Becoming an #AwesomeAdmin in Salesforce can be a daunting task. Orgs seem to be growing in their complexity due to increasing customization and there are countless apps on the AppExchange that can be installed that need to be configured and trained on. There is a lot of pressure on the Salesforce Administrator to create a seamless org and to make a perfect solution for all stakeholders.
We know that it can seem like a lot, so we put together 10 tips to help you in your Salesforce administrator role:
1. Document everything.
Keep a document that records all of the changes made to your org and why. This provides great insight into the evolution of your org. It is extremely helpful for anyone that works on your org after you or with you. It should help to answer questions such as why functionality exists or was configured a certain way or why certain fields are needed and which departments own them. You can also use this documentation to summarize user profiles and permission sets. Do you use a tool to document your Salesforce org? If so, let me know by leaving a comment.
2. Utilize your sandbox.
Test everything. This ensures that you won’t have any unexpected results when you launch your changes into production. The sandbox can also be used to create documentation or serve as safe training environment.3. Keep fields understandable.
Clear naming convention and understanding up front keeps your data clean and organized. Always use the help text and description fields and now Salesforce even allows you to document who is the owner of the field and can best speak to how it is used and maintained.4. Create clean layouts.
A friendly user interface means a happy user experience. Keeping layouts clean and simple will help make the users’ job easier. Schedule time with your stakeholders to review their proposed field changes and your plans and come up with alternative and clean page layouts.5. Write understandable validation rules and error messages.
When a user accidentally adds an invalid value in a field, they will get frustrated when they get a generic error message in return. To make it easy for everyone, write clear validation rules and error messages so the problem is easily identified and corrected.6. Start off with the most restrictive profiles possible and heavily utilize permission sets.
Profiles assigned to users should be very restrictive and only contain the specific access requirements of a function or a business unit. At Passage Technology, we have a read-only profile so it’s not difficult to know what profile to assign to anyone. You are either an admin or read-only in most situations. We then apply permission sets based on information needs of a user’s role. Since information needs can be common across departments, having a single permission set across departments makes security easy to control and consistent. You just have to name your permission sets carefully.7. Don’t take it personally when someone doesn’t like your solution or configuration.
Even when an org isn’t running as efficiently as possible, users still need to get comfortable with how it works. When change happens, users often become uncomfortable and might not understand why the change was necessary. When challenged with improving org efficiency, ask your users to be part of the change. This forces them to accept a change is coming and allows them to have a say in what gets updated.8. Use the Trailblazer community.
Even though you might not have other Salesforce admins in your office to ask questions, there are plenty in the Trailblazer community that are ready to help. When you get stuck, don’t hesitate to reach out to your peers at success.salesforce.com.9. Leverage the AppExchange.
Nearly half of the apps listed on the AppExchange are free. You can find apps for all types of use cases, so you aren’t always forced to build a solution from scratch.10. It’s okay to not know the answer right away.
It is better to take the time to understand the problem and possible ways to fix it. Otherwise, you may implement a rushed and unvetted solution, causing even more problems down the road resulting in lost time and frustrated users.