Salesforce

9 Skills You Need as a Salesforce Admin To Succeed

Salesforce has quickly become one of the biggest CRMs in the world, with over 150,000 businesses using the software.

Whether your company is planning on adopting the service soon, or you’re hoping to become a manager of a team on Salesforce, there are a few key Salesforce skills you’ll definitely need to have to be successful.

Today, we’ll be discussing:

  • Salesforce 101
  • Salesforce Administrator Best Practices
  • Top 9 Salesforce Administrator Skills

Salesforce 101

Salesforce.com is a customer relationship management (CRM) system that helps businesses of all sizes manage and automate the sales process. The Salesforce ecosystem is where a business’s sales and marketing team collaborate to monitor leads and drive sales.

The Job of a Salesforce Admin

The job description of a Salesforce admin is usually multi-faceted. A Salesforce administrator job involves customizing a business’s Salesforce platform to optimize the workflows and processes used by the team.

As a Salesforce admin, you’re in charge of setting up the platform specifications, managing data, and helping the team organize and manage their respective workloads on the platform.

Many professional Salesforce administrators have an official Salesforce certification, but that isn’t always necessary. Many organizations will provide their own training materials based on their unique processes.

Salesforce Administrator Best Practices

While succeeding as a Salesforce admin will definitely require some Salesforce skills, you’ll also find that sticking to some best practices is helpful, too. Salesforce best practices include using standard objects as intended, becoming familiar with data relationships, leveraging automation options, keeping a document of your work for traceability, and exporting your data regularly.

Top 9 Salesforce Administrator Skills

Thinking of becoming a Salesforce administrator and wondering if you have the right skill set for the job? Here are the most important Salesforce skills.

1. Understanding of Organizational Relationships

User validation and user management are key tasks for any Salesforce admin. In your role, you’ll assign user profiles, set user validation rules, set up user accounts, assign new users their roles, and allow for varying degrees of data access so your teams can work efficiently and access the right objects.

Each organization approaches user management differently. But, you’ll need to understand an organization’s structure, know how teams are separated, and figure out if there are teams that should have limited access to certain information.

2. Data Management

In addition to managing the users in your Salesforce team, you’ll also need to manage all of the data stored on the platform. Managing the data that is saved will determine how your team proceeds with future goals.

A great Salesforce admin should be able to manage the platform to ensure clean, accurate data is captured and stored. They should also have knowledge of importing data into the Salesforce platform.

3. Ability to Translate Ideas into Processes

Knowledge of how business processes work is a highly advantageous Salesforce skill for potential Salesforce admins. The platform involves multiple workflows to speed up the sales team with their work.

As an admin, you’ll know how Salesforce works, but your internal customers may not. Instead, they’ll give you ideas and tell you what they want done, and you need to translate their goals into a functional end product. Salesforce admins should be able to use process mapping to understand the true need and create the best solution.

Often, you can use various methods to build an end product for your teams. Using a process map can help you communicate the implications of a particular solution and push back to make sure your colleagues receive an end product that meets all of their needs.

Knowledge of the Salesforce process builder is also one of the key Salesforce administrator skills. The process builder is the in-platform tool admins can use to create customized workflows and processes.

4. Flexible Communication and Leadership Skills

Leadership skills are valuable for any Salesforce admin, whether or not you’re actually managing a team. Working with integrity, creatively solving problems, and making quick decisions make for a better admin.

While Salesforce can function like a well-oiled machine, if things go wrong, a Salesforce admin needs to be able to solve problems on their own and communicate effectively with their team.

In an admin role, your customers are your internal users. Sometimes you’ll be working with execution teams and digging into the minutiae of Salesforce. Other times you’ll need to explain your processes or problem solve at a high-level with management and leadership roles. A good admin can communicate effectively at various levels of the organization.

5. Understanding of the Sales Process

While a Salesforce admin is unlikely to do much selling, you’ll be closely supporting the sales team with their work. So, you need to have a fundamental understanding of how the sales process functions.

Remember, your sales team is one of your biggest customers, so it’s important to be able to put yourself into their shoes and get in the habit of building solutions that serve the big picture.

It’s common for people to come to you and request Salesforce solutions without telling you about their problem. The issue is that sometimes the solutions people present don’t make sense.

Ultimately, it’s your job to build the best solution, so you should ask why they are requesting a solution and understand what they’re trying to achieve. Then, you can use your expertise to evaluate your options and find the best way to solve their problem.

6. Salesforce Resourcefulness

CRM providers frequently release new versions of the software, so sometimes the solutions you used before might not work now. Knowing where to find the most up-to-date information and holding yourself accountable to expand your knowledge are two skills that set you apart as an admin.

As a Salesforce admin, you’ll often be called upon to answer Salesforce-related questions and teach other team members how to use the software. You should know what tools are available to you in Salesforce and how to use them to solve various problems.

That being said, it’s a massive platform, and you may not always have the answers right away. You do, however, need to know where to look for answers so you can follow-up with current information.

Staying active in the Salesforce community helps with resourcefulness. Many admins can serve as niche experts that you can turn to for advice.

7. Project Management & Organization

A big part of a Salesforce administrator’s job is to organize the overall flow of a project. In fact, the role is often similar to being a project manager.

Having prior knowledge of how to develop end-user training and build custom dashboards will make you a much more versatile and useful addition to the team members.

A great Salesforce admin will have experience with the various key components of project management:

  • Understanding the Project Charter and Statement of Work
  • Communicating with key stakeholders
  • Planning, executing, and establishing levels of quality control in projects
  • Communicating with other members of the execution team

8. Organizational Strategy and Optimization

The ability to strategize and plan is an essential Salesforce skill. After all, how can we create optimal automations and user settings without the foresight afforded by a strategic approach?

A Salesforce administrator should be able to foresee potential issues, get inspired about solutions to team management problems, and imagine a potential time frame for an upcoming project.

Skilled admins use a proactive mindset at work rather than simply reacting to each request they receive from a team member. You can bring more to your team if you look ahead and suggest ideas instead of waiting around for fires to extinguish.

9. Developer Mindset

While coding experience isn’t a requirement for Salesforce admins, understanding developer logic can be a helpful skill.

Much of your job involves administering permissions. In other words, you need to set up the rules for who can do what in each part of the CRM. You should be able to write logic and use tools such as validation rules and process builders.

Additionally, you should be able to think logically and understand the limitations of the software. When you are able to make changes, you need to understand the implications of all the changes you make.

 GIF from Parks and Recreation, angry at computer

Final Thoughts: 9 Must-Have Salesforce Administrator Skills

Entering the world of Salesforce administration is perfect if you have a head for sales and a penchant for organization, whether or not you’re a certified administrator. And with these nine Salesforce admin skills under your belt, you’ll quickly find your way around the platform.

If your business is looking for a better way to monitor and manage your Salesforce platform, Cirrus Insight may be right for you.

Discover how we can automate the administration process and monitor rep inboxes to transfer and sync sales data into your Salesforce platform instantly. Start a free trial today to try it for yourself.

Maddy Osman
Maddy Osman

5+ years of content writing for companies such as Cirrus Insight, Automattic, HubSpot, Sprout Social, Bluehost, Wix, and more. My background in WordPress web design contributes to a well-rounded understanding of SEO and how to connect brands to relevant search prospects.

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