John Dray (CEO), Author at Cloud Genius Ltd - Page 2 of 22
More free Salesforce Training!

More free Salesforce Training!

How do you learn best?

There used to be a trope that some people were visual learners, some people learned best by hearing, some people learned best by reading, while others were kinaesthetic – they learned best by doing. While that seemed like a sensible set of categories, modern psychology has entirely debunked the theory!

It turns out that we all learn best from a mixture of learning styles.

So here are some resources…

It has long been known that Salesforce has an amazing set of resources available. They are called ‘Trailhead’. Even better they are free of charge for anyone. If you want to learn how to write a report, or train yourself up as a Systems Admin, all the resources are there. There are even ‘soft skills’ such as change management and the like.

https://trailhead.salesforce.com/

It really is great and you get (virtual) badges.

People are social – learn with others

Even with all these resources, the majority of people that I speak with do not get to use them. Why? Well, most people don’t like studying on their own. They like to do things together. They like to ask questions of an instructor.

It is for this reason that I started ‘Lunch and Learn’. It is a high-quality, 45 minute time for you to ‘sharpen the saw’. In other words get your skills up-to-date, so that you can get the things you need to do done more easily.

I have put a price on the training… £5. However, if you read this article you can get the September training for only £0. That’s right, for free!

Even better, the code to get the free tickets is easy to remember: salesforce

Just go to the Cloud Genius website: https://cloud-genius.com and on the booking form click ‘Enter promo code’ and use the code above.

See you then! Next course is on 16 Sept 2021.

Making your Transactional Emails less…errm… Transactional

Making your Transactional Emails less…errm… Transactional

Do you ever look at a friend, who you think has been the same for for many years, and suddenly think… they look older/fatter/thinner/different? For so long they look the same. You see them every day. They always look the same. Then you notice that there has been a huge shift. It has happened over many years, but you notice it as a single jump?

Well, I noticed that with my emails. For many years we have been sending out our Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) questionnaires through Salesforce Classic templates. They do the job, but they are ‘transactional’. Meaning that they are just barely good-looking enough to be sent to clients. It is possible to create anything with them, as they are HTML, but at some effort and expense.

On the other hand, we send out our ‘marketing’ emails through Campaign Monitor. This has a lovely editor that makes producing beautiful emails a joy. However, they are marketing emails, so if people have not given us permission they do not receive them. For many years, Campaign Monitor has had ‘Transactional Emails’, but the coding to get them to work seemed to be a lot of effort.

Then, like noticing the change in a friend, I noticed that the integration we use has a feature called ‘Smart Emails’. This gives the ability to use Campaign Monitor for our transactional emails EASILY.

In a few minutes, I created a Campaign Monitor template and replaced our outdated CSAT email. A thing of beauty! Even better, it registered a task against the client every time one of the questionnaires was sent out. Instead of a horrible link to click, the client is presented with a beautiful button.

Our CSAT response rate has improved since switching to the new transactional emails

As everyone knows, with emails response rate is one of the most important metrics.

Techy bit: even mapping fields from Salesforce to the emails is a cinch!

Our transactional emails now look as beautiful as our marketing emails!

If you would like to find out more (and use Salesforce and Campaign monitor, or would like to), let me know on this form

The Cloud (Genius) is expanding

The Cloud (Genius) is expanding

As we experience one of the hottest spells in recent history. A little bit more cloud might be a welcome thing.

Cloud Genius is now approaching its 10th birthday. It was founded in December 2011, but its first Salesforce Implementation at Voluntary Services Lewisham was a little before that, around now! That was in the days when I lived in Hither Green, within a short bus journey of VSL HQ.

The news at Cloud Genius is that in recent months we have taken on two extra folk. Sri and Keerthi help expand our ability to help our clients and do development work. They both have a list of qualifications as long as their arms and are making super-strides in progressing the development of our clients organisations. These include: Resource, Mitzvah Day, Institute of Welsh Affairs and many others.

Shortly we are to announce our new pre-sales engineer. He comes with an impressive line-up of charities that he has helped. Turning their admin nightmares into carefully honed machines… that let them get on with achieving the aims of their organisations.

So, the real question is, ‘How should we celebrate our 10th birthday in December?’

You can email birthday@cloud-genius.com with ideas.

Thanks!

Salesbolt – making your LinkedIn journey easy (with Salesforce)

Salesbolt – making your LinkedIn journey easy (with Salesforce)

Trying to expand your business?

Jump to *** for TL;DR version. This first bit it boring but sets the scene.

When trying to build your business, one of the most important tools for Business to Business contacts is LinkedIn. With LinkedIn you can:

  • See who you are in contact with
  • See job postings
  • See who your contacts are in contact with (see the ‘social graph’)

Getting this information into Salesforce is BORING.


*** Typing information into Salesforce is boring. Browsing LinkedIn is fun.

Easy ways to get information into Salesforce either involve finding it on LinkedIn and retyping it. OR paying for a hideously expensive tool.

Salesbolt is inexpensive and does the complete job.

I showed this tool to my management consultant and her jaw nearly hit the floor – so simple.

I even produced a video to show you how it works.

If you think this could help you, sign up to Salesbolt. The link will get me a commission: Salesbolt Signup

Mind Your Language!

Mind Your Language!

It is a common misconception that in order to talk with technical people, you need to talk their language. It’s wrong and it’s dangerous and it’s expensive… let me explain.

This might feel painful, but you will understand more of the process at the end.

When you are talking to a (good) consultant they will have a breadth of knowledge about their specialist area. They also want to find the best solution for you within your budget. Let’s use cars as an analogy. Everyone knows about cars?!

You sit at home and you know that the ‘best’ electric car is a Tesla. 

You also know that you want to carry a lot of luggage, so you want a Tesla Cybertruck

You go to your car consultant and tell them to source you a Tesla Cybertruck in green. A friend down the pub/coffee shop/round the water cooler had told you that you wanted a green car.

You live in a difficult area, so you also want strong windows. (See this video if you want to see why this is a funny request.)

Your consultant explains to you that that Cybertruck only comes in bare metal and there are ‘issues’ with the windows.

At this point there are typically 4 responses. The potential customer:

1) Mutters about how useless the consultant is in not being able to source a green Cybertruck. Cost zero, but time wasted… which is money.

2) Splashes the cash for a Cybertruck ($70,000), and then paints it green. Cost >$70,000

3) NHS response: there are no products in the market that 100% fit the list of requirements, so employ a very expensive set of consultants to set up an Electric Vehicle research department, a manufacturing facility and end up with something way over budget, that doesn’t work and another NHS funding fiasco is born. (Thinking in a few years the NHS can achieve what it took Tesla 10 years to achieve.) Cost millions and millions and millions. Rinse and repeat. I worked in the NHS in the 80’s. They were doing it then, and they are still doing it in their IT systems.

4) Continue to engage with the consultant…

At this point, a consultant should ask.

WHY?

Why do you want a Tesla Cybertruck in green?

You start to explain that you want to be part of the ‘green revolution’. You discuss this further with the consultant and they explain it is about using energy responsibly and from renewable sources. You like the idea of this. They explain how by choosing the right car you can significantly reduce your running costs.

They ask you about the sort of trips you do. You tell them your driving is around the city. It is just you who ever uses the car. By ‘luggage’ space, you mean enough for 3 bags of groceries every week. So they are just about to suggest a Renault Twizy. A ‘car’ for 1.5 people with a very limited range. Job done… and you have exactly the WRONG car.

In a flash of honesty, you also explain that you also like to make trips of around 200 miles on these trips you need to comfortably fit 2 adults and 2 children in the car. A Twizy would not have been right, at all! In this case the consultant might suggest a Renault Zoe – a car with great range and good seating. You decide that now you have a green car, you would like the paint job to be black.

(When the consultant asked the question, ‘Do you EVER do long trips?’ the temptation is to say ‘no’ in order to save money. In this case, it would have been a costly mistake that the consultant would probably have been blamed for. Try to answer honestly. If you do long trips, but rarely, the answer might be to buy a Twizy and use the money saved to hire a vehicle for the rare times you do very long trips. See how variations in your answers can vary the proposed solution.)

Oh, and that problem with the ‘difficult’ area… you still have room in your budget for an armoured garage and security system 😉 On the other hand, it might be cheaper to move.

That all said, I have no associations with Tesla or Renault. My expertise is in Salesforce… I love it when people tell me what they are trying to achieve, and their budget. I can often save them money and get them something better than they asked for.

When a proposal comes through, the temptation is to scrimp on the section that says, ‘training’. Your people will pick it up. (Like they still don’t know how to use styles in their word processor, after 25 years?) Would you really want to be driving around in a car with an unlicensed driver? Oh! The stories I could tell.

Talking of training… we have some free training coming up… see our front page for details.