Well it’s that time again, tail end of the year- and with it come many holidays, time off breaks, and important deadlines. As Salesforce Admins, this can be a very hectic time of year for us as well as our users. Often we are trying to wrap up important projects, deliver new functionality, and read about all the goodies in the Winter ’17 release. For our users, it’s end-of-year deadlines, quotas, and follow-ups – all of which need to be documented. Somehow in the middle of all of this we also take time off to celebrate holidays with friends and family.
While this can be a stressful time of year for our users, as Admins we can have a game plan to help them be successful and keep the fire drills to a minimum. With sporadic activity and a lot on their minds, our users can be frantic when they forget their passwords, unsure about functionality, and can’t get a hold of you. However, if we set our game plan now and communicate it out- we can ensure that our users are successful and make this time of year a bit less stressful.
1. Understand important dates & schedule feature roll-outs
Depending on your company’s fiscal calendar the last few months of the year are very important for departments to report numbers. As a Salesforce Admin, it’s important to know which departments needs to have a feature freeze and which can sustain new functionality. In your monthly meetings with Stakeholders be sure to find out the level of activity for each department and plan accordingly. There is nothing more frustrating for a sales person than to have a brand new required field on an opportunity when they are trying to close their quarter.
2. Communicate your availability
Most likely you will want to take some time off during the end of the year as well. But any good captain doesn’t just leave his ship without making sure the crew knows about it first.
Proactively send out an update to users before the holiday season informing them of your availability. Let them know the days you will be offline, or away from email. A great tip is to change your chatter picture to include the words “Out of Office”. Also, let them know who to contact if they have questions. Which brings me to my next point…
3. Have a back-up
If you are a solo Salesforce Admin, don’t fret- we get time off too. With Delegated Administration in Salesforce you can give users some admin permissions to help with common requests while you are gone. Resetting passwords, creating new users, deactivating users, are some of the most common. I find that I usually have a few power users in my company that are knowledgeable and want to help. This is a great opportunity for them and helps you build your army of internal advocates.
4. Give users a cheat sheet
Communicating our availability in an email or chatter post is great. But as you know emails can fall to the bottom of an inbox or be overlooked. I find it’s helpful to give every user a cheat sheet during this busy time of the year. That way they can have it on their desk and quickly reference it.
Include in your cheat sheet the following items:
- Your availability
- Who and/or where to contact during those times
- Where they can go for resources or commonly asked questions
- Oh and don’t forget to include a reminder of the “Forgot Password” link
5. Got apps?
Let’s say you do all of the things listed above and then some. And just as you are getting ready to put on a party hat to countdown the new year a frantic text comes in from the VP of Sales. They have locked themselves out of Salesforce and can’t close the quarter! Of course, your laptop is at home. No worries. With SalesforceA, the admin app, you can easily reset passwords, freeze users, and check login history. So before you leave the office today, grab your phone and download SalesforceA. It’s available for iPhone and Android.
That way when the text comes in, you reset the password with a snap, and get back to throwing confetti!