Choosing the right Salesforce administrator for your organization is critical because the administrator is the most important role in making your CRM implementation a success.

admin

From our experience the role of the administrator for a small organization is not necessarily a full-time position. In the initial stages of the implementation, the role will require more concentrated time (about 50 percent of a full time position). After going live, managing Salesforce CRM day to day will require much less time (about 10-25 percent).

Here are some qualities to look for in an administrator:

 

It doesn’t need to be an “IT person”

Software as a service (SaaS) makes system administration much easier than it was with traditional software. Setting up, customizing the application, maintaining it, training users, and “turning on” the new features that become available with each release—all are just a few clicks away.

Although your administrator does not need have programming skills, but it could be an advantage, s/he should have:

  • A solid understanding of your business processes
  • Knowledge of the organizational structure and culture to help build relationships with key groups
  • Excellent communication, motivational, and presentation skills
  • The desire to be the voice of the user in communicating with management
  • Analytical skills to respond to requested changes and identify customizations
  • Outstanding project management skills

 

Training and Certification

It is always good to have proven professionals on staff. A certified administrator will mean a faster implementation and better use of Salesforce. If you cannot find a certified administrator or if you have a potential administrator for your organization that does not have any formal training, invest in him/her!

Training and certification will insure that your administrator has the knowledge and confidence to take full advantage of Salesforce. Find the right person for the job and continue to invest in that person’s professional development.

Salesforce certified administrator

What should an administrator do?

Here is just a sample of relevant duties:

1. Administration

  • Continuing customization and development
  • User maintenance
  • Database de-duping and cleanup
  • Development of reports and dashboards
  • Ongoing documentation
2. Training
  • Develop and implement training for users
  • Keep materials up-to-date
  • Communicate future Salesforce releases and enhancements

3. Grow

  • Design and manage ongoing development of the system to meet the organization’s mission.

4. Manage Vendors

  • Managed outsourced Salesforce implementation partners and ongoing relationships with Salesforce employees.

 

Cannot find the right person?

Cloud for Good can help you with your remote administration program. Contact us today to talk about the advantages of outsourcing your Salesforce administration to Cloud for Good.

 

 

In today’s financial crises many organizations are facing the same paradox when considering the implementation of a constituent relationship management (CRM) platform. On one hand, many organizations are struggling to maintain their core activities and essential services. Therefore, it is the wrong time for them to implement new technology, both in terms of the organizational change such systems require and it’s cost.

On the other hand, precisely at a time of cutbacks, many argue that it’s time to become more efficient. Implementation of a CRM can help strengthen the organization’s capacity to fundraise and provide better social return on the philanthropic investments.

Unfortunately, I have no magic solution, but I can offer some tips for a smoother CRM implementation.

1. Collaborate

CRM is not a tool just for the executive director or the board; it should serve their needs, however, if your development or education teams will not use the platform the implementation will fail. Therefore, you should form a team that will represent all the future users and have them involved in all stages of the implementation, from choosing the right system to the ongoing training and support.

2. The Face of the System

You must select the right people to be “the face of the system” and invest in them! Provide them with additional tutorials, and continuously ask them what should be done to make the system more user-friendly.

3. Use the Management

It is important that the organization’s management will publicly support the system and talk about the value it will bring to the organization. I know a CEO who recorded a short and funny video clip to explaining how the system advances the organization’s mission. This gave a boost to the rest of the team and made the process more enjoyable.

4. Drive Traffic to Salesforce

When the users will use Salesforce, they will understand that it can make their lives much easier. First, you should make sure they know how to log in. I know that it sounds silly and simple; nevertheless, I found that it can be quiet challenging for some people. Spend some time on this in the training.

Second, use the Salesforce features. For example, don’t send meeting summaries as attachments. Upload them to Salesforce and send an email with a link to the file. Use the Ideas module to vote on ideas – not only on the future of the organization. You can also vote on food for the next organization’s meeting 🙂

Do you have something to add? What did you do to better implement your system and what did you do wrong? Please comment on this post.

Recently, a few customers approached me with the following question: “We finished the implementation and training successfully, but we want our Salesforce administrator to continue learning… what should we do?”

Here are some ideas:

1. Send your administrator to a Salesforce User Group

Almost two years ago, upon my return from the Dreamforce conference in London (If you could not attend Dreamforce 2009, you now have the possibility to watch these sessions on You Tube.), I volunteered to open and lead the Israeli nonprofit Salesforce user group.

The user group was a great platform for me (as a director of resource development and the Salesforce administrator of a nonprofit organization) to meet other Salesforce users, share knowledge, face common issues, learn about best practices, and network.

I am happy to announce that I recently volunteered to open the Tennessee/Arkansas nonprofit Salesforce user group. This group will cater specifically to the needs of the Salesforce community in Tennessee and Arkansas and will meet in Memphis.

Here is the information for the First Meeting:

  • Date: Wednesday, January 2oth
  • Time: 9:00-11:00
  • Location: Memphis, TN – I am looking for an organization that would be willing to host/sponsor the event, if you can help please send me an email.

To RSVP for the meeting press here.

Can’t make the meeting but want to stay in the loop?  Join the Tennessee/Arkansas Google Group.

2. Refer them to the Salesforce Community website

This is one of my favorite resources. There’s a lot of information in the Salesforce Community website: Best Practices, “How To’s”, Training & Recordings, and Best Practices.

3. Encourage your administrator to open a Developer Account
This is a great and free platform for your administrator to “play” with Salesforce, customize, and create. Whatever they do on the developer’s account does not harm your organization’s information because it is a separate platform that will never expire.

4. Tell him/her to visit my blog for additional useful tips and information about Salesforce and sign up for my newsletter.