Headshot of Raksha Sanganee next to text that says "Skills for Success: Problem Solving."

Enhance Your Problem-Solving Skills as a Salesforce Admin

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Welcome to another post in our “Skill for Success” series. In this post, we’re focusing on the key admin skill of problem solving. Let’s dive in!

Problem solving is a topic that’s simultaneously complex and simple. Before we dig into the importance of this skill for Salesforce Admins, I want to share a beautiful quote that highlights the essence of this topic: “Life is a journey with problems to solve and lessons to learn. But most of all, experience to enjoy.”

Problem solving is a skill that helps us deal with the demands and challenges of life. This is why it’s so important to understand your individual approach to problem solving and how you might be able to improve in the area. Ultimately, being a good problem solver is all about generating possible solutions, choosing the best ones, and then implementing and evaluating the solution. This is also the essence of what it means to be a successful Salesforce Admin.

Salesforce Admins have to solve problems every day, but not all problems are created equal! Some days you may be trying to figure out why a user can’t access a specific record, or how to design a brand new process for the business. Each of these require different approaches, and by boosting your creativity and decision-making skills, it’s possible to become better at solving all types of problems.

As a Salesforce Admin, you play a very important role at your company. Searching for a simple solution to a business problem you face is not always easy, but your ability to effectively solve problems is directly tied to your success. For this reason, I encourage all admins to develop their problem-solving skills.

What is problem solving?

Defining the term “problem solving” is a problem to be solved in itself! I believe this skill is actually made up of many other skills: listening, understanding, creativity, analytical thinking, communicating, and teamwork.

To effectively solve a problem, admins must identify practical ways to use active listening, critical thinking, and emotional intelligence while engaging with customers, stakeholders, and their teams. It can often seem like a balancing act. I approach my problems with what I call “Raksha’s Four D’s:”

First, I DEFINE the problem.
Then, I use DISCIPLINE to truly understand its complexity.
Next, I DEDICATE time to find possible solutions.
Lastly, after I implement the solution, I have a moment of DELIGHT!

As an admin, I get joy from knowing I’ve implemented the best possible solution—and this often means a satisfied stakeholder, which is truly delightful!

Why is problem solving important for Salesforce Admins?

I use the terms “Salesforce Admin” and “problem solver” interchangeably. To me, they’re one and the same because, at it’s core, an admin’s role is about solving problems. We’re constantly taking user requirements and translating them into technical solutions. Every facet of our role requires us to find creative solutions to problems, often while working with tough budget, resource, and time constraints. In order to know how you can use Salesforce to solve problems, it’s worth mentioning some of the capabilities you should be familiar with. This list is not at all comprehensive, but it’s a good start for providing simple, user-friendly solutions:

  • Configuration and Setup
  • Object Manager (Custom Objects)
  • Lightning App Builder
  • Sales and marketing applications
  • Service and support applications
  • Productivity and collaboration
  • Data and analytics management
  • Workflow/process automation

How can I learn and develop my problem-solving skills?

There are five different areas of problem solving I encourage you to develop in order to be the best Salesforce Admin you can be:

  1. Research: Focus on really understanding the technical requirements of your users, the system configuration, and the process.
  2. Analysis: Take time to understand the day-to-day issues of your users, and always be ready to work with your team to analyze the problem and offer spontaneous solutions.
  3. Decision making: Be proactive in giving possible solutions to the problem. Don’t forget that sometimes the solutions are simpler than we initially think.
  4. Communication: Aim to be thoughtful and work as a team, always keeping users informed of any problem that you resolve—and be happy to help.
  5. Creativity: Stay positive as you resolve problems and ask many questions. These questions may lead you down paths to solutions that you may not have thought of at first.

New or more complex problems will likely require a more systematic and logical approach to solve, and will likely involve many stakeholders. I encourage you, as a Salesforce Admin, to take the lead in facilitating team discussions in order to find creative solutions.

As an admin, it’s important for you to stay on top of emerging software trends, as well as the problem-solving skills that go along with them. Here are three key takeaways from this blog post:

  • Problem solving is one of the key skills that employers seek in Admin job applicants.
  • Problem solving involves identifying an issue, determining why it’s happening, coming up with possible solutions, implementing the best one, and evaluating its effectiveness.
  • Since this skill is important to most employers, be sure to list it front and center on your resume and cover letter, and come prepared to talk about it in interviews.

Take these three steps to build your success:

  1. Explore the new Salesforce Admin Skills Kit to learn how to represent your skills when applying for admin jobs or preparing for performance reviews.
  2. Share these skills on social media using #AwesomeAdmin, and tell other admins three skills you’re going to commit to developing this year.
  3. Revisit admin.salesforce.com next Tuesday for the next blog post in this series!

Resources

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