3 Things a Salesforce.com Admin Should Always Keep In Mind
The role of salesforce.com admin comes with many different challenges, especially at smaller companies where a salesforce.com admin can easily find themselves playing the role of sales operations, marketing operations, IT, and sometimes others. The job can quickly begin to feel overwhelming, but there are three things that salesforce.com admins should always keep in mind:
- The end user: When implementing a new process, field, reports, dashboards, etc. always keep the end user in mind. As a salesforce.com admin, one of your primary goals is user adoption and ease of use. Try to think like a product manager about how people actually interface with the system. If your processes and page layouts are so complicated that nobody can figure out how to use them, you will not be successful in capturing the data you are looking for.
- Data integrity: In a data-driven organization the integrity of the data should always be a priority, but it’s your job to make it happen. Only a few people in the organization should be allowed to mass import data: the salesforce.com admin and potentially people in operations roles such as sales ops and marketing ops. Set guidelines for data import, de-dupe as much as possible, and use limits and validation rules to prevent bad data and incomplete data. Also, data integrity and compliance comes from the top-down. Line managers have to play a huge role in this, and should be committed to enforcing the proper input and usage of any fields or process they have asked you to implement in the system. Before implementing anything new get commitment on enforcing the usage, and try to create a culture of, “If it’s not in salesforce.com it doesn’t exist”.
- What’s already in the system: While this might seem obvious, in my experience, of these three things it is the most frequently overlooked. Every time the sales and/or marketing management turns-over at a company, the new leadership brings with them the applications, processes, fields, reports, and dashboards that they like to use. However, all of the applications, processes, fields, reports, and dashboards that the old leadership put in do not just get ripped out. Instead, they lie dormant in the system collecting virtual dust like ruins of previous regimes. As a result, the system becomes crowded and filled with junk that makes doing anything quite cumbersome. The nature of most end-users is to ask for something first and then look, rather than look to see if what they need is in the system before asking after they have confirmed that it doesn’t exist. It is the admins job to keep the system as clean as possible. Delete fields that are not used or contain irrelevant data. Uninstall apps and installed packages that are not in use. Limit who can create public reports dashboards. Finally, do not fulfill any requests without first checking to see whether they already exist.
Keeping these three things in mind will result in better user adoption, better data integrity, and ultimately less work for the salesforce.com admin.