Why did you become a Salesforce Admin?
It was an accident. In 2009, the stock market was significantly down. I left my employer at that time because my long-time business partner and I had split up, so I ventured to be an independent agent. This meant I had to rebuild my book of business, which was overwhelming and soul-sucking. That’s when I joined Mutual of Omaha Bank, in a sales position. I wanted to do something other than sales, so when my boss asked me what I knew about Salesforce, I jumped at the opportunity to learn about it.
I went to Admin training, and in the class, someone excitedly asked me if I was going to Dreamforce. She made it sound like the most amazing experience, so I was intrigued. At this point, I was only administering Salesforce on the side of my normal job duties. I figured going to Dreamforce would be a good way to learn more about being a better Salesforce Admin, so I went. At Dreamforce, I hunted down specific people whom I had connected with in the Salesforce community who had helped me answer questions. Being a solo Admin, it was really important for me to connect with other Admins in person. I was so inspired by my first trip to Dreamforce that I created the Flyin’ Solo Group so other solo Admins could connect with each other. That was back in 2012, and I’ve been to every Dreamforce since.
It took me about a year-and-a-half to realize that I could make a career as a Salesforce Admin. Since taking on Salesforce as my baby, I’ve grown into becoming the Admin for all lines of business for the entire bank. I get to build out the platform for new departments, bringing additional bank divisions onto the system, and I am now working on merging two different orgs. I’m the one who gets to train new users on the platform. I’ve realized that my passion is helping people sell, not being the salesperson.
What’s your favorite thing about being a Salesforce Admin?
I like being able to say, “You can do that in Salesforce!” I get to produce real solutions for business needs. Talking to people to learn what they want, and then being able to build a Salesforce deliverable is an amazing feeling. Users are impressed by what I can do. I get feedback like, “you are a Salesforce genius!” for building what seems simple to me, but really makes a difference for them. Getting emails that say “this is unbelievable” and “this is exactly what I was looking for” never gets old.
What’s the most important skill for a Salesforce Admin?
It is so important to have great listening skills. I get constant requests from users, and I have to remember to stop and listen to what they are saying before building out a solution in my head. How is the end user going to use the feature they are asking for? How will they access it? Remembering to pause and listen will ensure that you don’t lose important details you need to meet the user requests.
What’s your advice for other Salesforce Admins?
Get involved in the community! I’m a solo Admin, which means the virtual community is critical to my success. I rely on people in the community to help me answer questions when I don’t know how to do something. There are so many people willing to help figure out problems, so don’t be afraid to ask. The community is also a way to grow your skillset by answering other people’s questions. There are lots of ways to grow with Salesforce, especially using the Success Community. So get involved in the way that interests you the most. Any way you participate in the community helps others learn just as much as you learn.