Are you considering a career change? Have you heard from a friend that a role in the Salesforce world is a fulfilling and well-paid career? Have you seen posters at the train station or the bus stop advertising the world’s Number 1 CRM and seen the growth-line track distinctly upwards?
The Salesforce Administrator role is likely the one that you’ll start with in a career in Salesforce, and we explain what it means, and how to get there.
Or Salesforce “Admin” as they’re often referred. A Salesforce Administrator is the person that provides value to the business by automating complex business processes, makes sure the system is clean and efficient and monitors new releases (these occur three times a year). Essentially, your Salesforce Admin is the SME Salesforce expert within the organisation, and they will have an in-depth understanding of customisation.
What does a Salesforce Administrator do? Typical Salesforce Administrator tasks might include:
- setting-up new users
- user maintenance
- workflow rules
- managing organisation wide defaults
- role hierarchy
- basic platform customisations (fields, page layouts etc.)
- creating reports and dashboards
- security and data management
- training new users on using Salesforce
- collating requirements for new processes with stakeholders
What qualities will a Salesforce Administrator typically possess?
- Exceptional communication skills as they’ll work with people at all levels in the organisation, from the CEO to the users themselves across the business.
- Patient, with the ability to listen and understand customer problems, needs and issues will be useful, as will the confidence to push back on requests which aren’t in the best interests of the platform. Governance and best practice are key considerations in this role.
- Influential and motivating. The users across the organisation might not all be the most system savvy or keen to use the system, and so these qualities demonstrated by the Salesforce Admin will be helpful to drive user adoption.
- Solution focused. The beauty of Salesforce as a CRM tool is that there is no specific way of doing anything. For a single set of requirements, there could several solutions. Some people thrive in this kind of environment, others not so much.
How will I learn?
Trailhead is a great place to start. If you haven’t heard of Trailhead, it’s a free self-learning platform which not only teaches you about Salesforce, the culture and the history, but also includes hands-on practical challenges to build your skills.
Users can also customise there own, and we like some of these as examples of places to start:
There are also paid courses and resources available, which provide another level of learning, as well as practical preparation methods such as mock exams.
We highly recommend these, both from Salesforce themselves and others in the Salesforce Ohana. Here are a handful:
And you can check out an interview we did with the Founder, Martin Gessner for Talent Hub TV to find out more
Mike appeared on our Talent Hub Talk podcast and explained his approach to launching a Salesforce career. You can find out more here
This training is run by Salesforce themselves and prepares students for the Salesforce Administrator exam
Heather Black founded this organisation, and we spoke to her about her UK business expanding overseas in our podcast episode here
Bradley Rice has been in a similar position himself prior to launching his training courses and he shared his story with us here
Which Salesforce certifications should I pursue?
The Salesforce Administrator exam is the most relevant place to start to set the foundation of your learning. The exam is a multiple choice exam which you sit either at a Salesforce testing centre, or remotely in a proctored environment. You can book it here.
Let’s hear from the Salesforce Administrators themselves!
At Talent Hub, we publish a comprehensive annual Salesforce survey which collates the motivations, opinions and aspirations of Salesforce Administrators and other job titles specifically in the ANZ region. We asked Salesforce Administrators a few questions about their own roles and where they see their job potentially leading them in the future. This gives a bit of a snapshot of the realities of the Salesforce Admin role.
Salesforce Developers are the people the most likely to code in an organisation. However, occasionally, we will see of customers advertising for Salesforce Administrators who can code. We wanted to hear from Salesforce Administrators themselves, “do you feel that a company should expect a Salesforce Administrator to be able to code?”. 84% said no.
Lightning flows (or simply Flows) help to automate complex business processes and manual data entry. Flows save your users time and also make sure the required tasks are completed correctly.
Salesforce Administrators and more typically, Salesforce Developers, build Lightning Flows. Within a Salesforce Administrator role, Flows are really powerful. We asked Salesforce Administrators, “how comfortable are you with building Lightning Flows?”
You can check out the whole Salesforce Market Survey for 2021, featuring both Hiring Managers and Salesforce Professionals, here.
Future career direction for the Salesforce Administrator role
The Salesforce Administrator role can progress in seniority incrementally. For example, from Junior Admin, to Senior Admin. We asked the Salesforce Administrators in our survey subset, whether they class themselves as “Lead/Senior/Mid-level/Junior?” 41% classed themselves as mid-level Salesforce Administrators.
We also asked, if they had goals to move into another job type in the future, where they saw their Salesforce career progressing. The largest percentage of the Salesforce Administrators that we asked, see their career moving into the Functional Consultant space.
How difficult is the Salesforce Admin Certification exam to pass?
The pass mark is 65%, meaning quite a high level of knowledge is required to be successful in this Salesforce exam. The test consists of 60 multiple choice questions, which means you must get at least 39 questions correct in order to pass. Practice tests can help prepare you for what to expect
What kind of questions might I get in a Salesforce Admin interview?
We’ve put together a very brief list of possible Salesforce Admin questions and answers to give a bit of a flavour:
What is a profile?
What is a Change Set?
What is a lookup relationship?
What are the different types of sandboxes?
What are List Views?
Can you secure your first Salesforce Admin role with no experience?
You can, but like in my roles companies are looking for some kind of demonstration of your skills. The approach that we find to be highly effective is to replace job experience that you can talk to, with practical experience that you can show. If you create a fictional project in a Developer org, and build something as if it was your job, then you can actually show the interviewer evidence of not only your abilities but your passion for the platform
Is Salesforce a good career to get into if I am currently doing something completely unrelated?
We hear so many stories of successful Salesforce professionals who come from a wide range of background, a lot of them non-technical. You can hear many, many inspiring stories like this on our Talent Hub Talk Salesforce podcast. We’ve heard from people who have previously worked as ambulance drivers, pastors, life guards, truck drivers, military personnel, and everything in-between! You only have to look at the company forecasts to see how much bigger the platform is still tipped to get, and that means many more companies in the world adopting Salesforce, who aren’t currently. Learning Salesforce will future-proof your career to a degree, by helping you gain skills that will keep bearing fruits for you and your career in the years to come by keeping in-sync with the technological advancements being made by organisations across the world
“Salesforce saw a 38% rise in its jobs listings from 2020-2021 and 4.2M direct and indirect jobs are projected to be created in the Salesforce ecosystem by 2024”
We’d love to help you with any other questions you may have, and so don’t hesitate to leave yours in the comments section below for us to do our best to answer.