Becoming a mid-level Salesforce admin at a startup

March 3, 2022
5 min read
DA Ledger

At this point in your Salesforce career, you are capable of owning well-defined tasks within your realm of expertise.

Last week, I discussed my thoughts on an entry-level Salesforce admin role at a startup, and you can read it here. This week, I will break down how the position evolves once you get promoted.

Entry-level -> Mid-level

Let’s say you’re finding your groove as an entry-level admin. What’s next on the Salesforce career ladder? You’re now a mid-level Salesforce admin/developer.

You’ve built up one to two areas of expertise at this point. For example, when I was a mid-level Salesforce developer, I understood Sales Cloud and Service Cloud.

If you’re looking to distinguish yourself in the Salesforce ecosystem, click here to read what I think the top 5 niches are within the Salesforce ecosystem in 2022.

At this point in your Salesforce career, you are capable of owning well-defined tasks within your realm of expertise. It means you won’t need too much supervision from your senior engineers or admins to build out your solutions.

You progress steadily on the work on your plate, but if you get stuck or blocked, you know that you need to ask for help. Sometimes, you might not know the right person, but the fact that you know you needed help and communicated it goes a long way. You’d be surprised how many people suffer in silence. Don’t do this!

You can communicate well. Sometimes you’ll stumble, and that’s ok.

What’s my scope of work?

The scope for a mid-level Salesforce professional is well-defined tasks within 1 to 2 areas of expertise within your team. There isn’t an expectation of being up-to-speed in every domain within the team. I will take the examples of the last post but tweak them a bit to how I think a mid-level Salesforce professional would handle it.

- Your team’s current focus is locking down any modifications to accounts with completed contracts. Your task is to research the implications of creating a validation rule. If you create a validation rule, what other business processes could be snagged by hitting this validation rule?

- Your team’s Case Assignment process forgot to account for internal Cases, so you are asked to modify a Flow, but the Lead Developer didn’t specify where you need to change it. You lean on your expertise to diagnose where the issue is.

- Your team is supposed to build a custom Apex REST solution to interact with your internal team’s APIs. Your story is to write a function. Another developer will review your code, but you talked with them about the solution. You’ll also deploy the code against a UAT sandbox.

- Your team owns the HRIS to Salesforce integration, but sometimes specific roles in Workday don’t map to a Profile, permissions set mapping in Salesforce. Your task is to provision new users, but you found that the ask is getting repetitive, and you tell your team on a call that you think this is an opportunity to automate the creation of new users from Workday to Salesforce.

- The Sales Ops team asks the Salesforce team to proof-of-concept a new lead-to-account matching solution. Your developer lead asks you to install a managed package, where the link to the package and the environments you should install it are already in the user story assigned to you. You identify that there is an overlap between the managed package they want you to install and another managed package already in your production org. You call that out and ask for more time to investigate if you even need to install the managed package in the first place.

- Your IT director asks your manager to identify all workflow rules in an org. Your manager asks you to outline all workflow rules and put them on a sheet. You ask one of your developers on the team if they have any ideas on how to automate getting all the workflow rules from your production org.

These are all examples of defined work items that you could be assigned, where you are working on a small part of a larger initiative your Salesforce team is spearheading. However, the difference here is both the scope of work you’re doing and how you think about the work you have in the first place.

What are my competencies?

- On completing work: The scope of work you can complete increases when you move from entry-level to mid-level. When you are entry-level, your productivity increases by osmosis. When you’re a mid-level professional, you’re still learning by osmosis. Still, there is an expectation to contribute to the design, development, and configuration of well-defined features across your Salesforce instance.

- On thinking critically: You’re constantly getting feedback from your manager, but now, you can make steady progress with little guidance from the more senior engineers. You provide constructive feedback to your team about their work.

- Collaborating: You’re still getting feedback from your coworkers and mentors, but now, you feel comfortable giving feedback to your colleagues about their work. If your team has an on-call rotation, you can participate in that rotation. You can observe, document, and surface inefficiencies in your team, but there isn’t the expectation for you to own fixing them.

- Strategizing: What things are “too complex” about your organization? Ex: Is the lead conversion process too unnecessarily complex? Is there a business process that you or someone on the team can simplify? You identify those and surface them to your team.

- Functional expertise: You can navigate your team’s codebase. What it means: you can find relevant metadata (Apex classes, flows, etc.) and write well-tested code/configuration according to your Salesforce team’s best practices. Also, it should solve the problem.

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