What does a Salesforce Administrator at a startup do? (a look inside ClickUp)
I will break down a Salesforce Administrator job description at ClickUp, which is a fast-growing startup. If you want to read more about what it's like to be a Salesforce developer, read this article instead.
Based on the job description, I aim to give you an idea of what a day in this role is like.
When you finish reading this, I want you to feel you shouldn't discount yourself because you currently don't meet all the job "requirements" to be a Salesforce Administrator.
Do you need to be a certified Salesforce Admin to apply for this Salesforce Administrator role?
In my humble opinion, I recommend getting the Salesforce certification, but more importantly, I think you should be able to communicate that value you would bring to this company, which you can do concisely via your resume, LinkedIn, and interviewing skills.
I will read each bullet point and give you my thoughts on each.
What you'll do as a Salesforce Administrator
First things first: Identify a plan for success in the Salesforce role
Come up with a plan for what to do in the first 90 days within starting your job as a Salesforce Admin.
The Salesforce admin is the primary contact to managing users' issues
Serve as the primary contact with end-users to troubleshoot Salesforce and other connected 3rd party application issues and questions.
Think about it this way: as the primary contact, you're the first line of defense for Salesforce issues and questions.
Examples of issues on the Salesforce platform
A customer service rep could have a Service Cloud problem that they need you to troubleshoot. Other times, Salesforce users need help resetting their password. Some process automation that you expected to work is breaking.
You should be curious about the team's process to triage, scope, and commit to incoming tickets.
Well, what do I mean by that?
For example, do they say yes to every ticket, or are they more diligent about they estimate how long an incoming request will take to finish?
How many third-party applications are there? Would my team own them, or is there shared ownership between business and engineering teams?
Make sure there are enough available resource to keep the Salesforce instance running
The next bullet point on the Salesforce Administrator job description says:
Handle provisioning, de-provisioning and access requests and manage application license needs by proactive planning and auditing.
A Salesforce Administrator will provision users (and de-provision them, too)
What's the process for provisioning new Users? Is it done using automation (like an SSO provider), or will I have to create each User manually?
When an employee leaves, do I click a button and they lose access to all of the company's systems, or do I have to turn off their access to each system manually?
The Salesforce Admin will (hopefully) devise process automation for access requests to Salesforce
What's the process for Salesforce access requests? Does a manager need to approve their access? How could I make the process better?
When it comes to licenses, it's good to know who on the team owns the relationship between the company and Salesforce. Does the company have a process for purchasing new licenses when we're under a certain threshold?
You're doing core Salesforce administration work
I have a minor nit with the bullet point below. I couldn't help but notice that the job poster didn't capitalize those proper Salesforce nouns. C'mon!
Handle all administrative functions including managing custom objects, fields, validation rules, workflows, process builder, flows, integrations and security.
Handling administrative job functions is a core part of being a Salesforce Administrator.
Recommendation: Pass the Salesforce Certified Administrator exam
If you pass Salesforce Certified Administrator Exam, you will have a decent baseline for handling those administrative functions. The only two that I think would give you some trouble are the Integrations and Security components of the job description.
You will get bonus points if you have previous Salesforce experience working at another company.
Monitor the org and use your Salesforce knowledge to improve it
Monitor system health and performance, including pro-actively identifying and improving system processes.
What tools does the company have to currently monitor the health and performance of the system? Do they have something like Event Monitoring? If not, you could run Health Checker periodically and communicate any negative trends to your manager in team meetings.
Data management and Salesforce administrator go hand in hand
Execute data quality and data cleansing efforts.
You will use Data Loader and Excel a lot. More importantly, you will have to know how to find patterns in the company data you are changing.
How often does the company make these data cleansing efforts? Can I use my knowledge to ensure the data quality is good?
Keep up to date with the Salesforce
Keep up to date with Salesforce releases, features, and best practices.
Basically, think of it this way. You're going to he the Salesforce administrator here, right? You're probably already Salesforce certified in some capacity. In order to maintain those certifications, you'll have to prove to Salesforce that you're keeping up to date with your knowledge. Keeping current with your certs is you can:
- Salesforce Administrator certification
- Salesforce Platform App Builder Certification
- Salesforce CPQ Certification
What is the company looking for in a Salesforce Administrator?
A few years of Salesforce Administrator experience under your belt
2+ years of experience with declarative Force.com development tools such as Workflows, Approval processes, Process Builder, Flow Builder, Lightning App Builder, etc.
The job posting is asking for two years of Salesforce experience. If you're reading this and all you have is a Salesforce Administrator certification, I would encourage you to apply anyway. I have seen people get jobs that ask for nine years of experience and they only had two. Don't be afraid. You could, as an alternative, find entry-level Salesforce Admin roles and apply for them.
This job calls out Lightning App Builder, so if you have the Platform App Builder certification, it should bolster your use case better.
A little bit of experience with some specific Salesforce functionality
1+ years of experience with salesforce sales cloud and CPQ.
Let me tell you something: if you have just a little CPQ experience, make sure you put it on your resume. Salesforce customers with a CPQ implementation are desperate for people who can tell them what's wrong with their CPQ implementation and how you can help them fix it. Ultimately, you're helping the company sell faster and make more money.
How to set yourself apart: Get the CPQ Salesforce certification
If you don't know what Salesforce CPQ is, then I suggest you watch this video for a quick primer.
If you do know what Salesforce CPQ is, then I suggest you brush up on the topics that would be on the Salesforce Admin certification for CPQ. For example, you could talk to the hiring manager about Quote Terms, Price Schedules, eSignature integrations, Contracts & Renewals.
A Salesforce Admin that has sales enablement knowledge on the Salesforce platform
What is Outreach?
What is Chorus?
What is ZoomInfo?
What is Clari?
Don't worry if it is your first time seeing the names of those software platforms. By researching what these companies do, you'll make an educated guess about why the company you're applying for is using them. You may find out that the platform you researched is similar to another platform you used in the past.
Drive user adoption by giving execs the metrics they need
Experience with salesforce reports and dashboards.
It sounds like the standard responsibility of a Salesforce Administrator. If that is news to you, I recommend you freshen up on them.
Make complex business processes simple
Strong communication skills and experience collaborating across many different operating teams.
Your team will have many stakeholder groups. Assume that the company's different departments, like Sales and Marketing, all use the platform and want to mold it to make their lives easier.
This isn't something you'll find on the Salesforce admin certification exam. Luckily, effective stakeholder management, setting expectations, and collaborating with different people is something that just comes with time. You'll learn how to work with difficult people, renegotiate deadlines when something unexpected comes up, and how to message your accomplishments on the job.
There should be a "Salesforce admin certification exam" for this skillset
Top-notch prioritization skills and experience driving technology roadmap.
Can you find a place where leadership documents their priorities for the month/quarter/half/year?
Find those documents and learn them like the back of your hand. Why?
When you understand what's essential to the company and your department, it won't make sense for you to work on something that isn't moving the needle.
All future requests will go through the following question filter: "Does this request help advance any of leadership's priorities for this timeframe?"
If the person requesting your time can't give you a good answer, you can have an evidence-based reason for rejecting their request.
Once you've filtered out requests that don't make sense, you can take the remaining requests and run them through a RICE framework for figuring out what work to prioritize. It's not foolproof, but it gets me 85% of the way toward a healthy roadmap and backlog.
What resources would you recommend give me a good shot to get this Salesforce administrator role?
Get your Salesforce Administrator certification
I'm not particularly advocating for you to pass the Salesforce admin certification exam so you can brag about it on social media.
It's more so for you to truly study the material and know it.
Take some Salesforce administrator training
If you don't know, Trailhead is the official Salesforce resource for learning anything about the platform.
If your current company will sponsor it, you can also take some instructor led training courses on specific Salesforce concepts that will give you a leg up on