So I’ve been a Salesforce Admin for a while, I’ve worked with other admins (salesforce and other system admins), interacted with admins in the Trailblazer community, FinancialForce community and local community groups.
There are so many awesome admins out there with some fabulous skill sets! I learn something through every single interaction.
One of the things that I think I excel at, is looking at the system and the processes as an extension of the business (and how we do business) as opposed to just being a tool that I administer.
A Salesforce Admin has all the skills to create new fields and objects, setup flows and process builders and sharing rules. They have all the skills to create reports and dashboards and add picklist values and more.
If you can do all those things, you can most certainly do the job of a Salesforce Admin.
But if you want to take your career to the next level. If you want to become integral to your business and really be an Innovator, you’ve got to do more than that.
You’ve got to understand the business itself. How your company does business, how they sell, how they engage with customers, how they do the things they need the system for. WHY they do the things they need the system for.
This way, as you are administering the system, you can ask the important questions – things like:
- Why do you need this new field?
- Who is going to fill out the field?
- Where are they going to get the information to fill out this field?
- Who is going to report on the data in this field?
- How will the data in this field be evaluated?
- When will they fill out this information?
It is easy to add a field. But asking these questions can help clear up/define a business process, guide business leaders about how their use of the system can either drive results or create unclear requirements and provide valuable input into data quality and data usage to enable an ultimately better use of the system as a whole.
When a user asks you what they need to put in Field XYZ, how do you answer? Do you give them the available values and send them on their way? Or do you explain the use of the field, describe the values that are available and provide guidance as to the importance (down the line) of what they put there?
To me, the answer to the above really shows the difference between an Admin and an Innovative Admin. An Innovative Admin has such a deep connection with the system and the business processes that the system supports that she feels it is her duty to explain (sometimes over-explain) the importance of the data to the processes.
I’ve worked with SysAdmins of other systems as we are integrating data and nothing irks me more than being told I need to send over a field value of ‘XYZ’ but they aren’t able to tell me what the field value does or represents. ‘I don’t know, it’s just required’ is the WORST possible answer.
Do. Not. Be. That. Admin.
By working to understand your business as a whole, the business processes and how the system is used to support that you become that magic combination of Admin, Analyst, Architect. You begin to see across the matrix so that when someone asks for something your mind can immediately see and trace the lines to the records and departments and processes that it touches. You can help to ensure that people aren’t working in a bubble, that people understand the inputs and outputs of the things they are working on and the effects of those, and ultimately become someone who is integral to your entire group!
And that’s when the fun begins!
And that is when a job turns into a career!