Close this search box.

Salesforce Orientation: Accidental Admins

Illustrated person sitting at desk working on system
Red Argyle logo

Coming into an accidental Salesforce admin role can be overwhelming. Being “accidental” means that you’re coming into one space, even though you are versed in another.

Many accidental admins hail from a more general business role, such as marketing, like I was. Perhaps you were a support member on project teams, or you might have been nominated to learn the new system because you have an IT background.

No matter how you got here, there are some things you may need to consider before jumping into this new, exciting admin role. 

Defining an Accidental Salesforce Admin

The day-to-day functions of an admin can vary from organization to organization. A common trend among daily functions is supporting general functionality, including:

  • Adding new users
  • Creating and setting up reports
  • Changing page layouts
  • Updating fields
  • and more!

Most importantly, the day-to-day function that is the same across all organizations is that you will be learning all day long–oftentimes on the fly.

Remember, this is a vital role. Your company put a lot of consideration and investment into the transition to Salesforce. The system does nothing unless it’s maintained, growing, and possibly even refined. You get to be the pilot!

Tried and True Concepts for New Salesforce Accidental Admins

Illustrated person sitting at desk working on system

Know your limits.

Coming into an accidental admin role is fun and exciting! But don’t let your ambition get ahead of you.

Know where you feel comfortable, where you want to grow and what you need to learn. Setting that boundary and pushing back on what may be asked of you is ok. “This is beyond my skillset” is not something to be embarrassed about. Knowing what space you can and can’t help in will aid in you doing your job and doing it well.

Data, data, data. Pay attention to it!

Data is one of the most important components to ensure that your Salesforce instance runs smoothly.

  • Take ownership of your Salesforce data.
  • Implement a standard for all accounts and own, confirming everything is up-to-date.
  • Keep in mind that “bad data in means bad data out.”
  • Develop a clean-up process to ensure that even your updated accounts are clean and useful for their intended purposes. 

Focus on the Big Picture.

Remember a request’s end goal whenever you’re asked for something in this role. Specifically, keep in mind the complexity and scope of the platform.

Because sometimes, you just don’t know best practices, so stepping back, researching, and analyzing the situation will allow you to hone in on how to most efficiently solve an issue as it fits into the big picture.

Communicate, communicate, communicate.

You’ll be rolling things out all the time. Make sure that while this is happening, you also focus on clear messaging to the people who are going to be affected by these changes. Taking on a new system tends to also take on a lot of confusion, so communicating early and often can help prepare your teams.

A technical list to help.

For a more technical list, here are some other tips that you should try to work into your standard:

  • Always use Standard Objects as intended.
  • Never use Custom Objects to replace Standard Objects.
  • Consider and use the correct data relationship when creating objects (Master Detail, One-to-Many, Many-to-Many, Lookup).
  • Use Declarative Features before writing Code. 
  • Lean on the simple solution before considering a complex approach. 
  • Always document as you go, so make sure Fields, Objects, Workflows, Reports, etc. have meaningful names and everything has a Description.
  • Field Labels should always match API Field Names.  Never rename just the Field Label always do it together, no matter how painful the cleanup work is. 
  • Know what fields need to be tracked with Field History Tracking and turn it on. 
  • Always have a pattern to page layouts so that a user moving between tabs does not have to figure out where things are located on each page.
  • Make sure Related Lists, Tabs, and Search Layouts are up to date to reflect workflow by showing meaning fields and sorting as needed.
  • Nothing new to production, always use a sandbox and deploy changes.
  • Always know who, how and when changes are communicated to the users. 

More Salesforce Admin Resources

Check out Salesforce Trailhead to keep your learning going. Those badges will be a powerful motivator if you’re anything like me. To get started, check out this link!

Get to know your local Salesforce user group! Salesforce communities are all over and are a great way to share information and collaborate with people nearby. The best part, Salesforce communities are friendly spaces, and people want to share their knowledge with you!

If you’re working with a partner, your work impacts perceived quality, so people want you to be as educated as you can be. Use the tools in your toolbox, a lot of the time, it’s people who are more experienced and just as ambitious as you are. 

Let us know if you want to talk about how Red Argyle can help you and your organization succeed with Salesforce.

Red Argyle logo
Red Argyle logo

Related Blog Posts