Editor’s note: In 2020, we launched a new program for our most passionate Smartsheet ambassadors: the Smartsheet Overachievers. This elite group of customers aren’t just product experts; they are innovators, changemakers, and the ultimate Can-Doers. This is the third in a series of blog posts introducing you to our inaugural cohort of Overachievers as they share their Smartsheet wins, challenges, and tips.
Andrew Taylor (you can also call him Andy, he doesn’t mind), is a director of marketing operations, a role in which he prioritizes and organizes large cross-functional projects. He recently led a transformation project for a wellness company as they scaled organization across all departments and processes — and he’s doing it all with Smartsheet.
“Some tools are great for project management. Smartsheet is great for project management and everything else.”
Starting out in the IT department of his past company, Andy's tech background first introduced him to Smartsheet. When he was promoted into marketing, he took the product along for the ride and spread the word.
Tips to get started with Smartsheet
To become a Smartsheet Overachiever, Andrew says he is 95% self-taught. For the other, more technical 5%, he turned to his former engineering teammate Erica for her knowledge (he gives her full credit).
You can take advantage of free webinars to learn the basics, and if you don’t have your own Erica to rely on, look to the Smartsheet Community, where you can ask questions and get advice from other customers.
Andrew highlights one of the biggest pros of Smartsheet: its familiar UI means it’s easy to use, even for a novice. When you layer on sheets and connect them via formulas, “you can really wow people.” And you don’t even need to know coding to create reports and dashboards that have an impact.
Things for Andrew really clicked in 2019 when he attended ENGAGE, Smartsheet’s annual customer conference. There, he heard Chief Marketing Officer Anna Griffin call customers Can-Doers. “I was like, 'That’s me!'” he exclaimed. “I can do really hard things that make decisions easier for others. That totally resonated with me.”
For others just beginning with Smartsheet, Andrew says to start with answering two questions:
- What are you trying to accomplish?
- What problem is preventing you from reaching your goal?
From there, you can build a solution — from a sheet to developing a dashboard like the example below. Andrew uses this summary dashboard to communicate the status of key projects by region to his stakeholders.
Create internal advocates
When it comes to getting his teammates on board with Smartsheet, Andrew uses a familiar example. “I say that Smartsheet walks and talks like Excel but it’s so much more,” he explains. “That example appeals to a broad base and then you layer on all the extras that Excel can’t do, like formulas and having sheets talk to each other. Then you really wow them.”
When one team approached him to try and find out how many projects they could realistically complete in a year, he responded with: “Can you export a .CSV file? Give me a day.”
With that file, he used Data Uploader (now Data Shuttle), made it a sheet, used formulas along with the start and end dates, and determined that the team could complete 222 projects in a year. At that time, they had 900 projects in the queue. “I told them, ‘It’s going to take you four and half years to finish these, not a year,’” Andrew laughed.
“I like being in the Overachievers because I get to learn from everyone about what they’ve built for their own needs and how they flow the data.”
Get leadership on board
When it came time to gain buy-in from his senior leadership team, Andrew took a different approach by building an executive report that showed the total number of projects his team had and how many had been completed.
His CEO was so pleased with the report that Andrew started getting phone calls from internal partners asking for his Smartsheet advice. Now, thanks to his Overachiever status, he’s become what he calls the “Chief Evangelist of Smartsheet,” even taking his expertise on the road and presenting Smartsheet how-tos and best practices externally to other companies.
“Smartsheet makes me look good! I predict that it will soon make its way onto the software stack of all workers. It will be just as ubiquitous as Outlook.”
When Andrew isn’t helping others learn how to be Can-Doers, he’s a self-described “dance dad.” “My wife is a ballerina by trade, and my kids are super into dance, so I’m always ferrying them from one dance activity to another,” Andrew shares. Smartsheet and dancing sounds like a perfect combination to us!
Learn how to stop working and start marketing
If you’re interested in learning more about how Smartsheet can kick your marketing organization into overdrive, download our latest e-book, “Stop Working and Start Marketing: How to Break Out of the Box.”