How Shonnah Hughes Delivers Innovation with Einstein

December 7, 2017 Gillian Bruce

Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast we’re continuing our post-Dreamforce series with Shonnah Hughes, Salesforce Admin at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA).

Join us to learn about the power of the Salesforce community, why having drive is the most important quality for a Salesforce Admin, and why asking for help is the most powerful thing you can do.

You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Shonnah Hughes.

A Classic Accidental Admin

Shonnah was featured in the Salesforce Admin Keynote at Dreamforce, where she answered some questions onstage. We wanted to bring her on the podcast to take a deeper dive into her story because there’s so much going on.

Shonnah is the poster child for Accidental Admins. She worked for a DME Home Infusion company that purchased Salesforce back in 2006, to build their patient intake system on the platform. She was tapped by her company to learn the new platform in order to train their end users: “I wasn’t the dedicated trainer at the time, but I did train all of the users who came into our department so that’s one of the main reasons why they chose me.”

When it comes to how businesses can identify the next Shonnah Hughes, she has some advice: “When you’re looking for those Awesome Admins within your organization, you find the people who have tenacity and the aptitude to take on a new challenge and really just run with it.”

The Evolution of Salesforce Training

“When I first started out my Salesforce journey, help and training wasn’t as easy as it is now,” Shonnah says, “we didn’t have the Trailblazer community so it was hard to get the questions you had answered.” When her director let her know about these emails she was getting for something called a “user group,” Shonnah jumped at the chance to go and ended up at one of the most well-attended user groups around. “The amount of success that I have today is in large part due to the community.”

When Shonnah has to train her own users, she takes a varied approach. “Every user learns differently, and every person has a different learning style.” She tries to incorporate a variety of approaches to make sure that it’s easy for anyone to follow along. “To be quite frank, with Trailhead and the new My Trailhead rolling out, Salesforce has made it so much more simple.” She uses a combo of in-classroom training, Trailhead, and user documentation to change things up and keep everyone engaged.

The Power of Community

“Creating community is one thing that this world needs right now, and I think that Salesforce has really honed in on doing that.” She’s looking at how to bring that spirit of community to her organization. They’ve built an Employee Resource Group at MIA to advocate for equity of change and change management. She’s working to reach out to the communities that they serve and open up the institution’s doors to a wider variety of people.

Shonnah cofounded and sits on the board of the nonprofit PepUp Tech. “It’s a way to bring in underrepresented youth into the tech ecosystem.” They use their experience and connections within Salesforce to bring students in, not just to learn about technology but also soft skills like best business practices. It’s all about “creating a pathway or pipeline to employment.” The hope is that by making this community for these students, they’ll be able to build relationships that will last a lifetime. Their goal this year is to get 100 students to Dreamforce, and maybe someone out there is interested in helping making that happen.

For more insights, make sure to follow Shonnah on Twitter (@Saasy_Sistah).

To learn more about the article Mike mentioned –

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