Archives for April 2020

“Ask the Expert” Webinar Series: Pardot vs. Salesforce Marketing Cloud

With Salesforce MVP’s Ines Garcia and Jared Miller

It’s no secret Salesforce is much more than just a CRM. While it may have started out that way, over the years it’s evolved into an all-encompassing platform with the ability to have your clients, customers, and touchpoints all in one place. It’s a marketer’s dream. That is, if you properly leverage it.

In the second webinar of our newly-formed “Ask the Expert” series, 10K’s COO Jared Miller sat down with 10K Expert, agile coach, and Salesforce MVP Ines Garcia last week to take a deeper look at Salesforce’s two main marketing products: Pardot and Marketing Cloud. Drawing from Ines’ wealth of knowledge and experience with Salesforce, here are some key takeaways from the discussion.

To listen to the recorded webinar, please visit this link. 

Where to Start

With any new tech (and any project for that matter), the first thing you need to ask yourself is “what’s the objective?” As you consider whether to invest in Salesforce for your marketing efforts, start by laying out your marketing goals and understanding what your metrics of success will be. Do you want to achieve broader brand awareness or are you more concerned with high conversion rates?  Once you determine that, you can start looking at which product is the right tool for you.

Pardot vs. Marketing Cloud

While some organizations may be tempted to rely solely on Sales Cloud, which will let you email customers, it is not a digital marketing tool per se and will only take you so far. In order to acquire, nurture, and onboard new and existing customers, a tool like Pardot or Marketing Cloud is the next best step. So which one is right for you?

Both Pardot and Marketing Cloud were originally brought into the Salesforce fold through an acquisition. Pardot was originally acquired in 2012, and at its core is a marketing automation system designed to unite marketing teams and sales teams, helping them nurture the best leads, close more deals, and get the most from marketing efforts. Marketing Cloud, formerly known as ExactTarget, was acquired in 2013.

Both tools have similarities and can be used to: Send and track emails; segment lists; create web pages (either cloud or landing pages), and create journeys (e.g. nurturing a list of subscribers through a scheduled path).

However, there are some key differences. Pardot, for example, has a scoring and grading system that enables you to understand not just how interested your potential customers are, but how trusted you are with them. This helps you to prioritize where you put your efforts. It also has tracking codes so that you can track all your different campaigns and efforts in order to better understand the ROI of your marketing efforts across different channels. It is also optimized for outbound social media publishing, and is becoming increasingly more embedded in Salesforce and is more integrated with the Lightning App and Connected Campaigns

Marketing Cloud has similar functionality, but deeper in certain areas and Ines believes is more optimized for e-commerce and high volume business-to-consumer marketing. The Marketing Cloud Suite has separate applications, such as Social Studio and Advertising Studio, that will let you do some powerful, interesting things. However, they need to be integrated via a connector. 

If you still aren’t sure which tool to use, Ines suggests opting toward Pardot if you don’t plan to use push notifications or SMS because Marketing Cloud has a steeper learning curve. While Salesforce is trying to improve in this area, unless you have in-house expertise that can take on Marketing Cloud and hit the ground running, Pardot is a better answer.

Getting the Most Out of Your Investment

Salesforce itself is an investment and one you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of for your money. Regardless of which product you choose, here are some key considerations to get the most ROI:

Staffing, education, and training: You’ll want to invest the time and energy into either a part-time or full-time employee who can oversee the use of the product you choose while providing them with the proper training and education in the product’s functionality.  Make sure whoever you delegate this to possesses a good understanding of digital marketing practices. 

Set up an onboarding process: You should take advantage of the features and set up automated journeys, including simple things like onboarding for a drip education program for your new customers, or a top-of-mind piece to prepare for renewals in advance. Once you’ve set these journeys up, they won’t require much follow up effort.

Test test test: You should test not just specific functionality, but also take the time to do smaller experiments to see if something is worth a bigger and further effort.

Exclusion lists: You will want to look after your customers and the touchpoints you serve. Make sure, for instance, you aren’t emailing someone you’ve already emailed in the last seven days. 

Warming up your IP: Many email providers, like Gmail for instance, will block emails coming in from blast outs. In order to get around this (and improve your reputation), make sure that rather than sending an email to 10,000 people in one day, that you segment lists and break them up so that you are doing small chunks at a time. You don’t want to put the time, energy, and effort into an email campaign only to have it wind up unseen and unopened in a spam folder. You can leverage the graphs and analytics these products provide in order to slowly segment and build your database over time in a way that will prevent blasts from being blocked.

At the end of the day, the biggest mistake people make is trying to do too much. As tech advances and these products evolve, they’re being designed and updated to help you track and validate the data you’re gathering to better understand where you should be focusing your efforts. As Ines so eloquently summed it up, “how can we validate our efforts today so we’re smarter tomorrow?”

We hope you found this post helpful. If you’re interested in viewing the webinar in full you can do so by clicking on the video below.

A Practical Guide to Starting Up in the Salesforce Ecosystem

Have you been considering going out on your own, becoming your own boss and embracing entrepreneurship in the Salesforce ecosystem? Whether it’s as an independent contractor or building your own big company, this post is for you. 

As someone who’s been in your current position, I understand how intimidating it can be with a level of uncertainty on where to start. This is why I, along with my colleague and 10K Chief Customer Officer Mike Martin, hosted a free webinar last week with practical advice for anyone thinking about starting or expanding a business in the Salesforce ecosystem, based on our own respective experiences navigating the complexities of entrepreneurship.

This post will recap most of what we went over but if you want to view a recording, check it out here. We’ve also compiled this downloadable checklist that walks you through the areas below. 

Why am I doing this?

It’s time to get honest with yourself, and asking yourself if being an entrepreneur is the right thing for you and if now is the right time. Many people want to be an entrepreneur because of the money or flexibility they believe it will offer them. While this can happen, it’s not always (or often) the case.

There has to be a deeper “Why?” involved with your desire as there will undoubtedly be times where there isn’t money and you are working 80+ hours a week.

What’s that thing that will drive you when that happens? What’s your “Why?” What problem do you really want to solve? Why are you special and why will you be able to solve that problem better than anyone else?

When I started my entrepreneurial journey six years ago, after seven years entrenched in various roles within the Salesforce ecosystem, I saw a problem and thought I had a good solution. I recognized that it was hard for Salesforce customers to find good talent, and it still is. At the same time a lot of great consultants were going independent, which created a diverse network of top talent that was not easily accessible to customers. It’s from this “Why?” that 10K Advisors was born.

Regardless of the size of your pursuit, consider starting by building your own personal or company mission statement. Write it down. Revisit it. Rework it. And think long and introspectively about your “Why?” While you’re at it, I suggest reading a book that helped me on my own journey, called “Start With Why” by Simon Sinek.

Who are you?

Now that you’ve established why you want to do this, it’s important to look at your role in it all. When you work for a company, you have lots of roles — CEO, CFO, COO — and most likely teams that are responsible for various aspects of the business. As an entrepreneur, you get to be in charge of all of that. While this can be exciting, it can also be really daunting.

Realistically, only 50-75% of your time will be spent doing the work you thought you’d be doing.

The rest of the time will be spent planning, handling collections, invoicing, setting up systems, selling customers, creating contracts, reviewing contracts, and so much more. As you’re thinking about your business/financial plan, plan to include at least 25% of your time on overhead of other additional tasks that are not billable.

You must also be well aware of your strengths and weaknesses. Look introspectively about what you’re good at and enjoy, and on the flip side, think about where you may need some help or lack experience. If you’ve never filed taxes as an entrepreneur or business entity, that’s why the world created CPAs. If you’ve never reviewed a SOW or don’t understand indemnification clauses, it might be advisable to find an attorney. Be honest with yourself and be humble. Finding these gaps and filling them will save you down the road, streamline inefficiencies and help you ultimately avoid burnout. 

I truly believe self-awareness is one of the biggest keys to being a successful entrepreneur.

The Transition

If I haven’t scared you away by now and you’re ready to make the leap, let’s address what the transition looks like. Like all things in life, it helps (greatly) to have a support system. Which is why we recommend, if at all possible, trying to find the following types of advisors and mentors:

A general mentor: Maybe the most important, is finding someone you can check in with, run things by, and lean on throughout the entire process. Ideally, this is someone who’s been there before and knows the environment you’re entering.

A CPA: For the same reasons we’ve listed earlier. Taxes. Finances. LLC vs S Corp. This is someone who can help you navigate it all.

An insurance broker: Many customers have certain insurance requirements, and a broker can help you get the right coverage so you’re not at risk.

An attorney: Someone to review your contracts and someone you can trust is key to protecting yourself and your business. 

A banker: Having a trusted banker who can help you support your business in rough times, explain and access certain loans is always helpful.

Make it Official

Now that you have gone through the assessment process and have your mentors and support system in place, you should create a business entity. While some people will go out and start contracting as an individual, which there is nothing wrong with, there are a lot of benefits of making it official. First, it cements in your mind that this is a business. That it’s your job, not something you’re just trying out. Second, large customers will require it. Many prefer not to work with independent contractors under their own social security number as they want a business entity that has insurance and more formality. It also signals to customers that you’re serious about this long-term.

From a financial and tax perspective, your advisors can walk you through which structure is right for you. It doesn’t cost a lot of money compared to how it can protect you in the future.

Have a Contingency Plan

Any good survivalist knows: always have a plan B.

If the current state of our world and economy is any indication, it’s important to understand that sometimes things will go wrong, which is why you should be as prepared as possible. 

Finances first: Being in good financial standing should be Step 0. That’s right, not even Step 1. I typically recommend having 3-6 months worth of expenses covered as a safety net to help you weather the storm when there are ups and downs. Make sure you have financial reserves.

Be flexible: Things rarely go exactly the way you think they will so be flexible. Look back at the strengths you’ve outlined and pull from those in order to adapt to the realities you face.

Be humble: Know when to say when. Don’t get yourself into a worse situation by trying to save something that may not be worth saving. It’s ok to call it a day and it’s ok to go get a full time job. There is no shame in this and you have to do what’s right for you and your family. 

Focus on Growth

Growth should be an important focus for any entrepreneur – both business and personal. As the CEO of your own business, you can’t always be heads down delivering what you’re good at, you also have to be thinking about what’s next.

For example, say you’re a very good Sales and Service Cloud expert. Looking at CPQ or Mulesoft, or an adjacent skill to those Cloud, might open up a whole realm of opportunities. Things transition and evolve. Maybe Salesforce buys three new companies. How will you take advantage of such opportunities?

How will you grow as an individual consultant so you can add value to customers? How will you grow as an entrepreneur or a leader for employees on their own journeys? Read. Have mentors. Learn new skills. Be a sponge and take it all in as much as you can.

Expand your network

An important part of this growth is to expand your network and understand what your reach can be. Now that you’ve established yourself as a new entity, you want to make sure people know about it. You’re a new product. So get out there and market it.

There are so many great opportunities within the Salesforce ecosystem to connect with other people and support those efforts, from community groups and Salesforce-sponsored events to just being active on social media. Partners can also be a great source of business. Reach out to your existing network. People you’ve worked with in the past, from previous coworkers to any partners you’ve hired. Half of 10K’s business comes from other Salesforce partners.

Also, think about what it means to be your own brand. All of the above opportunities are places to take advantage of building your personal brand and carve out a niche for your business.

Hopefully, this post has given you some good steps to get started in your entrepreneurial journey. I am not a lawyer, or an accountant, or a professional small business advisor so this is by no means legal advice or a substitute for getting other advice. It is merely my experience.

Introducing 10K’s “Ask the Expert” Webinar Series for Salesforce Professionals

Webinars may be old school, but they can still be surprisingly helpful. 

That’s why we at 10K Advisors are creating a new educational webinar series called “Ask an Expert” to provide valuable information to our customers, partners and experts. Whether you’re a new Salesforce customer looking to get more from your investment, or a long-time Salesforce consultant looking for ways to grow your career or better serve your customers, we hope this blog series will have something for you. We promise it won’t be a sales pitch, just honest advice from actual Salesforce practitioners. 

This week we held our first webinar, “From Salesforce Admin to Entrepreneur,” providing personal and practical advice to those who are thinking about starting or expanding a business in the Salesforce ecosystem. The content, which is based on a presentation that Mike Martin and Nick Hamm gave at last year’s WITness Success event in Nashville, covers everything from finding the right advisors, to creating growth plans, to developing contingency plans in case things go sideways. You can view the recording below, or click here to download our free new business checklist that we created for session attendees.

Our next “Ask the Expert” webinar will be an interview with 10K Expert Ines Garcia on the topic of Pardot vs Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Ines is a 10K expert based in London who is an Agile Coach and a Salesforce MVP, and specializes in digital marketing. Ines has a great perspective on what organizations should or shouldn’t do when it comes to using a platform and a range of product offerings like Salesforce

Register here for the April 23, 2020 webinar at 10am ET.

Our May webinar will focus on a day in the life of a Salesforce architect, and what some of the telltale signs are that you need an architect on your project. In June we’ll hit on the hot topic of Configure Price Quote (CPQ) software. Follow us on Twitter (@10Kview) or LinkedIn (/10k-advisors) for specific dates and times of these webinars and more coming soon. 

If you’re like us and working from home, why not take the opportunity to learn from other experts out there on how to jumpstart your career or business, and improve your Salesforce execution? 

And if there are webinar topics you personally would like to see, please let us know by emailing

“Ask the Expert” Webinar Series: From Salesforce Admin to Entrepreneur

Our inaugural webinar, “From Salesforce Admin to Entrepreneur,” provides personal and practical advice to those who are thinking about starting or expanding a business in the Salesforce ecosystem. 10K CEO Nick Hamm, and 10K Chief Customer Officer, Mike Martin, cover everything from finding the right advisors, to creating growth plans, to developing contingency plans in case things go sideways. 

“What Would You Do If You Weren’t Afraid?” A Q&A with OpMentors Co-Founder Jocelyn Fennewald

“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”

That’s a powerful question at any time, but especially during these uncertain, crazy times when a global pandemic is wreaking havoc on the global economy and making us rethink the way we work. Jocelyn Fennewald and Machell Enke were asked that question back in 2013 during a Women In Tech event at Dreamforce. A question that stayed with them throughout the event and eventually led to the founding of their company, OpMentors.

OpMentors is a full-service consulting firm that optimizes how businesses connect with their customers using Salesforce and FinancialForce. Jocelyn and Machell became one of 10K’s first community members, helping our clients implement and make full use of their cloud CRM and ERP systems. OpMentors has since become a valued customer as well, using other 10K community members to expand their capacity and utilize specialized skill sets.

In this Q&A with Jocelyn, who is also OpMentors’ Chief Strategy Officer, we get to hear her own journey from admin to entrepreneur, how she’s working with a contract workforce, and what keeps her going. Enjoy!

What was your inspiration to start OpMentors with your partner, Machell Enke?
Machell and I have known each other for 12 years. We first met at a bookkeeping company and then found ourselves working at an IT VAR based out of Chicago. We spent several years there building out the entire operations on Salesforce and associated applications such as FinancialForce. It took several years from “Hey, here’s this thing called Salesforce,” to having a fully-integrated front to back office solution, but during that time Machell and I became enthralled with the process of improving operational efficiencies.

While attending Dreamforce in 2013, the keynote speaker at the Women in Tech event asked a question to the audience: “What would you do if you were not afraid?” Machell and I spent the whole week at Dreamforce running that statement through our minds, and it eventually became our inspiration for OpMentors. We landed on the name OpMentors to always remind us to be those operational mentors that clients need when navigating through the murky waters of technology. Our logo is a lotus flower which represents integrity. That is our highest value in our business and how we operate.

How involved are you in day-to-day project delivery to clients? How do you balance that with building and guiding your own company?
It has been, and continues to be, an effort to balance working on the business and in the business. The first 3 years of the business, I was hands-on with every project. Today, I’m not as involved with the day-to-day delivery for each project, but work closely with our consultants and engagement managers to keep a pulse on projects and architect solutions with the team. My job is to bring together the right team members to deliver the best solution to our clients.

It has taken time and working with a business coach to learn to switch the mindset from tactical delivery to driving strategy for our business. Building a company takes planning, research and time to stay ahead of the technology curve. As a professional services company, we need to ensure our consultants understand all tools that are available to make a client successful. The only way we can do that is to dedicate time to this and make it a business focus.

How are you using independent contractors within your business?
We have a great mix of full time employees and contractors. The Salesforce ecosystem is so broad that no one person can know everything the Salesforce platform has to offer. We bring in subject matter experts to help us provide the best solutions to our clients.

This is why we work with 10K Advisors. Working with them allows us to quickly expand our team with trusted experts. I know the experts that work with us will have the same core values to deliver great results for our clients. This saves me time as a business owner to know I will have the right person in the right role when the needs arise, and it helps that I am not carrying overhead for experts that I would not be able to keep utilized long term.

What kind of skills do you think are most in-demand in the Salesforce ecosystem today?
In my opinion, the most in-demand skill is the ability to architect a full 360 degree solution for customers. It is not enough to just know how to do something in Salesforce, but the ability to know when, where and if you should do something for a client. Clients look to their consulting partners to be the guides in allowing technology to enhance their business and not tie them down to a heavy process. With all that the Salesforce clouds have to offer, having the ability to architect the right solution and mentor the clients through what is best is a skill that takes time and effort to master.

What is the most exciting project you’ve worked on with OpMentors, and why?
Do I have to pick one? In 6 years, I have had the ability to work with amazing customers across so many exciting industries. The client project that jumps out the most to me was from one of our first clients. They had FinancialForce PSA implemented, and asked us to come in for a health check and optimization. The client was in the technology space and understood the power of Salesforce and FinancialForce together, but they did not have a system administrator. Their controller was my main contact, and throughout our project, she learned the basic admin skills to support the business. Everytime she would figure out how to write a workflow, she would send me an email to tell me how excited she was! Most emails also came with a meme attached which always made me smile.

What’s the best part about owning your own business, and the hardest part?
One of the best things about owning a business is the sense of pride for each milestone that we achieve. While day-to-day things are hard, stopping to celebrate small milestones has become so important. When Machell and I hit our one year anniversary, I bought her a bottle of wine with a custom label that had our logo on it. Nothing fancy, just something to celebrate us. To this day we have not opened that bottle of wine. That part is always the mystery as to why we have not opened it. Each milestone we hit, whether it is an anniversary, project win, or a new hire we make an effort to stop, and celebrate what we have accomplished.

When you start a business and don’t know what the future holds, there is an excitement and nervousness in that. But seeing our business go from two of us to the team we have today gives me such a sense of pride. The hardest part about owning a business is learning how to unplug and rest. As an owner, there is always something to be completed, something to learn and enhance for not only our clients but the business. Not unplugging and taking a break will lead to burnout and that is never a good thing. I am thankful for Machell Enke for this. We watch out for each other’s burnout and encourage each other to take time off to recharge. I do find my best ideas come when I am relaxed and not forcing a solution.

Is there any advice you’d give to people looking to open up their own consultancy during these challenging times?
The times we are in are most certainly challenging for everyone. If you are looking to start up your own consultancy, take time to write down your thoughts, what your vision is and why you want this. It does not have to be polished or perfect, but writing it down gives legitimacy to why you want to do this. Of course, do your research, know what your strengths and weaknesses are, but at the end of the day, trust your gut.
You will never have enough data, time or money to feel the time is right, but trusting in yourself is never a bad thing. If you are not sure if owning your own consultancy is the right thing to do, start by working as a contractor. Working with the 10K team as an expert gives you an entry point that not many people have yet. Most importantly, starting a business (whether you are wildly successful, only have one client or fail) there are invaluable lessons and skills you can learn along the way.

Thanks Jocelyn!

If you’d like to hear other stories and tips about starting your own consulting business in the Salesforce ecosystem, join myself and our CEO Nick Hamm on our “From Admin to Entrepreneur” webinar April 7 at 11am ET. You can register here.