I met a CRM buddy this week Parvez Ghumra and one of the first questions he asked me was who was the next CRM MVP to be featured on the blog, so it’s good see people are enjoying the Q&A with CRM MVP’s
This week we are off to Australia to the Lemonade stand to get the answers from Leon Tribe, someone who has been described as “The poster child for the code illiterate”. Leon is one of our under cover CRM spies who also knows the software that shall not be named – SALES FORCE. Indeed Sales Force is a recurring topic on his blogs and he does like to keep a close eye on Sales Force financial figures.
Like a true Australian you can find photo’s of Leon with a handlebar moustache
So it’s a big thanks to Leon for answering my questions and reminder to all CRM MVP’s who haven’t answered the questions yet, please contact me or look in your inbox, I and my readers of the blog really enjoy reading the answers from the CRM MVP’s and I have personally found it very interesting how all the answers have been very different.
Leon is an influential person, in fact he has been voted 55th most influential person in the Microsoft Dynamics universe in 2013 – http://www.dynamicsworld.co.uk/category/top-100/numbers-51-through-60/ and as they will be doing the 2014 at some point don’t forget to vote for Leon. In 2012 he was at number 45.
Dynamics world has an interesting biography of Leon and here it is
Dynamics CRM consultant and business thought leader based in Sydney, Australia. Leon regularly applies his skills to improve businesses through applying a strategic focus, implementing transparent processes and using technology to bring everything together. Initially working as a trainer/lecturer, Leon transitioned into technology and started working with CRM systems in the late 1990s. Consulting at Interact Commerce (now part of Sage) on the ACT! and Saleslogix products, Leon moved to Deloittes in 2001 to hone his consulting skills. Leon moved on to work with numerous customers across multiple industries and was part of the first group of consultants in Australia trained on the beta edition of Microsoft CRM 1.0 (now Dynamics CRM). Seeing the future of the product, Leon transitioned to Dynamics CRM and has worked almost exclusively with the product ever since. A prolific business writer, Leon has been writing on consulting and the CRM industry for almost ten years. These days Leon writes and contributes to industry books, writes his humorous syndicated blog, “Leon’s CRM Musings”(www.leontribe.blogspot.com), regularly tweets.
Lets have a look at the highlights from his Rockstar 365 profile
Here are Leon’s answers
1. Name, current job title and social media links please
Principal Consultant, Oakton
2. What does an average day at work look like
Get lunch ready for my children
Get ready for work
Ride to work, across the Sydney Harbour Bridge, grabbing a bagel en route
After that anything goes. I might be having one on one meetings with my team, conducting workshops with a client, thinking of a new way of solving an old problem or something else entirely.
After work, ride home, hang out with the little ones, read a few emails/write a blog then off to bed
3. What different roles/Job titles have you had whilst using CRM
NSW CRM Practice Manager
Senior System Architect
CRM Practice Lead
Professional Services Consultant
4. What job did you did before you starting using CRM
Installed EFTPOS terminals, designed web sites, taught maths and electronics
5. What was the first version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM you worked with and how long have you been using Microsoft Dynamics CRM
Microsoft CRM 1.0 beta. Eleven years. Before that I worked with SalesLogix for two years.
6. How do you stay up to date with the CRM
Writing my blog forces me to learn the new features of the system. Otherwise I get involved in the preview programs and read tweets.
7. How do you find time to contribute to the CRM community whilst doing your job
It’s hard and is generally after hours. Some people watch television, I read emails and write blogs. I rarely go to bed before midnight and often do online presentations late into the night.
8. What advice would you give to someone who wants to have a successful career in Microsoft Dynamics CRM?
Get on the forums. You will learn the product, the workarounds and, when you start contributing, making a name for yourself. Always remember you are there to provide a service to your clients so be friendly and stay humble. Never be afraid to say ‘No’ to a client if they are setting themselves up for disaster. They pay you for your expertise, not your compliance.
9. What where your first impressions of CRM 2013 and what do you think now.
Microsoft CRM 1.0 was like ACT! but ten times the price. It has come a long way and is now one of the best CRM systems on the market. I am proud of the product I work with and what it can do for my clients.
10. What one feature would you add to CRM 2013
11. Most annoying feature of CRM 2013
Being forced to have a default text field for every custom entity.
12. You favourite 2 CRM blogs (I have filled the first one in for you)
1. Hosks Dynamic CRM blog (I genuinely used this one to get information for my most recent blog post)
2. Leon’s CRM Musings (My blog, I regret the title but I wouldn’t write it if I didn’t love it)
13. What year will Microsoft Dynamics CRM have more customers than Sales force
Salesforce is a recurring topic in my blogs and I often run the numbers on this. Although Salesforce do not release subscriber numbers any more, inferring them via their revenue suggests a constant subscriber ratio (Salesforce: Dynamics CRM) of 2:1 which means Dynamics CRM will never catch up unless something changes. “Dynamics CRM” recently became a more popular search term than “Salesforce.com” for the first time, according to Google Trends, so the tide is turning.
The good news is, while Microsoft is profitable, Salesforce is not and when Salesforce run out of money and funding, this will be when the war is won.
14. Are you doing more CRM projects with CRM online? Do you think it will all be online in the future
I still do more On Premise than online which may be a function of the size of client or on geographical location. Online projects are increasing though. I do not think it will ever be exclusively online but it will become more popular.
15. What is the best tool/solution you have used recently
Tanguy Touzard’s xRM Toolkit. I used it to create icons, create documentation and edit the SiteMap. Any consultant who has not used it is wasting project time.
16. What CRM certifications do you have, do you try and keep up to date with CRM certifications
My last certifications were for v4. My boss is very keen for me to get up to speed so this will happen in the next six months. While getting certifications are good, knowledge sources such as the forums provide a wealth of knowledge and this is where I go when I have a CRM problem to solve.
17. How important is it to have good business analytical skills working with Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
For a functional consultant, essential. I have an MBA and it has proven invaluable in understanding the concerns of the various areas of a business. If you do not understad what the client is trying to achieve, you may be able to give a client what they ask for, but not what they need.
18. How useful is it to have programming knowledge to become a good Microsoft Dynamics CRM Professional?
I used to program Unix and Linux boxes in FORTRAN and C when I studied physics at university and, later, I programmed in Delphi when working with SalesLogix. However, I do not, in any way consider myself a .Net programmer. Many other CRM MVPs also do not code. This being said, a good knowledge of the coding foundations is very important when designing a solution for a client. I address this in my latest blog post (http://leontribe.blogspot.com.au/2014/02/developer-essentials-for-functional.html )
19. What knowledge/experience do you have with software/systems which integrate with Microsoft Dynamics CRM e.g. (sharepoint, SQL Server, Scribe, Etc)
I used to work with Scribe back in the SalesLogix days and was a Crystal Reports writer for a few years but that’s about it, really.
20. How often do you travel as a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Professional?
At the moment, I am working on a project with the Australian government which has me travelling to Australia’s capital, Canberra a lot (I am based in Sydney). This has me travelling roughly 2-3 days every fortnight.
21. Can you see yourself not using CRM in your career in the future
No. I have pretty much made a career out of CRM consulting and it would be a very expensive exercise in salary sacrifice to throw that experience away.
22. What is favourite part of being a CRM MVP
Mixing it up with the other CRM MVPs. By their nature they are friendly and generous and I am yet to meet one I did not like.
23. What are your hobbies outside of CRM
At the moment, bike riding, star gazing, Arduino sketching, researching the family tree, spending time with my family and on rare occasion, sleeping.
24. What was the last book you read and what was the last film you watched
Having two children limits reading time but I am in the middle of reading “Shada” by Gareth Roberts. It is a novelisation of a Doctor Who television script by Douglas Adams. For me that is so many layers of good.
The last film I saw was The Hobbit Part 2.
25. Has CRM ever got you in trouble with your partner/family.
Writing a blog three times a month can be seen as excessive sometimes but she understands it is part of who I am these days.
26. Have you friends ever told you to stop talking/tweeting/blogging about CRM? What does your partner/family member(s) think of CRM
Never but I do not often talk about CRM to friends (unless they need one). My wife is in marketing and I am finding our worlds are coming closer and closer together as time goes on so she understands CRM very well and we often talk about its place as part of a marketing strategy.
27. Tell me something interesting/unusual about yourself
I do not have a computing degree. I studied physics at university and took an IT job when my PhD scholarship ran out before I had written a thesis. I once sang solo, on stage, in the Sydney Opera House and I rode 90km (56 miles) last year for charity.
28. Who is the first CRM MVP you remember reading/seeing
Guy Riddle. He was running the Sydney User Group and I thought I would go along.
29. Tips for someone who wants to become a CRM MVP
Microsoft value measurable community activity which means their forums are a good place to make a splash (although these days it is highly competitive). Being outside of the USA also helps for forums because it means you may see a question and have a chance to answer it while the board leaders are sleeping.
Having a blog and providing interesting, fresh content is also good and is, again, very visible to Microsoft.
However you make your mark, the other thing you need to do is make sure people know about your activity. Reach out to existing MVPs, reach out to local Microsoft representatives and become known in those circles. If you have an awesome tool for CRM, give the MVPs easy access to it so they can use it and blog about it. Being known for being passionate about the product is just as important as the passion itself.
Quickfire questions (choose one option and no explanation)
Steve Jobs or Bill Gates
Certifications or Use CRM
twerking or tweeting
books or ebooks
save or autosave
OnLine or On Premise
Windows 7/Windows 8/Linux/Mac/Other
work from home or work from office
Miley Cyrus or Billy Ray Cyrus
Toys R Us
Zero Inbox/Overflowing Inbox
Early Bird/Night Owl
Do Today/Do Tomorrow
CRM Developer/CRM Consultant
Hot Weather/Cold Weather
Half Full/Half Empty
here are the previous CRM Q&A
finally don’t forget to check out my CRM Developer YouTube channel