The last two years have been tough, requiring much innovation and resilience. So, we thought you could use some expert predictions to help you start 2022 right.
In our 2022 Apps and Ops Predictions Panel, we sat down with Kristi Campbell, Sr. Salesforce Administrator at Cirrus Insight and Kevin Raybon, Chairman at Global Sales Operations Association to discuss what lessons to carry forward into this year.
Kristi has been a Salesforce admin for over a decade and an MVP for the past six years. Kevin has been running sales operations for 15 years, in organizations large and small.
Given their collective wisdom, we picked Kristi and Kevin’s brains about where to focus your time and energy in 2022.
Here are two of the topics we discussed with them.
Redefining the Salesforce admin role
Recently, you discussed this idea of redefining the term “admin.” Why do you think there's a need and why is this the time for that change?
Kristi: I've been doing this for a long time and when I started, there was no Chatter, there was no Trailhead. The product has expanded, and through acquisition and development and these releases three times a year, I just don't know that the concept that people have of what an admin does has expanded at the same rate.
So, back in my day, I'm an accidental admin. I think there was a lot more of that, "Hey, you do this thing kind of adjacent." Or, I started questioning process and became an admin—versus now, you do have these resources, you do have these intentional admins that are maybe even switching jobs and looking for something new and finding Salesforce.
And so I coined the term “admin-eloper” to help change my own perception that I'm more than just an admin—especially after this long and with thinking about more advanced items, admins have the capability to be architects.
I said “admin-eloper” which is one way to go. I also think of it as an “admini-tect” because it's not just developers that can become architects. We're starting to look at advanced flows and integrations and a lot more than just creating users or the standard things that people think of as administrative tasks.
So, I think as the platform has grown, we really need to grow up the mentality of what admins do and cover, which they're probably already doing, especially depending on the size of your org, as a solo admin. There are a lot of hats I'm wearing all day long and just trying to get people to realize that that role is a lot more than people might think.
How to think about sales ops tools
Speaking of change, we've seen an insane amount of movement in the sales ops area over the past couple of years, what sticks out to you?
Kevin: We have this explosion of sales tools. If you look back and see what happened in the martech space beginning about eight years ago, and how much explosion has happened in marketing technology, we're seeing that same ramp up in the sales tech space, and that's leading to lots of confusion. It's leading to lots of overlap and in some cases, paralyzing people because they don't know what to choose.
In other cases, we’re getting lobbed a lot of things that were chosen for us, and then we get to "admin" or run them and make sense of what it is that we now have in this basket of goodies that we call sales technology. So, I think it's talent and the need for the expansion of business acumen and growth of the talent and then it's making sense of the sales tech that we have.
How do you not get distracted by the shiny new object?
Kevin: You have to have a pretty solid rule with your sales leaders that the sales ops/rev ops team has the say over what we bring into the stack because it's so easy to have a vendor…go directly to the sales team, get two or three people doing a trial of this thing, get them to fall in love with it, and then they're just going to spread it throughout the organization like Kudzu in Alabama.
And it works, but see, that's the problem for us as we get a thing lobbed at us that we didn't really have a say in helping to bring in. We may have chosen the tool, however, getting surprised by something that people have already fallen in love with and built a new way of working around, that starts to be a challenge.
So, I think to answer your question, it's having solid rules around technology selection and staying involved in the day-to-day with your sales team, so you know where the friction is and you can be that person who says, “I notice you have some friction in this part of the process, here are two or three options for improving that” and be the one that's proposing it. Don't be the one on your heels just responding to what people select on their own, because they're going to.
Want to hear the rest of the conversation? Check it out here.