead Live for me is like, it makes webinars feel so dated. I was thinking through this the other day, I was like, remember when he used to have to register for a thing and then try to get in, and it was at this one time, and oh, the room’s full. Now, it’s just like, no, it’s on demand culture. Oh, it’s 10:00 AM Pacific, I tune in to Trailhead Live.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah, easy peasy. It’s the modern experience. It’s amazing.
Mike Gerholdt: Right.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah, and I think Mark [Baseman] has been running most of those. So you get to see his beautiful fascia and have him tell you about some essential habits for Salesforce Admin. So anybody who’s new to the ecosystem, maybe you got a new admin starting on your team, or somebody who’s newer in their role, this is a great session to recommend to them.
Mike Gerholdt: Or you’ve been in your role forever and you need a refresher kind of like what’s on the homepage.
Gillian Bruce: It’s quick little kind of maintenance session for ya, inspiring you to get back to those good habits.
Mike Gerholdt: Exactly. And then in addition that Gillian, I think you’ve seen these, the Trailhead News.
Gillian Bruce: Yes. I think that I have been on a Trailhead News. I think you have as well. Haven’t you?
Mike Gerholdt: No, not yet.
Gillian Bruce: Not yet. Oh, don’t worry. It’s coming,
Mike Gerholdt: Still waiting on my invite from Meagan. I’m sure it’s lost in the mail.
Gillian Bruce: But Trailhead News is awesome. Meagan Peterson from just outside Sydney, Australia, location.
Mike Gerholdt: Right.
Gillian Bruce: Ranger Meagan does a great job wrapping up all of the things that you would want to know about being in the Trailhead Salesforce ecosystem, including new Trailhead content, great events, other Trailhead Live sessions, podcasts that are coming out, and all kinds of great stuff in that vein of learning and continuing to beef up your Salesforce skills. So definitely check it out. It comes out, I think every Tuesday is her schedule. So…
Mike Gerholdt: Every other, every other Tuesday.
Gillian Bruce: Every other Tuesday.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, every other, because there’s a lot, she does a really good job. It’s like this episode, except she knows what to call it.
Gillian Bruce: It’s a little more put together.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. Ours is very put together. We have a Quip doc.
Gillian Bruce: It’s true. We do. We have that. This is so true.
Mike Gerholdt: That’s a lot put together for us.
Gillian Bruce: It is. It is.
Mike Gerholdt: Okay. So I always add in kind of at the tail end of this, the way back machine. I hope you’re not sick to your stomach watching this on video now, but I think it’s fun to look back at stuff that we published or things that were going on. And so two years ago, Gillian, do you remember you had this really great, speaking of bots, great conversation with Molly Mahar about Einstein Bots.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah. We had a whole series of bot pods. So we had…
Mike Gerholdt: Bot pods.
Gillian Bruce: I love my bot pod crew. This was so fun. Essentially, I got wind of how admins can really use Salesforce bots. And I was like, cool, let me learn more about this. And I went down the rabbit hole, and I learned so much, and I met so many amazing people that I had three of them join me on the podcast. So we had, I think it was Molly, George, and Greg join us and talk about different aspects of what it means to use a bot, some best practices about a bot, and some cool things that bots can do. It was really, really cool that actually ended up turning into a couple of really cool Dreamforce sessions that year too.
Mike Gerholdt: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yep.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah.
Mike Gerholdt: I like that. And then three years ago…
Gillian Bruce: Oh, my God.
Mike Gerholdt: Gillian, you and I were at TrailheaDX. So very apropos that we kicked off the episode TrailheaDX talking… I remember doing this interview outside. I believe it was the third floor on some tables.
Gillian Bruce: Third floor, Moscone West.
Mike Gerholdt: Moscone West. We talked with John Schaff.
Gillian Bruce: Yes.
Mike Gerholdt: About how he had reinvented his career.
Gillian Bruce: I mean, amazing story. It’s someone that we met through the JVS program here in San Francisco and he had a very significant accident that he wasn’t sure he was going to recover from. And as part of his recovery, he engaged his brain by doing Trailhead, and now he is a rock star in the Salesforce community. And that was the first time we had met him. He was just beginning, I think he had just gotten his first Salesforce job, and now, I mean, I can’t believe that was only three years ago. It feels like a lot longer.
Mike Gerholdt: I know, that’s why I had to look it up. I was like, really? That feels like yesterday. And then four years ago, so it just kind of builds on itself. I was just blown away by the number of things that I found like July, July has always been a good month for us. So this was, I remember doing this interview at Midwest Dreamin’. It was [Leanne] and I, because you, Gillian, were off shooting videos somewhere, but we talked to Zac Otero, so we’ll link to that. And that was just an amazing story, just floored us, and I, the previous year at Dreamforce 2015 had met Zac when he came up to me to tell me his story and it was… Boy, that was one of the hardest, yeah. Hardest podcasts to get through.
And I remember Gillian, you said like, “When you sit down and talk to Zac, make sure you ask him about the rainbow.” And I, to this day recall sitting there and thinking like, okay, I made the note and Leanne and I were looking at each other and I said, “Okay, so tell us about the rainbow.” And I was not expecting the answer that I got, like I was just absolutely floored, and four years ago, hard to believe, four years ago.
Gillian Bruce: It’s wild. I mean, I’m getting chills and I’m getting tears thinking about that, because that was the moment where you realized how special Zac was, what he had done, and also just the significance of how Salesforce has enabled people to completely change their lives. I mean, gosh, it’s crazy. I mean, a lot of people know Zac Otero’s story now, but it was really like, okay, there’s a purpose here and it’s really got… It’s amazing. So anyway.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: I love that. That was four years ago, oh my God.
Mike Gerholdt: I know it was hard to believe. Very inspiring, and it also speaks to if you have the mindset and you really set that goal, that following through with it pays off. So that was, it was crazy four years ago. Skipping ahead to 10 years ago, it was a long time ago. I think Gillian, we had 10 years ago on here, because at that time, the other month, you are celebrating your anniversary, but I looked up because I had something come across my Facebook of like, hey, you feel old when these songs are turning 20. And so I thought, well, I’ll look up and see what was in the box office and what people were listening to 10 years ago. 10 years ago in the box office, we were all going to see Avatar.
Gillian Bruce: Oh my God. IMAX 3D!
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. Yep. I remember that. It doesn’t feel like 10 years ago, it feels longer.
Gillian Bruce: It sure does.
Mike Gerholdt: And Katy Perry had the top song, California Girls.
Gillian Bruce: That’s right.
Mike Gerholdt: So in case you didn’t remember, that’s 10 years old.
Gillian Bruce: I think that earlier that year, or maybe the year prior, I had actually seen Katy Perry at the 9:30 Club in D.C., because I was still living there, and it was like a small venue, and she had a huge Hello Kitty stage prop. And she spent most of the time talking and she was pretty funny, but I went only because I had heard two of her songs and I’m like, “Sure. It’s like a $15.00 concert. I’ll go.” Then she’s headlining the Super Bowl. So you never know.
Mike Gerholdt: Yep, imagine that. Yeah. I remember, funny story, was it 10 years ago? Yeah. I think I was at an HR Tech conference for a company and they played that song prior to the keynote opening, and the colleague I was with was like, “Oh dear Lord, I can’t believe they played that song prior to the this,” because you’re in HR, tech conference.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah. That seems a little weird.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. Yeah. It totally was.
Gillian Bruce: I mean, it could have been her other song, which was, I Kissed a Girl, but you know.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, it’s more of like, let’s play all the HR violation songs.
Gillian Bruce: Maybe it was played ironically? I don’t know.
Mike Gerholdt: I to this day don’t know, but I was like, “Oh, okay, great.” Well, there we go. Fun stuff. So, okay, sure, 10 years ago.
Gillian Bruce: Well-
Mike Gerholdt: Don’t look up songs that were that long ago, because you’ll be surprised. You’re probably still listening to them.
Gillian Bruce: Nothing wrong with that. Nothing wrong with that.
Mike Gerholdt: I haven’t watched Avatar since I’ve seen it though.
Gillian Bruce: I have once because I think it was on TV or something and I was like, “Oh,” because you know what? The marine bio nerd inside of me loves-
Mike Gerholdt: Oh yeah.
Gillian Bruce: All of the creatures they made up, because it looks like you’re underwater, but you’re not. I don’t know. Anyway. Aren’t they still making another one? [crosstalk 00:36:58].
Mike Gerholdt: Well, they’re taking a while.
Gillian Bruce: Isn’t James Cameron making like Avatar Two or something?
Mike Gerholdt: Okay. I mean, in the span of… Other films have released sequels, and sequels, and sequels.
Gillian Bruce: I mean, no one’s releasing much of anything right now, but yeah.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. I enjoyed watching how they filmed Avatar, because I feel like the actors had to be on these stilts, like the stilts they use to hang dry wall or whatever, and then arm extensions.
Gillian Bruce: Like Cirque de Solei people? Yeah.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. That’s always like, man, okay, great. That’s got to be hard.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah. Well, we made it through July, Mike.
Mike Gerholdt: We did, much like we made it through this podcast. Surprising. If you want to learn more about all things Salesforce admin go to admin.salesforce.com to find more resources. Everything that we have, that we talked about, we will link in the show notes and is also blog posts and videos that you can watch. And of course, as a reminder, please go to iTunes, give us a review. I just looked to see if we had anything new, got some new stars. Thank you.
Gillian Bruce: Yay stars!
Mike Gerholdt: You have kind words. We appreciate that. And you can say up to date on all things social for Salesforce admins on Twitter. We are @Salesforceadmns, no I, and of course you can find me, I’m @MikeGerholdt and Gillian…
Gillian Bruce: @GillianKBruce.
Mike Gerholdt: Awesome. And with that, stay tuned for the next episode and we’ll see you in the cloud.
Gillian Bruce: Bye.
This week on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we sit down with Chris Marzilli, Director of Platform Success at Salesforce. We learn tons of tips and tricks Chris has for improving your org’s performance and how the Awesome Admins out there can make a difference.
Join us as we talk about how impactful smart tab usage can be, the tools that are built into Salesforce to help you check the performance of your org, and you should always take a look at standard components first.
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Chris Marzilli.
The best of the best and the worst of the worst.
Chris describes himself as “an Admin who Architects” at Salesforce, where he and his team work with some of Salesforce’s largest customers implementing and evaluating hundreds of orgs. “I’ve seen the best of the best, and the worst of the worst,” he says, “so I have no shortage of war stories.” That means he has plenty of insights to help you improve your org.
“I’ve spent the last past of this year focused on just improving and optimizing Lightning performance with some of our customers,” Chris says. He thinks of Lightning performance as a three-sided triangle: browser performance, network performance, and page complexity. The third one is where admins need to focus. As Chris puts it, “how can we make the user more efficient and how can we get the page load faster?”
Rethinking tabs from the ground up.
“In Classic, as an admin, you had very limited choices,” Chris says, but in Lightning there are so many more options than just placing the field on the left or the right of the page. Hiding things behind tabs, for example, can allow them to lazy load and substantially increase performance. Admins now have to play the role of UI designer, and there’s a lot they can do in Lightning that can have a huge impact on their users’ workflow.
One of the biggest things is to start from scratch in Lightning. “Most of the customers I’ve run into that have some of the worst-performing orgs have basically just lifted and shifted from Classic,” Chris says, “and they’ve brought over a lot of their technical debt without rethinking it.” Instead, Chris recommends starting by asking yourself what you really need to give the user in order to do their job. “Don’t give them too much,” he says, “if you have 300 fields, no user, no human, no person can comprehend that when looking at a page.” The same goes for related lists—Chris strives for one or two on a page, with the rest hidden behind tabs.
“User needs are demanding,” Chris says, but it’s important to realize that all clicks are not the same. “The question is not so much what they want to see, it’s what they want to have at their fingertips,” he says, and he has a ton of great tips for how to make better use of your tabs to group things logically while making it all more manageable for all of your different use cases.
Salesforce tools to help you gauge your org’s performance.
The world of components is wide and varied—there are so many that even Chris has trouble keeping up. Before you get into custom components, Chris recommends making sure you’ve taken a thorough look at the standard components, and even considered if what you’re trying to do would be better accomplished with a Flow. “I always try to use my declarative tools first before I go into writing a custom component,” he says. It’ll perform faster and save you a lot of time.
Another great tool is the Lightning Performance App, which started out as an adoption measuring stick but now includes several great metrics for judging how your org is functioning. Some of that data is actually stored in your org as a record, Lightning Usage by Browser Metrics, which gives you the ability to take a closer look by building custom report types and reports on that object.
“The reason I wanted to come on the Salesforce Admin Podcast is to make a callout to all of our Awesome Admins out there,” Chris says, “you can have a huge effect on Lightning performance if you just take a look at the page, inventory it, and then understand what’s the best way to present it to the user.”
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Full Show Transcript
Mike Gerholdt: Welcome to the Salesforce Admin Podcast, where we talk about product, community and careers to help you become an awesome admin. I’m Mike Gerholdt.
Gillian Bruce: And I’m Gillian Bruce.
Mike Gerholdt: And joining us today is Christopher Marzilli, who, holy cow, is about to just blow your mind with all of the cool things that admins can do, that he helped coach admins, that he works with our companies while at Salesforce to increase Lightning performance on pages. We talk components. And I’ll sneak peek. I think, my new word for this episode is lazy load.
Gillian Bruce: That’s pretty good, Mike.
Mike Gerholdt: It’s lazy load’s fun.
Gillian Bruce: It’s like lazy river. It’s what we all want to be on right now.
Mike Gerholdt: It’s lazy load. So listen for lazy load and other fun things as we get Chris on the podcast.
So Chris, welcome to the podcast.
Christopher Mar…: Thanks, Mike. I’m really excited to be here first time. Long time listener of the podcast. I really enjoyed one of the recent podcasts with Vin Dynamic and talking about the Dynamic page builder.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. Vin has quite the game collection.
Christopher Mar…: Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: And Chris, we’ll work on your superhero name through this podcast, too. So my brain is already thinking.
Christopher Mar…: Awesome.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. It just comes as the podcast progresses. Chris, you’ve been at Salesforce for a while. We’ve had the pleasure of working together on admin track. For those of you that don’t know you, what do you do at Salesforce? And what are some of the things that you’re really passionate about?
Christopher Mar…: Yeah. So I got my start using Salesforce about 15 years ago. For the last five years, I’ve been here at Salesforce. But when I started 15 years ago, I was an accidental admin and that’s where my roots will always be. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase admins who code. Well, I’m actually an admin who architects now here at Salesforce. I run a group of certified application architects that work with our largest customers here at Salesforce. And I’ve implemented and evaluated hundreds of orgs, and I’ve seen the best of the best and certainly the worst of the worst. So I have no shortage of worst worries.
Gillian Bruce: I love that, admin to architect at Salesforce. That’s quite a 15-year trajectory there, Chris. So congrats.
Christopher Mar…: Yeah. Thank you.
Gillian Bruce: So you said you’ve seen the best of the best and the worst of the worst, which means you’ve learned a lot along the way. One of the things I think we wanted to talk to you today was about some of those things that you’ve learned that admins can use to help them improve kind of the performance of their org, which I think you’ve got a long list.
Christopher Mar…: Yeah. I mean, there’s a lot of stuff out there. I actually spent the last part of this year, it being July now, focused on just improving and optimizing Lightning performance with some of our customers. I’ve kind of come up with some… a methodology of the way I think about Lightning performance. It’s actually a three-sided triangle. And those three sides are browser performance, network performance and page complexity. And really the complexity of a page is where we, as admins, need to focus and think about how can we make the user more efficient and how can we get the page to load… The page load faster is a nice kind of KPI to look at, but really you want to make the user more efficient and those two things need to come together to provide the most optimal Lightning experience.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, I think, I mean, for as much as we like to put bumpers on stuff, there’s no stopping people from adding too much cheese to a taco. Right? And there’s also no stop… Well, I’m sure there’s a limit and you can tell me how many Lightning components I can have on a page, but at a certain point, your X number of Lightning component, isn’t adding value, just like your X number of pound of cheese on a taco isn’t adding really any more deliciousness.
Christopher Mar…: Now, I really like cheese on my tacos, but yeah, there’s definitely an upper limit there. And while I’ll say that we actually… There’s what you can do technically, but then what’s the best practice? And I like to focus on more on the best practices. And we’ve recently released something new in app builder. I don’t know if you’ve seen it. As admins, we’re an app builder all the time. We’ll see guidance now in the lower right hand corner. And when they trip one of our rules, like if they have more than, I think it’s 20 or 25 Lightning components on a page, it’ll pop up and say, “Hey, this might be too many. Let’s think about how to rearrange that.” And we’re going to be adding more and more features there, but with Lightning App Builder and that guidance, there’s so much you can do.
I always say that in classic, as an admin, you had very limited choices. Right? Do I put the field on the left hand side of the page, or do I put it on the right hand side of the page? That was basically it. Now with Lightning, you have all these different templates and you have tabs where you can hide stuff behind. And when you do that, those things can lazy load. And you have different regions of the screen that you need to think about.
So it’s not just do I put it on the left or do I put it on the right? The question is, where do I put it? Where is it most valuable to the end user? And if I can put it behind a tab and increase performance, all the better.
Gillian Bruce: So I think that’s awesome. I mean, it’s really interesting because we get so excited about all the flexibility we get now with, I mean, talking to Vin Dynamic, and the amazing things that his team has created, we have so many options as admins of you can put things here. You can set conditional visibility here. You can now kind of even to like a field level. I mean, there are so many things that as admins, we never had to think about that before. Like you said, it’s either left or right. And now admins are kind of UI designers in a way.
So what are some things. Chris, that… You mentioned kind of putting things behind a tab, if you can. What are some kind of like overall strategy as an admin, like general best practice? Give me some top tips there when I’m creating a page.
Christopher Mar…: Yeah. So the key things to look at when creating your page, first of all, start from scratch. Most of the customers that I’ve run into that had some of the worst performing orgs have basically just lifted and shifted from Lightning… I’m sorry… from Classic to Lightning, right? And they’ve kind of brought over a lot of their technical debt without really rethinking it.
I always think that if you’re going to implement Lightning or you’re starting out with Lightning, you should start from a blank slate and say, “What do I need to give the user to do their job?” And don’t give them too much. If you have 300 fields, no user, no person, no human can comprehend 300 fields when looking at a page. It’s too many.
Mike Gerholdt: Right.
Christopher Mar…: I say 20 is what you should shoot for, maybe 30, right, on a field. And then hide everything else behind a tab. I understand that those other 150 fields are important, but not every time I go to the page. With dynamic forums, I can’t wait. You’ll be able to drag and drop fields on, but even now, you can use a related object and just put a couple fields on the page and then put the rest behind the tabs.
And then the other one best practice I have is related lists. 35 related lists, not great on a page, right? One or two typically is what I strive for on the top part of the page where the user loads up every time they see it. And then again, put the rest behind a few tabs and hide it, especially if they don’t need it.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. So let me play devil’s advocate, Chris.
Christopher Mar…: Sure.
Mike Gerholdt: Because if I’m an admin, I’m hearing this and I’m like, “Oh, I totally need to do that.” And then the second you sit down with a user, they will give you the story of, “Well, when I load this record, sometimes I need to see this. And then other times on Tuesday afternoons, at 3:00, I need to see this. And then other times, I’m feeling like I’m on the phone with them and I need to… So I got to have access to all 35 related lists.”
Christopher Mar…: Right. And the user needs are demanding. Right? I always say that you got to get to the core of what they need. And again, they’ll need all 35 related list at some point in their career, right, at some point in their week or some point in their month or if they go to it once a year to look at this specific metric. That is important too, right? You need to be able to support that use case.
You can put all of the related lists into a secondary tab, and so that they can get access to it. I feel like we come off, in the classic world, and when we started doing web technology, you used to count the number of clicks, right? And then we gotten a little bit more into page load. And now we, at Salesforce, we talk about experience page time. That’s how much time it takes for the page to be usable for a user.
All clicks are not the same. If I’m clicking on a tab, that’s going to be pretty responsive. But if I have to click away to a different record, and I have to open up like, say, a new tab, that’s going to take more time. So the question is not so much what they want to see, it’s what do they want to have at their fingertips? And thinking about the different use cases that they might have to go through and how often they might have to access that data.
Mike Gerholdt: So in thinking of a page, how… because I know Gillian has a million questions, how should I approach tabs? Let’s start there first.
Christopher Mar…: My thought around that is that you can basically drag and drop tabs anywhere you’re not want now in the app builder. It’s really powerful. You don’t want to go crazy though, right? You don’t want to have everything be tabbed. So I like to have one set of tabs. The default tab is the, again, those key things, maybe those 20 fields, those two related list is in the default tab. And then everything else, I have behind that.
And I’ve seen actually a lot of different implementations. Some people have thought of some different ways to break out the tabs. I saw one company that had tabs basically by core role. So they might have a number of different sales roles, right, that all access the opportunity. Right? And they all want the same information, but some of them, they want these three related lists and the other ones want a different two related list or fields or whatever. They actually have five tabs on the opportunity page that actually is done by role. And I was like, “Wow, I never thought about that.” You could also do it just by, “Hey, here are all your fields. Here are all your related lists. Here’s all this stuff that deal with assets. And here’s all this stuff that deals with revenue.” So if you think about logical ways to group some of the fields and related lists, that’s another method, too.
There’s definitely no one, “This is the right way to manage your tabs.” I think it’s about working with those demanding end users and figuring out what’s going to be best for the different use cases you need to support.
Gillian Bruce: I like this. This is like tab palooza. There’s so many. Wasn’t Tab like a soft drink at some point, too? Or is that still a thing?
Mike Gerholdt: It was.
Christopher Mar…: Yes.
Mike Gerholdt: Still exists. Still exists.
Gillian Bruce: Okay. I am like, I’m envisioning it. I don’t think I’ve ever actually had it. So I can’t tell you what it tastes like.
Mike Gerholdt: I feel like it was in the ’80s thing.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah.
Mike Gerholdt: Because don’t they talk about that in a big movie that came out in 1985 about time travel?
Gillian Bruce: Sure. Yeah.
Mike Gerholdt: Put it on my tab.
Gillian Bruce: I was a little young, I think.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. I know. I’m old or something, fine. Give me a Pepsi without sugar.
Gillian Bruce: All right. So I love this tab strategy. And now everyone’s thinking of drinking a Tab soft drink. But one of the other things, when you say tabs, it makes me think of console. So can you talk to us a little bit about console versus tabs in the kind of standard out of the box experience? I mean, I love console. I think it’s amazing. And that is like the ultimate Tabba Palooza. Right?
Christopher Mar…: Yeah. So there’s definitely a big difference between the tabs that you have in app builder and the tabs that exist in the console Lightning application. Even though they probably look relatively the same, they function a little bit different. What’s important to know about the console tabs is that unlike the app builder tabs, they don’t do what we call lazy load with the app builder and you put a tab on, it loads the default tab when the end user hits the page. And then when they click into the next tab, that’s when it actually does the loading there. So you get a speed advantage, a performance advantage there.
With service console, each time it’s opening up a tab… Or I’m sorry, the Lightning console, each time it’s opening up a tab, you are actually loading that record. And furthermore, if you use navigation rules, which I know a lot of our admins do where you can open up multiple tabs, so if I click on a case, I open both the case and the account, you’re actually opening both records.
That could be a big performance hit if you have a thousand users all clicking on tens of thousands of cases every day, you’re now loading both the case and account every time someone clicks on a case. There’s some performance trade offs there. It could be very useful obviously for a service representative to be able to look at both the account and the case and flip back and forth. But do they need it every time? If the answer is yes, then go ahead and use the navigation rules. The answer is no, well you can actually speed up the performance by reducing those navigation rules.
Gillian Bruce: I see. That’s, again, a tip I had no idea about. So this is good.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. I love your point that you make in your presentation about console users are generally power users. I feel like it even took me a while before I was what I would consider myself a power user to have a console and be able to navigate around. Right?
Christopher Mar…: Yeah. I mean the console users are not people who are working on one thing at a time, right? They are working on multiple cases, multiple opportunities, multiple leads, and they are flipping back and forth and they are definitely the quintessential power users, and they need a little bit more thought put around their performance because every second you can reduce the page load time is more time that they’re going to be able to juggle multiple things.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. So let’s jump into… Because I feel we did justice to some tabs. I bet there was a Diet Tab, too, Tab Free. What about Lightning components? It’s interesting, coming from the world of Classic, you kind of had the record detail, and then all of your related lists and you had this one page and as you mentioned, there’s really, do you put it in left? Do you put it in the right? And then once it’s in the left or the right, “Ooh, do you put a blank space in between it?”
Christopher Mar…: Yeah. Right. Yeah. Oh, fancy.
Mike Gerholdt: Those fields. I remember when the blank space came out. It was like, “Oh my God, this is a game changer.” Now we have on top of the page apps, we have components that we can put in pains. And for the most part, we have standard components we can drag and drop in, and we also have custom components. So if we have developers that are building components, how should we go about thinking about components?
Christopher Mar…: Yeah, it’s a great question because that’s one of the powers that we have in Lightning that it’s so much more powerful than classic, it’s those standard and custom components. In the standard components, we keep adding more and more every release. It’s even hard for me here at Salesforce to keep up with all of these components that we have, the highlights panel. I really like the accordion, just because it’s fun to say accordion.
Mike Gerholdt: Right.
Christopher Mar…: And there are so many great different components. And then there’s third party components. There’s a huge number of app exchange, third party Lightning components out there that you can go and get free and paid. So there’s just no end to it. And then there’s of course the custom built components that you work with your developers to build.
Anytime I talk about the custom components, I always say, “Make sure that you’re looking at the standard components. Make sure you’re thinking about using flow before you even get into the custom components.” But there’s always going to be those things that you’re going to want to build those custom components for and engage those developers to do it, but you want to have those requirements upfront. Like this is what we did. I was always try to use my declarative tools first, right, before I go into the, “I need to start custom writing a component.”
Gillian Bruce: Yeah. I mean, Chris, to your point, I remember early days of when we were kind of spreading the Lightning news and going and doing like Lightning tours in cities. I remember, there was a moment where actually one of our like broader team members was super stoked about a Lightning component he’d built. And then we were like, “That’s actually a standard component.”
Mike Gerholdt: Right. Yeah.
Christopher Mar…: Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: You did all this work, and actually it already exists.
Christopher Mar…: Yeah. I’ve definitely run into that certainly with customers and then I show them not only does it exist, but it actually performs faster. Right? One of the things I wanted to get too techie here on the admin call, but when developers are building components, they actually have the option to use something called base components, which are basically the underpinnings of our core components. Right? So that it’s very similar to the ones that you see in app builder, but then they can extend them. Developers can extend them.
And the reason why that’s so important is that as we make improvements to the core Lightning experience engine, those base components that are standard components improve the performance. So it’s kind of like by using Lightning components, you’re investing anyway in Salesforce, right? By using those base components, now we can invest in you and actually help you speed up. And we do that release to release, basically.
Gillian Bruce: I think that’s really cool too, because I mean, we’ve briefly touched on kind of the more complexities that come with Lightning components and building them once in a while on this podcast. And I think the idea of base components is something that admins can very easily understand, right, because it’s very similar to the admin experience in that, “Hey, here is a…” I mean, it’s almost like a template that you can use.
Christopher Mar…: Right.
Gillian Bruce: And reminding developers that they exist, I think, is a really good thing for admins to do.
Christopher Mar…: Absolutely. And Gillian, not only can they… They can actually see them, right? So you can go and I would encourage even admins to go to the Lightning component developer docs. And in the documentation, there’s a tab for base components and you can go and look at them and see them, and then you can get the code and you can even send that link to one of your developer and say like, “This is the component that I think we want to…” This basically, it’s a UI. Ultimately it’s a base UI. You go, “This is what I want. This is the component that you should put it in. And here’s the data that we need to pull in or the functionality that we need.” So the admins can actually go and see them, see all of our base components.
Gillian Bruce: So awesome. I love that. I love that. So Chris, what are some kind of other things that you’ve got tip wise for admins who are building pages in Lightning who want to optimize performance? We talked about tabs. We briefly touched on console, talking about components. What are some other top things that come up to mind for you that you’ve seen?
Christopher Mar…: Well, one of the things that I work the most with is doing investigations with customers. How do we troubleshoot Lightning performance? Because you’re obviously not starting from a blank screen. Almost nobody’s in that position, unless you’ve just spun up a new org today. Right? So how do we go about if our users are saying it’s slow, what are the next steps you should take to then kind of troubleshoot that and figure that out? And I spend a lot of time working with customers. So I’d like to kind of talk a little bit about some of the ways I go and do that.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah. That’d be great.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. Let’s jump into that.
Christopher Mar…: The first thing I always tell people is go look at your Lightning Usage app, right? That app came about because we wanted to see how people, how users are adopting Lightning. But now, there’s two additional sections in that for pages and browser, and you can get performance. You can see how each browser type is performing, whether you’re using Chrome or Safari or whatever browser types you might have. And then you can also see it by page. And I think we showed you right now the top worst performing pages. And we grade them based upon what I talked about earlier, that experience page time, or EPT.
So there, right there and then, by an admin or even a developer going to the Lightning Usage app, they can see what pages they might want to refocus on because they’re not performing well. What’s even better is that some of that data is actually stored in your Salesforce org. A lot of people don’t know that, that behind the scenes, that Lightning Usage App is using a record called Lightning Usage By Browser metrics. It’s actually an object and you can actually build custom report types and reports on that object to kind of slice and dice the data a little bit more if you want to get detailed.
Gillian Bruce: Ooh, that’s so cool. I didn’t even know that. That’s great.
Mike Gerholdt: All of that is new. And going through your presentation, I actually saw where you could append the URL to have the EPT show up on the page.
Christopher Mar…: Yeah. And this is a great way to kind of test, from any computer, anywhere in the world, what the EPT is on a page. And you can actually append what we call a URL parameter to the end of the URL. It’s just EPT visible equals one. And you’ll be able to see how long that page load.
We recommend, or we strive for all pages loaded under the three seconds. And I can tell you at an aggregate here at Salesforce, we hit that number. If you have pages that are six, nine, 12 seconds in EPT, you need to start focusing in on what that page is, how it’s configured, and then how you can kind of rearrange it to increase the performance.
Gillian Bruce: So, Chris, this is a lot of great data that now admins are understanding how to access and how to analyze kind of their org. Once we kind of gather this data, I’m wondering when you’re working with people and their orgs, how do you kind of interpret this and use all this data to start making a plan? Like, how do you prioritize your like, “Okay, so this page is slow. We’re going to try doing tabs first or…” How do you kind of take all of this into action?
Christopher Mar…: Yeah. And that’s the key part, right? So the information is great and the Lightning Usage App can tell you where you might have some problems. Your users are obviously going to speak up and say, “It’s slow here.” The question is, what do you do next? What I’ve done is you kind of start have to take basically an inventory of the page and understand what you have on the page, what’s on the details, how many related lists. Do you have visual force on the page? Are you using third party components? Are you using a managed app exchange component that was built for Classic and hasn’t been moved to Lightning?
Those are the key things that we look at, especially with Visualforce. I’ve worked with a lot of companies that spent a lot of time and they have a lot of things in Visualforce. If you have too many Visualforce components on a page, that can severely slow you down. And I basically worked with a lot of customers, and this is a great story. I worked with a large customer. They had six architects. They were looking at one of their custom object pages. It was taking about 12 seconds to load. They really weren’t sure what was going on. They started the Lightning Usage App, but they didn’t really know how to break it down.
I sit down with them and I look at it and I say, “Well, you’ve got 30 related lists, 300 fields, and four Visualforce pages. This is not going to perform as well as you think.” And there’s a lot of call outs. And I said, “If you put some of these, a few things behind tabs and maybe move Visualforce to some of the standard components,” because I saw some of the Visualforce and I said, “That looks like a standard component to me,” they could increase their performance.
They were a little bit worried, first off, when I told them that you would need to make all these changes in their UI. But I told them, it’s all in the app builder. It’s all very declarative. I’m sure your admin can give you a quick estimate what the turnaround is. And of course, there was silence in the room. They had never invited the admin to the call. So you can imagine six architects in a room, scratching their head, trying to figure out why the app is not performing the way they want it to. And meanwhile, the administrator, she’s sitting out there, could basically fix their problems in probably less than an hour. She actually turned it around in the next day. They sent me something in the sandbox that reduced their EPT from 12 to three and a half seconds. And then they went even further than that before they ended up deploying it in their next release.
So it’s really, one of the reasons I wanted to come on the Admin Podcast is to make a call out to all of our awesome admins out there, all of our app builders to say, you can have a real huge effect on Lightning performance if you just kind of take a look at the page, inventory it, and then understand what’s the best way to present it to the user.
Gillian Bruce: I love that story. Yay. Awesome admin power.
Mike Gerholdt: Chris, that’s a really good point. And thinking through always being in the conversation, right? So for some of the teams that you work with, do you find that often, some of that standard functionality was rebuilt or they’re just not including everyone in the conversation when they’re looking at their performance?
Christopher Mar…: Yeah. I mean, certainly in this case, they didn’t include the admin in the conversation when they were looking at performance because they felt they were so customized that it wasn’t important, which is the exact opposite. Because they were so customized, they needed to have the admin in the room. You know, I also feel like the Visualforce has been around for so long. And I do really love Visualforce. I built a lot of stuff in Visualforce, but a lot of the stuff that we built for standard components came from us seeing people building the same Visualforce page over and over and over again. Right?
So there’s some level there that we built for you that you need to now use. A lot of customers when they, again, when they migrate to Lightning using a lift and shift mentality, it’s just not optimal. They won’t get a optimal Lightning experience because they didn’t think about using the standard stuff first, using the declarative stuff first. They just brought over all of that customization, all that Visualforce they made.
I still, on occasion, get asked when will S-Controls be supported in Lightning. I’ll just say it here, it’ll never happen. And it’s a good thing. It’s a good thing that we don’t do that, because it just kind of relieves yourself with technical debt and you now can use standard stuff for a lot of these things.
Mike Gerholdt: Well, and a lot of the features that we have coming out are quicker than what the previous, the one it replaces, right?
Christopher Mar…: Absolutely.
Mike Gerholdt: The analogy I think of is email’s way faster than sending a letter in the mail. Right? It’s got mail in the title, but it’s way faster. One thing that you touch on that I do want to help admins with… And I’ll admit that I’m not the most inept at troubleshooting. We talked a lot about page performance and I feel that admins have that ability to really make that effect, and you’ve seen that. When troubleshooting, you have a whole slide and a whole kind of section that you talk about browser performance.
Christopher Mar…: Yes.
Mike Gerholdt: Often, when an admin’s out walking around, a user will kind of pull him over to be like, “Hey, this is slow. Is there something you can help?” I’d love to know, like, what are some of those things that we can do to kind of jump in and just check and kind of make sure that things are running optimal in that user’s computer?
Christopher Mar…: Yeah. Browser performance is key for Lightning. One of the big differences between Classic and Lightning is Classic is rendered all on our side, what we call the server side. It’s almost rendered entirely by Salesforce then sent as a old school HTML file all at once in a big, huge, basically text blob. With Lightning, it’s a little bit different. We’re still doing stuff on the server side, right, because you’re still connected to Salesforce. You’re still probably running your apex or whatever on the server side. But on the client side is where all the rendering really happens and all the processor happens.
So we need to have… The physical piece of hardware that’s in front of you needs to be able to do that rendering. So we have something that we built right into the application called the speed test. It uses a score called octane score, which was invented by Google. And it evaluates your browser’s performance specifically within a tab. Does it have a good connection to the Salesforce data center? Is it powerful enough? Does it have enough Ram? Does it have a good upload and download speed? I know with people obviously working a lot from home these days, network connections can really vary. So it’s a good thing to look at that.
And when you run that speed test, you really want to get an octane score between 20 and 30,000. And when you have older pieces of hardware, you might need to think about refreshing them or upgrading them. I always say that at a company, those employees that are the most tenured tend to actually have some of the oldest hardware and see the worst performance. Right? And that’s just because sometimes, refresh schedules, they get extended or they’re simply just not implemented. And today’s browsers-based technologies, you don’t need to have this mega machine obviously. But having a decent octane score is certainly the first step to ensuring good browser performance.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. I can tell you, and I’m sure our admins out there have some stories of users. I had a user on old Internet Explorer. This was right around the time when Salesforce was definitely upgrading some stuff. I said, “You’ve got to just download Firefox. It’s also supported by our IT.” Truth be told, some users are shackled by IT only supports certain browsers, and only certain browsers can be downloaded. And thankfully, our IT department support IE and Firefox. And I said, “Just download Firefox and it’ll be quicker,” and I went back to their desk. And they said, “I downloaded Firefox. It’s not any faster.” And I look at their page and their page is still open in IE.
Christopher Mar…: Yeah.
Mike Gerholdt: Well, the point of downloading Firefox is that I use Salesforce in Firefox. But to that point, that was one of my most tenured users. And they did have some of the oldest equipment.
Christopher Mar…: Yeah. What I see actually, what typically happens to customers that have some of the worst performance is that it’s a combination, right, of poor browser performance, poor hardware, and just massively over-customized pages. And when those two things come together, that’s when you see some of the worst performing Lightning pages.
Mike Gerholdt: Yep. Well, great, Chris. I am glad we had you on the podcast. We obviously, a lot to talk about. We can always dive into learning more about how we can set up Lightning pages and troubleshooting browser performance. And we didn’t even touch on network performance. But I appreciate you getting on and helping our admins make the users as productive as possible.
Christopher Mar…: Yeah. I just wanted to make one last shout out to Trailhead. There’s a great trail called Lightning Experience Performance Optimization. That’s going to go into the details of everything I’ve talked about here. It’ll talk to you about EPT and the Lightning Usage App and how to get your octane score and all that sort of stuff. It even talks, we didn’t even get into it, but it talks a lot about optimizer. I know you had Niket on a few podcasts ago. And that trail is an awesome trail. Again, the Lightning Experience Performance Optimization trail, go check it out.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. And I’ll be sure to link to it in the show notes. Thanks so much, Chris.
Christopher Mar…: Thanks so much, Michael.
Gillian Bruce: All right. So for three things that I got from our conversation with Chris, I mean, I got a lot, but my top three are admins, think about using tabs. That is so easy to create tabs on your Lightning pages and use them to make your pages more useful for your users and customize. Chris talked about a whole bunch of different ways you can do that. And maybe you want to drink a Tab while you’re playing with tabs.
Next, check performance in your own org. In fact, there’s a couple of tools that Chris mentioned that you can, as an admin, use right now to check the performance of your org. There’s the Lightning Usage App. And that’s where you can view EPT and browser performance. And you can also create a custom report type by using the object Lightning Usage by Page Metrics. So really cool way to get all that data there.
And then you can take actions, like Chris talked about. And then finally, when you’re thinking about Lightning components, remember to always start with the standard components. And if you do need to build something custom, remind your developers to start with the base components. It’s going to make your components perform better on your page. And there’s tons of capabilities there. So don’t discount them. Start there. You don’t have to build everything from scratch.
If you want to learn more about all things Salesforce admin, go to admin.salesforce.com to find more resources. And a reminder, if you love what you hear, be sure to pop on over to iTunes and give us a review. I promise, Mike and I read all of them. We love them. We need more of them. So give us more reviews. And you can always stay up to date with us on social for all things admins. We’re @SalesforceAdmns, no I, on Twitter, #awesomeadmin. And you can find me @gilliankbruce and Mike…
Mike Gerholdt: @MikeGerholdt.
Gillian Bruce: Thank you so much for joining us today and we’ll catch you next time in the cloud.
Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we’re chatting with Purvi Desai, Director Product Marketing for Service Cloud. We learn how admins can get started with this amazing product.
Join us as we talk about how to use personas to help you configure service cloud, the amazing powers of macros, and some product marketing insights about how to build a demo.
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Purvi Desai.
What we learned about Service Cloud at TrailheaDX.
We saw Purvi’s segment about Service Cloud at TrailheaDX and knew we had to bring her on the pod to tell us more about it. “This session was really all about how admins can champion productivity for service agents,” she says, “admins wear many hats, they’re product managers where they’re implementing roadmap and rolling out new features, but they’re also very much responsible for the user experience.”
In a world where service organizations are measured by average handle time and customer satisfaction, optimizing the experience for service agents means cases are handled faster and customers leave the interaction happier.
How to start thinking about Service Cloud users.
In her segment, Purvi walked us through everything from automations to Lightning Flows and AI that can save time and make everyone more productive. What’s so crucial with Service Cloud that differentiates it from working with sales is your users are working through the interface you’ve given them at the same moment as they’re dealing with the customer. One thing that comes in handy is leveraging personas: case solvers, expert agents, and team leaders. Understanding who each of these users are and what they need to do will help you optimize their workflow.
Another important concept to get your head around is the type of cases your company solves. A software company is going to have a very different workflow than a retail organization, for example. You need to make decisions about what information will be most helpful to your reps in the moment they’re dealing with the customer. “Any little thing you can automate, any second saved is really important,” Purvi says.
New Service Cloud features coming in Summer 20.
Looking forward to Summer 20, we’re adding several new features that are incredibly exciting. Service Cloud Voice brings a native integration of intelligent telephony to the Salesforce platform. Putting everything all in one place is especially important when several people are working from home and may not have the same amount of screen real estate they’re used to.
For team leaders, you have everything all in one place, including voice. Most importantly, you have richer analytics to help you make decisions in real-time. “This is going to help our agents because it’s going to help them focus on the customer rather than writing notes or searching for an answer,” Purvi says, because now there’s live voice transcription. Everything happens through Salesforce’s interface, making it easy for admins to work with and bring key insights to leadership.
Full Show Transcript
Gillian Bruce: Welcome to the Salesforce Admins podcast, where we talk about product, community and careers to help you become an awesome admin. I’m Gillian Bruce.
Mike Gerholdt: And I’m Mike Gerholdt.
Gillian Bruce: And today we have an amazing guest joining us. It’s Purvi Desai, Product Marketing, Service Cloud to talk how admins can get started with Service Cloud. So without further ado, let’s get Purvi on the podcast.
Mike Gerholdt: So Purvi, welcome to the podcast.
Purvi Desai: Thank you.
Mike Gerholdt: As a followup from TrailheaDX, which was an amazing event. We saw you kind of wrap up the Service Cloud session. We wanted to have you on the podcast to talk more Service Cloud, because we know there’s so many admins out there that loves Service Cloud that are knee-deep in it, helping their organizations do a bunch of stuff. Wanting to get to know a little bit more about the person we saw at TrailheaDX, and some fun Service Cloud features for admins. So we’ll get started. I’d love to know, kind of your path before you came to Salesforce?
Purvi Desai: Totally. So I actually have a background in IT. When I was in [inaudible] I was interning as actually a systems administrator, not for Salesforce, but for a different system. So then after that, I did a brief stint at Accenture as a consultant. And then I kind of went back to the company I worked at for a while and worked in IT and what I was doing there with implementing marketing systems. And with that I worked very closely with the marketing team there, helping them with the requirements and helping them deliver. And what I found was that while I loved IT and I loved implementing the systems, I also really love the marketing aspect and working with the marketing team to deliver these messages to get people excited about the product. So that’s what really made me decide like, “Hey, I want to make this switch into marketing and I want to do it at Salesforce because Salesforce is a fun marketing company. I know I can learn a ton there.”
So I actually joined Salesforce about almost five years ago. And at first I joined as a web experience manager because my background was actually very much in content management systems. And so delivering those systems, and Salesforce was actually implementing the same system at the time. So I was able to join and bring my kind of expertise in that system while also kind of onboarding and creating the web experiences on salesforce.com for our Service Cloud team. So I did that for a couple of years, and then I started getting interested in product marketing and really bringing the voice of our products to our customers. So that’s where I joined the Service Cloud product marketing team, where I am today, really delivering more of the technical aspects of marketing with demos that you see at Dreamforce, the ones that you’re seeing at the Keynote and the Campground, and it’s just been really, really exciting and fun. And so I really love what I do.
Gillian Bruce: It’s a really great path. I love how, I think a lot of admins will hear similar themes to their paths in your story and starting in IT. And then kind of getting exposed to some of these other things like marketing that you’re like, “Oh, I like that. I want to get into that.” And then getting close to the product and kind of getting to nerd out a little bit, which, if you’re listening to this podcast we’re all a little bit nerdy, right? So thank you for sharing it. That’s awesome. That’s awesome.
Purvi Desai: Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: So, Purvi you did an amazing presentation for TrailheaDX, which was our first ever virtual TrailheaDX. And you did a whole session on Service Cloud for Admins. Can you give us a brief synopsis of some of the stuff you did in that session?
Purvi Desai: Absolutely. So this session was really all about how admins can champion productivity for service agents. And as a service admin, and as an admin in general, they wear many hats. They’re product managers where they are implementing Roadmap and rolling out new features. But they’re also very much responsible for the user experience and making sure that that user experience for service agents is really productive and it’s going to really help them close cases faster, which is really important. Because a lot of service organizations are measured on average handle time and customer satisfaction. And you know, the faster you can get your issue completed, the happier the customer is going to be. So that’s really where we wanted to focus. So it was really all about tips on how to create an optimal service experience from where how to lay out case pages to all the different tools that we have available out of the box that are going to really help make that agent’s job a lot easier.
So, that was basically it. And then also we talked about some automation tools that are available, whether that’s from macros that are kind of automating things, like closing a case or escalating a case to lightning flows, which are going to really automate those business processes all the way to AI. So recommending the best knowledge article to solve the case, or even suggesting case fields. Because a lot of times agents are spending time filling out case fields, doing administrative work, and that’s all counting against their handle time, which they want to have as low as possible. So that was really like the gist of it, to how to help agents be more productive.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, you really packed in. I mean, literally three sessions worth of information in like 18 minutes. It was amazing. I think, starting off in the session, you talk about personas and meeting with users, which Gillian will attest to. I’ve talked about SABWA, Salesforce Administration By Walking Around for a long time. And this year I’ve got to revise that to SABZA, because it’s got to be Salesforce Administration By Zooming Around, right? Because SABZA. But one thing that really grasped me about your presentation and about thinking back to when I did a Service Cloud implementation is the idea of personas and the idea that as an admin, your users are really in the product exactly at the moment that they’re trying to work with a customer. And to me it feels different. And it was a mind shift from working with sales. Because sales often they got the game face on, they’re going into the meeting and it’s either, a big meeting or a big presentation and they’ve got stuff prepared.
And then they go back to Salesforce and get that information or input that data. With Service Cloud the second that phone rings or the second that incoming chat comes up, now they’re in the product, right? And it’s hand in hand that, it’s like Batman in the Batmobile, right? They’ve got to have everything together in order to give that customer service the best possible outcome. And so I’d love for you to kind of talk about personas, because I still work through, as an admin we have profiles, we have permission sets. How does personas help me give that next layer of understanding as I’m working with this department?
Purvi Desai: Absolutely. So the percentage that we covered in the session, so there’s really four. One of them is admin, so we’re not going to really talk about that.
Mike Gerholdt: I mean, we can, it’s our favorite subject.
Purvi Desai: Yeah, of course it is. But there’s three really personas that we can focus on. And when it comes to a service learning organization and the people that are really using the Service Cloud product, the first one is a case solver. And these are the people who are providing direct customer support and solving escalated cases. Their top activities include logging activities, troubleshooting customer issues, and updating existing customers. And 65% of them are spending about five or more hours a day in Salesforce. So they’re spending a lot of time in here and they really need help being as efficient as possible. So tools to increase efficiency and enable collaboration are really going to be key to the case solver’s success. So the reason why it’s important to understand your persona is because once you can understand what it’s like for them to … Or how they’re working and what kinds of things they’re working on, you can understand what are the tools that they need to help them be more successful.
So, right. So if we take the case solver for example, it is high volume. They’re solving case, after case, after case. So they need to be efficient. They need the deep information right front and center so they can dive right in. If it’s scattered information or if they have to go through multiple tabs or multiple systems to find the information that they need, that’s going to really slow them down. And it’s not going to make a great experience for them. So if you’re understanding kind of their what they need to do, that can kind of help you figure out, “Okay, this is the kind of case layout I need for them. I need to make sure that their information is front and center because they need to know that in order to dive into the case and respond as fast as possible.”
And then a lot of times these case solvers, need to perform an action. So I think something that a lot of service organizations and businesses in general often times is a use case is providing a refund, right? Or doing a billing issue. So is that refund process readily available for them to go to? Like a quick link that they can do that if that’s something that they’re doing a lot. Those are the kinds of things that, when you understand the persona, it’s helpful for you to figure out what is it that I need to provide to them and really create your requirements list. And then the next is our expert agent. And so expert agents they solve escalated cases. They’re really kind of helping those case solvers out. So when the case solver is at a point where, “Okay, I need to escalate this to the next level. This is out of my territory. Or I don’t have access to the right information because permissions for example,” it’s going to go to this expert agents.
So they’re solving, they’re helping these case solvers get to a resolution. And then they’re also creating knowledge articles. So they’re the ones who are contributing to that hub that the case solvers are using to help them solve articles. And they’re training agents. They’re also spending, 66% of them are also spending five hours a day in Salesforce. And they’re really supporting other agents by creating and editing knowledge articles and training. So for them it’s important to make sure that they have the tools that they need for knowledge readily available. And if you also think about a case being escalated to an expert agent, they need to understand what’s already happened on that case. Where do I need to dive in? So that’s where things, for example like the case feed that we talked about in the session is really important, because it’s going to give you that history of what happened.
So again, the expert agent can jump in and help the case solver right away. When things are not apparent like that and it’s just scattered and something’s just kind of dropped on your desk, you can understand, like if you don’t have the background of the context, it’s kind of like, “What do you want me to do with this?” You know what I mean? So that’s why those things are really important to understand. The other thing I want to talk about beyond the personas though is also the type of cases that the companies are solving. So like let’s take for example a retail industry. They oftentimes have cases that are very quick, right? Like, “Oh, I need to check on my order status. I need to understand, I need to return something.” So those interactions last maybe 10 minutes at most, and then they’re resolved pretty quickly.
So thinking about a short term and a high volume kind of use case versus a long term where if you can think about like a technology company. And those cases might last a few days, because there’s back and forth, there’s troubleshooting and having that kind of history. So you also want to think about beyond the personas, also thinking about the type of the use case to really figure out what’s the best thing to have there.
So for example for the high volume, while it’s important to have the history for the customer, it might not be … That’s more important to understand for a long-term case like, “What are the past cases they’ve had? Is this a recurring issue? What troubleshooting things have they done in the past?” That’s really going to be helpful for those long-term cases to understand what the history is. Whereas for the short term, it’s more getting to the crux of that problem right then and there and resolving it [inaudible]. And then the last kind of persona that we talked about is the team leader who is really supervising, managing, and training agents. And for them it’s less about the case, but it’s more about the reporting. So ensuring that there’s a nice view of reports and dashboards and utilizing features like Omni Supervisor to really give them a view into the entire service organization’s activity so they can jump in as needed.
Gillian Bruce: I think that personas, no matter what type of Salesforce instance you’re administering is super important. As Mike said, it’s all about understanding that user experience and which is now SABZA, which is my new favorite term. It’s like I used to do a machete motion for SABWA and now this is more like a lightsaber emotion, because there’s a Z in, it sounds fancy and advanced. But, Purvi, to your point, understanding those personas and the fact that you’ve been able to kind of define those very distinct personas going into a Service Cloud implementation I think is very, very helpful. And I’m sure that anyone who’s listening who is working on a Service Cloud implementation will be able to get a lot from what you just shared with us. Now, another thing that I know admins go crazy for, and you talked about this also in the TDX presentation is macros. Talk about speeding up that experience. Tell us a little bit more about macros.
Purvi Desai: Sure. So macro is for those that are listening in that aren’t aware are basically what they do is they take a bunch of clicks and they automate them into one. So what that means is, for example, let’s say every time that you’re resolving a case you’re sending that same kind of … Like let’s say it’s an email case and you’re always sending that same kind of email like, “Oh, your case has been resolved.” So there’s a lot of clicks to get to that, right? First you have to click on the email tab, then you have to apply the email template. Then you have to maybe edit a few things and then you have to send it. So with macros you can automate all of that. So they can, literally your agents can click, one, they can open that macros menu and they could click run, and that’s going to be all taken care of for them.
So that’s where it’s really helpful. Like I mentioned before, time is very much of the essence for service agents. They’re measured on the handle time, how long it takes for them to close cases. And that’s really going to attribute to the overall customer satisfaction score of the company. So it’s really important to help them. Anything, any little thing that you can automate is really, a second saved is so important. So that’s really what macros are going to do. Like I said, closing a case is a great use case. Another use case is escalating a case. So if you think about that, let’s say there’s a case that needs to be escalated to an expert agent. You would need to change the case status to escalated. You would need to add a note in there. There’s a couple of things that might need to happen.
A process for example to escalate. You can automate all of that, just again with one click to make it even easier. And even assign it. When you escalate it, you can also create rules that it is going to assign it to another queue, like the expert agent queue for example. So it’s going to be automatically routed to the right agent to take that over. So, that’s really where macros are great. They can also create tasks automatically. And I do want to tell you that macros are just not a Service Cloud thing, they’re a Salesforce thing. They work with Sales Cloud. They work with basically every standard object and custom object. So anything you want to automate across Salesforce, you can use macros for.
Gillian Bruce: It’s so awesome. I have to admit that I was watching South Park the other day, because as one does in so shelter in place and they, it was the episode about World of Warcraft, which again, we’re talking about nerdy subjects here. And Cartman is talking about how he has all these macros for all the different moves that you can do when you’re battling other characters.
And I was like, “See, it’s not just a nerdy software thing. It’s also a thing for gamers and people who like sick cartoons.” So anyway, to bring it home for those who don’t quite know what a macro is and haven’t really dug into them before. It is an amazing thing. Macros, I literally think I just learned about them a couple of years ago and I set some up on my own computer to do certain things and I’m like, “Oh, this is awesome.” So yeah, using them across Salesforce, I mean is just super, super, super cool.
Mike Gerholdt: I have this idea now for a game that we can play at Dreamforce in the admin area, or for a community group, it’s take three things and have three different hats and pull something out. Because take like a Salesforce feature, a cloud, and pop culture and put a whole bunch of random stuff in each one, and it’s like, “Okay, so imagine you pull out South Park Service Cloud in macros, Gillian, go.”
Gillian Bruce: I got it.
Mike Gerholdt: Got it.
Gillian Bruce: I got it.
Mike Gerholdt: No problem. That would be the funnest kind of Mad Libs S game ever.
Gillian Bruce: That’s really like that. We need to do that.
Mike Gerholdt: I do like, Purvi that you also added kind of those questions that need to be asked. What needs to happen? What’s the information needed? Who needs to be involved and how can I make it all happen with a click? Because I know sitting in a meeting room or being on a call with customer service managers are like, “Well, they should do this and this and this and this and this and this.” And you’re like, “This is like 10 minutes to close a case and you’re mad that it’s take the agent two minutes to be on the phone.” And so that’s where the power of that macro comes in. So, it’s warm out, it’s warm where I’m at, and it’s probably warm where a lot of people are right now. But we have Summer ’20 coming out, which has a ton of new features. And I would love to know from your perspective what some of those exciting Summer ’20 features are in Service Cloud?
Purvi Desai: Absolutely. So the most exciting feature coming out for Summer ’20, and this is really big for us. This is something we announced at Dreamforce ’19 is Service Cloud Voice. And what Service Cloud Voice is, is a native integration of intelligent telephony on the Salesforce platform. And this is alongside all the digital channels and CRM data. So, for a long time we didn’t have native telephony on Salesforce. We’re very much just, our customers were using Partners and we were doing it that way, but now we’re actually having it natively integrated. So those of you that use Omni-Channel right now for channels like chat and messaging and email and social, all of your voice calls, if you get Service Cloud Voice is going to now route through Omni.
So that means no matter what channel it is, it’s going to be routed all in one place for your agents. And being in the shelter in place kind of quarantine time we’re in that’s so critical too to have everything in one place, because a lot of people are just working off their laptop like I am. So they don’t have a lot of screen space, which is really helpful. This is really going to help agents. Not only is it just, “Okay, now we have voice and it’s going through Omni,” but it’s going to help increase agent productivity by giving agents access to native call controls, voice surfaced with an omni-channel, and then on-call productivity tools.
So all this productivity tools that we talked about, we talked about macros, we talked about flow, we talked about some of those capabilities, Einstein, that’s now going to all be available on the voice channel. In addition, it’s going to really help out those team leads and supervisors, because they’re going to have greater visibility into the contact center. Because not only, before with Omni Supervisor, they would have this bird’s eye view and they could see all of the cases that their agents were handling across those channels I mentioned before, email, chat, messaging, all of those things. But now they’re going to be able to see voice channels and see what they’re handling in real time.
And then with enhanced data collection and visibility into what’s going on, they’ll have even more analytics, richer analytics to help them with their decision making. And this is really going to help our agents, because it’s going to help them focus on the customer rather than writing notes or searching for an answer. Because with this new Service Cloud Voice we have real-time transcription. So now, a lot of times when I actually went to a customer and I was shadowing their agents, and when they’re on the phone, they were kind of taking notes, making sure they were capturing things while they were talking to them. They were multitasking. Now this is kind of like, they don’t need to do that. Because with real-time voice transcription, all of those things are being captured for them. So they can just focus on that customer and focus on what’s happening. So it’s really going to help them with admin tasks, which is something we want to get off their plates as well.
And let me tell you why this is really cool and beneficial for admins. This is all going to happen. So the purchase, the setup and the support of Telephony is all going to happen through Salesforce’s interface. That means that you’re really streamlining your setup. You had just have one place now for all of your channels to set up and manage. And you’re going to be able to deliver much richer dashboards and much richer reporting for your supervisors and business leaders. Because the phone call is being captured as data in the service console with the call transcription recording.
So I just want to talk about like what does that mean? So we have voice transcripts, we have data about calls. We have data about messaging interactions. We have data about email, all of those interactions. And then we also have all of that CRM data that’s in Salesforce. So now you have every single channel, everything you need, plus CRM data that you can really have some really great insights. And that’s why this is so important for businesses and so important for admins to really roll out to their business leaders in their companies.
Mike Gerholdt: Wow. Just as a moment of pause, if you’re at this point in the podcast, I am completely cool with you pausing and going back and relistening to that, because I just had to stop taking notes. But what floored me was the real-time voice transcription. I think that’s got to be huge for anybody looking to help kind of bring best practices or reportability to their service agents.
One thing I did want to ask you, which as we kind of wrap up, we’ve talked a lot about Summer ’20 features. We talked a lot about personas. We talked a lot about macros and you at the beginning, we asked you about being in marketing and being product management and being definitely on the technical side. You’re the perfect intersection of what I feel admins are. I would love to know from your perspective and your learnings here at Salesforce, how you, or any insight you can give admins on when they’re putting demos together or kind of your thought process for putting content together. Because I feel like a lot of what you did for TrailheaDX prep, our Salesforce admins will have to turn around and do and do on a daily basis as they showcase new features or build demos. So if you could share any of that, I think it would be tremendously helpful for them.
Purvi Desai: Yeah, absolutely. I think before you start thinking about the demo, the first thing you need to think about is what is the message you want to convey? So the way I kind of start, when I start thinking about the Dreamforce demos, I’m like, “Okay, what are our key messages that we want to get across? And what are those key pain points that our audience is feeling that we want to show how this product is going to help them alleviate?” So that’d be like my recommendation, first align on the pain points you want to address and what are those key messages you want to get across? And then the second thing is, what features am I going to show? What in functionality am I going to show that’s going to support my key messages and show how I’m going to ease this pain?
So I would say like that would be step one to figure those things out, and then really get into and start building your story. So when you’re building your story, it’s like, “Okay, how can I make this as easy to understand as possible?” You don’t want to make it too complicated where people are focusing more on the story you’re telling and less on the what you’re showing them that the product can do. So it’s finding that nice balance of like, “What’s a story that’s easy to understand that is in a way entertaining, relatable, something that they can follow and kind of gets them a bit of an emotional or humorous or some kind of catch there, or hook there, not catch, to get them interested?” But then also keep the focus on that message that you’re trying to convey, that pain that you’re trying to solve in that product that you’re trying to showcase.
So that would be then the next way to create that really that storyboard and make sure that your messages are interwoven and then the features that you decided you wanted to show are supporting all of that. And then create that final product and get into building the demo itself. I think that’s sometimes a lot of times that I find people are like, “Okay, let’s get into the Oregon, start building things.” And it’s like, “No, no, no. First thing about your messages, what are your messaging? What is that key thing that you want to get across? How are you going to tell that story?” And then build, you know what I mean?
Gillian Bruce: I think that’s super, super helpful, Purvi. I mean, us as a team, we think about doing this all of the time to try and share stories with admins. But I think as Mike pointed out, as an admin it’s your job to bring these stories to life and show these features to your teams. So, getting a pro product marketer’s expertise and tips on that is very, very helpful. So thank you for sharing.
Mike Gerholdt: That was amazing. I mean, so on point of, I think it rushed so quick to show the demo and the product and what it can do, and you forget that you have to be there and guide your users through a sample experience, but a very relatable one that isn’t too distracting. That was incredibly insightful.
Gillian Bruce: Purvi, thank you so much for joining us today. And thank you so much for sharing with us and telling us a little bit about your story and then all of the amazing things that admins can do with Service Cloud now and in the very near future. I have a fun question. So we’ve all been kind of sheltering in place for a while. What’s one of your favorite non-work sheltering in place activities that you’ve done?
Purvi Desai: My husband and I have been playing cards a lot and we’ve been playing Monopoly Deal. Have you heard of this game?
Gillian Bruce: No. Tell me more.
Mike Gerholdt: No.
Purvi Desai: Okay.
Mike Gerholdt: Explain.
Purvi Desai: So it’s a Monopoly as a card game and basically you have to get the first person to get three, combinations of three, let’s say they get Park Place and Boardwalk together, and then they get like three of the yellows and those, they win. And so it’s a lot of fun. We’ve actually upped it to five, but you also can kind of steal properties from people. You can charge them money, so you have to collect money too, and you can bankrupt them, which I do often, that’s my strategy. I do it with my husband right away and it works every time. So, that’s kind of been a fun thing we do. We watch Netflix and play cards every night, so.
Gillian Bruce: That’s great. I love that. I think combining this with kind of the Vin Addala podcast or Vin Dynamic, we’re now amassing a really good collection of game ideas for sheltering in place, so this is great.
Mike Gerholdt: I know, [inaudible]. Oh, wow. I’m going to have to try that now. Thanks for sharing that. Purvi, it was great to have you on the podcast. If people want to follow you on Twitter, and I’m sure all the people will follow you on Twitter now, what’s your Twitter handle?
Purvi Desai: Sure. It’s Purvi, my first name P-U-R-V as in Victor, I 214.
Mike Gerholdt: 214, awesome. Well, thanks so much for being on the podcast, Purvi
Purvi Desai: Thank you so much for having me. It was a pleasure.
Gillian Bruce: Well, I had an amazing time talking to Purvi, learned a ton. For my top three takeaways from our conversation. Number one, use personas. We’ve talked about this before in a lot of different contexts, but especially if you’re looking at a Service Cloud implementation, Purvi did a great job outlining some very specific personas for you to think about as you start to set that up and implement different features. Number two, macros are super cute. So macros are amazing. And yes, I did talk about South Park, but they are incredible, not just for Service Cloud, but across your entire Salesforce instance.
So you can set those up to really reduce the amount of clicks that your users need to do in order to get their job done. And then finally, we got some expert product marketing insights from Purvi about how to prepare a demo. Really think about your main message and then build the story as easy to understand as possible around that. Highly suggest you think about that. As admins we all have to create demos and sell a story and a vision to our users, our stakeholders, our executives. So some great tips from Purvi there.
Mike Gerholdt: And Gillian, did you know where you can go to learn more about all thing Salesforce Admin?
Gillian Bruce: Wait, there’s a place I can go to learn more?
Mike Gerholdt: There is, it’s admin.salesforce.com. In fact, if you go there, you can find resources about demos and did you know videos that help you understand and see things in action. And of course as a reminder, if you love what you hear, be sure to pop on over to iTunes and give us a review. I love reading them. I love sharing them with the team and you can stay up to date with us on social for all things admins. We are @SalesforceAdmns, no I, on Twitter. And of course you can find me on Twitter. I am @MikeGerholdt and Gillian you can be find you on Twitter. That was an awesome way to say that. We’re just going to keep that in, because that’s funny and I like to laugh at myself. But you are @gilliankbruce.
Gillian Bruce: Sure I am.
Mike Gerholdt: If you ever want to find Gillian on Twitter, I don’t know. That’s just, that’s how that would be. You know what you can do? If you’ve listened this far in the podcast, tweet out a GIF that explains the ending of this podcast, because I am so looking forward to now. There we go.
Gillian Bruce: Oh, is that going to be some good GIFs?
Mike Gerholdt: I think so. I think so. So with that, stay tuned for our next episode and we’ll see you in the cloud.
Today, we’re joined by Wade Wegner, SVP Developer Platform at Salesforce and Product Leader for Work.com. We learn about the new collection of tools and resources, built on the Salesforce platform, to help businesses navigate the reopening process safely and responsibly.
Join us as we talk about how Wade and his team were able to build out Work.com in a matter of weeks, the new considerations companies face as they look to reopen, and how Work.com’s suite of tools and resources can help you.
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Wade Wegner.
Why Salesforce is the perfect tool to help with reopening.
“About a month and a half ago, I started having conversations with some of our internal leaders around how Salesforce was going to start thinking about reopening our offices,” Wade says, “and given the global pandemic, this is a topic that is on everyone’s mind right now. How do we reopen and do so safely?”
As they were working through all of the challenges that that entails, they realized that the answer was right in front of them the whole time: the Salesforce platform. “We have an amazing platform that can do just about anything you can imagine,” Wade says, “and so we started imagining a lot of the ways that we could use the platform to help reopen Salesforce.” At the same time, the executive leadership started talking to customers and realized that everyone was going through the same process, and could probably use some help. Those conversations turned into Work.com, a comprehensive set of resources and tools to help you reopen your businesses and offices safely.
New Employee standard objects to help.
The Work.com team was able to go from an idea to a full-fledged solution so rapidly because they built it 100% on the platform. With all the information you need to track, Salesforce makes a lot more sense than cramming everything across a hundred different spreadsheets. For one thing, you’ve got all sorts of compliance and privacy concerns with health information. For another, you need to compare a bunch of data about your employees while also keeping track of key metrics, applications where Salesforce is the perfect tool for the job.
The one thing they’ve added into core is an employee data model with a set of standard objects to help keep track of all of the new information. It’s been backported so it will be available as part of the Summer 20 release. “We’ve met with the CDC and other medical experts to code and create survey templates that define the questions you should ask and the type of information to collect,” Wade says. There are flow templates, a page layout for a command center with key information from both what you collect and public data sets, dashboards for facilities managers, and more, all of it customizable to fit your individual needs and mobile-ready out of the box.
How reopening impacts the ENTIRE organization.
There are many challenges facing companies looking to reopen in a safe responsible way. “The experiences we’re going to have in the office will be different,” Wade says, and training and enablement will be key. Built-in to Work.com are content kits that provide best practices (again, customizable templates) that will help those who can return be ready to do it safely. How do you properly social distance in an elevator? What happens if and when someone gets sick, and how do you notify your employees? “You don’t want to manage this through spreadsheets,” Wade says, “you need a set of best practices and tools that facilitate this.”
“Pretty much every company in the world is thinking about this,” Wade says, so you can be sure pretty much anyone in a management position is eager to talk about this, whether they run facilities, HR, or are scheduling shifts. “I think there’s a real opportunity to talk to them about a solution that brings this together and provides the platform to reopen on top of,” he says, and with a different set of stakeholders than admins are usually used to thinking about.
Listen for the full episode because there’s so much to learn in this ever-changing situation and there’s a lot of information here, including how Wade’s team pulls public health data into Tableau, new considerations facing companies, and why not everyone might want to come back to the office. “We’re all a part of our community, we’re all part of this company,” Wade says, “so many people have contributed and worked so hard at this because we want to see people be able to return safely.”
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Full Show Transcript
Mike Gerholdt: Welcome to the Salesforce Admins podcast, where we talk about product, community and careers to help you become an awesome admin. I’m Mike Gerholdt.
Gillian Bruce: And I’m Gillian Bruce.
Mike Gerholdt: Joining us today is Wade Wegner, SVP developer platform and product leader for work.com. This is super important for admins, so I’m glad that Wade was able to take time out of his day and come on the podcast. So Wade, welcome to the podcast.
Wade, welcome to the podcast.
Wade Wegner: Thanks for having me. Appreciate it.
Mike Gerholdt: So let’s start. Work.com, what is it?
Wade Wegner: Work.com, well, I think… Let me start by actually stepping back a little bit, and to say that about a month and a half ago, I started having conversations with some of our internal leaders on the HR side and real estate, and around conversations for how Salesforce was going to start thinking about reopening our offices. Given the global pandemic, this is a topic that is on everyone’s mind right now, is, how do we start to reopen our businesses? How do we reopen communities? Just, how do we reopen, right, and I think, importantly, do so safely.
So we started thinking about, and I would imagine most people that are listening today can expect and imagine how much the Salesforce platform can actually help facilitate a lot of this, right? We have an amazing platform that can do just about anything you can imagine. And so we started imagining a lot of the ways that we could use the platform to help reopen Salesforce. At the same time, a lot of us, some of our executives, I think Marc Benioff in particular, started talking to our customers, and realized everyone is going through the exact same thing.
So we started to think, how could we take advantage of, really, the expertise that we’re very fortunate to have at Salesforce, through our own employees that are domain experts, and real estate, and facilities, and HR, but then also, how many people can call up David Agus and start asking questions about what to do in a global pandemic. I mean, not many can, but we have that affordance here, thanks to our leadership and so forth. So how do we turn all of this into a set of best practices that can help others also think about reopening? So out of all of that was born work.com.
You can type work.com into the browser. It’ll give you all the marketing around it right there at your fingertips. But I’ll say, work.com is a set of tools. It’s a set of learning and enablement that’ll help all of you think about reopening your businesses, reopening your offices safely.
Gillian Bruce: I love how quickly that all happened, Wade. I mean, and we’ve all been in this together. You described, it was just a month ago where you started these conversations. Can you tell us a little bit about how you’re able to kind of put together this incredible, kind of, product with such a short amount of time? Like, what was that like? How did you get Teams to swarm on it?
Wade Wegner: Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: Tell me a little bit about that story.
Wade Wegner: Well, we built it on the platform. I don’t know any other way to say it. It is a hundred percent built on the platform. When we deploy work.com command center, for instance, it is actually a managed package. It is a collection of metadata that describes how all of this will operate. And all of the ways with which the componentry and the solutions and the apps in it function are based on the technologies that exist today in the platform. Whether it’s different components communicating via events, or taking advantage of a lightning web component to provide a rich, actionable set of things that you need to do as, kind of, a checklist. All of this stuff is built in the platform.
So, yes, I think we started actually doing the development work weeks ago, not months, weeks ago right in the middle, by the way, of a release. So it’s not as if we weren’t already working on things. I will say, I don’t know that I… I mean, I’ve been at Salesforce now four and a half years, others have certainly been here longer, but I don’t know in my career, I’ve actually seen a company pivot and swarm as fast as Salesforce did here. Honestly, it was because of our CEO, Marc Benioff. He, I think, has been more plugged into what is happening in the world right now, and what other executives are thinking about, and what’s happening just globally right now that he really was like, “We need to help people. We need to swarm,” and we did.
I mean, we’re talking about, this is not just my organization. This has been a virtual collection of engineers, of doc writers, of QA and performance engineers across the company, coming together to get us to this first deliverable, which we’re going to be officially launching on June 1st. It’s been pretty remarkable.
I think it’s been a collection of building on the platform, and we can break that down a little bit, if you’d like, as well as, I think, just the goodwill and the nature of this company to do good and to help people reopen that enabled us to do this.
Mike Gerholdt: I would love for you to touch on that more, because as I hear this, I think, well, just to be the bad guy in the conversation, I could just do that on a spreadsheet, Wade. I don’t need your fancy app.
Wade Wegner: Yeah. So one of the things interesting here, Mike, is that this is employee data that we’re starting to talk about, right? So think about one of the first things that’s going to happen when we reopen, is we’re going to have to understand everyone’s wellness, and how they are feeling, and what… Have you been sick? And have you been exposed to symptoms? And so forth.
So I think, all of us would recognize the danger of doing this in spreadsheets. First of all, it’s not going to be nearly as organized, and so forth. But we’re talking about PII. We’re talking about personal information. We need to think about this from a compliance perspective. Even the collection of employee information requires consent on behalf of the employee. How do you start to do that? How do you collect consent? And then, if you are a force to showcase that consent in the future and prove it to a regulator or an auditor, how do you do so?
Well, I mean, that’s the advantage of using a platform that can do all of that. I know that was a bit of a facetious question there in perspective, Mike, but you’re right, though. Almost everyone is thinking about this now. And almost everyone is looking at doing this through a bunch of spreadsheets, collecting… Who’s going to be the phase one, phase two set of employees? Collecting, like, are they healthy? What happens if they become sick after they’ve come back to the office? I think we can do more than do this through spreadsheets. And that’s what work.com tries to do.
Gillian Bruce: Well, I’m always a fan of getting rid of spreadsheets.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, absolutely. We all are.
Gillian Bruce: Boo, spreadsheets. So you mentioned that the platform kind of already had this infrastructure in it. Can you tell us a little bit more detailed about some of the specific features that are in, basically, this package that you’ve helped lead the team to create, that specifically help accomplish these things that people are right now probably doing on spreadsheets?
Wade Wegner: Yeah. Totally. First of all, I realized, I did lie. So the first thing I did as you invited me on this podcast, and then I lied to everyone. So apologies. We did actually check one thing into core, and that was, we’re actually releasing an employee data model. So it’ll be a set of standard objects that will be inside a core. I think everyone kind of hopefully understands the value of doing that. It gives us that central place to start modeling all of these activities around employee-centric information, right? So you can define relationships, managers, all of that kind of stuff. So we did actually check that in, and actually back ported it so that it will be available in our summer release.
Beyond that though, what’s in it? Think about tracking and understanding employee wellness. That’s taking advantage of our surveys’ products. So we’ve met with the CDC and a bunch of medical experts, and encoded and created survey templates that actually define the questions you should ask and the type of information to collect. Those are all built as templates that’ll be provided to you as survey templates that then you can customize, should you want to. Maybe you want to ask some additional information. Maybe you don’t want to ask some information. You can define what you want and then deploy them to your organization.
Same with flows. Once you started to collect this information, there are flow templates that’ll be provided, that’ll help you to think through the decisions that need to be made. So, Gillian, you may be well enough to return, maybe you don’t want to return to the office. And how do you start to collect and think about managing that process? So that is part of it.
Then, just the command center itself is a page layout. It’s a page layout that has been then decorated with additional things. So you think about all of the componentry there. We’re modeling also public data sets through MuleSoft. When data changes on that page, how does it orchestrate and update other components? How do you think about the actions that occur in one component and another? All of this is just additional metadata built on top of that solution. Really, there is nothing you wouldn’t expect from a Salesforce platform application. It’s just all there, ready for you to start to customize, extend and kind of make your own.
Gillian Bruce: I love that a lot of those tools sound like things that admins are already very, very familiar with. I mean, you’re talking about page layouts, you’re talking about flows. I mean, surveys, I know plenty of admins have already kind of dabbled in the survey arena. Powerful, very declarative first, or low code tools that I think a lot of our admins would already be familiar with.
Wade Wegner: Yeah.
Mike Gerholdt: And you talked about checking in, so there’s also a mobile component of those as well, which is just native to the platform. I mean, I remember back in the day when, as an admin, I used to have to think about mobile consciously. And now, it’s just, no, it’s just part of it and the app just adjusts.
Wade Wegner: Absolutely. Totally right. The surveys, they are mobile friendly. The dashboards for executives or operations and facilities managers, just any kind of manager, those are also mobile-ready. So you will get a mobile rendering that you can just open it up on your device and away you go. So absolutely. It’s incredible, the value that the platform just provides. You don’t have to think about targeting all of these different unique scenarios.
Gillian Bruce: I think one of the things that is really valuable, the more that I hear you talk about this, is a lot of organizations, they need to do this, but it’s like such a gargantuan effort. They’re not going to try and develop their own tools to do this. They are going to use whatever they can and go as fast as they can. So the fact that this is something that is already on a platform, which organizations who are using this are familiar with, I think is such a great benefit. I mean, I can imagine a small business, right? Maybe you’re not functioning at full speed, full resources, and here you go, you can now kind of use the existing tool that you’re using to run your business to really get everybody back to where we need to be.
Wade Wegner: Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: Very, very cool, I think.
Wade Wegner: One of the things that I don’t know that I appreciated until we started really working on this, is how tightly connected all of these things need to be. So imagine, understanding employee wellness is like, step one, right? Let’s say we’re all ready to go back. The experiences we’re going to have in the office will be different. How are we all going to be prepared for those new experiences, the new normal? This is where that training and enablement is key. And so built into work.com, there’s these new content kits that we’re providing, that provide what we believe to be best practices. The encoding of the things that people should expect, we’ll give it to you as a template, as a starting point, and you can then customize it and then deploy.
So that, for those who can return, make sure that they’re ready to return, right? Because if they’re not ready to return, if they don’t understand what the new procedures and policies are going to be, they could put themselves or others at risk, right, like if they don’t know how to properly social distance in an elevator. It’s really interesting when you think about it. We’re going to have to understand elevator capacity so that we can plan the flow rate of individuals from a lobby to a floor. And then when they’re doing that, what should you expect through that? Should you be talking to people on the elevator? The answer is no, you probably shouldn’t. And so, how do you make sure people understand what to expect before they return? That learning and enablement piece is key.
But then we have to also acknowledge the fact that once we return, there will be people that will get sick. And what do you do when someone that you may have been in touch with, ends up actually becoming sick and needs to stay home? What is the responsibility of the employer to notify you? So that ability to understand who has been in touch with what, and to let the employee really be at the center of it as well, so that like, if we all were on the same floor and I’m sick, I should be able to allow my organization, my employer, to know that I had been in touch with you, and so on, right? So that then, they can notify you.
All of these things are kind of interconnected in terms of how that works, because then, you would expect that the next wave of surveys sent to employees is going to be slightly different depending on whether or not you were engaged with someone that is now sick. You don’t want to manage this through spreadsheets. You need a set of best practices and tools that facilitate this.
Mike Gerholdt: Well, and I’m thinking of, as you’re walking through that, I’m thinking of… as a smaller business, even a larger business. So I got an employee app, which I probably had already, right, something to manage my employees. Now I need a survey app. Then you were talking about learning, and data management. So on top of me trying to retool my entire business, right, to keep it afloat, I’m thinking like restaurants, all of a sudden now it’s drive up curbside or delivery. I’m running all that. To have to go through… I think, the biggest part for me is that learning and enablement part, right, which I saw that in the work.com video. It’s just, I think that’s such a huge differentiator, because now I put this in place and I have a way to teach people native within it, as opposed to seven or eight different apps that I have to log into and try and piece mail, “Okay, Susan is Susie here, but Susan in this app,” and try and keep that all together. It just like, it’s the stuff that you just take for granted now.
Wade Wegner: Yeah. No, absolutely.
Mike Gerholdt: The part for me, I think there’s a lot of it and… When you mentioned the employee data, and you mentioned the surveys, that’s all employee-offered, right? It’s like the employee opts in, the employee’s giving that employer that information, employee chooses to fill out that survey, right?
Wade Wegner: Yup. Yeah, absolutely. If you look at some of the demos that you might find of work.com online and in various videos, and so forth, you’ll see that we at least ask for consent and acknowledgement with every survey and every interaction with that employee, so that we can document that you’ve given the consent for this information to be captured. You can decide not to. And there’s an option. In the survey, it’s built in. You can say no and you just, you won’t be asked to come back to the office initially. Then it’s up to you if you want to keep saying no. I mean, we’ll let you and the employer figure that out.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah. When you said, when offices do open up, I might not want to go back to work. Believe me, I’ve got a nine-month-old. I am ready to get back to the office.
Wade Wegner: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Actually, here’s what’s really… Another interesting thing is, as I’ve talked with customers, there are customers that have other sorts of criteria that they want to use with respect to determining who should return. One customer was talking about how they have found certain teams, or even certain individuals have actually been more productive remotely than they were otherwise, but then some teams aren’t as productive.
I think, you both can imagine this, but you can model this kind of data in our platform, right? Create custom fields, custom objects that encapsulate other pieces of information that might be important to you. And, through a customizable survey, you could start to model that in this part of the decision making process, right? You may not even want to send a survey out to individuals that have been identified as highly productive. You might want to wait for a little while. Let them stay productive remotely. For those that, they’re well enough to return and perhaps they’ve not been as productive, maybe bring them back into the office sooner.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. It’s more than… I think the biggest thing that dawned for me on all of this return to an office, because I don’t want to say return to work, is it’s not just whether you’re well or not, but it’s also what’s that journey getting there. Because you may have somebody at home that is a high risk, right? So the journey to the office might be harder for you, and back home, than just being able to stay at home and work and be productive.
Wade Wegner: Yeah.
Mike Gerholdt: I’m hearing this and I’m internalizing it, and maybe my boss has missed everything because they’re busy. I’m the Salesforce administration, I want to bring this to him. Within my organization, where do I start this conversation?
Wade Wegner: Well, we alluded to it earlier. I think, pretty much every company in the world right now is thinking about this, right? Again, it could be reopening and keeping employees safe. It could be reopening and keeping employees safe in the context of customer interactions. At one level or another, almost everyone is already talking about it. I mean, I would encourage to talk to someone in your organization, in the HR department, if you have people responsible for offices, facilities, restaurants, maybe their managers, general managers and so forth. They’re all talking about this. They’re all thinking about this. People who are responsible for defining shifts. How are you going to define a shift? I mean, how are you going to do that when you need to be cognizant of who’s available, and are they healthy and so forth?
I think, it’s probably different everywhere. But I think all of us can probably think and pretty easily identify those individuals that are involved in those sorts of decision making. Again, it could be HR. It could be facilities. It just could be your leadership or general management, as well. I think that’s where to start. Again, I would be very surprised if they weren’t thinking about this already and probably starting to model out some of this in our friend, the spreadsheet. I think there’s a real opportunity to talk to them about a solution that kind of brings this together and provides the platform to reopen on top of.
Gillian Bruce: So you’re saying admins can save even more people from spreadsheets?
Wade Wegner: Yes.
Gillian Bruce: Because these, I mean, these are not the typical business partners and stakeholders that I think admins typically think about.
Mike Gerholdt: Right.
Gillian Bruce: HR facilities, they are definitely someone that is part of building an app. But this is entirely focused on those personas and those kinds of leaders. I think, it’s an interesting opportunity for admins to maybe get exposure, kind of create those relationships, strengthen those relationships with different parts of the organization as well.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.
Wade Wegner: Just thinking about this, too. One of the partners we have, engaged with us now, is building out inventory management and supply chain management. Think about it. Supply chains are disrupted right now and they will be for a while. There’s probably someone in your office that thinks about supply chains. Even at Salesforce, I was learning from a supply chain perspective, as well as a contracting perspective. We plan to do three to four times the cleaning that we did in the past, continual cleaning. That’s a lot of additional cleaning supplies, right? That’s another dimension to this, is based on how many people you bring back at what rate, it’s going to impact supply chains, it’s going to impact all of these things. So you’re right. It’s a great observation that it’s a different set of personas and individuals that could really benefit from a solution like this.
Gillian Bruce: One of the things I know that is part of, kind of, the command center, we talked about the page layouts, is it’s also a hot topic that I know a lot of admins are interested in learning more about, is Tableau.
Wade Wegner: Yes.
Gillian Bruce: Can you talk to us a little bit about how Tableau is part of work.com and what that means, what that kind of looks like?
Wade Wegner: I’ll actually step back a little bit. One of the things that’s really neat, and you can actually Google and search for this right now, is you can look at the COVID-19 Tableau data sets. We have started to aggregate trusted data from many different sources and allowed you to start to really visualize this data. That is kind of independently available today. So you can take a look at that. We are looking to take it to the kind of the next level, in that we want this data source, all of this data, to be available in the context of our decision making.
If you think about Tableau, it’s great, the visualizations, but we want to start to model this information as we would think about using it as objects. This won’t be here at GA initially. Well, initially GA have embedded Tableau dashboards, and that’s great, right? So you can start to drill in and take a look. But shortly after GA, we will have actual representation of this public data as objects in an org as well.
Mike Gerholdt: Wow.
Wade Wegner: Now, you can think about actually just making decisions based on data that is local to employees. So what is happening in the community? What is happening in the state? You might want to respond to those things differently. And so, with that data available as objects… And I don’t want to promise if it’s an external object or what not yet, because we’re figuring a lot of this out still.
Gillian Bruce: Forward looking statement.
Mike Gerholdt: Forward looking statement.
Wade Wegner: Very forward looking. Yes. Yes. But, having that kind of data available is key, right? So you can start making decisions. So that’s what’s really exciting about all of that. That is actually based on work that’s being done by the Tableau team, by the MuleSoft team, by Einstein Analytics. A really neat way to think about the power of data, and how having that data available is going to be a differentiator for people as they think about reopening and returning.
Gillian Bruce: That is awesome, Wade. That makes me… Like, my data nerd is ignited inside of me and I can’t wait.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.
Wade Wegner: Yeah.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. Looking at the Tableau aspect of it, to me is just like, it so brings everything that you do right to the forefront and helps you understand because, I think, it’s one thing to understand. Okay, you talked about elevator flow and shift scheduling, but then you have to consider this in the context of the world that you live in.
Wade Wegner: Yes.
Mike Gerholdt: Like, is your county busier than other, right? Like the county Gillian lives in is very different than the county I live in Iowa, you know?
Wade Wegner: Yeah. Yup. Yeah.
Mike Gerholdt: It’s fascinating.
Wade Wegner: What’s going to happen is, we’re going to see as communities start to reopen, some are going to open and then they’re going to start to close down a little bit, right? And you’re going to want to be able to respond to what is happening. That is the intent of this data, and being able to visualize what is happening helps you to make decisions as well. And so, it’s going to be critical in terms of making sure that employees are safe.
Mike Gerholdt: Very cool.
Gillian Bruce: That’s awesome.
Mike Gerholdt: Very cool, Wade. Well-
Gillian Bruce: I mean, I think I will…
Mike Gerholdt: Go ahead. Gillian and I have only been doing this for like six years together-
Wade Wegner: You’re great.
Mike Gerholdt: … and any time anytime we have somebody on the podcast that we’re just stumbling over to ask questions about, it’s because we’re both just giddy over the product.
Wade Wegner: No, that’s great.
Gillian Bruce: Yes. This is true. Well, on that note, I was going to say, Wade, I’m going to thank you on behalf of like all people who are going to be using work.com in the team, because this is so cool. And I think it’s going to be so helpful for so many people. I know I’m excited to see how we use it at Salesforce. And I know that there’s a lot of people that are listening that are going to do what they can to get their leadership to buy in and use this to help them get back to whatever the new normal is.
Wade Wegner: Yeah. I think, this is the thing that I’ve taken from it, is so many people have contributed and worked so hard at this. And I think we all have a vested interest in seeing this work, right? We’re all a part of our community. We’re all a part of this company. We want to see people be able to return safely. And so I have to give a huge shout out to just hundreds of people that are literally, they have set aside their day jobs, they have set aside their priorities to be able to help us deliver this. It’s been humbling. It’s been inspiring. It’s been awesome to see.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. To me, it fits right within the culture of Salesforce, but overall, it’s just one of those things where it really makes us all considerate and caring of each other.
Wade Wegner: Yeah. Yup.
Mike Gerholdt: Like thinking through how can we all get back to our offices, being around our coworkers, people that we know and love the best, and being considerate and safe. It’s a great thing.
Wade Wegner: Absolutely.
Mike Gerholdt: If you want to learn more about all things Salesforce admin, go to admin.salesforce.com to find more resources. And as a reminder, if you love what you hear, be sure to pop on over to iTunes and give us a review. I promise, I share them with the whole team. You can also stay up to date with us on social for all things admins. We are @SalesforceAdmns, no i, on Twitter. And you can find me, I am @MikeGerholdt and Gillian…
Gillian Bruce: @gilliankbruce.
Mike Gerholdt: So with that, stay tuned for our next episode.
Gillian Bruce: And we’ll catch you next time in the cloud.
Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we bring on John Kucera, a Product Manager at Salesforce. We find out all the latest and greatest things that Flows are capable of and why it’s worth it to make the switch from Process Builder.
Join us as we talk about the new live ListViews feature, how you can automate hundreds and thousands of record changes (with debugging), and now is the best time ever to get started with Flows.
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with John Kucera.
Powerful automation in just a few clicks.
One of the biggest changes going into Summer 20 is the ability to trigger Flows when you save a Record. Right now in Process Builder, there are a lot of limitations if you want to build a series of triggers or get records queries. “All this power that people love with Flow you now can invoke directly on record saves,” John says, “you have one tool which can do almost all of your declarative automation.”
We know that improving the Process Builder ListView has been a popular request, and the improvements in Summer 20 are the result. You can now have live ListViews with Flow for any of these Record Triggers that you create. “You can have custom ListViews to see them the way you want, you can see the most recent one you edited or different views for different users,” John says, and even make adjustments live in the Flow. After Summer 20, you should start with Flow and see if you can build everything you need there, only moving to Process Builder for the known gaps.
Why now is a great time to get started with Flows.
If you haven’t yet delved into Flows, now’s a great time to get started. John and his team have worked hard over the past few years to hide and automate variables so you can build things more easily. “We really think that now is a fantastic time for anyone who was deterred by Flow to give it a second look, especially for Record Triggers,” he says. This gives you access to all sorts of automation that can help you streamline your business processes and keep track of things like never before, all with clicks and no need for code.
There are a lot of abilities Flows give you that were previously only doable with Apex coding. You can batch edit upwards of 250,000 records a day, and schedule that to happen in anticipation of, for example, a contract ending. Most importantly, there’s now an easy debugging process so you don’t accidentally end up with 250,000 errors the next morning. With learning Flows, John’s advice is pretty simple: “Start small, get your confidence, and really invest in learning these fantastic tools.”
Using Screen Flow Analytics to improve your processes and what comes next.
There are so many new features that John and his team are still working on catching up in the Flow release notes, so make sure to listen to the full episode to get all the details. Another massive feature coming to your org is Screen Flow Analytics. “Wouldn’t it be amazing if you knew how long people take to finish your process so you can identify which paths were taken most,” John asks, “so you can identify where things are potentially either confusing and problematic or broken?” You can create dashboards to do just that, and you and your business partners can subscribe to them to get insights automatically pushed to you every month. It’s also a great way to show usage numbers and demonstrate the value of the tools that you create.
Looking forward, John and his team are looking to establish more parity between Process Builder and these new features they’ve added to Flows. Look for improvements to debugging, screens, and more. At the end of the day, it’s all about making these tools easier for admins to do more and take advantage of all of the power offered by the Salesforce platform.
Full Show Transcript
Gillian: Welcome to the Salesforce Admins Podcast where we talk about product, community, and careers to help you be an awesome admin. I’m Gillian Bruce, and today we are joined by the one and only, John Kucera, who is one of our amazing product leaders here at Salesforce, and he has some really fun things to talk about as it comes to the summer 20 release. John, welcome to the podcast.
John: Thank you for having me. I’m super excited to be here.
Gillian: Yeah, you’re a returning guest I believe. This has been a while though.
John: It has.
Gillian: Well, I’m really happy to have you on and you’ve got so many fun things to share that I know admins are going to be very excited about. So what is one of your favorite things that’s coming out in the summer release for admins?
John: All right. So Oh my goodness, we now can trigger Flows when you save a record. Woo hoo.
Gillian: I think everyone’s doing a happy dance as they hear that.
John: So this is huge. I know this is going to create some panic, “Oh, are you going to take my Process Builder away,” and things like that. But first I’m going to tell you why this is amazing. So in Process Builder, which is of course your fantastic record triggering automation today, you can’t do all these amazing things. What if you want to have one decision that then as a second decision? You kind of have that weird, awkward way to do it, but it’s hard. What if you actually want to get related information? Okay, I want to update the opportunity, but I want to see all of the different products around it and I want to query, and then do conditions on that? You can’t do these queries, these get records. Flow lets you do that.
Then even better, you can loop over all this crazy stuff. So all this power that people love with Flow, you now can invoke directly on record saves. So there’s no longer this awkward set up a process just to trigger, do the criteria, then set up a Flow, then set up some variables and then try to pass in between. No, you have one tool which can do almost all of your declarative automation. So this is huge.
Gillian: That’s… Yeah, that is huge. I mean, I’m just thinking this totally changes the world a little bit because it’s a whole different way of thinking about how you can actually set up some of this automation. It’s a lot simpler and it actually can kind of change your strategy a little bit because you don’t have to do all of these extra steps and-
John: Yes, it’s so much easier for all of that. You get all the power in one place, and for so many of you out there that have voted on the idea to improve the Process Builder list view, this kind of is the delivery of that. You now have a real, live, amazing list view with Flow so that any of these records trigger Flows that you create, you can have custom list views to sort them the way you want. You can make sure you see what is the most recent one that I edited. You can have different ones for different people, different list views for them. Oh my goodness, let’s say you actually want to go and create the process and then you realize you needed to add a picklist value and object manager, then you need to go back and refresh that it can see that picklist value. You’re not going to be taken back to the crappy Process Builder list view. You just stay on the Flow because we actually have URLs with Flows.
So all of this… Basically, our guidance is going to be, with summer 20, you should start with Flow and see if you can build everything you need there and only go over the Process Builder for the known gaps.
Gillian: That is definitely game-changing. I know I built my first legit Flow with the new and improved Flow builder earlier this year coming back from leave. It was one of the first trailhead badges that I earned and I was like, “Oh, I can use Flow now. This is so exciting,” because before I was like, “Yeah, so that’s a little difficult for me to understand.”
John: Flow has come a long way. It’s got all this scariness like, “Oh my goodness, variables.” We basically don’t have variables in Process Builder and in Flow, where you have to create a variable and then a variable and a variable. Well, the team’s been on a massive, massive campaign to basically hide and automate the variables. So if you looked at Flow a year ago or two years ago, oh my goodness you are in for a world of difference because we took away more than half of the steps to create all of this stuff. So you no longer have to create a variable when you’re doing a “get records”. When you’re doing [ScreenFlows 00:04:49], you don’t have to create variables when you add stuff to refer to things. We made it way, way simpler, much closer to how Process Builder works for all these things.
Another amazing enhancement in this release is you no longer need to deal with variables for loops. So loops might be intimidating to folks because it’s like, “Okay, I have to create this collection variable and loop over it and reference that.” Now we automatically create it. So it’s just way less steps to set up. You can build it faster, but it’s also just way easier to learn now. So we really think that now is a fantastic time for anybody that was deterred by Flow to give it a second look, especially for record triggers.
Gillian: Yeah, so let’s talk about that just a little bit. So maybe for folks who literally like me were kind of a little intimidated by Flow and maybe never went down there, and maybe even some of these terms like loops and stuff is new for them. Can you give me kind of a real simple use case example of why a record trigger would be awesome when might you want to use a loop?
John: Yes. So I was working with a nonprofit and they basically wanted to have end users create a list of… I’m going to call is… Sorry, this is going to sound technical, but bill of materials. So their use case was they run events and they have different advertisers. When somebody gives them a half a million dollars, they basically say, “This is what you get. You get these 10 things. You get primo advertising in our newsletter. You get a big banner at the concert. You also get a mention over here.”
So they wanted to make sure that every time you create that 500,000 donor record, that they copy all the stuff that’s supposed to happen, and those are basically the tasks that they then track to see am I able to, or did we actually fulfill what we need to do here? So what they needed to do was say any time I create this new sponsor record for half a million bucks, I want to query for what they are owed. There’s a custom object where they would define, okay, these are the 10 things you need. Loop over all of those 10 things and then create these 10 child records for that sponsorship.
So these are things you just never could do with Process Builder. You would have to write code for that in the past, but now you can do them with clicks thanks to Flow, and you can do that without having to create a process and then create a separate Flow and juggle all of that. It’s just so much faster now than it used to be.
Gillian: Well, yeah and then now if you need to update any piece of that, it’s in one place. You don’t have to go to all these different places to modify this one part of the automation, right?
Gillian: That’s really cool. So I know another thing that has come up in the community a few times is, especially for people who are maybe more developer minded who have been doing this for awhile, is the ability to test your work and figure out what’s going on. I know there’s been some improvements in that area. Can you talk a little bit about that?
John: Yes. So for scheduled Flows, which are amazing if you aren’t aware of them, what if you could run batch jobs without running code, but at the same scale that Apex batch jobs let you run code. So 250,000 records a day can be processed. So this is huge. Let’s say you have a scenario where every 30 days or… Sorry, on contract end, you want to make sure that your account managers are doing a bunch of stuff. In the old ways you might do a delay like, okay, the contract was created, wait 365 days, and kick things off. Horribly confusing because of [inaudible] stuff.
Now, with scheduled Flow, you can basically say, “Okay, every night check if any contracts expired and then do all this stuff, send out emails, do tasks all that.” So that is huge. That was a spring enhancement. Now you have debugging for scheduled Flow. So the trickiness was, well, wait, how do you debug when you could process hundreds of thousands of records. The algorithm the team came up with was the last, oldest record that meets the criteria of your query is always the one for debugging. So this makes it consistent, repeatable. You can run this and over again and you don’t screw with a bunch of records. So this is huge. So you can now debug your batch jobs, which is fantastic.
Gillian: That’s awesome. I know a lot of people will be very happy about that as well.
John: Yes and we have not yet done debugging for before save updates and for these new record triggers, which happen after save, but that is hot in our roadmap and hopefully in the October release, you’ll see that too.
Gillian: Forward-looking statement.
John: Yes, Forward-looking statement, but not just scheduled Flows. Rollback. So wouldn’t it be amazing if when you were testing out your Flow, it didn’t create all this data and it didn’t change all the records. So you could just run that test over and over and over and over again and figure out what’s not working. We have that, rollback. We’re calling this rollback. So now with auto-launch Flows… So not the record trigger one, sorry not yet, but for auto-launch Flows, if you kick these off and you’re debugging them, you no longer have to create the records and delete them later. You don’t have to then undo all the stuff you did. So this drastically shortened the iteration cycle when you’re trying to make rapid development, which is especially important in these times where you need to move faster than ever.
Gillian: Yeah, God, that’s great. I mean, it sounds like your team has been very, very busy, John, over the last year.
John: We apologize to the community. We have basically built so much that we are way behind on our release notes and almost everything that we have built is not actually live in our release notes yet.
Gillian: Well, that’s why you’re on the podcast. So everybody can just listen to this and understand what’s going on.
John: Salesforce exclusive on the Admin Podcast.
Gillian: Exactly. Hey, hot off the press, direct to you everybody. Here you go, hearing it here, but that’s great. So, John, can you tell me a little bit… Clearly you’ve all been doing a lot of work and I know that you definitely listened to the community. Can you tell me a little bit about how your team kind of decided to focus on these elements and kind of bring these to life at this point and kind of how you make those decisions?
John: Yes, I’ll attempt to be short on this. We take obviously tons of input from tons of places, especially the community. Specifically for record triggers, one of the big complaints was, “Why do you have two tools? When do I use each for? I know Process Builder, I kind of love it. I sort of know Flow is like that, but I don’t quite get it.”
So we’ve had this tool confusion and you’ve all told us you’re confused. One of the questions was, “Okay, well, what should be the one tool of the future?” Well, probably too much information, but under the covers, Process Builder was the first lightning component builder. It was built on lightening components before they were a thing. This was before lightning was launched.
Gillian: Yeah, I remember that.
John: Flow was the first lightning web component builder. So the team… Hats off them. Way before me, they made these really hard technical choices to be bleeding edge on new technology. So originally, Process Builder was going to be the one tool to rule them all, but then the team and UI platform came out with this amazing lightning web component technology. So we decided we want the Flow builder platform to be the platform of the future. Let’s put all the stuff there so that when we’re making debugging, it works for everything. It works for screens. It works for scheduled Flows. It works for these record change triggers and then we can basically build it once and apply to everybody like the list view.
We decided… Unfortunately, for many of you with lots of Process Builder processes, sorry, that we were not going to fix that because instead, we’re focusing so much on making Flow amazing. So we really want to simplify based on all of your feedback and really focus investment in the best [inaudible] builder technology we have so that you have one place to go to create all this powerful stuff.
Gillian: I mean, it’s so cool because I think when people learn that kind of, under the hood or whatever, Flow is really the root of it all. I think that helps people understand, A, how important it is to learn Flow, but B, how powerful it is. Hey, if you could do Process Builder, now you can do Flow because it’s the same principles, right? Now that is where you can live essentially. Hey, I’ve been in many orgs and demo orgs with many, many lists of Process Builder processes and the fact that now I can view all of those in Flow is very, very, very useful.
John: And [inaudible] so that you can be like, “Okay, what are all the ones with these keywords in them? Or just give me the record trade one.” It’s so much better now.
Gillian: That’s awesome.
John: Especially encourage all… Again, all those people that haven’t tried Flow in a while, start small. So in spring we released before save updates. These are pretty constrained. Basically, these are lightning-fast ways to say, “Okay, I saved a lead and I want to check if the lead status is equal to web, if so, update the checkbox for website on the lead record.” So that’s what it does. You check the record, you make a change on that record and it executes 10 times faster than Workflow rules and Process Builder. They are a lot easier to get started with. So start with something like before save updates, which by the way, are more than 50% of what all of you do out there is just update things on the same record that was saved.
Then you can expand and say, “Okay, now I’m going to start to get my feet wet with these other record change saves. Then, “Okay. Maybe I’ll try a batch job. Maybe now I’ll try a ScreenFlow.” So start small, get your confidence and really invest in learning these fantastic tools.
Gillian: That’s great advice. I know I think you’ve got some other cool stuff coming. Is there anything else that you want to talk about on the podcast and maybe not is in the release notes?
John: Oh God. There’s much. It’s funny. I don’t actually remember what is actually live in the release notes right now. So sorry. Another massive, massive improvement that is coming out is ScreenFlow analytics. So this is fantastic, especially for service cloud customers, but really for anybody. Wouldn’t it be amazing if you knew how much time people spent between screen one and screen two or screen two and screen three? What if you actually knew how long people take to finish your processes so that you can identify which paths were taken most? Where are you having all these blocks? Where are things potentially either confusing and problematic or broken?
Now you have standard reports in Salesforce where you can customize them, filter to one or aggregate across a bunch of ScreenFlows. You can create dashboards. Even better, these are not in set up so you can have your business partners subscribed to these and get these insights pushed to you automatically say every month. So I just set this up for a bunch of [inaudible] to basically track and monitor how’s this doing? And this is fantastic for the builders so that you can iterate and it’s fantastic for the business people to monitor the real business stats around their processes. So huge visibility that’s now live, again, included with subscription for everybody thanks to the enhancements in summer 20.
Gillian: I mean, I can immediately see admins using this and loving it and bringing it to a meeting with executives and being like, “Look, this process was like this. Then I tweaked these things. Look at all the hours I’ve been saving our team.” This is… I mean, that is an incredibly powerful tool, especially for admins I feel.
John: Yeah, because it’s one of those things where it’s like, okay, if I build it, did they come? I can answer that question!
John: [crosstalk] using it. Are they getting value out of it? You can then say, “Hey, look, I created this amazing ScreenFlow. By the way, here’s the value that I created for the company. People then were able to execute this 10,000 times, or I don’t know, 100 times over the week. Multiply that by the hours saved.” This is a fantastic way to prove the value of all of this great investment that you have. That’s never been available before.
Gillian: Yeah. I mean, I think what’s really fun is I think especially over the last few years, there’s been so many tools in this theme of helping admins demonstrate the value that they’re creating and adding to the organization. I mean, with things like Optimizer and… I mean, especially like… There’s more tools now to help admins really demonstrate the difference that they’re making and I think, especially now that everyone’s moving fast and probably transforming and trying new things more than they ever have before, this is so important for admins.
John: It’s so relevant. I was just listening to [Jen Lee’s 00:17:44] webinar last week and oh my goodness, the story of that banking was amazing. On March 30th, they got a call from their business partner saying, “We need to be able to support these small business loan applications.” Twelve hours later, they had something live on their community to start taking loans and they were able to do more loan applications in five weeks than the previous 14 years combined. You can’t do that without automation. They’re able to do that fantastically quick, thanks to all these tools that we have.
Gillian: Yeah. There’s been a few stories like that that have bubbled up. We had Jeff Berger on the podcast talking about how he built a similar app for his local bank, and I think over a period of a day or something. People, especially admins right now, really have a huge opportunity to make a huge impact and these tools are helping them do so, which is… Thank you, John. Thank you and the team for doing this.
John: No, thank you to all of our customers. You’re the ones that gave us all these great ideas of what to do and we just want to try to empower you all so that you can do your best work in these crazy times.
Gillian: Yeah. So John, what are you… We had a little bit of sneak peek into some road map stuff. What are you excited about in the next few releases, again, forward-looking statement [inaudible]
John: So much. Part of the reason… It’s funny. I tell my team that I tend not to stress too much about anyone feature because there’s just so much opportunity in this space to make things better and there’s so much need and demand. Some of the things that are very top of mind would be things like with these new record change updates for Flow, we need to make sure we have effectively parody with Process Builder. We don’t have that out of the gate. There’s things like checking is changed. I want to say if the lead status changed, then do something. We don’t have that today, I believe both in their criteria and formulas, and that’s something we need to do.
We need to add debugging. So there’s no debugging for Process Builder unless you can count the dev console, which frankly is pretty scary. We want to add that proper for all of these records saved things. We want to continue to make things easier and easier and easier. So a lot of that comes down to things like screens.
One of the huge, huge benefits that we hope to ship in the winter release is much richer layouts and control for your screens. Today when you create things and add them to basically these forms inside of a screen, you have one column. We’re going to let you have up to four and set the widths to whatever you need, and then you can say, okay, “I want to show or hide this entire section,” just by using conditional visibility, which is already live. So this will be a huge improvement to the ability to control the layout for all of these different screens.
Gillian: Well, it’s similar… It reminds me of talking to [Vin] about dynamic pages and some of the improvements there. It’s kind of a similar ability to use visibility to hide or display parts of what your users are seeing on the screen based on the data on the backend. It’s-
Gillian: So cool.
John: What Vin has with dynamic forms is fantastic. So it is a really good way to say I want to show just these fields for one object. Flow’s screens can do that, but frankly, it takes a little bit more work. Where Flow really shines though, is you can have components that are not tied to an object. What if you just want to have a question like, “Hey, do you want to apply for something or not?” You don’t have to say that to the database. You can have just that checkbox on the screen and you can have that show and hide the other stuff. What if you want to update both the contact and the account at the same time? Flow screens are really, really good for that. So all of these rich capabilities are fantastic and we’ve got different tools for what use cases you have in mind.
Gillian: That’s awesome. Well, tons of amazing more stuff… More amazing things to come with Flow. You keep it flowing, John. I love it.
John: Keep it flowing. Those little puns are everywhere. It’s amazing.
Gillian: I can’t get away with recording a podcast without at least letting one pun go.
John: Got the [inaudible 00:22:04]. It’s fantastic.
Gillian: That is awesome. So, John, I really appreciate you taking the time to join us today and share some of these incredible innovations your team has built and are continuing to build.
John: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. One other… Hopefully, we don’t end it on this note, but a caution for people using communities and alert, alert, alert. If you have ScreenFlows in public communities, in this release, certain things will change if you do not take action. I don’t know that we’ve terribly well communicated this. So I just want people to have a heads up. If you are updating or deleting data in a public community, that will stop working if you take no action in a Flow. If you have a Flow, which say creates an account, then you use that account ID to then create a contact. That will stop working if you take no action in this next release.
There’s several workarounds. One of them is you can change these Flows or make them sub Flows and set them to system mode without sharing, but strongly, strongly recommend everybody using Flow in public communities, which are some of you amazing customers doing things like these small business loans, please, please, please read up on the community website and that URL, which we can hopefully share in the notes is learncommunitycloud.com, where there’s big changes. This is not just for Flow, but these are the impact for Flow, which you should be aware of if you have them. And there’s ways to handle this and take care of it, but just do not be caught off guard.
Gillian: All right. So if you’re using Flows in public communities, make sure to go to, what is it, learncommunitycloud.com?
John: Yes. Learncommunitycloud.com. It is a [inaudible] site. It’s not a security threat. It’s all good.
Gillian: It’s important to mention, yes. [crosstalk]
John: Fishing, spidey sense.
Gillian: So yeah, public community people make sure that you check that out because we don’t want to have any unfortunate surprises. So thank you for sharing that with us. John, on a fun note, we talked a lot about the product. I am inspired by all the things that you’ve shared with us, but I would like to know, what is one of the… We’ve all been doing a lot of cooking these days because we’ve been home What’s one of your favorite things that you or the family has been cooking at home?
John: Oh goodness. So we have been making lots of chicken dishes. So you might say that we had some Instacart snafus where you might say order a bag of 10 small potatoes, and instead of getting the $3.99 bag of that, you get 10 organic potatoes for $50. Perhaps you order two pounds of chicken, really hypothetically, and you end up getting nine pounds of chicken. So we have had, let’s call it industrial-scale cooking adventures in our household.
Gillian: Lots of chicken and potatoes, huh?
John: So one of those that was a really fun recipe was a version of Parmesan chicken. We did nine pounds of that just a week and a half ago, which was actually surprising how quickly our small family of four can eat nine pounds of chicken. [inaudible] we did another four pounds of, what was this, Portuguese chicken, some people call it I think Spanish chicken. So both were really, really tasty. How about you, Gillian? Do you have any great dishes?
Gillian: Well so thankfully my husband has been doing most of the cooking because he loves it. So he has been working the Weber quite hard and smoking all kinds of various things we’ve also been getting from Instacart. We had a surprise Instacart edition of a bok choy last week. Never cooked with bok choy, but we decided, “Hey, let’s make stir fry because apparently it’s what you’re supposed to do with bok choy,” and it was delicious.
John: That is amazing. Don’t you love those spice of life, just those happenings that expand our horizons?
Gillian: Totally, totally. It’s been pretty fun. Our kitchen has been getting a lot of work.
John: I bet. Ours as well.
Gillian: It sounds like you’re ready to open a chicken catering company after all this.
John: I think so. Maybe that’s the next career opportunity when software is no longer a thing.
Gillian: Well, I don’t think it’s going anywhere anytime soon. So, John, I want to thank you again so much for taking the time to chat with us and share with us all the amazing Flow innovations and a little peek into what’s to come. Any final parting thoughts you want to share with our admins today?
John: Thank you all for all the inspiration, all the guidance, and basically all the questions on the community as well. One of the things I didn’t mention was we just launched automation components. Basically, a bunch of you created these fantastic lightning web components and Apex actions so that the broader community doesn’t have to write code to do these things. So all of our admins have these available. So thank you thank you to the community for all of your fervent investments, as well as the five amazing songs I’ve heard about Flow over the last year.
Gillian: Only five? I’m surprised. I’m sure there’s more.
John: They probably are hiding. We loved your songs. I have a montage.
Gillian: All right, we’ll keep the songs coming. Keep the innovations coming. John, thank you so much for joining us. As always, if you want to learn more about being an awesome admin, you can go to admin.salesforce.com, where you will find blogs, podcasts, and even some great virtual events, learning journeys. We have our Be An Innovator learning journey that’s happening now. That is how you can learn how to build dynamic pages with the one and only Vin, who was on the podcast not too long ago. You can find us on Twitter at SalesforceAdmns, no “I”. Myself at GillianKBruce and John, you are on Twitter as well. You want to share your handle?
John: Yes, nothackedJK.
Gillian: Great Twitter handle.
John: [inaudible] story we can tell another time on that one.
Speaker 2: All right. Well thank you again so much for joining us and we’ll catch you next time in the cloud.
Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we’re talking with Niket Trivedi, the Product Manager for Salesforce Optimizer at Salesforce. We find out what’s new for Salesforce Optimizer in Summer 20, and it turns out there’s a lot going on.
Join us as we talk about what went into converting a PDF report into an app, how you can use Optimizer to get on the same page with leadership, and what the future looks like.
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Niket Trivedi.
From a PDF to an app in Summer 20.
Some admins out there might remember their first introduction to Optimizer as report that got put into their docs and emailed to them. We’ve come a long way since then, and the Summer 20 release is set to change the game. “We are relaunching Optimizer as a Lightning app,” Niket says, “I’m looking forward to all the great feedback we’ll get from admins and the value they can get out of these recommendations that were previously in a PDF report and now are in a brand-new dashboard interactive format.”
“We don’t want to read a 100-page document to get to something that we want to act on,” Niket says, “we wanted to give something to admins where they’re spending less time scrolling through the report and more time fixing things in the org.” The Lightning app brings all of Optimizer’s recommendations out of the PDF and into the core where you can work with it, letting you jump to the relevant page straight from the app. “Your transition from the Optimizer app to the rest of your org is very seamless,” Niket says, “you’re not spending time doing an offline analysis and going back and forth.”
How Optimizer helps you set your goals.
Optimizer has almost fifty different recommendations. In other words, there’s almost certainly more than a few things you can work on. “What we’ve done is prioritize that list in the order of where you need the most attention,” Viket says, “the list, when the dashboard loads for the first time, is pre-sorted by how many immediate actions are needed for each of those items.” Their goal is to make it easier for you to attack Optimizer’s recommendations and whip your org into shape.
At the minimum, Viket recommends running Optimizer at least once every release, “but I don’t’ think I’ve seen any admin just doing the minimum,” he says. Instead, he recommends that you run the app every time you release something new. Any new development you do can create new issues, which is exactly what Optimizer is here to help you iron out. It doesn’t cost you anything to run, so you can even consider running it every two weeks or once a month.
Using Optimizer to win over stakeholders.
Sharing is caring, and Optimizer reports are best shared with anyone who needs to make a decision that affects your org. Viket recommends using the app to set your priorities and pointing to the report to explain why. “Sharing the data with those team members may be helpful so that they understand what you are busy with and how you are adding value and making your end-user experience as efficient and productive as possible,” Niket says.
Optimizer is especially useful in the common scenario where you’re coming into an already-existing org. “In a lot of the cases, admins have no one to tell them why certain things are the way they are, and they are so scared to make a change because they don’t know if something is going to break,” Niket says. “This is the tool, it’s like a Swiss Army knife,” he says, “it does hundreds of things for you and helps you uncover and discover those things.”
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Full Show Transcript
Mike Gerholdt: Welcome to the Salesforce Admins Podcast, where we talk about product, community, and career to help you become an awesome admin. I’m Mike Gerholdt and joining me today is Niket Trivedi, TM for Salesforce Optimizer, to talk about what’s new in Salesforce Optimizer, and there’s a lot in summer ’20. So Niket, welcome to the podcast.
Niket Trivedi: Thanks, Mike, and thanks for having me.
Mike Gerholdt: Niket, I think you’ve also now been on Release Readiness live and you’re on the podcast, so there must be a lot going on with Salesforce Optimizer. But before we get to that, let’s talk about your journey to Salesforce. How did you come to Salesforce and what are some of the things that you’ve worked on since you’ve been here?
Niket Trivedi: Thanks, Mike, for the introduction and I would like to give a little bit of background. So Salesforce has been in my career path since the last almost close to two years. I have been in product management roles for most of my career. I started my career as an engineer, but quickly pivoted into product management. I’ve been in mostly consumer type of products like e-commerce and worked for a couple of startups, but I realized that enterprise product is something which I really want to get my hands on. And that’s what really attracted me to Salesforce. Salesforce is one of the best companies in the enterprise SIP space. It’s growing fast, and it’s great culture. And that’s what really brought me to Salesforce.
And since I’ve joined Salesforce, I have actually worked on a lot of areas which are product adoption related things that we help people adopt products the right way, help them optimize it. And one of the big areas is Salesforce Optimizer. So Salesforce optimizer is a product that I’ve owned for almost two years now, and we have done some amazing stuff that we’ll talk about. But yes, that’s what I’ve been doing. There a lot of other adoption areas, which are probably related to Optimizer, but yes, I would like to keep focused on Optimizer for now.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, so would I. We were talking before I press record about how for, I don’t know, eight, 10 years now I’ve wanted everything that’s in Optimizer that I’m seeing now in summer ’20. But I think probably the first introduction that admins got to Optimizer was as a report that got put into their docs and I think emailed to them. And that’s the first version that we saw. Am I correct? You’re you’re shaking your head yes.
Niket Trivedi: That’s absolutely correct. Yes.
Mike Gerholdt: And that was pretty helpful. I mean, I enjoyed printing things off and sharing them with my executives and talking through things, but it wasn’t as actionable, I think, as what we’re going to see now in summer ’20. So let me tee you up for what is the great summer ’20 Salesforce Optimizer release?
Niket Trivedi: Yes. So Summer ’20 Optimizer release is all about making optimized recommendations even more reachable and actionable, as you said, to our customers, to our admins. And what we are doing is we are launching, in a sense, Optimizer as a Lightning app, which is awesome. I think it’s a big, big deal. I feel very happy and proud of what the team has done to bring it to the point where we are right now. But at the same time, I’m really looking forward to all the great feedback that we’ll get from admins and the value they can get out of these recommendations that were previously in a PDF report and now you can consume it in a brand new interactive dashboard format, like a Lightning app.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. And we saw part of that in the admin keynote at Dreamforce this last year. And I remember thinking to myself, holy cow, when we walked through that demo, it was so incredibly useful. You have list views now of everything and you can sort and resort, and you’re not scrolling through a PDF. Bring me on that journey. What did your team think through when they’re looking at how do we take this page and essentially make it actionable?
Niket Trivedi: Those are exactly the challenges that you described are very obvious. If you think about any offline report that you’re reading, I mean, it may have great information, but in this day and age where we are all so hooked up to screens and we want to be more and more efficient, we want the exact action that we need for the next five minutes, or we don’t want to read a hundred page document to get to something that we want to act on. And that was the impetus for Optimizer Lightning app. We wanted to give something to admins where they are spending less time scrolling through the report and more time fixing things in the org.
So as we designed this, we kept that in mind and making sure that all those challenges that admins might face going through the PDF report are solid, and they can do a lot more with all the things that they can do with the Lightning app, being it in core. Your data is in the core and what not. And we can talk more about it, but I think this is just the beginning for what they can do with this.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, I think you’re teasing it out. So tell me more. I remember what Optimizer was as a PDF, but now as an app, what am I going to see? What are some of the things that I can begin to report on or look at in this app?
Niket Trivedi: Yeah. So in this first version, what we have tried to make sure that we bring the value of all the recommendations that were existing in the PDF report. So we had about 50 plus different recommendations that come out of the PDF report. So we wanted to make sure that we get as close to those recommendations and not lose the value of those. That was the focus in this release and bring it as close to at par with the PDF so that admins can start trying the Lightning app and rely less on the PDF report, but also focus on bringing all the great resources, like you have any help content, for example, if you have any resources, if you have access to any accelerator programs. All of that was made available right in the same page for the recommendation that you’re viewing.
So making sure your experience is very efficient and making sure you get everything in a single view. And if you want to fix something, if you want to go to a setup page for a recommendation, you just click a link in the app. You’re taken to the org for that particular setup. You come back, and your transition from the Optimizer app to the rest of your org is very seamless, and you’re not spending time doing an offline analysis, then coming back to your org and back and forth. So we try to minimize that friction, if you will, and bring the power of the data in admins hand.
Mike Gerholdt: Wow. So it’s a lot more intuitive is what I hear. When I read the recommendation, I click the link, I’m taken to that part of setup, right?
Niket Trivedi: Correct.
Mike Gerholdt: Where I can actually take action on it and then go right back into Optimizer, as opposed to reading the PDF and then having to figure out where to configure that in the org.
Niket Trivedi: That’s very true.
Mike Gerholdt: So what are some things that as an admin the first time I jumped into Optimizer I should maybe prioritize looking at if I didn’t run the PDF before?
Niket Trivedi: That’s a good question. So as I said, Optimizer has close to 50 different recommendations. And depending on your org, you may or may not have issues in all areas, but you definitely have something that you want to act on. And what we have done is prioritize that list in the order of where you need the most attention. So that list, then the dashboard loads first time after the first scan is over, it is presorted by how immediate actions are needed for each of those items. So that top of the list will show you everything where it requires your immediate attention, and then there are items that are less attention, and then there are items that just require a review, and then there’s a whole set of things that maybe working excellently fine in your org and you don’t need to change anything.
So we have tried to made it easy so that you’re, again, not scrolling through a list on a dashboard and just start handling the items from the list from top to down.
Mike Gerholdt: So this really helps me prioritize where to put my attention in my org, in addition to rolling out new functionality is what I hear.
Niket Trivedi: Yeah. That’s correct. I think, again, it depends how often you have run Optimizer in the past. And if you have not, like when you run it for the first time, you might be discovering things that you have not realized probably have been lurking in your org and you have those options now to go and investigate them further, at least we have brought it to your attention. And of course, it’s easy for you. The first step is done. Now you can take the next few steps to go and find it and fix it.
Mike Gerholdt: I think that brings up a good question. So how often should I look at Optimizer based on what I’m working on? Do I run this every day? Do I look it at once a month?
Niket Trivedi: It really depends on your needs. At a very minimum, if you have an org that you’re not doing a lot on, I would recommend running it at least once every major release. That’s the minimum I would say, but I don’t think I’ve seen any admin just doing the minimum. I think every org is pretty busy when people have a busy org with scaling issues and things they are building as applications over time. I think the other set of recommendation is every time you release something new, like a new application or making any major changes, you definitely should run Optimizer and see if there are new issues that will pop up as part of this new application development that you have done. So yes, as often as you need. At a minimum, run it with every major release, with every new application development.
Run it in Sandbox if you feel you are doing some development in Sandbox and like to bring it back to your production org. I would say a good idea would be to run it at least once every two weeks or once a month. It doesn’t cost you anything. It’s a click of a button. It’s very simple. So I would say those are my recommendations for how often.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, I like that. You can set yourself a calendar reminder.
Niket Trivedi: Yes.
Mike Gerholdt: Grab lunch. Run Optimizer. Scroll through your results. It’s like getting a monthly report card.
Niket Trivedi: Exactly. Your TPS report.
Mike Gerholdt: Touche. Good job with that one. Speaking of TPS reports, who should we share the Optimizer reports with? As an admin, I’ve run this. I’ve looked at it. What should my next steps be?
Niket Trivedi: So again, every org is different. The structure of how people reporting to each other is different, so I’m not going to make a specific recommendation, but I’m going to speak broadly. Whosoever cares to look at the results and are trying to make a decision based on the results. So for example, let’s say you have a really active and growing org and you have file storage limits that are getting consumed like anything, and you need to go for bigger limits. Now, bigger limits might require you to go to Salesforce and ask for like an upgrade, or there could be other areas in your org that might require upgrade. So that might require you to have some budget approvals. There are certain things you can probably do on your own.
There are a few other things that admins may have to reach out to their execs and their management chain. So whosoever benefits from getting a decision done to eventually make your org more efficient and keep it scalable and productive for your users. I think that’s what matters. But at a minimum, to set your priorities. I think a lot of admins have used Optimizer to set their priorities and discuss with the managers, “Hey, this is what is Optimizer telling me. I would like to prioritize my next few weeks based on this,” to sharing it with your immediate manager or anyone else in your cross functional areas and maybe with your business leaders that, “Hey, I’m seeing slower performance on these account pages. So to help you guys, I’m going to prioritize this.”
So sharing the data with those team members may be helpful so that they understand what you are busy with and how you are adding value and making your end user experience as efficient and productive as possible.
Mike Gerholdt: I love that. You can proactively have career conversations around how you’re improving the performance of everyone at the organization just by running Optimizer. And I’m also thinking if you’re a new Salesforce admin coming onboard to an organization maybe that already has an org, this is a great way to kind of get a snapshot on here’s what I’m looking at moment in time from day one as I get started and it can help me prioritize as well.
Niket Trivedi: Yes.
Mike Gerholdt: I would be curious, you mentioned in the beginning that you’ve done a lot of product management. You were in engineering. I love to kind of get one layer deeper. I’d love to know what was a fun part of moving optimizer from PDF to this app that kind of was really exciting for you in this.
Niket Trivedi: Yes. There are a lot of fun things and things that we discovered that we ourselves weren’t aware of. PDF report itself has been well adopted. It’s like peeling an onion. When you have a product that’s been around for a few years and you’re trying to totally redefine it, I think it just uncovers a lot of things for the team. Even the engineers who probably worked on the very first version of the report are nowhere around here. They probably moved on to other projects. So we uncovered a lot of things that we ourselves as team we were not aware of, “Oh, this is how it works?” So it was learning. It was fun. It was like, wow. It was kudos to the original team that did this work. And in some cases, you’re like, okay, why did they do this? And we’re trying to do archeology.
We are trying to understand that, okay, we understand the rule. We understand why we need to give this to the admin, but it could be done a different way. There were discoveries. There were like ideas that were thrown around all over the place. But it was very interesting the last few months as we dig it up and try to rebuild it, if you will.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. I could envision that, much like redoing a house. Once you pull the dry wall off, you question why somebody would do that. Of course, to them, it was completely logical. Well, this was very cool. I will be sure to include in the show notes a link to the release notes for the part of Optimizer because I was reading through them the other day. I cannot tell you how excited I am for this and the amount of possibility it brings for admins to have those positive career conversations with their executive sponsors, with their stakeholders around this.
And for me, if I was thinking of this from an admin perspective to help me really prioritize the work that I need to get done in addition to the new features and functionality, I mean, this is the check engine light, I’ll say, that we’ve been waiting for a long time.
Niket Trivedi: Yeah, absolutely. And I think you did mention that so-called use case where almost every admin has gone through in their life, which is they take over a new organization and there you go. They are clueless, like what’s going on? And they have to get rammed up pretty quickly. And a lot of the cases, they had no one to tell them or help out why certain things are the way they are, and they are so scared to make a change because they don’t know if something is going to break. And this is the tool, it’s like a Swiss Army Knife. It does hundreds of things for you and helps you uncover or discover those things. It’s like an X-ray, if you will go into the inside under the hood and help you find those issues.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. That’s a great analogy, and it’s an X-ray that’ll only get better in time. Now that we have this Lightening app in our orgs, I am envisioning there’s going to be new releases to it come winter, come spring ’22, I think if I’m doing the math right. Summer ’22. It’s even more things that that can help admin. I’m very excited. So thank you to your team and everyone who worked on this new… I cannot tell you how exciting this is going to be just to have that next level of insight and prioritization. It’s something I’ve looked forward to. So appreciate it.
If you want to learn more about all things Salesforce admin, go to admin.salesforce.com to find more resources. And as a reminder, if you love what you hear, pop on over to iTunes. Give us a review. I love sharing all those positive reviews with our team. You can stay up to date with us on all things social. For Salesforce admins, we are @SalesforceAdmns. No I on Twitter. And of course, you can find me on Twitter. I am @MikeGerholdt. And with that, stay tuned for our next episode, and we’ll see you in the cloud.
Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we bring on Tim Dubois, the Product Manager for In-App Guidance at Salesforce. We learn how admins can take advantage of this cool feature and some best practices for creating these cool prompts.
Join us as we talk about best processes for floating prompts versus docked prompts, how to add the information your users need, and the metrics you need to look at for user engagement.
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Tim Dubois.
New In-App Guidance features for Summer 2020.
“In-App Guidance is the ability for an admin to create in-app learning where it makes the most sense for the users,” Tim says, “where they’re going to get the best context and be able to do that little bit of learning right in place.” It’s built into the platform itself with no coding via Lightning and lets you be right there with users to draw their attention to the right thing at the right time.
If you’re making a change with App Builder, In-App Guidance lets you show your users what’s changed and where there are new fields. At the same time, when you’re onboarding new users, you can use this feature to help show them around. In Summer 2020, we’re adding multi-step prompts to create a Walkthrough for more complicated processes to traverse multiple pages or even guide users across multiple apps.
Pacing your prompts.
While In-App Guidance is a powerful tool at your disposal, it’s definitely possible to overuse the feature. “You have to think about it from the user’s perspective,” Tim says, “you definitely want to make sure you tease these out at a rate that’s not going to overwhelm them because the last thing we want is burnout.” If you think about popups on the web, it’s definitely easy to understand what overstimulation looks like.
There are controls in In-App Guidance that makes everything a lot easier, letting you decide how many times you show prompts to your users. There are also a few different types of prompts that can help you display information in the best way for people to take it in, so choose wisely.
Metrics to help you make an impact.
When you’re trying to get buy-in from your stakeholders, you can rely on In-App Guidance’s built-in user engagement metrics to give you an idea of how you’re doing. You can better understand how many people saw your prompt versus how many people clicked on the action, which gives you the ability to tweak things and make sure you’ve got it right.
One customer used permissions for country to have different prompts show up in different languages, and the design allows for a lot of flexibility and creativity in terms of how you employ it. These days, In-App Guidance uses the Translation Workbench to make sure prompts show up in whichever language the user has set up, including the URLs for any videos you’ve included. We’re super excited to hear about you get up to when you get your hands on these exciting new features, so reach out and let us know.
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Full Show Transcript
Mike Gerholdt: Welcome to the Salesforce Admins Podcast, where we talk about product, community, and career to help you become an awesome admin. I’m Mike Gerholdt. And joining me today is Tim Dubois, the product manager for In-App Guidance. Man, is this thing cool, let me tell you. So we’re going to talk about how admins can utilize In-App Guidance, some of the best practices for creating those cool prompts, and a whole bunch more. I promise you is such fun episode. I wish I had In-App Guidance for the episode, but we don’t. We have Tim, so let’s get Tim on the pod.
Tim is the PM for In-App Guidance. And we’re going to talk about how admins can utilize In-App Guidance, some best practices. I don’t know where the conversation’s going to take us. But Tim, welcome to the podcast.
Tim Dubois: Thank you, Mike.
Mike Gerholdt: Let’s get started with how you got started at Salesforce. So where did you come from? And now you’re building this amazing In-App Guidance in Salesforce?
Tim Dubois: Yeah, thanks. I’ve been at Salesforce for what? About a year and three quarters, I guess, at this point. I’ve been a product manager in the software industry for a really long time in the area, coming from another big company. And I was looking for a company that was doing exciting things, doing some things that were getting back to the community, and also very importantly, company that was making products that people like to use, people were excited about. And Salesforce certainly fit that bill, and I was very lucky and excited to get an offer here. And I have been happy ever since. I’ve been working on some really, really cool things since I’ve been here and it just gets more exciting every day
Mike Gerholdt: I would agree 100%. So I’m a huge fan of In-App Guidance. I got to talk about in the Admin Keynote at Dreamforce last year. But let’s kick off conversation there with In-App Guidance. If some admin has never heard of it before, what’s your elevator pitch on In-App Guidance?
Tim Dubois: Oh gosh, yes, the elevator pitch. So In-App Guidance it’s really… Think about it as the ability for an admin, especially, to create in-app learning where it makes the most sense for the users, where they’re going to get the best context and be able to do that little bit of learning very quickly, right in place. And that really is what makes the most impact, and it’s easier to digest that bit of guidance very quickly and help those users get on the way.
And what I love about In-App Guidance is that it’s built into the platform itself as part of the Lightning Platform. So it’s extremely easy to use. There’s no coding, is all done with clicks, so anybody can do it. It literally takes a matter of minutes to create a prompt door through the summer, a walkthrough. Anybody can do it and it’s fun to use actually.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, absolutely. I like to think of it as if you could just be there with your users and be adding a little sticky note or a little nudge to them being like, “I really need you to look over here, or could you really look at this? I just added this. Please just pay attention here. Real quick, kind of a popup.”
Tim Dubois: That’s so true. Yeah. It’s good to look at it.
Mike Gerholdt: So I’m looking at In-App Guidance and thinking to myself, maybe I’ve been admin for a while, should I only add In-App Guidance to the new apps or some of the new pages that I’m rolling out?
Tim Dubois: It really it depends. It depends on the use case. So In-App Guidance fits so many different use cases and we keep coming up with more. I keep hearing different ones from customers that I add to the list. But there’s that typical scenario of, “I just made a change with that builder on the page. I added a new field, and I want to let people know about it. So, hey, let’s add a prompt that highlight that, ‘Hey, check out the new field. It needs this, or there’s a new business process. It means that.'”
So there’s certainly those use cases, or maybe you want to have a walkthrough for a brand new app that you just put out there. So that’s a great use case as well.
So it makes sense for those UIs that have been around or apps that have been around for a long time. But also, it makes a lot of sense for onboarding new users. So for those places where you’ve got a new user that maybe it’s your standard applications, but they don’t understand, or there’s been changes to the business process. So there’s just so many different use cases.
Mike Gerholdt: You’re teasing it out for me, so I have to ask. Let’s talk about walkthroughs because I saw it in the release notes. I think it’s amazing, but let’s help bring our admins in and show them the amazing cake of walkthroughs that we have.
Tim Dubois: And I guess I let the cat out of the bag. Yes, this summer’s release, we are really happy and excited to announce that walkthroughs or the multi-step prompts are coming along in the release. And we’re taking the single prompts that we’ve already had for the last few releases, and we’re allowing you to string those together to create a walkthrough. So these are great scenarios for more complicated processes that you want to highlight, or just if you want to onboard users to many places throughout the UI, you can create a walkthrough that traverses anywhere within a page, but also across pages or even across the apps.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. And especially thinking now when Salesforce admins are working from their home and they’re having to have more video calls, these walkthroughs are essentially how you can be there for all of your users when they need your help, because you’re not when they’re going to update an account or log a call based on a sales call. You can’t be there all the time, but the walkthrough can be there to help guide them, especially if there’s a sales process or a major change, right?
Tim Dubois: Oh, absolutely. That’s a great way to just handhold those users to get them through the process.
Mike Gerholdt: So is it possible for me as an admin to maybe create too much In-App Guidance?
Tim Dubois: Yes.
Mike Gerholdt: Can I put too much frosting on the cake? That’s the question I have.
Tim Dubois: You absolutely can put too much frosting on the cake. You have to think about it from the user’s perspective. And it might get interesting sometimes when you have to think about where all these walkthroughs or prompts are going to end up, what’s the set of users. But you definitely want to make sure you tease these out at a rate that’s not going to overwhelm the users because the last thing that we want is burnout from the users. Because suddenly, we’re all going to do that and get plenty of those popups that happen on the web all the time. And it quickly becomes to the point where you just close it before we even read it and we don’t want that to happen. So I think it makes a lot of sense to put a lot of thought into the guidance that you create and make sure you don’t overdo it.
And also we even have controls of course, in In-App guidance for how often you should show these prompts to users. So you can decide to show those prompts every single day for 30 times. Probably not a good idea. If you really want to get the point across, highlight, don’t do that. But maybe you want to show it once a week for up to three weeks, that kind of thing.
So definitely put some thought into how you do that and definitely don’t overdo it. And the same holds true for when you’re offering the prompts themselves. We’ve tried to help you with some guard rails in that there’s a couple of different types of prompts and there’s the floating prompt, which is the prompt that you can place within the different quadrants of the UI. And they’re meant to be very short and succinct. You only have up to 240 characters. And that’s our purpose, to try to give you small little tidbits of information that you pop up on the screen.
It’s so easy for the user to quickly grasp that information without having to spend time reading a lot. But if you have more information that you want to convey, or maybe even a video, you could use the other prompt, the duct box, and that’s where you can put in a lot more information, but they can also minimize that and they can come back to it later.
So I’m trying to give you some different options and we’re going to be adding more options in the future, but there’s one different ways already to try to help get that information out there without overdoing it.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, absolutely. I love that you bring that up because the floating prompt can be somewhere right in there, their line of sight, as opposed to that docked prompt, I’ve seen it with videos in it, which was actually the question I had for you. We also, now I saw this in the release notes too. We have In-App Guidance builder.
Tim Dubois: Well, yeah. The In-App guidance builder is our new… This summer, we have the new offering UI. We had to redo things to create walkthroughs. And so we’re using the new builder framework, which is really exciting. And the way the new builder works is, the builder is sort of around the outside of our UI and the UI is on the canvas on the middle part running. So you simply just navigate around to the UI you want and choose where you want to offer the prompts. So again, we make it very simple, all done with clicks. You don’t have to worry about which page you’re on, because whenever you say, if that’s what the prompt is going to show up. So it’s really, really easy to use.
Mike Gerholdt: I love that. I just remember thinking back to the days when I would customize the homepage and use like an HTML widget as “Please, please do this,” when you first look.
One of the things, and you touched on it, floating prompts short, quick. I almost think of those as like when you’re watching the news or something like a fun fact, did you know about this? And the docked prompts have videos that could also be where an admin puts a demo as well. As users are progressing through and prompts are being displayed, I know that you can view, there’s lifetime views and completes that the admin can also view. And I think that’s important. I would love to understand, so if I’m going to show this to my boss, or I’m going to say, “Hey, I created this and this prompt or this walkthrough is getting this much use.” I’d love to let them know, what should I be looking for in that as an admin?
Tim Dubois: What we’re trying to do is give you some user engagement metrics right up front on the side of page where you see the prompts that walkthrough is listed. And again, it gives you an idea at a high level, how am I doing? Does anybody care? Because if both the single prompts or the walkthroughs have an action button or action link that we’re measuring to see if the user actually clicked on it. So the very last step of the walkthrough or the prompt itself will have that action button. And the completes gives you an idea of all the users that saw that particular bit of guidance, did they actually click on that action? Or how successful are you of getting them to go check out that link, whether it’s a Trailhead or whatever it might be.
And so we give you that right upfront and it gives you an idea, like maybe I need to change how i role this out, because I saw that, X number of users saw this prompt, but very few actually clicked on the action. So I need to do something different. And so it gives you a chance to go back and maybe change some things and roll it out again. And it’s also very easy for the role level actions to completely reset those metrics and start over if you want.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. I would love to go back in time and see what metrics some of those prompts would be. And I think it would be very insightful to let you know, like if people are taking action on something, if you just need to re author that prompt, if it’s maybe a picture or a video that would help really drive that home to them, I’d be curious, our community is very creative. Have they shared with you any of interesting prompts or In-App Guidance that they’ve created, that really caught your eye?
Tim Dubois: Yes. I’ve seen a fair number of different ones. I’ve seen everything from just having a simple prompt that shows one time to give an announcement, “Hey, get ready for tax season,” et cetera, et cetera, to rolling out brand new custom apps and having multiple prompts. Really, before this was very first version we had, we did not have translation available yet. And the customer actually used permissions per country to have different prompts show up in different languages and so on. So it was some really unique ways around using our system. But yeah, that’s why as I talk to customers, I get new use cases almost every day. It’s fun.
Mike Gerholdt: That does make me think of something that hadn’t really come across my radar is a multinational org. If you’re say, a US based company, but you also have offices in Germany and France. Do you have to author prompts in each language? Or is it set to the org’s translation?
Tim Dubois: No, it’s actually the latter. So we’re fully utilizing the translation workbench now. You create your prompt in English, for example, you go to translation workbench, you can translate to all the different languages, then Salesforce supports, and that’s it. You’re good to go. So user sets their language to say German, then those prompts should show up in German and it actually includes even the URL to the video. So if you have different videos for different languages, which of course you’d want to, if there’s audio, then you can also update that as well, so you can have the different videos of the different languages play.
Mike Gerholdt: Holy cow. Okay. Well, this is exciting stuff. I love it when we have In-App Guidance and when we rolled out toolbar, I just thought that was just like next level stuff. Things that I’ve always wanted, that I always felt like everybody that knew how to write code was getting and the rest of us weren’t. I want this cool stuff too. And now it’s available. So thanks for doing that. And I can’t wait to see what’s new in Winter 21 for In-App Guidance. It’s going to be right around the corner.
Tim Dubois: Oh yeah. It’s fun for us because we’re living in that right now. We’re in the middle of building that. So it’s some fun stuff coming.
Mike Gerholdt: Cognitive dissonance being warm while you’re building stuff for the winter. I always think of it like the marketers that have to get the holiday catalog ready. At some point somebody’s probably decorating a tree or a wreath or a holiday scene in June and flip flops, like, “Okay, I need everybody in the scene to act cold.”
It was great to chat with Tim. I’m so glad he had time to be on the podcast and talk with us, give us some best practices about floating prompts versus docked prompts, how to add great information in those docked prompts so that your users can consume it. And of course also looking at your views and completions so that you know which prompts are performing. That was phenomenal, and I think you’re going to find it super, super useful.
If you want to learn more about all things Salesforce admin, go to admin.salesforce.com to find more resources. And as a reminder, if you love what you hear, or if you have some constructive feedback, let us know. Be sure to pop on over to iTunes and give us a review. I promise I read them all. And of course you can stay up to date with us on social for all things admin. We are at Salesforceadmns on Twitter. You can find me on Twitter. I am at Mike Gerholdt, and be sure to stay tuned for our next episode, and we’ll see you in the cloud.
Before the calendar rolls over to June, we’re back for another special episode to recap great Salesforce content this month. This week on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, Mike and Gillian are back with the We Still Don’t Know What to Call This Episode. Seriously, help us out.
Join us as we talk about all the great Salesforce content from this month, as well as a few things that are top of mind for us.
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation between Mike and Gillian.
Low Code Love
Gillian hosted our LowCodeLove event, which featured many customer stories highlighting how IT leaders, admins, and developers can use low-code tools to quickly respond to business’ changing needs. We also heard from Jeff Berger, who we had on the podcast to talk about how he built an app in FIVE HOURS, got a surprise visit from Parker Harris, and had Maggie Rogers show up to share some music.
Be an Innovator with Dynamic Pages
If you complete the new Trailmix for Be and Innovator with Dynamic Pages by June 30th, you get a special badge, so now is the time to get cracking.
Quick and Dynamic Actions
There was a lot of great content about Quick Actions and Dynamic Actions, including a blog post about how to use more Quick Actions everywhere by Jeremiah Dohn and new ways to use Dynamic Actions by Eric Shih. Behind all of it is Vin Addala, who we had on the pod and also goes by his alter ego, Vin Dynamic. Take a close look at all of these tools to reduce the visual clutter in your org and help people get things done faster than ever before.
- Blog: Accelerate Adoption Using Quick Actions Everywhere
- Blog: Try Dynamic Actions in App Builder with the Summer ’20 Release
- Podcast: Dynamic Pages with Vin Addala
Taking Advantage of the Salesforce Community
We had several great episodes on the pod this month that highlight the importance of the community in your Salesforce journey.
- Podcast: Salesforce for Good: The Community at Large with Ryan Ozimek
- Podcast: Get Out of Your Own Way with Yves Stewart
- Podcast: Best Practices for Building Formulas with Eric Praud
This month, we launched the first episodes of Trailhead Live! Make sure to tune in to catch Megan Peterson and Gillian and catch up on all the great content coming into Trailhead and trivia with Marc Baizman. “I always have a Trailhead live open,” Mike says, “and I’m always popping over because there’s always new stuff there.”
- Tweet: #TrailheadNews: Go “Behind the Hoodie” with @SteveMoForce & @lexpisani, learn about the May 7th #LowCodeLove event with @gilliankbruce, get a @charlieisaacs weather update, and more!
- Trailhead Live
The Way Back Machine
We take a look back at where we were in May 2018, 2017, 2016, and even 2014 and 2010. Check out where we were when folders and subfolders were new, and when we started the Awesome Admin movement.
- Blog: 5 Summer ‘18 Salesforce Release Features that Seasoned Admins Will Love
- Podcast; The Magic of Components with Michael Gonzalez
- Blog: Have a Messy Org? Have no Fear!
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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 be an awesome admin. We are here on the, “We Still Don’t Know What to Call It” episode. We still don’t know what to call it, really. No one’s helped us with that.
Mike Gerholdt: It’s still the thing. We’re not sure to call. Still unsure.
Gillian Bruce: Okay. Well, here we go. This is the third episode of the, We Still Don’t Know What to Call It episode. And I’m Gillian Bruce.
Mike Gerholdt: I’m Mike Gerholdt. At least I think so.
Gillian Bruce: It’s hard to tell these days.
Mike Gerholdt: We don’t know what to call it. I think, maybe, nobody’s telling us what to call it because they like that we still don’t know what to call it episode.
Gillian Bruce: You might be right. You might be right. It’s like the Boaty McGoatface of podcasts.
Mike Gerholdt: Right. Boaty McGoatface. Did you say Boaty McGoatface? Yes.
Gillian Bruce: Was it? Isn’t that…
Mike Gerholdt: I think it’s Boaty McBoatface.
Gillian Bruce: McBoatface. Sorry.
Mike Gerholdt: Yes. All the boats.
Gillian Bruce: In Salesforce-
Mike Gerholdt: Got goats.
Gillian Bruce: … landing-
Mike Gerholdt: Got goats.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah.
Mike Gerholdt: I got a goat problem.
Gillian Bruce: I have cloudy goats on the brain. Yeah.
Mike Gerholdt: Right. Don’t we all?
Gillian Bruce: Speaking of Salesforce landing and cloudy and goats, we had a lot of content that cloudy would be especially excited about that we produced in May.
Mike Gerholdt: We did a lot in May. We had a lot of fun. Much like we’re having a lot of fun on this episode. We had a lot of fun in May.
Gillian Bruce: We sure did. You shared those lists with me of all of the things that you gathered from what our team put out in May. I was like “Wait, that was one month? Oh my goodness.”
Mike Gerholdt: I was tired making the list. I had to take a nap. I had to pause, take a nap while making the list, get back up, keep making the list. That’s how long the list was.
Gillian Bruce: Well, I’m glad that you pushed through it and made the list.
Mike Gerholdt: It could be hard sometimes making list.
Gillian Bruce: You know.
Mike Gerholdt: I feel like we’re all good list makers now though, right?
Gillian Bruce: Well, yeah.
Mike Gerholdt: Maybe some of us more so than others.
Gillian Bruce: I feel like I start a lot of lists. Now, if I ever do anything with them or actually cross them off, I’ll go into my notes app sometimes on my phone and just discover to-do lists from two years ago that I never completed.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. I know.
Gillian Bruce: It’s great. Getting back to the list-
Mike Gerholdt: More list of ideas. List of ideas. Those are always fun. That sounds like a totally good idea.
Gillian Bruce: Right.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: At a moment of inspiration and-
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: … it just sat there.
Mike Gerholdt: I created a list, list of lists.
Gillian Bruce: Well, admins like list view. Here we go.
Mike Gerholdt: They do. Right.
Gillian Bruce: Now that I’m viewing this list, the first thing on the list is the … You talk about fun. Man, we had a lot of fun with this. The Low Code Love event on May 7th. Wow.
Mike Gerholdt: Gillian, you were the MC. I got to do some customer interviews. It was a lot of fun to watch as well. It was fun to do in the moment and see it all come together, and then day of, it was a lot of fun to watch.
Gillian Bruce: Well, that’s good because I didn’t really get to watch it.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, I know.
Gillian Bruce: I watched it after the fact.
Mike Gerholdt: You sort of did. You were very participatory in the watching.
Gillian Bruce: I was. I watched myself on my own monitor-
Mike Gerholdt: Right.
Gillian Bruce: … like whatever the feed was picking up, but yeah. Mike, you, of course, are an expert customer interviewer.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: You’ve had what, like 10 years of practice running a podcast.
Mike Gerholdt: Sure. Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: It was fun. It was so cool to see everything come together. It’s the first time we did anything like this. We learned a lot in the process, but we did. We had a ton of fun. Some amazing customer stories in there. We got Jeff Berger story in there who you interviewed on the podcast.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. Yeah. It was good to see him visually explain his story.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah. It was like what, he built an app in what, five hours? Was that-
Mike Gerholdt: Something like that. Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah.
Mike Gerholdt: Over the weekend. Just ridiculous timeframe.
Gillian Bruce: He’s just like “Sure. I’ll build this. I got it. No problem.”
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, “No problem. It’s Friday afternoon. I got nothing else going on.”
Gillian Bruce: “I got some awesome admin skills.”
Mike Gerholdt: “We’re going to roll this out Sunday evening. You bet. No problem.” Boom. Done. Water off a Duck’s back.
Gillian Bruce: Seriously. A bit like his story. What the mayor of Palm Coast with Steve Harris who helped build the solution there.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: We had Amber Boaz on, too, talking about how excited she is about dynamic pages and some of the stuff there. Some really cool customers, right? I got to talk about what you see Berkeley did with one of their labs to help supply COVID testing to firefighters. Actually, I’m wearing my Cal shirt today. I got Go Bears pride.
Mike Gerholdt: Of course. Sure. We had the Low Code Lounge, right? That was fun.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah.
Mike Gerholdt: There’s a lot of people joining in the Low Code Lounge, [Squire] Kershner.
Gillian Bruce: Squire Christian was in there. We had Christie who is another fellow podcaster.
Mike Gerholdt: Yes.
Gillian Bruce: [Hewitt] podcast, Christie Campbell.
Mike Gerholdt: Exactly. Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: We even had a high school student in there, Shaborn Allah, who is from Pi-TaP, which is an awesome organization. He joined from Boston. We had a surprise in there. Parker Harris dipped in the Low Code Lounge. We had a lot of fun. Parker spent the whole broadcast talking to and connecting to all the people on Low Code Lounge and learning more about their stories, which was really cool.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. Yeah. I was a little jealous when I saw Parker come in. Mostly because he has some of the best intro where he would just float in to the screen. It was great. I thought, when they went away to do something else, I was like “I bet Parker is engaging with every single one of those people.” I want that recording to go live.
Gillian Bruce: I’m sure it exists somewhere, but yeah, we had a lot of fun. Parker was totally game to play. Actually, he got jealous because I had a light up Marquee.
Mike Gerholdt: Sure.
Gillian Bruce: He had his son. One of his sons come in like set up a light show behind him, but it was so bright in his shot. You couldn’t even see it, but he was very jealous. Parker loves the fun.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: We got Brett and Sarah doing the main show and Maggie Rogers showing up to sing us some incredible songs.
Mike Gerholdt: Yes.
Gillian Bruce: We had the AMA with a zillion of our amazing product managers. It was awesome. We had some slight technical issues, but you know what, we had more viewers than we could have even imagined. Understandably, things were going to … we get tested and crashed a little.
Mike Gerholdt: Right. Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: We recovered.
Mike Gerholdt: Exactly. It was a lot of fun. It was a lot of fun.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah. If you want to watch it, it’s available on Trailhead Live. It’s also available on Salesforce Live. You can go back and watch the uninterrupted version. If you catch it on Facebook Live or Twitter, the feed on there, you’ll see that I actually missed your live queue.
Mike Gerholdt: It’s okay.
Gillian Bruce: Sarah and I were talking about her hair. That’s great.
Mike Gerholdt: That’s okay. You also hosted Bingo. You had like a live whiteboard that would come in. That was some good that-
Gillian Bruce: I still got the whiteboard.
Mike Gerholdt: I’m still laughing.
Gillian Bruce: I still got it. We had a lot of Bingo winners.
Mike Gerholdt: Sure.
Gillian Bruce: There’s a lot of Bingo names on air.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. That’s okay. That’s how it works. It’s good. It’s good.
Gillian Bruce: Now, I have a whiteboard in my house.
Mike Gerholdt: Right. Because … whiteboards.
Gillian Bruce: Why not.
Mike Gerholdt: In addition to Low Code Love, we also had, Be an Innovator with Dynamic Pages launch on admin.salesforce.com. I think it was really cool. The page actually directs down to trailhead.salesforce.com. You could watch the videos and engage right there. That’s some magic that Rebecca Saar did.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah, and Vin Addala who’s on the podcast, because he is the PM that helped create an … his team basically built this new, amazing dynamic pages experience. It’s totally re-engineered from the ground up, which was why it took a while. We had some Leanne magic in those videos as well.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, who was also in Low Code Love.
Gillian Bruce: It sure was. She sure was. Yes. She sure was. Yeah. If you complete the trail mix for Be an Innovator by June 30th and something cool happens.
Mike Gerholdt: I think you get a badge.
Gillian Bruce: You get a badge. That’s what you get.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: I wrote down the date and I forgot to write down the-
Mike Gerholdt: That’s okay.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah.
Mike Gerholdt: It’s-
Gillian Bruce: It’s May 74th, right?
Mike Gerholdt: It’s May 74th. That’s right. March 82nd. If you missed either of those, the links to watch them, we’ll include it in the show notes because sometimes I can’t keep up with me.
Gillian Bruce: Well, especially these days.
Mike Gerholdt: Right. We haven’t-
Gillian Bruce: We’ve been making list [exhaustia 00:08:55].
Mike Gerholdt: Exactly. Well, it’s important. Naps are important. Blogs-
Gillian Bruce: Yes, as I’ve learned from my son.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, I know. See, kid’s got it figured out. Like pre five, wake up, eat, crawl around a little bit, nap. That’s-
Gillian Bruce: Eat again. Yeah.
Mike Gerholdt: Eat again. Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: Nap again. Yeah.
Mike Gerholdt: Nap.
Gillian Bruce: They got the life.
Mike Gerholdt: Priorities. Priorities. They’re not making lists. He’s just got the list in his head.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah. It’s very few things on there.
Mike Gerholdt: Okay. Other things that, maybe, you didn’t miss, again, we don’t know what to call this episode. We’re just going to go through some content, tell you all the awesome stuff that was out there that you need to follow up on, read about. Let’s talk about accelerate adoption using quick actions everywhere. It’s community post by Jeremiah Dohn. I like that. We had that come out in May.
Gillian Bruce: Jeremiah is-
Mike Gerholdt: Early part of May.
Gillian Bruce: … awesome.
Mike Gerholdt: He is. He’s presented at DreamForce, I feel a few times.
Gillian Bruce: At least, yeah. Yeah. His post is great. Quick Actions are super useful.
Mike Gerholdt: I use Quick Actions a lot. I use them very quickly.
Gillian Bruce: Do you?
Mike Gerholdt: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Gillian Bruce: Do you use them while drinking Nestle Quick?
Mike Gerholdt: Maybe.
Gillian Bruce: I don’t know why that popped in my head. Anyway-
Mike Gerholdt: That’s Nestle Quick. It’s smooth. It’s chocolatey. It’s milk. It’s wonderful.
Gillian Bruce: It’s got a bunny on it. I don’t know.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. I think, was it Yoohoo that competes with Nestle Quick?
Gillian Bruce: Yeah.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah.
Mike Gerholdt: Yoohoo.
Gillian Bruce: What’s the difference between those and Ovaltine? I’ve never understood the difference between. To be clear, I haven’t really drank any of them, so I don’t know.
Mike Gerholdt: Well, doesn’t Ovaltine help you with your regularity and your fiber?
Gillian Bruce: I don’t know.
Mike Gerholdt: Maybe it’s-
Gillian Bruce: Isn’t that Metamucil?
Mike Gerholdt: Well, that could be.
Gillian Bruce: Sorry everyone.
Mike Gerholdt: I feel like there’s also a comedian that has a bit about Ovaltine. Like why doesn’t it come in an oval box for an Ovaltine.
Gillian Bruce: That would make sense.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. It’s called, Ovaltine. We didn’t talk about Quick Actions at all during that. We talked about Ovaltine and Yoohoo and Nestle quick and yet, somebody is still listening, hanging on by a thread that something important is coming up next.
Gillian Bruce: I bet they’re finding some chocolate milk somewhere.
Mike Gerholdt: Who doesn’t want chocolate milk now? I do.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah, not me. Good.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: Chocolate, yes. Anyway, we also had another great blog post about dynamic actions in app builder.
Mike Gerholdt: Yes. Yes.
Gillian Bruce: It very well paired with the dynamic pages feature that is now available for folks to use. Another amazing admin tool.
Mike Gerholdt: Vin Addala used to work on dynamic actions.
Gillian Bruce: That makes sense.
Mike Gerholdt: I remember because he’s very dynamic. He’s the captain dynamic or Vin Dynamic as I call him.
Gillian Bruce: Vin Dynamic.
Mike Gerholdt: Vin Dynamic. I think taking a step back and looking at this and then reflecting back on the podcast, which totally listened to from Vin on top of the fact that he has a million games in the background. In perspective, seeing what we can do now that was only pie in the sky when I was an admin in like 2008, I remember starting a sentence with, “Wouldn’t it be great if this field would appear when I check this box?” Now, it’s like “Yeah, no problem. Done.”
Gillian Bruce: “We got this.”
Mike Gerholdt: “We got that. What else you got?” I’ll equate it to, I don’t know if you’ve ever driven one of those cars that has the progressive or something cruise control where you set the cruise control and then it has a radar and it senses if it’s behind another vehicle and it slows down. It’s amazing.
Gillian Bruce: Whoa, that’s fancy.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. It’s really cool. I feel like that’s where we’re at, right? We’re right on the verge of self-driving cars because they’re pretty spatially aware. Now, we’re starting to get to the point where pages are like, you ask a question like “I wonder if it could … Yeah, that’s no problem. I can do that.” You’re like, “Yeah, what other problems you got?”
Gillian Bruce: “Bring it. I got this.”
Mike Gerholdt: “Bring it. I got this.”
Gillian Bruce: It’s so cool because it really helps reduce the number of profiles that you need to do. It’s such a better experience.
Mike Gerholdt: Well, you got perm sets now.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah.
Mike Gerholdt: Come on. I got two or three profiles I can set up and then I can just perm set away.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah. Being able to do these, basically set the visibility and the response of individual on the field level of pages and even the action. It helps reduce a lot of the overhead and technical debt for an admin, right?
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. Also, the visual clutter.
Gillian Bruce: Yes.
Mike Gerholdt: That was one thing that I remember getting pinged a lot as an admin. You’d have to have all these forms and fields that people required because eight steps into a sales process, this field had to be filled out and users were constantly, “Why do I have to look at it for the first seven?” Because “Hey, look at the lunch menu came out.” That is, literally, every conversation I had. Now, it’s like “Yeah, you don’t.” Because when we get to the stage or when you complete this field now, boom, I can make that appear and then it’s gone. You can still report on it. It’s that visual clutter that I don’t have to deal with as a user. I’m moving through the information faster and in a very prescriptive way, right? I love it.
Gillian Bruce: If only I could have something like that for my house to reduce the visual clutter, that’d be fantastic.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: Anyway, moving on. We had a lot of podcasts come out this month. We talked about the Vin Addala podcast, which is great. People should listen to it and they can watch it on Trailhead Live. It actually aired right after the Low Code Love event ended-
Mike Gerholdt: On Trailhead Live, yes.
Gillian Bruce: … the Broadcast Eight, yeah, ended. It’s there for everybody to look at, but we also had the last episode of the Salesforce for good series that our amazing colleague, Marc Baizman, hosted featuring Ryan Ozimek.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. Ryan is a return guest. I remember speaking with Ryan at one of the Washington D.C. world tour stops. We recorded an episode out there. Good to have him back. That was a fun series, Gillian. We launched that series while you are gone. It wrapped up. Instead of pushing it all six episodes at once, we spread it out over time. There’s two theories. You can either just drop everything and make people binge listened to it or the oldschool way of radio. It comes out every week or every month.
Gillian Bruce: Sprinkle a little good throughout the year.
Mike Gerholdt: Sprinkle, yeah. Exactly.
Gillian Bruce: It’s good.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. Six months of good. That was fun. Gillian, you interviewed Eve Stewart on-
Gillian Bruce: She was awesome.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. That was a fun episode as well.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah. She’s another amazing member of our Salesforce military community. She’s just got a really great perspective on how to take hold of tough problems. Literally, we titled the episode, “Get Out of Your Own Way.”
Mike Gerholdt: Right.
Gillian Bruce: Really, what she talks about is, “Hey, when you got a tough problem, don’t make a mountain out of a molehill even though it may seem like it’s” … I don’t know.
Mike Gerholdt: A mountain.
Gillian Bruce: What’s the tallest mountain? Mount Everest.
Mike Gerholdt: Sure.
Gillian Bruce: You’re not going to get anywhere if you keep thinking about it. You just got to sit down in a room, start mapping it out, tackle it out. She talks a lot about that. It was great to be able to connect with her and share that with the community. We’ve got some really good responses, too, in social, which is great.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. I got to speak with Eric Prod who was amazing to interview. It’s always great to see when you log into the Trailblazer Community, all of the faces of the people who answer and then to get them on a call and be able to pick their brain. It was fun to talk with Eric and have him walk through his thinking and his process for, “I’m really going to solve this. I’m really going to take this on this way.” It goes back to what we mentioned earlier with dynamic forms and dynamic actions, right? Reducing your technical debt. If you can build it now, once correctly and with a solid foundation, you’re setting yourself up for success later on. I think, that, to me, was a huge takeaway from Eric’s podcast.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah. It’s so fun because again, like you said, putting a voice behind those leaders on the answers community. All of us are pretty familiar with Steve Moe, but there are some amazing other people on there who answer almost as many questions.
Mike Gerholdt: Yes.
Gillian Bruce: Eric has helped out hundreds and hundreds of folks. It was really fun to connect with him and put a voice behind those written answers.
Mike Gerholdt: Absolutely. In addition to that, holy cow, there was a lot that happened on Trailhead Live.
Gillian Bruce: So much. Trailhead Live is on fire right now.
Mike Gerholdt: It is.
Gillian Bruce: It is so cool.
Mike Gerholdt: It is. First thing that I saw launch was, Trailhead News launched. Gillian, I think, you were on the first episode.
Gillian Bruce: I was. The one and only amazing Meagan Petersen, a.k.a Ranger Megan, who based in Sydney launched this. She is one of the driest, funniest news anchors I think I have ever seen. She makes it so fun. She puts together all the content and episodes herself. When you see something fun, that’s Megan right there.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: She had so much fun. There’s two episodes out now. The first one was great. I got to be her first test interviewer. If you watch it, you’ll notice that we were trying to figure some things out, but it turned out pretty fun.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. No, I thought it was good. It’s fun because interacting now is like well, we can’t just sit down and film this of course, right?
Gillian Bruce: Yeah. There’s like zoom background and activity and then looking-
Mike Gerholdt: Right.
Gillian Bruce: … away from the camera to make it look like you’re looking at the person even though this is-
Mike Gerholdt: Sure.
Gillian Bruce: Anyway, it was really fun. Marc Baizman was actually on the second episode talking about some great admin tips.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: It’s fun. It’s on Trailhead Live. You can find it. I highly recommend if you need a little levity in your day. It’s also a great way to catch up on all the things that are … like the new content coming on Trailhead, events, all kinds of great … it is the Trailhead News. There you go.
Mike Gerholdt: What you’re saying is, listening to Trailhead News is like listening to the, what do we call this episode for the podcast.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah. Except it might be a little more visually interesting because she does production and the last one had a video of goats gone wild, which was exciting.
Mike Gerholdt: Jeepers. Okay. Wow. It’s not a competition, but it is.
Gillian Bruce: Hey, we’re a podcast first. There you go.
Mike Gerholdt: Yes, we are. We’re a podcast?
Gillian Bruce: Sorry folks. We’re a podcast first.
Mike Gerholdt: That is the next shirt we got to have come out. We’re a podcast first. Fun.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah.
Mike Gerholdt: Marc Baizman was on Trailhead Live and he did awesome admin trivia, which I saw the tweets around. I think that’s so much fun. We’ve internally played with that app before on team meetings and it’s highly competitive. I could not imagine what it would be like competing against some of our admins in the community. Holy cow.
Gillian Bruce: I think I would lose.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: For sure, I’d lose.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. I was impressed by the scores.
Gillian Bruce: Well, and what’s fun is this app is actually built on Salesforce.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: Philippe Ozil created this and Marc has taken it and customized it for admins. It’s pretty fun because it’s like something else that is used for online quizzes.
Mike Gerholdt: Sure.
Gillian Bruce: It’s on Salesforce, which is really fun.
Mike Gerholdt: Right. Way more fun than that.
Gillian Bruce: Way more.
Mike Gerholdt: Perhaps, maybe you’re watching a video version of the podcast on Trailhead Live. We launched that with Vin. Yes. Right.
Gillian Bruce: Hi there.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. Here’s what you get in the video only version. See, now, you got to watch the video only version just to know what that part was because we can’t tell you. We had Vin Addala on. For June, which is coming up, last I checked …
Gillian Bruce: Although it is May 82nd.
Mike Gerholdt: March 82nd. All of the PM’s that are on the podcast for June, we’re also going to rebroadcast as video on Trailhead Live. Gillian, you’re going to thankfully do the intro of that because we’re a podcast first.
Gillian Bruce: We’re a podcast first.
Mike Gerholdt: Nobody needs me to do the intro. No. I’m-
Gillian Bruce: Yeah. People are just busy in a lot of this.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. Right. It’s Gillian and welcome to the Gillian show. That’s cool. I literally have a tab open of the hundred tabs. I always have a Trailhead Live tab open. I’m always popping over because there’s always new stuff there. They have a little feature area and stuff that I can catch up on. Thankfully, I can watch. I was able to catch the Trailhead News even though I missed it when it went live. I think that’s really neat.
Gillian Bruce: We do things like AMAs too. I did a couple of AMAs, this … I think that was this month too. I totally forgot about that. It’s so much content, but we did like-
Mike Gerholdt: So much.
Gillian Bruce: … just a general admin AMA that I did live on Trailhead. We did AMA with Vin Addala just recently where we answered some questions about dynamic pages. He actually showed us to, specifically, several of his board games, which was fun. We answered questions live that were coming in the feed. Fun fact, I actually went to the command line to make the Skype to OBS integration work, which it didn’t work perfectly. We’re going to get better for next time, but it’s the only way we were able to live feed two videos and slides the same time on OBS. It’s very exciting.
Mike Gerholdt: You fancy, command line and all.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah. Well, you know.
Mike Gerholdt: Okay. Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: We’re all turning into our own production assistants, right?
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, I know. Send you a bill for the producer. Let’s see, making this list. Boy, there’s a lot on it. The one fun thing that I always like to, as we wrap up this episode is the Wayback machine, which of course you have a better … looking back at things, content that we had produced in the previous years or blog posts, it seems to be very relevant. Two years ago, we had summer 18 release notes. I put, most notably, folders and sub folders, which I remember this was one blog post that Marc worked on that he was so excited about sub folders in reports.
Gillian Bruce: Well, people have been asking for it for so long. It was so cool to be able to look at that.
Mike Gerholdt: Sure. I need more folders. I need folders with folders.
Gillian Bruce: Well, you got to organize all those amazing reports and dashboards in a way that works.
Mike Gerholdt: Right.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah, I do remember that very vividly as well.
Mike Gerholdt: Summer 18. Three years ago, we had a blog post magic components with Michael Gonzalez.
Gillian Bruce: Magic.
Mike Gerholdt: Magic.
Gillian Bruce: A.k.a. lightning components.
Mike Gerholdt: Lightning. I feel like that was also when we do the … was it the lightening now tour? Is that what we call that?
Gillian Bruce: Yeah. Yeah.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. I had to do-
Gillian Bruce: This is who you’re going all around the world, helping people-
Mike Gerholdt: All around.
Gillian Bruce: … learn about lightning and how to transition to it. It was actually really fun.
Mike Gerholdt: Was it Michael Gonzales that I did the Indianapolis stop with and maybe he almost missed his flight.
Gillian Bruce: You’re going to have to do it all by yourself?
Mike Gerholdt: No. Missed his flight home, thankfully.
Gillian Bruce: Missed his flight home. Okay.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, because of traffic.
Gillian Bruce: There you go.
Mike Gerholdt: I just remember I had to-
Gillian Bruce: We got him on the podcast. That’s good.
Mike Gerholdt: We did. Yeah. Didn’t miss his flight at all. Four years ago, we were talking about having a messy org, spring cleaning.
Gillian Bruce: No messy orgs? Yeah.
Mike Gerholdt: No spring cleaning, but this was a guest post by Kansas City user group leader, Dale Ziegler who-
Gillian Bruce: Dale. He was in the first ever admin keynote.
Mike Gerholdt: He was, and he was also one of the people that put me in contact with Jeffrey Berger, who was the academy bank admin. I was reading through this and you know what, it may be a few years old, it still always applies, right? Like too many profiles. What were we just talking about, to make profiles.
Gillian Bruce: We just talked about that. Yeah.
Mike Gerholdt: Stuff goes on forever and ever.
Gillian Bruce: It’s like the Marie Kondo of Salesforce orgs.
Mike Gerholdt: Well, I feel like, yes, I’m sure that’ll come up in one of our Wayback machines. Gillian, we were talking before we pressed record, I feel like May is like the anniversary month of the admin relations team.
Gillian Bruce: 100%. So many things have happened in May. Six years ago, Mike, you officially joined the team, which-
Mike Gerholdt: I did. That was fun.
Gillian Bruce: You are the first ever admin of AngelList.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: Because we basically took all of your button click admin work and we’re like “Cool.”
Mike Gerholdt: Sure.
Gillian Bruce: Just bring it over to Salesforce because-
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. Done.
Gillian Bruce: … we want to do that.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah. It really is the launch of the official awesome admin movement in a lot of ways. I think that’s when we first launched the newsletter. I think that’s when we came up with the whole like “All right, we’re going to do something at DreamForce.” We have no idea what it is. It has now evolved into the admin meadow.
Mike Gerholdt: We started-
Gillian Bruce: Yes.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. We started world tour stuff.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah.
Mike Gerholdt: I remember we had one of our breakouts at a world tour and world tour after world tour, so it began.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah. It’s amazing, amazing journey. 10 years ago.
Mike Gerholdt: 10 years ago.
Gillian Bruce: Way, way back.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. A whole decade, a whole decade ago.
Gillian Bruce: Decade of my life, I’ve been part of Salesforce. Yes, I joined Salesforce 10 years ago in May. Crazy.
Mike Gerholdt: Wow.
Gillian Bruce: Crazy.
Mike Gerholdt: All right. That was it. That’s our, what do we call it episode.
Gillian Bruce: There it is.
Mike Gerholdt: We’re open to suggestions on what we should call it. Otherwise, we’ll just keep calling it … We’re not really sure what we’re going to call it episode, but it’s a lot of fun.
Gillian Bruce: It is.
Mike Gerholdt: We’ll do one in June.
Gillian Bruce: I had fun. I can’t wait to do it again.
Mike Gerholdt: If you want to learn about all things, Salesforce Admin, go to admin.salesforce.com to find more resources. Of course, a reminder, if you love what you hear and I mean, who doesn’t, go on over to iTunes-
Gillian Bruce: Clearly, this is the best content ever.
Mike Gerholdt: All the stars.
Gillian Bruce: Best episode ever.
Mike Gerholdt: All the stars. Honestly, if you do go over to iTunes and you give us a review, it helps more Salesforce Admins find that content. That’s why we’re here. I do promise that I read the reviews. I check them. I send them to the team. I love seeing new stuff. Please post that. You can stay up-to-date with us on all things admin on social. We are @salesforceadmins, no I on Twitter. Of course, you can find me. I am @mikegerholdt and Gillian?
Gillian Bruce: @gilliankbruce.
Mike Gerholdt: Stay tuned for our next episode.
Gillian Bruce: We’ll catch you next time in the cloud.
The post The We Still Don’t Know What to Call This Episode: May Edition appeared first on Salesforce Admins.
Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we’re talking to Eric Praud, a Service Cloud Delivery Manager at Ladbrokes Coral Group. We discuss best practices for building formulas and how to ask and answer questions on the Salesforce community. Join us as we talk about why you need to learn things with the mindset that you […]
The post Best Practices for Building Formulas with Eric Praud appeared first on Salesforce Admins.
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The post Salesforce for Good: The Community at Large with Ryan Ozimek appeared first on Salesforce Admins.
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The post 3 Tips to Help Admins Build and Deploy Apps Fast with Justin Kuryliw appeared first on Salesforce Admins.
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The post 3 Things I Learned from Retail that Made Me a Successful Salesforce Admin with Ciara Skiles appeared first on Salesforce Admins.
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The post 3 Things the Navy Taught Me to be a Successful Salesforce Admin appeared first on Salesforce Admins.
We’re back with another episode of the Salesforce for Good mini-series on the Salesforce Admins Podcast. These special episodes are hosted by Marc Baizman, Senior Admin Evangelist at Salesforce and nonprofit veteran. He talks to Judi Sohn, Director of Customer Centric Engineering at Salesforce.org, to learn how she organizes around the nonprofit Salesforce community. Join […]