My career changed in the spring of 2013. Around that time, I connected with a new, vibrant community and was exposed to an array of opportunities to share my passion for building with technology. In the spring of 2013, I was nominated to be a Salesforce MVP.
Now, I’m going on my third term and have come to realize some uniquely awesome parallels between the Salesforce MVP Program and the sales performance platform we’ve developed at LevelEleven.
My Salesforce MVP Experience
I think the MVP Program has been one of the smartest initiatives Salesforce has launched, geared toward members of their own community and developers like myself. By highlighting and rewarding individuals who go the extra mile, Salesforce makes being an MVP both desirable and achievable. The MVP Program recognizes individuals who are writing blog posts, answering questions for others and being overall active advocates of Salesforce.
I don’t think Salesforce realized how fast their program would take off. As soon as they began announcing MVPs, people within the community began launching Salesforce-inspired blogs and speaking about Salesforce at events. Everybody wanted to be an MVP. And so the MVP Program generated a spin-off movement — a force of Salesforce enforcers to be reckoned with.
To be completely honest, I never thought I would want to be a Salesforce MVP until I became one. Salesforce gives me a platform to share my knowledge with others and contribute open source software. Mainly, I write software and run a user group in Detroit. Even more, being an MVP keeps me eager to continue building, because I’m creating tools that people are really using.
There are many teams you can join within the MVP program. I’m on the mentorship team, allowing me to become a teacher and work with people who are just starting to get involved in the community. I love being able to teach technologies and also show people how they can become MVPs themselves.
You know what’s best? You don’t have to be an expert at everything; you just have to be willing to help others and develop the next MVPs. For Salesforce, it’s been a brilliant way to create a community of people who can provide support to others organically, effectively creating a self-sustaining community.
The LevelEleven Parallel
As I entered my third term, I began thinking about the core ideas behind the Salesforce MVP Program and couldn’t help but notice how closely they resemble what we’re doing at LevelEleven. While the MVP program promotes the rockstars of the Salesforce community, at LevelEleven, we have built an application that highlights the salespeople who are going above and beyond. In doing so, LevelEleven encourages entire sales teams to strive to reach the top, just like the Salesforce MVP program does for the entire Salesforce community.
At LevelEleven, we build apps and a platform to help companies drive better sales performance. Part of getting the most “bang for your buck” as a sales team is finding the people that are going the extra mile, highlighting what sets them apart and giving them the public recognition they deserve.
And to let you in on a little secret: The reason why LevelEleven is so successful is the same reason the MVP Program is successful.
Rewarding people who are going above and beyond will spur someone in the middle of the pack to go talk to the top performers and say, “Hey, I see you’re at the top of the leaderboard every single time. What can I do better?” They start to learn from each other. Plus, there is a collaborative element that’s even competitive, because everybody wants to be at that highly-desired top spot. That’s what our clients see all the time, and that’s the type of cyclical determination I’m seeing in my third term as a Salesforce MVP.[Read more on “motivating the middle” in this Inc. piece our CEO wrote.]
The fuel that propels both our platform and the MVP program is public recognition, a distinctly human characteristic. In fact, a study by Bersin & Associates demonstrates that simply by thanking your employees regularly, you improve their overall work performance. Case in point!
For Aspiring MVPs
Being an MVP is a time commitment. But it also allows you to become part of a tight-knit community. And there are a lot of professional development rewards, too: You’ll connect with other influencers in the space, get more speaking opportunities and have the chance to hone new skills. You’ll also get to be part of that recognition chain for above-and-beyond performance, even helping to inspire top performance from others. And you’ll make some great friends. It’s completely worth it.