Texas Dreamin’ Recap: May 2023
Deep in the heart of Texas, where the bluebonnets bloom and the sun works overtime, community members gathered in Austin to celebrate, share knowledge and inspire others with the impact of Salesforce. Powered by Salesforce community leaders from across Texas, the Texas Dreamin’ conference is committed to empowering “users, admins, developers, and partners by creating an energetic environment for strong connections, learning core skills, and building great careers.”
The Sercante team had a strong showing with 8 attendees presenting 5 sessions! 5 of our team members were first time attendees of a Dreamin’ event, and we had 4 of our Marketing Champions present. The conference was held at the AT&T Conference Center on the University of Texas at Austin campus, so a couple of alums on our team convinced us to brave the Texas heat and walk across campus for a school spirit photo in front of UT’s famous tower.
We kicked off the event with a warm, Texas sized welcome from the event organizers, and we met the team behind ROCK, Ride On Center for Kids, the recipient of a $5,000 donation via the Community Give Back initiative. ROCK shared how Salesforce allowed them to focus on providing equine-assisted services to children, adults, and veterans with physical, cognitive and emotional challenges, declaring that “data drives the impact.”
Salesforce Vice President and CTO for Internet of Things, Charlie Issacs, then came on stage, filmed a group message to our friends at India Dreamin’, and launched straight into a lively Demo Jam. Pharos, an observability application for Salesforce errors, was crowned the winner after their song-filled demo and we were off to join an array of diverse, insightful and thoughtful sessions.
Texas Dreamin’ hosted a variety of sessions around the Salesforce ecosystem, including guidance on career development, admin tips & tricks, developer resources, and marketing strategy. Below are some session highlights:
Zayne Turner leads Architect Relations at Salesforce. A poet by education, her team creates resources and tools to help everyone doing architectural work with Salesforce create well-architected implementations.
With anecdotes about her own career background to guide the conversation, she spoke about how to become “disruption proof” in the face of great technological change. AI tools were the primary topic at hand, and she suggested proactively understanding this great paradigm shift with the Skill Up on AI , a Trailmix offered by Salesforce.
From her perspective, the key to being “disruption proof” is resilience, which often equates to being graceful in the face of adversity and keeping a focus on the big picture.
Five Critical Steps to Change Management
Zack Baker and Alycia Wright with Silverline CRM led a session on change management as a focused area of practice for Salesforce projects. The change manager is a role outside of project management, focused on supporting and enabling adoption of a finalized development project. Their critical steps for approaching the process are Alignment, Communication, Training, Reinforcement, and Measurement – incorporating these steps and this role early in the development helps ensure adoption of the solution design. Some technical tools in the Salesforce ecosystem that can help support this include In-App Guidance, Knowledge Articles, and MyTrailhead.
Discovery as a Dialogue with Jodi Hrbek
Jodi Hrbek, Author of Rock your Role as a Salesforce Admin, led us through the 5G Framework, which is described as “an approach for conducting discovery sessions that ensures you’re solving the right problems with the right-sized solutions.” Jodi discussed the importance of rapport among stakeholders, and expounded on how the pandemic and remote work have exposed how critical rapport is when it comes to keeping a pulse on how others feel about a project to avoid going off the rails. She also encouraged us to make sure everyone involved agrees that conversations about ideas doesn’t necessarily mean you’re committed to moving forward with the ideas – getting everyone on the same page will help all stakeholders be more willing to have exploratory conversations.
Best Practices for Building Strategic Customer Journeys
Sercante’s Marcos Duran led a session introducing marketers in the audience to the concept of building strategic customer journeys. His advice was starting with a simple and realistic concept and prioritizing 3 key principles: Consistency, Personalization, and Real-Time Engagement. Marketers should review their data and content and pick a limited selection of channels to begin the process – then with internal alignment draw out the process on a whiteboard or in a flowchart tool. Taking these concepts into consideration in the planning stage will enable a smooth building and testing process in your marketing automation tool.
Fantastic Frameworks for Fast, Feature-Filled Flows
Salesforce consultant, Evan Ponter, led a great technical session on flow optimization. The key to his presentation was limiting the number of elements and queries in flow to ensure they run as smoothly as possible. He walked us through a variety of technical hacks to keep the elements – including limiting all before-save automation to a single flow, using lookups in formulas instead of “Get Record” automations where possible, leveraging record collection variables, and referencing the org url with API to make deployment between orgs easier.
Getting Creative with Lead Assignment using Flow and Apex
Sercante’s Erin Duncan and Jacob Catalano presented a clever solution to improve lead routing using flow and APEX. They covered how lead assignment rules work in Salesforce, along with the limitations on how the rules are only fired when the lead is initially created.
Their demonstration showed how to utilize a flow and APEX to trigger those assignment rules to run again and re-assign leads in certain situations.
Solve Your Reporting Challenges With Formulas
David Carnes from OpFocus takes us back to the basics of formulas in excel and of course Salesforce. It is clear that David enjoys this topic and was even able to share in a few secrets around Salesforce reporting like hidden operators, cross-block summary formulas, and formula prompts (shh, just don’t tell anyone). If find yourself hitting a wall with reports try one of these “hidden” prompts.
How AI Neural Nets like ChatGPT are Empowering Salesforce Professionals
If you have been following ChatGPT, generative AI, and similar trends on LinkedIn, then you probably know Mark Good, Founder of AI Force Training.
Mark shares the basics of ChatGPT and how it will contribute to the way that business continues to transform well into the future. He hit the message home by emphasizing on specific examples of how ChatGPT along with business leaders can put AI to work to help people become more efficient.
Examples included driving team learning, formula generation, and validation rule creation in the Salesforce ecosystem. If you haven’t gotten started with AI and GPT yet, we recommend you follow Mark on LinkedIn.
Vendors & Sponsors
Between the sponsors that participated in the kickoff Demo Jam and the vendor alley way between session rooms, we got to see demos of a lot of awesome Salesforce tools that can supercharge your org.
- Copado – Copado is a DevOps tool that helps manage releases in Salesforce software development pipelines. This includes a comprehensive set of tools for managing development requests, ensuring thorough testing, and assistance in deploying configurations between orgs.
- GetAccept – A Sales enablement tool that helps salespeople provide a great digital experience to buyers. Their demo jam showed off a sales person quickly customizing and sending a contract for signature based on well-designed templates through an easy-to-understand assembly wizard.
- Pharos – Pharos supports admins and developers with dashboards that categorize and visualize any errors encountered in the org. This enables quick resolution by reducing time needed to unpack the error.
- RenderDraw – a useful tool for any company with complex catalogs or parts ordering interfaces. You can load existing product catalog imagery into the tool, then map diagrams into interactive links in the platform, creating a visual interface to construct quotes quickly with the appropriate line items.
- Revenue Grid – positions their tool as a method to identify any potential revenue leaks or opportunities by increasing activity visibility in your Salesforce org. Their activity capture tool goes a step beyond Salesforce inbox and Einstein Activity Capture tools by logging more info and relationships from email communications into Salesforce. They also provide pre built reports on productivity and a tool for organizing sales cadences.
It was great to meet up with colleagues, customers, and community members in Austin! As a community-led event, you can definitely feel the emphasis on professional development and learning from each other.
The sessions were nicely balanced between detailed technical guidance, overall business strategy, and suggestions on how to better personally present and manage your presence in the ecosystem. Overall, well worth attending if you’re a Texas Salesforce professional or looking to break into the industry – the conference is loaded with resources to help everyone find their niche and become successful on the platform!
|Thank you to Tamara Buran for collaborating on this post!|
Original article: Texas Dreamin’ Recap: May 2023
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