Recapping a Big Week of Salesforce Events in Washington, DC

This past week two major Salesforce events took place in Washington DC: the non-profit user group and Salesforce World Tour.

The non-profit user group was held at the Alley by Verizon just off of L street. At the meeting Rebe de le Paz presented on best practices for training end-users. Some of the major takeaways I had for the meeting is that training users should be fun. Often training people on Salesforce involves screen sharing (with the trainer sharing their screen and doing most of the talking). Rebe showed that training shouldn’t be boring, and gave examples of how to use fun training methods like  Salesforce Jeopardy! (a Jeopardy powerpoint template), Kahoot, and Visual Flow (a standard Salesforce feature that you can use for quizzes embedded in Salesforce). She also explained the science behind how quizzing the people you train helps improve retention of the content that was discussed. Rebe’s presentation was pretty eye opening because training is one of the most challenging areas for me when rolling out a new Salesforce system. Rebe mentioned that while authoring a user guide may be required (as more of a CYA) it shouldn’t be solely relied upon for training because training guides often get put in a desk drawer and never looked at again.

A new concept for training was also presented called MyTrailhead. For those not familiar, Trailhead is Salesforce’s online training hub where you can learn all about different Salesforce product’s and new features. Traditionally, all of the content on Trailhead is written by Salesforce. However, with the release of MyTrailhead it is now possible to use the Trailhead backbone with content specific to your company. Rebe also mentioned a free Learning Management System that you can install into your Salesforce org called Almond (available on the AppExchange from Salesforce Labs). If you don’t want to purchase a LMS for Salesforce such as Cornerstone on Demand you can check out free options such as Almond or MyTrailhead. MyTrailhead is free for now, so create an account while you can because it is a really valuable tool and I wouldn’t be surprised if Salesforce started charging for this tool.

Wednesday was the Salesforce World Tour in Washington DC. The day started out by perusing the Expo floor. Major AppExchange and Consulting vendors had booths on the expo floor including Slalom Consulting, Fonteva Association Management, KnowWho (a Grassroots & Advocacy Management tool). Also, each Salesforce Cloud (Marketing Cloud, Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, etc.) had booths where you could ask questions and help troubleshoot any issues you are currently experiencing.

Later in the morning I was able to attend the event keynote with speaker Tony Prophet, Salesforce’s Chief Equality Officer. Tony talked about Salesforce’s core values primarily equality and discussed a number of Trailblazer stories. For those not familiar with the word “Trailblazer”, it is a name that Salesforce uses for members of their customer and partner community who are advancing Salesforce’s progressive values and building cutting edge applications. Another part of the keynote was a focus on the Salesforce Customer Trailblazers. Salesforce displayed how T-Mobile was using the MyTrailblazer tool to train their sales team specific to their company’s specific company process, and how they implemented Salesforce.

I am really excited about this concept of MyTrailhead. I haven’t been a huge fan of the Trailhead training despite Salesforce employees and MVPs pushing it so hard. The reason is because I am an audio learner and most of the Trailhead modules to date involve a lot of reading. I have also found many of their modules a bit fluffy on the content. MyTrailhead changes all of this because it enables you to customize the content including embedding video and audio content in the modules.

After the keynote I spent the afternoon volunteering at the “Ask the Admin” booth where Salesforce Administrators could bring any question they had about Salesforce and get it answered. I helped a lot of Administrators learn how to set up a Trace Flag on their users so that they could replicate issues and then review the Debug Logs to understand what automation rule was sending an undesired email or creating an undesired Task record. I also received a lot of questions around achieving certifications from new folks interesting achieving their Salesforce Administrator certification. The hardest question I had at the booth came from a Salesforce Administrator who was trying to figure out how to have a minimum number of Profiles while being able to have an Opportunity Lightning Page different based on the Role of the user. One possibility is having different Lightning Apps and assigning the respective Opportunity Lightning Page as the App default. Another possibility is to use the ability to use filtering in a Lightning Component to control what is displayed depending on the user viewing the page (similar to the concept of Audiences in Community Cloud). Of course the other option is to consider creating an additional Profile.

Overall it was a very exciting week in the nation’s capitol with lots of buzz about Salesforce. It was great to meet a lot of new people!

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