October 5, 2023

Episode 013:

Fun with Reports & Dashboards

In this podcast episode, David Carnes, founder and chairman of OpFocus, dives into the world of Salesforce Reports and Dashboards, sharing his insights into business intelligence tools and Salesforce reporting. Fred & David discuss the necessity of regular cleaning for Salesforce reports and dashboards and strategies to ensure leadership access to critical data. In the Quick Takes Roundtable, Fred, Eric, & Josh discuss the changing landscape of work in the era of digital transformation and how businesses can navigate sales in the post-pandemic world.

Episode 013: Fun with Reports and Dashboards

by Banking On Disruption Podcast

Show Notes

Check out our latest episode all about mastering Salesforce Reports and Dashboards with the distinguished David Carnes! 🚀 As the founder of OpFocus, host of Dashboard Dojo, and most recently the author of “Mastering Salesforce Reports and Dashboards”, David brings a wealth of knowledge to the table. 💌

This episode is a deep dive into business intelligence tools, Salesforce reporting, and the exciting new generative AI tool designed to support formula writing. 💻 Plus, we explore the changing work landscape in a post-pandemic world, from remote working to the challenges of attracting the younger generation to a competitive job market. 🌐

So, whether you’re navigating the digital transformation or interested in Salesforce mastery, this episode is a goldmine of insights! 💡 Listen in for a riveting dialogue with David Carnes. 🎧

After the interview we introduce our new ‘Quick Takes’ Roundtable format where Eric Cook and Josh Matthews join Fred Cadena to discuss the latest trends in banking, Salesforce, career development and technology.

This episode we navigate the realities of selling in a post-pandemic world, the changing work landscape, the future of office spaces, and the challenges businesses face in attracting the younger generation.

We also delve into the issues plaguing urban areas, the rising living costs, the lack of economic opportunities, and potential solutions to foster positive change.

Links & Mentions


David Carnes

David Carnes

Founder & Chairman, OpFocus

David Carnes is founder and chairman of OpFocus, a consulting firm which works with SaaS companies to optimize revenue operations. He is the host of Dashboard Dōjō, the Boston Salesforce Admin Group Leader, a frequent speaker at Dreamforce and other community events, and a Salesforce MVP. David also recently authored his first book, entitled Mastering Salesforce Reports and Dashboards for O’Reilly Media.

Full Transcript

0:00:03 – David
Well, fred, you and I both know part of why that happens. We write statements of work and reporting tends to be at the end, right above training. So I totally agree with you that I think we need to be very clear about the business decisions we want to drive when we’re building out the system and have those reporting goals in mind much earlier in the process, just to ensure that we’re structuring the data in a way that can be accessed and is useful for driving these decisions through reports.

0:00:46 – Fred
Hello and welcome to Banking on Disruption. I’m Fred Cadena. It’s crazy that it’s been almost a month since we were all together for Dreamforce. One of my favorite things about Dreamforce is meeting new people. This year, I decided to attend the main keynote in person for the first time in maybe six Dreamforces, and one reason I’m glad I did was running into David Carnes. David had a copy of his new book Mastering Salesforce Reports and Dashboards Drive Business Decisions with your CRM Data, and we spent so much time geeking out over it on the floor of the Moscone that I thought he would make a terrific guest for the pod. Those of you who are regular listeners know how much of a data geek I am, so get ready for a crazy deep dive into all things Salesforce reporting. After the interview, I am excited to kick off the new Quicktakes Roundtable format. We had a fantastic conversation spanning the realities of selling in a post pandemic world what’s going to happen with all that empty commercial real estate from hybrid and work from home, and a bit of a tease of a kinder and gentler AI bot. While you’re listening to this podcast, why not take a moment to follow us on LinkedIn at the Baking On Disruption podcast, and on Instagram at at Baking On Disruption. Now sit back and strap in, because our show is coming to you right now and welcome back.

I am super stoked this episode to introduce David Carnes. David is the founder and chairman of OpFocus. It is a consulting firm working in the Salesforce ecosystem and other SaaS companies to optimize revenue operations. He’s the host of Dash for Dojo, the Boston Salesforce Admin Group Leader, and a frequent speaker at Dreamforce and other community events. He’s also a Salesforce MDP. Reason that we have David on the show today. Number one I was happy enough to run into him at Dreamforce at the keynote and he told me about his new book. I started a book on my plane ride home and let me tell you, if you haven’t already found it, you definitely want to check it out. The book is called Mastering Salesforce Reports and Dashboards. It’s in a Riley publication. There is a cat on the front that I say looks like a cheetah, but I’m sure Dave is going to tell me exactly what kind of cat is on the front of the cover of his book. But, david, thanks for joining. Really excited to have you on the show today.

0:03:08 – David
Yeah, really excited to be here. It was so great to meet you at Dreamforce.

0:03:12 – Fred
Great. So what I was wrong about the cat. What’s the cat? It’s not a cheetah. You told me what it was and I forget.

0:03:17 – David
You know it’s a Joffrey’s cat which is native to South America. It’s a wild cat. O’reilly, for the last 50 years or so, has put endangered animals on the cover of all of its books. It’s very distinctive when you see an O’Reilly book you know it’s an O’Reilly book.

0:03:32 – Fred
Yeah, no, I’ve always loved that. I’m sure a lot of our listeners have probably a ton of O’Reilly books on their shelves, you know, based on our audience, but I love it. I’m excited about the book. I apologize, I only am about a third of the way through it so far. I’m sure and this might be a great first question, I’m sure it’s probably not intended for someone to just pick up and read cover to cover. So you know, how would you recommend our listeners access your book, Like what’s? How would you recommend it gets used?

0:04:05 – David
You know, I did try to be as thoughtful as possible about weaving chapter after chapter into a longer story about reports and dashboards and being successful driving business decisions with your CRM data.

0:04:20 – Fred
So you think it’s both potentially a good cover to cover read as well as a reference book when you have a particular thing you want to pull out.

0:04:32 – David
One of the things that I really wanted to do was have a chapter called First Things First, and, and lo and behold, I have a chapter called First Things First.

0:04:40 – Fred
I think you just you cut it to a mute.

0:04:43 – David
I really wanted to have a chapter in the book called First Things First, in part because so many of us dive right into reporting without just making sure we’ve covered all the bases first, and what I mean by that is making sure we have the right permissions. Did you know that there are about 30 report and dashboard profile permissions and only four of them? Only four of them are set by default on the standard user profile, so a lot of companies will clone that profile and create their sales team profile and perhaps not hand out the permissions that users really should have to take full advantage of the functionality. A few other things I talk about in that First Things First chapter are just understanding the data model. In fact, I’d argue that that should really be your first education, even before learning about the reporting tools is really learning to understand.

Okay, there’s a, there’s a basic set of data structure in every org, and then most organizations actually will customize and add custom objects or custom tables and database. Speak to their, to their Salesforce orgs, and it’s really important that we know about the, the table structure and the fields so that we have a good sense and, more probably more importantly, how these objects are interrelated so we have a good sense of how we need to pull the data together to be successful in reporting. So there’s a few other things as well, just just, you know, tips and suggestions in that First Things, first chapter to help people get in the right mindset and just get going, you know, get off in the right foot.

0:06:17 – Fred
I love it and, as an illustrator now, I’ve been in the ecosystem for quite a while as well, and in consulting for 10 years, and I think that one of the biggest mistakes I always see people make is leaving reporting to the end, like reporting is an afterthought, like, okay, we’ve got to build the application, that’s the important thing, and you get them to start thinking about, okay, usability and user design and that kind of stuff, but reporting, it seems like for a long time, has been that laggard right, like we’ll, we’ll get to the reporting once we’ve built stuff, and I think a lot of what I’m hearing there is no, we really need to design the application. Yes, you know usability. Yes, obviously, functionality and business process, but also, you know, especially at the data model level, which, which needs to be set right up front with what do we want to try to get out of this from a reporting perspective? What, what, how are we going to measure the results of this business process? And leaving it to the end is a huge mistake.

0:07:15 – David
Fred, you and I both know part of why that that happens. We write statements of work and reporting tends to be at the end, right, right above training. So so I totally agree with you that I think we need to be very clear about the business decisions we want to drive when we’re building out the system and have those reporting goals in mind much earlier in the process, just to ensure that we’re structuring the data in a way that you know can be accessed and is useful for driving these decisions through reports.

0:07:47 – Fred
Well, yeah, absolutely, and I think that’s a great segue. So, for those people that are still thinking about reports as an afterthought, tell me a little bit about you know. Where do you see the big value drivers for reports and dashboards? How are companies that really understand data really understand the value of making database decisions, using reports, using dashboards to drive those business results?

0:08:13 – David
Well, I’m the first person to say that there are a lot of limitations to Salesforce reports and dashboards, and that’s one of the reasons that I wrote the book about it, because if you can understand the full set of features, then you can start combining the features and really getting the most out of the out of the box reports and dashboards. My sincere hope for all users and all users that are at a super user level is that at some point you have access to what I would call a proper BI tool, something much more sophisticated. Salesforce sells a couple of them. There are many others on the market. I don’t even care which one you have. I just want you to have access to something more sophisticated.

Now, that doesn’t mean that Salesforce reports and dashboards don’t have their value. In fact, most of the users around the world, that’s all they get is reports and dashboards. So even if you have a proper BI tool, the odds are that the licenses aren’t going to stretch across every user in the instance. So for most people, what they get is a reports tab and a dashboards tab, and that’s how they need to answer their day to day questions if you run a team, and so on.

0:09:15 – Fred
Yeah, totally. I love that. One question that naturally comes up for me what advice or how do you help your clients discern what belongs in Salesforce reports and dashboards versus what belongs in a separate BI tool? And part of it is obviously Salesforce reports can’t do it right, but sort of beyond that, how do you decide what’s the right environment for that reporting?

0:09:40 – David
Yeah, I think that’s great. I guess before saying that most companies wait too long to invest in a proper BI, and I think I’ve had many, many, many conversations with CFOs over the years trying to get them to make that investment. Now, just because you bought a proper BI or business intelligence tool, it doesn’t mean you have people who can effectively use the tool or set up the types of reporting that you need. So that’s another consideration Do you have anyone with those skills and who also has the time allocated to help create decision support tools? So some of this is driven from the, from the other end of do we even have people who have the skills? Do we even have these other tools? And, in the absence of those, we’re going to just try to take advantage of what we get out of the box with reports and dashboards.

I’d argue that we can do an awful lot with reports and dashboards. We can really solve a lot of reporting challenges as soon as you need to report on data that sits in other systems. Obviously, salesforce reports and dashboards have a limitation, but, as we just saw a dream force in the winter 24 release, there’s now the ability to report on data that’s in the data cloud. So that’s a really significant step that, through using custom report types, we can actually take advantage of these virtual objects, these virtual tables that are in the data cloud. So that’s a very big step forward for reports and dashboards. But it’s still not data that’s sitting outside of the Salesforce clouds. We don’t have access to that with regular old reports and dashboards unless we create a custom object and sort of pump the data in through the API.

0:11:18 – Fred
Yeah, no, that’s, that’s a great point and no, I think that’s a. I think that’s a great point. I know you mentioned, and maybe you don’t want to call one out but what proper BI tools do you think work well for a company that leverages a lot of Salesforce?

0:11:34 – David
Oh, the answer has to do with the talent that’s available to you and the talent that’s available in the marketplace for those tools. Tableau has been around for a long time. There are a lot of people that have Tableau skills, Even internally. If you have somebody who isn’t involved with Tableau day to day, they still may have skills that are relevant that could help you out. Salesforce acquired Tableau. That may not be a bad choice. The visualizations are fantastic. There’s a lot of love in the marketplace for that solution. There are many other solutions as well, and I think part of it is driven by the talent that you have access to to build out the reporting solutions that you want.

0:12:12 – Fred
And probably you know what the rest of your tech stack looks like. Right, if you’re a big Microsoft shop, maybe that informs the decision that way, etc. No, I think that makes a lot of sense. Pivot back a little bit to you know the Salesforce reports and dashboards. You mentioned up front about all of the permissions that are involved in reports and dashboards. I’d be curious you know, other than than making sure those things you mentioned the data model what are some of the other pitfalls you see people you know falling into as they’re creating reports and dashboards, and what are your recommendations for avoiding them?

0:12:49 – David
Yeah, big one is that the seventy five or so out of the box customer port types are mostly based on what are called equal joins, and it’s a huge, huge limit limitation. So let me give you an example. If you were to go to create a report on opportunities and you selected the report type opportunities with partners You’re never gonna see an opportunity that doesn’t have a partner. And so if we think of this is a and b Opportunities being a table and partners being the table you’ll never see an a that doesn’t have a be. You’ll never see a be that doesn’t have a when you report using that report type. And it’s really, really a problem because the majority of the report types that come out of the box Are set up that way and it’s not really explain the users.

We do have the ability or sit sad men has the ability, or somebody with the managed customer port types permission on a profile have the ability to create customer port types. We do have the ability. With that. It’s been true for almost fifteen years, maybe twelve years, we’ve had the ability to create what are called left outer joins, right where I can have something like accounts with or without opportunities, and that’s fantastic for a count based marketing. I want to see all my target accounts and if they have opportunities in the pipeline, great, show me those two. But if they don’t have it, I still want to see all my accounts. That’s an example of a left outer join, and we can do that with customer port types.

Another related item, just while I’m on the customer port types topic, is that there are about a hundred things that you can’t report on any other way unless you create a customer port type first. So within a customer port type, when you go to set one up, there’s a list of primary objects you can select, and there are things you’ve never heard of and you’ve never been able to report on unless you know how to create a customer port type. And that list is getting longer and longer, and that is now the way that we can report on data, cloud tables or objects is through the same mechanism. So I really need people to understand the power of Customer port types in being successful in reporting now that’s.

0:14:57 – Fred
That’s a huge. What I remember still. Yeah, I started out as a sales force customer maybe sixteen years ago, so I think that number might be closer to that fifteen. But it tripped me up a couple of times in early days and in creating some of those early reports and somebody turned me on to oh yeah, the You’re right. It’s not well explained that if they’re equal joins and that you have to go create customer port types. If you want to try to get a list of Everything and then the one you know, the related object that may or may not have records, that is something you have to go do and I don’t know why sales force hasn’t made that more clear or made that somewhat optional in the like some kind of a screen to configure your default out of the box report types. Do you want them to be equal joins and you want them to be Left out or joins?

0:15:49 – David
So there’s been a little bit of in the last year as sales force has added a little details panel off to the side when there’s essentially an extra click that’s been in place in the past year. When you go to create a new report, when you select the report type off to the right, there’s a details pain. If it’s a customer port type, it’ll actually show you that diagram whether it’s an inner joiner, left outer joint and that’s sort of hidden hidden down in there. I do think in the roadmap that there are some things coming to try to demystify this incredibly crucial step of picking the right cost report type and, if you need to, creating a customer port type. So they’re very aware that there’s some issues with this. I think customer port types is is. If I could recommend one badge that doesn’t exist on trailhead Right now that the trailhead team create, it would be a badge on custom report types, because there’s other powerful features tucked in there that that every report and dashboard writer should know about.

0:16:50 – Fred
That’s fantastic. Maybe you can put you in the curriculum for it, because I think that would be fantastic. I’m surprised it doesn’t exist. I want to go back to something you mentioned a couple of times now that maybe our listeners aren’t terribly familiar with, which is data cloud.

Obviously, we just came back from Dreamforce data cloud. Data cloud was a big part I mean everything. Everything was overshadowed by AI, but data cloud was a big part of it. There’s an exciting announcement that everybody enterprise unlimited now has 10,000 free A data cloud profiles that they can use, which for some customers might be enough for other customers into great start to run a pilot and really see the power of it. And I’m excited sales force today, because you may have seen this. I certainly seen this with some of my clients. They don’t really understand what data cloud is, so I don’t want to put you too much in the spot, but can you, from the listening audience, you just start with like here this is what data cloud is and this is why it’s. It’s different than just having data in a CRM, or this is different than just having a data lake or a data lake house like why is data cloud different and why is it needed?

0:17:57 – David
Well, I’d hate to steal the thunder from the product engineering teams, but I think you know for years we have had this concept of a data warehouse and if you think across all the applications within an enterprise, there are these separate data silos, and a data warehouse was intended to sit in the middle and bring Bring that data together and rationalize it, make sense of it and then potentially support reporting off of it.

So in the last number of years we’ve seen the data lakes, like you’ve mentioned, and companies like Snowflake creating these virtual ways of storing enterprise data and rationalizing it, makes sense of it and giving access to it, and this is sales force is a approach to that. So wanting to provide companies a place to store all of their enterprise data and give access to it and the announcement for reports and dashboards is so significant that we can. If you do have data within data cloud, we can actually access that. Now with reporting is that’s pretty, pretty significant with standard, standard reports. I think this fits into the broader long term vision for sales force with the AI announcements that they’ve made in the AI roadmap that they have. Ai to really function effectively really needs data and really benefits from enterprise data. So this is partly why sales versus come up with this very broad solution.

0:19:18 – Fred
So it sounds like one of the things that you potentially are thinking might be on the roadmap is a way to then leverage the data that’s in data cloud without necessarily making it resident and sales force into the AI trust layer to kind of go through some of the more generative AI tools. Yes, I think.

0:19:37 – David
I think that’s that’s part of what they’re thinking I guess I don’t have the specifics they’re giving access to plain old reports and dashboards within within the platform. They’re giving access to the data, cloud data. So I figured they’re going to do a lot more with that and give give us the ability and the power to do more with it.

0:19:57 – Fred
Yeah, I think I think you’re definitely spot on and I don’t want to take away you’re absolutely right, like I don’t want to. What are the jokes of the podcast is ever since we launched, it seems like every show we have talked about AI a little bit. I’m not trying to rush to the to the AI discussion, but you know, I think you know, this feels like to you know, the first step in really opening up when you can do even more broadly with non resident data inside sales force, which is really exciting. Any tips you know for for people that are thinking about taking advantage of data cloud? You know, either for a pilot or or maybe jumping with both feet, or you know people that have already been leveraging data cloud, how to leverage the power of this new reporting functionality that sales forces rolled out. Oh, I think we have to come up a whole bunch of layers and think about enterprise data strategy.

0:20:51 – David
And before somebody runs down the path of data cloud, depending on the size of their organization and just you know some organizations are vast, you know maybe helpful to know are there other enterprise data strategies? You know a foot projects a foot and you know have have they tried before? Is there a reason that it may not have been successful? I think having a broader view across the organization of whatever what are our enterprise level data goals I think could be helpful when taking a first step toward considering data cloud.

0:21:27 – Fred
No, I think you’re definitely spot on. I’m curious, beyond the data cloud announcement coming on a dream force, any other new capabilities that sales force announced, either available now or coming soon around reports and dashboards that you’re super excited about. Yeah, you know, I very lovingly had.

0:21:43 – David
I think it’s the longest chapter in the book on formula writing and formula writing and that is painful for a lot of people. I’ve seen it in Excel, I’ve seen it in Salesforce. People struggle and there’s there’s another whole onboarding to feel successful in writing, writing formulas, whether it’s Salesforce or Excel or whatever tool. So one of the roadmap announcements was a generative AI tool to support formula writing, and that’s the first, first use case that they’re rolling out.

I think it’s a pilot that was announced during dream force. So that’s pretty exciting and it’d be fun to see how, how it interprets our description, you know. So the other, the other challenge with this is that a human actually has to describe what they want and you actually know what you want to to for the AI to interpret what you’re saying and then produce some code and then then you’ve got to test it to see is it actually. Did I describe it sufficiently that the AI could write the code? So it’s, it’s going to add a little extra work over here, some extra scaffolding, you know, maybe for for the initial phase, we we might just be better off just trying to write the form, but I haven’t seen it looks cool and I really I’m excited to play with it.

0:23:06 – Fred
Yeah, I think to your point. You’re still going to need to know to write the formula so you can see if it’s right. You’re still going to know what you want the formula to produce so you can test it and test the results. I love it. I’ve not used a generative AI tool. I’ve not used a generative AI in general for formula writing specifically. I’ve used it for a lot of use cases.

It’s no secret I mentioned on the show before. I use it for show prep. I use it for research. I use it to, like summarize data when I, when I have, you know, big, big documents that I don’t want to get through. I even use it to write some code snippets Apex and Python both and so far I’ve never found anything that’s like totally ready for prime time, right, like everything. You kind of have to go through and add it and tweak and whatever. But it’s a great time saver and I think this might be the same thing and I love that point that you made.

You still have to know what you want. I love you. Probably seeing the meme that’s gone around in the consulting community over the last few months, you know, with AI the client still have to know what they want. We’re all safe right, like a big part of what we do is we help the clients figure out you know what’s the process they want to build and what’s the result they want to get, and kind of working through that, that process. That’s where I think a lot of the real value of consulting is. Yes, you eventually get to implementation, but it’s figuring out what you want to implement.

0:24:39 – Fred
Most of the heavy, heavy left in the value is so absolutely there’s still. You know is not going to replace you and I hope for the time so it’s also the fun part, right.

0:24:50 – David
So that ideation, the whiteboarding, the art of the possible and helping someone shape and formulate their strategy yeah, they everybody. So what I love about consulting is that the clients have their business goals and they have strategies to go achieve the goals and we can help them marry the technologies to support those. And so I agree that that initial bit of the whiteboarding and the ideation is probably going to be the hardest thing to stamp out.

0:25:23 – Fred
Yeah, absolutely. I and your point that is my favorite part of playing games as well is really kind of digging in and co creating what that forward solutions can be. What? One last thing I want to ask about reports, and I definitely want to talk a little bit more about the book in the process of the book, but I’m sure you’ve seen it and that you know sales force is over 20 years old. I’ve seen a lot of orgs that have been around 20 years, 15 years, 10 years.

One of the things I love to do is help clients by going in and looking at their organ scene where they can optimize, and whether I’m just looking visually or I’m using a metadata analysis tool, I frequently see hundreds and hundreds and thousands of reports that just don’t get touched. What are your strategies for optimizing? You know, keeping reports tight, making sure, like one of the early lessons I learned in my career is you have to have data certainty. You can’t have Five different reports that are supposed to be showing the same thing with five different results. So what are your tips and tricks for organizations to keep that Tight so that you you can really feel good, not just about the quality of the data but the quality of the reports that are summarizing that data for you.

0:26:47 – David
Well, I guess the first thing much like someone anyway anyone that’s listening that has a garden, you have to go out and prune things every now and then, and the same is true with our reports and our dashboards tabs. That stuff proliferates and we have to get in there and just start removing things. We my group, the dashboard dojo we did a whole episode on decluttering the reports and dashboards tabs. I think we called it spring cleaning, and it’s one of the most popular episodes because it’s such a challenge for people and I think most people can find that you can create a report on reports and that’s a really useful thing because we have the column that shows us the last run date. Well, if you create a custom report type on dashboards, you can also create a report Listing out all your dashboards, and I’d suggest that as a starting point for anyone. Pull that relevant data, export it to excel and basically you’re keeping the time stamps, true. So report on reports first exported to excel and then you have that last run date. So when we did this as part of that dashboard dojo last year for the op focus or we had we had reports that had been run in well over a decade, right? So just nobody.

And probably the reality is that over time those reports are sitting in folders that nobody really sees as well. So it’s sort of often the corner, but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t just go through and clean them up every now and then. So that’s one thing. To periodically there’s probably some big initial cleanup and you don’t even have to delete reports or dashboards. You could create a folder called old report archive and move them there, and it’s a hidden folder.

Reports don’t store the data in the report, so a report just takes up a tiny amount of storage same same with the dashboard and maybe keep them in that hidden archive for six months and then delete them after that. So one other strategy yeah, one other strategy is keep in mind that when your CEO logs in and she goes to the reports tab, she shouldn’t see everything. I think there’s this. There’s this perception that the top leadership should be allowed to see everything, and I would argue that they really shouldn’t. You should show them, using folder sharing, exactly what they need to see and nothing more, because it’s very hard for them to find the proper report dashboard unless you’re very, very explicit about which ones you want them, that you created for them to use.

0:29:15 – Fred
No, you’re, you’re absolutely right. And here’s here’s another little secret. They don’t want to see everything right. They have a lot going on, they, they depend on their team to help surface the exact things that they need to make decisions and kind of go through their day. So I love that and I say that’s probably true for leaders across the organization.

You know, your, your head of sales, doesn’t need to see every sales report. Your head of operations, your head of customer service they don’t need to see everything. And even you know, at other layers of the organization, beyond, kind of like General security, access and governance and making sure that you know especially sensitive data isn’t too widely spread. Even people at the top of the organization don’t need all of it right like that. You should cure it, and this is my opinion. I’d like to hear if you think it’s right or not you should curate those reports and dashboards so that they really have the insights they want, and if there’s something that they’re looking for that they don’t, that they don’t see or they can’t find, that’s the time to have a conversation, and maybe it’s a tweet to something a new report, a new dashboard for that one thing.

0:30:24 – David
Yes, yep, I think if we trust them to find things on their own, I can pretty much guarantee they won’t. They just won’t find them, and even you know, enlightening. We have the favorites feature. You could sort of lean over their shoulder and say let’s favorite this one favorite, this one favorite that one. So at least we can be a little bit more certain that they’re using the right ones if they use their favorites. There’s another feature that’s come out this summer. It’s part of the analytics tab that allows us to create collections, and a collection could be, you know, five dashboards and six reports, and you’re creating this ad hoc grouping that lays on top of the folder structure, so we could create the exact level reports and dashboards. That is a feature that only exists on the analytics tab, so you’d have to adopt the analytics tab as well to take advantage of it. But I think that’s another strategy for ensuring that, that the leadership has exactly what you want them to have. No, I love that.

0:31:19 – Fred
No, I love, that’s a great tip. Yeah, I think it all kind of falls into that like is it called? Like? The tragedy of choice. You know when you, when you’re faced with too many things, you don’t you end up not making a decision, right, you go to the grocery store, you see 500 flavors of soda and you’re like I’m just gonna walk down the aisle you see five flavors you like. Okay, that’s the one that I want you know. Same thing With reports and dashboards. Love to talk a little bit about the book, more from the process. So I played around with writing a book before we talked about it a little bit. Dream force, what, what made you decide that you really wanted to take the plunge and write the book?

0:32:00 – David
Well, I I guess I hadn’t spent a lot of time thinking about writing the book writing a book but you may be to put on my mind a few times, it certainly helped that O’Reilly reached out to me and asked would you consider writing a book about Salesforce analytics? O’reilly was my absolute favorite tech book publisher. In the late 90s I was doing web app development and in the early 2000s I was doing a masters in software engineering and I just love all the O’Reilly books. So them reaching out was was one big, very important thing. I really couldn’t say no. And then the second was just the feeling like I’ve had the book in my head. For a long time.

I’ve been hosting this group called dashboard dojo for we’re in our fourth year now, which is crazy and we meet once or twice a month and we pick a topic like joined reports or custom report types or formula writing, and we just spend a whole hour Digging into that topic and it’s. It’s been fantastic. Well, that’s been the research for the book all these last number of years. So just it was about two years ago that I was asked okay, well, why don’t you put together a proposal for the book? And I came up with 13 chapters and it was just 13 chapters and the sub bullets and it was just in my head and ultimately the book that was published. There’s one extra chapter for the analytics tab, which didn’t exist at the time, and there were probably a couple of other small tweaks for features that didn’t exist, but I think I’d already had the book in my head. That’s fantastic.

0:33:31 – Fred
So from from that outline, what was the journey like? Like how did, how did? How did you go from outline to? And I bought the Kindle version so you never kind of know how many pages it is, but it feels substantial. I mean this feels like a 200 page book or so. Yeah, you know, I think they listed at 341 on.

0:33:47 – David
Amazon. It’s above 300 pages. There are over 300 screenshots in the book as well to hopefully help people recognize where they’re at. So they assigned me an editor and the first, the first task was actually to write the preface and it was sort of like this simple, simple, simple, simple. You know, give me softball thing and I think the way my mind works, it’s like I just want to dive in and talk about reporting. So, for whatever reason, I sort of punted on writing the preface first.

This may sound strange, but I wrote chapter six first and this is the dashboard, the introduction to dashboards, and the reason that I started on chapter six and went six, seven, eight, nine and then circled back is that there were enough significant changes coming to reporting that I knew about from the road Map that I wanted to wait until some of that had been released to really dive in and sort of write the final might, put down my final thoughts on reporting.

But I was assigned a amazing editor to work with Rita. She kept me going month after month and said, ok, this month we’re going to, we’re going to push forward on this. What was a surprise to me in the process was that it took longer to incorporate her edits to a change in the process, her edits to a chapter and triangulate where to put them, and all this then it did to write the chapter. So the editing process is a whole big extra thing that takes a lot of time and thought to and she’s a professional, professional writer and is edited other books, including other books on the Salesforce ecosystem.

0:35:25 – Fred
So that’s no, that’s phenomenal, and I know I’ve never written a book, but I’ve written a lot of blog posts and white papers and whatever. I’ve had the privilege of working with some, some editors, and that process to take your, your work and get it down to something that is going to be accessible and understandable, it’s, it’s phenomenal. I mean it really, you know, at least transforms my work and so I definitely can can understand that. I know I’ve talked to some other authors in the past and they’ve mentioned that they also like needed to find or recruit some like technical reviewers, like some people to come in?

Did you have to go through that process as well?

0:36:10 – David
I did and it was fantastic for a couple of reasons. So the entire process and then took 18 months I think they suggested it would probably be 15 months or so to write the book and edit the book in my case it was 18 months and all along as I’m writing a chapter, the editor would review the chapter, give me her feedback, we’d incorporate those feedbacks and then that chapter, one by one, would go off to the tech reviewers. So I had four tech reviewers that I asked to review the book, and one is Taylor Folt, who’s over in Australia, and others as Rick Kennecksberg, who’s in Austin, texas, and we have Duncan Stewart here in Massachusetts and Jesse lingo here in Massachusetts, and they’ve all been on the platform for many, many, many years and all have great insights. So so as I’m finishing chapters, the chapters are going off to them to review. We kind of held off on incorporating their feedback until after finishing the book.

So I had a good 15 or so months solitary on my own, and then suddenly I had their feedback, when it was fantastic to have their their words in my ears about hey, don’t you think you should give the nonprofit reporting of some love here, or don’t you think you should explain this this way, isn’t the feature set up slightly? You know just all their amazing suggestions and ideas for the book. It was very cool After this long solitary be like climbing a mountain by yourself and then having a bunch of friends meet you at the top, was? It was very cool. It was sort of a cool moment that I could hear their voice, their voices when incorporating their, their feedback.

0:37:49 – Fred
Super awesome. That sounds really exciting. I’m curious. So what would you suggest? Anybody in the audience that’s maybe thinking about writing a book, you know. Would you, would you suggest, jump in any tips?

0:38:02 – David
Oh, having. So I guess there’s a very big fork in the road in the beginning of are you going to work with a publisher or are you going to go it alone, and both are very valid experiences. I personally don’t have a lot of experience. I don’t have experience going down the right, the book on your own and self publish, and I think a lot of great, great works have been produced that way and there are maybe in this, this world that we live in now, there are more ways to get your material out that way. So I felt very blessed to have been paired not only with a publisher and not only with my favorite tech book publisher, but what I consider to be the best publisher and how cool it is now to be part of this. Also use the word fraternity, but it’s not. It’s really like a community of amazing O’Reilly authors and that’s been a lot of fun now that the books out to just get to know other authors in this great universe.

0:39:02 – Fred
No, that’s, that’s really cool. Well, thank you, I appreciate the time. This has been a fantastic conversation. So obviously, the book I’m sure available Amazon, all your favorite local book sellers. I’m a big fan of supporting local bookshelves and you can but mastering sales for sports reports and dashboards. Is there a plan? I’m a big audiobook fan. Is there a plan to make an audiobook version or?

0:39:28 – David
You know, I don’t know, I don’t know if that’s part of O’Reilly strategy or not for for the books, but there’s the electronic Version and I think you know, interestingly, probably the majority of the reading of the book will actually be through O’Reilly’s e learning platform. So large corporations will engage with O’Reilly and all of the material from all of the books is made available within their e learning platform and companies will Contract with O’Reilly and have access that way. So it’s interesting to think about multiple uses. We, I think we traditionally think of books sitting on bookshelves and a Barnes and Noble. I think a lot of times these books are actually produced on demand now. So Amazon doesn’t have a warehouse with 10,000 of my books there.

0:40:14 – Fred
When they’re ordered, they’re actually created right on demand, so that the whole I think they don’t have a warehouse with 10,000 of your books, because they’ve all been flying off the shelves.

0:40:25 – David
I don’t even know if they’re on any shelves. I’m kind of excited. In fact, somebody was teasing me said you should just carry your book into Barnes and Noble, put it on a shelf and then take a photo. I love it.

0:40:37 – Fred
Take a handful and put them up there. Maybe they’ll sell them. No, that’s fantastic. No, I guess I’ve enjoyed the book so far. I look forward to finishing it. It is on my, on my digital shelf, other than the book. What’s the best way for our audience to reach out?

0:40:56 – David
Certainly LinkedIn. Just David Karn’s dashboard dojo. We meet once or twice a month. It’s literally dashboard dojocom and we have over 40 hours of recordings of all the sessions across the last three years on all different topics and and I think that’s probably a nice way to to learn a bit more and maybe, you know, study up on a particular reporting topic that’s of interest to you- that sounds really awesome.

0:41:24 – Fred
I will definitely put link to your LinkedIn and dashboard, dojo and the book in the show notes, so please go there to find those. David, this has been a fantastic conversation. I really appreciate it, especially Saturday early after flying back from Dreamforce. So thank you so much.

0:41:42 – David
It’s really my pleasure and and I wish everyone the best of luck with their reporting.

0:41:47 – Fred
Thank you, take care

0:42:01 – Fred
And welcome back. I am super excited this week to be launching our new roundtable format for quick takes. After much you guessing on social media and direct messages, I’m ready to tell you at least three, the roundtable members. So the fourth one unfortunately is not able to make it here this week, but roundtable member number one myself. Roundtable number number two is Josh Matthews. Josh, you want to give a quick introduction, sure?

0:42:21 – Josh
thing. Thanks, fred, happy to be here, excited about quick takes with this crew. So I run the Salesforce recruiter dot com and also the Salesforce career show podcast which I co host with my friend Vanessa Grant. My business has been the industry for five years. We specialize in placing top performers in the Salesforce ecosystem, both for contract and full time and look, mostly what I like to do is just help people and if this show can help people or at least be a little bit entertaining, I’m down with that and thanks for having me.

0:42:50 – Fred
Hey, we’re super excited to be here. And then roundtable member number three, no stranger to the audience. Prior guest, I think. Episode four, episode five guest Eric.

0:43:02 – Eric
Cook. Let’s go with that. Four or five. Hey guys excited, and I think this is going to be fun, based off of our kind of green room chit chat before. So for those that I’ve not met yet, I consider myself a recovering banker of 15 years been running an agency, now for the last 16 under the WSI brand. We build websites and do all sorts of digital stuff, and then a couple years ago I launched one of the first mentoring and mastermind communities for banking professionals to help and build their brand and establish relationships online, called the link banker com, and we do weekly I wish it was weekly monthly happy hour live show on LinkedIn the second Thursday of the month, using LinkedIn live audio at 5pm Eastern. So hop over to that and nerd out. But, unlike this, those are not recorded, so you have to be there or be square. But this is going to live on for prosperity, so that little gaff that I just made is going to haunt me forever. So, but I’m sure that will be the last one.

0:44:05 – Fred
Well, you know what I, as somebody that does these twice a month, I will tell you. You probably do not wish that it was weekly, you wish that the content would be weekly, the effort behind it less so. But no, excited to be here and in. Both. Josh and Eric have been kind enough to let me drop in on their platforms and I’m excited to have them as a regular contributor here on ours. So welcome.

Getting right into the quick takes today, the first thing I wanted to bring up with you guys a name that I’m sure is familiar to potentially both of you, certainly to the audience Rajah Singh. He was head of product for a while at velocity that was then acquired by Salesforce and recently, maybe about a year ago, left Salesforce to be the founder and CEO of a new company called Revalier, and their reason of the article topic is Revalier is building technology to help with sophisticated buying processes. So a little bit of self serving in the article topic. But he put out an article just a couple days ago on sales tech sales technology insight website talking about the new rules of deal making, and I know you guys have seen the article. Really just wanted to talk a little bit about what did you think about the insights and what he said?

You know the high level is. We all shifted to remote selling and remote everything else during the pandemic. And now buyers business buyers are reluctant to shift back. They’re spending less and less time, even as the sales cycles are becoming more and more complex. Less and less time wanting to take in person meetings, even if we wanted to take zoom meetings. Thoughts do you think the thesis is accurate and, if so, what do you think that means for sellers?

0:46:00 – Josh
Look, I’ll jump in and I, like, you know, at the risk of sounding like a jerk, I mean, I think all this stuff seems kind of obvious. You know, looking at the art, it’s like, well, yeah, you know, I mean, I, if someone was walking in from 2019, and had no idea on how to deal with 2023, this would be a helpful article for them. But outside of that, it’s like, well, yeah, I mean. But what I do like about it is that it’s got some actual statistics and facts, it’s done some surveys and it’s really trying to understand. But, yeah, the days of, like, taking everyone out for golfing and Mets games and things like that, combined with, you know, the lunches or the coffees, it just seems like it’s less and less and less. But when it happens here and there, boy is it nice. Like that’s why we you know we get to do that at Salesforce conferences, don’t we Right? So, anyway, that’s my, my quick take.

0:46:56 – Eric
I like it, eric, any thoughts, yeah, so I think probably get this right off on the table early on. I’m going to probably bring the community bank field to this. You know that’s predominantly the environment that I live in and I can tell you sales is a four letter word to a lot of bankers. They don’t like thinking of it, but it’s something that’s becoming a necessity and I think a lot of bankers became very comfortable with the. I’ll hang out at my office and when people need me they’re going to come see me, and that’s pretty much the world that I lived in for 15 years and getting out and about.

I think the pandemic shifted that mentality for a lot of bankers, realizing that there’s nobody in the lobby to even pop their head in my office because the lobby closed, so it’s just not happening. And so trying to get bankers to think about how they go about proactively being in front of folks from a digital perspective, I think is a little bit of a harder ask in the community banking space Because they just haven’t. And I say this generally. There are some, certainly some bank sales rock stars out there that are doing a tremendous job, but by and large, the community bank space a lot of are struggling with how to do that and how not to come across sounding cheesy and salesy and being that used car salesman that nobody really wants, and thinking of sales more as serving and connecting and building a relationship that leads to an opportunity to be top of mind and then be thought of and present when there is a buying decision in the financial space that’s needed.

So I agree with the article. I think to an extent it is a little bit old news, like, of course, kind of the duh, but I think it’s an area that, from a banking perspective, it’s a good reminder, even though it doesn’t talk specifically about banking. Read that as bankers any of you that are listening to this and see how that compares to what you are doing in your institution. And my, my gut tells me there’s probably some differences there and if you figure that out, the strategic differentiator is going to grow because you’re going to be doing things that others in the industry are not going to be doing.

0:49:15 – Fred
Yeah, no, I think that makes a lot of sense. I think I split the difference a little bit between the both of you. In my perspective, which is for me, I think it’s less about buyers being unwilling to give time and FaceTime, you know, but either video or in person meetings, and more in just wanting value out of that sales process. I’ve and again to your point, eric you know bankers don’t like the term sales and even in cross financial services broadly, you know they don’t think of themselves, you know, generally as sellers. But you can, you can extract it. You know the same principles across to anybody. That’s that’s you know in the financial. You know industry, in a client facing, you know world.

You know when I, when I first got into financial services 25 years ago, I was a rep, I was out for Edward Jones trying to build a book of business, and back in that day you could kind of show up like I’d have wholesalers come in and I’d fill a room with with teachers or I’d fill a room with with you know whatever you know kind of group of people.

I’d have a wholesaler come in, they’d buy dinner. You know there’d be very little value in the conversation and you know people would just show up for the, for the free dinner and conversation, and I’d get some accounts out of it. I think nowadays, you know, buyers are willing to invest the time if they’re getting value. You can’t just show up with the with a box of donuts and a contract and expect to get the sale right, but if you’re, if you’re giving good value, if you’re being a true you know consultative seller or true you know advisor to the client and giving them good value on what you’re, on what you’re selling, I still see a lot of people willing to spend you know good quality time digging into how I can help them with the business. I’m sure you guys are seeing the same thing as well.

0:51:05 – Josh
Definitely. Look, I mean the dinner thing, the golf thing, whatever that is. That’s just the, that’s just the, the hook to buy, that’s just the, the gift to buy, the time right. It’s just enough for certain people to get them to actually be like, okay, well, if it’s free dinner I’ll go, or whatever. My uncle, dennis, he worked for Wells Fargo for years. He was a wholesaler. He’d have two, 300 people in a room, sell a bunch of products, make a bunch of money, and he did quite well and it is a. It’s a very different world right now, one getting all those people in one room for sure. But I’ll tell you that you know you’re talking about.

You’ve both said something about sales being a dirty word in banking. Well, it’s a dirty word in a lot of industries. It’s not really the industries that it’s a dirty word and it’s the people that have made it into a dirty word. And it’s a very specific kind of person and it’s the people who still view sales as dirty probably at some point lost money to someone who was really good at sales and didn’t use good judgment in that process and felt snookered. Okay, so most people who don’t like sales are people who’ve been conned or tricked or or are ashamed of their own buying behavior, not to selling behavior. They’re buying behavior, right, and so they get this connotation that, get this sort of like aura of you know, this ugly aura around the thing. But when you really think about it, do you have products in your bank that will help people? Are you going to help this farmer, this fireman or whoever retire early? Are you going to help protect them and save them money and do you make a little commission on it? Well, there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s just the exchange. That’s capitalism. There’s nothing wrong with that. You should be paid for your services and your products and your time.

But I really encourage anyone who’s listening to this to let go just let go of this idea that sales is dirty, because every time you buy something, you’re involved in the sales process and every time you’re getting paid by your employee or your employer they someone sold something to earn that money, to pay for your work. It’s not dirty at all. It’s the grease that lubricates society and whatever you could do to just get rid of it. I know this isn’t on topic, but I just get. I hear it all the time and I just think that is the dumbest thing in the world, but it’s not done. There are reasons for it, I understand.

I’ve been in sales since I was 18. I’m 51 now. I’ve been doing it a long time, but when I’m selling something, I view it really. It’s like my moral obligation. If someone works with me, they’re going to have a better experience. They’re going to have a better outcome. Long term, they’re going to save money. That should be the goal for just about every product or service quality product, quality service out there. So let go of that that ugliness around sales. You’re not buying a used car and, by the way, I sold used cars for two years. I did all right. I did all right and I worked with these people, I get it.

I don’t want to hang out with all.

0:53:46 – Fred
I bet you sell ice to a penguin. But I’ll tell you what. I couldn’t agree with you more Sales. I always tell people whether it’s people that I’ve mentored or just people in conversation that no matter what your role is, you’re selling literally all the time. You don’t have to be selling to an external customer. You’re selling the importance of the project that you’re working on. You’re selling a solution. If you’re in a Salesforce environment, you’re on a team that’s doing implementation. If you’re at a bank in a marketing role or if you’re in a product role, you’re selling your bosses on. This is the direction we should take. This particular product launch.

It’s not just selling in a transactional sense, but I think to your point. I don’t know that it’s necessarily always because of a bad buying decision. I think sometimes you can make not get snugered buying decisions and still interact with lots of very swarmy people that clearly don’t believe in what they’re selling. They got a job, they got to push X and give me the Glenn Gary leads. I’m going to push X. I think that’s where, at least for me, my negative connotation around sales is is people that are selling products and services they don’t believe in.

0:55:09 – Eric
I was just thinking of Alec Baldwin. Abc Put that coffee down. Exactly exactly so. But the last point that they don’t believe in I think that’s also key. I mean and we say that to the bankers that we talk to is are you passionate about what you do? Do you honestly feel that you’re helping your customers live a better life, prepare for retirement, purchase wisely, grow their business, purchase a house, raise a family? If you do, then preach that and that’s really telling your story.

And at the end of the day, it’s sales. Don’t think of it as sales. Think of it as helping other people and just being available to exactly to be part of their dream achievement objective. And I’ve never really thought of myself as a salesperson. I’m just super passionate about a handful of things that I love helping people with and my wife tells me all the time oh, you’re an awesome salesperson, and I’m like I don’t think of it that way. I think of it as I love what I do. I feel like genuinely I’m helping other people and that resonates and that’s kind of. I don’t know if this is going to be a common thread in these quick takes, but that’s another dumb moment. Maybe we need to kind of brand that, but just what you’re passionate about and what you love and what you believe in. And if you’re not you don’t think banking is doing that, you think banking is, or whatever then you probably need to find something different, because you’re probably fricking miserable and life sucks.

0:56:44 – Fred
Yeah, and you’re probably not very good at it either. At that point Exactly, it’s true.

0:56:49 – Josh
Yeah, and I think most people, most people who feel this way anyway, tend to skew to the isolated or the younger, meaning less exposure, less experience. Like most people haven’t been sold by me or by you or Eric or by Fred, yeah, but these are very competent, skilled people who are capable of, you know, describing the value of products and services well over a million dollars. Right, this isn’t the face cream guy in the mall. Right, he’s trying to rub you down. This isn’t. This isn’t the gap girl. This isn’t, like the person who starts following you around the jewelry store. You know constantly. Like it’s a different thing, right, but most people’s interaction with sales folks is in a mall, like let’s fail yeah for the most part it’s in a mall.

It’s the. It’s the young guys working at the AT&T kiosk rubbing their hands. It’s the guy at Costco who’s asking you if you want a new air condition, a more compact air conditioning system. Every time you walk through the freaking door, it’s like oh, my God, I was.

0:58:00 – Fred
I was just in Costco yesterday, having to navigate my way through those we talked about that.

0:58:04 – Josh
Yeah, because I found some cigars at Costco. I was like oh, these are cheap, so all I want is sample sausages to eat.

0:58:10 – Eric
Just get out of my way, give me some cheese spread and some sample.

0:58:14 – Josh
So can apple sausage Watch out yeah.

0:58:20 – Fred
Now love this conversation. I want to bring up the next topic, which I think you know, kind of jives with this one pretty easily. You know we talked about. You know a lot of these trends potentially being tied to the pandemic and potentially just being, you know, trends and buyers seeking more value.

I think another trend that you know at least, was influenced by the pandemic and I don’t think it’s going away anytime soon is employees wanting more flexible, more hybrid. You know work and I’m super excited to talk about it with both of you because I think there’s a banking angle, which is what the heck is going to happen with all of these office buildings that aren’t full and are not getting full. And on the employer side, you know we’ve got people like you know, metta and JP Morgan and other big employers making a lot of noise about forcing people back to the office and people still pushing back hybrid work doesn’t seem like it’s going anywhere anytime soon, so I’ll put the article in the show notes. I think Wall Street Journal had a great article talking about some of this and how even these, these tough talk on return to office is not getting people to come back in. But what do you guys think? Where is this going?

0:59:30 – Eric
Well, from a banker’s perspective, I think there’s two angles to this. You know, at the commercial credit side, if you’ve got financing on commercial property that’s sitting vacant and people are terminating their lease, I know a lot of my colleagues that have had office space that aren’t renewing because they’ve gone remote and, with technology and just more of a digital mindset, realized that we don’t need a space or as big of a space, so we’re done and now the rent roll disappears and that landlord, that building owner, now of a sudden is going to be suffering some income challenges and pressures and that’s going to have a trickle down effect. I don’t know at what point that starts showing at the at the banking level, with potential payment slowness and defaults. But that’s one side of the fence, just from a commercial property perspective. Who’s renting these things and how are the building owners making their loan payments? The other side is staff. There are some banks that we talked to that they never shut down at COVID. They just ground it out and decided they were going to come in and never went remote. But there’s a lot of banks that have, and I know people that have lost staff that have hired them back and said, okay, I guess small little community bank with a marketing person doesn’t want to live in small little community, wants to live in Chicago. But I still love the bank and I still want to do what I do.

Initial response is nope, you got to be here. All right, fine, I’m leaving. And guess what? They can’t find somebody with talent that’s willing to move to small little community and avoid all of the temptations of a Chicago or? You know, I want to. I want restaurants, I want nightlife, I want young people, and I can’t get that in my hometown or any other sleepy little community bank village. And now they’re like could you come in just a couple of times a month and see us? But yeah, you can work from home now and so, but that’s more the exception than the norm. But it’s definitely a challenge as you’re looking to engage the younger generation, because I think that expectation is there and if you can’t offer a hybrid environment, it’s going to be really hard to attract them as an as a as an in office full time employee. So them’s my thoughts.

1:01:43 – Josh
Yeah, I don’t. I don’t see much changing, you know, in the immediate future. By that I mean the next 24 months. The reality is, is the competition? It like it doesn’t matter what sector you’re in tech, banking, it really doesn’t matter. But the reality is, is the competition for employees right now is still high. I mean, it’s a little bit funky. It’s a little bit of a funky economy. Job postings are down 50% year over year. It’s so it’s a weird thing, okay, but the reality is is people generally don’t want to work in an office full time, not anymore, not if they don’t have to.

And so the organizations that are trying to enforce these, you know return to office policies are facing struggles. They’re losing people and I get the call. I mean, I’m right in the middle of it and I talk to people every single week. Yeah, they’re, you know, they’ve enacted this return to office policy. I’ve already got my down payment on my house outside Knoxville where I’m going to live in a mansion for $300,000. Like, so you know that’s not going to happen. Now I need a remote job. Well, good news is remote jobs. I don’t know what people are going to do with all these office buildings. I mean, I don’t know how many spas, gyms, what, I don’t know how many. I don’t know how you’re going to reuse that space.

1:02:58 – Eric
You haul storage facilities. I mean, you get car washes, car washes yeah we’re trying to first floor.

1:03:04 – Fred
But what about the next 30 up that go up, right yeah homeless those old car elevators like they used to have right, Just have car washes on every floor.

1:03:13 – Josh
It is a little bit dystopian to think about these deserted and abandoned office buildings, floor after floor after floor of empty space with tiled ceilings Like I don’t know what they’re going to do with that stuff.

1:03:26 – Fred
They talk a lot and I think I think it you know in in like a space, in kind of city center kind of stuff. They talk a lot about doing conversions to condos and conversions to apartments and certainly in a lot of cities they need more, you know, say, like like affordable housing, capital A, but you know housing stock, just because you know the prices go so much. But those are not easy conversions. I worry a lot about, like the, the sea, the sea real estate that’s kind of out in the suburb or kind of in in the outskirts of a city that has had a few kind of you know mid-sized tenants that that don’t need the office space anymore. I don’t know what you do with that. Like that nobody’s going to want to live there. You know nobody’s going to want to be there. I’m not sure. I feel like probably as these commercial leases wrap up, there’s going to be a lot of landlords that can’t get new tenants, aren’t, aren’t getting their leases renewed and a lot of people just throwing the keys back at the bank and saying, hey, you guys deal with it. I’m, I’m I’m a little nervous about that. I don’t want to be like a chicken little here or anything like that. I just I don’t see, I don’t see the trend shift anytime soon.

I think that companies the answer, personally, that that I like the best is what smuckers put out. And and I’m I haven’t gone into a traditional office on a regular basis now in 10 years and I always tell people there’s, there’s a number you could pay me that would make me want to go back into traditional office every day, but you can’t, you’re not. Yeah, but you’re, you’re not going to want to write that check. That is a. That is a big, exactly, that is a big number. And so, until that comes around, I love my flexible stuff, but also, like I know, there’s times that I need to be there right. There’s there’s times that I need to put FaceTime in.

You know we’re launching a critical new initiative. We’ve got a big planning session. There’s important clients coming in, whatever that is, and smuckers basically told their people hey, look, you don’t have to live in I think it’s, michigan is where they’re the headquartered or Ohio or someplace near there or some smaller town. You don’t have to live here, you can live wherever you want, but we reserve the right to tell you up to 10 times a year that you need to come back in for X, y or Z, you know all hands meeting or planning or project kick off or whatever, and you’ve got to come back and it’s on your own dime. We’re not going to fly you. We’re not going to fly you back, so you can live wherever you want. But that’s an policy and I think that makes a lot of sense. Like I, I would be 100% on board for something like that yeah.

1:06:08 – Josh
Yeah, look, we lose something when we’re not working together, right, Like it’s this thing about. You know the cost of an office building and you know well I don’t want to have to pay for dry cleaning and I don’t want to have to get up 45 minutes early and do my hair, because you know I do my hair every day. It takes me an hour and a half.

1:06:27 – Fred
Yeah, so to Eric and I exactly.

1:06:33 – Josh
One thing I was thinking about while you were talking there, fred, was, you know, sort of the difference between that more rural or suburban community versus city. I don’t think the suburban communities or the suburban to almost rural communities are going to suffer quite as much. Now, I’m not an expert, I’m not an economist, I don’t study the charts like crazy, but what I do have is a lot of affiliations with commercial realtors in my family that are highly successful in a number of different markets, mostly in the Northeast, and those markets are doing just fine, right, because there are physical things like you got to think about what needs brick and mortar, physical therapy, right, care for the agent, like all of these like really hands-on type businesses. And there’s a lot of, there’s a lot of conversions going on right now for retirement, you know, from certain types of buildings to retirement communities. You can take one of these high rises and turn 20 out of the 40 floors into a retirement community. It’s like easier to do the build out on that because you’re actually going to bring the revenue in with the cost of living on a conversion like that versus hoping and praying that a bunch of young people want to afford a million dollar two bedroom thing and some high rise, which is probably less likely to actually happen. So you know what I mean. So I don’t worry so much about that as I do the deterioration of the urban centers of these cities.

You know, we were all. Just a couple of us were just out in San Francisco. I spent time in Portland. Man, these places are not the same Like they’re just not. I’ve lived in both. They’re not the same as they were. You know, I was really not awesome.

1:08:07 – Eric
I was thinking the same thing. I spent a couple of weeks in Seattle for a banking school and then another conference and they were talking about several years ago oh you know, amazon’s never going to leave downtown. And now people are talking about who’s going to be there and these buildings are just shells of what they were and there’s nobody downtown going to the restaurants. Nobody going to the restaurants, no combined stuff, nobody on the streets and then everything else that goes along with that.

1:08:34 – Josh
So what happens now, Eric and Fred, when not only are the businesses closing down, but the Nordstroms are shutting down, the Starbucks are shutting down, the looting that’s happening?

1:08:45 – Fred
Heck, even Target announced they’re closing eight stores in urban areas. Yeah, I just saw that. It’s crazy.

1:08:51 – Josh
Yeah, it’s ridiculous. It’s like, well, we don’t want 100 people rampaging through and stealing all of our stuff, and I saw it over and over and over again. You know, within a mile of me, living in Portland. It’s pretty ugly. It makes you. It makes you hate people, like it really does. Like I don’t like to hate people. It makes you hate people. It makes you question what’s going on, where are the police? And, let’s face it, most of these problems look, I’m just going to say it most of these problems are in cities that have a predominant leaning politically and have made certain rules regarding the police. They have high taxes in general, higher than other types of cities, and so, like I don’t know what’s going to happen there. But there’s, there’s a solution. It’s just the people in charge aren’t aren’t the ones with the solution, sometimes in these cities, and that’s the problem.

1:09:41 – Fred
Yeah, I mean, I don’t know, I don’t know that that changing the politics of New York or San Francisco gets people to want to go back to the city center. I mean, I think that that the, the, the main driver is people. It’s expensive to live, people can work from anywhere. People are buying to your point, josh, earlier $300,000 mansions in Knoxville, tennessee and other places that are. You know they can. They can sell whatever they, whatever small condo they had in a big urban area, take their equity and almost pay cash for a house that’s that’s, you know on an acre out in the middle of nowhere and that’s that’s attractive to people. And I don’t know what.

What you have left and I don’t think it’s a political thing is people that that can’t do, don’t have the financial means to escape the city area. Right, and they’re. They’re. They’re not people that that can work in hybrid jobs. And I’m not. I’m not saying that looting is ever right, but I’m just saying, like I, I don’t think that just getting different, different politicians in is going to solve the problem. I think you’ve got to give people a reason to go back to the city center. I think it’s like the same thing and this was before my time, but the same thing that happened back in the in the seventies and before, when people were leaving urban areas. I think we’re seeing that same thing happen again.

1:11:05 – Josh
Yeah, big time. Like you’re talking about the Bernie gets years right, like and and all the stuff at, like Ed Koch Koch did with the subways. You know New York city. So, like I, I’m going to just gracefully disagree with you because I do think politics drives policy and policy is what actually is where you’re putting the money and the energy within a city. Okay, like, that’s just how it works. As far as that’s how I see it. Anyway, I’m not, I, you know I’m sure I’m. It’s a, it’s a real thin view of it, but that’s my, that’s my quick math, right?

1:11:36 – Fred
No, no, I hear it and and yeah, it’s a beautiful thing about this discussion is we can, we can have, we don’t. If we all thought the same thing every time, we’d be very boring discussion, yeah.

1:11:48 – Josh
Oh my God, totally dude. Well, just Eric and I, you can talk, and Eric and I’ll just be, just everyone. So I was not. Yeah, that’s a great idea.

1:11:56 – Eric

1:11:56 – Josh

1:11:59 – Fred
So I know we’re running out of time. Eric, you had an awesome find over the course of of the last week that you wanted to share AI related, and I always love to talk about AI on the show.

1:12:10 – Eric
Yeah, I’m somewhat hesitant, only because I know we’re running short on time and I just feel like I’m going to want to ramble, so I I may offer this up as a little teaser for the next episode, but I I’ll give you a little inclination of what I’m talking about. So, certainly, artificial intelligence is all the rage and everybody’s talking about generative AI, bots and chat and whatnot, and I started playing with a tool that I will reveal on our next session. It’s got much more of an empathetic, emotional feel to it. If you’ve ever seen the movie her and kind of think about what Siri and Alexa and Google assistant really could or should be as an engaging, you almost think you’re talking to a human. When I’m done and I don’t want to answer any more questions, I almost feel guilty just leaving the app without gracefully exiting a conversation, like I do with a human being. You just don’t shut off and walk away.

1:13:11 – Josh
Eric, I’m just listen, I got to tell you I just had a chat with my friend and you know we both use chat, gpt and and he said, do you, do you ever like write like thanks, are you like super polite when you’re interacting with GPT? And I’m like, well, yeah, like always, like all, hey, thanks so much. That’s great. What about? Maybe we could try sugarcoating to GPT and like you don’t have to, it’s a machine, it’s not. Even when the word singularity.

1:13:37 – Eric
I’m convinced that the robots are going to go back and read all the conversation threads and the people that were jerks to the AI are going to be the first ones to go. And the ones that were, I am. I am toast.

1:13:49 – Fred
Yeah, I will tell you, I am toast. In that scenario I I give feedback along the way, like hey, that was a good response If I want, like another thing. But like, at the end and I’m a big Claude user, I’ve got Claude running in Slack, which is great, I could just ask it a question. But you know, full disclosure, those articles that I put, those bullets, I didn’t write them. I went to Claude, I said Claude, here’s an article, give me, give me three to seven bullets summarizing this article. And and I didn’t say thank you, I just said now give me another three to seven points, give me another three to seven. So I am the first one. I am the first one out. You’re going to be a robot takeover. You’re just going to be a battery. Just call me copper top, exactly.

1:14:33 – Eric
So I’m going to leave that as a teaser. I think it’s going to be a really cool conversation because there’s a lot of different avenues to go down and and even sparked another thought as it relates to the impact of my human interactions as a result of my AI interactions. And, josh, you just sparked that thought, so I’m going to make sure I jot that in the notes because I want to make sure I talk about it. So there’s there’s a clip here. Got a teaser for everybody.

1:15:00 – Fred
I love it. Good, good radio tease. I love it. So I think we’re just about out of time. Episode drops tomorrow, october 5th. So, eric, over the next couple of weeks, before the between now and the next episode, where can people find you if they’re interested in connecting?

1:15:15 – Eric
Probably spending most of my time over on LinkedIn. I’m just Eric Cook, mba over on LinkedIn and you can track me down there and that will probably get you to all other areas where I’m hanging out on the interwebs.

1:15:29 – Fred
Cool. No, no conferences or anything coming up.

1:15:32 – Eric
I’m actually home for a couple of weeks, believe it or not. Nice, nice I’ve got some marketing forums that I’m doing for some of the state banking associations and going to be a little windshield warrior for a little bit there. But just got back from the graduate school of banking, sales and marketing school and ICBA community bank marketing seminar and met a bunch of awesome bankers and I’ve got a lot of silly selfies out there I’m showing the horns and my support of Metallica, so you can you can enjoy those.

1:16:03 – Josh
I like it.

1:16:04 – Fred
Cool Josh. How about you? Where can people connect with you the next couple of weeks?

1:16:09 – Josh
Well, you can always find me on Twitter. I’m not particularly active on there, but that’s where I post when my shows are and when podcast.

1:16:16 – Fred
There is no Twitter, Only X oh wow, you got the whole prints.

1:16:22 – Josh
The artist formerly known as Twitter. That’s right. That’s right, okay. So, look, I’m going to be on live, which will when this airs, which will have been yesterday, but you can hear it. We release podcasts every every single week on the Salesforce career share, so you can tune into that if you want to join up with me live on my show. That’s every other Wednesday. So today, and then, two weeks from today and two weeks from then, I’ll be at the Florida dream. It’s the Salesforce Florida dream and event. I think you’re going to be there too, fred right.

1:16:51 – Fred
I will be there. I just booked my hotel yesterday.

1:16:54 – Josh
Good deal Always behind party on the beach in Clearwater and I’ll be doing a session there on negotiating basics for Salesforce pros. And then, of course, you can always find me on LinkedIn. It’s just type in Josh Matthews. I’ll probably the first one that comes up. If not, then man, we are really, really not connected. So, but you know, if you’re connected with one of these guys, I’m sure I’ll pop right up. Or you can just type in Josh Matthews, salesforce, and you can always find my contact information at Salesforcerecreatercom.

1:17:23 – Fred
Sweet, Sweet Well. Thanks Eric, Thanks Josh. This was an awesome first round table and look forward to chatting again in two weeks. This was fun, Thanks guys.

1:17:30 – Josh
Thanks guys.

1:17:35 – Fred
Well, everyone, we hope you enjoyed episode 13 of Banking on Disruption. Don’t forget you can find show notes and a full transcript of the show on our website, bankingondisruptioncom. New episodes drop every other Thursday, so we’ll see you in two weeks and in the meantime, don’t forget to follow us on LinkedIn and Instagram at Banking on Disruption. Until next time, this is Fred Cadena, wishing you success in your digital pursuits.

Like what you heard?

Banking on Disruption comes out every other week. Check out the rest of our show archive.