Q. Yaron, tell us a little bit about your role at Thunder.
I lead the Service Cloud practice which includes Digital Engagement for channels like web portals, chat, SMS, etc. My role as practice lead includes four primary areas: go-to-market activities to create brand recognition through thought leadership, helping understand our customers needs to construct the right solution for them during the sales cycle, being a business architect and bringing best practices to our client projects, and partnering with Salesforce and other ISV’s in the ecosystem to learn about all the technology we can bring to our customers.
Q. What made you want to join the Thunder crew?
Carter and I have been working together over the last 15 years, helping customers engage with their CRM, so I jumped at the opportunity to join him again to build a better consulting firm for our employees and our customers.
My philosophy about customer loyalty, especially in SaaS where retention is so critical and the cost of switching is often lower, is that after the sale is made – once the customer has purchased the product – the most impactful experience they are going to have with the brand is with the service teams. So the service teams are the ones going to impact if the customer renews and buys more products. That should be at the forefront of the executive team of any business. A key focus for us at Thunder is Service Cloud and I feel I can bring the most value to our customers to drive loyalty with their brand here at Thunder.
I also fell in love with our mission statement “we help customers love Salesforce, forever.” It resonates with me and motivates me every day. We spend so much of our time at work, I love our passion for making that experience more fun and impactful with Salesforce CRM.
Building companies from the ground up is so rewarding, its also amazing how incredibly hard it is to get it right. I love the challenge.
Q. You’ve been in the Service game a long time… can you tell us about your experience prior to joining Thunder?
Out of college I joined a software company – Websense – in San Diego. I was employee #40 and we grew to over 2000 people. With that growth I got to be in so many leadership roles – Software Development, Quality Assurance, Performance Testing, Project Management, Sales, Channel, and eventually I landed in Technical Support – which has been my focus ever since. Being in so many roles helped me understand what makes a company tick and how to build brand value. I’m grateful for that experience.
Websense is where I also first came across Salesforce. We had just acquired our biggest competitor. We had a clunky home-built CRM and they were using Salesforce and we thought that was super cool. We went all in, implementing SF for Marketing, Sales, Service, Ops – you name it. We were so successful that I wanted to bring the same level of success to the rest of the ecosystem. That’s why I went into consulting.
After Websense I joined Carter at Cloud Trigger and Cloud Sherpas where we built the Service Cloud practice to over $55M in revenue, then more than tripled that at Accenture. A few more gigs between Accenture and Thunder. I plan to be here for a long time.
Q. Humble brag time! We love having award-winning employees. Tell the folks about some of your impressive accomplishments.
Well, most of the awards I’ve received involved teamwork with some really smart people. I think that’s probably the case for most of us, most times. Here we go:
Its all been a lot of fun.
Q. Outside of work, we hear you’re quite the outdoorsman and athlete. What are some of your favorite things to do?
My greatest love and lifestyle influence is surfing. I have about 8 boards in my garage. I generally surf where I live in San Diego and have gone on surf trips to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Hawaii. Riding the energy of the ocean is an amazing feeling. The other day a dolphin jumped right over me.
What’s the fastest growing sport in America? Pickleball, and I think I’ve gotten hooked. My wife and I play together with a few other couples and its super fun. Its something just about anyone can learn to play.
Q. Last one! As our Service Cloud Lead at Thunder, what are you most excited about in the near future for the rapidly growing company?
That’s a hard question because most days are so much fun – not all the time, some days are very challenging. I am probably most excited about the incredible people we have and continue to hire, I am so impressed with our team every day.