My Learning Journey with Salesforce: Now a Coach, Always a Student

Mark Budzyn is Vicasso's Manager of Professional Services, spending his days designing Salesforce solutions for Vicasso clients, and coaching our team of consultants to fully embrace the “Be the Expert” fundamental of the Vicasso Way.

In addition to his 15 Salesforce certifications, he has a decade of extensive experience building enterprise solutions on the Salesforce platform through clicks and code. Before diving into the Salesforce ecosphere, Mark was part of a sales consultancy that specialized in supporting enterprise technology sales organizations where he learned much about what drives sales. And prior to that, Mark worked as a software trainer leading him to appreciate the value of training and certifications. Always curious, Mark not only wants to know the how–he wants to understand the why.

Touching Down at Vicasso

After years in the aviation industry, I was ready for a stretch into the consulting space. I found myself excited by the opportunity to solve a variety of business problems and to branch out into additional industries, more orgs, and interesting challenges. I met with Chad (Vicasso’s Founder) early in the interview process, and we nerd-ed out about Salesforce, and I knew then that I was in like-minded company. In fact, the entire team was really engaged and interested in having me join the team, and that was intriguing.

What’s really cool about Vicasso is that we work with companies of various sizes and types – small companies spinning up their first org up to enterprise organizations with large user populations. Vicasso supports organizations who may have a lack of bandwidth or specific Salesforce skills, and we solve problems that they can’t get to or don’t know how to solve.

As fulfilling as the work can be, there are also many challenges to attack and hurdles to jump as a quickly-growing company. For example, capturing optimal documentation and building out consistent processes are each critically important to scale as we grow. These both require focus and bandwidth, and often, we simply don’t have enough of either. That said, we’ve gotten better about making these challenges a priority and putting the work in to make improvements.

Put Me in Coach!

Coaching professionals is where I focus 50% of my time at Vicasso. I’m a big fan of the concept that there is a real difference between being a boss and a leader. A leader coaches, and appreciates that their individual success is measured by the success of their team. Successful leaders work to support their team by encouraging learning opportunities and individual ideas by ‘coaching’ and ‘guiding’, as opposed to ‘telling’ or ‘ordering’.

At Vicasso, I appreciate the opportunity to be involved in my team’s career development and trajectory. In many ways, I am helping them to help themselves. Coaching the team also helps me to continually self evaluate, as we all generally tend to be blind in our respective shortcomings. Here’s an example:

While doing a personal SWOT analysis with a member of the consulting team, we identified that they were not asking many questions. This person is a “processor” – which while it’s not a weakness, it is potentially a threat to their success when communicating with customers. We discussed the importance of managing expectations on calls, for example, it’s ok to say, “let me take some time to process this.”

Today, I am focusing on the team’s technical development skills on the Salesforce platform like sharing complexities and understanding Apex triggers, as well as “softer” skills like how to elicit feedback and the different types of questions to ask. We are continuing to dig into how best to evaluate both technical skills and soft skills across the Professional Services team as we grow. We all want a better understanding of which skill strengths of our team members should lean into, and also, which techniques will help them feel more confident about their respective skill development opportunities.

Our Vicasso Way

One of the things that surprised me about working at Vicasso is that I quickly learned that the Vicasso Way really isn’t just lip service. In fact, there are several fundamentals of The Vicasso Way that are critical to my success as both a coach and technical architect:

  1. Understand and Provide the Why / Attacking Challenges these are critical for effective solution design and requirements gathering; we try to determine what a customer needs vs what they think they want.
  2. Share Like a Mentor / Listen Actively – I have individual 1-on-1 coaching sessions with my team to identify roadblocks they run into or opportunities for their professional development. We learn from each other – sharing technical skills, institutional knowledge, and working together helps me to be a stronger leader
  3. Practice Blameless Problem Solving / Have Each Other’s Backs – We are focused on team development and process improvements. I also check in on the team regularly to ensure their well being and mindset.

Always Be Learning

I now carry 15 Salesforce certifications. I appreciate certifications for 2 reasons:

  • They force us to understand what’s possible on the platform – we require our Business Analyst team to certify in 5 key areas.
  • I love challenging myself and pursuing opportunities to expand my knowledge.

The great thing about Salesforce is that there is always more to learn.

Vicasso is hiring! Check out our careers page for open positions.

*The Vicasso Way: Simply, the way we work together. The Vicasso Way is an aggregate of 29 behaviors/fundamentals that result in high performance. Vicasso derived these fundamentals by observing its employees’ strengths, and also looked beyond its office walls to identify additional positive behaviors that aligned with its core values. Learn More.