Welcome Kelly Pfrommer – Girly Geek of the Week!
This is a woman I am honored to know from the Raleigh User Group, which is my local SFUG, and I can say 100% she is #AWESOME! Kelly is smart, outgoing and kind. She is Quadruple Certified, Running her own Salesforce Consulting business, a User Group Co-Leader AND a Family Focused Mom! If you have not met or interacted with Kelly, you must! (Her contact information is at the end of the blog)
Me: How & when did you start working with Salesforce?
Kelly: I started working with Salesforce as a user in 2006 and then as an admin when I worked at Red Hat in 2008. At the time I was working on an internally built Partner portal and it would take months to get a field added, I remember the frustration from the business users on the time it took to add new features. I was approached by a woman on another team and she asked me if I wanted to work on Salesforce and since I had not really been exposed to “how” Salesforce’s changes happened, I had no idea what I was getting into when I said yes. I fell in love when I added my first field in less than 2 minutes. As a long time business analyst, to be able to know and understand what a customer needs and then be able to deliver it myself… I was hooked! I also became a user group leader that year too and have been helping Deb Martin (love her!) for the past eight years with meetings. I know Deb as well and I ❤ these 2 ladies!
Me: What is your current role working with Salesforce?
Kelly: In 2014 I started my own consulting company, Cloud Giants. We now have a team of 5 people working on a lot of fun projects. So my work starts as a Sales person – which is so fun and has been so educational for me, its helped me serve my customers better. And my work ends as an Admin – and in between I play lots of roles. My favorite part is educating customers on the power of Salesforce and working with them to create a roadmap for using it to its fullest – they have this amazing platform in their hands, and its such a gift for me to be able to show them that power and see them successfully use the system. I think that small to medium businesses have the most opportunity when it comes to Salesforce – they are typically much more adaptable and willing/able to change than larger companies. Through the work I did with my very first client she has been able to increase her revenues 100% this year to last – that’s a stat I am very proud of – and it demonstrates that with Salesforce and with some powerful vision on the customer’s part, Salesforce can be a game-changer for your business. Anyone that thinks they can go and build a system with workflow, validation, authentication, security, etc., from scratch and its going to be faster, better, cheaper to build than with Salesforce needs to come and talk to me so I can show them that’s not true. With Salesforce, its not the “doing” (the making changes) that’s the work – it’s the “defining” what needs to be done that’s the work; once its defined in a detailed way – boom! You’ve got a system that works! Congrats on starting & growing your own business! I absolutely agree with the ‘defined in a detailed way’ portion. I think thats where a lot of SMB companies need our help 🙂
Me: What is your favorite thing to do in Salesforce and why?
Kelly: I love to learn new things. It’s the part of my job I love the most, since every client is different, every process they follow is different and their business rules are different, it means the solutions are different. I learn something new every single day. Sometimes its things I think I should have learned a long time ago since they are so basic, and when that’s the kind of learning I do, I am reminded why its so easy for companies who purchase Salesforce to have a hard time maximizing the value – because they have a day job! I love when I get a new use case and I have to figure out how to make it happen in Salesforce – I LOVE learning from those that have come before me – the community is a powerful place with so much information. To reasearch and figure out something, to see an example that’s similar to what I am attempting to do AND then to go and try it out myself and it works – THAT’S THE BEST! There’s that line from that movie about a bunch of sales guys “Always Be Closing”…well my motto is “Always Be Learning”. YES!! This is me! Love creating new things that I have to research, making it happen and then looking back and saying “Wow I was having a really smart day when I built that” LOL
Me: Are you currently certified? And if so what certifications do you hold?
Kelly: I have four certifications: Admin, Developer, Sales Cloud Consultant, and Service Cloud Consultant. 2015 goals are to get Advanced Admin and Pardot. Woohoo! Quadruple Certified 😀
Me: What are some of your aspirations and/or goals when it comes to Salesforce?
Kelly: I would really love to be able to write a coded solution with understanding. I’ve edited a few triggers that I’ve found through the community, and followed some tutorials through various online courses – but I really don’t “know” what I am doing – like, its not natural for me and I have to work very hard at it. So a big aspiration for me is to be able to write a trigger and the test class that goes with it so I can do some things without the help of my developers. A year or two ago I said “I want to be an MVP” – that’s a tremendous acheivement – but I didn’t understand how much work that was and in a way, that statement now seems backwards to me. So I would love to be an MVP – but now, that’s not my goal, my goal is to help as many people with Salesforce as possible in their careers. I am not good at social media stuff and online stuff as much as I am with one on one interactions – so I help individuals and connect with other women to help them with their career goals and getting strated with Salesforce or futher with Salesforce – so that’s where I am spending my time with “community” – if I can help others get their dream job or get started with Salesforce, I am happy! Since other women who’ve come before me have helped me, I want to pay that forward, so I am usually working with 3-4 women on their Salesforce aspirations or as a resource for them to ask questions, like in a “batphone” way. So Awesome! and thank you for helping other aspiring Salesforce women!
Me: Do you have any advice for women working with Salesforce?
Kelly: Go all in! 😀 Ask lots of questions. Be in charge of your own destiny! If you love Salesforce, it can be what makes your dreams come true. I really believe that. In 2010 I became a mom and my world changed. I wanted so much to see my little ones more than I was able to with a traditional full time job. The company I worked for at the time was flexible with work life balance, but it wasn’t good enough for me – which is truly how Cloud Giants came to be, because I became a mom. Now I have an untraditional full time job and I am able to set my own schedule – and it works for everyone, espeically my two boys. So my advice to women out there – Go for it! If you have a dream, and you can define what you want your life to look like, then go for it! If you aren’t happy in your day job, then figure out what will make you happy – and then go for it. In 2010 and even 2013, I was looking for ways to balance motherhood with a career where I could work AND have more time for the kids – and that just did not exisit – not in an obvious way to me. There were no advertisements for part-time skilled admins and everyone I asked didn’t know about those options (they did exist though, I just didn’t find them) – so know they are out there! You CAN have a meaningful job AND have more time for your family if you want it – so learn everything you can about Salesforce and find a company who is looking for an admin part time. Use your network, go to user group meetings, tell everyone you know what you want in a confident way, and it WILL happen – because it did for me! And anyone who reads this and wants to have help, my door is always open to helping others, seriously, email me! This is fantastic advice! Being Confident goes a long way and if you aren’t “FAKE IT TIL YOU MAKE” is what I always say! And yes that works!
Me: What kinds of things are you involved in, and/or do you like to do outside of the Salesforce world?
Kelly: I am so boring, its either Salesforce and Cloud Giants – or its my two boys, who are my world. All I want when I am done with my work is to be a mom – I love watching their little faces explore the world, I love hearing the funny things they say, and I love seeing them play together. For me, its all about the relationships and love and spending time with my loved ones is super high on my list. This specific time in their lives, those early years, are so fleeting and I know that – I will have time later for other things like actual hobbies, but now, its reading books and bouncing balls and painting the sidewalk. And this is what its about!
Me: Are you part of a Girly Geeks Chapter?
Kelly: In name and spirit only…. Perhaps at the end of this summer I will actually be there in body too! I am very protective of my time with my children so its been hard to attend meetings that cut into their time, but I REALLY want to get geeky with some girls soon! There is ALWAYS a spot open for you at the RTP Girly Geeks! and no one is mad at you – Family First! 🙂
It was a pleasure getting to know you Kelly and thank you very much for sharing! You are definitely an inspiration!
For those of you that want to follow Kelly, here are her links:
Twitter handle: @KellyPfrommer
Sfdc Community link: https://success.salesforce.com/profile?u=0053000000A6AX6AAN