Chapter 6

Beyond app building

Being a Salesforce admin can be lonely at times. You know what helps? Finding a community of people working to solve the same problems as you. More likely than not, someone else has tried to do what you’re doing and would love to help. In the Salesforce community, there’s no such thing as a stupid question!

Here are some places you can go to seek answers, share solutions, or simply connect with people like you.

Trailblazer Community. Learn Salesforce best practices, collaborate with other users, or find a user group in your area. And don’t miss the IdeaExchange, a place for suggesting new Salesforce features.

Skuid Community. Connect with Skuid users by asking questions, sharing ideas, and helping others.

AppHacks. Join us on YouTube Live each month as we interview Salesforce MVPs, champions, and admins. Learn about the latest tech trends, app building, design tips, and more.

Building consensus and driving better outcomes

A big part of your job is serving two groups with different goals: executives and end users. In order to build consensus and achieve organizational goals, you need to speak each group’s language.

Learn how executives prefer you communicate with them and use that style in meetings. Hint: think big picture. Be prepared to interpret the data in terms that resonate with the C-level. They’ll want to know how what you’re doing meets high-level business objectives and produces a return on investment.

As for end users, you must go into the weeds. Serving their needs requires you thoroughly understand how they accomplish work. Be prepared to ask lots of questions.

What are their most critical daily tasks? How can you help them achieve them with as few clicks and interruptions as possible? How can you adapt your Salesforce instance to serve their unique needs? Custom apps, interfaces, and dashboards will support your teams and drive better business outcomes.

Another way to achieve success? Embrace and engage all types of users. Ask them to be part of system changes and solicit their feedback constantly. Understanding all angles of the user experience and building apps with diversity in mind are critical to developing great apps.

Along those lines, McKinsey & Company found that “diverse teams have been shown to be

more likely to radically innovate and anticipate shifts in consumer needs and consumption patterns—helping their companies to gain a competitive edge.” Your work will benefit from different experiences, perspectives, and skills. 

And the most important piece of advice we can offer is this: ask “why” all the time. You’ll learn a lot and so will your stakeholders.

On building the right experience for your clients 

Don’t be afraid to ask, "Why? What's the root cause? What am I solving for?” Because if you work with a client and they say, "This is how we do it today," and you're just cookie-cutter building that into Salesforce, you may be replicating a problem. 

You want to understand the business needs. That gives you the opportunity to build a better mousetrap. Otherwise, you just made the same mousetrap and it may not be scalable, reportable, or it may not have the flexibility that you need. That's not to say that you can ever future-proof a solution for 20 years out. But hopefully, given enough time and budget, you can solve that need by asking why and actually build a better solution.

Shell Black

Salesforce MVP Hall of Fame and President at

Build better, for free.

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