Have you ever had the privilege of watching a painter at work? It’s fascinating to watch their idea come to life. And if you ask them, “Are you finished?” most of the time the answer is always, “no.” They are never really done creating, tweaking, changing, improving. I feel the same way as a Salesforce Administrator. I’m never really done improving or building in my org. There is always new functionality like Dynamic Lightning Pages or Einstein that I am looking to use in my org. And, there is always user feedback- pages, fields, components that need to be added or changed. As an Admin, I didn’t have access to formal User Experience specialists and I’m guessing you don’t either. Their knowledge and abilities are incredible, and the ones that I’ve met at Salesforce have so much insight. But, because I didn’t have access to formal user experience testing, I created a habit I like to call SABWA– Salesforce Administration By Walking Around.
What is SABWA Anyway?
Salesforce Administration By Walking Around (SABWA) was a habit I formed as a Salesforce Admin to make sure that I took time out of my day to interact with my users. At a lot of companies- at least ones I have worked for- administrators of systems were often off in other departments, and the very little interaction I had with them was through error tickets or emails written in frustration. When I became a Salesforce Administrator the one thing I wanted to change was that I was approachable, I was known, and that I listened to them.
Every day I would set aside 15 minutes to visit with a user. Depending on the department I was in that might be in the morning, around lunch, or mid-afternoon. Whatever time worked best for them. I would stop by their desk with coffee or tea and we would chat. I wanted to know what their work environment was like. I wanted to see how they did their job. For instance, in the call center- what was it like to be on a call with a frustrated customer and have to interact with a screen? I didn’t know because when I did the page layout for that record it was a sunny day and I was alone at my desk. SABWA gives you perspective on your users. I found that some users were more than eager to talk with me about improvements and changes. And often wanted to help champion those changes to the organization.
In my opinion, practicing SABWA is one of the things that sets Salesforce Admins apart from many tech roles. Really! When was the last time the admin for your HR system, payroll system, or other system came by and sat with you to see how you interact with the technology? Probably never.
How can SABWA help drive adoption?
I would love to say that just stopping by a users’ desk with coffee will give you a spike in logins. (It might, but I don’t have the data to prove it). SABWA helps you drive adoption by giving you visibility as an Admin. SABWA helps you drive adoption by giving your users someone to talk with. Everyone wants to know they have been heard, and that their opinion matters. SABWA helps with that.
Outside of visibility and interaction, SABWA also allows you as the admin to have 1:1 time with a user to help share and provide targeted training or tips. For instance, I had a user that didn’t know you could have multiple tabs open in a browser. They were so frustrated because waiting for pages to load and logging in and out of Salesforce was time-consuming. With SABWA I could fix that. It wasn’t anything that would have popped up in a traditional ticketing system because it wasn’t a Salesforce issue. Another tip that I was able to share with users was how one sales rep wrote everything in the third person. Essentially, as they described it, “it’s the past me telling the future me what to do.” It cut down on their times between calls because reading notes was more of a to-do list than a to-done list. When I shared that with other users it spread like crazy and soon became a best practice.
Getting started with SABWA
It’s sounds cliché, but SABWA is like riding a bike. The more you practice the better you get. Get started by first making time on your calendar each day to visit with at least one user. If you have many users in many different departments be sure to change it up each day so that you get a chance to visit each department. Use Chatter to communicate in advance and see if you have users who will volunteer to be first, or send a sign-up sheet out. Then, make the time to visit with one user each day. See how they do their job, collect any changes they would like to see, and share your knowledge with others on Chatter. You will for sure want to keep a list of the users you visited with so you don’t repeat.
But wait, Mike, my users are remote! Help!
Remote does mean you can’t just pop by someone’s desk. But it doesn’t mean you can’t practice SABWA. You’ll just need to plan a bit ahead. For SABWA with remote users, be sure to set up a meeting with a screen sharing app. For me, these are great sessions. I have a chance to talk with the user and watch their screen without any distractions.
If you recall, at the beginning of the post I talked about an artist doing their work. Well, much like an artist, our job as a Salesforce Admin practicing SABWA is never finished. There is always more to learn, share, and discover as we lead our companies to the future!
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Want to learn more about how to drive adoption at your company? Check our month of adoption blog post for resources, tips and best practices.