Breaking down key Salesforce roles: What is a Salesforce Administrator?

As the leading customer relationship management system, Salesforce makes it possible for businesses to find solutions to tough problems. Yet leaders often don’t realize these solutions may necessitate specialized skill sets under the Salesforce umbrella. In order to maximize an investment in Salesforce, it’s critical to know what different Salesforce professionals do and how they can create and facilitate the best Salesforce solution for a company’s needs.

Welcome to our new series, “Breaking Down Key Salesforce Roles,” in which we explain in approachable terms the major Salesforce roles, what they do, and why they’re important. We will introduce you to Salesforce consultants, administrators, developers, architects, business analysts, and product managers. Deciding on Salesforce is only the first step. The next is understanding how dedicated experts develop and define Salesforce for stakeholder success.

First, Salesforce roles are not the same as roles in Salesforce.

We want to take a brief moment to differentiate the type of roles we’re talking about here. Salesforce roles are not the same as the “roles” you might see in Salesforce itself. Salesforce provides users with an optional “user role hierarchy,” often shortened to “roles.” One can use this hierarchy to set Salesforce access levels for each user in an organization, and it usually matches a company’s organizational chart. The Salesforce roles we discuss in this series are the experts behind the scenes who will help you build new business solutions.

So, what is a Salesforce Administrator?

A Salesforce Administrator, or “Admin,” is an organization’s main connection point to all things Salesforce. An Admin is a key role if a stakeholder wants to move Salesforce beyond a point-and-click configuration. This solutions-oriented person knows the Salesforce platform inside and out and is an expert in developing workflows, designing advanced reports, preparing dashboards, and automating complex business processes. Admins look at a business’s problems and think creatively about how a customized Salesforce can solve their challenges.

Maximizing a stakeholder’s investment in Salesforce is a vital Admin functionality. Salesforce Admins are people-facing and you can think of them as the brilliant connection between the platform and the people. They work with and train everyone — from CEOs to company admins. If you want to drive user adoption, a Salesforce Admin is absolutely essential because they know how to explain Salesforce in a way that makes it easy to opt in.

Salesforce Administrator duties and responsibilities

Salesforce Administrators play a crucial role in configuring the Salesforce platform to meet the needs of the organization. The main Salesforce Administrator duties include:

  1. Managing data, including importing/exporting data and maintaining data quality
  2. Managing third-party integrations with the Salesforce platform
  3. Creating and maintaining user accounts, roles, access to data, and security settings
  4. Creating and maintaining reports and dashboards to provide insights to the business
  5. Monitoring system performance and evaluating areas for improvement
  6. Collaborating with other teams to ensure alignment with business requirements
  7. Providing training and technical support to users of the Salesforce platform
  8. Keeping up with Salesforce updates and new features to ensure the platform is used to its fullest potential

What is the difference between a Salesforce Administrator and a Developer?

A Salesforce Administrator is responsible for configuring, managing, and maintaining the Salesforce platform using declarative or point-and-click tools. A Salesforce Developer, on the other hand, is responsible for creating custom applications and integrations using programming languages and frameworks such as Apex, Visualforce, and Lightning Web Components. Developers work on complex business logic, data migrations, APIs, and other external systems to create a seamless user experience.

Why should you hire a Salesforce Administrator?

Like many businesses across industries leveraging Salesforce, hiring a Salesforce Administrator can bring significant benefits to your organization. Here are some of the top reasons you should consider hiring one:

1. Improve data quality and accuracy

A Salesforce Administrator can help ensure your data is accurate, up-to-date, and consistent across the platform. This can improve the effectiveness of your sales, marketing, and customer experience initiatives.

2. Increase efficiency and productivity

Hiring a Salesforce Administrator can help your business save time and money by automating manual processes, reducing data entry errors, and increasing team efficiency. By streamlining processes, your team can focus on higher-value tasks, leading to higher productivity and revenue.

3. Meet evolving business needs

A Salesforce Administrator can help your business quickly address changing processes by configuring and customizing the platform to meet your evolving needs. They can also help you stay up-to-date with new Salesforce features and best practices, ensuring your business is leveraging the latest technology to stay ahead of the competition.

Top Salesforce Administrator skills and qualifications to look for when hiring

For successful management of the Salesforce platform, look for the following core skills when hiring a Salesforce Administrator:

Technical and soft skills

  1. Salesforce administration. Proficiency in Salesforce administration, including managing user accounts and profiles, creating custom fields, objects, and page layouts, and setting up security controls
  2. Automation. Knowledge of Salesforce automation tools, such as workflows and process builders
  3. Data management. Understanding the Salesforce data model and the ability to manage and maintain data quality, including data cleansing, deduplication, and data migration
  4. Integration. Understanding API integrations, web services, and middleware tools to ensure seamless data exchange
  5. Customization. Ability to tailor Salesforce to meet the unique needs of the business
  6. Reporting and analytics. Understanding the platform’s reporting and analytics capabilities and the ability to design and create custom reports to meet specific business needs
  7. Communication. Ability to communicate effectively with stakeholders, including end-users, management, and team members
  8. Business analysis. Ability to understand business processes, analyze business requirements, identify gaps, and develop solutions to meet those needs
  9. Problem-solving. Ability to analyze problems, identify potential roadblocks, and develop creative solutions and contingency plans to ensure project success
  10. Project management. Ability to manage Salesforce projects from conception to delivery, including defining project goals and scope, identifying project requirements, managing timelines and budgets, and monitoring progress

Education and experience

  1. Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, such as computer science, information technology, or business administration
  2. Relevant work experience in Salesforce administration or a related field, such as database administration, software development, or project management
  3. Familiarity with business processes and operations, particularly those related to customer relationship management (CRM)
  4. Knowledge of industry standards and best practices related to data management and security
  5. Relevant Salesforce certifications and credentials, such as Salesforce Certified Administrator, Salesforce Certified Advanced Administrator, and Salesforce Certified Marketing Cloud Administrator

How can you hire the right Salesforce Administrator for your business?

Here are some tips to help you find the right candidate for your organization:

1. Clearly define the role and responsibilities

Before you begin the hiring process, it’s important to have a well-written Salesforce Administrator job description that accurately reflects the duties and responsibilities of the role.

2. Look for experience and certifications

Salesforce is a complex platform, and you need candidates with expertise and experience working with Salesforce to ensure you maximize your investment. Ideally, they must have certifications in Salesforce Administration or Development.

3. Look for industry-specific experience

Every business has its unique processes and workflows, so look for tech professionals with experience working in your industry. This will ensure they understand your business requirements and can help tailor the Salesforce platform to your specific needs.

4. Check references

Before making a final decision, it is important to review the candidate’s references and conduct background checks. Ask their previous employers about their work ethic, technical skills, and ability to work in a team. This can help you verify their experience and ensure they are a good fit for your organization.

5. Partner with a tech talent provider

If you’re struggling to find the right candidate, consider leveraging a global tech talent platform like Andela. A global marketplace for remote technical talent provides you access to a larger pool of qualified Salesforce Administrator candidates. It also streamlines the recruitment process and ensures compliance with international hiring regulations.

Accelerate your Salesforce performance with Andela

Hiring a Salesforce Administrator is essential for companies that want to get the most out of their Salesforce investment. With a competent Administrator in place, you can improve your processes, increase efficiency, and enhance the customer experience.

At Andela, we are committed to finding you the best Salesforce Administrator for your business — quickly and efficiently. With our rigorous vetting process, we ensure you get matched with top-tier Salesforce Administrators who meet your specific needs.

Join Andela today, and hire the right Salesforce Administrator to take your Salesforce platform to the next level.

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