17 Questions on Salesforce: Leanne Harkin

Director, System-F and Birmingham Salesforce User Group Leader

In our 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? It was at McDonalds!

2) What positives do you see that have come out of the COVID pandemic? It’s completely changed attitudes to the way we work in proving you don’t need to be in an office to be effective. It’s also great to see so many companies extending that flexibility after restrictions have been lifted too, work life balance is so important

3) What is the best tech innovation you have come across in the last 5 years? This is a tricky one! There are so many, so I am going to be unashamedly biased and say myTrailhead from Salesforce.

4) What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever given or got? “Why are you sitting here talking about it? Go and do it!”


5) How did you end up working in/with Salesforce? I was an Account Manager in a previous life, and the company bought Salesforce as their new CRM, I was given the task to implement it, and it all went from there.

6) How do you use Salesforce in your job today? I use it to run my business and I am in and out of different companies’ orgs as part of my role developing training materials.

7) Any advice you can give for people starting out in Salesforce? Trailhead would be my first recommendation, but I would suggest backing it up with some real hands-on experience too, so you don’t just learn the happy path. See if you can get work experience or work pro bono for a charity.

8) Are there any good Salesforce resources (websites, groups, meetups etc) that you would recommend? User groups are a must! (Again, incredibly biased) There are hundreds of groups worldwide, so bound to be one close to you. You get to meet other users to hear how they use Salesforce, hears from industry experts and ISV partners and they are usually quite sociable too!

9) What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever seen Salesforce used for? I was involved in a project that was all about patient support for patients suffering from serious and long-term illnesses. We used Salesforce Experience Cloud, Field Service Lightning, and Health Cloud and the end-to-end solution was all about the patient having more control over their treatment and access to information when they wanted it, ease of scheduling home visits and fields nurses being able to collect data.

10) What do most companies get wrong when it comes to Salesforce? From an SME perspective, buying Professional Edition and then creating workarounds and compromising on the build. It’s not quite what they wanted or need, and can lead to poor adoption, then having to unpick and rebuild when they upgrade to Enterprise, which take more time and resources.

11) What do you wish was better about Salesforce? I really can’t think of anything!

12) What’s hot in Salesforce right now? There is lots going on, the acquisition of Slack and Tableau were big announcements and then in terms of tech, Flows are a game changer with what they can achieve with clicks not code. Also, the Consumer Goods Cloud seems to be on my radar more and more, I’m involved with two projects using this at the moment – that could be luck of the draw through!

13) What could Salesforce recruiters do better? I’ve not had much experience of working with recruiters so can’t really answer that one!

14) What tasks drive you mad? Anything repetitive, mundane, or designed to tick a box.

15) Netflix or Prime or other (please specify)? Netflix – love a good binge!

16) If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? Ohh lots of places, travel is one of my favourite things. I’m planning to live and work in South America next year, so will be moving around from one beach to the next if all goes to plan!

17) What tech content do you consume/follow/listen to? Salesforce Admin blog and then any random articles on LinkedIn that catch my eye!

Click here for more from our 17 Questions on Salesforce series.