Salesforce Trailblazers We Love: Vanessa Grant

The Salesforce Ohana is truly something special, isn’t it? Join us as we introduce you to some of our favorite trailblazers. First up, witty, entertaining, generous, and brilliant Vanessa Grant shares how she got her start in the Salesforce ecosystem, her favorite Salesforce resources, the best-kept Salesforce secret, her Salesforce prediction, and more!

Contact us with your Salesforce challenges at – we love to help!

Cloud Adoption Solutions is a 100% woman-owned registered Salesforce partner, specializing in implementation, integration, and optimization for Technology, Healthcare/ Life Sciences, and Financial Services/ Professional Services organizations in the small and mid-commercial sectors.



Andrew Duncan 0:16

Hello, everybody, thank you so much for joining us today for another installment of Trailblazers We Love. We’re so excited to have with us today, an expert in the Salesforce field. Vanessa Grant, thank you so much for being here.


Vanessa Grant 0:28

Thank you for inviting me What an honor.


Andrew Duncan 0:31

We’re so excited. And I know that you have met Shannon many times before. And I know that you are very active in the Salesforce ecosystem. So it’s really it’s really great to have you on, I guess the best way to get started with one of these series is like, how did you get started with Salesforce? How did you become part of this really vast ecosystem?


Vanessa Grant 0:50

Well, you know, I think those are two different stories. I came into Salesforce some when I was a VP of Business Ops of SaaS organization. And so it was just kind of one of those demos that I did when we were looking for a solution. And Salesforce blew me away immediately. And I did that for a number of years. But I didn’t really enter the ecosystem, I would say until the pandemic hit. And I was really kind of figuring out what my career was going to look like in the the next phase of it. And I dove headfirst into the Salesforce communities and, and started going to conferences and started watching webinars. And it totally changed my life, even meeting people like Shannon, but really just all the folks that I’ve met and all the things that I’ve learned along the way, it’s an incredible, incredible community.


Andrew Duncan 0:31

That’s awesome. And I know you you mentioned like kind of diving headfirst into the community. So what is like your favorite Salesforce resource? Like? What was one of the places that you went when you were like starting out for the viewers to like, you know, really say, “Okay, I want to follow this path.”


Vanessa Grant 0:50

Oh, for me, absolutely. That was the Salesforce Business Analyst Virtual Summit that Toni V Martin runs, I had just gotten my first like Salesforce BA role. And there wasn’t a whole lot of information out there. And it just so happened that she was running one, and I ate all that stuff up. And then I ended up I think the second one that I saw, I ended up speaking at. And then this year, I actually had the privilege of helping run it. So that’s been a an incredible resource in in my business analysis career.


Andrew Duncan 2:20

Yeah, and Toni is awesome. And that’s such a quick turnaround for you to go from being in the crowd, then running it. You know, that’s, it’s really awesome. And I think that other people can do it too. Like, you just have to put the work in which you obviously have, which was so awesome.


Vanessa Grant 2:33

It’s It’s interesting. It’s kind of like in the in the beginning, I kind of had to lean in and get people to know who I was and get to know people get to learn what resources were out there. And then now the opportunities just kind of come my way, which is pretty nice.


Andrew Duncan 2:49

It is really nice. Yeah, I’m so happy to hear that. Um, I guess our next question would be, you know, what’s to you the most underrated piece of Salesforce or Salesforce product? Like, what do you think is like a good, you know, best kept secret for people out there who are kind of venturing into Salesforce.


Vanessa Grant 3:04

So I am shocked at how few people use this feature. Because I think user adoption is so important. I mean, what is the point of building something and nobody’s going to use it. So for me in-app guidance, Salesforce has really been giving their, their, their orgs are more access to use in-app guidance. And it’s so easy to put together. It’s so easy to like set up, and then you can put links to other videos or whatever training materials, but having that information in the system when people go in. I love it. I love it. And I don’t know why people don’t use it more. Well,


Andrew Duncan 3:40

I mean, adoption, like you said is so important. And we see it so often. So that’s actually a wonderful suggestion, because I don’t think anybody has previously talked about adoption on the series. So that’s, that’s really great.


Vanessa Grant 3:50

I know, everybody wants to say, oh, it’s flow flow. Listen, I appreciate a good flow as much as the next person but you know, we’re soft skills over here.


Andrew Duncan 4:01

Yeah, absolutely. I agree. I’m on the soft side, that soft skills side as well. So with you saying like, you know, adoption is important for you, and I know that you’re really plugged in, could you make a Salesforce prediction for us, like you know, just look into your crystal ball and say, Okay, this is what the future for Salesforce might look like or for the ecosystem.


Vanessa Grant 4:19

I think that we need to get business analysis out from under the admin hat. Business Analysis is not just a hat that an admin wears. It is a sometimes if you’re an admin and there aren’t any other BAs but if we have and we have I’m ready for Sounds good. Sounds like best practices out there some some official Salesforce ones dammit. Oh, yeah. Hopefully


Andrew Duncan 4:01

this reaches the right people. Hopefully someone at Salesforce is watching and we can implement some changes. That sounds great. I’m happy to help. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So could you then also give us like a recommendation for like a book or podcast or cooking show anything? Maybe more on the personal side? outside of Salesforce that you’re enjoying these days for the viewers to go check out.


Vanessa Grant 5:04

So I actually have a degree in music business. So I love music. And one of the nice things about connecting with people in the ecosystem, especially at conferences, you kind of get to know people on the personal side a little more. And one of the recommendations I got earlier this year from Jack McCurdy at Gearset. He turned me on to this singer called Sigrid. She’s like this 21 year old like Norwegian pop singer, but oh my god, there is not a bad song on her new album. There’s not a bad song on her first album, like I went to a concert and dance like a fool like Sigrid. That’s there’s my personal recommendations. She sounds good. I’m like a grunge girl. So like, yeah, it was out of my comfort zone. So really, she’s she’s good.


Andrew Duncan 5:44

We’ll put a little link to some of some of their work in the spot below. That’s really cool. I’m a grunge fan as well, too. So what’s your favorite grunge band? Who Who do you think is top in the grunge kingdom?


Vanessa Grant 5:57

I am. I am a Pearl Jam girl for life. But I will say like Foo Fighters playing Dreamforce 21. I was front row and like I sobbed like a baby. I sobbed. It was but it was it was amazing. It was amazing. I’m so sad that Yeah, yeah. Well, let’s end it on a happy note.


Andrew Duncan 6:16

That sounds good to me. Yeah, I think for me Smashing Pumpkins. Especially because I think Gish is one of the coolest albums ever. Yeah, if you are watching this, go listen to the Foo Fighters. Go listen to the Smashing Pumpkins.


Vanessa Grant 6:28

You know, What’s your favorite Smashing Pumpkins song?


Andrew Duncan 6:29

Um, ooh, Mayonnaise, maybe. Rhinoceros, Daydream anything off Gish. And then of course, anything off melancholy? Really, all their stuff is good. So we’ll talk we’ll talk. We’ll talk later. So you know, just to wrap things up, you know, tell us what you’re up to these days. You know, is there anything that our viewers should keep up with? Are you going to be speaking anywhere? Are you going to be part of any more events? Like what should people know that’s going on with Vanessa?


Vanessa Grant 6:56

Um, well, right now I’m working on my call for speakers for TrailblazerDX. So TrailblazerDX is taking place in March. Really excited about that. That’ll be my next major conference. Hopefully, I get picked, we’ll see. But in general, I think folks just keep diving into the community, start thinking about your 2023 goals. If, if, or if you’re in 2023, it’s never too it’s never too late to create some goals. But for me, I think I’ve done so much in the community this year, kind of giving a lot. And I think 2023 For me is going to be a lot more focusing on my craft and trying to get better at it. And so, so yeah, that’s that’s kind of where I’m at right now. It’s been a it’s been a fabulous, fabulous year. I mean, honestly, it’s an it’s nice to kind of cap it off with a little appreciation YouTube videos.


Andrew Duncan 7:43

And we’re so excited for you. So everybody who’s watching this, we’re going to put all Vanessa’s information down below in the description. So you can go ahead and connect with her online, you can connect over LinkedIn, please do reach out to Vanessa and absolutely, you know, great resource for you. So I’m sure that’s okay, Vanessa. Absolutely. So yeah. Great. Well, thank you so much for being here and joining us. We really appreciate it. Thank you so much. Thank you for having me. Yeah. And once again, this is Andrew with Cloud Adoption Solutions. We are 100% Woman owned Salesforce partner. So reach out to us with your questions. If you have any Salesforce needs, feel free to reach out to us and we will be back with more Trailblazer. We use Trailblazers We Love videos. So keep in touch and do follow along. Thank you so much, Vanessa, and thank you to our viewers. Bye everybody.



salesforce, vanessa, running, viewers, resource, ecosystem, reach, song, soft skills, trailblazer, salesforce ecosystem, sobbed, sounds, smashing pumpkins, foo fighters, dx, information, community, awesome, gish