You just started as a Salesforce admin with a fresh ADM 201 certification and a lot of excitement. You get to work, and now you’re ready to get moving … but in which direction? Here’s a quick write up of some ideas and best practices to implement in your first 180 days.
Spin up a sandbox: Do not make any changes directly in production
Visit one user of every “‘type” and begin building personas. You can Google “user stories and personas” to get some good ideas.
Go visit and learn from your colleagues about how they are using the system, what could be improved and how they are currently adopting the platform. This is also a great way to take the temperature of your users and their feelings about Salesforce. It’s not always rainbows and puppies. Some users hate change and love paper forms.
Start playing around in the sandbox to learn more about your org’s environment. Break things. Unwind them. See how the automation works. Get to understand the data-model of what you have been handed.
If you don’t know something, Google it. I think I can attribute my success in Salesforce 50-60% to Googling something and solving it quickly.
Do as many trailheads as you can for relevant products/projects that fit your org and needs.
If you’re not already on Lightning, do an assessment to see if you’re ready to move your users over. In the coming releases, Salesforce will continue to shift more and more improvements toward Lightning. It is the future, for better or worse.
Build a simple “Contact” or “Help” internal ticketing system for your users to log issues and/or feedback. You could also use Ideas, but that tends to be a lot of effort for minimal returns, unless you get high-level executive buy-in and incentivize your users.
Learn Process Builder/Flow. There are many, many improvements you can make in the lives of your users. It makes you pretty powerful from an automation standpoint, as well.
Map out your personas. At this point, you should know exactly how each type of user is using the system.
Start mapping out how you could improve the user experience for each persona. Do they spend too many clicks adding Opportunity Line Items to an Optty? Find out what you can bundle and make it happen with automation.
Take your feedback from users with caution. Just because someone is inconvenienced by something does not mean you should spend hundreds of hours to provide a work-around if the manual process is just an annoyance.
180 Days – On
Find ways to fold more parts of the business into Salesforce. Make yourself indispensable. Make Salesforce the system of record and harness the full potential of what you’re paying good money for.
Take on big projects and get executive buy-in. Learn how to manage your environment in an Agile, best-practice way. Consider using a PM tool to track your different pieces of work. Make it easy for them to assign you a junior admin to lead.
Go to any Salesforce events in your area. You’ll meet tons of people like yourself, all just trying to figure it out together. Network and make friends. I bug people all the time with questions, and I help them just the same.
Enter the Konami Code in the Setup menu and you’ll get 30 days earlier access to a new release sandbox so you can be ahead of the game during upgrades.
If you need help, just ask. Companies like Statera are happy to supplement your efforts with support for as few or as many hours as you need.
Best of luck!
About the Author
Josh Sangster is a certified Salesforce Administrator and Apttus CLM Consultant at Statera. With five years of CRM administration and consultation experience across multiple verticals and different sizes of businesses he understands the headaches that plague users and administrators. He is currently working on advanced Salesforce and Apttus certifications in an effort to better serve his clients. He is a transplant from Atlanta, GA residing in Denver, Colorado and enjoys to hike, camp, swim, bike, exercise, and explore his new home state. He is an avid New York Football Giants fan and can often be found wearing blue and white from head to toe on Sundays in the fall. Go Big Blue!