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The Document Every Salesforce Admin Should Create

Test time.  Don’t worry, it’s a one question test.

Do you have any documentation for your Salesforce Org?

If you answered no, drop what you’re doing right now and read this blog, then spend 1 hour executing.  You’ll thank yourself later. So what am I getting on my high horse about?  Here’s the story.  In the past few months, I’ve talked to more Salesforce admins than I have in the past year and I’m noticing a trend.  Many of them do not have any significant documentation or plan for their Salesforce org.  They often reach out to me and ask for help with services or a project.  When I ask if there’s any existing identification of stakeholders, goals, or problems, the answer is no.

I’m saying, let’s do this now.  Make it take no more than an hour.  If you get stuck, move on and figure out the details later.

1. Know Your Users.

The fancy term is “stakeholder groups”.  What parts of the business are using Salesforce currently, and who could be using it in the future.  For each group, write the following:

Group Name:

  • Security privileges
  • What do they need Salesforce for
  • Who’s in charge
  • Group’s goals
  • Group’s challenges

Here’s an example.

Group name:  Marketing

Security privileges:  CRUD on Lead, Account, Contact, Campaign, R on Opportunity.  Non-Administrators in Salesforce, Admin of Pardot.

What do they need Salesforce for:  Manage leads, send mass emails, review campaign ROI

Who’s in charge:  Mary Swanson

Group’s goals:  Qualify 10,000 leads in 2014

Group’s challenges: Maintaining data quality.  Training new recruits.

2. Know Your Pain Points

Huh, pain?  Yeah.  The things that are annoying, inefficient, and all around discourage you and your users from reaching their full potential.  I’m bringing this up because it’s good to know what’s irking people, and also sometimes it’s easy to find some quick wins.  Some examples:

Account Hierarchy UI requires too many clicks

Activities need their tab

Hard to manage email attachments for the support teams

Reporting on all the leads takes too long

3. What are your goals (and your boss’s goals)?

3 Month:

Deduplicate Lead/Contact/Account Data

Train support department on web to case

6 Month:

Get test coverage up to 80%

Launch Pardot for marketing team

Expand Salesforce to support team

12 Month:

Get Forecasting implemented for sales team

Calculate commissions out of Salesforce

So what is all this for?

Having this document accomplishes a few things.  First, it forces you to think and ask questions.  The writing should be fast and easy, keep it informal.  Go talk to people.  Find out why people use Salesforce.  What are your users’ pain points, and what are your personal goals for administrating your Salesforce org.  Doing something big requires planning, sometimes years of it.  This document will just help you start thinking big, and get some buy in.  It’ll make you a hero to your boss, and should you find yourself working with consultants, having this document written up front can assure you that they understand the lay of the land, and even knock out a few pain points as a bonus.

Bottom line, at some point things need to get written down.  Writing things down creates the basis for organization and improvement.  From the information contained within this document, you’ve now got a roadmap for your Salesforce org, know your users better, and know a few things that might put a smile on their faces.