Expert Insider: SalesforceBen
In this post we share SalesforceBen’s story, industry insight and future predictions, shared during a conversation he had with Enxoo. If you’re keen to find out more ‘on the ground’ knowledge about the exciting direction the industry is heading, then you are certainly in the right place!
Ben McCarthy is a x7 certified Salesforce Professional - one with an added ‘edge’. Best known under his alias ‘SalesforceBen’, which he adopted from his industry-recognised blog, he has been able to take on the Salesforce industry by storm. The blog, now in its third year, generates some impressive statistics both in traffic volume and geographical spread. Salesforceben.com climbed to industry-level fame primarily through ‘Certification Guides and Tips’, which practically cover all certifications, including Administrator, Service Cloud, Pardot and Platform Developer.
In July 2015 he was selected to join the Salesforce MVP program, an exclusive group of industry professionals that evangelise the Salesforce Platform. Although much to his surprise, this was the recognition he deserved after years of contributing and selflessly aiding people.
Then, at the start of 2016, Ben moved over from the ISV-sphere into the world of consulting and implementation, adding a great amount of depth to his knowledge and competencies. Within half a year of the move, he reached a new pinnacle in his career: becoming one of the industry’s youngest Managing Directors.
Without further adieu, let’s fire the first question!
How did your journey start with Salesforce?
After graduating from University with a degree in information systems, I landed a graduate job in the "Cloud Academy" of a Salesforce platinum partner where I was trained on consulting, business analysis and of course, Salesforce. This was a perfect match up for me with a keen interest and background in computer science and business/entrepreneurship. Throughout my career I have worked as a Salesforce Consultant, Administrator, Business Analyst, spreading these roles across end users, consultancies and an AppExchange ISV. This has all geared towards my current role as Managing Director of EMPAUA, UK, a disruptive brand that helps Hypergrowth companies scale with the Salesforce platform.
What are your favourite Salesforce advantages, over say, using other cloud systems?
The powerful features of the platform collectively make up the ‘Salesforce Advantage’ in my opinion, which stems from the fact that Salesforce is such a forward thinking company. Salesforce have been setting the pace for cloud technology every since they were incepted back in 1999, constantly challenging the status quo and innovating to new heights each year, reflected in each tri-annual product release.
To pick on one main advantage, Salesforce have always put a focus into bringing power to the declarative admin. Being able to model systems and create complex business processes without the need of a developer means that companies can move forward with projects faster than ever. Features like Visual Flow and the Process Builder are just two of the most powerful examples of these features.
What upcoming trends should people be looking out for and following?
There are so many exciting trends in the Salesforce space that everyone should be keeping an eye on Lightning, Einstein, and Commerce to name a few.
One of the more recent trends that is started to accelerate this financial year is Marketing Automation (MA). Although MA has been around for a number of years, I feel that it is just coming into the grasp and reach of the majority of companies that now can't fall behind. With Salesforce acquiring Pardot & Marketing Cloud through their acquisition of ExactTarget 5 years ago, they have now completely integrated both products into the core platform. MA is becoming a staple product for companies wanting to innovate, and this space is only going to need more experts in the future.
Where do you see Salesforce in 5 years time?
This year will mark my own 5th anniversary in the Salesforce world. It’s beneficial to think back in order to answer this question! The progression that has taken place since I first joined blows my mind! Salesforce have brought out new features, products, acquired companies, made waves fighting inequality in the workplace and introduced Trailhead. Although it's hard to imagine exactly where Salesforce will be in 5 years (I would be a rich man if I knew!), here are my thoughts...
To support their massive growth, Salesforce are making it more accessible than ever to become a Salesforce professional; and Trailhead (mentioned above) does exactly this. Trailhead provides a fun, interactive platform to become knowledgeable on Salesforce, and all new certification tracks are able to test your specialised knowledge and show it off to prospective employees. If Salesforce wish to continue selling as much as they do, accessible learning portals such as Trailhead are essential in order for the ecosystem (partners, customers) to support Salesforce! I think that Salesforce will continue to focus on as much free learning as possible, as well as integrating modules within Universities/Colleges. This is already being run in places around the US and enables students to get ahead of the curve for the world’s biggest cloud platform.
Einstein has been the big Salesforce topic over the past year which is bringing AI to the masses. Although we are only just scratching the surface with Einstein, I think that this will be one of the biggest impacts that Salesforce has pursued. For users that are building up huge libraries of data about their customers, Einstein will be able to provide insights that would never have been possible before the release of this new product. Features of Einstein are being rolled out all the time, and developers can gain access to the Einstein platform, building Apps that use it's powerful machine learning.
We would like to thank SalesforceBen for sharing some of his Salesforce industry insight. Although he doesn’t own a crystal ball, he prides himself with being ‘in the know’ on all things Salesforce. Furthermore, the predictions are supported by the avalanche of media coverage that consistently spread the Salesforce hype globally.