17 Questions on Salesforce - Christine Marshall

Christine Marshall, Salesforce MVP for Salesforce Ben

In our new series, we ask those working in the Salesforce ecosystem for their stories and advice - both about the platform and anything else!

1) What was your first job? I had so many jobs after graduating with an English Literature degree. Everything from Sales Support Manager, Project Manager to Professional Services Manager. They all gave me great insight into sales, marketing and business processes in general - which have proved very useful as a Salesforce Admin.
2) What positives do you see that have come out of the COVID pandemic? I like to think that we’ve shown you don’t need to be in an office to do your job well. I find I can concentrate and get far more done when I work alone. There have also been far fewer pointless meetings!
3) What is the best tech innovation you have come across in the last 5 years? That’s a tough question - the tech space is constantly evolving and there are so many amazing tools. I think things like Slack and other communication tools are fascinating.  With Salesforce’s acquisition of Slack, I’m very interested to see what will happen, and how the tools will integrate and evolve together.
4) What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever given or got? I think it’s probably something I tell myself - every time I get asked to do something new or that seems scary, I just tell myself to say “yes” and learn how to do it after. I honestly think you can do whatever you put your mind to and the best way to improve your confidence is to keep doing things until you no longer feel uncomfortable.
5)How did you end up working in/with Salesforce? I was working as a Sales Support Manager, using a very old CRM system. I proposed that we should invest in a new tool. My manager agreed, on the condition that I chose the new tool, set it up and did all the training. I chose Salesforce and fell in love. I decided I wanted to work as a Salesforce Administrator full-time, and the rest is history.
6)How do you use Salesforce in your job today? I use Salesforce everyday - it’s the first thing I log in to! We use it to manage the content for Salesforce Ben and we even have an Experience site for our guest authors.
7) Any advice you can give for people starting out in Salesforce? Don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask for help. There are plenty of resources out there for you, including the Answers Community. I would also recommend getting involved in the Salesforce Community as soon as possible. It’s a great place to learn and make connections. Join Twitter, go to local user groups, community events and Salesforce events. Lastly, I believe everyone should get certified. It can really transform your skills and make you aware of features and best practices.
8) Are there any good Salesforce resources (websites, groups, meetups etc) that you would recommend? I might be biased, but even before I worked at Salesforce Ben, it was my number one Salesforce resource. I also follow Salesforce’s own blogs, use Trailhead, and try to get to as many community events as possible. In the UK, we have an amazing event called London’s Calling, which I attend every year.
9) What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever seen Salesforce used for? I worked at a company that used it to its fullest potential. They integrated it with every tool they used, from Finance to Marketing, and the process was seamless, providing an amazing, single source of truth.
10) What do you wish was better about Salesforce? I can’t think of anything! I wish they could roll out more roadmap features faster, but that’s about it.
11) What do most companies get wrong when it comes to Salesforce? I think they go too small in their vision. Salesforce works best when it supports end to end processes. Simply running Sales Cloud, without any integrations to other tools, prevents you from getting the most out of this amazing platform.
12) What’s hot in Salesforce right now? Salesforce Flow and Dynamic Forms are the two hottest features in my opinion. Workflow and Process Builder are being retired, so the time to skill up on Flow is now! Dynamic Forms will transform the way we design the user interface, so this is a space to watch...
13) What could Salesforce recruiters do better? Relationships with recruiters could be improved by them having a much better understanding of Salesforce roles, responsibilities and the community. I get approached about Developer roles all the time and I can’t code! I want to be sold a role based on benefits that are genuinely useful and meaningful to me - flexible, home working, opportunities for personal and professional development and so on. Talking about beer fridges and pool tables isn’t going to incite any interest from me.
14) What tasks drive you mad? Anything that involves systems administration on a tool that isn’t Salesforce! I’m so used to being able to achieve 99% of what I want without code on Salesforce. When I use other tools and realize I need a Developer I get so annoyed.
15) Netflix or Prime or other (please specify)? Netflix is my favourite. There’s nothing better than a true crime documentary.
16) If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? Somewhere warm! The long, cold winters in the UK are tough. I’d love to relocate somewhere like Spain for six months of the year.
17) What tech content do you consume/follow/listen to? Mostly the Salesforce resources previously listed. I love to read articles on Salesforce Ben or Salesforce’s blog. I follow lots of Salesforce Community members on LinkedIn and Twitter, to see what everyone is talking about, and to keep on top of the latest news.

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