This past Friday, I was fortunate enough to attend the third annual Take No Bull Women’s Conference right here in Durham. Held on International Women’s Day, the event was hosted by the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce for women across industries who want to be more intentional about their personal and professional growth.

It was an inspiring experience and made me think more about my role at Cloud Giants. Though the topics were relevant to women across the workforce, I can relate a lot of what I heard from the event speakers, like friend of Cloud Giants and CEO of Momentum Learning Jessica Mitsch, to my work with Salesforce and Salesforce consultants.

If you were also in attendance, I’d love to hear what your key takeaways were and how they relate to your role. Here are the ones that struck a chord with me.

Learn to self-promote.

Self-promotion helps show value, develop your personal brand, and ultimately, advance your career. It’s an important part of showing your growth.

How It Relates to Salesforce

As a Salesforce Administrator or Product Owner, it can be difficult to explain the value you provide to your organization. At Cloud Giants, we work to identify key metrics and measure them ahead of making changes. That way, we have a before and after picture that can demonstrate their impact.

We want to give our champion a success story to tell, and quantifying our success through key metrics is essential to crafting this story. The more quantifiable an impact, the easier it is to demonstrate value.

This also touches on change management and the always hot topic of buy-in. Being able to demonstrate the value of an action is a useful strategy for promoting user adoption and getting your most reticent user on board.  

We also prize discussion of how the work we do ties to the company’s overall objectives and goals. If the work isn’t aligned, why is it valuable?

Regularly practice self-forgiveness.

It’s probably a safe bet that most of us have been haunted by something awkward or embarrassing we did years ago. We all make mistakes and letting go of these helps us move forward faster. It’s all part of the learning process and embracing this, rather than fighting it, allows for the time and space true growth requires.

How It Relates to Salesforce

We’ve all designed something that we later determine is no longer the right solution because of new information, system changes, or unforeseen processes. It’s easy to recognize that it’s no longer working and view it as a roadblock. This often happens when you try to build a perfect solution from the start.

We minimize this risk by following an agile methodology to build and then iterate. By focusing on the right solution over time based on our partnership together, we’re able to deliver value throughout our partnership with clients. When new information comes our way, we can build on what’s working rather than getting jammed by what’s not.

Reach people on their level.

Lori Jones-Gibbs and Jessica Mitsch led a breakout session on Navigating Today’s Inter-Generational Workforce session. One question that Jessica fielded was around how to give feedback to millennials. She shared that regardless of who is getting feedback, it can either feel like condemnation or conviction.

When feedback is shaped as condemnation, the conversation focuses on the failure itself. It’s a leadership pitfall and a missed opportunity for reconnection and realignment.

In the case of conviction, the manager offers support and expresses the desire to foster improvement. It circles back to understanding that the learning process involves occasional missteps.

How It Relates to Salesforce

Most organizations are searching for the right Salesforce partner because of current pain points in their Salesforce system. They know them. They work around them every day. Our job — and one we really love getting to do — is helping them tackle those head on and provide a way forward.

To do this, we seek to identify and understand existing processes and solutions before we can build enhancements or new functionality.  This allows us the opportunity to provide feedback to our customers. At this point, Jessica’s message applies. We need to ensure we give this feedback in a way that doesn’t vilify an individual or team but instead offers a path forward, painting what the future can look like.

To me, this reflects our People First core value. We need to recognize that behind all Salesforce orgs and businesses are their people. Putting them first means recognizing opportunities instead of challenges.

Previously on the Blog:

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Holly is COO of Cloud Giants and a Duke alumna. She’s held positions with major technology companies over the course of her career, including Accenture, Citrix, and Red Hat. She has a keen instinct for business process management and is driven by opportunities to help global organizations optimize their processes, systems, and tools. Her enthusiasm for Salesforce.com as a highly-customizable CRM solution developed organically from this desire to deliver value with efficiency. You can get in touch with Holly by email or reach out to her on LinkedIn.

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