Damian Galbally became curious about the potential of Salesforce when he was met with some limitations while using it. In this interview, he talked about the challenges he had experienced and how these challenges had shaped the way he helps SMEs maximize Salesforce as a consultant for small businesses today.
My name is Damian Galbally, and I am a consultant. My first contact with Salesforce was with a former company I worked for, for 16 years or so. At that time, we used Classic, and then we transitioned to Lightning.
I found it difficult because we were a remote office in Australia and weren’t supported sufficiently to allow us to get full adaptation. That made me curious about what I could do with it if I actually got deeper into it. When I left the company, I figured it was an option to get into Salesforce and learn it a little bit better.
What is your role now?
Now I'm self-employed as a consultant and look after a couple of businesses. I'm just in the throes of possibly moving countries. A big factor in selecting Salesforce for me a year or so ago was the fact that it was totally scalable; I could do it from anywhere.
I think the ability to transition to another country, to learn, and continue with the same program is very desirable. Especially today when you couldn't just normally take your career over to a different country and pick it up again.
A big factor in selecting Salesforce for me a year or so ago was the fact that it was totally scalable; I could do it from anywhere.
What were the challenges you faced when you first started with Salesforce and what did you learn from it?
When I was starting with Salesforce, we were struggling with adaptation with the sales team. As a way of overcoming that, we tried to get some sort of customization for the local company because Australia has got a completely different culture around operation currency and a number of different things. As I look back on that, I think the system probably wasn't really set up properly for us to be able to take full advantage of it.
The first thing we did when sales people joined the company was to give them good solid training in Salesforce -- how to get the data in the system so that we could get the reports out of the system, and target those opportunities at sales meetings.
I think Salesforce can kind of look like a big beast. But when I started learning the system and training, I found that I was slowly taming my perception of what Salesforce was and seeing the potential for someone to simplify the process and maximize the program. I think it takes ongoing interaction with the company to be able to do that. There are always various sectors of the company involved with the system administrator, from marketing to sales to management. I think it's a holistic company view.
What motivated you to pursue becoming a Salesforce consultant?
We sought a local consultant who was able to give us some good guidance on the program. But we were so busy at the time that we didn't prioritize it, so we didn't get the greatest value out of it. Later on, I sought out another consultant to set up some customization for ourselves. And that’s when I realized just how remarkably customizable Salesforce was.
That was the real inspiration for me pursuing this path. I thought to myself I really would like to be a consultant helping small to medium size businesses, so they could get the benefit that I didn't at the beginning.
Salesforce has really given me the opportunity to move in a new direction in my career.
What sort of certification do you currently hold, and how did getting this certification affect your career?
Last October, I finally managed to get my certification as system administrator. I’ve previously made an attempt in April of the same year but failed, and the reason for that is I've only been studying for the certification for six weeks. I hadn't fully grasped the concepts, I was just relying on too heavily on memory.
But the second time I did the test, I had a fabulous experience. So I would suggest that if anybody's doing the exam, make sure you're doing it in a testing facility where you're really comfortable because that's important.
Gaining certification is the starting point for me. I’m now working on other certifications as well. I would like to progress towards being a consultant and maximize my sales experience.
Salesforce has really given me the opportunity to move in a new direction in my career. And I'm not young, you know. Being a master of my own consultancy and working with small to medium-sized companies, and assisting them with Salesforce is my goal at the moment.
What are your future goals?
I see myself as probably fitting in the industry that I've come from, which is a selling role. Salesforce really is essential, and I think a lot more companies are now seeing that. Salesforce has developed a an unbeatable presence.
I look forward to using my skills in sales and sales management. My knowledge in that area and my knowledge in Salesforce, and also the awareness I have that companies can put in action.
Investing in learning what Salesforce is and empowering companies is what’s important for me.
What other advice could you actually give to those who are actually planning to take certification and how to study for your exams?
I do have a system: I print out a log of material from Salesforce. But instead of putting them in a lever arch file, I actually put them into open files along with my written notes. So I have written notes, and I have the Focus on Force notes as well that I had printed out in a minute form. Also, I have the technical notes from Salesforce documents. Having these three things enabled me to go back and review topics when I found I needed to.
That process of going back and refreshing was great because sometimes I'd stumble over some things I’ve been looking for. It's a process of discovery, but it takes time. And that's the other thing. I don't think you can rush these things. I think you have to be honest with yourself about the pace you can go.
But good written notes and good resource material are important. Basically, the Salesforce documentation and Focus on Force. I felt Focus on Force provides a context for all the other information.
I don't think you can rush these things. I think you have to be honest with yourself about the pace you can go.
What would you suggest to someone that wants to start the Salesforce career?
I think the Salesforce career is great. I mean, I can only talk about the Australian experience, but Salesforce has a great profile over here. And if I talk to IT people, they're really impressed by it regardless of whether they're working in IT and data processing or data management or any sort of field in IT.
Salesforce definitely has a presence now, and every large corporation is obsessed with their CRM. So anybody getting into Salesforce at the moment, it's incredibly timely. It is all happening, and you can see it. And those jobs that weren't there a while ago are emerging now for Salesforce administrators, consultants, system architects, etc. So I think it's a great, great opportunity.
What Certification are you studying for now?
Focus on Force currently provides practice exams and study guides for fifteen certifications