Salesforce: A Force To Be Reckoned With

At a growing tech company, things are constantly changing to meet the increasing demands that the IT workplace requires. One thing that must change and develop is the knowledge that employees possess. When I started working at Relus Cloud, I was told that there were many opportunities for growth made available to their employees; however, I didn’t realize just how many opportunities there would actually be. I’ll spare you the details about how I came to work at Relus Cloud, but you can find them in my previous blog Don’t Stop Achieving . Nonetheless, I will tell you that when I started working here I knew absolutely nothing about Salesforce. Relus Cloud, having been fully aware of that fact, was still willing to give me the chance to jump in and learn how to manage this CRM. Never being one to back down from a challenge (including a polar plunge in January) I took this as an opportunity to learn a new skill and put the CI/CD mindset (that I had constantly heard about at Relus Cloud) into practice. Fast forward 8 months and many countless hours of working in Salesforce and I was able to attain my Salesforce Administrator Certification on my first try.

Achieving this certification was something that was important to me because it not only proves to my coworkers and employer that I am capable of managing this system, but proves to myself that I know what I need to know in order to effectively administer Salesforce. After working tirelessly to earn this certification, I realized that I still had a deep desire to learn more about ways to improve our Salesforce instance in order to increase user efficiency and data quality. To do this I have completed different study materials that Salesforce provides through their Trailhead courses, but I wanted to hear more about real stories from real people. For instance, what they find works best for users while also continuously improving their data quality.

This is why, starting with this blog, I am embarking on a three part series based on conversations that I have had with Salesforce professionals. This series will recap what I have learned about their successes and failures with different Salesforce implementations and how they have learned from these experiences.

The first meeting I had was with a Renewal Operations Specialist at Salesforce. I wanted to hear more about her day-to-day responsibilities within the Salesforce platform, and how she learned to use the tool. During our interview, she told me that she was responsible for maintaining data quality, opportunity creation, tracking attrition rate, and analyzing data. Her advice was particularly valuable to me because these are aspects I am implementing as well. She gave me a few bits of advice to help make sure that users are able to quickly and easily adapt to changes made in the organization, as well as insure that these changes result in better data quality. This is mission critical for any Salesforce Admin who wants to be able to accurately report on their data. The majority of her advice touched on three points: communication, consensus, and management buy-in.

Communication was one of the first points that we spoke about. As an admin, it is easy to create a new required field or process and apply it to a page layout. However, it is sometimes difficult to remember that other users don’t have the one track Salesforce mind that you do (because you are most likely living and breathing Salesforce). This is where the importance of communication comes in. As a Salesforce admin, and sometimes the only admin in your organization, it is important to communicate changes clearly and effectively throughout your company. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to conduct a training every time you change a field, but it should mean that you send out an email or some type of internal communication explaining the change and how users should respond to it in order to set appropriate expectations.

The next key point that she touched on was about gaining a general consensus based on an overarching business need before making changes in Salesforce. Working in different departments, it is easy to become stuck in a bubble and only focus on one specific part of the business. This can lead to changes being made that can make Salesforce operations more complicated and create more work for an admin than would actually be necessary had different business units discussed commonalities prior to changes being made. That being said, to avoid redundancies or conflicting Salesforce changes, reaching a general business consensus with your organization’s key stakeholders about major changes can help assure that these improvements made in Salesforce help for the business as a whole.

The final point that we discussed was the importance of management buy-in. By gaining buy-in from management, Salesforce changes will be communicated and enforced from the top down, and users will be more inclined to align their practices with new protocols and procedures. Having management buy-in will also allow for better data quality because they gain a stake in the changes that have been made (a true win-win for any data driven admin).

Though these three points seem very intuitive when listed out in front of you, seeing the true importance in them doesn’t happen until you think about how they actually affect your organization. It is important to remember that you must be able to think cohesively across all business units to find solutions and processes that work best for the business as a whole. By working with management to build a consensus on what needs to be done in order to implement effective change in an easy way, you have the ability to create process that is simple to adopt and will lead to quality data. For this being my first meeting with a Salesforce guru for this blog series I feel like I was able to gain a better understanding of how to work with the more human side of the Salesforce platform, and arguably the most complicated side, the end users. Stay tuned to see what else can be learned by sitting down with the professionals who work with the World’s #1 CRM Platform!