What I learnt from 52 people around Salesforce in Czechoslovakia

Last year I had a goal to do an interview with 52 people in the Salesforce ecosystem in Czech and Slovak Republic. And I achieved such goal! What did I learnt and how it went?

What started this mission? Simple question from my customers (which doesn’t make sense in English) – is Salesforce he or she?

How it went

At the beginning of the year I was pretty scared – will I be able to find so many people here?

I searched LinkedIn, Success Community, asked for tips and asked more, started user group (which helped a lot), read PR articles to get a tips. I tried the LinkedIn Premium to be able to write to people I don’t know, which didn’t work very well.

Maybe around 50 % of people never bothered to answer my LinkedIn/Success community/emails messages. One declined as he was afraid to spill some secrets from his clients. One was forced to withdraw the interview we already did. One was forced to remove some answers.

I started in alphabet order (by first name) to be sure that nobody can say something about priority or privilege. And I ended the 2017 „one Martin short“, so Michal Baranec was the last one of 2017.

What did I learnt

I wrote to everyone I can find, didn’t make difference. And I ended with 38:14 ratio between men and women, 28:24 ration between partners and customers (obviously find partners was way easier as everyone is proud to be Salesforce professional).

A lot of them are those accidental admins, I would say just a minority are IT professional who just changed the platform.

I asked customers how much they feel they utilize the platform they have and got answers from 5 – 75 %. I quite agree with the one who uses Basic editions (do you know such?), the median can be somewhere around 40 % – huge space for improvement!

Had a question about certification and whether it makes you better. I think we all agreed, that real life experience is real life experience, but most of us like certifications as they force you to keep up to date and learn new thing. Just lately I learnt about Outgoing Messages and Named Credentials. Of cource I knew about it before, but during studies I realized it can be really useful and when I saw how often they are mentioned in the test I really plan to use it in real life. And it will save tons of work.

One of the questions for partners was about Lightning and whether they would recommend it to clients. Was great to see the shift during the year with new features and speed improvement. I think the consensus is that Lightning is the way for new customers and we are almost ready to switch the old one as most features are there, speed is ok, we just need to think about training and how to better utilize the new features.

Tips for 3rd party apps was mine next question and I really liked the tips – Data Loader, Dataloader.io, Workbench, Resco CRM, Jitterbit (a lot), Rollup Helper and others from Passage Technology, Getfeedback, Cirrus Insight, Zynbit, Ebsta, Campaign Combiner, Gridbuddy, Docusign, Adobe Sign and more. I got a lot of tips here and still feel that especially Hanka Srnová gave me great tips for apps I use in daily life.

About the same question, but which feature of Salesforce they like the most. Reports, Process Builder, flows and Login as a user made it to the top. Chatter, Communities, the flexibility of the platform and Lightning Components (including Lightning Out) was just behind.

One thing you wish Salesforce can do from tomorrow. A lot of mentions about high price (so make it lower, not vice versa), native document builder, have Lightning on par with Classic (of course we don’t mind some extra features) and better development environment and deployment process (I think only one person during the year mentioned Salesforce DX, so maybe this is obsolete now). Quicker implementations of ideas was mentioned a lot as well.

All of those people (and I think really all of them) had one thing in common – Trailhead. I didn’t ask how many badges they have, but they all use it when searching for knowledge.

The crucial question, which started the whole thing – he, she or it? For 35 of us it is He, for 5 it is She and for 6 it is It. Some people use combination – different sex when they are happy with it and other when it doesn’t behave as they expect. And for Martin Hronek it is She, because platform is She in Czech.

Chasing another batch of people

You can find all those interviews on my blog (mostly in Czech with some exceptions), and I’m looking to add more people this year. Do you have any great questions I should ask?

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