< Trailblazers
Mike Martin
Account Executive, Appirio
Indianapolis, IN, United States
See my Trailhead Profile

In my role as an Account Executive, I use Trailhead to stay on top of all the latest in Salesforce technology. It's important that sales people stay relevant when speaking to their customers about the new products that they are interested in.
Describe your first encounter with Salesforce.
My first interaction with Salesforce was in 2008. I was hired as a Sales Engineer for a small software company in Indianapolis. I walked in on day one and they said, “our Salesforce Administrator is leaving in 2 weeks...so, figure this thing out.” I didn't have any Salesforce experience but found the community on Twitter and in person at my local User Group here in Indianapolis. The ability to do 90-95% of what I needed to do without writing a line of code led me to fall in love with the Salesforce platform. Coming full-circle, I currently lead the Indianapolis Salesforce User Group as a way to give back to the community. The group helped me learn the platform back in 2008 and now I'm paying it forward.
What motivated you to start learning on Trailhead? What keeps you coming back?
In my role as an Account Executive, I use Trailhead to stay on top of all the latest in Salesforce technology. It's important that salespeople stay relevant when speaking to their customers about the new products that they are interested in. I also love the release modules! In addition to knowing what offerings Salesforce has, it's important I know the details of the latest releases too. The seasonal release modules help alert you to the most important updates.
What were your biggest challenges and how did you overcome them?
My biggest challenge is one a lot of people can relate to, being really busy. In Indianapolis, we launched the concept of a “Trailhead Lock-in” to help make sure we are all taking the time to learn and earn. Similar to Salesforce Saturday, it's an opportunity for Trailblazers to gather in a relaxed environment, focus on completing modules and projects, with a few experts available to answer questions and offer help. We've had huge success with the Trailhead Lock-in program, with our User Group members earning nearly 1,000 badges over the last 5 events.
What does the Trailblazer community mean to you?
The community really is family. There's a reason we use the word Ohana to describe it. So many folks in this community really care about the success of those around them and want to lift others up. I take a lot of my personal time to give back through my User Group and it's because the community is a joy to be around.
How will Trailhead be a part of your future?
I will always look to Trailhead first for any new feature of functionality. It provides a great overview and jumping off point. I love how it's hands-on, and forces you to dive into the technology.
What advice do you have for new Trailblazers?
Keep at it. Some of the trails can be long, time-consuming, and complex. Don't let that deter your learning. Take advantage of the support systems around you. There are so many ways to reach out online and in person, User Groups, the Trailblazer Community, and Twitter. You can bet that someone has probably had the same challenge, and would be happy to support your journey.

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