Building your Army of Internal Advocates

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When I first started as a Salesforce Admin I was “the person” to talk to about Salesforce. Which meant my days were jam-packed with meetings, training sessions, process discussions, and yes- password resets. I had a mountain of work to do and never enough hours in the day to accomplish it. Then I realized I was doing it all wrong. That being “the person” would only work if I scaled myself and became a leader in my organization. When you are a leader, you can magnify your voice and grow an army of passionate users. Let’s get started building an army of internal advocates to help you be a Salesforce Leader in your organization.

To get started lets identify the types of individuals that are best to recruit to help you.

Process Minded

Our first-stop is individual in departments that are process-minded. These are the people that know the sales, service, marketing, or shipping process front to back and top to bottom. They also know about all of the inefficiencies within their department. They are easy to point out because many conversations will revolve around the idea of “What should be done is this, because that would be more efficient and help us achieve more”. Process-minded people are your best friend as an Admin because they help you get up to speed fast with how a department works and they can also point out process improvements. These are great people to have on your team and you need to involve them as much as possible. Process-minded people might not understand the technology but they share the goal of improving the company with you. When I was a Salesforce Admin it was a process-minded individual that helped me iron out our contract process, improve it with Salesforce, and rollout an improved process in Salesforce. Without them, I would have stumbled to translate process to technology requirements.

Technology Inclined

I’ll try to not show my age, but these are easily described as people who are always on the cutting edge of tech. They were the ones using Snapchat before you even knew what Snapchat was. Technology inclined individuals in your organization can help you get up to speed fast with Salesforce functionality. As a Salesforce Admin it’s your responsibility to help foster their learning by exposing them to Trailhead, making sure they have an Admin Playground to build their skills, and take them to user group meetings. At my organization I had quite a few technology inclined individuals- they helped me understand how to deduplicate data, load data, and exposed me to the force.com IDE.

Career Oriented

Everyone is career oriented right? Yeah, so let me clarify. I’m looking at career oriented individuals as those that are looking to make a name for themselves in the organization or quickly advance to a “C-level” title. These people become my new best friends because they can get me into meetings, help with executive buy-in, and sometimes budget. Unlike process oriented individuals whose reward comes from a better way of working. Or technology inclined individuals who benefit from geeking out on how cool Lightning is, career oriented individuals can help you because they see Salesforce as a key to a promotion. By bringing the latest and greatest in tech to a company a career oriented individual is seen as visionary.

What should you do when you find them?

A superhero league isn’t built overnight, sometimes it takes many movies and a few reboots to accomplish it. So building your army of advocates doesn’t happen overnight either. Your first step is to identify these unique individuals in your organization and have a chat with them. If you are rolling out Salesforce involve them as early in the process as possible. As the Salesforce leader it’s your job to make sure they understand how they can contribute and what the overall goal is. Whether it’s improving a process, or creating a presentation your internal advocates can help fine tune your voice for the audience and make sure you are hitting key points.

Most importantly, as a Salesforce leader it’s important to celebrate your team! If someone helped you iron out a process be sure to publicly thank them to their department and their supervisor. And never stop recruiting! It’s likely the individuals your recruit one year will be promoted the next.

What are you doing to build adoption and your army of internal advocates?

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