Archives for July 2020

“Ask The Expert” Webinar Series: Always Be Learning, The Need For Ongoing Education

Investing in Salesforce is like giving your organization a gift that keeps on giving. With tri-annual releases and a vibrant user community comes non-stop innovation and new capabilities. At 10K, it’s our mission to make sure every Salesforce customer is getting the most out of Salesforce, so this may not be the first time you’ve seen us promoting the benefits of ongoing education

In our latest “Ask The Expert” webinar, 10K CEO Nick Hamm sat down with Trailhead SVP, Amy Regan Morehouse, to explore the seemingly endless ways organizations can use ongoing education to get more out of Salesforce. As Amy notes in this webinar, the most effective way to make ongoing education a habit (much like committing to a new workout plan) is by simply getting started today. 

Click here to watch the full discussion or read on below for highlights. 

Who is Amy Regan Morehouse?

Amy is currently the Senior Vice President of Trailhead Academy and Trailhead Go-To-Market and has been at Salesforce for nearly 13 years. With more than half of her Salesforce career dedicated to educating its users, Amy is an admin gone Salesforce superfan with a penchant for advancing every Trailblazer’s career. 

Why Education is a Pillar for Excellent Salesforce Programs

At the beginning of the webinar, Nick explains that while ongoing education is one of the five pillars for long-term, successful Salesforce programs, he’s rarely seen customers implement education programs or goals. Given our new normal and the need to adapt quickly, Amy agrees that it’s now more important than ever to lean on ongoing education to reskill your teams. 

The pandemic has also created an opportunity for every organization to provide new pathways for its members. Ongoing education is an excellent way to empower employees during uncertain times by giving them the tools and knowledge they need to enrich their careers. 

Not Investing in Education is Actually Bad for Business

By not taking advantage of Salesforce’s rapid innovation, it’s kind of like buying your dream car but not getting your license to drive it. To drive this point home, Amy shares three striking statistics from Salesforce’s own CSG organization that show how companies that don’t invest in learning are seeing:

  • 80% lower feature adoption
  • 64% greater employee turnover
  • 60% greater time to proficiency 

The Framework Any Organization Can Adopt

Recognizing that it’s everyone’s goal to create a fast-track to proficiency, Amy outlines how to build a common language and framework that works organically for your organization’s unique culture and goals. 

Prioritize: Be an Advocate

To drive awareness, Amy encourages taking ownership and leading by example. To most effectively vocalize the benefits and hold your teams accountable, this message needs to come from the very top of every organization. That means every leader should be practicing ongoing education themselves and promoting it company-wide. 

She also encourages setting bold goals. Amy notes she’s been pleasantly surprised and thrilled to see some of their largest customers that run Centers of Excellence leading by example and becoming Rangers themselves. 

You’ll also need to give your learners time and permission, may that be a lunch-and-learn or dedicating a day or week to a specific educational challenge. 

Customize: Put Learners First 

Consider the goals of both your organization and its learners. By syncing the two, you can curate learning journeys that will promote action. 

Amy describes two camps of learners. Those who need the skills to, for example, effectively complete a project, and those who want the skills to advance their career to the next level. This is why we should put learners first through goal-oriented customization. Amy recommends checking out myTrailhead to provide the ultimate customized experience for your learners. 

Engage & Reward: Create a Learning Culture

While financial rewards might be part of the equation for your organization, you should also ask what will best engage your learners so it becomes a natural part of your culture.  

Amy describes an S&P type Salesforce customer that’s prioritized ongoing education via their hiring and promoting process. By asking candidates about their ongoing education and encouraging certifications, they’re able to identify the individuals who invest in themselves, and ultimately, would provide a great return for their company. 

How to Skill Up With Trailhead Starting Today

Amy’s most recommended tool, of course, is Trailhead, Salesforce’s free learning platform that provides everyone with democratized access to education. 

For those who are unfamiliar but ready to get started ASAP, Amy recognizes that Trailhead’s vast array of tools can be somewhat daunting, but she doesn’t want that to deter you from getting started. In fact, she confirms it’s absolutely not necessary to create a formal, sweeping education strategy.

For recommended content (Trails) catered to at-home learning, and even strategies for marketing ongoing education to your organization, check out Trailhead In A Box. Here are some of the assets you can take advantage of to launch a culture of learning:

  • Virtual Collaboration Module
  • Succeed From Home During COVID-19 Trail
  • Playbook For Driving Virtual Engagement
  • Trailhead Marketing Assets

Introducing a Trailhead challenge to your organization, per Amy’s experience, is one of the easiest strategies for customers to drive. With easily trackable results via Trail Tracker (found on the AppExchange) it’s a breeze to give ongoing education challenges to your learners. Try one of these common challenge templates, such as “Who can earn the most badges and points in 6 weeks?” or “Who can achieve the Ranger Rank by the end of the year?”

And when the challenge is complete, Amy recommends a few different rewards and modes of recognition. Examples include giving recognition via Chatter, email, or meetings, gifting a Trailblazer hoodie (or other swag), and donating to the winner’s charity of choice.

Salesforce is a powerful platform, but if you’re not using it to solve your business needs, or skilling up your employees to use it for your business needs, you’re absolutely missing out. Check out the rest of the webinar and a final Q&A with Amy and Nick below. 




Salesforce Announces Fast Path To Free Certifications

You can always count on a new Salesforce release to remind you of how important it is to practice ongoing education. Thanks to tri-annual releases and constant innovation by those using the platform, Salesforce is always challenging us to get more value from our investment. 

So with the launch of the Summer ‘20 release last week and rapidly growing Trailhead user trends, it may be a good time for you to explore the abundant educational resources Salesforce has to offer.  

Partner Learning Camp 

Last week we outlined our four recommended ongoing educational resources that independent experts and partners alike can benefit from. Interestingly enough, this past week Salesforce also promoted that if you’re a Salesforce Partner, you have access to Fast Path – a curated, certification-specific learning program that was designed to fast-track those who are preparing to take a certification exam with key exam topics, deep-dive resources, and exam tips. While there’s a growing list of Fast Paths available in the Partner Learning Camp, Trailhead made an effort to highlight the following in-demand certifications (some of which you may recognize from our own 2020 Certification Scholarship Program):

  • Community Cloud
  • Marketing Cloud Developer
  • CPQ
  • Field Service (coming soon)
  • Marketing Cloud Consultant (coming soon)
  • Service Cloud (coming soon)

Why Use Fast Path?

Just this week, Trailhead for Partners announced a new incentive to roll up your sleeves and commit to the certification you’ve been working toward. The deal is if you complete any Fast Path curricula in Partner Learning Camp, you’ll receive a free voucher for the certification exam (a $200 value). Not only do we think this a solid offer from Salesforce, but at 10K, we’re always excited to see the promotion of ongoing education to help drive the ecosystem forward.  

Check Out Our Ongoing Education Webinar With Trailhead SVP, Amy Regan Morehouse

We have yet another way you can expand your Salesforce learning best practices. Check out our latest “Ask The Expert” webinar featuring Trailhead SVP Amy Regan Morehouse. 

10K Advisors’ Recommended Tools For Ongoing Salesforce Education

Like a lot of things in life, we believe that with an ever-evolving and complex platform such as Salesforce the learning never really stops. It’s also pretty much why we started our “Ask the Expert” webinar series earlier this year, designed to provide you with the resources, insight, and knowledge you need in order to make sure you’re getting the most out of Salesforce.

With that said, we’re excited to share that the next webinar in the series, scheduled for July 22nd, will feature Salesforce veteran Amy Regan Morehouse, Senior Vice President, Trailhead & myTrailhead GTM. Hosted by 10K CEO, Nick Hamm, this episode will explore how to take advantage of Trailhead, the importance of ongoing education, and recent user trends. These include:

  • 37% increase in sign-ups on Trailhead since COVID-19
  • More than 50% increase in learner engagement (measured by number of badges earned)
  • 4x traffic to Trailhead LIVE since COVID-19

Ahead of next week’s webinar, we recommend getting familiar with the following tools to keep your Salesforce skills sharp: 

Trailhead: Salesforce’s free online learning platform will be the main focus of the webinar. We’ll explore how Trailhead offers everything from deep dives on new features to release readiness, all through a fun gamified approach that meets users where they are and provides them with the opportunity to earn superbadges, apply learned skills to level up, and earn skill-based credentials.

Trailhead Live: Virtual events are the new norm, and Trailhead Live is doing it right. This is a great resource for on-demand and live content from today’s experts discussing the most in-demand skills needed as well as the Salesforce Developer conference and TrailheadDX.

Trailblazer Community: In your quest for ongoing education, it’s important to stay on top of how others are using and working with Salesforce, too. The Trailblazer Community is a great place to connect (especially with those locally), collaborate, answer other community member questions, receive answers, and generally share information. Best of all, if you don’t see a user group in your area, you can start one!

TrailheadGO: Trailhead’s mobile app provides an excellent learn-on-the-go experience that mirrors the desktop version. With assessments, badges, and points that need to be earned to help track progress, users receive the same tangible form of accomplishment that so many appreciate with Trailhead. Though we should note, while it will be available on Android soon, it’s only currently available on iOS. 

We look forward to you joining the conversation on Wednesday, July 22nd! You can register for the webinar here.

10K Advisors Congratulates Its 2020 Certification Scholarship Recipients

In May we announced the launch of 10K’s first-ever Certification Scholarship Program, exclusively for the 10K Expert Community. With the application window now closed, the entire 10K Advisors team would like to extend a sincere thank you to every person who applied. We’re incredibly proud of every expert in our 10K Community and their commitment to ongoing education to keep driving the ecosystem forward. 

Our Goal For The Certification Scholarship Program

In a recent 10K survey of 300+ Salesforce program owners and stakeholders, 86% of respondents said certifications are important when looking for experts. Nearly half of the respondents said they were “very important.” 

With Salesforce, we know change is constant and continuous education is a must. Perhaps this is why, since the start of COVID-19, Salesforce has seen a 37% increase in sign-ups on its Trailhead learning platform and learner engagement increase by more than 50% (measured by the number of badges earned on Trailhead).

While our foremost goal is to match our 10K Experts with customers who need their existing skills, we also want to help these experts expand their skill sets in the areas where we see the most customer demand and to give them a competitive edge to stand out.

Applicants were able to apply for one of the following high-demand certifications: Configure Price Quote (CPQ), Community Cloud, Commerce Cloud, Mulesoft, or Field Service Lightning.

2020 Recipients

Congratulations to this year’s recipients!

Ryan Mitchell – Community Cloud

Rita Leverett – Community Cloud

Jackie Teravainen – Community Cloud

Wendy Murry – Community Cloud

Susan Connor – Configure Price Quote (CPQ)

To learn more about what it means to be an independent Salesforce expert in the 10K Community, check out our 2020 Independents Week series.

“Ask the Expert” Webinar Series: When Are You Ready For Field Service Lightning?

Call us biased, but there’s a reason Salesforce and its integrated approach is the #1 CRM platform out there. No matter your business goals, there’s almost always a Salesforce product available to manage visibility into all of your customer needs, interactions, and touchpoints. So with customer service top of mind, we wanted to address when and/or whether your business is ready for Field Service Lightning (FSL). 

In our latest “Ask the Expert” webinar, our COO Jared Miller sat down with David Longhini, CEO of Empodio, to discuss the ins and outs of FSL to help you meet your customers where they are.

Click here to watch the full panel discussion, or read on for highlights.

What is Field Service Lightning?

Field Service Lightning is useful for any company that has someone that needs to go out into the field and complete work, whether that be field sales or field service. With FSL, Salesforce aims to address everything you need to do to effectively interact with your customers. This can include driving awareness of your brand through marketing, convincing customers that your service is worthwhile and provides value, and ultimately (hopefully) providing the service and delivery they’re looking for. Sometimes this has to happen on-site, which is where Field Service Lightning comes in.

Take, for instance, if you work for a consumer beverage company where you’re going from site to site with your truck, physically selling things off your truck, to a number of customers in a number of different locations. FSL helps you assign the appropriate resources in the most optimized way possible to ensure you’re minimizing travel, meeting customer expectations, operating efficiently, setting appropriate priorities, and making sure the resources you’re using have the right tools and skills to deliver.

If you’re an organization and are sending people out to the field, how do you know if you should start looking at FSL?

Lack of visibility is the #1 pain point that drives companies to adopt FSL. The reality is, companies often have no idea what’s actually going on in the field. For instance, say you’re trying to sell to a customer and you don’t know that your field service team has been out there all week repairing a piece of equipment. Needless to say, this communication breakdown puts a damper on the salesperson trying to sell a new piece of equipment to the same customer. If the customer service team has no idea where the technician is or if one has even been scheduled, how far away they are, what tools they have and their past experiences, etc., that disconnect across different teams makes everyone’s lives more difficult than they need to be and compromises the service you’re ultimately trying to provide. 

If any of this sounds painfully familiar to you, then it may be time to start considering FSL.

Does the size of the organization matter?

In short, no. We’ve seen companies as small as five people, all the way up to tens of thousands of employees use FSL. Regardless of the size of your organization, the visibility FSL provides is worth it. The only aspect that varies is which sets of features you use. Once you’re above an organization of about 30 people, for instance, you should start to consider higher-level optimization features as you have a lot of different paths and variables involved. Ultimately, no organization is too small to find value in FSL.

So how do you know when people are ready to take the next step?

Most people are facing one of two directions: either towards something you want or away from something that’s painful. 

First, there are those who have optimized their field service as much as they can, who are really trying to move forward and minimize travel times, for instance, or get more work done but don’t want to hire more people.

Then, there are those being driven by customer expectations. For instance, David mentions a utility company in Buffalo who went from vaguely telling a customer that they’ll be there “at some point in the day” and completely compromising that person’s schedule, to then being able to confidently tell a customer that they would be there within a two-hour time frame. That company made its customer’s life easier by taking their time into consideration and setting the standard for other businesses to follow suit.

Something that needs to be understood as you consider incorporating FSL into your processes is that in doing so you will be undertaking an entire digital transformation. FSL is designed to extend the flow of Salesforce and so while you may get someone who wants to use it without the rest of Salesforce, the reality is that you’ll need to put sales and service cloud together at least at the most basic level to be able to feed the work that the work order management is going to be able to do with FSL. Needless to say, FSL was not designed to be a stand-alone product. 

Your processes are drastically going to change when you’re moving from a whiteboard to a global optimization system over time. Securing the right tools and having the openness to change business processes to best practices when moving to an electronic age is something people have to be prepared to do. 

Lastly, it’s important to have team member buy-in when it comes to FSL. If someone doesn’t agree with you or you have a field service manager stuck in their own ways (for example, whether they don’t have a smartphone or are unwilling to embrace new technology) you’re going to struggle with user adoption. For effective change management, you’ll need buy-in from every member of your ecosystem.  

How many companies do you see where they are going from whiteboard to FSL versus another system to FSL?

Most are going from whiteboard to FSL as it’s really difficult to go from another system to FSL. If they are trying to move over from a robust system, it’s still very difficult. The biggest problem you’ll see is that people coming over from other technologies are moving from a different set of assumptions of how field service works. Field Service Lightning operates with “truth-based appointment booking.” When we book an appointment at any time, we note that field service rep is available, they have the right skillset, the drive times line up, etc. Ultimately, bad habits are going to have to be broken between these two systems.

It sounds like there is a lot more involvement from the client’s end.

This is true. While you may have a client who comes to you and says, “We just want to go to Field Service Lightning,” it’s important to push back and say there is no easy way to lift and shift. You can’t take a whiteboard and turn it into Field Service Lightning automatically. Chances are there are things you are doing in your organization that accommodated your paper or Excel-based capabilities that will need to be redesigned or thought about in new ways. 

An analogy I like to use is that of a driverless car. While you may have individuals who know how to ride a bicycle really fast, it’s human-powered. So when it comes to teaching that person how to operate a driverless car, you first need to teach them the mechanics and basic capabilities of a car before anything else. It won’t work to take someone who knows how to ride a bicycle and assume they know how to drive a car, as it’s different capabilities.

Is the implementation of FSL an all or nothing? Are you going from whiteboard to automated appointments? Can it be phased in?

I never recommend a “big bang” approach to FSL as it’s too many business process changes at once. Going back to the car analogy, if I take someone and move them from operating a bicycle to a driverless car, I’m going to start by teaching them to just drive a car, giving them the ability to tap the brake, tap the gas, and then they get to decide how fast they go, where they’re going, how they’re going, where to turn and how to adjust that. Once they know the basics, then we can start implementing customizations. 

Who are the key stakeholders that need to be involved in implementing FSL?

Anyone who interacts in the process; from the moment someone says “I need to go out to the field” to the point in which that is completed. When you are doing field service, in order to get it all the way through, you’re touching most areas of the business. You have a sales team that needs to send someone out, you have the people who are sending them out to do the work, the sales or customer service component that needs to be involved because they’re going to communicate with the customer, then you have the operations team and the field service team (director of operations, field service managers who are training the teams, dispatch team, etc), and so forth. 

Forgotten parts of this can include those involved with inventory, whether it’s something you’re installing, maintaining, or repairing. Don’t operate in a bubble and only consider the field service portions of the equation but try to look at the larger picture. 

Say you’re on the path of FSL implementation, what are some additional customizations that people could consider?

The simpler the better.

Say that you have an installer who doesn’t have a smartphone and/or they aren’t necessarily tech-savvy. The very first phase is getting them a smartphone and then making sure that the mobile resources they are having to utilize to do their jobs are as simple as possible. Oftentimes we aren’t dealing with Gen Z types who can click around a hundred times to make something happen. These people will get frustrated the more complicated something is, so reduce the number of clicks as much as possible in your implementation.

In addition to the installer, keep the dispatcher in mind and activate the same mentality when it comes to designing their system. Make it as simple as possible. The dispatcher ideally should never have to leave their dispatcher council. 

What are some of your favorite functionality in FSL?

Optimization fascinates me. I feel on the leading edge of what click software and Salesforce has been able to do together out of that optimization engine. You are getting into machine learning –  it’s one of the most robust optimization capabilities and what’s going on in the background when you’re using global optimization. The hardest aspect of FSL is getting the foundation right with the tools that allow optimization to work. Without this foundation, when you try to go up the chain to use optimization, you’re going to have broken it. It’s like when you’re using that driverless car and don’t plan for needing an exhaust while driving it.

To hear more of the discussion, we encourage you to watch the full panel discussion below.

10K Independents Week: How to Build a Salesforce Business You Love With Wendy Murry

It’s Independents Week at 10K Advisors! We’re celebrating the 10K Expert Community and our mission to give people the freedom to do the work they love. Stay tuned to our blog for Q&As with some of our brightest independent experts as we explore what it takes to build a business, how to overcome doubt, and advice for other Salesforce experts with an entrepreneurial spirit. You can follow the conversation every day this week at #10KIndependentsWeek.

Wendy Murry | Murry Consulting

Q: Can you tell us a bit about your business?

A: Murry Consulting is a project management consulting company focused on helping businesses of all sizes in leading strategic projects and transformations within their organization. 

Since I started working in the ecosystem, I’ve realized many organizations spread their project managers too thin across projects or don’t have project managers in-house, so I focus on serving as an extension of the company’s leadership team to help manage their initiatives. My focus is on partnering with clients to understand their goals and guide them during the project journey while managing developers and other consultants. 

Murry Consulting was established in 2017 when I partnered with a company moving from an Association Management tool to Salesforce Sales Cloud, Community Cloud, Pardot, and numerous AppExchange products. The transition was a major undertaking – this company literally put their entire business on Salesforce products! Managing the transition required detailed and methodical project management, especially because the company also contracted with two technical implementation partners. There were many stakeholders I needed to keep informed, solicit decisions from, and keep on schedule. 

Q: How long were you working in the ecosystem before you determined the mission and goal of your business?

A: I’ve been in the ecosystem as a Project Manager and/or user since 2009. It was early on in my Project Manager journey that I had the opportunity to lead several projects with custom development that extended the Salesforce platform to meet the specific needs of my then employer. I was later a user of Service Cloud through my role supporting a large organization’s customer support team.

Q: What was your first “ah-ha!” moment before taking the first step to start your business?

A: I was talking to a colleague about starting a Project Management consulting business. She turned and asked me, “Wendy, how long have you been thinking about opening your own business. What is stopping you?” 

I realized I was the only person stopping myself from branching out on my own. I was afraid of failing. This same colleague made the initial referral to my first customer, too! When she made the introduction, I jumped in with both feet and haven’t looked back on the decision. It was the right decision at the right time and she helped me to get into the right mindset.

Q: Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?

A: My first year in business I would have tried to diversify my client base instead of focusing 100% on one client. I had one primary client that consumed the majority of my time. In hindsight, diversification would have helped me to grow my customer base and provide opportunities once my first project was completed.

Q: Can you offer any words of wisdom for Salesforce experts looking to start their own business?

A: For anyone nervous about being on their own, ask yourself “What if?” multiple times. What is the worst that can happen if I fail, then what? What if I can’t meet my financial obligations, then what? 

If you can work through all of your “What if?” fears and in the end, live with them, you don’t have anything to fear in starting your own business. Even better, what if you are wildly successful?

Also, hire a team of professionals to support you – lawyer, accountant, insurance agent, etc. to set up a real business entity. I have found this team critical to helping me set up my business and rely on them to protect my investment in my business and myself.