May 15, 2018
Article written by Christopher Ross, Delivery Manager, Bluewolf, an IBM Company
There is a global market demand for Salesforce, and as its #1 strategic partner, our business is expanding right alongside it. This past year alone, Bluewolf entered into 12 new markets. But how do we maintain our cutting-edge expertise, across all regions, during this type of rapid growth?
Finding people who have Salesforce skills and developing skills within existing teams are obvious answers. But in my opinion, finding people who are self-starters, problem solvers, and who have an inherent intellectual curiosity to constantly learn more is what moves an organization from “skilled” to “experts” in the marketplace.
In my own journey at Bluewolf, I started out of our New York headquarters and after a couple of years had the opportunity to go to our Australia office. The market in Australia is going through an exciting time and we are seeing a pattern where companies are putting a strong emphasis on using Salesforce to enhance customer experience. This supports a stronger need to get ahead of market demand by upskilling current Salesforce talent and training new individuals on the Platform to enable ready experts in the region.
I found myself in a similar situation a few years ago. At the time, Salesforce acquired Steelbrick–what is now Salesforce CPQ–and we were embarking on the initial Salesforce CPQ implementation in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region for Australian Associated Press (AAP), the national newswire agency. While exciting, being one of the first implementations in APAC also meant navigating through uncharted territory.
As the senior consultant on the project, I hit the books hard and self-taught myself everything there was to know about Salesforce CPQ with the help of Bluewolf and my colleagues. While accumulating more knowledge, it spurred a greater curiosity to step beyond my role and take on new challenges in my professional career. In a short time, I also took the lead as the Solution Architect, Project Manager, and eventually Delivery Manager, as my knowledge grew about CPQ functionality, solution design, best practices, and setting a roadmap of innovation.
After a successful CPQ launch, a few remarkable things happened:
- AAP embraced Salesforce beyond CPQ: AAP leveraged the Platform and our Bluewolf Beyond™ practice, our innovation strategy for Salesforce, to further drive business insights and innovation.
- We quickly grew our Salesforce CPQ practice in APAC: Bluewolf success in CPQ continues and we have implemented Salesforce CPQ for a number of other companies across industries, including Digital Media, Retail, and Technology.
- Developing a regional expert can support global impact: In learning Salesforce CPQ, I deepened my Salesforce expertise, which helped differentiate us among the thousands of Salesforce experts in the ecosystem. Especially as organizations across industries plan to invest in the technology as part of their core sales stack, I was able to impart knowledge beyond my local region and help drive other successful CPQ implementations around the globe.
At Bluewolf, each individual has the space and encouragement to take charge of their career and growth. My journey is one that is recognized and repeated by many of my colleagues; one constant is that we all crave knowledge that supports the success of our clients and our own careers–and we’re always resetting the bar of what success looks like.