Salesforce Influencer Spotlight: Ben McCarthy (Salesforce Ben)

While Salesforce is a very powerful and effective CRM, some people might find it very challenging especially when they start using it. Good thing that Salesforce has an extremely active community, which is always ready to help. Some of the community members are going even further in educating and inspiring people about Salesforce, and that is why they became famous as Salesforce influencers and Salesforce MVPs.

As our continuous effort to help the community, in addition to the Inspire App Stack, where we’ve partnered with some of the best apps from the Salesforce AppExchange to offer over $10,000 worth of software deals, we decided to launch a new format on the Inspire Planner blog – “Salesforce Influencer Spotlight.”

In this format, we will present you some of the most valuable Salesforce Influencers who will share their knowledge and advice on how to be more efficient with Salesforce.

Our first interview guest is one of the most famous Salesforce influencers – Ben McCarthy. Ben is the founder of SalesforceBen.com, the world’s leading Salesforce blog. He has held a variety of roles in his relatively short time in the Salesforce space but is currently the Managing Director of EMPAUA UK, Europe’s fastest growing Salesforce consultancy. As a 7x Certified Salesforce professional, Ben has a keen interest in business transformation through the use of new and emerging technologies.

In the following interview, Ben shares some of the insights about his experience with Salesforce as well as the story behind SalesforceBen blog. Enjoy!

Hi Ben! Thanks for your time to do this interview. How did a Salesforce influencer like yourself become interested in Salesforce?

Ben McCarthy: By pure coincidence, I am most definitely an accidental admin. After graduating from University in Information Systems, I was looking for a role where I could use my IT skills, but also work with business stakeholders to improve processes. I landed myself a graduate role as an associate consultant at a UK based partner. Here I learned all about consulting in general, the Salesforce platform, and got some hands-on experience working on projects.

I was hooked once I saw how easy it was to build business applications on the most powerful CRM in the world. Once I saw one or two projects through to the end and the benefit it brought back to the business, I was sold.

Can you please share with our readers what are your favorite Salesforce tips / tricks that help you be more efficient?

Ben McCarthy: It’s hard to focus on specific tips to help Admins or users become more efficient, there are so many shortcuts to learn in Salesforce that it takes time to slowly discover them. One of my biggest tips would be to follow community blogs out there (I know a pretty good one here), there is so much great content each week around the web that you can scratch up on your knowledge over time.

For a specific tip, I would recommend checking out a post I did a while ago on Google Chrome Extensions. There is a huge amount for Salesforce to support every type of user, enjoy!

Ultimate Salesforce Chrome Extensions

Credits: http://www.salesforceben.com/

To be honest, Salesforce Ben is one of our favorite blogs here at Inspire Planner so we highly recommend subscribing to it in order to stay updated about Salesforce-related topics.

Can you please tell us how did you get started with Salesforce Ben?

Ben McCarthy: Selfishly, I created the blog just for my own reference to start adding tricks and tips I learned whilst being an Admin. While there were blogs around at the time, I noticed that none of them focussed on a broad range of topics, mainly either Admin or Developer content. This gave me the motivation to create a blog that catered for all. My aim was to create a blog that all Salesforce professionals logged onto weekly to gain insights on the industry and learn skills surrounding their field of expertise.

Now that I’m 4 years on from founding Salesforce Ben, I’ve never been more motivated to continue growing the blog and give back to the community that has been so good to me!

Salesforce Ben blog

Credits: http://www.salesforceben.com/

What are the three Salesforce apps that you use the most?

Ben McCarthy:

Conga – Having worked at Conga for a few years helping set up the UK office, I know the product very well. This is one of the products that I recommend with nearly every implementation. Document generation just isn’t something that Salesforce can natively do, and Conga works like a dream. The most common use cases I recommend Conga for are quotes and proposals, but the use cases are endless.

Field Trip – A fantastic App that can be used to analyze your field data. Pick an object and let Field Trip go to work, it will analyze the percentage a certain field is filled in. This is fantastic for cleaning out an org and actually working out which fields are being used.

Salesforce Adoption Dashboards – A fantastic App that gives you a pre-built dashboard that gives you insights into the adoption of your Salesforce org. Definitely one that every single Salesforce Admin out there can take advantage of.

What is the one Salesforce feature that you never use and the one you can’t live without?

Ben McCarthy: Now that I’ve successfully made the switch to Lightning in my organization, I definitely couldn’t live without the Kanban view. Being able to quickly glance at my Opportunities in a summarised view is fantastic. The added bonuses of seeing the totals at each stage, dragging and dropping to change stage, and being to edit Opportunities in a pop up really make this feature sticky.

A feature I never use but probably should use is the Schema Builder, I’ve got nothing against it and it can actually be used to create objects, fields, and lookups. I just always forget about it!

Last but not least, what advice would you give to individuals considering a career related to Salesforce environment?

Ben McCarthy: My advice for people starting out is to push through that initial struggle to learn because it WILL pay off. I’ve given a lot of people advice over the years and many people that get excited by the prospect of working with Salesforce, don’t follow through with the motivation to learn the initial steps.

It’s always going to be hard learning about something you are unfamiliar with, but the reward in this scenario is huge. Salesforce has done amazing things for my career and others around the world, and it can do the same for you. Just push through!

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Top 5 Ways to Use Salesforce AppExchange

Have you ever used the Salesforce AppExchange? Even if you’re brand new to Salesforce, it’s easy to start using the AppExchange to discover add-on apps and features to enhance your Salesforce native functionality to make it work even better for your specific company needs. Here are 5 of the best ways you can leverage the Salesforce AppExchange to become more efficient and help your Users have a better experience.

Salesforce AppExchange Solutions

Salesforce-product-collections

Understanding what Solutions are is step one to successfully leveraging the AppExchange. Solutions, commonly seen as downloadable apps, are components that allow you to use Salesforce beyond its native functionality. Whether you have a large enterprise or a small business, the AppExchange has something for you. The marketplace itself is very easy to navigate with search options like filtering apps by Salesforce Product Collections or Industry Collections. Product Collections lets you search for apps based on Salesforce product, like Sales or Service Cloud. Industry Collections lets you pick through categories like Nonprofits and Retail to find the best-rated apps from other companies in your industry. The apps are offered as paid or free versions, but be careful with the “free” versions: Many of them have very limited functionality meaning you to have to pay at the end anyway.

 

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