Salesforce admins and Salesforce developers may have some radically different skills, but they have one core commonality: the best can make magic happen with Salesforce. There are some basic differences between Salesforce developers and admins: Developers communicate dev info to the Salesforce admin, build customizations, test, and deploy; admins provide user maintenance, create assignment rules, build reports, perform data cleanup, and provide developers, customers, and colleagues with ongoing support and documentation.
But it’s not enough to have an admin who can perform those basic tasks. You want a superstar: an admin with extensive knowledge of your business processes, great communication and project management skills, and that critical something extra — a Salesforce certification. The combination of training and certification make for a better implementation and the fullest use of Salesforce. (Salesforce also makes it easy to verify someone’s Salesforce certifications using only their full name and email address.)
An expert Salesforce admin has the following qualities:
Insider information and people skills
An admin needs to be a true team player — someone with the ability to build relationships with groups essential to the success of your Salesforce implementation. That means communicating effectively with leadership, having expert analytical skills (to keep up with changes), and the ability to manage (and juggle) projects.
A passion for learning
An ideal admin doesn’t just get the technology — they thirst for more of it. One excellent tool for Salesforce superstars-in-training is Trailhead, an interactive learning tool by Salesforce designed to get every type of user (developers, admins, and everyone in between) comfortable with the platform. There are hours’ worth of trails for admins of varying levels of expertise… ideal for admins in need of new skills or a refresher course. Salesforce has 3 releases each year, so admins should be able to retain new knowledge on a regular basis, but not obsessively.
A long-term thinker with the ability to say no
The admin of your dreams wants to keep things clean at all times, understands the user’s perspective, and will balance that tenacity and empathy with your organization’s strategic needs. It’s important to have the patience and expertise to be a great coach and teacher, along with the backbone and sense to say no to ill-advised user requests.
Not afraid to ask follow-up questions
The ability to balance business value for the user and best practices in platform development is critical for an admin. This takes creativity, and the willingness and want to keep learning and challenging assumptions. Being comfortable and confident in asking the necessary follow-up questions when a new request comes along in order to ensure complete understanding is a vital part of a superstar admin’s repertoire.
Go-live isn’t the end; it’s a new beginning. As such, having the wrong admin in the driver’s seat can be disastrous. If you struggle to find the right one, try cloud management. It can be used to extend the reach of admins and help ensure a successful implementation and the future of your organization’s Salesforce experience.