What Is A Salesforce Administrator? (Duties And Skills)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 3 January 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Salesforce is a commonly used customer relationship management (CRM) tool. For any organisation that uses Salesforce CRM, a Salesforce administrator is critical to maximising the usage of the tool. If you are looking to make a career as a Salesforce administrator, understanding what the role is and what you can do to become a Salesforce administrator is important. In this article, we answer the question, "What is a Salesforce administrator?", explore what their duties are, and review the steps and certifications you can take to become a Salesforce administrator.

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What is a Salesforce administrator?

If you are considering a career in client management, you may wonder, "What is a Salesforce administrator?". A Salesforce administrator typically looks after the Salesforce implementation for any organisation and helps all the users use the CRM tool properly. A Salesforce administrator works with different stakeholders throughout the various levels of an organisation, helps in defining the requirements and then works on customising the tool as per the requirements. Essentially, the Salesforce administrator works to ensure that the platform is working well to suit the company's goals and requirements.

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What does a Salesforce administrator do?

The role of a Salesforce administrator is to maintain the Salesforce CRM implementation for an organisation. They ensure that users across all levels of the organisation are able to use the tool as effectively as possible. A Salesforce administrator usually handles the technical side of things and let only the CRM side of operations go to the end-users. They also keep themselves updated with any new features or updates launched for Salesforce CRM. This helps them keep their organisations' Salesforce implementation up-to-date with the latest capabilities and functionalities.

A Salesforce administrator often performs the following duties:

  • manage and maintain the Salesforce implementation for an organisation

  • customise the Salesforce platform as per the requirements of the users

  • train the new employees on the platform's capabilities and features

  • keep the Salesforce implementations updated with the latest releases as per company requirements

  • manage user accounts and handle issues like locked user accounts or resetting user passwords

  • handle single-sign-on and two-factor authentication problems

  • help teams and users generate efficient reports to be able to visualise the data properly

  • fix incorrect or duplicate data records

  • manage data quality and user adoption dashboards to ensure the effective usage of the tool

  • handle the deactivation of users for employees that may leave an organisation or may not require access to Salesforce data

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How to become a Salesforce administrator

Here are the steps you can take to become a Salesforce administrator:

1. Build a basic understanding of the CRM platform

Build an understanding of what CRM tools are and understand the basic features of the Salesforce CRM. You can learn about the basic features of the platform through various online tutorials available on the subject. These tutorials are mostly available free of cost and provide in-depth information.

Salesforce also offers a free subscription to their platform for a single user. You can use this subscription plan to explore the different functionalities of the platform. Using the actual platform and trying different functions and tools typically helps understand the platform. This enables you to get an understanding of what exactly you may be doing.

2. Prepare for the certification exam

To showcase your capabilities as a Salesforce administrator, you can prepare for the Salesforce Certified Administrator certification exam. Salesforce conducts this exam throughout the year and you can opt for an online or an offline exam. You can prepare for this certification exam using the different online tutorials and study material available. This exam typically takes around 120 hours of study and preparation.

You may also choose to prepare for the other Salesforce certification exams that focus on different aspects of the platform. These certifications may help you showcase your expertise in the specific areas of Salesforce technology. These certifications may help you advance your career and achieve higher positions or promotions in your job.

3. Gain experience through internships or live projects

Once you have built a basic understanding of the CRM platform and passed your certification exam, you can start working as a Salesforce administrator. You may start by working on small implementations or assisting some experienced administrators through internships or live projects. This usually helps you gain useful experience and a practical understanding of the role. You can also work on some small freelance projects to gain experience. Working on such projects may also give you an opportunity to earn some money on the side, in addition to earning invaluable experience.

Career opportunities for Salesforce administrators

Once you get your Salesforce administrator certification, you can use your knowledge and expertise to supplement your existing role in addition to choosing to work as a dedicated Salesforce administrator. Salesforce CRM finds applications across many industries today, and if your organisation uses Salesforce, then you can use your Salesforce expertise in a variety of ways.

Suppose your organisation is a small one, and they do not have a dedicated Salesforce administrator. In that case, you may offer to perform the role as an added responsibility and secure a higher salary in the process. If your organisation has a dedicated Salesforce administrator, you may use your expertise to become your team's or your department's point of contact for all matters related to Salesforce.

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Salesforce administrator certifications

There are a number of certifications that can help you advance your career as a Salesforce administrator. Below are the major ones:

Salesforce Certified Administrator

This certification helps you demonstrate that you understand the basics of Salesforce CRM. It may also mean you know all the tools and features of the platform. A Salesforce certified administrator certification typically shows you can efficiently work as a Salesforce administrator.

Salesforce Certified Advanced Administrator

This certification usually helps you advance your career after you have been working as a Salesforce administrator for some time. It may also help demonstrate your understanding of all the features of the platform at an advanced level. Having this certification may help you secure senior positions at an organisation. This certification may also help you advance into team lead positions after working as a contributor.

Salesforce Certified CPQ Specialist

Salesforce CPQ stands for configure, price and quote. Sales teams primarily use this feature, and it helps demonstrate your expertise in building and implementing quotation flows. This certification may help you secure a position that requires Salesforce administration extensively for sales teams.

Salesforce Certified Marketing Cloud Administrator

This certification helps you demonstrate your expertise in managing the Salesforce Marketing Cloud. This certification may be useful when you are applying for positions where the primary focus of Salesforce implementations is to manage marketing campaigns and user data management. Salesforce certified marketing cloud administrators often help organisations with their marketing efforts using Salesforce CRM.

Salesforce Certified Platform App Builder

This certification helps you showcase your expertise in customising the Salesforce platform. Having this certification may help you secure a position at organisations where the primary focus is to build custom Salesforce applications to suit the requirements of the various departments or the whole organisation.

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How to prepare for the certification exams

Here are the steps you can take to prepare for your Salesforce certification exams:

1. Prepare using the online study material

Salesforce offers exhaustive study material for all their certification exams. You can prepare for your Salesforce certified administrator exam using this study material and the different online tutorials available. Most of this study material is available free of cost.

2. Practice the hands-on exercises

Along with the online study material available, make sure you practice the hands-on exercises too. These exercises help you test your understanding of the concepts and ensure you are able to understand the real-world applications of the concepts. This knowledge is usually beneficial during the exam.

3. Practice with demo exams

Once you have completed your preparation, you can practice a few demo exams to ensure you are exam-ready. These exams help you understand and visualise the actual exam scenario, and you also get an opportunity to test yourself properly. You can find out which areas of the exam you require more preparation in and can then focus on those areas better to be absolutely ready for your exam.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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