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Tuesday 17th January 2017
 Kicking off a series of blogs where I look to tackle some of the  pressing topics in the world of Salesforce &, I sat down  with Brian of Brian Heys Limited, where we discussed his journey  to becoming a recognised Salesforce partner in the ever growing  global eco-system that is the Salesforce community.

 Brian has over 28 years’ experience in the world of IT and has  worn many hats including Consultant, Business Analyst, Software  Developer, Test Manager, Trainer and Support Analyst, working  with some of the UK’s most recognisable Financial Services  organisations, including Yorkshire Building Society and Lloyds  Banking Group.

First of all Brian, thank you for taking the time out to have this chat with me, I think it’s fair to say you’ve had a really strong career in the IT industry for some time now, having met you at 'Dreamforce To You' recently in Manchester, It’s obvious that you’re passionate about all things Salesforce, what is it about Salesforce that sparked this passion? 
I began my journey as an end user early in 2016. I was aware of Salesforce and signed up for a Developer Edition because I thought it would be a useful skill to learn. To gain familiarity I started to use Salesforce to manage my own job search for project work – and that’s when I realised the potential of the platform. I began adding customisations to the standard objects, introducing new objects, reports and dashboards, and became obsessed with gaining new Trailhead badges which helped me learn the platform and become a Salesforce Certified Professional. I joined a few of the Success communities, then after chatting with a friend who has been a Salesforce Consulting Partner for several years, I decided to make the leap into joining the partner programme myself.

I appreciate your practice is a fairly new Salesforce partner but what sets you apart from other Salesforce Partners that we’ve already come to know? Who are you looking to help in your journey? 
Small to mid-level organisations - especially financial or professional services - that are looking for that single customer view that will enable them to become a customer obsessed organisation. Ideally I want to work with smaller local companies, and that local presence will set me apart from other partners who go after bigger clients and don’t operate in my geographic area.

How are you finding the transition to becoming a recognised Salesforce partner? What challenges have you faced?
It has definitely opened my eyes to new worlds outside the typical IT realm! I’ve always been interested in sales and marketing and have been involved in these disciplines before on a small scale, but stepping into them full-time has been far more exciting than I would have thought. Activities like presenting and networking that I perhaps would have backed away from just a couple of years ago, I am now embracing and enjoying.

I know when we met you spoke a lot about your love for the Salesforce Ohana ethos & 1-1-1 Model, how are you planning on implementing this in your practice? 

I’m aligning myself as closely as possible to Salesforce on these two points. I’m very keen to help local causes in any way possible, including donating my time where I can. I’m also passionate about connecting with other members of the Salesforce community. I don’t see other partners as competition, I see them as partners who I can reach out to when I need help on projects, and vice-versa of course.

What advice could you give to any readers who are considering venturing down a similar path to yourself?
I would say go for it, but you absolutely have to be prepared to go out and find brand new clients yourself. You need to know about IT, but not just the technical stuff. You need to know how IT can strategically help businesses achieve their goals. Confidence and good communication skills are critical, especially empathy and the ability to listen to others and help them figure out their pain points and needs. It’s not about aggressively pitching the product in the traditional sense of sales.

2016 was a huge year for Salesforce, with Billions of dollars being spent on 10 acquisitions, what big things do you think we can expect to see from Benioff this year? 
Lightning is going to be the future of Salesforce, so I would expect a big drive towards adoption of the Lightning Framework - for instance, I notice Salesforce AEs are now giving demos in Lightning by default. Salesforce Einstein is also coming, so I would expect more announcements in the AI space. IoT (Internet of Things) is another fascinating area to watch with Salesforce over the coming months, although I don’t think I’ll be looking to connect my own toothbrush to the Internet any time soon!

You can connect with Brian in the following ways:
LinkedIn / Twitter / Salesforce Success Community page 

Visit Brian's website here.

Are you a Salesforce professional who would like to share your views with the wider community? Get in contact with Ben.
LinkedIn / Twitter / Salesforce Success Community page

Read our Salesforce blogs here.

Recent Comments
Thanks Ben. I enjoyed doing the Q&A with you. Very much appreciated!
Brian Heys, 17 January 2017
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