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Meet Awesome Admin: Lauren Gotlib




Name: Lauren Gotlib
Current Role / Employer: Critical Projects Manager at MASS Communications
LinkedIn Profile

Q: If you had to describe your current job to a friend or relative who knew nothing about CRM, how would you describe your job?

A: My goal is to make your day to day easier and more efficient. 


This includes helping you streamline and improve processes and find new ways to accomplish your goals through technology. 

Whether it deals with getting a quote out to a client, managing all your relationships, tracking customer tickets or finding new ways to automate tasks you do daily. 

A CRM system is the  backbone of all those responsibilities.

Q: If you had to describe your current job to another Salesforce admin, how would you describe your job?

A: I am both a technical project manager and Salesforce admin. 


I work with all our employees and our CIO to implement all changes in the organization related to Salesforce and other technologies. 

We're always looking to find better ways to accomplish goals, so change, or Kaizen, is a core value at MASS. 

I help manage all of our integrated packages – DocuSign, Conga, GridBuddy, Box, Steelbrick and FastForms. 

I plot out the feasibility of different department asks for their team, find the best solution after researching options and either implement all changes or manage the projects with developers. 

I'm also the first "help me!" person that employees reach out to when there is an error, or confusion about a new Salesforce component.



Q: How did you first get introduced into the Salesforce world?

A: I joined MASS Communications 2 years ago after working in Finance. 

I worked in a central role and always loved working between multiple departments to paint the big picture for the company. 

When I joined MASS, Salesforce was relatively new and my CIO offered me the opportunity. 

I rotated throughout every department for a few months and began taking on projects that always had a Salesforce component and required a liaison to ensure every department's needs were accounted for and the proper plan was created and communicated to all stakeholder. 

We realized there was a need for an employee to be the link between every department and ensure the changes wouldn’t negatively impact any teams. 

I became that liaison and through communication, Salesforce, and lots of learning alongside our CIO, picked up on Salesforce.

Q: When did you first get introduced to Salesforce? What year?

A: September 2014, upon joining MASS Comm. 

Q: What was your initial impression of Salesforce?

A: I think everyone finds a new system intimidating. 

I was lucky that my C-Suite supported the CRM and Salesforce became intuitive after a short while. 

There is an incredible amount of knowledge available on message boards, YouTube and through consulting companies that offer free training. 

Certain portions such as reports and dashboards are easy to pick up. 

You need to play with the system, use a sandbox and get comfortable. 

I saw the potential in unifying all our systems and apps through Salesforce and I believe once you use it every day, it becomes habit and you become more comfortable and open minded. 

Q: How did you transition from a Salesforce “newbie” to an experienced admin?

A: Practice and errors! 

I would sit with the CIO many mornings, go through his thought process and understand the logic. 

I also utilize Salesforce Premiere. 

Articulating what you want is the first battle. 

There is more than 1 way to accomplish a goal. 

Finding the best way, understanding limitations and bringing in how one change will impact other departments is where Project Management becomes critical. 


Q: What do you love most about being a Salesforce admin?

A: I love how excited employees become when you implement a change they requested. 

Sometimes the change is small, such as a new field to track data. 

Other times its an entirely new object. 

If it helps them track their progress and move forward in a positive way, that's the end goal every time. 


Q: What is the biggest impact you’ve had on your users or the organization?

A: I'm the go to person for anything Salesforce related. 

Everyone drops by my desk, sends me a Slack, or a request through SF about a SF change. 

At MASS, we love ideas and I think having someone to bring your ideas to, work through them with you on the technical side, and hold everyone accountable is something I've been able to do for them. 

I always hope that brings a feeling of comfort and excitement when employees see an opportunity for improvement and know I'm always there to walk them through it and take it to the right people to implement. 

Q: Tell us a bit about a recent success story, describing a business challenge and how you addressed (or solved it) through the Salesforce platform.

A: One of my favorite implementations was the use of Contracts. 

We used the existing object, but customized it about 60%. 

MASS is a telecommunications re-seller. The level of support and integrity blew me away when I first joined. 

We design, implement and support custom solutions for any firm with voice and data needs. 

Customers get a complete engineering and technical support team, along with a personal Account Manager. The Account Manager was working between 2 systems and we needed to bridge the gap. 

We built Contracts into the process when Services are ordered based on their specific needs and some code. 

When services are implement, a Project Engineer marks off the Service and the Account Manager is automatically assigned a task based on the contract end date. 

They are notified 6 months in advance and every Service is linked to that Contract to quickly pull it up through DocuSign or Box - both which live on the account. 

They can find the engineers notes on the turn up through the use of Projects, or any important notes that are on the contract related to the customer's specific needs. 

It may seem simple, but not having to go through several contracts and clicking around to find the information is one of the most powerful uses of Salesforce.  


Q: If you could give one piece of advice to another Salesforce admin, what would it be?

A: Get your C-Suite and Directors on your side early. 

Use your imagination as well. 

If you know they have a need, find a way to meet it using SF. 

Once they see that it makes their lives easier, they'll support your initiatives. 

I get reports emailed to my C-Suite weekly and they love the convenience. 

We use Dashboards in all our meetings. 

The rule: "if it's not in Salesforce, it didn't happen" may be difficult to implement at first, but with their support everyone will realize the importance of good data and trending. It lowers ambiguity and increases transparency. 

That's how you help a company reach it's potential. 

Q: If you could give one piece of advice to another Salesforce user, what would it be?

A: Use a Sandbox and try to break things. 

It's a safe place to experiment and learn new things without impacting users. 

Find companies that teach Salesforce lessons and sign up for webinars. 

I'm a visual learner and there are a lot of places get information. 

Lastly - get Salesforce Premiere Support if possible. 

Many people are incredibly knowledgeable and can handle repetitive tasks for you which saves you time. 

Saving time saves money. 

I always ask for a recorded screen share to see how they accomplished the task and that way you get training in the process! 



Q: What resources have you found most helpful – to build upon your current knowledge and experience in Salesforce, and to solve for any new and unexpected Salesforce issues that you come across?

A:
 
Salesforce Premiere, Salesforce User Groups, Women in Tech User Group, YouTube Salesforce Channels and Brainiate! 

Typing questions into Google always yields results as well from random locations.
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Meet Awesome Admin: Tigh Loughhead

Meet Awesome Admin Tigh Loughhead Elegran Marketing Director



Name: Tigh Loughhead
Current Role / Employer: Marketing Director at Elegran
LinkedIn Profile
Twitter Profile

Q: If you had to describe your current job to a friend or relative who knew nothing about CRM, how would you describe your job?

A: I align our marketing and sales team, and integrate our marketing efforts into an organizational system so our sales team can track and follow up with their leads, and grow their book of business.

I analyze the marketing to sales to deal lifecycle so that the business can make smarter and more profitable decisions in the future.

Q: If you had to describe your current job to another Salesforce admin, how would you describe your job?

A: I find ways to automate marketing to create a scalable business model.

I make our business more profitable by optimizing our marketing channels, and building products and workflows to make our sales team more effective, giving them the technology tools to market themselves, to organize their day and their database, and to build business insight about both specific prospects and around their business in general.

Finally, I provide the rest of the management team with high level reporting to make strategic decisions about the future of the business.



Q: How did you first get introduced into the Salesforce world?

A: I actually worked for a marketing agency years back, and we were trying to build out a custom lead attribution model, which led me to consult them with their custom Salesforce implementation. 

They had an extremely robust system with about a hundred different tracking phone numbers for numerous locations, some "dynamically inserted" on specific landing pages based on the digital referring source, to more traditional channels like signage, referrals, walk-ins, etc. 

Q: When did you first get introduced to Salesforce? What year?

A: 2010-2011

Q: What was your initial impression of Salesforce?

A: My initial impression was that the software was a bit of a behemoth, and I was probably a little overwhelmed by the flexibility and different use cases, not to mention all of the different free and paid add-ons and intermediary software and services available. 

Someone at Salesforce actually sat me down and explained the basics of the logical progression of prospect becoming a lead and finally a client, which is fundamental to any sales-based business, when the platform finally began to make sense.

Q: How did you transition from a Salesforce “newbie” to an experienced admin?

A: I have a technology product and advertising background, and actually came to Salesforce expertise via marketing automation. 

A few years ago, automation became the latest trend in marketing, and I brought a few platforms to my company. 

While Elegran typically develops our own software tools, we ultimately decided to invest in Pardot. 

After leading the implementation and on-boarding, I quickly realized that the success of automated marketing depended upon the organization of our data architecture in Salesforce, which was a bit of a mess. 

So, for the past year, I've led an effort to restructure our Salesforce instance, standardize our information and business workflows, train our marketing and sales team, and develop reporting tools for both individual users and management.


Q: What do you love most about being a Salesforce admin?

A: My job is all about creating value, and I love that Salesforce will ultimately allow my team to grow their business. 

I feel a bit like a doctor sometimes getting patients to take medicine, but in the long run I'm laying the foundation for others to succeed, and that is one of the best things you can bring to another person or a company.


Q: What is the biggest impact you’ve had on your users or the organization?

A: Elegran has 'closed the loop in our information architecture,' identifying all of the stages of the deal lifecycle, aligning our sales and marketing team. 

Every stage, channel and individual can be analyzed and improved. 

This allows us deep insight into our customers' journeys, as well as a transparency and accountability between the sales and marketing team.


Q: If you could give one piece of advice to another Salesforce admin, what would it be?

A: Be clear and rigidly consistent about your business goals, but be sure to include members from every team before any major implementations. 

If you can't get everyone pulling in the same direction, a CRM will quickly become unmanageable. 

Q: If you could give one piece of advice to another Salesforce user, what would it be?

A: Have faith. 

This system is designed to help you, and while it may seem like extra administrative work in the short-run; you'll be reaping the benefit and doing less busywork in the long-term. 

The whole point of the software is to build your business, and you'll eventually surpass the person still working off notes in their phone, or organizing clients in Excel.



Q: What resources have you found most helpful – to build upon your current knowledge and experience in Salesforce, and to solve for any new and unexpected Salesforce issues that you come across?

A:
 I'm still relatively new to Salesforce, though I'm a big fan of Pardot support.  

The Success Communities have been a fantastic resource for meeting new, like-minded users, to share challenges, issues and successes. 

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About the author: David Giller

David Giller a Salesforce Trainer, Consultant, Blogger & Author. Although he started his professional career as an attorney, he entered the world of enterprise-scale IT management at NBCUniversal, and continued at GE Capital, where he was first introduced to Salesforce & became known as "The Salesforce Guru." David is now CEO of Brainiate. You can read more about David's bizarre career path here.

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