Marti Pirkle and Lisa King.

Best of Dreamforce: Migrate Smarter with Marti Pirkle and Lisa King


Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we talk to Marti Pirkle, Director of Commercial Systems at Cloudmed, and Lisa King, CRM Architect at R1RCM. Join us as we round out our Best of Dreamforce series with a look at their Dreamforce presentation about how to migrate two orgs seamlessly.

You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Marti Pirkle and Lisa King.

When two become one

We thought that Marti and Lisa put together an amazing session for Dreamforce ’22: “No-Code Solution for Day 1 — Share Faster to Migrate Smarter.” The talk is based on their experiences sharing data between two orgs, and what prep work they did before day one that enabled them to get the new org started without a hitch.

This all started in the Spring when Marti found out that Lisa’s company was going to be purchasing her company. “We were tasked with making sure we could see all the information of each Salesforce org on day one of the acquisition,” Marti says, and so they needed to come together and make a plan so they could hit the ground running.

Working around NDAs

One of the biggest challenges that Marti and Lisa faced was the fact that, before the merger, there were NDAs in place that limited what information they could share with each other. They only had eight weeks to make a plan and execute it, but they couldn’t send files or data back and forth.

“Luckily, we both knew we were in the same industry, we were both in the healthcare space, and we found out that we shared a commonality, an external database called Definitive Healthcare,” Lisa says. They could also talk about the metadata and structure of their orgs, which enabled them to get a lot done even with the restrictions they were dealing with.

No code, no problem

Obviously, Lisa and Marti had to become fast friends. However, they also developed more than a few tips and tricks to save themselves time and hassle along the way. They created a quick system for sharing small, tweet-sized updates between client success teams on the page for each account. That made them easily reportable, inline editable, and show up in list views. “When they saw the information being reciprocated, that’s when the lightbulb went off for people,” Marti says, “now, I don’t have to call someone, I just know.”

Their data merger was so successful that it was actually Lisa and Marti’s managers that pushed them to turn their experience into a presentation and pitch it to Dreamforce. And even more amazingly, they did it without code. “I am a developer, I love to write code, but we did this without code,” Lisa says, and no middleware. They used formulas, flows, and all the other tools available to everybody in Salesforce, and didn’t have to issue licenses or do training in each other’s orgs. Instead, everyone could just see the data they needed to see in the org they were trained on and comfortable with.

Listen to the full podcast for more tips on the power of Flow and why Marti and Lisa are both major Flownatics, as well as what it’s like to put together a Dreamforce presentation.

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Full show transcript

Gillian Bruce: Welcome to the Salesforce Admins Podcast, where we talk about product, community, and careers to help you be an awesome admin. I’m your host today, Gillian Bruce, and we are rounding out our Best of Dreamforce series. We have an awesome topic to talk to you about today. This is about how two orgs migrated in anticipation of their merger basically. Two companies were becoming one. And the individuals inside of those companies that did all of the prep work so that that first day of the official merger, the official joining of forces, all the data was consistent in Salesforce for everyone. What? I know, amazing.

We are going to have Lisa King and Marti Pirkle joining us on the podcast to tell us more about that story and what they’re sharing at Dreamforce to help everyone else understand their strategy. So if you’re encountering this maybe in something that you’re doing, hey, listen to Lisa and Marti. They have an awesome story. Without further ado, let’s welcome Lisa and Marti to the podcast. Marti and Lisa, welcome to the podcast.

Marti Pirkle: Hey, excited to be here. Thanks for having us.

Lisa King: Yes, thanks so much. Happy to be here.

Gillian Bruce: Well, you are both first-time guests on the podcast, which is… I’m always happy to bring new voices to our listeners. We’re having you on because we are going to talk about the amazing session you’ve put together to present at Dreamforce 2022. Marti, can you tell me what the title of your session is?

Marti Pirkle: Yes, it is called No-Code Day-One Data Sharing: Share Smarter to Migrate Faster.

Gillian Bruce: Ooh, okay. There’s all kinds of great buzzwords in there that I think all admins are like, “Ooh. Hey.” Lisa, can you tell me a little bit more about some of the things you’re going to show in the session?

Lisa King: We’re going to show how we were able to share data between two orgs and do the prep work before the companies were actually merged, before we had our day one, so that when day one did hit, we were actually seeing each other’s data points and being able to enable our sales people to leverage that data to drive new business for the new org.

Gillian Bruce: Ooh, okay. This sounds like a really interesting story. Marti, can you talk to us a little bit about what specifically you were dealing with. I mean, you talked about two different kind of companies joining. Tell me a little bit more about the approach. What was going on?

Marti Pirkle: Yeah, yeah. I guess about maybe spring of this year, I found out that Lisa’s company was going to be purchasing my company. Not that we own them, but the companies that we’re working for. So we were tasked with, “Hey, Marti and Lisa, we need to see all the information from each Salesforce org on day one of the acquisition. Tell us how you can do that.” So Lisa and I got to work establishing those goals for our day-one data sharing, understanding kind of what we could even talk about with our NDAs in place, and really just trying to come together and see how we could provide value and help our sales teams really hit the ground running on day one of that acquisition.

Gillian Bruce: That’s a really tall order, right? I mean, “Hey, let’s bring both these two companies together, and we just want it all to immediately work and be great.”

Marti Pirkle: Right.

Gillian Bruce: Lisa, how long did it take you guys to come up with a strategy, and how much lead time did you have to put this all into place?

Lisa King: I believe we had about eight weeks to make it happen. During that time, we had to figure out what could we discuss, what couldn’t we discuss. As Marti said, we had an NDA, so there were certain things that we couldn’t expose. We couldn’t share files back and forth of each other’s data. We could talk about our data structure, but we couldn’t actually share data between the companies.

But luckily, we both knew we were in the same industry. We’re both in the healthcare space. And we did find out rather early that we shared a commonality, which we shared a external database called Definitive Healthcare. That was sort of the key to our success, I believe, is knowing that we shared that centralized database. We knew that we had a primary key that we could share back and forth between each org and then feed off that to drive the data that we needed to share to each organization.

We were able to define data points early on, do formulas within our own org so that we could flatten that data so that we could share it with each other. We knew that once we went live with our data that we could share those primary keys from Definitive and map those accounts together to share the data points. The Definitive ID was really the key to our success, being able to know that we had that in common. And we did share a common industry, so a lot of the vernacular was the same. So we felt pretty confident that we could get there.

Gillian Bruce: I mean, that’s really fascinating. I like how you kind of said, “Oh, we had this one thing in common. This is the key. This is the secret decoder tool, like the back of the cereal box. It’s going to help us figure it all out.” Marti, I mean, tell me a little bit more about… It sounds to me like this is very… You may not be able to see the data, but you can definitely talk about the metadata and the structure, which is what Lisa talked about. What were some of the structural things that you put in place to really ease this transition, and how did you… I mean, Lisa, you talked a little bit about how you can identify those, but how did you start mapping it out and really… I mean, I assume you all became best friends really quickly, but it sounds like a lot of work. So tell me a little bit more about that.

Marti Pirkle: We did become best friends very quickly. Lisa is the smartest person in any room that she sits in. So she really helped so much with this. But really, what we did is we just kind of looked at it, and we said, “Okay, what is going to be important to our team to understand to provide that customer 360 on day one? Sure, we’re a new team coming together as one, but we both have some overlap of active accounts. We both have that shared knowledge that we could then put forward into that other org, so the other team knows how we’ve interacted with that customer that they’ve worked with before.”

So that was really the big… The key was, okay, so where do we have the overlapping accounts? Where do we maybe have some customers who we’re prospecting with, where we have the open opportunities? And then sharing some key notes. Kind of a cool thing that we did is we created a custom notes field on each account page and had our client success teams go in and say a tweet-size update on what’s happening with this account. So while the teams maybe don’t know each other yet, I could just log into my Salesforce org and really quickly see who is the other team interacting with? How are they interacting? What’s the health of that customer with them? So that you were going into the conversations with more knowledge than you had before.

Gillian Bruce: I mean, this sounds incredible that you were able to put this together. I want to hear a little bit more about the payoff, the reactions. So Lisa, I mean, what were you hearing from your… Did you just impress everyone? They were just like, “I didn’t know you could do this. Oh my gosh”?

Lisa King: I think they did, and I think we set ourselves up for even more asks in the future, right? So as soon as we provided this, they’re like, “What else can you give us?” But they were very happy. I think all of our executives were very happy. And to Marti’s point, I think part of the reason we were successful is we did listen to our stakeholders. We really took the time to understand what is it you need on day one, because we could have given them virtually any field we wanted to in this little section of insights that we provided on each account page. But we listened to them. What matters to you? What solutions are you contracting? Who are the people involved?
And that tweet-size note reduced the number of phone calls and emails that had to be shared immediately after acquisition. We were able to share that data without having to place a thousand phone calls that day. We were able to get that data in reporting. And because it was tweet size, it was easily reportable. It was easily editable with in-line reporting, all kinds of advantages to keeping that string short and sweet and being able to display it on the screen. So yeah, our executives were very happy with day one, to get that data right up. By noon that day, the insights panel in both orgs was populated, and we were sharing data on day one.

Gillian Bruce: Oh, that’s amazing. I mean, Marti, also, the tweetable update, the tweet-size update, I bet you had to do a little bit of coaching to get people used to what that would be. Can you maybe talk about how you were able to get people to understand, okay, short, sweet highlights? Not everybody thinks that way.

Marti Pirkle: Yeah, yeah. So we did a lot of over-communication prior to day one. We wanted to make sure that all of our teams knew what they were going to see, what they weren’t going to see, where they were going to see it. Prebuilt some reports so that once data started flowing through, that they’d already have those reports ready for them. We both overuse our home screens to share information. So we had little tabs of, “Come here for anything you need to know about our day-one data-sharing or updates, things like that.”

So we did. We got in front of our teams, and we said, “This is what matters. Think about what you want to hear from this other team about what’s going on with their customer. Is there someone you should talk to? Is there someone you shouldn’t talk to? Has something really great happened? Has something negative happened?” So that just level of awareness, just a quick elevator soundbite of what’s happening with this account. And we did cut them off with the character limit intentionally, to keep it in-line editable, to make it easy for them. We were like, “Guys, it’s easier for you if it’s in-line editable, but also you can only use so much space that way.” But I think people really… When they saw the information being reciprocated, that’s when the light bulb really went off for them, I think, of like, “Oh, what a great idea. Now I don’t have to call someone. I just know.” So that was a good win for us, I think.

Gillian Bruce: I love that, using the character limit as a forcing function to be like, “Oh, well, we need it for the list view, of course. Not just because I’m forcing you to be short and sweet.”

Lisa King: Yep.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah, and also the insight that they get when they see the value, and they’re like, “Oh, if somebody else is presenting it this way, then I understand this is how I’m going to present it as well.” That’s good strategy. I like that. That’s great. That’s great. So Lisa, as you guys are thinking about sharing this story for Dreamforce, what made you think, “Hey, this is something I want to bring to Dreamforce. Here’s how we might put together a presentation”? Talk to me a little bit about that.

Lisa King: We had great support from our managers. Our managers were just… And they’re saying, “Most people don’t do this day one, guys. You normally don’t get this much data day one. You need to be talking about this. You should go to Dreamforce. You should pitch this to the other admins that are out there.” And remember, we did this with no code. I am a developer. I love to write code. Don’t get me wrong, but I did this without code. We used formulas, flows, et cetera, things to flatten up the data. We did not… Although MuleSoft is a fabulous tool, we did not have to have middleware to make this happen. We were able to do this with the tools that we were all equipped with in Salesforce.

And just the magic of being able to do this for virtually no money, right, Marti, and not having to issue licenses and do training into each other’s orgs was just a huge win culturally day one. Let everyone stay in the org in which they’re used to and see the data they need to see. Our executives were so impressed with that, and they really supported us to bring this to Dreamforce.

Gillian Bruce: Oh, I love it. So Marti, I mean, talk to me too about what did you decide to put in the session once you said, “All right, let’s go share this story”? Because believe me, this is incredible. Admins are going to get so much value out of this. So let’s bring some of that value to our listeners right now. What are some of the things that you’re showing in your session?

Marti Pirkle: Our session is going to be Seven Tips to Day-One Data Sharing. So we tried to break it up into just seven takeaways, key takeaways that anyone could run with. The first half, I’m going to run through and give the strategy of how we came up with the idea. And then Lisa is going to walk everybody through how to go through and execute on it. So I’ll talk about things like discovery and getting buy-in from your stakeholders and change-management communication and then go into the design of what we actually built out and then the technology that makes it all happen behind the scenes as well.

Gillian Bruce: I love it. So Lisa, you did mention a couple of features that are near and dear to every admin’s heart. You talked about flows and some other things. Can you break that down a little bit more for us in terms of what are the features that… You said, “Without having to tap into something like MuleSoft.” Especially since you have a coding background, tapping into the declarative side of what’s available, what are some of the top things that were really useful in this project that you did?

Lisa King: That’s a great question. A lot of our architecture is based on related lists. And because our sharing model, we wanted to flatten everything out at the account level. We didn’t want to have to… We were trying to keep this simple. Keep it simple. Make this a simple day-one achievable project, right?

So one of the things we did ahead of time was take some things that were normally stored in related lists and bubble that data up to a concatenated string on the account record, such as solutions delivered, if that makes sense. So maybe one account, maybe we deliver three different solutions at that account. Rather than trying to send a record for each solution, we bubbled up the three solution strings into one string on the account record. And I used Flow to do that. Bring it in as a collection. Pull all these solutions related to this record. Concatenate it as a string, and post it to a text field on the record. So that’s the mechanics behind the flow. It was not difficult. We did all this before the day one, so it was all ready to go. Whenever we turned it on, it was just a flat string to send to the other org.

Gillian Bruce: Oh, that’s awesome. I love that. I mean, even just that simple strategy of talking about how you could use Flow to bring all of those related lists, I mean, that’s beautiful. A chef’s kiss. I love it. I love it.

Lisa King: I love Flow. A big fan of Salesforce Flow.

Gillian Bruce: Well, then that means that you are both officially Flownatics, right?

Lisa King: We are.

Gillian Bruce: Because that’s… Yeah.

Lisa King: We are.

Gillian Bruce: Oh, little the Flownatic plans flow. I mean, you are among good company in being a podcast guest. I think every single guest we’ve had on the podcast is a Flownatic, whether they realize it or not. So Marti, let’s talk a little bit about what it takes to put together a Dreamforce presentation, because as someone who has reviewed many a Dreamforce presentation in my 12 Dreamforces, I know that it is not just an easy thing. So talk to me about that process, what it’s been like for you.

Marti Pirkle: Yeah, great question. I did not know what we were getting into when we had submitted. We’re like, “Oh yeah, this will be great.” And then it was like, “Oh, man, forgot that we have to put this together and then learn it too.” Right? So we were super excited to share the information, and then it was, “Well, how do you come up with a way to sell your idea?” So you commented that our title’s kind of buzzy, and it was intentional. We wanted to get the team’s attention about the session that we wanted to do. And then we’ve both been to Dreamforces before and TDX and then some of the… What are the sessions that are put on just in different regions? So like Southeastern Dreamin’, I think. So I’ve been to some of those.

And the key takeaways for me is always like, “Someone, just give me a list. Someone, just give me a top 10 or five tips for something to just boil it up so that I can take it home with me and apply that.” So we tried to do that, come up with our seven tips and then fill out the content. What actually matters? What’s impactful? And right now, going through what words do you want on the slide and what visuals do you want on the slide? And then what do you actually want to say to that slide? And then dividing it up, and then practice, practice, practice. Every morning, I take my dog for a walk, and I’m rehearsing what I’m going to say. And I’m thinking all these people who walk past me are like, “This lady is crazy. She’s just everywhere talking to herself about Salesforce.”

Gillian Bruce: I think every two weeks or month before Dreamforce, there’s a lot more crazy people on dog walks, because that’s literally what I used to do all the time too, is I’d be walking the dog and be talking my presentation and be like, “Don’t mind me.”

Marti Pirkle: Totally. I will say I’ve been really blown away with the support that the Trailhead Evangelist team has provided for us or for the Admin Evangelist team. Admin Evangelist? Yes?

Gillian Bruce: We’re all one team, but yes.

Marti Pirkle: Yeah. And that’s just been really cool as well. Just the Slack channel that we’ve all been on and the reviews that they’ve provided. Tons of people have reviewed our presentation and given us feedback on it, and that’s just been really great to feel the support of everybody headed up to it.

Gillian Bruce: Oh, well, that’s good to hear. Well, our job is to make people who have amazing stories, like you, shine on the stage. So it’s very good to hear that it’s working. Lisa, Marti mentioned that this is… You’ve been to Dreamforces and community Dreamins before. Is this the first time that you are presenting at Dreamforce?

Lisa King: It is. This is my first time as a speaker.

Gillian Bruce: For both of you?

Lisa King: Yes.

Gillian Bruce: Okay. So this is exciting. I know that it’s a little nerve-wracking, but it’s going to be amazing. How many people have you told that you’re presenting at Dreamforce, and are they all going to be anxiously awaiting your session or trying to get the takeaways after?

Lisa King: I know everyone in our company that’s going has promised to be there with their pompoms cheering us on at the session. And of course, I’ve spread it across some other channels within my professional network as well. So there’s been a lot of buzz about it. I’m just really excited and honored to be giving a presentation this year at Dreamforce. It’s a big deal. I’m happy about it. I’m happy to have my partner in crime, Marti, at my side.

Marti Pirkle: Right back at you.

Gillian Bruce: Well, I have a feeling this is not the last that we’re going to hear from the team of Lisa and Marti, the dynamic duo, because this is incredible content, and I do think after Dreamforce, let’s all take a moment. Everyone’s relaxing right now as they’re listening to this. But I do think we can do a lot more to bring your story and your content to the admin community, because I think that there is so much there, and a lot of people get a lot of value out of this. The strategy you implemented and how you did it is just awesome. So, well done, and thank you for doing all the work to bring this to life for our admin community. And listeners, stay tuned. This is not the last you’re going to hear from Lisa and Marti, I have a feeling. Thank you both so much for joining me on the podcast, and I look forward to seeing you in just a few days here. Dreamforce is almost upon us.

Marti Pirkle: Thank you.

Lisa King: Thank you.

Gillian Bruce: Well, a huge thanks to Lisa and Marti for taking time out of their busy Dreamforce preparation schedule to join us on the pod. Now, if you want to learn anything more about what they talked about, don’t worry. We are very soon going to have some great content from them coming to my favorite website, And I’m sure you are more than welcome to reach out to them, if you missed their session, on LinkedIn. They’re both active on there, and they would be happy to talk to you more about what they did and what they shared.

Also, if you want to learn just anything else about a lot of the greatness that we just did at Dreamforce or in general, especially about preparing for the winter ’23 release, check out admin on You’ll find other great content on their blogs, some videos and some podcasts to help you really be an awesome admin. You can stay connected with us on Twitter. We’re @SalesforceAdmns, no I, or you can use #AwesomeAdmin. You can find myself @gilliankbruce, and you can find my other amazing co-host, Mike Gerholdt, @MikeGerholdt. With that, I hope you have a fantastic rest of your day, and I’ll catch you next time in the cloud.

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