The Salesforce ecosystem is growing rapidly with new purchases (like Vlocity) and speedy development of the platform. It can therefore be quite hard to navigate and to keep up with the newest changes. How can you make sure that you are correctly using the tools that Salesforce is offering? Which ones do you actually need and how to apply them in the most efficient way?
To avoid mistakes in the setup and to get the maximal efficiency from the tool, it is recommended to get a dedicated Salesforce Administrator right from the beginning when you start working on the platform.
Salesforce administrators: what do they do?
Often, the most valuable part of the Salesforce Admin role is creating the process architecture and scaling it globally in the company. A good Salesforce Admin will not only execute on what is asked but will make suggestions on how things can be done better. In fact their work can be viewed as consulting as well as administration.
Especially in the beginning, a big part of Salesforce administration is data migration. When moving to the Salesforce platform from another system, there is always massive amounts of data that has to be migrated. The role of admin is to make sure this process goes smoothly and mistakes are avoided. Badly migrated data makes the platform simply unusable.
It is rare that things go as planned. That is why troubleshooting and solving of incidents is also an important aspect of a Salesforce Admin’s job. Of course when there are too many users per one Salesforce Admin, things can get tricky. The Admin will end up working only on troubleshooting and have no time to develop the platform. In fact, this is the reason why many companies choose to have more than one admin or to outsource the troubleshooting part. Check the table below on how many admins you should have.
Another important part of the job is training of the sales, customer service and operations teams. Although Salesforce tools are easy and intuitive to use, it’s necessary to have the team know how to use them for specific processes.
The foundation of it all is automating everything that is possible to speed up the work of the client-facing staff. For example, with the help of a Salesforce Admin, your sales people can set up personalized dashboards, fields, alerts, and reports to shorten the sales cycle and track every lead in greater detail.
Later in this article we will explore the existing training options and how to get certified as a Salesforce admin, but for now let’s focus on the details of the job.
What exactly are the processes that need to be optimized?
Their scope often includes data security and record sharing, data exchange with external applications (e.g. Zapier, Shopify, Acuity, Tabeo), data relationships and field types, community management, user interface and reporting, change management and restructuring.
All these parameters are very unique to each company, so the consultant needs to not only know Salesforce functionality inside out, but also have business analytics knowledge and be experienced and prepared for different strategy cenarios.
Scaling Salesforce administration
As your company grows and your sales and customer support staff expands, you may need more Salesforce specialists to assist with the different needs.
Salesforce recommends to have at least 1 administrator per 30 users, as in the table below.
Is it possible to train your own staff to become admins? The answer is yes. The good news is, Salesforce admin doesn’t have to be a developer or have any technical background. An appropriate training is all they would need to know to get started. At some companies, the administrator roles are combined with other positions in business or technical departments.
The Salesforce Certified Administrator exam takes 115–125 hours to prepare for and requires 6-12 months of previous active Salesforce usage. There are two qualification levels one can get: Certified Administrator and Certified Advanced Administrator. You can learn more about Salesforce certifications here. Cloudideas offers comprehensive inhouse trainings for both administrators and developers, in groups or individually.
Salesforce also offers free training resources through their Trailhead platform that can be used to train your staff as well as to get Salesforce certifications.
However, the training can require a lot of time and resources that are not always available or prioritized. Hiring an external professional will save you these efforts and also add up their previous experience with the other businesses.
As a summary, we would say that Salesforce Administrator wears many hats. An admin will receive all the questions regarding Salesforce: starting with licenses and prices and ending with specific questions regarding the application. They are a consultant, a problem solver, a process creator, a trainer and more. Therefore they are an incredibly rich resource to have in the company. If you are starting as a Salesforce admin or thinking about it, you know that there are many interesting career opportunities ahead.
Let us know your thoughts and experiences about Salesforce Amins, exams and the work that you do!