During an implementation of Salesforce, hiring a Salesforce Admin should be at the back of your mind to understand how you will support the ongoing maintenance of the system. As Salesforce is a business-critical system that can make a serious impact on your KPI’s, support should be in place to maintain and improve the system on an ongoing basis.
Here are 7 key questions about hiring a Salesforce Administrator.
1. What is a Salesforce Admin and why do you need one?
A Salesforce Admin has a wide range of responsibilities that include maintenance of the platform, fixing any bugs, customising the platform, training users, creating reports, as well as listening to users requirements to further develop Salesforce.
As Salesforce is a business-critical tool, it is important that a skilled individual can support the company with any issues that arise, as well as maximising the investment spent on the platform.
2. When Should I hire a Salesforce Admin?
We get asked this question a lot, when is the best time to bring on a Salesforce Admin to your team? The short answer is you should be thinking about this from the day you commit to the Salesforce platform.
Salesforce is a very powerful platform that can greatly improve your business, but it also requires continuous effort and improvement to offer maximum value and success. It is a big investment, and the role of a Salesforce admin along with the time needed to maintain the platform effectively will differ from an early-stage startup to big business.
Both the time investment and the level of experience required will grow over time, and a Salesforce Admin will be the one to manage and develop business alignment with the platform. Depending on the stage of the business, the role might start as one of your team members designated as a part-time Salesforce Admin, to hiring a team of admins and developers.
3. What is the Difference Between a Salesforce Admin and a Developer?
Admins typically aren’t software developers. They don’t write code. The Salesforce platform does allow Admins to heavily customize the user interface, processes, workflows and the data schema, but not to the level of writing code or integrating APIs.
Developers are brought in when actual code development is needed or API integrations are needed. In short, developers write code and Salesforce Admins can customize the Salesforce environment. This does not mean that Admins cannot build exciting features on the platform. There are a number of “declarative” features that allow an Admin to realize requirements, build automations and design new ways of getting things done. Think of this toolset as a layer between “Point and Click, and writing code in a development environment.
4. When Would You Need a Salesforce Admin?
After your Salesforce instance has been built and all requirements are fulfilled, your implementation partner that has built your environment will disengage and move on to another project. At this juncture, it is imperative for the success of the platform to have a qualified, experienced admin on hand that can lead you from implementation to day-to-day operations and beyond, Without such a resource, the chances of success can greatly diminish.
As your business continues to grow, new requirements and features will need to be implemented in your Salesforce instance. Only an experienced admin can be trusted with such mission-critical tasks.
5. How Many Salesforce Admins Should I Look for?
To recognize the importance of admins, Salesforce has put together a recommendation table to help guide businesses with their needs.
|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|
With third-party applications, Salesforce quarterly feature releases, and new products from Salesforce ranging from CPQ to Marketing Automation Clouds to customer service communities and more, businesses need an Admin from the very start who is analyzing business needs and requirements with Salesforce capabilities.
Salesforce promises an unparalleled 360 view of customers and their consistent investment in new products and technologies. Keeping up with their capabilities requires deep knowledge and experience. Smaller to medium-sized businesses especially struggle with providing qualified technical resources to ensure the business continues to evolve and grow.
6. What Questions Should I Ask a Candidate Admin?
As Michael A. Grandel says in his latest post, 30 Salesforce Admin Interview questions, job interviews can be tricky, especially when it comes to asking a candidate to demonstrate their mastery of technology. For them to demonstrate that they’ve mastered something they would generally have to go into detail at great length and that’s not usually what you would be looking for, as an interviewer.
The objective is to ask questions that require a concise, yet comprehensive, answers. You could also prompt the candidate to share a use case that they’ve experienced using a specific feature. Another option is to ask them to imagine a potential use case that your own organization or industry might encounter.
7. What Are Your Options for a Salesforce Admin?
When you need a Salesforce admin for your business, you have options to consider that come with a cost. Let’s be clear. Salesforce is an investment and needs to be implemented with a strategy and a long-term support budget. There are a whole bunch of different options with pros and cons, so let’s dive in!
The Designated Part-Time Salesforce Administrator
Usually, a superuser who has another primary job in the business who has been assigned to manage the platform often has little experience.
- Pro: Sharing responsibilities can be great for mitigating the overall costs, while still maintaining the technical skills on-site.
- Con: When you delegate more tasks to a current staff member, you’re undermining his/her effectiveness in all areas of responsibility. Beyond just the obvious impact on productivity, you face high costs for training, certification, and related expenses for a part-time Salesforce Admin. You’ll definitely need to purchase the Salesforce Premium support option to augment a lack of knowledge, but the designated admin may not be able to keep up with their other duties.
You’ll experience stagnant usage, broken processes, and a lack of data integrity because a part-time Salesforce Admin role is not able to fully enforce best practices. While Salesforce is a powerful platform that is continuously improving, a part-time solution is simply unable to keep up with the demands and constant changes.
Salesforce Premium Support
Salesforce’s extra support package that can provide email, live chat, and telephone support.
- Pro: When you purchase premium support, you have access to knowledgeable tech support. The response time varies but the next business day is typical.
- Con: Salesforce Premium Support is great if you know what you want and are explicit with your requests and requirements. But they don’t know your business, and aren’t necessarily best placed to figure out what is best for you and delivering the right solution.
They also don’t advise you on how to grow your Salesforce usage and integrate 3rd party applications. Support just answers your questions and expects you to have a certain level of knowledge or background to start with. Premium support does not include any training or release support.
A Full-Time Salesforce Administrator
Hiring a certified Salesforce Admin to work full-time within your business.
- Pro: A full-time Salesforce Administrator is a dedicated employee that is familiar with your business needs and requirements. You have easy access to the person if you need training, support, and business process adjustments. They are available anytime and solve problems immediately.
- Con: Salesforce Admins don’t come cheap, in the US an Admin will cost between $105k-$118k, in the UK this is around £40k-52k (See full salary breakdown). You also need to be sure that you will fully utilize a Salesforce Admin 40 hours a week.
- If you do decide to go down this route, I want to highlight the 30 interview questions that will help you asses the competencies of your prospective Admin.
Outsourcing Salesforce Administrator
Using an expert agency to support your Salesforce implementation.
- Pro: Upwork and other gig economy sites might help you find a part-time professional temporarily. You also have the option to work with a managed services firm that aligns with you long-term and becomes a business partner. With the right firm, you get shared knowledge, best practices, resources to scale and the ability to integrate the best applications to maximize your Salesforce investment. Luckily there are great teams such as us at CRMNinjas. Be sure to check them out here.
- Con: You’ll have to find the right team to help you. Upwork is unreliable and the quality and work ethic can be challenging. Salesforce AppExchange lists many options but it’s hard to wade and find the right service. Paying a part-time person on an hourly basis can make costs a little hard to manage.
As a business, you must be able to trust what gets put into Salesforce, so as not to waste money or time. Additionally, third-party applications are growing quickly and someone needs to be up-to-date on how to integrate those applications and implement best practices for the business. In conclusion, the need for a qualified Salesforce Administrator is growing at a rapid rate and smart businesses recognize the need for professional management of their mission-critical sales & service platform.