A guest post by Danny Ramos.
My name is Danny Ramos, and I am an Associate Account Executive at ReadyTalk Audio and Web Conferencing – where I work with our Salesforce guru and local Admin Hero, Brent.
Working in a sales role, I am living in Salesforce from the minute I get into the office in the morning until I shut down my computer at the end of the day. While Brent has built a very comfortable instance for my team and me to live in, I could not shake the feeling that I was not getting the most out of this platform. With Salesforce operating as the company’s data repository, I figured why not learn how to leverage this tool fully?
With my vague understanding of just how much Brent has on his plate, I wanted to get to the point where I could manipulate this powerful software by myself and for myself as much as possible. I told Brent as much in our first meeting, telling him I wanted to learn about the stuff that lives beyond the day-to-day Salesforce functionality I was using.
Additionally, as somebody who has always been fascinated by computers but horrified of math, Salesforce seemed like a good place to hone some technical skills without having to learn programming languages right out of the gate. Ultimately, though, what it comes down to is simple – I just like puzzles and Salesforce seems like a giant one.
My First Exposure to Salesforce
My first experience with Salesforce was at an internship in the spring of 2012 with Invisible Children. The instance was pretty locked down, and I only had modified access to a couple different record types. When I transitioned into the professional world, I became a little more aware of the vast capabilities of the CRM while in my first sales leadership position just over a year later.
The role included collaborating with the Sales Operations team to pull reports and present data that lived in Salesforce. The work I had to do as a manager started to get me curious about what I could do with this data. Eventually, I relied on the Sales Ops team less and less for the minor filter changes and report requests and had an opportunity to give my admins time they desperately needed back.
The knowledge I was able to pick up by working with them and kicking the tires on my own was beneficial in more ways than one. Not only could they spend more time on other fires, but the time we spent together was more fruitful because I was able to be a more informed participant in discussions. The organization was the ultimate beneficiary of the improved teamwork because we were able to get more actionable information out of the same amount of data with more well-versed eyeballs on the problems.
A move to ReadyTalk in 2014 put me back in a role that was strictly sales, and I no longer had to work with Salesforce in the same way. After a few months of fumbling with filter logic on my own, I figured it was time to learn this platform in earnest – and that was when I tapped Brent for a 30-minute meeting.
How I Plan on Learning Salesforce
Brent introduced me to the incredible resources on the Salesforce Developers site, and after a quick 15-minute spin, I was hooked. The go-at-your-own-pace set up and interactive lessons make Trailhead the fun way to learn something pretty neat. Having spent every summer growing up at Boy Scout summer camp, the National Parks riff on the swag is just icing on the cake!
Brent thought it would be interesting to journal my way down the Trail, so to speak. As the weird kid who in college enjoyed the stress of writing papers, I thought it was a great idea. As a result, over the next few months, I am going to provide updates on my progress learning Salesforce through a combination of Trailhead and working with Brent. While I anticipate completing both the Admin and the Developer trails, I am going to start with the Admin Trail first. I will share the challenges and the successes of this process right here, on Admin Hero.
If anybody has any questions or pointers, I’d love to take them, either via comments here or at firstname.lastname@example.org (If you tweet, I tweet space and other things tech over @uglyshirts_, too). I hope you enjoy it!