April 17 by Eric Dreshfield

Salesforce MVP

Apttus is thrilled to feature its latest installment of the Salesforce MVP of the Month program, in which we spotlight the exceptional leaders of the Salesforce Ecosystem that have lent us their expertise, knowledge, and ongoing contributions, ensuring both our individual improvements and the betterment of the platform as a whole. It’s thanks to these individuals that our daily questions have been answered on the Trailblazer Community, difficult admin tasks have been made easier, and even empowered some of us to get certified.


For April, 2018, the Apttus Salesforce MVP of the Month is Bill Powell. Bill’s Salesforce journey started out in 2010 as a sales user. In 2015 he decided it was time for a change, he moved into a Sales Ops role. Without further delay, lets meet Bill!


1.  How and when did you get started with the Salesforce ecosystem? What was your first role and initial reaction to the platform? From 2010 to 2015 I was a sales rep using Salesforce. In 2015 I decided I wanted to change my career and enjoyed Salesforce. I started learning the admin side with Trailhead, eventually earning my first certification. My first role was a Sales Operations Analyst, where a small part of my job was using Salesforce to “test the waters”, and I loved it. I then moved into a full blown admin role, and now a Solutions Engineer with a consulting partner. I’ve earned a total of 7 certifications now. My first reaction to Salesforce when I was a sales rep was “this is big brother watching us.” I eventually grew to love Salesforce because it helped me with my productivity.



2.   What is your favorite thing to do in Salesforce and why?   I love writing formulas and validation rules. I have never written a formula before Salesforce, ever, and had a hard go with them when I first started learning. (Thanks, Trailhead, for helping out with this!). So when I get them to work I cheer, every darn time.


3.   Many Community members depend on MVPs to get their questions answered. Who do you turn to when you have a tough question that needs to be answered?  Anyone. MVP or not, a smart cookie is a smart cookie 🙂 I still occasionally turn to the Trailblazer community if i’m really really stuck, but sometimes that’s a black hole for me because instead of getting answers to MY question, I wind up answering other peoples instead. I really enjoy the Ohana on Twitter, and know I can reach out to a plethora of people there if I get stuck.



4.   Do you have any certifications? If so, which ones.   Yes! I just earned my 6th certification (Advanced Admin). I have Admin, Advanced Admin, Platform App Builder, Sales Cloud Consultant, Service Cloud Consultant, and the ever elusive CPQ Specialist (I’m publicly the only person in NJ with that certification, crazy, right?)

5.   The AppExchange has thousands of apps. For custom things you (or your client) need, do you build or buy, and why?  I was formerly an admin. We admins have control issues (right?). So I always try to build a solution first if its something I know without a doubt we can scale from 6 users to 6,000 users without an issue. If there’s the slightest doubt about scalability, I’ll go to the Appexchange or look for recommendations.


6.   What piece of advice would you give to someone who is just starting a career in the Salesforce Ecosystem? 

Network, network, network. There is a huge support system out there at user groups and online. Its an amazing community that loves to help one another be successful. Never go it alone.


7.   We all know there is life outside Salesforce. What do you enjoy doing when you are off the platform?  Wait, there is life off the platform? Kidding aside, my son is 8, and he became a big brother to a sister on April 10, 2018! My son and I love playing competitive video games (he’s so much better than me), traveling, Disney World, trying new restaurants, cooking, and just plain being silly. And I’m so looking forward to watching my daughter grow.


A little more about Bill:

Bill runs the South Jersey Salesforce Saturday group. They had their first Trailhead4All initiative last year and it was a huge success. The group’s goal for 2018 is to help one of their new members build a nonprofit organization whose mission is to create a path for young adults on the Autism spectrum to obtain a career in technology. Unemployment among those on the Autism spectrum is nearly 80%. The few programs that do exist to help those with Autism usually only help them find entry-level or poverty wage jobs. The group’s goal is to create an educational curriculum for them utilizing Trailhead, and for those that remain in the program, line them up with mentorship programs within companies and hopefully get them placed into full-time roles.

Follow Bill on Twitter and if you see him tweeting about this initiative, please help spread the word.

Join us at Apttus Accelerate, May 14-16, 2018, San Francisco to learn how to become a middle office leader.