If you’ve made the decision to adopt Salesforce, one of the most important questions to consider is who’s going to manage your new CRM environment.

Ideally, your Salesforce Administrator is a creative, analytical problem-solver who can lead discovery sessions, document new processes or requests and manage the implementation of requirements. Administrators often have other duties that include running analytics, maintaining data integrity, training new or existing users and day-to-day troubleshooting. There are several options for the Administrator role depending on the size of your organization and the number of users. You can hire a part-time Administrator, full-time Administrator, or restructure your team so an existing team member steps into the role.

In many small organizations, an existing team member who is already wearing two (or more) hats adds the Salesforce Administrator role to their plate. We get why this happens and sometimes, it can work! However, it’s important to select someone whose existing skills complement the position. Asking someone to step into this role without a basic understanding is like asking your handyman dad to handle your plumbing. He might be able to get it done, but it’s possible you’ll lose your kitchen sink in the process! At the same time, you don’t necessarily want to hire a full-time plumber for your house. If you’re a smaller NGO or school with a straightforward implementation to manage and a small number of users, there’s often no need to hire a full time Administrator. 

Deciding to hire a part-time, full-time, external, or a current colleague as your Administrator is contingent on the size and complexity of your future or current CRM environment. When choosing your Administrator, you first need to address a couple of questions about your organization:

  • How complex is your future environment? If your Administrator will be responsible for managing integrations, large amounts of custom configuration, third party apps, and custom processes, then you’ll most likely need someone in a full-time position who has proven experience as a large environment Administrator.
  • How soon do you need someone? Whether your implementation is close to completion or just starting, know that even an experienced externally hired Administrator will need time to get comfortable with your organization’s processes, team, requirements, etc. When possible, it’s beneficial to hire someone at the beginning of the implementation versus at the end. 
  • How many CRM users do you have? If you have a large organization with many users, the Administrator will dedicate a significant portion of their time responding to requests and managing processes. 
  • How many new projects are on the horizon? Do you anticipate adding teams and processes to your org? If you know you’re going to expand functionality, dedicating a full-time resource to manage your CRM may be the best decision. 
  • What is the state of your CRM? Are you starting fresh or are you working with an existing org that has many legacy processes and large amounts of data? If you’re starting with a new org, small org or straightforward implementation, it’s more likely you can get away with a part-time Administrator or existing team member who learns the ropes and dedicates part of their workload to managing your CRM.

Placing the wrong person in this imperative role may cost you and your team valuable time, energy, and funds. When possible, take the time and consideration needed to gather a strong internal and external candidate pool. Check out this article to learn what skills you should prioritize when selecting the right candidate.

Remember that a rockstar Administrator is part of a rockstar team. You may need expertise in architecting and developing your environment. You’ll likely need developers and solution architects to make sure your technology transformation has a pragmatic plan and roadmap. That’s where consultants like us come in; we’re the experts that can provide the guidance you need for a successful initiative. Reach out! We’re happy to assist in determining if you need a full-time Administrator or, if you can train up your existing team.

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