Salesforce Administrators are generally considered the gate-keepers of CRM. Admins know that in a perfect world, there will be Salesforce documentation, and that said documentation will always be current. And in that perfect world, all users will be properly trained in the most effective ways to do their jobs. Most Admins realize that a perfect world rarely exists, so they focus on things that matter the most: data integrity; management reporting; users having proper data access; and giving users the tools needed to do their jobs. So what’s missing from that short list? Documentation and training. Here’s four reasons why you should not overlook the importance of both.
Who Does What?
“It’s not my job.” “That’s not in my job description.”
How many times do you hear those phrases when you ask people for help? I hope it’s very few, but I suspect with today’s fast pace, you hear that more often then we both want to admit., that is, when people actually take time to respond at all. A lack of response is, in my opinion, a response just the same. It’s simply one more way a person can tell you that what you are asking isn’t something they can support or help with.
If you document nothing else about your CRM implementation, be sure to document which roles are responsible for what functions, so its clear to everyone who does what.
Who Sees What
Understanding your data model is also an important piece in the CRM puzzle. For Administrators, that almost comes naturally. The goal of documentation is bigger that than, however. Documentation should be strong and detailed enough so that an organization can still function without their CRM Administrator, at least for a limited time period. End users are typically very good at their specific tasks, and some have the ability take on some Admin tasks, so making sure you have a concise document explaining the data model, and all the various roles and profiles, will help with continuity should your Admin be off the grid for a bit.
It’s always better to have your Salesforce documentation in order before you need it, even if it’s simply a quick outline highlighting the key points. As Salesforce MVP, Dale Ziegler put it, “Even documents called ‘here’s how we did that’ and ‘here’s how to do stuff’ are better than nothing!”
Why Did We Do That?
One major reason why Salesforce documentation is so important is that we are all human. Sometimes our memories fail. In a recent conversation with Salesforce MVP, Adam Olshansky, he said, “It’s never fun to be confused about what some functionality is doing, or worse, creating duplicate functionality because there was no description for the existing configuration. Documentation will save you time in the long run! Your future admin (and possibly your future self) will thank you later!”
While it seems like it may be counter-productive to progress at the time you are writing documentation, the future value of the time you are saving your organization is well worth the investment. Just remember, as you make improvements in your processes, as you build out more functionality in your CRM, be sure your documentation keeps pace and gets updated.
Salesforce MVP, Leyna Hoffer explains, “Documenting your instance of Salesforce is never complete. It is an ongoing labor of love. Incorrect documentation is almost worse than no documentation at all so be sure yours is up-to-date.”
Does it Ever End?
On-the-job training. For some roles, this means you learn how to do something one time, then you spend your working hours doing that one task over and over again. For other roles, on-the-job training is just the start. As more businesses take advantage of advances in technology, the human interface with that technology is constantly changing, which requires a certain level of continuous training. For most, if not all organizations, money doesn’t grow on trees and the training budget has limitations. A great place to start when training CRM users is to show them self service resources so they can get things done without having to know it all!
CRM Admins face the same challenges with technology that users do, and very likely bigger ones, simply because the Admin role exists to not just administer the CRM system, but also to drive organizational efficiency and process improvements that could impact everyone at your company. So don’t overlook the value of training for CRM Admins too.
Regardless of the path you are, take training seriously, and consider training is a journey, not a destination. Make it a goal to learn one new thing every day!