The Softer Side of the Salesforce Admin Role

A look at the book, “Rock Your Role as a Salesforce Admin”

Ever wonder what soft skills you need to excel at the Salesforce game? All of them! Problem solving, critical thinking, communication…. The key is to use every day as an opportunity to become a pro, and this book is a guide to get you started.

There’s a  popular book in the Salesforce community called “Rock Your Role as a Salesforce Admin”. The more I mention it to others, the more I hear, “Yes, I’ve been told to read that already!”.

Can you guess why? Because Jodi Hrbek, the author and 20+ year veteran of Salesforce, opted to write a guide on becoming a problem-solving, proactive, value-added resource that happens to work in Salesforce. I was curious, wondering how you can write 200 pages of content around Salesforce without getting technical! I think many others were too, and needed a nice break from the typical Salesforce training topics.

Now I look forward to sharing some of my favorite moments in this book that I felt needed highlights, page folds, and sticky page markers (you’ll need some of these.)

My copy of the book, as proof you will need plenty of markers!

The status quo will get you nowhere.

If you become an order taker, you will likely always struggle to make a satisfying career out of being a Salesforce admin. Ownership, accountability, and being “solution-oriented” is something anyone can, and should do, no matter your rank, title, and authority. Complacency with the status quo, like always accepting a sub-par method of lead management, will stagnate your growth. Hrbek lists many great methods for challenging the status quo on Page 12 of her book, such as “Where are there ‘swivel chair’ steps you can eliminate?”

In fact, at Smartbridge we onboard employees with the expectation that they will never approach a challenge with a simple, “I don’t know.” It’s perfectly acceptable to not know the answer and builds trust with your stakeholders if you don’t proclaim to hold all the knowledge in the world (that’s what ChatGPT and Gemini are for). As Hrbek puts it, “Don’t be afraid to say ‘I don’t know, but I’ll find out.’ Then follow up with an answer.”

And then follow up. All that credibility is out the window if your do-say ratio is terrible.

Salesforce Partner
Smartbridge is a Salesforce Partner & Managed Services Provider

Assess your work against your initial estimate to truly transcend into a consultant mindset.

As a consultancy, we live and die by the accuracy of our estimates. It’s profoundly critical to delivering on one of our core values, creating an exceptional customer experience. Whether you’re a consultant or an internal resource, you always are asked to provide estimates, however formal they may be.

As the book describes, you should practice not providing an estimate until you have had time to do the research and set realistic goals. With each iteration, you should compare your true time to execute each component with its initial assessment. Like fine wine, or the best machine learning algorithm on the market, you’ll only get better with age!

When we say we’re going to do something by a certain date, we need to honor our commitment.

– book excerpt

You’re really in the business of communication.

Communication with business partners is a skill that always puts you in learning mode. You can come up with the greatest game plan to deploy a Salesforce optimization but delivery can make or break how people see its value – and yours.

I’ve read plenty of communication books, on how to win people over. In a few pages, Hrbek brought up some great points that I rarely see talked about. One was to think like a Lobbyist. For example, in a group discussion setting, you should never use that time to initiate controversial ideas or to share bad news.

Surprises are great for kids but not stakeholders.

– book excerpt

From her own experiences, most stress comes from a misunderstanding or communication gap – not bugs, or CRM technical failures. Err on the side of overcommunication to avoid let down.

Wrapping Up….

There are gobs of guidance throughout the book, I pared down my 50 pages of markers to these 3 areas to keep this brief.

The roll-up summary of these concepts is to set realistic expectations with yourself and your stakeholders. Then act with the mantra in mind of being proactive, problem-solving, and value-added.

Buy your copy of the book, paperback or Kindle, here!

By the way, if you need a Salesforce admin, even for just a little while, Smartbridge is a managed services provider (MSP), partnering with Salesforce to deliver exceptional maintenance and support. Contact us if you would like advice, recommendations, or guidance on how to handle your administrative needs.

Salesforce Managed Services Provider

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