Three Ways Salesforce Admins Can Deliver Impact

Three Ways Salesforce Admins Can Deliver Impact at Any Organization


For years we’ve been talking about digital transformation—how technology can overhaul how businesses function. At Salesforce, we focus on how you can use our platform to create drastically better customer experiences that are connected in ways you never thought possible. The pandemic encouraged lots of organizations to start their digital transformations since customers and users were working from everywhere.

But there’s something missing from this narrative: Who is actually delivering this transformation? The technology alone won’t solve anything. You need a human to put the technology to use.

The who in digital transformation is the Salesforce Administrator. Salesforce Admins deliver digital transformation. They’re the humans who understand how the business works, and then use Salesforce to build solutions that deliver better experiences.

Now you might be asking, how are Salesforce Admins doing this? Enough with the positioning, give me some concrete examples of how Salesforce Admins drive digital transformation.

Well, okay then! Over the past few (ahem, 10) years of working with Salesforce Admins, I’ve learned countless ways that admins are driving change and delivering huge impact in their organizations. Here’s what I’ve learned.

Communication is key

Any successful Salesforce Admin is an excellent communicator. Communication starts with listening—listening to what leadership is talking about to figure out the organization’s goals, listening to users to understand how they do their work, and listening to core stakeholders to figure out what everyone wants.

In some cases, your organization might have a mission statement or, better yet, a V2MOM, that will make the organizational goals clear. But engaging with leadership and asking questions about what is top of mind for them and what they’re accountable for delivering will give you that extra insight to help design solutions that have the most impact.

Now, let’s talk about users. You may have heard us mention SABWA, which stands for Salesforce Administration By Walking Around (coined by the original ButtonClick Admin, Mike Gerholdt, way back in Salesforce Admin history). This means walking around to sit with users and asking them to see how they do their work. What apps are they using? How long does it take to get things done? What are their frustrations? What do they like? A true #AwesomeAdmin deeply understands how users are interacting with technology in the context of their jobs.

Then comes the fun part: communicating across the organization about what you’re doing and why. After you’ve done a fair amount of listening (don’t ever stop listening!) and have come up with some ideas for how to help, you have to pitch it. Yep, I said pitch, like a sales pitch. This might sound scary, but I promise that if you’re able to sell your vision across the organization, you’re going to get buy-in and support, which is critical to your solution being successful. When you’re crafting your story, think about what you learned by listening, relate the story to the organizational/leadership goals, and include the perspective of your users. (Check out Juliette’s great post for more on communication.)

The bonus effect of all this communication is that you build trust with your stakeholders. Demonstrating that you heard what your leadership cares about and understand how your users work makes them feel invested in your work and trust that you’re taking their perspectives into account. This means they’ll be more likely to support and use your solutions and continue to provide you feedback.

Analytics are awesome

One of the easiest ways to make an impact? Build some reports on KPIs (key performance indicators)! Once you know what the organization’s goals are, you can look for ways to track that data in Salesforce. Is there a target sales number? Lead conversion rate? Fundraising goal? Case response time? As long as you can figure out a way to capture the data in Salesforce, you can track it and report on it. Which will enable you to…

Build a dashboard! I can’t even tell you how many times an admin has told me something along the lines of “as soon as I showed my exec a dashboard, they were all in!” Dashboards are one of the most powerful tools in your admin tool belt. Pull together a dashboard showing all those KPI reports, put it on your leadership’s homepage, or show it to them on Salesforce mobile. That will make an impact.

You can take this next level and show the impact your work has on the organization by building reports and dashboards that show the effect of your solutions. Imagine showing your leadership an entire dashboard telling the story about the time and money you’ve saved the organization. “Hey boss, want to know the ROI for investing in me? Check this out!”

Some examples to inspire you:

  • Track time saved by automations you’ve built. How many hours did users spend doing this task before you built the flow? How many times has the flow run? Check out Erick’s podcast episode about this.
  • Track time spent resolving cases. How long does it take to respond and resolve an issue? How much time did that save the user? Check out Andrew’s podcast episode and blog post about this.
  • Can you relate any of these data points to deal close rates or revenue growth?

Push the platform

If you truly want to extend and maximize your impact, find ways to use different parts of the platform. The most impactful admins I know find creative ways to use Salesforce features to solve complex problems. One admin I met eliminated an entire call center by building a solution with Experience Cloud, Scheduler, and Flow. Another admin once told me they were able to replace a series of old legacy apps by creating a custom solution with Service Cloud, Flow, and Experience Cloud. Another figured out a way to use Slack, Flow, and Sales Cloud to automate deal communications. And yet another built a way to get a customer 360 dashboard using CRM Analytics and App Builder. All of these solutions were built with declarative Salesforce features. The possibilities are endless if you’re willing to take the time to learn and experiment!

A bonus of pushing the platform? Once one business unit sees a positive impact from your solutions, other parts of the business will want your magic touch, too. This means that knowing what’s possible with all Salesforce features (no, you don’t have to be an expert) will enable you to deliver solutions for any part of the business. You, as a Salesforce Admin, can transform the whole organization.


The one big message I want everyone to get from my post: Salesforce Admins can make a huge impact in any organization. Investing in becoming a better admin by learning more about Salesforce or strengthening your admin skills will pay off in big ways. If you’re a leader in charge of technology at your organization, investing in a Salesforce Admin or building out an admin team will save you a ton of time and money that you may otherwise spend on third-party help or other disjointed applications.

For more on these and other admin skills, check out the Salesforce Admin Skills Kit.

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