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All Trails Lead to Salesforce: Navigating a Career in Customer Success

Salesforce Careers

May 21, 2024

Here at Salesforce, our customers’ success is our success … so we help them accomplish extraordinary things. And with 150,000 customers around the globe – from nonprofits to Fortune 500 businesses – there’s a lot of success to be created!


So, do you (yes, you!) have what it takes to drive customer success here at Salesforce? We recently sat down with three Salesforce Customer Success Group members to hear their stories, explore their top career advice, and understand what drove them to Salesforce (and why they stay – or even come back!). Let’s meet them:

 

  • Katara Giles is a Senior Account Partner who has worn multiple hats at Salesforce – starting as a consultant and now taking the world of Public Sector customer success by storm.
  • Boomerang Jeff Boord started his Salesforce journey in 2016, later returning after a two-year hiatus as a Senior Account Partner.
  • Chris Shaul has been with Salesforce since 2016, with extensive experience on the Professional Services team as a Regional Vice President, Services Engagement.


While they all have different backgrounds, they share a passion for helping our customers. Explore below – and watch the full webinar here.

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What is the Customer Success Group (CSG) and what does it mean to be part of the Professional Services team at Salesforce?

Jeff: Being part of CSG really is getting in and helping solve our customers’ business problems. They have a lot of options and a lot of things that they can do from a technology – or even from a services – perspective. Understanding the direction of their business, their business goals, and their business objectives is really the key in our jobs and in our role. And, understanding how we can support them and help them to achieve those goals is really what it means to be part of the organization.


Katara: [The Services team] definitely plays an integral role in our customers achieving their outcomes. They make the investment in Salesforce and then it's like, “Well, how are we actually going to make this thing work?” So for me, [that] is part of the reason that has drawn me here: our customer success.

 

What originally drew you to working for Salesforce?

Chris: What really excited me about coming to Salesforce was the culture we're working in, the amazing technology we work with, and the sense of being able to contribute and give back through the 1-1-1 model, which is Salesforce giving 1% of their equity, technology, and time back to the community through our nonprofit donations and volunteer work.


Katara: I manifested my career at Salesforce, because I've worn many different hats throughout the entire Salesforce ecosystem. Starting back in 2011, I was a Salesforce customer. That experience as a customer really drove my passion for simplifying and automating processes and working with cross functional teams.


As a customer, I had the distinct privilege of attending Dreamforce, which is Salesforce’s annual conference held in San Francisco, and that's where I think I really experienced the magic of Salesforce. Not only did I have a love for the Salesforce products, but I actually fell in love with the culture. I learned about the customer value, the company values, and really this philanthropic impact that Salesforce was having across the world. It was very inspiring.

 

Jeff, as a Boomerang – or someone who left and then returned to Salesforce – what brought you back to Salesforce?

Jeff: [The culture] is one of the primary things that drew me back into the organization — the teamwork and the collaboration, as well as the vision and the strategy that we get from our top level executives.

 

It's something that's embedded in our day-to-day work and it's just the style for how we work together. When you don’t have that, it’s like a big gap is missing. That's what was driving me to ultimately come back to the team and come back to the organization — to be part of that bigger picture.

 

Can you share your experience with the Salesforce culture?

Katara: One of the things that has been a very unique opportunity for me is all of the professional and the leadership skills that I've acquired by being an Equality Group leader. At Salesforce, we have 13 Equality Groups, or Business Resource Groups, which are employee-led. They serve as a resource for our members and allies and [are] an opportunity for us to foster a diverse and inclusive workplace.


I have the distinct pleasure of currently serving as the Global President for BOLDForce, where our black employees are empowered, supported, developed, and retained globally. I've learned a lot and contributed so much as a volunteer helping Salesforce become the most inclusive company to work for and also driving business impact. I can honestly say from the bottom of my heart that this has been one of the most rewarding and really life-changing experiences that I've ever had.


Jeff: Outside of our day-to-day responsibilities of our role, we have all these opportunities to participate in what interests you, or what motivates you as a human. Being able to participate in some of those really leads to a full professional experience.


Chris: The culture has evolved as we've grown larger, but there are many key things that have been here since I started in 2016, and even before that. One is the culture of trust. One is willingness to help others. We have an aligned mission through our V2MOM program and we have a focus on the customer — that is our number one priority. So, I think those have led us through pandemics, it’s led us through the growth change, it's led us through economic ups and downs. I'm really happy that our culture continues to thrive and grow.

 

What skills have made you successful during your career at Salesforce, particularly as part of the Services team?

Jeff: It's really [about] how we find answers, not only for our customers, but also for our internal team. That means networking. It’s a big organization; there's a lot of team members, there’s a lot of different groups, and a lot of different pieces of the platform. I think that the skill that we have is knowing how to find those answers. How we do that is through networking internally with our colleagues, collaborating with them, and then ultimately sharing that [information] back with the customer.


Chris: What has made me successful here is always being customer-focused and networking; learning from your peers. And then listening and empathy — just making sure that you're listening to your customers, you're listening to your teammates, and you're really trying to understand where they're coming from.


Katara: One of the things that has really helped me be successful here is operating with a level of diplomacy. I believe that if we can just get people together, we can really invoke some change, especially if we put our differences aside and focus on the outcomes. And then, this may not be a skill that everybody has, but I consider myself charismatic. I think that has helped me be able to overcome some unique challenges and obstacles, especially with working with internal teams or trying to solve very complex problems or just get answers.

 

What tips do you have for people who are looking to join Salesforce?

Katara: You can look through job descriptions and apply based on competencies. I'm a clear shining example of a person that did not have any sales experience and was very intimidated by sales. Even growing up, I didn't want to sell Girl Scout cookies! I was able to hone in on what skills I had that were transferable and pivot into a role that has suited up really nicely … So I would encourage you to look through the job descriptions and then feel empowered to apply based on transferable skills.


Jeff: I think one of the biggest tips to being successful is networking. Not only networking with some of your existing connections, but also the connections that you make throughout the process.

One example is that I was networking my way to come back to Salesforce as a Boomerang, and [with] that particular opportunity, they decided to go with another candidate. I did build up a good relationship with the recruiter and the recruiting coordinator, though, and, not even a day after I got the regrets from the previous role, I got a call from them saying, “Hey, would you be interested in this particular role?” So, the path might not always be linear, but making those connections is really valuable, because that will help you open some of the doors.

Interested in joining the CSG team? Apply today!

We can't wait to meet you!

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