The Salesforce Admin, Sandra Bullock and The Blind Side

The Blind Side staring Sandra Bullock, provides us with a concept we need to review with the Salesforce Admin, The Blind Side. Another common example would be a driver’s blind spot. This is that mysteries section that is so close to you that you can touch it but uniquely positioned you can see it. In the Blind Side, we learn about the backside of the quarterback, opposite of their throwing direction where they are not able to see what is coming at them. Sandra Bullock would come to adopt a young man, Michael Oher; that eventually became a professional football player with the Baltimore Ravens. In this true story, Michael was positioned as an offensive tackle and his role was to protect the blind side of the quarterback.  Likewise, the Salesforce Admin is positioned strategically in a business and with the role of protecting the blind side of Salesforce.

Salesforce Admin

Here are some tips gleaned from Sandra Bullock’s performance in The Blind Side to will help the Salesforce Admin.

Tip 1: The Salesforce Admin knows their role

When you don’t know your role then your position has less impact and requires others to compensate and take on more than they need to. The Salesforce Admin is positioned to execute quickly, you are agile and directly impact the business flow. Your role in executing this position requires you to ensure data process validation, improve data quality, drive user adoption, install AppExchange apps to increase productivity and implement a governance policy.

There are 11 active position in football and within a corporation you have many more. The Salesforce Admin may play various positions depending on the department they reside in but their role is always the same, protect the Salesforce environment.

Speaking of positions, the Salesforce Admin may have a full time role before acquiring Salesforce. This may be a Sales Ops position, a Marketing Analysis or a Service Manager. In some cases, there’s a dedicated position for the Salesforce Admin which can take on various names. You may have Business Application Manager, CRM Manager, Business Operations, etc. Corporations have a hard time defining this position and title but that shouldn’t discourage you. Salesforce was built for the business unit and the department that pays for the licenses or most of them usually will get rights to the Salesforce Admin, again this is only the position.

 

Tip 2: The Salesforce Admin knows their teammates

As Salesforce Admin it’s critical not only to know the business unit you directly serve but the outliers that you will begin to interact with as business processes mature. The Salesforce Admin should engage and investigate areas to grow a higher return on the investment. This requires getting out of the seat and onto your feet. Putting the shoe on the other feet will give you a better appreciate for the rep making or taking calls or to the manager that is crunched between the executive team and their team.

When you can connect the human side to the business you positively impact the environment you serve. You will gain valuable appreciation that promotes mutual respect. A good practice for this is to attend team meetings for the departments that are active users. Sit with a user and watch how they use Salesforce and what they do outside of Salesforce. You can also conduct lunch and learns. It is important to be visible as much as it is to be available.

“Remember, teamwork begins by building trust. And the only way to do that is to overcome our need for invulnerability.” –Patrick Lencioni

 

Tip 3: The Salesforce Admin knows their community

It is very import for the Salesforce Admin to interact within the community. There are two main areas to explore, the local user group and the vertical user group community on-line. The local user group will give you the opportunity to connect with fellow administrators with various levels of expertise. You will be able to preview application vendors (ISV’s) that have products that integrate with Salesforce. It is important to re-inforce attending these meetings with your management as a method of career growth and increasing the awareness of how to improve your instance of Salesforce for all users.

In addition to these communities, you can also attend a developer group typically found on the local meet-up site. For the ladies, you also have an opportunity to join Girly Geeks. You will find a wealth of information joining these communities that you would not have access to otherwise. It’s important to note communities around release notes and specific products (Communities, Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud, and Service Cloud) give you advice with product managers and industry leaders in their field.

Connecting to these communities allows the Salesforce Admin to stay in front of what is coming or what experiences others are having, best practices and how to resolve issues. This access and knowledge will help the Salesforce Admin prevent the Blind Side from having a negative impact in their organization.

Remember, Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life” Confucius

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