For small businesses or mid-sized companies early in their Salesforce journey, having one full-time employee (FTE) in the Salesforce Administrator position is generally the right place to start. But as your organization’s needs grow and you expand your Salesforce program, the expectations and workload involved can be too much to put on one person alone.
While Salesforce continues to make good on its promise to enable teams to be more efficient and productive, managing the ever-expanding suite of products has become vastly more complex. Specialized knowledge is the key to bringing new processes, initiatives, and capabilities to life.
Expecting a single Admin to keep up with growing demands is expecting too much of them, and doing so can put them at high risk for burnout. And unfortunately, when an employee gets to that point, they may already have one foot out the door.
Think your Salesforce Admin might be stretched too thin? Here are five signs to watch for, along with some solutions for getting them the help they need and deserve.
1. Your Admin spends 80% of their time in business meetings instead of designing or implementing solutions.
It’s hard to get around meetings; they’re a necessary evil in a collaborative work environment. (Salesforce even tried to go meeting-free with pretty unimpressive results.) But if your Admin is spending the majority of their work week in a conference room or on Zoom, they’re missing out on time that could be spent maintaining and improving your Salesforce instance.
Meeting time is undoubtedly important for Admins to collaborate with the team, learn about company processes, and translate them into the right applications and functionality in Salesforce. They also need to gather feedback from users on what’s working well and what can be improved. However, if your Admin has no time to make those adjustments and create the new features you need, they’re being stretched too thin.
2. You hear from business team members that your Admin is too busy or slow to respond.
If people on the team are regularly telling you, “I’m afraid to ask our Salesforce Admin for help,” or saying, “I don’t want to bother them because I know how busy they are,” then your Admin has too much on their plate.
While they shouldn’t be expected to spend all their time answering user questions, FTE Admins should be available to the team—at least some of the time—to provide training and enablement when it’s needed.
Salesforce is an investment, and it’s important to maximize your ROI. If your Admin doesn’t have time to support your Salesforce users and ensure they’re fully using its capabilities, you may need more specialized Salesforce talent on deck.
3. You added another Salesforce cloud or add-on to your Admin’s already full plate.
As you work to improve efficiency and support new business strategies, it makes sense that your organization will want to expand capabilities across multiple Salesforce clouds. But while your Admin should have a working knowledge of many platforms and apps across different Salesforce solutions, they can’t be expected to know everything.
A big pitfall we see often is small to medium businesses expecting their Admins to own the entire implementation of a new Salesforce cloud. This is too much for one person to handle on top of all their other responsibilities. New implementations should involve a Technical or Solution Architect, Developer, and perhaps even a Consultant.
4. Your organization is going through a merger or acquisition.
IT asset consolidation is a critical piece of any successful merger or acquisition. When two (or more) companies are coming together, you must unify the disparate business processes and technologies to create one cohesive organization. This can be especially tricky when bringing together multiple Salesforce orgs to create a single source of truth.
The average FTE Admin is not an expert in data migration, systems integrations, or change management (even if they are, it’s entirely too much work for one person). These complex challenges require an experienced team working with stakeholders across the organization. Your Admin should be a key facilitator in the process, but they can’t do all the work alone.
5. They don’t have dedicated time for learning or aren’t advancing their Trailhead rank.
With three Salesforce releases a year, Admins need ongoing learning to simply keep pace with new features and functionality. If they’re too busy to spend time in Trailhead or take advantage of other training opportunities, their knowledge will inevitably fall behind.
Additionally, with so many avenues for specialization, no one should expect an Admin to stay in the same role forever. Most people pursue a Salesforce career for the growth opportunities it can provide. Your Admin deserves time for Salesforce ongoing learning, so they can not only gain new skills to benefit your organization but also advance in their career. Specialization has become the rule, not the exception when it comes to Salesforce career paths.
Learning and development are critical drivers of employee engagement, job satisfaction, and retention. If your Admin is too busy working through an infinite to-do list or answering user questions to make time for their professional development, the organization is doing them a disservice.
How to get your Admin the help they need
If you’ve noticed any of the above warning signs, it’s time to get your Admin some help! You don’t want to risk losing them, especially in today’s competitive labor market.
Our 2022 Salesforce Talent Ecosystem Report found a 19% increase in global demand for Admins this year, while talent supply decreased by 20% in established markets (16% in emerging markets). So Admins are in higher demand, with fewer of them to go around.
A great Salesforce Admin is critical to your business, especially in the early days of your Salesforce journey. Even in larger, more mature organizations, you need an FTE Admin to support your users. But Salesforce Administrator is just one role—not the only role—you need to manage a sophisticated org.
Independent consultants can fill in the gaps; on-demand
Independent Salesforce consultants are a cost-effective talent source for filling talent gaps and supporting busy Admins when needed. By partnering with the growing pool of experienced and motivated independent Salesforce Architects, Business Analysts, Developers, etc., you can:
- Bring in consultants with niche skills for specialized projects
- Scale up or down as needed to meet deadlines and budget
- Reduce recruiting and hiring costs
- Free up your Admin for more strategic work and professional development
Independent consultants aren’t a replacement for your Admin; they’re an extension of your existing team. Your Admin can be key in identifying gaps and where additional skills need to be brought in.
Don’t risk losing your #AwesomeAdmin by overwhelming them with unreal demands and unfulfilling work. By hiring the help they need, you can give them some breathing room while also maximizing your Salesforce ROI.