Another Southeast Dreamin’ has come and gone!  Last week, 350+ administrators, end users, and executive champions flocked to Atlanta to gain insight and ideas to maximize their success on the Salesforce platform.

I-85 went up in flames — but that didn’t stop these trailblazers from coming together for another amazing conference.  Here are some of our biggest takeaways from the event:

1. Look for Opportunities to Get Creative When Training End Users

Rebe de la Paz put on a fantastic session on innovation in end user training – particularly for those whose adoption needle is hovering between “give-up” and “what do we do.” 

It’s difficult to get a user (or a “Bob in the Box” as Rebe would call it) to sit through a full-day or half-day training.  But even if you could, SHOULD you?  Quick training bursts, piggy backing on other meetings, and leveraging those informal “hey do you have a sec” moments with users can be a much more effective way of capturing users’ attention and getting information to stick.

And don’t be afraid to have some fun with it!  It’s amazing what professional, grown human beings will do for a Starbucks gift card or to win a game of Jeopardy.

2. If You’re an Admin… OWN IT & ROCK IT!

Amy Oplinger hosted an insightful session on imposter syndrome and how it rears its ugly head among Salesforce pros.  There are lots of “accidental admins” in the ecosystem – in other words, folks who didn’t necessarily plan to build a career related to Salesforce, but have become incredibly knowledgeable through hands-on use of the platform.

If you’re hearing an inner voice of doubt, you’re not alone.  Acknowledge what you’re feeling and confront those limiting beliefs head on.  There’s a whole community of people who can help you grow and excel in your role – so don’t let these negative thoughts hold you back!

3. Squids are Awesome

The best swag award most definitely goes to the folks at Skuid.  Squid headwear and selfies were popping up everywhere during the event – so hats off to you, Skuid! (See what we did there?)

From the looks of our Twitter feed, these giveaways were pretty popular at home too!

 Skuid Southeast Dreamin

4. Take a Look at What Lightning Can Do for Your Company

Lightning was covered at a few sessions – including “The 5 Things You Need to Know About Rolling Out LEX to Your Users” (presented by Gloria Ramchandani and Natalie LeGuay) and “Lightning Sales Ops: Building Salesforce for Sales Development Teams” (presented by Matt Bertuzzi), along with a few others.

Lightning has evolved significantly since its initial debut.  If you’re thinking about making the switch, get the team on board by showcasing some the new features your users will love – but be conscious of limitations that still exist so you can go into the process eyes wide open.  As Gloria and Natalie discussed, the more customized and complex your org is, the more critical it is to be strategic and methodical with your rollout.

If you missed Matt Bertuzzi’s session, don’t despair!  He shares even more insights in his new book, “Lightning Sales Ops: Building Salesforce for Sales Development Teams.”

5. A Little Empathy Goes a Long Way

One of our very own, Andrea Tarrell, presented a session on how empathy can be leveraged to improve business outcomes, including:

  • More effective and sticky marketing messages
  • Drive more and bigger sales
  • Knowing when to escalate customer service needs
  • Working better with our colleagues and internal decision makers

To influence behavior, identify the story that your customer (or Salesforce user) is telling themselves and how your effort aligns with their priorities, emotional drivers, and overall narrative.

Pardot can be leveraged to identify “digital body language,” and when looked at through a lens of empathy, that data can be incredibly powerful in targeting sales and marketing campaigns.

6. Give generously – but with boundaries

Something many of us can relate to is the endless revolving door of requests.  You want to help.  You want to save the day.  But saying “yes” to everything is a fast track to burnout.

In the closing keynote, Chris Duarte outlined some strategies for being a “successful giver,” allowing you to be generous without burning yourself to a crisp. 

Chris also shared a concept that we love called the 5-Minute Favor. Leverage opportunities to help that are a small effort for you, but that can have a big impact on the person that you’re helping. For example, make a quick introduction or share a colleague’s work – it’s simple to do, but goes a long way.

This was such powerful and vulnerable talk, and it was the perfect way to end the conference.  Thanks for the reminder of how important it is to take care of yourself, manage your energy, and say no to things that don’t serve you or your goals (and when you say yes, to make it count!)

7. The Salesforce Ohana is Truly Amazing

We never cease to be amazed at the technical excellence, business savvy, and bottomless generosity of the Salesforce community.  Oh yeah, and these folks know how to let loose too… as we saw at happy hour on Friday night (co-sponsored by Sertifi & Configero.)

Southeast Dreamin 2017

Until Next Year, Southeast Dreamers!

350+ admins, developers, and end users coming together for this event was a remarkable sight to behold.  Now the countdown starts for #SED18!

What were your key takeaways from the event?  Any insights you brought back to the office?  Let us know in the comments.

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