5 Types of Salesforce Admin

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There are several types of Salesforce Admin – these particular types are not based specifically on the Salesforce products and technologies used by administrators; instead, these types help to describe where an admin is in their career and how they are interacting with Salesforce as part of their learning journey.

We have identified five unique admin personas. Let’s take a look at what each role involves, and which you relate to the most.

1. The “Accidental” Admin

You will hear the phrase accidental admin used frequently in the Salesforce community. These individuals had not considered a career in Salesforce until some event brought Salesforce into their work life. For example, their company may have purchased Salesforce and nominated them as the admin, or maybe they filled in for someone else while they were off sick or on maternity/paternity leave.

Accidental admins typically juggle Salesforce responsibilities in addition to their regular job.

The narrative “I didn’t know what I was getting into” could result in two potential outcomes for the accidental admin:

  • Those who are reluctantly doing admin work as a necessity, not out of choice
  • Those for whom Salesforce config has sparked curiosity, and they’re hoping to pursue learning Salesforce further (and ditch their original role entirely)

Breakdown

  • 10% of their work week is spent on Salesforce administration
  • Less than one year of Salesforce Admin experience
  • Typically work for small organizations or start-ups where employees need to “wear many hats” and be adaptable

2. The “Also” Admin

For an also admin, their priority is to lead their team, which is typically an IT services team. They can see how powerful Salesforce is and are acutely aware that they are not maximizing their investment. However, they don’t have the time or training opportunities to take advantage of the Salesforce platform and what it has to offer.

There’s a phrase that’s thrown around about basic Salesforce implementations and barely tailored Salesforce orgs: “we have the keys to a [expensive car] but drive it like a [cheap car]”.

Breakdown

  • 10-20% of their work week is spent on Salesforce administration
  • Less than two years’ Salesforce Admin experience
  • Typically work for small/medium-sized organizations where employees are stretched with competing priorities

3. The “Adept” Admin

The adept admin has mastered basic Salesforce configuration and is now trying to learn about advanced declarative features and apply what they know to a wider range of business use cases. They will also be getting familiar with limitations. 

In short, they know the “how” but aren’t as clued up on the “when” and “why” you would choose one way of configuring/designing Salesforce over another. 

They are perhaps part of a team of admins who they can learn from but may at times feel pigeonholed into specific tasks with a capped level of complexity. 

Breakdown

  • 20-60% of their work week is spent on Salesforce administration
  • 1-5 years of Salesforce Admin experience (entry or mid-level admin)
  • Typically work for medium-sized organizations (and larger)

4. The “All-Star” Admin

All-star admins are experts at Salesforce configuration. They can work independently, have a solid understanding of best practices, and love to optimize end-to-end Salesforce processes.  

They are keen to keep up to date with each new Salesforce release in order to identify features to leverage in their own organization, potentially to replace custom solutions with standard capabilities – for example, replacing Apex code with Salesforce Flow. 

Breakdown

  • 80-100% of their work week is spent on Salesforce administration
  • 3-8 years’ Salesforce Admin experience (mid-level or senior admin)
  • Typically work for medium-sized organizations (and larger)

5. The “Accelerated” Admin

Accelerated admins have been using Salesforce for a long time – perhaps even decades. These seasoned professionals have seen Salesforce’s fast innovation first-hand. 

They may now focus on commercial and/or business objectives more than developing their Salesforce skills – for example, nurturing an interest in sales ops or business analysis. The chances are that they are seeking seniority in a technical domain, such as striving to become a Salesforce Architect.

Breakdown

  • 60-80% of their work week is spent on Salesforce administration
  • 5+ years of Salesforce Admin experience (senior Salesforce Admin or Salesforce Architect)
  • Typically work for larger organizations

Quiz: What Kind of Admin Are You?

Do you know which type of Salesforce Admin you are? Ask yourself the following questions to help identify which category you fall into:

  • How much of your work week is spent on Salesforce administration?
  • How many years of experience do you have in your role? 
  • What size organization do you currently work for? 
  • Do you focus mostly on Salesforce as part of your daily workload, or do you balance this with other tasks? 
  • Are you actively pursuing a career in Salesforce?

If you can answer these questions, you will now have a better understanding of the “type” of administrator you are and how you interact with the Salesforce platform. Here’s the next question: will you stay in the same category, or will your role (or career aspirations) change in the coming months and years? 

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3 thoughts on “5 Types of Salesforce Admin

  1. Very interesting perspective on roles. I have been tasked with being a Salesforce Product Owner. I manage our backlog and translate business decisions into build requests, but also am an individual contributor as a Admin on a team. I tend to wear many hats within our internal Salesforce platform. I think I’d fall under Also admin and Adept admin.

  2. I fit in a combination of Accidental and Adept definitions although I chose to enter this field, I did not quite know what I was getting myself into! I do like Salesforce but its a free for all and I find the whole process of figure out as you go to be very, very frustrating. “Everybody uses Salesforce differently” is a very common response that does not produce help in my opinion.

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