5 Reasons to Navigate the Salesforce Advantage Trail

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When I started working with Salesforce back in two thousand and mumble mumble (2004 – yikes!), I knew I liked what I was seeing and after sitting in on a demo, I was immediately hooked.  I thought it looked super cool and I wasn’t even that mad at my boss for dumping it on me!

The AE took us through the benefits and why Salesforce was a game changer, but like anything else, how much of what the AE was saying was real and how much was spin?  At that time you relied on what your AE and Sales Engineer were saying to get funding for licensing and implementation costs.  They were instrumental in giving you that first sip of Kool Aid to get you to buy, but what about after the purchase?  It’s now up to you to be able to clearly articulate why Salesforce is a game changer and the benefits for your different user groups.  In the old days, I leaned heavily on my AE, Sales Engineer and CSM to give me some of the literature to help me make my case, but now we have something new and BETTER.. TRAILHEAD!

Yes, Trailhead is excellent for learning Salesforce and how to actually use the tool, but how does it help me before purchasing licenses, you ask.  Simple.. keep reading!

The Navigate the Salesforce Advantage Trail is great because you can start using it beforehand to learn those important pieces about Salesforce to help you make knowledgeable purchasing decisions or build a killer business case to get funding for licensing costs.

So why should you complete the Navigating the Salesforce Advantage Trail? Here are my top reasons!

5. Getting to Know Salesforce. How many other companies have such detailed information in a fun and interactive learning environment?  This module lets you learn about the components of the Customer Success Platform.  Even after this first module you can be speaking about Salesforce in a knowledgable manner.  You’ll look like a star in no time!

4. Four Core Differentiators. Salesforce isn’t just a software company, it’s a culture.  Just attend a Salesforce community event and you learn how quickly how much of a culture it really is.  Salesforce combines it’s four core components that propel everything they do;  they consist of Customer Success, Innovation, Leadership and Giving Back.  Salesforce doesn’t just talk the talk, they also walk the talk on giving back with their 1-1-1 model. Want to learn more? It’s in the Introducing our Four Core Differentiators module!

3. Cloud Benefits. Going through this module helps you learn how to use cloud technology to your benefit and figure out what works best for you and your business needs.  The Succeeding with a Complete CRM and Propelling Your Business in the Cloud modules will give a good understanding to help you wow your management!

2. Salesforce Technology Basics. Understanding how Salesforce’s technology works in the cloud and in an multi tenant environment.  This module will help with understanding the basics of how it all works together to give you the power of Salesforce across all of your devices.  Plus, it’s a good jump start if you decide to become Admin certified!

1. Salesforce Ecosystem. One of the most powerful things about Salesforce isn’t Trailhead (although it’s pretty awesome) or it’s power, it’s the Community behind it.  I may be biased, but I have never seen such a powerful and awesome community.  Whenever I have a question, need help or just a friendly face at Dreamforce, the Salesforce Community is always there.

I have just given you (dear reader) 5 really important reasons why you want to complete this Trailhead Trail, but I will give you a bonus one.

YOU GET BADGES!

*mic drop*

The 5 Essentials You’ll Need for London’s Calling

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5. Comfortable shoes. The area between rooms, expo, space bar and the entrance isn’t large, but after many times of walking up and down the stairs after the fabulous keynotes and sessions, your feet may get tired.  Plus you may want to bust a move or two during the after party!

4. Comfortable clothing. You’ll be moving from room to room, up and down the stairs and presumably, busting that move that we talked about in reason #5.  You might as well be comfortable doing it.  If comfortable for you is fancy dress, as say..  the Hulk, who are we to judge?

3. Technology! As if we really had to tell you to bring tablets and phones.  But just in case, here is a reminder.  You’ll of course want to live tweet how much fun you’re having to those that weren’t lucky enough to get a ticket!

2. Chargers!  We’ll have the outlets, you bring the chargers or extra batteries for all of that technology you’re bringing.  I heard a rumor that there is gonna be some cool swag.  You’ll definitely want to tweet about that!

1. Enthusiasm! Hopefully you’ll be excited that it’s a Friday and you’re not at work.  In addition to that, you’ll be learning cool stuff, meeting new people and getting cool swag.  Also, you’ll get our amazing Keynotes from Peter Coffee and Erica Kuhl and if that wasn’t enough, the after party!  This is where we want to see those cool moves!

If this sounds all too good to be true and you don’t have a ticket for the hottest event in town, don’t fret.  Tickets are still available here.

5 Reasons Why You Should Join a Salesforce User Group in 2016

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It’s January, a shiny new year, a new page on the calendar and a great time to try new things, besides that pricey gym membership and those foul tasting protein shakes as you try to keep to your new years resolutions.

While you’re trying a new workout regime, add joining a Salesforce User Group to your list of resolutions in 2016.  Here are 5 reasons why!

5. User Group meetings will typically highlight new features and review portions of release notes.  This is essential to keep on top of changing features in Salesforce as releases happen three times a year.  Many of these features will be shown and provide some guided hands on opportunities.

Bonus: This helps with passing your maintenance exams if you’re certified!

4. Opportunities to network with other users, Salesforce employees, ISVs and consultancies.  The upside here is that you’re likely going to use products or seek services from companies where you’ve been able to interact with their employees and learn more about them without a sales pitch. In addition, this could also lead to increased exposure to job opportunities

3. User group meetings are run by volunteers that work with Salesforce as opposed to working for Salesforce.  User group leaders tend to have a similar perspective to attendees and are able to understand and plan for topics that are of interest to user group members.  Also, user group leaders tend to be unbiased and will give an accurate and honest review of features.

2.  The user community is growing quickly with user groups all over the world and for specific segments.  You can attend a dev, admin, non profit, business, industry focused and women in tech user group.  It’s really easy to find a user group near you.  Click here to find a group near you.  Some groups meet virtually if you can’t find a local group.

Bonus: By networking and knowledge sharing in the broader community, you’ll have a ready made batch of friends when you attend Dreamforce!

1. You won’t find a better group of people that are willing to help at a moment’s notice with any question or issue.  Most User groups are run by Salesforce Community leaders and/or MVPs that are very knowledgable about all things Salesforce and responsive to requests to specific topics.

Bonus: Meetings also involve free food and sometimes drinks as well.  If the greatest group of people ever doesn’t do it for you, the free food definitely will!

So there you have it, 5 VERY GOOD REASONS to join a user community today.  If all else fails, let’s go back to the bonus for reason #1. FREE FOOD!