Salesforce Trailblazers We Love: Eric Dreshfield

The Salesforce Ohana is truly something special, isn’t it? Join us as we introduce you to some of our favorite trailblazers. First up, bacon-loving, entertaining, knowledgeable, and thoughtful Eric Dreshfield shares how he got his start in the Salesforce ecosystem, his favorite Salesforce resources, the best-kept Salesforce secret, his Salesforce prediction, and more!

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Andrew Duncan 0:16

Hello, everyone. Thank you so much for clicking on this video. My name is Andrew Duncan and I’m here with caught adoption Solutions. Today we’re doing a another installment in our series Trailblazers we love. We are so excited to have Eric Dreshfield on board today. Eric, thank you so much for coming.


Eric Dreshfield 0:34

Hi Andrew, it’s my pleasure. Thanks for inviting me.


Andrew Duncan 0:36

Yeah, thank you so much. So for our viewers who might not know you, could you describe yourself in a couple sentences, Eric?


Eric Dreshfield 0:43

Sure. I’ve been in the community and working in Salesforce since 2009. So 12 ish. years, give or take a little. Probably most people know me as the guy who started Midwest dreaming. I think a few people have called me the granddaddy of the dream and events, which is kind of cool. But on Salesforce MVP since 2013, now in the MVP Hall of Fame, I run a local user group in Evansville, Indiana, as well for Salesforce users. So yep, and currently, product evangelist at Mowgli.


Andrew Duncan 1:18

Yeah, which is, which is so exciting. You know, thank you so much for being here. I think if our if our viewers for this video, do have a chance, we will have your social media, in the comments below and in the description. So they should definitely see what you’re doing. But we’re gonna kick this off and just go through a couple questions and and see what we can get out of today’s. So I think the best way to start is, you know, how did you get your start in the Salesforce ecosystem? Take us back to that first step that you took.


Eric Dreshfield 1:47

Yeah, sure. And it’s kind of funny, I didn’t really take a step, right. You know, you hear all of these stories about people becoming accidental admins, where they’re at a company where they they launch Salesforce, and somebody says, hey, we need someone to be the administrator of this system, can you do that, and they’re, they’re accidentally thrust into that role, or voluntold, as some people would say, it was a little bit different for me. For that perspective, from that viewpoint, I was working at a at a software company as a tech support agent. So I was on the phone every day talking to this company’s clients, and helping them solve their problems. And that was a temporary job when I got hired. And it was supposed to be an eight week assignment, because they were launching one new software product, and they needed help to roll that out. And the call volume was super light. By the time that eight weeks was was over. It was just me on that product, there were four of us hired the same day. So the other three were already gone by then, because the call volume was so light. But they kept kept me on as a temporary agent, they kept training me on all of their additional software products. So after six months of being there, I was functioning like a regular support agent, supporting their clients all around the world on every single product they had, when the HR department calls me up and says, Hey, Eric, we’ve got a position available. It’s in the call center. It’s doing exactly what you’re doing today. But as a company employee, there’s better pay, there’s benefits, are you interested. And at that point, I had been probably close to two and a half years, without what I’d call a real job. I had been working contract jobs or a bunch of part time jobs, just to keep my family fed and keep the lights on at home and things like that. And so it was you know, that was a of course, I’m interested. I mean, I didn’t even have to breathe, to respond to that one. That’s yeah, what do we do? And the HR person, so that’s great, we’ll set you up for an interview for this and, and get you rolling. And I thought, well, I got to interview for the job I have. That was a little weird. But you know, I also thought, well, he interviewed four at once, and I got it. And I’m the only one left out of four people who started the same day. So that says something about my performance at that company. So they apparently like what I’m doing already.


Eric Dreshfield 4:02

So I can I can handle another job interview. So I get on the phone with the VP over this call center. And she’s over a whole bunch of things at that company, her job titles, was probably so long that wouldn’t fit on a business card. And she was in their San Diego corporate office. And I was in their satellite office here in Evansville, Indiana, where their call center was. And she says, Hey, Eric, I’ve I’ve reviewed your performance in the call center. And I know why you’re still here. She said you do a great job. You you satisfy our customers quickly. And they love what you do. And she said and I’ve looked at your previous work history and the companies you’ve highlighted on your resume and the job you’ve done there. And she says I really just have one question I want to ask you. And I sort of fell out of my chair sort of and thought, oh, great, a one question job interview. What the heck is she going to ask me, you know, imposter syndrome kicks in and do I just get up and walk away and tell her sorry that interviews over. Where do I at least hear the question before I make that decision? I mean, I was like terrified of a one question job interviews. And she says, I really just want to know why we’re wasting our time and yours, having you support our clients when there’s so many other things you can do to help this company move forward. Pretty good. And my, my answer was the first thing that came to my mind, which was, well, the call center agent positions, all you have open. And her response to that was, yeah, that’s true today. But give me three weeks, I’m working on a business analyst role to help us launch Salesforce to the call center you’re working in right now. And I think you’re perfect for that job. Great. And that’s, that’s fantastic. That that was really amazing. But my reaction to her saying that was what the heck is Salesforce? I’ve never heard of it before. I mean, I had barely heard of CRM at that point in my career. And I had never heard Salesforce mentioned as a product or a CRM or anything like that. And I said that to her, I said, what Salesforce and she said, Don’t worry about it, you’ve got the skills I’m looking for, I know you can handle it. And boom, three weeks later, I’m a BA, rolling out Salesforce to this call center that I was working in with no prior training or experience on Salesforce at all. one heck of a challenge one heck of a lot of fun, in that. That’s how I got started in this wonderful world that we call the Salesforce ecosystem.


Andrew Duncan 6:23

What a catalyst and what a story. It’s, it’s very unique. And you know, it’s so interesting to hear all these different stories that everyone has, that kind of brings them to these points in Salesforce. But I think you have one of the most unique stories, which is so fun to listen to. And so exciting. So thank you for sharing that. I really appreciate it.


Andrew Duncan 6:41

So I guess we can just move right along into what is your favorite Salesforce resource like you know, a blog or Trailhead or, you know, blog, what it what it really gets you going in the in the Salesforce resource system?


Eric Dreshfield 6:52

You know, this, this may seem like a slightly unconventional answer, and maybe not but but the first thought that came to my mind when you said that was the community. And the community is more than just people. I think it includes blogs, and trailhead, and all that kind of stuff. But for me, I’ve kind of always felt like beyond that first role in the ecosystem that I got, every single job I’ve had, since then, has come through the community, either through people I knew, or people who knew me or activities I was doing, that were making me grow a personal brand within the community. So I kind of feel like the community is a massive resource. I mean, if you have a specific question about an issue in Salesforce, posted out on out there on the community, you’ll get a response super fast, I wouldn’t be surprised. I mean, you could even link social media into that and write your Twitter out there if you want or LinkedIn or whatever, and, and kind of include all of that as the community. But I mean, for me, it’s, it’s the thing that really motivates me, I think is, is being able to visit with people and share knowledge and stories, successes and challenges, through community group meetings through community conferences. Can I throw a shameless plug now that I lead community conferences, I’m speaking at Northeast stream and in Providence, Rhode Island, April 20, and 28th and 29th. So if you’re in the northeast, at that point in time, head over to northeast dreamin and come find my session. It’s a really fun session that has a little bit of Salesforce knowledge, a lot of humor, and a bunch of wardrobe changes. And then one more shameless plug for Midwest streaming, the event that I started back in 2011, we are on tap for live and in person in Minneapolis, July 20, through the 22nd this summer.


Andrew Duncan 8:51

That’s great. So we’ll actually include a link to that sign up and the information for that in the description as well. So anybody who’s interested can head on over there. I know it’ll be a great time. So thank you so much. Perfect. So as someone who is plugged into the community, what is the most underrated Salesforce product or like Best Kept Salesforce secret?


Eric Dreshfield 9:09

Well, you know, since I work as a product evangelist for Mowgli, I might be slightly biased, but but I’m gonna say Mowgli SMS for that answer. It’s a text messaging app, native to Salesforce. So you know, you don’t have to leave Salesforce to have conversations with your customers, your prospects, and you can have the personalized one on one conversation with any individual. You can utilize merge fields within Salesforce and do bulk email or sorry, not emailing bulk text messages to share 1000s of people at a time. I mean, you can run it off for the campaign you can run it off over report or ListView and and hit upwards of 50,000 individuals at one time, with personalization built in because of the ability to use merge fields. And so why text messaging? Well, you get incredible open and response rates compared to email. Some studies have indicated that text messaging gets open rates and response rates about seven times better than email. And typically, those responses come within 30 seconds to three minutes of the text being sent.


Andrew Duncan 10:24

Yeah, I know I always answered my texts pretty quickly. Don’t know about emails, but definitely, yeah


Eric Dreshfield 10:29

And some somebody once told me, people get text messages, but they have to open emails. Have No, I think that kind of really describes the difference between the two. So yeah, and everybody’s got a cell phone these days, like 98% of people in the US have a phone and probably 95% of those. Use some sort of text messaging app at least once a day.


Andrew Duncan 10:52

Yeah, it’s, it’s so common, and Mowgli is great. I know, personally, speaking from experience, shout out to Dylan at Mowgli as well. It’s a great company, and they have some amazing products. So yeah, definitely not biased. I think it’s a great product as well.


Eric Dreshfield 11:05

So awesome


Andrew Duncan 11:06

No worries there. Um, so as someone who has been around Salesforce for you know, as long as you have and has like been so plugged into the community, like I said before, can you make a prediction for us about Salesforce? You know, things change so quickly. Salesforce is always making new acquisitions. What do you think is that next big thing that people maybe don’t know about it? Could you look into your crystal ball? Kind of


Eric Dreshfield 11:28

Yeah, yeah. And you know, this is this is fun. I like doing this kind of stuff. There’s a couple thoughts that come to mind really quickly. And one you mentioned, you mentioned, Salesforce seems to grow by acquisitions. I think 2022 is going to be a big year for that again, you know, it seems like they almost go in cycles, where some years, they make lots of acquisitions at huge dollar amounts. And other years, it’s pretty slow. I feel like 2022 is going to be one of those big years, where there’s either a high volume of acquisitions, or a high dollar acquisition of some company. I’m not sure who I’m thinking of company wise. But the other thought that came to my mind was a new product, a new cloud, if you will, within the Salesforce product line. And it’s it’s the combination of chatter, quip and slack, all into one seamless product fully baked into core Salesforce, that I’m going to call the collaboration cloud.


Andrew Duncan 12:26

Okay. Yeah, I would love to see that. I would love to three for one, that would be great. Those are some solid predictions. And I would say pretty safe to assume I you know, you’re pretty plugged in.


Eric Dreshfield 12:38

And you know, if you think about those three products separately, they’ve all kind of built upon the same idea of how can people collaborate and circle around specific things. And each one of those was kind of like the next iteration and improve things and got better.


Andrew Duncan 12:55

Right? Yeah. And in collaboration is key when it comes to Salesforce as you know.


Eric Dreshfield 12:58



Andrew Duncan 12:59

Yeah. That’s great. Um, so I guess our last, our last question or last piece is not really Salesforce related, but just tell us what your favorite thing is right now. Like, do you have a recommendation on like a book or podcast music? Is there something that you’ve been into lately, I know, people are trying to start new hobbies because of, you know, the pandemic and maybe having some more free time now. So what’s something you’re into?


Eric Dreshfield 13:19

Yeah, you know, that’s, there’s, there’s probably two things that come to mind there too. And one of them is sort of Salesforce related. Okay. I’ll get to that one in just a second. The, the first one is, is houseplants. My wife and our and our youngest daughter, probably a year and a half, two years ago seemed to seem to really start getting hot and heavy into into houseplants buying, selling trading them through Facebook groups and things like that. Yeah. And they actually took it to the next level and created a business. So we have a 16 by 28, fully insulated, heated, cooled, powered, yard barn on our property now where we have lots and lots of house plants, and that they’re and they’re selling them as as a business, which is, which is kind of cool. It’s it’s fun to see them get excited about a new plant or something’s blooming. That’s That’s pretty neat. The other the other thought that came to mind though, the one that’s sort of Salesforce related, is supporting my favorite nonprofit project Knight Knight. And I say that Salesforce related, because most of the fundraising I’ve done for that organization has centered around Dreamforce. And the new breakfasts that I hosted Dreamforce every year, since 2012. And during that time, I’ve brought in around $35,000 for that organization. So they’re just a fantastic organization. They help homeless kids. Yeah, so it’s pretty close to my heart. Because there was a point in my time in my career, when I was really struggling and, and me and my family were just days away from homelessness.


Andrew Duncan 14:57

So sure. Well, thank you so much for sharing your story and And that is a wonderful nonprofit which we will also include in the description as well for those who may want to check out the mission support if they can. And then for houseplants I definitely understand I have quite a few houseplants myself I know my girlfriend is, is also very into them a business that’s a whole other thing. You know, congratulations to your to your wife and daughter for starting such a wonderful business. Yeah, that’s really exciting.


Eric Dreshfield 15:23

It’s cool. It’s fun to see the excitement in their faces.


Andrew Duncan 15:26

Yeah, it’s something new every day. Right? So thank you so much for for being here. I know you’re incredibly busy. You’re always doing something new, always up to something in the Salesforce ecosystem. So, you know, I guess I’ll just end with, you know, I know you’ve plugged a couple of things that you have going on, give us you know, that quick elevator pitch plug, like, what do you have going on? Let us know what we can, you know, get out there into the world for you?


Eric Dreshfield 15:48

Well, you know, from from the Mowgli side of things, I’d say just keep an eye out. Because we’ve got a few really cool things planned that are gonna start coming out into the public view within the next couple of months. And so that’ll be that’ll be fun to see how that stuff transpires and watch the engagement from that.


Andrew Duncan 16:08

So perfect. Yeah, that sounds great. Well, thank you so much. Like I said, all the information will be in the description as well. And it’s been just a great time having you here. For cloud adoption solutions. Please remember we are 100% Women Owned Salesforce partner. So if you want to reach out to us for Salesforce questions, please do. Also feel free to reach out to Eric. We’ll include his social media, like I said in the description. I know he’s always available to answer any questions you might have. So thank you so much for being here today. And thank you to our viewers.


Eric Dreshfield 16:38

Thanks for having me on Andrew. No problem. Have a good one.


Andrew Duncan 16:41

You too.


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