Note: This blog post is the third in a three-part series about how sales leaders can be more successful by working with their Salesforce admins. Read part 1 here and part 2 here.  

Have you set big sales goals for the year? As you think about how to achieve your top priorities as a sales leader, think about building or strengthening your partnership with your Salesforce administrator.

After eight years as a Salesforce admin, I know the relationship between sales leadership and the admin is key to helping your business run better, faster, and smarter.

Your Salesforce admin works for your company and has a deep understanding of your solution. He or she is dedicated to helping your business use Salesforce effectively to achieve your goals. Depending on your staffing, your admin may be focused solely on Salesforce, or may have additional responsibilities. 

Here are a few key practices that will help you partner with your admin. I’ve also included a few examples of how your admin can help you use Salesforce to crush your goals.

Schedule regular meetings with your Salesforce admin.

Do you have a standing meeting? No? Set up one — stat! Trust me, it’s time well spent to get ahead of any organizational changes and new enhancements in Salesforce.

Here’s a recommended agenda:

●      Discuss upcoming business changes. Do you have any sales promotions planned? New products? Changes to your sales methodology? Share what’s new with your admin.

●      Examine Salesforce adoption data. Your admin can provide data about which reps are using the system the most. Are your best reps using it? What insights and patterns do you see in the data?

●      Review new apps and features. Your admin can introduce you to new features and apps that can make your life easier. Take time to learn about the new innovations that Salesforce releases three times a year.

Create an innovation roadmap.

An innovation roadmap is your plan for using technology to be more productive. It could be a document, a presentation, or a checklist — whatever format you like best. It’s your guide to answering "What should happen when …?" For example, "What should happen when a customer fills out a form on our website?"

Take the time to dive deep into your processes with your admin. Don’t think about what exists today. Too often, when we start by thinking about technology, we simply revise the current process. Don’t make this mistake!

Let me give you an example. When I started as a Salesforce admin, my company’s procurement department had one job: to send contracts. I was shocked when department leaders told me how they processed contracts. Until recently, everything was faxed to a central location for processing. They had switched to a web form that consolidated everything into one spreadsheet that was emailed daily to a department for processing. They thought the new process was “more automated.” However, they had layered on technology without really taking advantage of its capabilities.

I showed the team a process in Salesforce to capture information in an online form, a process to route the record for necessary approvals, and a partner app to email a PDF. Under my new process, we went from processing up to eight contracts a day to processing hundreds of contracts per day. Our sales team was thrilled. We were serving our customers faster and making more money doing it. How? I asked them what should happen and used technology to support it.

How can you apply this to your organization? Hone in on processes that are frustrating or make you say “that’s too manual,” or “that takes too long.” Write down your ideal state. Your Salesforce admin can go back, do some homework, and provide suggestions about how the system can support your vision. This will fire up your admin; this is the fun stuff!

Make a list of processes you want to improve. It may be long, but knock off things one at a time. If you invest in your partnership with your Salesforce admin, you’ll reap big rewards and help your team succeed.

Get more insights about how to achieve your goals.

Want more ideas about how you can get the most out of your relationship with your Salesforce administrator? Listen to my interview with Jesse Endo, Salesforce Success Specialist Senior Director. We’ll talk about how to help you boost your team’s productivity, innovate faster, and meet your Salesforce goals.

About the Author

Mike Gerholdt is the Director of Admin Evangelism and the host of the Salesforce Admins Podcast. Mike is a Certified Admin, Advanced Admin, Developer, and Sales Cloud Consultant. He speaks regularly to standing-room-only crowds about administrator best practices.