Joseph J. Sherman
Business Development Representative - B2B SaaS

Eric Ezra Rayburn reveals his secret to success

This article is part of a series featuring rising business leaders in Israel.  Eric Ezra Rayburn is the president and CEO of Rayburn Solutions providing consultation and training for Salesforce professionals as a Salesforce Specialist himself.

Eric Ezra Rayburn is the president and CEO of Rayburn Solutions. (Courtesy)

What is a CRM? What makes Salesforce different?

First of all, a CRM (i.e. customer relations management) is generally used to store contacts and accounts like a Database or Microsoft Access.  Every document can be secured through permission settings in the cloud. Companies typically use the technology like a clothes drawer. They stuff their data into it and see if anything exciting sticks out of the top.

Salesforce is more than just a basic CRM!  Businesses can qualify, manage, and track their leads, which then creates opportunities and manages their accounts.  For businesses and nonprofits alike, Salesforce CRM intention is to close more opportunities, transform pledges into more payment donations, and organize customer interactions into sustainable customer base for customer service teams.  This Cloud Computing Software provides a total solution of effectiveness and efficiency.

Why do you feel that businesses and nonprofits should use Salesforce?

Any business or nonprofit that would like to be remain in business by the end of this year is using the Salesforce CRM, such as Israeli companies Yotpo, Walkme, All Cloud, and Solaredge just to name a few.  Salesforce not only provides amazing Cloud Software that maximizes a product or service’s potential; they have also created a community of Salesforce professionals.

Any individual that wants to learn Salesforce CRM needs to be able to solve business problems through their developer account, volunteer for and take on small projects, play with TrailHead, and attend local Israel networking events.

The Trailhead community helps users better understand the Software, share ideas, and network to become leaders in the Salesforce CRM World.  It estimated that within in the next four years, 3.3 million jobs will be created around Salesforce Software users.

How did you become an early adopter of Sales Force?

After graduating with a BA in Information Science and Policy from The State University of New York (SUNY) at Albany, I worked for North Fork Bank and Cannon.  This experience helped me develop a unique blend of corporate sales, management and technological knowledge.

When I moved to Israel, I was performing data management functions at a local startup using Mongo Database.  A colleague mentioned that I might be able to accomplish the same results while maximizing the time. He demonstrated and recommended that I learn about a way to help to make organizations and nonprofits more efficient in their business processes.  

I was impressed and that’s when I learned about Salesforce! I self taught myself SalesForce through training exercises in a practice account and took smaller projects which lead to bigger projects generating greater revenue. I was confident, and started my own business.

Eric Ezra Rayburn lecturing about a Salesforce. (Courtesy).

What motivates you in your profession, and what makes you different from others in your field?

After completing  Salesforce Projects, I started managing a Salesforce user group providing training and consultation for people who wanted to become Salesforce professionals.  I achieved over 40 Salesforce Trailhead Badges and have helped dozens of people with my online training tutorials.

Through these experiences, I became passionate about educating, consulting, and training individuals in Salesforce’s technology.  Through my persistence, dedication, expertise, and motivation, I enjoy empowering others to further their cause by becoming a leader in Salesforce.  For any entrepreneurs or prospective business owners, find my contact information below.

Hillel Rudolph, the Executive Director of Naaleh: Torah Online said, “With the adoption of and hiring Eric Ezra Rayburn as our knowledgeable System Administrator, the technology has revolutionized the way that we do business this year as we continue to grow our online classes in order to help people earn online college credits.”  We are proud to work with organizations that believe in their cause and strive to be the best in their industry.

During your time at Rayburn Solutions, what were the personal challenges and pitfalls that you faced on your path to success, and how did you overcome them?

Firstly, getting Certified as a SalesForce Certified Administrator was a huge challenge. I needed more than just the concepts. I needed experience and approaching several organizations, this commanded me to be positive, proactive, and persistent.

I needed to pick a few projects to be familiar with as well as hands on training.  Through this I became a Salesforce Professional. Often, data problems always come up, and a person needs to have a solid approach.  

In one situation, I needed to merge a Sugar Salesforce CRM Database into Salesforce.  I received the data with over 200 records that were misaligned, and the client works in a different time zone.   Rather than waiting until the afternoon and losing a day’s work, I decided to scope the project as follows: create two possible plans for two different types of files and arrangement of records to field relationship; employ my critical thinking skills using the process of elimination and compare sets of the questionable records to the relationship of verified records to see if there are any similarities or logic relationships; and test both record sets while selecting the correct file.  It was a huge success where the integration was finished ahead of time, and the client rewarded me with two business referrals.

Secondly, I ran a daily newsletter for “Commercial Real Estate Professionals”, and I noticed that there wasn’t any way to provide feedback or even a referral process.  No wonder our records showed that only ten percent of the people read our publication. I needed to act fast and employ the following creative techniques: simulate the customer through an interactive feedback page; create a wireframe mockup proposal of changes and have the Marketing Department confirm or add comments on what to improve; identify, qualify, and select the web developer who can help me code the content into the website; roll out a reasonable testing and deployment plan timeline; and take a small market of AB Testing to speculate any potential issues.  In the end, we had amazing success! Within six months to a year, our subscriber count increased from 15K to 25K and brought in a huge wave of leads and prospective deals.

What made you go into working for Salesforce, professionally and in the big scope of the current Digital Era?

With a college education in network administration and a background in sales, marketing, technical writing, and customer success, Salesforce became the perfect marriage for all of my professional talents.  Mastering Salesforce usage is one of the fastest growing skills to have. As we move into the fourth technological revolution or the “I am on my smartphone all day long and if you need me, send me a Whatsapp message” era, Cloud Computing is replacing many other technologies.  I am confident that I can help people migrate into this new era.

Many people have dreams of developing their careers, but they find the practical steps to be daunting.  What do you want to say to them?

A person needs to ask himself, “Would I hire myself for my current job?”  If no, the individual needs to practice his skills or seek more guidance and training in their specialty. Most importantly, in the name of professional hockey player Wayne Gretzky, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take!”

About the Author
Joseph has extensive experience in business development, sales, and marketing with tech start-ups and scale-ups. Joseph holds a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the KEDGE Business School in France, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, San Diego. In addition, he has studied at the Tecnológico de Monterrey (ITESM) in Mexico and received a fellowship from the University of California, Berkeley.
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