Dreamforce is right around the corner which means that you, as a manager, need to decide if your administrator should attend or not. We all know that budgets are tight and conferences like Dreamforce seem to get canned. I get it. I really do. But I firmly believe that your administrator needs to attend regardless – and you should do everything in your power to make that happen.
Your administrator is an investment. The administrator is key to getting the most ROI out of the investment of salesforce.com. But, you may be struggling to see the need or value of Dreamforce. Perfect! Keep reading.
The primary role of a Salesforce Administrator is to leverage their knowledge of the platform to make the company more effective and efficient; drive more leads, close more deals and service customers with the highest quality. So an investment in Dreamforce is an investment in the entire company.
Value in Learning
Last year at Dreamforce, I volunteered to help community members find solutions to their Salesforce problems. I remember working with a lady from a non-profit who had been trying desperately to build an exception report for 4 weeks but she just couldn’t get it to work. After 25 minutes we had a report created. With relief and excitement in her face she looked at me and said, “If this is all I take back from Dreamforce, it will have been worth the cost.”
If your administrator is struggling with a problem that can’t seem to be solved, Dreamforce is worth the investment. With over 1,000 breakout and hands-on-training sessions, opportunity to attend Success Clinics with 1:1 support and pro-bono consulting, there is plenty of opportunity to fill the knowledge gap and discover solutions.
There is serious learning happening here. Every year I walk away with more knowledge than before – and the same is true for every attendee. I leave feeling empowered and inspired to move my organization forward.
Value in Community
The amount of knowledge that can be found within the Salesforce community blows my mind. Networking at Dreamforce is a great way to grow an administrators knowledge base and stretch their thinking by being exposed to new ways of thinking and problem solving. Salesforce has done a great job of fostering the concept of crowd sourced information through is online community, then bringing that to life through Dreamforce.
Sarah Deutch was just starting her career in Salesforce and wanted to become certified in order to become marketable. She tried taking the certification exam without attending a certification course but failed – twice. After realizing that she needed the course in order to pass the exam, she wrote a blog post which caught the attention of Mike Gerhold, author of ButtonClick Admin. With his organization, the Salesforce community rallied around Sarah to help pay for this $1500 class. Sarah took the course and became certified.
This so perfectly illustrates the level of care that community members have for each other and why networking is so important. Your administrator is working with people that deeply care about Salesforce and the success of others. Information is shared freely for the common good and we lift each other up and rally together when someone needs assistance. When your administrator can tap into the power of this community – especially in person – benefits abound.
We Just Can’t Swing It
Reading this, perhaps you are still not convinced. Or you are convinced, but it just isn’t possible this year. I understand. But be sure that your administrator understands. Be transparent with them and explain why this trip will not be approved – no BS.
Allow some time over the week of Dreamforce for your administrator to view what content they can online. Dialogue with them to determine how the trip can be justified for next year and begin working to ensure that the there is a budget and mutual agreement that Dreamforce is an excellent investment. Here are some ways to engage with your administrator over Dreamforce week and prepare for the next year.
- Watch the keynotes together – the main keynotes are streamed live. Book a conference room and watch it together then discuss what you saw.
- Allow for post-conference follow up – have the administrator bookmark sessions that they wanted to attend and allow them to follow-up on the content presented.
- Discover what was missed – have them report back to you what they missed as a result of not being at the conference and discuss. This can then turn into the value proposition for the next year.
Okay, Let’s Do This
Great! Thank you for approving the trip! Your administrator is going to come back with a ton of great content and new ideas that will improve your business. Here are your next steps.
- Notify your administrator straight-away. Prices for registration will continue to increase and hotel rooms become increasingly scarce. The sooner they can confirm registration the better. Do you think that you can also attend? If so I would strongly encourage you to go as well. There will be something there for everyone – including you.
- Develop a game plan. Allow your administrator to spend some time evaluating the current list of breakout sessions and begin bookmarking the items they would like to attend. This is really important because once registration opens for sessions, the more popular ones can fill up. If they know what they want to register for ahead of time, this helps with confirming a seat.
- Discover what was valuable. After Dreamforce, have your administrator report back to you with what they found to be valuable and the lessons learned. This will help to further justify cost (if it needed for next year) and will generate great conversation between you and your administrator afterwards.
Thank you for the investment you are making in your administrator. It is well worth it. See you at Dreamforce!