Hey, Remember Me?

It’s crazy to think that it’s been since Dreamforce that I made time to post a blog. Of course I can blame the post-DF hazy re-entry into normal life, followed by the holidays, followed by moving to a new house… but in fact I have been blogging a bit (!), just not here.

And that’s the biggest reason of all : Southeast Dreamin’

SED Logo

You guys – IT’S HAPPENING. I couldn’t be more excited. A group of passionate Salesforcers in the Southern States started talking about this mid-2015 and based on community feedback we gathered at DF and the Atlanta World Tour, we got the confirmation we needed to move forward.

Planning an event for 200+ attendees and 20+ sponsors takes time – even with a whole team to help! – more than even I realized, coming from the Hospitality industry. Lots of little details taking up my after-work brain cells (and let’s be honest, middle of the night and morning and all-day brain cells too on some days), but it’s going to totally be so worth it. While it’s no secret that I am a fan of User Groups & interacting with the Community, this takes it to a whole different level.

So until post-SED, I likely won’t be posting here – but I promise I will be back! In the meantime, check out the details about the event (March 9-10 in Atlanta at the Westin Buckhead) including my posts there, and hopefully you can join us for a big Salesforce gathering of awesome.

Until then, happy Salesforcing!

#DF15 By the Snaps: Pre-Conference (Sunday)

Dreamforce 2015 has come and gone, and it was a great time! I’m going to work through the whole week and let the photos be my guide for a recap of my adventures.

GiantsI took a recommendation from Kelly B and flew out on Sunday – it was early, but my Giants shirt was a hit with random TSA employees which made Security more fun. We both ended up sitting in aisles with other Dreamforcers, so it was a great to chat them up and get excited! I learned about Vetforce and my seat-mate learned about Girly Geeks.

Once we landed & got to her hotel, we hopped on the F line for a trip to In N Out Fishermans WharfPennyMachine! #nomnomnom I will not tease you with a photo of my delicious fries, shake and Double Double – but trust me, it was worth it. We played tourist for a bit at Ghirardelli Square and Pier 39, plus we discovered a mutual love for smashed penny souvenirs! 51 cents is all it takes to make us happy.

That night I met up with my boss from college (USF Dons rule!) for an awesome dinner at Zero Zero and got to see the Dreampark under construction on the walk back to my hotel.prebuild

So much anticipation for me, and the week hadn’t even started yet!

See you soon for a look at Monday!


No Sleep ’til Dreamforce!

In 4 short days, I will be flying to San Francisco for Dreamforce, my the first time back since 2011. Let’s just say that the last time I attended, the entire conference fit into Moscone N/S/W + Howard Street did not get closed for the Dreampark! I am super excited and accepting of how overwhelming it will be, and yet SO MUCH AWESOME.

I was honored to be asked by Apttus, along with a group of other rockstars,  to contribute some tips for how to tackle #DF15 for their “Experience Dreamforce” series – you can see those recorded short videos here. That really got me researching, and instead of sharing more new tips with you, I thought I would chat about how I built my schedule plus link up some go-to resources I have found to help me get pumped up and prepped for next week!

I started out making a rookie mistake and trying to manage my calendar in my work Outlook, which is in EST. After a few “wait, am I free for _____?” moments, I took the advice of Brent Downey at Admin Hero and created a separate Google Calendar in PST just for my Dreamforce life. Now it looks like this:


Still a little (!) crazy, but at least I can see my availability and I have highlighted things in Green that are super top priority. It was great to link the everything-else together with my Sessions so I could identify conflicts and change my RSVPs (based on some other Feedback I saw, I just created calendar events for my sessions manually instead of exporting enrolled + favorited sessions from Agenda Builder. But I will be printing out a backup PDF from there for sure).  It also encouraged me to review my Sessions again to update my favorites & enrollments.

One fun priority I’ll be making (in Purple) is to try and meet the people behind the podcasts I enjoy during my daily commute. I am thrilled that one of my favorites (Good Day Sir!) asked to interview me (!) for the #GirlyGeek POV on one of their live broadcasts (schedule is here, I am up on Tuesday @ 8:30am!). I also am going to try and fan girl it up for the guys from Arkus, the Desynit team with the revitalization of the CloudLife Podcast, Melissa VanDyke with Admin to Admin Academy, the Yapp Exchange, and of course the Button Click Admin podcast!

I’m also thrilled to be working with a fellow Girly Geek Leader + Apttus to coordinate the Girly Geek Photo Hunt – follow @GGPhotoHunt on Twitter. A great way to meet other Geeks and explore the DF campus… and of course, win prizes! Combine that with the DataDash (giving back to Girls Who Code!) + getting AppHappy and I will have plenty to fill any white space you can find on that calendar.

I went ahead and ordered myself a (used) iPad and will then proceed to put a few key Apps on it – Partyforce! Official DreamforceApp! Amazon Instant Video! (You can now download to watch on the plane!) Google Calendar! Eventbrite! Twitter! Uber! Anything else I’m missing?

My new comfy shoes are coming in the mail and I already started the laundry so I can be sure to pack my favorite outfits. Can’t forget to bring along some books to donate which will then free up room to return with swag and/or Dreamstore purchases!

I’m sure I’ll keep poking at my schedule up to and through the event, but I’ll also be keeping an eye on great resources like these to help make sure I am packed, prepped and mentally prepared –

But really, aside from ALL of that, I am most excited to meet other Girly Geeks and Salesforce Nerds who just get me. If you haven’t found me for a hug / high five / lunch date / swag swap and you’d like to, feel free to tweet me @KristiForce and I’ll do my best to meet up!


What a #BrightIdea! Collaborative Forecasting via Territory Hierarchy

One of the greatest things about Salesforce? The IdeaExchange. Suggest new features + vote & comment on Ideas you find, to help the status move to Product Team Review and (hopefully) to Delivered! Salesforce is committed to listening to the community, and this series aims to highlight #BrightIdeas I have come across – for myself or through social media – that I hope can get a little more love. Your thumbs up counts!

This weeks #BrightIdea: Collaborative Forecasting via Territory Hierarchy


I’ll admit a little bias, as this is an Idea I posted. But! I was amazed to find no one had posted it previously.

The “new” fun Collaborative Forecasts offer a lot of great features – you can see the differences between that and the older Customizable Forecasts here – but they only work with Role Hierarchy. If you have a newer Org, or when you try to use other “new” Features – like Territory Management 2.0 (Enterprise Territory Management) – you must also use Collaborative Forecasts. Unfortunately for us (as anyone who has had a beer with me while talking Salesforce in the last few months can attest), this means we are stuck using the old tools. We have partners who sell products over multiple business units, so while they have a “role” because they have to, their Opportunities need to roll up their Forecast in different directions. Without this Idea being implemented, we either can’t start using the new features (current state), or we would not be able to use the Forecasting tools at all (sad state).

So, thank you in advance from me & my co-admins to YOU for helping promote it!

What a #BrightIdea! Submit all Forecasts

One of the greatest things about Salesforce? The IdeaExchange. Suggest new features + vote & comment on Ideas you find, to help the status move to Product Team Review and (hopefully) to Delivered! Salesforce is committed to listening to the community, and this series aims to highlight #BrightIdeas I have come across – for myself or through social media – that I hope can get a little more love. Your thumbs up counts!

This weeks #BrightIdea: Allow users to forecast multiple Product Families at same time

Forecasting by Product Family is a great option for those of us running business that’s a bit more complex, whether it be to divide lines of business or specific product lines within one business unit. Some people may need to look at the drilled down data, but some may want an overall picture – both are available!

The challenge comes when you want users to Submit Forecasts to help establish trends. In our case, there are 6 key Product Families we are focusing on to start, which means each user has 6 Forecasts to submit @ 4 clicks each: Select the Product Family, Submit Forecast, Click OK on the Popup confirmation, hit the Back link, repeat. Not AWFUL, but not convenient either. Once we add in other Families which are not currently our primary focus – materials, warranties, etc. – it will only get worse, and thus less likely for a Sales person to take the time to do it. If you don’t need to adjust the Forecast, or if you’re okay with the adjustments set, it would be great to have one “Submit All” option!

So, thank you Heather McArdle for suggesting this idea – and thank you to YOU for helping promote it!

Oodles of User Groups!

While I may have been quieter than I planned on the blog thus far, I made the rounds of the Carolinas in May to get some geeky Salesforce facetime and it’s been awesome! I can’t express how valuable I think User Groups are, and how fortunate I am to have a boss that allows me to make attending them a priority. Time and time again, I have gone to a User Group and listened to a presentation or had a casual conversation, and within the next few days a question comes up and I think, “I just heard about something like that at my UG meeting!” I don’t think of myself as a great Networker, but I love me some User Groups and I wanted to share a quick recap of my experiences in May.

Charlotte User Group (Private)5/6 – Charlotte User Group
This was an awesome event hosted by Torrent Consulting at Old Mecklenburg Brewery. The atmosphere was great, the food & beer were delicious, and there was great engaging content about Pardot. It really got me thinking about who the ideal customer is, and how to focus marketing efforts toward that ideal. Plus, I got a stellar free pint glass! #freeswag Thank you Phil & Kelly for coordinating this unique event, I was happy to see such a great turnout!

Upstate South Carolina User Group (Private)5/12 – Upstate South Carolina User Group 
The inaugural meeting for this group – it was a bit of a drive for me, but it was worth it! Jayesh coordinated a tasty dinner to accompany presentations by John from Skuid + Jason from Salesforce talking about cool things you can do now with Process Builder. The great thing about this meeting was that AFL (our host) are customers of Skuid, so they were able to share current processes and things they are developing in their Staging environment. A great way to connect the sales piece to a real world application, and a great start for this new User Group!
#ShamelessPlug – the next Upstate SC UG Meeting is in the works for July, at my office in Rock Hill. We’ll be talking Trailhead – stay tuned!

Raleigh User Group (Private)5/26 – Raleigh User Group
We have an office in Cary, NC so I was able to work there for the day to attend a lunch-hour powerhouse User Group in Raleigh. This is an awesome, well-established group and it was great to see the lovely Kelly P and the other leaders to talk Salesforce. John from Skuid presented, in addition to Kelly’s recap of her top features for Summer, followed by a Trailhead review by co-leader Deb Martin. A ton of great content + networking over cookies afterward. They now have a consistent location so they were able to announce a bunch of future dates, hopefully I can make the trip again soon!

CLT Girly Geeks (Private) 5/27 – CLT Girly Geeks
Another inaugural meeting, for a new local chapter of the Girly Geeks. I’m a little biased about how this turned out, because I am leading this new chapter! It was a lovely low-key conversation over cheese & beer, talking about our experiences with Salesforce, business, and living in Charlotte. I hope this continues to grow as a local resource for bouncing ideas and empowering the women in the Charlotte SF Community!

If you’re on the fence about whether you should make time to attend your local User Group, I hope you can see the value to just do it! It’s a supportive, collaborative environment for everyone from prospective customers to MVPs. Don’t have a User Group in your area? Take a chance & start one!

PS: If you’re near Charlotte, I hope to see you this Saturday the 13th @ Intro to APEX Part 2, presented by the Charlotte Developer Meetup & Charlotte User Group. Phillip will be continuing this awesome content we started in February, and makes the content approachable even for non-coders like me! Hope to see some new faces there!

Let’s blaze new trails

I feel fairly confident that I am not alone in the fact that my To Do List seems never ending. There is so much wonderful content out there – release notes, blogs, podcasts – that my “Salesforce Things To Learn” list is always expanding as well, and it’s tough to make time for those when there are so many other things I “should” be doing. And yet, I’ve proven to myself time and time again that the knowledge I gain by immersing myself in reading & talking about Salesforce equips me in future situations that arise.

This is all leading up to say… I’ve had Trailhead on my SF To Do List for awhile. I was thrilled to hear Chris Duarte featured on the WizardCast Episode II talking all things Trailhead… and not surprised to hear the sentiment from the hosts that [paraphrasing here] “we’ve heard about, we’ve referred new Admins to it – but haven’t yet explored it.” I myself finally logged in to earn my Catter badge – but I want to do so much more.

So, what’s the best motivator to get it done? Put it out there in the world, and have others hold you accountable. I’m going to work on doing at least a module a week, to see what Trails I can blaze. Anyone want to join me for a #weeklyhike?

Now, to determine where to start! See you next week for an update.

Step 1 – Investigate the Need

At the heart of it all, I’m a problem solver. When a question comes up – “How can we track X?” “Can Salesforce do Y?” – my mind immediately starts thinking through options, and not just in my professional life. Fortunately I get to work on a platform that facilitates that, with an awesome community that supports me as I explore solutions. That’s the reactive part of the job.

What makes it more fun, though, is the proactive side. Learning about a manual daily process someone goes through (so.many.spreadsheets), or even noticing something in your data – a trend no one has asked to track (yet) – and presenting an option through the tool that can make things easier, faster; presenting metrics no one had even though about – that’s the best part!

Whether you’ve identified a reactive or proactive challenge to take on, however, the process starts the same way – investigate the need. Who is asking, and who do they want the solution for? Could it have a broader impact beyond the requester? Why are they asking? What will the data be used for, and what are they doing now?  Have they tried something else (in Salesforce or not) that isn’t working? What’s the end goal? What do you really need?

Just this week, I got emails from 3 different people asking for pretty much the same thing. Turns out it all centered around the same need, based on a few conversations between those 3 people, and yet they had all reached out to me separately and phrased their request based on just the piece of the puzzle that impacts them. Now I know, and I can build 1 solution that meets all their needs without reinventing the wheel (and with just a bit of practice using dashboard filters).

That investigative mentality is what helps you move on to Step 2 – Researching Options. Asking questions serves as an essential step to not only help you prioritize your time, but (hopefully) allowing you to deliver the right solution the first time.

Let’s talk about Salesforce.

I participated today in my first (the first ever?) #SalesforceChat on Twitter. In general, Twitter gives me anxiety – more on that later – but I’m happy I stuck it out today. Some great thought-provoking questions for Women in Tech from @GeraldineGray

My answer? This blog. I’ve been working in Salesforce in some capacity for 8 years now and I have learned some things I think would be valuable to share. I certainly have more to learn, but I have things to teach as well – so, I’m going to get out of my own way and put it out there.

Welcome to KristiForce!