Stephanie Herrera is a Salesforce MVP and a Global VP at Computer Futures. She’s also the founder and leader of Salesforce Saturday, a group for anyone who wants to grow their Salesforce skill set and career in a community environment.
In this guest blog post, Stephanie shares how Salesforce admins can level up in their careers.
Anyone remember this fitting meme that was circulating last year?
Who led your digital transformation?
- Your CEO
- Your CTO
For most companies it was COVID. And before the pandemic, there was already a huge demand for Salesforce talent who could help drive these transformations.
Since then, the need has become even greater. Given the Salesforce acquisition of Slack, more people are using the system and there’s not enough admins out there to support these users.
I’ve always thought of Salesforce like a Ferrari. It’s a powerful machine, but without enough people who know how to drive the car, you’ve got kids behind the wheel.
This long-standing gap in our industry is what drove me to get heavily involved in skilling up our Salesforce community and what also prompted me to join Computer Futures, a specialist technology recruitment company. We create partnerships between businesses seeking talent and highly skilled professionals looking for jobs.
I’m the Global VP of the Salesforce Practice there and I also founded Salesforce Saturday, a group open to anyone who wants to grow their Salesforce skills and careers within a community environment for free. We now have 60 chapters globally. I’m also a co-founder and board member for PepUp Tech and a board member for Merivis and Computer Futures.
As you can see, there’s a common thread where I spend my working hours and my free time. Given my experience in this space, I know there are so many people in today’s workforce who have the business acumen and the skills to accelerate digital transformation. We just need to make space for these people and help them rise in our Salesforce ecosystem.
If you want to help solve this problem and set yourself apart as a Salesforce admin, then this post is for you.
Stand out from the crowd by leveling up
The days of simply being a doer as a Salesforce admin are over.
It’s not enough to just create fields and manage users and permissions because these are the kind of tasks that an entry-level person should be doing. Today, admins need to be learning how to become developers and solution architects, too. Those are just a few of the different options you have, and there are many more available to you.
So, if you’ve been in the Salesforce ecosystem for more than two years—truly working hands-on and full-time in a Salesforce org—guess what? YOU are the expert. And if you don't have an entry-level admin or an entry-level developer on your team, it’s time to make that happen.
Then once you’ve gotten proficient in managing those people, set your sights on becoming a Salesforce manager or director.
I’m always hearing from companies that need a director, but they can’t find anyone to fill the role. So, I encourage you to take the next step and work on growing into these positions.
When I was an admin, my manager took me to all his meetings so I could learn the job and how to interact with stakeholders. It really helped me understand what the business needs and HOW to engage with my stakeholders.
If you’re a senior-level admin, the business has hired you to be proactive and solve problems, and it’s actually your job to stay out of the weeds. Consider shadowing your manager too, so you can better understand how to get to the next level.
Once you build a team of your own, you’ll learn training, people management, problem solving, and leadership skills that will help you own your Salesforce instance.
And once that happens, you drive the roadmap and make the decisions, which is only going to benefit your career and the careers of the others coming up behind you in our Salesforce ecosystem. How is that, you ask? Keep reading.
Stand out from the crowd by owning your org
Today we have too many Salesforce instances owned by people who don't know how Salesforce works.
As the experienced admin for your company, you’re already doing the work to understand your org. So, why not own and drive the decisions, too? By doing so, you’re giving your users the best possible Salesforce experience because you know what you’re doing.
Another benefit of owning your Salesforce instance? You can make the hiring decisions. I know because I’ve done just that. You could be bringing new talent into the ecosystem a lot faster because you understand what needs to be done.
And when you’re confidently in charge of the org, you’ve removed the middleman from the process. That’s exactly what our community needs to be doing to level everyone up.
If this sounds both exciting and intimidating, think about what I like to call the "Karate Kid method”—just like Daniel, you have the skills already; you just don’t know it. Believe it or not, if you’re actively involved in the community and attending groups like Salesforce Saturday and truly participating, you already have the skills to own your own org, problem solve, and engage with your stakeholders successfully.
Besides, if you choose to remain stagnant in your role, you’re leaving money (and career growth) on the table.
So, take advantage of the abundant resources in the ecosystem. Use Trailhead and attend events and user groups. We've got Salesforce Saturdays taking place everywhere all over the world.
I and other leaders in the Salesforce community have been in your shoes and we can show you how to take the next step—all you need to do is get engaged. The best part is it doesn't have to cost you a penny; all you have to do is show up, learn, and then do.
Plus, we’ll help you learn about more than just the technical aspects of your job. We’ll teach you how to manage your career, be a leader, and turn tough decisions into easy ones.
Remember that your past doesn’t have to define your present. The opportunities within the Salesforce ecosystem are endless and you can blaze whatever path you like. I look forward to seeing what you’ll do!
Want to hear more advice for Salesforce admins? Check out our AppHacks sessions where we interview MVPs, champions, and admins about the latest tech trends in app building, design tips, and so much more!