The Accidental Admin

What to do if you find yourself unwittingly nominated as your organisation’s resident Salesforce guru…

Salesforce Admin’s are all too familiar with suddenly becoming the centre of attention as soon as ‘Salesforce’ is uttered in a meeting. Being an Admin can be an excellent role, you are the hub of knowledge and support for your colleagues and spend most of your time making improvements for users. However, if this role is additional to your current duties or you became unofficially nominated as Admin with no real plan in place, this can be quite an overwhelming position to find yourself in.

Whether you were unexpectedly thrust into the role or took it on voluntarily, navigating the Salesforce platform can seem like a daunting task. However, with the right approach and resources, you can thrive in the role and make a great impact on the ROI generated from your Salesforce instance. In this article, we provide guidance on how to succeed when you find yourself an accidental Salesforce Administrator.

Embrace the Learning Journey

Whether you have extensive prior experience with the platform, or are simply from a ‘tech’ background, embrace the learning journey and be open to acquiring new skills and knowledge. Salesforce offers a wealth of resources, including Trailhead (Salesforce’s free online learning platform), which provides interactive modules and trails to guide you through various aspects of Salesforce administration. Leverage this platform to gain a solid foundation in Salesforce concepts, customisation, automation, and best practices. Salesforce is constantly evolving, so stay up to date with any developments and set time aside for learning. To stay updated on Salesforce’s frequent releases, subscribe to Salesforce release notes, attend webinars, and join community discussions focused on upcoming features and enhancements. These new functionalities will help you to identify opportunities to enhance your Salesforce org.

Understand Your Organisation’s Processes and Needs

As a Salesforce Admin, it’s crucial to have a deep understanding of your organisation’s business processes. Engage with stakeholders and end users to gather insights into their requirements, pain points, and objectives. This understanding will help you tailor Salesforce to meet specific business needs, streamline workflows, and accelerate user adoption. Salesforce can be completely customised to the needs of any business, so it is your job to ensure that your instance aligns perfectly with each function of your organisation. This role heavily involves collaborating with different departments within your organisation. Forge relationships with key stakeholders, such as sales, marketing, customer service, and IT teams. Understand their unique requirements and collaborate on designing solutions that align with their needs. Regularly communicate updates, gather feedback, and continuously refine and improve Salesforce to support the organisation’s goals.

Leverage the Salesforce Community

The Salesforce community is a valuable resource for anyone new to the ecosystem. Join relevant user groups, forums, and online communities where you can connect with other administrators, developers, and consultants. Participate in discussions, ask questions, and share your challenges. The collective knowledge and experience of the Salesforce community can provide you with practical solutions, tips, and best practices to overcome obstacles and improve your skills. There are also a plethora of community events where you can network, upskill and expand your knowledge base.

Seek Training and Certification Opportunities

Formal training and certification can significantly enhance your credibility and proficiency as a Salesforce Administrator. Salesforce offers a range of certifications, including the Salesforce Certified Administrator credential, which validates your knowledge of the platform’s core features and functionality. Consider investing time in preparing for and achieving relevant certifications. Certifications not only demonstrate your commitment to professional growth but also equip you with the skills needed to excel in your role. Speak to your trusted Salesforce consulting partner to get recommendations about training courses and opportunities.

Document and Standardise Processes

This is a top tip from our Admins – always maintain comprehensive documentation of your Salesforce configuration, customisation, and processes. Documenting your work ensures continuity and enables efficient knowledge transfer if there is a need for handover or team expansion. Standardise processes and naming conventions to enhance usability and make ongoing maintenance and troubleshooting more manageable.

Consult your Salesforce Partner

If you find yourself stuck for a solution and unable to find an answer in the online resources available, it is great to have a Salesforce Partner on hand for back up. Not only can a partner help you to adhere to best practices and reduce technical debt in your org, but they can also reduce stress levels when you hit capacity and need that extra bit of support. We offer both Pay-As-You-Go and Contracted options for internal Salesforce teams to call on our expertise as and when they need. We believe that companies should set their colleagues up for success when taking on new responsibilities, so having the peace of mind that your Salesforce is not resting on your shoulders alone can be a priceless relief for Administrators.

Becoming an ‘accidental Admin’ may initially feel overwhelming, but with dedication, continuous learning, and a proactive approach, you can successfully navigate this role. By following the above guidelines, you can become a proficient and successful Salesforce Administrator, driving the success of your organisation’s Salesforce instance.

Interested in hearing more about our Salesforce training programmes or ongoing support? Drop us a line on 0117 230 2390 or email and we will be happy to help.