Salesforce holds something valuable that can’t be replaced: your organization’s data. That’s why it’s important to have a resource who knows how to take care of the data. The person who fills this role is a Salesforce administrator (SFA). At a minimum, an SFA does the care and feeding of Salesforce. However, many factors affect the qualifications and responsibilities of an SFA.
Before diving into this, the organization needs to decide what it needs the SFA to do.
What Do Salesforce Administrators Do?
Much of the role depends on the organization’s setup and structure. SFAs aren’t your typical administrators as the role isn’t 100% IT. They tend to be a hybrid between a database administrator (DBA) and a business analyst.
Here are some questions organizations need to think about:
- Do you have a robust sales team or a sales team of one person?
- Has Salesforce been customized to fit the organization’s processes?
- How much customization does your organization’s Salesforce instance have?
- How many people use Salesforce? How do they use it?
In this “What is a Salesforce Admin?” video, Salesforce describes CRM administrators as “trusted advisers on all things Salesforce and a vital bridge between business and technology.
Some organizations fill the role with a business analyst or business application manager. They can do anything and everything from working with users and developing reports and dashboards to maintaining data quality and customizing Salesforce.
They may support users by helping them solve everyday CRM problems even as small as a forgotten password. Salesforce offers many report and dashboard customization options. SFAs can customize them based on the needs of management and users.
Salesforce provides a chart and a few points to consider to help organizations determine what CRM administration resources they may need. This is just a general guidance, not the rule.
|Number of users||Administration resources|
|1 – 30 users||< 1 full-time administrator|
|31 – 74 users||1+ full-time administrator|
|75 – 149 users||1 senior administrator; 1 junior administrator|
|140 – 499 users||1 business analyst, 2–4 administrators|
|500 – 750 users||1–2 business analysts, 2–4 administrators|
|> 750 users||Depends on a variety of factors|
“Salesforce administrator responsibilities: What needs to be done and when” from CIO offers useful lists of Salesforce management tasks. It groups tasks to be done on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis. You’ll also find a list of real-time tasks the SFA should do as they arise.
How to Choose the Right Salesforce Administrator
As stated before, a successful administrator doesn’t necessarily come from IT. SFAs have worked in sales, marketing, sales operations, and channel management. According to Salesforce, the most important factor is that the SFA should know how to customize the application and responds to user needs.
As a SaaS, system administration for Salesforce is easier than it used to be with traditional software. Many of the tasks typical of traditional software can be done with just a few clicks in Salesforce.
The ideal administrator depends on the role and tasks that need to be done. It’s valuable to have someone who is certified or, at the very least, has completed Administration Essentials (ADM201). Experienced administrators can take Administration Essentials for Experienced Admins (ADM211).
Salesforce offers two levels of Salesforce administrator certifications:
- Salesforce Certified Administrator
- Salesforce Certified Advanced Administrator
Retaining certification requires passing a maintenance exam every release cycle. This ensures the admin is up to date on the current release.
Here are some things you might look for in a CRM administrator outside of certification and knowing Salesforce:
- Excellent communication skills
- Good understanding of organization’s processes
- Strong analytical skills
- Effective project management skills
Successful SFAs are always learning. It compels them to understand each release. They also keep up with AppExchange updates. This allows them to share information and enhancements with users. They also may conduct training and update Salesforce-related documentation.
Organizations bring in Salesforce consultants for data migration projects and other one-time projects. Some administrators manage Salesforce implementation partners for outsourced projects.
Why Outsource the Salesforce Administrator?
An organization needs to look at various factors before hiring a Salesforce administrator (SFA). For one, it may not even need to hire a full-time SFA employee. Outsourcing Salesforce-related tasks and projects may be a more cost-effective option.
Instead of working on-site 40 hours a week, a virtual Salesforce Administrator or Administrator-as-a-Service is contracted to do the tasks and be available as needed. Organizations pay for exactly what they need. They won’t have all the costs associated with a full-time employee.
You can outsource the following Salesforce projects, tasks, and responsibilities:
- Tech support/help desk
- Data migration
- Reports and dashboards design
When special projects come up, you already have a trusted expert you can rely on to handle that for you. Salesforce contains many moving parts. It’s difficult for users to become experts in all of it. This is where it can be beneficial for an organization to bring on a Salesforce expert on an as-needed basis.
Although Salesforce is a powerful system, no technology can do the job well without people and processes. Salesforce administrators can optimize people, processes, and technology to help your organization maximize its Salesforce investment.
Discover the Possibilities with Salesforce
Whether your organization is implementing Salesforce, wants help solving Salesforce problems, or needs support for a Salesforce data migration project, share your requirements and we’ll determine the most effective option for you.