Monday 19 December 2016

Success Story of : Jennifer Wobser

Welcome to my 3rd Salesforce Success Story series. This series is focused on success story and to inspire/encourage new user/Developer. And why we should join our local Salesforce Developer/User group.

1) Your Job Title
I'm starting a new job in the next two weeks, but for now you can list me as:
Sr Consultant & Salesforce SME for (Amit :- All the best for your new job)

2) Your success Story   

My journey with Salesforce is quite unique as most people recognize my twitter handle @crmsalesgem from 2014 when Salesforce1 was a big deal. The funny part is, that wasn't my first time working with Salesforce mobile. I was actually already an admin when Salesforce mobile was in its infancy in 2004-05. Here's the proof...

My roots with data actually span almost 3 decades, and the first time I built a Salesforce demo org was 15 yrs ago! I am a 100% self-taught admin, and this wasn't by choice! I can remember Salesforce before we had user groups/communities, AppExchange, Certifications, and Chatter! Back then, if you loved Salesforce, you learned it out of passion & necessity for your job!

My story starts here...

I have been working with data since 1988, and I guess you could say I was way ahead of my time. I'd worked several jobs collecting, cleaning, and building databases. In the 1990's people were amazed I understood spreadsheets and would often pay me to set up a system to collect data in the earliest versions of Excel and Access available. My favorite pre-Salesforce data job was building and managing the first online scholarship database for the State of Arkansas 1997-2001.

I eventually landed at a Bio-pharmaceutical company as a sales rep alongside my mother in 2001. I loved working with my mother - I helped her with data and she helped me learn sales! Within my first year in sales, the executives and sales managers were puzzled as to why my sales were so high when I was brand new to the business. I explained I had created an Access database using my daily sales & customer lists to track my customers' buying patterns and identify the low hanging fruit. This home made database eventually led to my first demo org of Salesforce that I set up in 2002 while I was comparing my Access database to current CRM software available on the market.

This is a screenshot with dummy data of my first Salesforce prototype:

 This prototype impressed our CIO, so I was immediately plucked out of sales and given a role in IT as Salesforce Administrator and Data Analyst. Our company had to wait until 2004 to actually buy Salesforce as we were one of the first companies to be on the pilot for custom objects to use with our ERP. In addition, in the land before iPhones, our company was one of the first five customers set up to use Salesforce with Blackberries. The Sendia app we used later became Salesforce Mobile and Salesforce1. (as seen in top pic)

Here I am with my mom and our sales manager circa 2004 - the same month I found out I would be moving from Sales to Salesforce Administrator!

 Unfortunately, I don't have any pics of my first Dreamforce in 2004. Back then, you had to actually carry your digital camera with you to take pics. I really wish I had a camera back then! I'd go back and take a pic as Marc Benioff personally thanked me for becoming a customer! Can you imagine? Marc and Parker used to freely walk around and talk to us with no security in 2004. Of course, we were at the top of the Hilton with about 800 people - to think I thought that Dreamforce was huge! I can remember being so scared to talk about being a new customer in front of about 50 people in a session there. Well, it wasn't as bad as I thought. In fact, I found that I loved teaching others what I learned about Salesforce, and I have now been a speaker at every Dreamforce 2004-16!

My favorite speaking engagement was the first Salesforce Ohana celebration in 2005 at the Summer '05 Release Party in San Francisco! Salesforce flew me out to San Francisco so I could showcase the custom objects I built for our ERP data. I remember how amazed people were to see that I build custom objects and bridge objects for Open Orders, Line Items, and Invoices!

 Fast forward to 2016, and I am now a mother to my 6 year old beautiful boy-Joshua, Salesforce MVP since Jan 2014, Certified Salesforce Administrator (first 250 certified in 2008), over 100 Trailhead Badges, and above all else, I am passionate about helping others in our Salesforce community.

* I think it's important to note that due to a family illness, I left my 13 yr admin job to join to the Salesforce consulting world in 2015. I am so very grateful for our Salesforce community as they have been a support system for me during my time of need. When my father became ill (he recently passed away on October 13, 2016), both Salesforce and my MVP colleagues were kind enough to give me consulting work to keep me on my financial feet! What other software company/community has such an amazing support system both professionally and personally? Ask yourself that question before you ever consider leaving a Salesforce profession!

 (Amit :- Jennifer Wobser story is really awesome. Seriously, We can write a novel on her  what she have learned over the last 15 years)

 3) Why we Should Join a Salesforce User/Developer Group

A long time ago, In a land far far away...we didn't have Salesforce User Groups! I remember feeling very alone in my learning. I loved Salesforce so much, and I longed to meet other admins like me outside of Dreamforce. Then, I met Erica Kuhl, and she helped me at the same time she was working very hard to build our first user groups!

Can you imagine? Our little online posting board in this pic eventually blossomed into the user groups we have today all over the world!

 If you are not limited by your location, I recommend everyone in the Salesforce community join their local user group. A support system for anything we do will only make us better. These user groups are a great way to learn and meet other like-minded individuals. Each of us can accomplish so more amazing things as a group rather than by ourselves! For example, in my Springfield, MO user group, we have meetings based on what our group votes on. Some of the best group meetings we have had were the following:
  1.     Worked through difficult Trailhead badges as a group that we couldn't do alone
  2.     Completed the Drucker School Trailhead Modules as a group so that we could all order the certificate of completion before the $25 fee was active
  3.     Discuss, show pictures, and bring back Swag for events such as Dreamforce, TrailheadX, and Midwest Dreamin for the members of the group that couldn't attend

If I didn't have my local user group, the above wouldn't be possible!

4) Advice for new Salesforce Developer

It has taken me 15 years to learn that in the Salesforce community, it is who you know vs what you know. Most of us can learn the tech side fairly well, earn badges, and gain certifications. Finding the right job and/or meeting friends to support us in our jobs can be a bit of a challenge. As an introvert myself, I have learned many ways to meet people using social media. Meeting people and knowing you are part of our community/something bigger is the key to your success. For example, I had known Cheryl Feldman in passing since 2005, but we were able to reconnect via Twitter in 2013. Now she is one of my best friends both inside and outside of the Salesforce world!

This pic sums up how great it is to have a 'Salesforce Bestie' who understands you!

 Here are some tips that anyone in our community can use to expand their network of people:
  •     Join your local user group! This gives you an opportunity to meet other Salesforce people like yourself plus partners, companies that use Salesforce, and guest speakers. I know a lot of people who found their 'Dream Job' by meeting someone at a user group.
  •     Offer to meet up with smaller groups within your local user group between meetings! This is how #BBQforce was started - a handful of us decided to get together the night before our user groups and talk Salesforce while eating BBQ. Now we are all friends for life! 

  •    Be active on the Salesforce Community - post questions, answer questions, join group discussions etc.
  •    Be actively engaged on Twitter - follow all of the Salesforce handles such as @salesforce, @dreamforce, @trailhead, @salesforceadmns, @salesforcedevs, etc. This is also the best way to stay informed of the latest news and events!
  •    Join every Salesforce web meeting/webinar available that your schedules allow - these are great opportunities to hear Salesforce employees and customers talk about their experience. You can also become familiar with names of people and companies this way.
  •    Offer to speak at your local user group, be a guest speaker on a podcast/webinar, write a blog, and/or contribute to the Salesforce community in any way possible! Whether you are the mentor or the mentee, these relationships facilitate success!
  •     Attend events such as Dreamforce and regional events like Tahoe Dreamin, Snowforce, SouthEast Dreaming, Midwest Dreamin, etc. Events are great because you get to meet people and learn as a group at the same time! I can say that I learn a lot in group sessions as well as personal conversations with people I meet in between sessions when I attend these.

 5) Trailhead badges
112 thanks to #trailheadathon - I am totally addicted! I am so happy to have the new Trailhead Profiles! For the first time in 15 years, I can actually show my admin skills with badges rather than just telling a story about how long I've been working with the Salesforce platform!

Follow Jennifer Wobser  on:
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 If you want to share your Salesforce Success Story, Please feel free to drop me an email :-


Amit Chaudhary

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