How to Start a Salesforce Admin Career
The role of Salesforce Admins is vital and in high demand.
As businesses increasingly rely on Salesforce as their preferred CRM platform, skilled Salesforce Admins play a crucial role in managing and optimizing implementations. This career path offers exciting opportunities for individuals looking to kickstart their professional journey.
The field of Salesforce administration is full of potential for growth. As businesses expand and adopt advanced CRM strategies, the demand for skilled Salesforce Admins is expected to soar. This presents a golden opportunity for individuals to establish themselves as experts and secure long-term job prospects.
The CRM market is projected to reach $80 billion by 2025, highlighting the substantial growth potential in this field.
Whether you’re a recent graduate or someone considering a career switch, becoming a Salesforce Admin is a wise choice. Combining technical skills, problem-solving abilities, and a passion for helping businesses succeed will start a fulfilling journey in the Salesforce ecosystem.
What is a Salesforce Administrator?
First things first, let’s clarify what exactly a Salesforce Admin does.
A Salesforce administrator is responsible for maintaining the Salesforce system’s functionality after it has been implemented in a company. Not only do administrators manage the day-to-day tasks related to using Salesforce, but they also solve user problems and requests, train employees on using the system, and extend the existing functionality of the platform as the business changes, evolves, or expands.
In small firms, the Salesforce administrator might be the sole employee with Salesforce knowledge, meaning that the job description might include some tasks that, in a larger firm, would be delegated to other roles, such as a business analyst, project manager or developer. Small firms, after all, require employees to wear more hats. In larger firms, though, the administrator might work with a team, including developers, business analysts, project managers, or architects, as well as specialized administrators. For instance, a large company might have a sales administrator who works with the company’s sales representatives, as well as a marketing administrator and a customer service administrator, both of whom work on a specific aspect of the company’s functions.
A Salesforce administrator is often a combination of a number of roles, including project manager, business analyst, process improvement manager, support analyst, and system administrator. Administrators spend much of their time supporting users, answering day-to-day questions about the platform, troubleshooting, configuring the system, and training users. Their job description includes:
• User administration
• Data gatekeeping and security
• Data management
• Responding to user questions and requests
• Automating processes
• Creating reports and dashboards
• Project management
• Staying current
• Implementing changes and enhancements
A Salesforce administrator is the gatekeeper to the Salesforce org and creates user accounts, updates and removes users when employees leave or change positions, and helps users with password and access problems. By assigning and configuring profiles and permission sets, an administrator also ensures users have the necessary role-specific permissions.
Data Gatekeeping and Security
A Salesforce administrator is the data guardian, protecting access and making sure that all users—internal and external—have access to and see only the data that they need. An administrator also understands and configures the powerful array of data-access and security mechanisms, including profiles, roles, sharing rules, and field-level security.
No system is useful unless it has clean, reliable, accurate data that users can rely upon. Using data import tools, a Salesforce administrator imports data into the org. The administrator also monitors data to prevent it from being neglected and becoming stale.
An administrator also monitors the quality of the data and identifies when data is duplicated, and when it needs to be cleansed, updated, or merged. An administrator uses data management tools to correct issues of quality.
As well as ad-hoc data imports, Salesforce often has data feeds and other integrations with both internal and external systems. When no technical resources are available, an administrator monitors and manages data integrations and associated tools.
As a solo administrator, every day is an adventure. I have quarterly projects or rollouts that I am always working toward, but at least fifty percent of my day is spontaneous. From bug fixes to feature requests and ad hoc training: I always have the opportunity to do something new.
Responding to User Questions and Requests
Users who have adopted Salesforce and are engaged in the platform are full of questions, and they often have requests to change or improve their configuration. An administrator spends time answering questions about the system, resolving issues, and responding to requests for changes and enhancements. An administrator is also proactive in gathering feedback from users and seeking ways to improve the system.
An administrator uses the power of the “clicks-not-code” platform when implementing changes and enhancements to enable features and configure objects, fields, formulas, page layouts, record pages, record types, workflows, processes, flows, and more, surprising end-users with the agility and speed with which robust solutions can be developed.
When a request needs programmatic customization, an administrator evaluates, scopes, and coordinates the implementation of development requests with a Salesforce developer.
In the Words of a Salesforce Administrator…
I have one consistent goal: Continuously identify ways to solve users’ problems. I can do that a number of ways, but several top the list:
1. Ensure data integrity in order to develop and sustain users’ confidence in the system;
2. Maintain a continuous dialog with users to find and resolve pain points through new features/applications;
3. Continuously look for opportunities to streamline and automate processes within the company.
Salesforce is used to support and improve sales, marketing, service, and custom business processes. The administrator works with stakeholders and subject-matter experts to identify and improve business processes that can be configured to run on Salesforce.
Salesforce provides an ever-expanding arsenol of tools to allow an administrator to become a process automation hero. The administrator understands and configures the process automation tools, including workflow rules, flows, and approval processes.
Creating Reports and Dashboards
Salesforce provides powerful analytical tools, including reports and dashboards. The administrator can use these tools to create useful insights and metrics for the business, or to help users create and troubleshoot their own.
An administrator often develops training materials and trains groups or individual users. New features are added with each release, which often requires user-training.
A Salesforce administrator is often responsible for implementing new features and functionality, managing the implementation of Salesforce in a new part of the business, and working with developers, AppExchange vendors, and other third parties to complete a project.
Honestly, I spend a significant portion of every day helping my individual end-users: training them on new features, answering their questions, getting their feedback, and keeping up a good rapport with the team. It may be distracting from the big projects, but I think that facetime with the team is invaluable.
How much can you earn as a Salesforce Admin?
The average salary for a Salesforce Administrator in the United States is around $90,000. Entry Level Salesforce administrators can expect to earn from $70,000 to $95,000. At the mid level, the range of salaries is from $75,000 to $110,000. A senior Salesforce administrator could expect to earn between $95,000 to $135,000.
Getting Certified as a Salesforce Admin
Are you ready to take charge of your career and dive into the exciting ecosystem of Salesforce administration?
The first step? Get certified.
By acquiring the right education and certifications, you’ll not only expand your knowledge and skills but also establish yourself as a credible expert. Salesforce offers a range of certifications tailored to different skill levels, ensuring there’s a perfect fit for you, whether you’re a beginner or looking to level up.
Salesforce Administrators hold various certifications to validate their skills and expertise. Here are some of the Salesforce certifications commonly held by Salesforce.administrators, according to Mason Frank’s Reports 2022-23, along with the corresponding percentages:
- Salesforce Certified Administrator: 97%
- Salesforce Certified Platform App Builder: 44%
- Salesforce Certified Advanced Administrator: 34%
- Salesforce Certified Sales Cloud Consultant: 17%
- Salesforce Certified Service Cloud Consultant: 13%
Earning these certifications enhances Salesforce administrators credibility and proficiency in effectively utilizing Salesforce to drive business success.
But it doesn’t stop there. Practical experience is key. Internships or projects provide hands-on training and allow you to apply your knowledge to real-world scenarios. Working on actual Salesforce implementations or collaborating with a team on projects, is an invaluable experience that builds the confidence needed to succeed as a Salesforce Admin.
Developing Key Salesforce Admin Skills
To excel as a Salesforce Admin, there are certain skills that you need to master. While technical proficiency is important, effective communication and problem-solving abilities are equally vital.
Here are some key skills you should focus on developing:
Mastering the Salesforce Platform and its Features
A deep understanding of the platform’s capabilities and features is vital for a Salesforce career admin role. Navigate the user interface with ease, manage user profiles and permissions effortlessly, and leverage the diverse tools and functionalities Salesforce offers.
Creating and Customizing Salesforce Objects, Fields, and Workflows
Take charge of tailoring Salesforce to your organization’s needs.
This involves becoming proficient in navigating the user interface, comprehending the underlying data model, and familiarizing yourself with the different functionalities and tools available within Salesforce. As a Salesforce Administrator, you are responsible for creating and customizing objects, fields, and workflows to optimize the Salesforce instance for your organization’s specific requirements. This entails designing and configuring custom objects, defining fields and relationships, and setting up automation workflows using tools like Process Builder and Flow. Honing these skills will tailor Salesforce to streamline business processes and enhance productivity.
Understanding Data Management and Security In Salesforce
Data management is critical.
Import, export, and manipulate data effectively. Moreover, grasp the security model and implement robust measures to safeguard sensitive information, ensuring data integrity and privacy. Ensuring data integrity and implementing robust security measures will maintain the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of your organization’s data.
Developing Strong Problem-Solving and Analytical Skills
Expect challenges that demand your problem-solving and analytical prowess. Identify and troubleshoot issues, analyze data for valuable insights, and propose effective solutions. Your ability to address and resolve problems efficiently will ensure seamless operations within the Salesforce ecosystem.
It’s not just about technical expertise but also effective communication, collaboration, and the ability to understand and align Salesforce with your organization’s goals and objectives. With dedication, continuous learning, and hands-on experience, you can thrive in a Salesforce Admin career and contribute to driving innovation and growth within your organization.
Business and Soft Skills required for a Salesforce Administrator
Along with technology-related skills, employers also search for general business and soft skills, such as:
Administrators need excellent verbal and written communication skills to help train employees, resolve user issues, and communicate needs to developers. Much of an administrator’s time is spent in meetings and working one-on-one with users, so employers search for administrators who are high-caliber communicators.
Administrators need strong teamwork and stakeholder engagement skills as they are asked to customize Salesforce to meet user needs, so they need to have a desire to serve the needs of a variety of business types, from salespeople to executives. Because they pass along more challenging customizations to developers, administrators must be willing to work with technical teams to advocate for non-technical end-users.
Administrators need the ability to think strategically, aggregate resources, and problem solve. On a daily basis, administrators are faced with a variety of troubleshooting tickets and user requests. They must, then, be able to prioritize, manage time, and find answers.
Administrators should have a strong instinct for action, ability to organize, and aptness to self-start. Administrators serve as a support function; the more willing they are to take the initiative, the better they can support users.
Administrators should have excellent project management and presentation skills as they are required to manage multiple facets of a project and communicate progress to end-users, team members, and superiors. As projects progress, and as new functionality is implemented, administrators train end-users.
Administrators should have a strong understanding of business processes related to sales, marketing, customer service, and operations. To implement Salesforce within an organization, a Salesforce administrator needs to have (or gain) deep and detailed knowledge of how a company operates so that it can assist users in best integrating Salesforce into the company’s operations, train users, automate the company’s processes, and solve business problems.
To show empathy, to ask questions but also to listen, and to then drive engagement are really important for an administrator.
Director of Talent Hub, a Salesforce recruitment company
Searching and Applying for Salesforce Admin Jobs: Tips and Strategies
In The Salesforce Career Playbook by Martin Gessner, he has expert tips and strategies to land your dream Salesforce Admin Career.
Obtain your Salesforce Certified Administrator certification and complete Trailhead badges.
Although neither a certification nor Trailhead status will guarantee you a job, they will demonstrate that you have a baseline of knowledge. Increasingly, certification is a requirement for an administrator role.
Build an app. Use your work or personal life as inspiration for creating an app that you can build to showcase your knowledge and skills.
Then, put the app on your résumé or curriculum vitae (CV), and demo it during your interviews. By doing this, you can demonstrate your Salesforce skills and some of the softer skills needed for administrators. You can tell a story of how you identified a need and built an app to solve a problem, showcasing your strategic thinking, action-orientation, and operational acumen.
If you do not have on-the-job Salesforce experience,look for opportunities to volunteer at a nonprofit or volunteer organization.
You could even look for opportunities in a nonprofit where you could implement Salesforce yourself or form a team with people more experienced and learn from them. I recently volunteered at my local dog shelter and noticed the systems were very old. I talked to the manager about implementing Salesforce to quickly improve their processes and modernize the user experience. Through its Power of Us program, Salesforce provides ten free enterprise licenses to nonprofits. A volunteer could implement it for the nonprofit and gain experience in the process.
Attend Salesforce events, like World Tour and Dreamin. Get involved in the online Trailblazer community and join online collaboration groups. Complete superbadges. Go to user group meetings. You could meet someone who knows of an opportunity, paid or unpaid, that could help you.
Consider how you could differentiate your Salesforce knowledge from other people seeking administrator roles.
Align your interests with demand. For example, if you are interested in service, consider building upon your Salesforce Certified Administrator certification with the Salesforce Field Service Lightning Consultant credential, as Field Service has been one of Salesforce’s fastest-growing products.
Continued Growth as a Salesforce Administrator
As a Salesforce admin, your journey doesn’t stop after landing the job; in fact, it only begins. In order to thrive, stay ahead in your role, and remain at the top of your game, continuous learning and growth are vitally important if you wish to excel as an administrator. Here are some strategies designed to assist on this path to becoming one.
Staying Current with Salesforce Releases and Features is Vital to Staying Competitive in this Marketplace.
Salesforce is constantly adapting, with regular updates and the release of new features to ensure you make the most of its capabilities. In order to stay abreast of all this buzz, make sure you read up on any releases through Salesforce release notes, blogs, or official announcements and stay aware of new functionalities, enhancements, or best practices rolled out – staying abreast will allow you to take full advantage of any advanced features for streamlining processes, improving efficiency, or providing your users with an unforgettable experience.
Joining Salesforce User Groups and Online Communities
One of the greatest ways for Salesforce admins to gain knowledge and build expertise is by connecting with others within the ecosystem. Joining user groups or online communities allows admins to exchange knowledge, ask questions, and gain advice from experienced admins – not to mention meetups where passionate individuals share their expertise freely!
So make the time to join Salesforce user groups or online communities today, engage in discussion threads, and attend meetups or forums so you can expand your network while tapping into a wealth of collective wisdom!
Participate in Salesforce Training Programs and Webinars
Salesforce provides training programs and webinars designed to hone your skills and deepen your understanding of their platform, in addition to keeping up with industry trends. Take advantage of these opportunities to expand your knowledge base while keeping pace with industry changes. – be it advanced reporting techniques webinar or automated training program, these resources offer invaluable insight and practical tips that can help you excel in your role.
Investing time in continuous learning through Salesforce’s official programs can significantly hone your abilities, giving you an edge against rival businesses.
Consider Earning Advanced Certifications to Increase your Career Prospects.
Acquiring the Salesforce Certified Administrator certification is an excellent starting point, but expanding upon it to obtain more specialized certifications can further advance your career prospects. Additional credentials like those conferred by Salesforce Certified Advanced Administrator or Platform App Builder certifications validate specialized skills while showing commitment to professional growth – not to mention they increase credibility as they open doors to more lucrative employment opportunities within Salesforce itself and make you an appealing job market candidate!
Continuous learning and growth as a Salesforce administrator require not just knowledge acquisition but also application in practical scenarios. Seize every opportunity to implement new features, experiment with various configurations, solve complex business challenges, or embrace continuous improvement strategies to optimize processes or enhance user experiences.
Continuous learning and growth are the cornerstones of a successful Salesforce admin career. Position yourself as a knowledgeable professional able to excel at what they do while discovering opportunities for career advancement as well as personal fulfillment in lifelong learning experiences.
Gain Access to Proven Techniques Used by Top Salesforce Professionals in the “Salesforce Career Playbook”
If you’re hungry for proven strategies, insider secrets, and actionable steps to start or skyrocket your Salesforce journey, then look no further than the “Salesforce Career Playbook” by Martin Gessner.
This book will guide you through the twists and turns of the Salesforce ecosystem. Martin Gessner, an industry expert, shares his wealth of knowledge and experience to help you navigate the complexities of building a successful Salesforce career.
Imagine uncovering the strategies used by top Salesforce professionals to achieve their goals and make a name for themselves. With the “Salesforce Career Playbook,” you’ll gain access to a treasure trove of insights and practical advice that can propel you towards success.
So, why wait? Take action now and get your hands on this invaluable resource. Remember, investing in your career is an investment in your future.
Grab a copy of the “Salesforce Career Playbook” and embark on a journey of growth and success. Your dream Salesforce career awaits!