Are you a new Salesforce Admin? Or maybe you’ve been dabbling with Salesforce for a little while and now you are ready to turn your passion into your career? Either way, it’s sometimes difficult to know where to start. I have written several blogs for Salesforce Administrators over my 18-year career in the Salesforce ecosystem, and even though the Salesforce platform continues to evolve, the advice for new Salesforce Admins remains basically the same. The “secret sauce” is tried and true so there is no need to stray far from the recipe.
Here are my top ten tips for a successful Salesforce Administrator career.
1. Educate Yourself
Expand your knowledge of the Salesforce Platform whenever you can – try to learn something new every day. Whether that means self-training using Trailhead, getting your Salesforce certification, attending in-person events (post-pandemic) or online events/webinars – or any combination of these. Even if your current company doesn’t use a particular feature, you’ll need to know about all the basic functionality of Salesforce if you intend to get certified or if you ever change companies. More education and experience leads to more opportunity!
2. Get Involved with the Trailblazer Community
Join the online Salesforce Trailblazer Community. It’s a great place to learn and connect with other Salesforce Administrators and experts, get new ideas and learn best practices. Join the groups that make sense for how you are using Salesforce and ask questions within those groups. Go to the Answers tab and post a question. In this virtual world, there is no better place to mingle with like-minded people and get your bearings.
3. Join Your Local Trailblazer Community User Group
Trailblazer Community Groups are local groups that are run by other Salesforce Admins in your geographical area – not by Salesforce. This is THE place to meet other Salesforce Admins and learn about how they are using the platform. Sharing information with other Salesforce Admins, asking them questions about how they solve issues, etc. is a great way to learn and grow. At the very least, you will begin forging relationships with people that could shape your career in the years to come.
4. Attend Dreamforce
I have attended 16 Dreamforces and I have walked away from every single one with new relationships that have shaped my career. From inspirational keynotes, visionary ideas and announcements of new features, Dreamforce will change how you think about your business and the solutions that you are creating. There are learning opportunities for every role, level, and industry. It’s a “can’t miss” event for new Admins. Unfortunately, as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, Dreamforce 2020 will not take place in person – but Salesforce has a number of virtual events that bring all of the fun, innovation and learning to the dedicated community of Trailblazers.
5. Use Social Channels to Your Advantage
Having a social presence gives you exposure to people beyond your normal reach. Tweet and follow those who tweet about Salesforce, join and participate in Salesforce networking groups on Facebook and LinkedIn. You are bound to learn something new and you might even build your own brand by helping others in those groups with your solutions. There is even an official Salesforce Admins Twitter handle!
6. Use Your Sandbox
A Sandbox is a copy of your production organization. You can create multiple copies of your organization without compromising the data and applications in your production organization. Sandboxes should be used for EVERY change. Test everything before deploying to production! You can even use a full Sandbox for onboarding new users. This gives users the ability to learn functionality without creating test data in Production.
7. Learn When to Say No!
Yes, you read that correctly. You are allowed to say No! Inevitably, someone in your organization is going to come to you and say, “Can Salesforce <insert just about anything here>?” The answer is most likely “Yes, it CAN”. It is your job as the Salesforce expert in your organization to evaluate if it SHOULD. Ask lots of questions to fully understand the request and then evaluate your options. Learn to think strategically and create scalable solutions. Evaluate each request carefully before agreeing to it.
8. Use AppExchange
AppExchange is a fast and easy way to “extend” Salesforce. There are thousands of solutions that you can install in just a few clicks to meet many different business challenges. You don’t have to start from scratch to design each and every solution that is requested. Use the AppExchange to help find solutions – there are partner solutions that come at an additional cost, as well as many free solutions that you can download and then customize to fit your business needs.
9. Trailhead! Trailhead! Trailhead!
Trailhead is the fun way to learn! This is the one ingredient that is “newish” to the recipe. Back in my day when I first started learning Salesforce… there was no Trailhead. Yes, that’s right! I know it’s hard to believe a time without Trailhead (and we had to walk to school uphill… both ways). But lucky for you, Trailhead exists and is free for you to use – and new classes are being added all the time. You can learn at your own pace and choose the specific skills that mean the most to you.
10. Stay on Top of New Functionality
Salesforce is always evolving – they deliver hundreds of innovative features to you three times a year in their new releases. Monitor when these releases are coming and plan accordingly. Make sure you take advantage of the Sandbox preview and test out features prior to the Production release. Plan a communication strategy to any users that will be affected by the new features. Don’t let new releases “just happen.”
I hope you have found a few nuggets of information in this post that will help you navigate your new career as a Salesforce Administrator. Here are a few resources that I use on a regular basis and I think they will be helpful to you, as well as some of my personal links:
Welcome to the Wonderful World of Salesforce Administration! Be sure to join the conversation on Twitter using hashtag #AwesomeAdmin.