During a hectic week at Dreamforce, we caught up with Jason Vance about his experiences as a Salesforce Admin, what his biggest hurdles are and how he overcomes them. Get set for a CRM rollercoaster ride!
How did you come to be a Salesforce Admin?
I was working at Habitat for Humanity of Michigan and we were trying to find a way to collaborate with 70 independent grass-roots Habitat affiliates throughout Michigan. We decided to use Salesforce as a shared database and I was asked about the Salesforce Admin role. Since I love technology and thrive on new challenges, I decided to give it a shot. I immediately fell in love with the flexibility of the platform and how frequently they release effective updates.
What does the role involve?
A Salesforce Admin is essentially a full time problem solver. Organizations need ways to track a multitude of things and if you can determine exactly what they are, Salesforce can normally do it and it’s our job to find out how.
Daily tasks consist of setting up new users and training them however, there will always be a new challenge that pops up that needs solving. The ability to assess these situations and implement a solution to them is essential to being an Admin. Sometimes it’s as simple as, “I need a report that can show me ‘this’ with the data we have in Salesforce” and you have to find a way to pull that data together and organize it in a useful way. On other occasions, it can be a larger problem that can take weeks or months to come up with the best solution.
What are the typical problems you face as a Salesforce admin?
The biggest ongoing problem is always adoption. Salesforce is constantly developing and many people struggle with this. Everyone has their own tasks they need to accomplish (a sales quota, a support issue, marketing techniques, etc.) and learning new things initially takes time. It almost always
pays off, because the new features usually save time or provide better data, but getting the end user to see the long term benefit, rather than the initial time consumption is challenging.
Most people resist change as long as their current system is still working, but an Admin’s objective is to convince people that the change will be beneficial to their workflow.
The next big problem is data management. If not constantly maintained, a CRM can quickly become clogged with bad data (either duplicate, erroneous, or irrelevant) and this exacerbates the problem of adoption because understandably, no one wants to use a system that isn’t accurate!
The combined problem of adoption and data management means a lot of important data never makes its way into Salesforce; it’s a vicious cycle.
What was your experience of Dreamforce 2015 this year?
This was my second Dreamforce and it is still hard to comprehend the magnitude of the conference. The best way to describe it is it’s like drinking from a fire house for a whole week straight.
One of my favorite things about Dreamforce is meeting other people who speak the same CRM language and face similar problems. It’s a pleasure to be around people that are as enthusiastic about Salesforce as me!
How important is CRM to ensuring companies run smoothly?
A lot of companies initially use Salesforce to track sales then build out their Salesforce org to provide better customer service. Over time, they implement other Salesforce products for Sales, Support, Marketing, Knowledge, Customer Portals etc. Once you get this much of your operations tied into one system, it is hard to imagine functioning without it!
Companies are continually finding better ways to optimize the data they have in their CRM and ways to tie more data into it. The more data stored on a single platform, the more you can collaborate and have a better picture of what is happening both internally and with your customers/prospects. It’s important to enhance the Salesforce experience of every user and department.
You use our current product, how did you come across Ebsta?
I first learned about Ebsta at the 2014 Dreamforce and instantly fell in love with the product. However, my current company at the time was using Outlook instead of Gmail so it wasn’t an option for us.
When I started at CD-adapco, they were considering Ebsta and I was really excited to finally have an opportunity to use it.
Once I had it, I wasn’t disappointed! When you have a truly useful and user friendly product, it makes the adoption issue much
easier to deal with. Ebsta makes it easy for our Users to get more data into Salesforce and be able to access it without having to leave their inbox. This is a big enough bonus as it doesn’t take too much work to convince users to try it out.
You’ve seen our new product, what are your initial thoughts?
looks absolutely amazing! The idea of having all our communications across the team all on the same Contact record is exciting because it would give great visibility into how our company is interacting with our constituents. It would break down the natural silos of information and help us to both serve our customers better as well as get a good idea of which customers are consuming the most time.
The original Ebsta makes it really easy to add information to Salesforce, the new Ebsta Enterprise makes it impossible not
What feature do you consider to be the most beneficial to you as an admin?
I love that you can customize Ebsta for your users! Adding custom objects and simplifying the number of fields they see goes a long way towards user adoption. I also really like the ability to turn my own emails from users into a Case with just a couple of clicks. It helps me put my own advice into practice by getting important data from my inbox into Salesforce. This in turn allows for robust reports on how many projects I have implemented and how many problems I’ve been able to solve.
Celebrating CRM Success
With our new product hitting all the right notes with Salesforce Admins across the globe, Ebsta and Salesforce Admins can work in unison to ensure the most up to date, accurate data possible within Salesforce. With this, companies will be able to provide outstanding customer service and ensure more productive sales, marketing and product teams. The business world could just be on the brink of a CRM revolution. (Check out our new Salesforce Email Integration Revolutionised
Disclaimer: These views are strictly those of Jason Vance and do not necessarily reflect those of CD-Adapco or any previous company.