Simplus Customer Success Manager/Senior Consultant - Managed Services
University of Redlands Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Business
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How did you get to where you are today? What is your story? What incidents and experiences shaped your career path?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Thu Jul 30 2020
slightly interesting story. I got to where I am today by physically running into a man in the hall at the business building of my university. Um, I had moved out here to Utah. Sorry. Let me paraphrase that I currently live in Salt Lake City, Utah. I'm a transplant from Los Angeles, California. I came out to Salt Lake City to attend a master's program at the University of Utah. Um, and one day I was walking through our business building and I brand face to face and threw a man, and I apologize. Did he happen to mention that he was giving a talk on his turn company, which was a consulting firm? And he asked if I'd be interested in, um, during what they had to say. And I was never one to pass up any opportunities like that, whether or not it sounded appealing right off the bat. And so I went in and there was about 60 of us in there, and they let us know that they were consulting firm the consultant Salesforce and basically give us a rundown of what exactly was they do at the end. They opened for Q and a one on one. I went down to go talk to them and I had to resume. Not expecting to hear back much because I was making a massive career. I came out of the food beverage industry on Guy wanted Teoh pick up a masters in I t. In order to make a pivot to that career and, you know, push comes to shove. Uh, about a month and 1/2 later, I had a call from First Interview and the rest is tended history. Um, yeah. So it's It was interesting turn of events.

What responsibilities and decisions does one handle in a job like yours? Tell us about weekly work hours, including the time spent on work travel and working from home.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Thu Jul 30 2020
eso. My role at my consulting firm is I'm a senior cell sports consultants, and I'm a customer success manager, senior customer success manager in our managed services practice, and that's a mouthful. But basically what I do is I lead a team that helps for continuous support of company salesforce. Org's so with that being said, my specific job is multifaceted. On one part. Project manager. I'm one part people manager. I am one part solutions architect, although I have a technical lead as well. Um, and then I'm also kind of an account executive, although I don't really do any selling. I work very closely with my ease, but most of the time I have the majority of face time with our clients. So that's kind of my initial role are in my initial the initial contact. Um, so it's a lot of hats, and that's one part I enjoy about it is I'm not just talking. You want particular role As far as my hours as a general statement. We work 9 to 5. We work East Coast hours with that being said, because I'm not only a CSM, but I'm also people manager in our practice my hours very based off of the people I manage. If someone calls me at seven o'clock with problem, I'm not going to tell him to call me back at nine o'clock the following morning. Also, if the client has a A an escalation, I'm not getting tell me back as well. But it's a general statement. Were 95 um, travel for me is minimal about once 1/4 because our company is 100% remote.

What are the challenges in a job like yours? What approaches are effective in dealing with these challenges? Discussing examples will help students learn better.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Thu Jul 30 2020
if it challenges in a job like mine is aligning what the business users, users from my clients say they once versus what they actually mean and then tying that into what is technically capable or technically able, I should say, um so a lot of times the approaches are really simple, and it's really a affirmative listening. Okay, I hear you're saying this. What I'm hearing is that these two meet on and if they don't try to figure out where the gaps are. I recently had a client who kept telling you they wanted a particular feature. They wanted a Web toe lead. So someone fills out a Web form and it creates a lead for them. So we built a went to lead, and when we built it, they said, This is what we want. And so as what through it started talking about it, and this is probably something we should have done earlier. They were dead set. This is what they wanted. We found out they didn't really want a Web to leave. They wanted more my guided selling process. And so really, like I said, just the affirm that listening is

What tools (software programs, frameworks, models, algorithms, languages) are typically used in a role like yours?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Thu Jul 30 2020
So for software, Uh, day I will be touching the Google Sweet. I hope you touching salesforce and pretty much almost every cloud cell Force offers. I will be using Jura and come confluence for project management. Uh, I will be a little bit. And this is only for one. Particular clients will be touching aws some of the EEC free stuff just a tiny bit. But that's mawr for one specific clients, obviously, of course. Email. Zoom, um, WebEx, depending on the client's. So it's there's really again it and you don't really have to be an expert in any one. Particular because of my role is more project management. But I do need a deep understanding, especially the self more stuff, uh.

What are the job titles of people who someone in your role routinely works with, within and outside of the organization? What approaches are effective in working with them?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Thu Jul 30 2020
great, and I have a perfect example for this. So for my clients, I work with everyone from the C suite. Okay, I wouldn't say rare, but is the exception I mostly interface with? I would say senior executives, executive vice presidents, um, DVDs of I t. Or or of operations all the way down to the Russians all the way down. But down the directors who arm or in the trenches with me. Internally, I interface with my managing director and in the president's of our company. And so my biggest suggestion, especially when dealing with the VPs in the C suite, is take what I call a 50,000 foot approach. They really have no desire to hear about the details or the granularity. They need to understand it at the very strategic level in, you know, 5 to 10 words and three bullet points. And really, that's almost an exercise in themselves, distilling a complicated thoughts you know into into 10 words

How would you describe your management style? How has it evolved over the years? Can you tell about experiences or books that influenced your management style?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Thu Jul 30 2020
I love this question. So yes, my management style is very much one of support and ends off. I don't believe in micromanaging how it's evolved over the years. I think I probably really first learned of management style in the military, and I would say it's almost night and day difference from my management style. Now, Um, because we're 100% remote, trust in your subordinates is very important. If I don't trust them, no style is gonna work. Um, and I remember when I was first coming up to being able to be a people manager in my order. My former boss is now the president of the company. Put a book on my desk and I actually have it because I keep it close right here and its first look. First break all the rules and basically told me, If you want to be a manager in my practice, this is our framework. Learning know it. And really, it's kind of the same approach, right? It's making sure that those who report to you are engaged. They feel important. They feel heard, they feel supported and they feel like they have a path forward. So I think those were really kind of the key metrics. I try to keep in mind when dealing with people

How do you manage conflicts within and across teams? How do you promote trust, openness and a healthy work culture? Sharing stories will greatly help.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Thu Jul 30 2020
conflicts can get tricky. I think it really takes the ability to see the personalities at work and kind of what sparks that conflict. It may be a conflict between two people, but for person over here, it may be a pride thing after person. Over here it may be there's something completely different factors. So it's really getting to know is as best possible who's involved in the conflict and then making sure that they are heard and you're acknowledging why they're upset. Um, sometimes it does take just a tough executive decision, and we're not going that way. We're going this way. Other times you can find a compromise in the middle. Um, so I think that's very important. As far as trust and openness, openness of work, culture that starts at the top as a senior consultant, There is nothing I can do lead to promote that other than live it. But in order to get a organization why it has to start with your executives and they have to not just say it really have to live it on it and show it

How can one get better recognition of work from one's boss and higher management? What mistakes should one avoid? Stories or examples will be quite helpful.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Thu Jul 30 2020
so initially when I started on it came in entry level. No experience in this industry. And really, what I did was I never said no whenever they asked Hey, we need somebody to help lead our offshore team. Haven t somebody help build these reports? I said yes to everything. I asked a lot of questions and really, and I just want to preface this because I had no reason I didn't. Now granted, if there was something happening that is clearly needs a chars involvement, I'm not saying Don't say anything, but I just kept my head down and I did my work and good leadership. We'll see that. Acknowledge it. And over a period of time, they came to ask every now and again for my opinion. And then over time, I kind of became a trusted voice as far as mistakes to avoid. I would be very careful about trying to draw too much attention in the sense of Hey, did you hear me? Hey, I have an idea. Hey, have you throw it out there? They will acknowledge it and you know, if it's something they want to follow up on, they'll reach out. But I just wouldn't be badgering. I see some of my junior colleagues who are really like that. I appreciate the enthusiasm, but it doesn't resonate very well, especially with our senior leadership.

What indicators are used to track performance in a job like yours? Think of the indicators such as key performance indicators (KPIs), objectives & key results (OKRs), or so on.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Thu Jul 30 2020
uh, my particular KP eyes because my role is a little bit unique is, um, annual recurring revenue, which is the mobile contract value of all of my clients. Um and so that is my key metric. I also have MPs, which is net promoter score, which every quarter we, ah, team in our company sent out a survey to basically it's just customer satisfaction on. And then my final metric because of the people manager, my three main. My final one is the performance of those who report to me. So if I'm not enabling them or helping them be successful than I am that successful, um, so let's see. And yeah, those are pretty much the indicators are pretty self explanatory.

What qualities do you look for while hiring? What kind of questions do you typically ask from candidates?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Thu Jul 30 2020
I love interviewing, especially if it's entry level, because everybody's prepped to have every answer to every question, and we will have a 45 minute conversation. I don't I don't have a bullet list of questions. Um, I really just try to get a feel for who is on the other end because, like I said, culture is so important for us that if you're not a bit culturally, it doesn't matter what skills that you have, because it will just end up impacting the team negatively. One of the one question I always ask at some point in some form is know whether it was inside of or outside of work. Can you remember? Where can you tell me the last time you did something for someone else without expecting anything in? And if there's too long of a pause in that question, it's fine. But to me, that generally indicates they may not mesh well with my team. Bird culture in our company

Can you discuss career accomplishment(s) that you feel good about? Please discuss the problem context, your solution, and the impact you made.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Thu Jul 30 2020
No, I have a couple. One of the ones I'm most proud about. Waas about here into the cell sports ecosystem. I was invited to speak on one of the main stages that Dream Force, which is the Conference of Salesforce Conference, the largest user conference of the world. There's about 174,000 people that take over about five square block, six square blocks in San Francisco. What was really interesting is it was myself, one of our developers. And apparently we have found a way to distill a message for the newer cell sports users on when to use programmatic vs Two Clarity of Solutions. And it sounds really simple. Tend to me now, having had years in the ecosystem. But I still to this day get people on lengthen. You reach out and say, Thank you or people on Um, you do actually leave comments and say thank you. So just something of a tie onto that is sometimes the best solutions aren't even the most complex. You have to remember their users of all skill sets and all skill levels and abilities. And so even though I've done Mawr impressive things since then, it's still one of most proud about because it seemed to have the largest impact

What responsibilities and decisions did you handle at work? What were the challenges? What strategies were effective in dealing with these challenges?

Based on experience at: Analyst-Salesforce CPQ, Simplus
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Thu Jul 30 2020
So as an analyst, I really had to have a good understanding of not only our technology but the other business needs the business needs of our clients. I should say it was very important for me to do what we call a swivel chair. I would go on site well when that was the thing, or I jump on Zoom and I would just sit behind someone shoulder and see what they do a day in the life of to understand how they use their technology. They're never going and follow up and ask questions about what the changes they're looking to make, what built looking for what they're looking to implement and then translate that into technical requirements or user stories, both for my solution architect and for my technical leads. Some of the challenges are that a lot of the users, even though they're using some very cool technology, are and don't really have that vocabulary. So it really forces you to come up with a vocabulary or communication method with these people to understand what they're actually need without making so bad, because a lot of people will get very defensive because they don't understand the words you're using or they don't understand the technical jargon. I think the most effective thing was really just small talk and then really letting them to talk for the first half of the day and asking the questions follow up once you build that report and they feel comfortable with you.

How did the school prepare you for your career? Think about faculty, resources, alumni, exposure & networking. What were the best parts in each of your college programs?

Based on experience at: Master of Science (M.S.), Management Information Systems, General, University of Utah - David Eccles School of Business
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Thu Jul 30 2020
so for being making a career pivot. Even though I had a little bit of a background in Tech, it prepared me. Apologize. Prepared me by giving me a really fundamental understanding of database architecture, database design. Best practices. Because at the end of the day, at least in my world, whether it's Salesforce, Oracle, Microsoft Dynamics, they're all a database at the end of the day, and you still have to understand how those various tables for objects or whatever you call it interact and the best way to set those up for your clients. So that was really key. The second thing was, I had quite a few, um, faculty members who were really invested in my success is our success, not just mine. Eso if you took the time, they would really engage with you and help you whether it was trying to connect you with opportunities or whether it was just giving you some General Koenig guidance on next steps and then find they are Career center was fantastic. In fact, when I got my first off the letter from Simple, it's the company I currently work for. The first person I called, uh, was my advisor in her career center because I was like, I got this. It sounds great to me. Is this Ah, respectable kind of entry level salary. But I didn't know it was completely different career. And so she was like, Jimmy, a favorite sign that send it back. Then call me. Don't let them. I want to change their minds. And so, you know, it was just It was fantastic from top to bottom. I really think the key theme through the entire thing is that you get as much out of it as you put into it.

What three life lessons have you learned over your career? Please discuss the stories behind these lessons, if possible. Stories could be yours or observed.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Thu Jul 30 2020
the number one life lesson I learned, maybe we learned is that you're always gonna make mistakes and some of them are gonna be very visible. And some of them were gonna be a little embarrassing. You can't avoid it. So I think when I first started, especially with simples here, I was so afraid of making a mistake. I didn't speak up, which was almost intimate to me professionally as well as to our Clements. So I overcame that fear. Quite the opposite. I made a pretty large missed facing one of our clients, which was fine, and I got called adamant immediately. But one of my mentors, who was one of our delivery managers, pulled me off to the side after that fishing. And he was like, You know what? We've all done it. Don't worry about it. Nobody's going to remember it tomorrow, You know, just off the questions and learn from those mistakes you've made. So I think, uh, make mistakes. Um, ask questions, whether it's to your clients or whether it's to your managers. I feel like I have to fish a lot, especially for those that report to me like eight. Aren't you curious? about your career path. Aren't you curious about advancement? Aren't you curious about how you get a raise? Aren't you curious about how much you should ask for? Really feel you should feel comfortable to be able to engage in those questions, but nationally, and I think the most important is find two mentors. So I would find a mentor who's not at your managers level, but one step about that. And I've yet to work in any environment where I couldn't find that readily available to me on your second mentor. Maybe not so much in your company, but find someone in the executive level who can give you an overview. There are times you're gonna see decisions that you quite don't quite understand that you feel are contrary to your best interest or to your practice. Best interest of your team's best interest. And it's really having someone who sat in the C suite and been able to give me that. That advice said, Hey, that's how you see it. But this is the definition of what they're actually having to deal with. That has made 19 day difference from

What starting job (after internship) would you recommend to students who hope to grow professionally like you? What other parting advice, dos, and don'ts would you give?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Thu Jul 30 2020
So, um, I would recommend through entry level jobs. One would be, if you want to get into Salesforce. There is a or any consulting but Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics, to a certain extent associate consultant. I know things are a little slow right now, but there are programs that are continually running where retraining house. So four times a year we hire 10 to 14 people who have zero salesforce experience. We bring them in. We put them through a 14 week, admits of intensive boot camp. All the while, they're getting paid their normal salary. They have benefits their full employees, and then we prepped them. Teoh, after 14 weeks, roll on the projects, it's a little intense. It's fast. It's fearing us. But you really get a year's worth of education in 14 weeks, and then once you get hands on, you know a year into the ecosystem, you're gonna be promoted. You're gonna get job offers. It's It's a fantastic and very intense way to move up quickly. I'm here. Microsoft is the same, the next ecosystem. But I can't speak about too much. Um, before Susan, don't do you make sure you reach out to the talent acquisition guys or people, I should say, Um, they're phenomenal. They have a long memory and they're always good for finding a good fit. And they really like people who are really over the persevere. One of the guys on my team right now has been trying to get a job with us for three years. We just hired him nine months ago, so he he was just trying for three years. We just didn't have a role. We didn't have anything right for him. And But our talent acquisition guy remembered Shane and remember that he had been working, trying to work with us for quite some time. When the opportunity arose, he actually reached up to chance. Hey, you know, you shown this perseverance. I know you really wanted to come work for us. Specifically, we have an opportunity for you on this forest. Don't It's a fine line. Don't badger. I know that's like not very helpful, but just reach out, you know, every 23 months and just say, Hey, I'm still interested. Anything