The Most Important Skills of the Salesforce Admin (That Won’t Be On The Exam)

A few weeks ago, I wrote an article titled What Makes a Salesforce Professional Valuable where I explained that the most valuable trait of a Salesforce Admin is understanding the business. Its positive reception inspired me to write this follow up that outlines, in my experience, very important skills that should be in an admin’s wheelhouse that may not necessarily be found on a study guide.

I’d like to preface this article with the assumption that these traits are valuable in tandem with the skills of mastering the Salesforce platform.

Business Analysis

Every good Salesforce Admin is a better Business Analyst. Requirements handed down to the Admin by the business users rarely present the whole picture. A request as simple as adding a picklist value to an existing field could warrant several follow-up questions: What order should the picklist value appear in? Is the picklist global? Is the picklist being mapped to another object or will it affect existing validation rules?

Try creating a use case for each requirement that clearly follows through every likely scenario. It’s the details that makes or breaks the Admin, and business analysis skills can help with mastering the details.

The Business Analyst is also a professional at understanding, well… the business. Taking the field modification example, several follow up or discovery questions could be analyzed purely from a business point of view.

What is the real problem that this change will solve? Is there an easier way to solve it? Why is this change important to my users?

Getting these answers will also help set the priority of which to assign requirements.

Integration

It would be nice if Salesforce was always the one stop shop for all business needs but that’s not always the case. Understanding business legacy tools and how Salesforce ‘speaks’ with other tools in your organization is paramount to helping your users.

As an Admin, you’ll not only receive tickets and concerns about Salesforce functionality, but also about anything that Salesforce may be integrated with. Does a website provide your company with leads? Do you use Pardot, Mailchimp, or some other marketing tool that modifies or creates data in Salesforce?

Many days of a Salesforce Admin consists of tracing data back to its origin and following it through its journey, knowing why an integration may fail, and being able to troubleshoot common integration issues. The admin’s integration expertise should extend to a working knowledge of AppExchange and available connected apps that can solve business problems

Data Analysis

Data is the lifeblood of your organization, and not just the customer data! Data includes product data, price data, Object and field meta data, and historical data.

Many of the actions a company makes are decided by metrics and information provided by data. In my experience, the best Admins understand the importance of data and know what must be done to protect its integrity including structure and accuracy.

The Salesforce Admin should know how to quickly report on their company’s data and WHY those reports are helpful to their business. The Admin should know what the business’s most important metrics, or KPI’s are.

Knowing how and when to implement duplicate and matching rules, how to export and import data, how to modify data using API tools like Data Import Wizard and Data Loader and by knowing what, if any, transformations take place to data behind the scenes is a most beneficial skill.

Conclusion

These skills are not honed on trailhead or in the classroom but by diving in to real world business scenarios, thinking about business and processes holistically, and by focusing time and energy into understanding data. Salesforce is an exceptional tool that is constantly changing and improving. Admins, as the craftsmen of this tool can best earn their clients trust by focusing on these skills. If you’re looking for an experienced Salesforce Admin who has these skills, visit www.PinkusPartners.com to find one!

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