Describe your role at makepositive
My role at makepositive is Sales cloud Practice Lead, which means I am responsible for anything that touches the area of Sales cloud which is one of the oldest parts of Salesforce. Essentially that means I take responsibility for that part of Salesforce, so whether that’s pre-sales work, new work for existing customers, ensuring our delivery teams and our consultants have the right skills and the right certifications to deliver those projects, and monitoring projects we have on the go to make sure things are going well. I also ensure that we are following best practice and using the parts of Sales Cloud we should be, and keeping up to date with the latest developments in the industry. Salesforce has three releases a year and they are usually packed full of new functionality. A big part of my job is keeping up to date with that and making sure I have got the right information I need to have the conversations both with our customers and with our internal consultants. I have also been granted the keys to makepositive’s own Salesforce org. So I work closely with our sales and commercial leaders to ensure we are ‘drinking our own champagne’ – that we are using the bits of Salesforce internally that we are recommending, selling and implementing to our customers. If we can understand it and use it to the best of our ability ourselves, then that means we can sell it and advise our customers on how best to use it.
What does a typical work day look like for you?
There isn’t really a typical work day. The one constant is that the day always starts with coffee! After that the day can go one of several different directions, depending on what makepositive are focusing on, what projects we have going on or what deals we are working on. So I could be joining calls with potential customers to discuss their requirements or to give them a demo of Salesforce if they haven’t seen Sales Cloud before. I could be writing a blog post on a particular topic for our marketing team that will go out as an email or on our social channels. I am also a member of the Partner Advisory board which is a group of Salesforce partners who have been chosen to provide feedback to Salesforce on the products. We provide feedback to them on which bits of the platform are being used well, what gaps we see and we also get advanced notice on what is coming on the roadmap so we can prepare ourselves, our teams, our organisation and our customers for those changes. We also have an internal centre of excellence around Sales Cloud – we call it cpeg. So some of my working day can be spent in discussions with members of cpeg and talking about the latest developments, how people are implementing Sales Cloud on projects, sharing best practices and making sure everyone has the right resources to implement things in the best way.
What is the most challenging part of your role?
One of the most challenging things is the constant switching of focus – I can be on one call in the morning talking to a customer about their strategy and their sales process, then on the next call I could be talking to one of our consultants about a very detailed bit of implementation. So constantly shifting focus between customers, internal conversations and with discussions Salesforce can sometimes be difficult, but it is also never dull and makes the working day fly past. It’s a good exercise to be able to do but it can be a bit of a challenge. As I mentioned before, Salesforce never stands still. They are always adding to the platform, they are always pushing forward. With the three Salesforce releases a year, it is sometimes a challenge to stay up to date so I can best advise our customers and our internal consultants. Essentially I never stop learning, which is challenging but something I find enjoyable about the job.
What is the most rewarding part of your role?
The most challenging parts are also the most rewarding. So I really enjoy having a mix of work. I am never working on the same things all day, I am constantly switching between sales and customer conversations and learning about Salesforce. So it is a constant new stream of things to get my head around and learn which is really rewarding. Also, I get the inside track on Sales Cloud roadmaps as part of the Partner Advisory Board, meaning I get a sneak peak of what Salesforce are working on and where they see the platform going, and providing my input and feedback as part of that is really rewarding.
What skills are most important to perform well in this job?
I would say teamwork – I rarely do anything on my own in this job. I am always working with other people; whether it be internal, people in sales, marketing, delivery, management and resourcing or with our potential and existing customers. So being able to work with people in a team is key. Communication; both internally and with customers, making sure that I am communicating clearly, not bothering people internally much but making sure that they are aware of what is going on and how it can help. Honesty is a key skill in this role – I have a lot of conversations with customers and they are often very frank in sharing the issues they are having or how they think that Salesforce can help their organisation. Honesty is a big part of it, not trying to oversell, being open about capabilities and what we think is best for a customer and giving the best advice we can.
What advice would you give to someone looking to apply for a similar role?
It is important to have good grounding experience in project implementation. A background in implementing Salesforce would be ideal. Also a strong knowledge of your area of expertise, so my area of interest is Sales Cloud, but I’ve got a good grounding in the whole Salesforce platform. Before I did this role I had been implementing CRM systems (including Salesforce) for over 10 years, eventually working my way up to be Principal Solution Architect at makepositive. So that sort of experience you can’t really fake, it’s invaluable and I use it everyday. My experience in implementation and knowledge of Salesforce play a massive role in being able to do my role effectively. I also think it really helps to have a real interest in your area of specialisation – you are going to spend a lot of time studying, learning, talking to people about it and looking into future functionality and features after all!
What is your favourite thing about working for makepositive?
My favourite thing about makepositive is the people. My role takes me across the whole organisation speaking to all sorts of people, from the sales and marketing team, to our CEO, through to the newest members of our graduate programme who could be our future Implementation Consultants. Without exception, everyone is dedicated, hard working, knowledgeable and importantly fun to work with. Consultancy can sometimes be a difficult job, we have tough projects with tough client conversations but I feel I am fully backed by an organisation that genuinely cares about doing the best possible job they can for their customers, and are genuinely interested in having a good time while doing it.
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