Stan Coville is proof that what you major in doesn’t always have any bearing on what you end up pursuing as a career. He studied political science at the University of Chicago—but it was an internship building websites that sparked his love for tech. And he never looked back.
Early in his career, Coville worked at Abercrombie & Fitch leading a team that built front-end web marketing experiences—but it was his next job at the startup Improveit 360 that would alter the course of his career, because it introduced him to Salesforce development.
“That was my first foray into Salesforce, building roadmap features for a customer relationship management (CRM) platform tailored to home remodelers,” he says. “The company was acquired after I had been there for about a year, and it was time to move on once again, which is when I found CapTech. I wanted to stay in the Salesforce ecosystem, and I liked the direct business value that the platform drove for clients.”
Three and a half years later, Coville is Senior Manager, Salesforce Practice Lead at CapTech, a technology and management consulting firm that works with clients in a range of industries, helping them with everything from data analytics to IT to customer experience.
Here, he talks about what he loves about his coworkers, how CapTech has allowed him to grow in his career, and the thrill of working with different types of clients.
What attracted you to work at CapTech, and specifically in this role?
I was attracted to CapTech based on the people, and I still feel that way today. Everyone I spoke to in the interview process was incredibly passionate about the work they did. They were clearly able to discuss technical concepts, and also really focused on the business value that the technical delivery drove, and how they worked collaboratively with CapTech team members and client stakeholders to drive that value. I was also looking forward to helping the Columbus office grow; when I joined three years ago, we only had 10 people and were working out of a co-working space.
What are you responsible for in your role?
My role has two major parts, the first being client delivery and the second being practice leadership. My client delivery focus has recently been for a couple of our financial services clients, as well as private equity portfolio companies. I am usually staffed on one to two client projects at a time in a Salesforce developer or architect role. This involves working in scrum teams with other Salesforce consultants, as well as Salesforce business analysts, project managers, organizational change managers, and data analysts from CapTech (depending on project needs). We work in sprints to deliver our scope of work to clients. I take a lot of pride in the way our team members respect each other and collaborate to deliver cutting-edge solutions on the Salesforce platform.
In terms of practice leadership, that involves working with other leaders across CapTech on business development, recruiting, staffing, and training initiatives to make sure that we are growing our practice in a way that puts our consultants first. The Salesforce space has been growing rapidly over the last few years and we want to be sure that we are putting our consultants in positions to succeed and grow, while continuing to deliver great value for our clients. This may be things like Lunch and Learns for office leaders so that they understand our Salesforce capabilities, or leading cross-trainings for other CapTechers to grow existing Salesforce skills or learn about the platform for the first time.
How do you help CapTech drive value for its clients?
CapTech drives value by partnering cross-functionally to align with business and technology roadmap initiatives. What this means in practice is that we collaborate with client stakeholders to define roadmap initiatives and understand the value of those initiatives. We are then able to work with our cross-functional consultants to deliver in an agile and efficient way that iteratively improves upon these roadmap items.
What are you currently working on that excites or inspires you?
I am inspired by the smart people around me solving complex business problems with cutting-edge technology. In mid 2020, an adjacent team at one of our clients patented machine learning technology and disrupted a centuries-old industry, engaging students amidst incredibly unique circumstances. Within our Salesforce practice, our teams are working with the newest technologies on the platform, including Configure, Price, Quote, Service Cloud Voice, Field Service Lightning, and Einstein to solve problems and drive value for our clients.
We have also been pushing the limits of DevOps and modern development on the platform through Lightning Web Components, Apex mocking, and the Salesforce DX Command Line Interface. Everyone in our practice collaborating to push the Salesforce bounds—and each other inside and outside of client delivery—is what makes me excited about where we are headed.
Additionally, the multidisciplinary work that our practice is able to do with the other CapTech practices enables us to do transformative work for our clients. Doing Einstein or Tableau CRM work with our data teams or engaging users via Organizational Change Management allows CapTech to foster deeper relationships with our clients and solve problems across business areas. And using a tool like MuleSoft to integrate and modernize an enterprise architecture and working with development teams in other stacks really gives our Salesforce practice, and CapTech as a whole, a unique value proposition.
You’ve been promoted twice since joining CapTech in 2017. How does the company help and encourage employees to grow in their careers?
I came to CapTech confident in my Salesforce skills and looking forward to expanding my technical delivery capability. The firm has enabled me to sharpen those technical skills while growing interpersonal and communication skills in order to become a well-rounded consultant. I have also been afforded opportunities for growth in leadership, account management, and business development.
The mentorship and coaching structures at CapTech have given me the confidence to expand my skills, knowing I have the support of the firm and the experienced leaders around me. It is not uncommon for executive leaders to give direct coaching to consultants at all levels, fostering growth and connections across the firm. Along with client delivery, there are a large number of internal CapTech initiatives within offices, practice areas, and service offerings that can provide consultants with leadership and growth opportunities. In my experience at CapTech, those that take the initiative and stretch themselves to the benefit of the firm and other consultants are recognized and rewarded.
What is your favorite part about getting to work with different clients?
Forming trusted partnerships with our clients has been a very rewarding part of being with CapTech. My first project grew over a year from a solo contributor role to a scrum team entrusted with delivering one of the most prominent customer-facing initiatives for a top 10 regional bank. Recently, we forged a meaningful relationship with a global private equity firm; CapTech has worked with many of its portfolio companies to define and implement transformative Salesforce roadmaps that drive end-user efficiency and private equity value. Personally, one of my favorite clients has been a boutique investment bank; we have become their trusted Salesforce partner through small but impactful engagements working with their own Salesforce team to maximize the value of their consultant spend.
Working with each of these clients keeps myself and our other Salesforce consultants consistently engaged in solving tough and impactful problems, which has fostered growth in our practice. These relationships have been challenging at times, but earning the trust of these clients through strong delivery is something in which I take a lot of pride.
What skills and traits have helped you succeed in your career with CapTech?
I would focus on two of the CapTech core values: servant leadership and intellectual curiosity. I believe that I have been able to have success at CapTech by putting clients and team members first, fostering a collaborative environment where every idea and perspective is valued. That sense of collaboration with clients and our consultants has enabled quality delivery. Additionally, the intellectual curiosity necessary to keep up with the fast-moving technology and, specifically, Salesforce, has been crucial to my success. But it’s easy to be engaged intellectually when working with the incredible people we have at CapTech.