It’s no secret Salesforce administrators, Sales/Service Ops professionals with Salesforce experience, and Salesforce developers are in high demand. Working as a consultant and doing my fair amount of job searching over the years i’ve noticed finding talent is only the beginning of the challenge for organizations as many fail to keep admins for very long. Analyzing this problem through consulting engagements, I noticed organizations are often not prepared to hire, manage, or measure the amount of support they may need from a Salesforce admin. The resulting scenario can be pretty dreadful not only for the organization but also for the resource they have hired. Luckily, there are some steps you can take to make this experience more pleasant for your employee as well as your organization.
Common Causes of Resource Churn
Salesforce recommends the thresholds to the right in terms of a ratio between users & admins. Its important to note there is not a “perfect” formula for this as every organization is different. I’ve seen overworked admins in organizations with less than 25 users as well as organizations who were trying to push support for over 100 users through 1 admin. Just like any function of your organization, there is a limit for how much one resource can handle.
Salesforce can quickly become a detractor for your business rather than an enabler if best practices aren’t followed. This often isn’t the fault of the resource, but rather a symptom of lack of experience. You’d be amazed at how far someone can get before a destructive data model or bad practice becomes noticeable. So often things can look great for a year or two, then quickly spiral out of control. Before you know it you could be looking at thousands, or tens of thousands of dollars of technical debt and a resource that has abandoned the mess they’ve created. The blame here should not fall on the resource, but rather the organization for not providing enough support or resources to make them successful.
If you haven’t realized it yet, i’m pretty confident your Salesforce resource is constantly getting bombarded with opportunities to work somewhere else. Salesforce skills are in high demand and they have been for years now. I truly believe most individuals want to enjoy where they work, but if the price tag is high enough employees will consider the leap – I’ve seen wage increases in the 20%, 30%, and even 40%+ ranges. Unfortunately, you will not be able to compete with every organization in terms compensation, but you can actively get out in front of this by building a healthy dialogue. Like I said before, money isn’t everything, but, if someone is going to give up money they often need something in return (work from home, opportunities for growth, recognition, etc).
These scenarios are not independent of one another. I’ve seen and worked with individuals who were overworked, inexperienced, as well as underpaid. It’s tough to retain talent with any of these scenarios in play, but if all three exist? Yikes.
Steps that can help you retain talent
Lets start with the uncomfortable truth; no matter what you do you will not always be able to keep your talent. That is business. You have to be prepared to deal with that, and if a resource leaves the steps below will still help you hire and manage the new resource whether it be a full time employee, consultancy, or freelancer.
The Overworked: Avoid Feedback and Request Overload
Like many things Salesforce, this is a human process problem and not a technology problem. Just like any other function they need the ability to prioritize, set goals, and meet expectations. Its important to realize not all Salesforce resources have experience building this type of process, and their experience may only lie within Salesforce product knowledge. If your admin is not walking into an established process for management of tasks/projects, you need to build this with them before they hit the ground running.
In a previous article I wrote about building a Feedback App where I address the need for a compiling user feedback, scheduling reviews of feedback and also scheduling releases of approved configurations. This is only part of the equation, you need to be able to manage the UI, integration projects, strategic processes, etc. Once you have a system in place to prioritize objectives and manage feedback you’ll have a healthy system to track your admins utilization.
The Overworked: Make knowledge acquisition part of the Job
If your Salesforce resource is green you may need some support making sure they are picking up necessary skills to perform at a high level. Luckily Salesforce has varying resources both paid and free that can help with education. From a paid certification track with guided courses, to free trailhead courses and badges there are plenty of avenues to continue refining skills. Working with a consultancy or freelancer to mentor your employee is not a bad idea either. The knowledge your resource will be able to bring back to the organization will not only outweigh the cost of continuing education and rewards, but can result in innovation that drives business results. Pushing your Salesforce resource to continuously roll out features or functionality they do not fully understand can negatively impact their experience as an employee as well as your organizations data health long term. I’ve witnessed many resources leave organizations in seek of roles where they can be developed and mentored, if they can’t have that experience at your organization because they are working solo, they need to be encouraged to participate in the community Salesforce has created.
The Underpaid: Rewards & Wants
Above we addressed managing your employees workload as well as how to encourage them to continuously improve. If they perform well and meet expectations, do you think they should be rewarded? If they are learning new skills that can benefit the business, do you think they should be rewarded?
Does your employee prefer to work from home often? Are they motivated by some other incentive, or the companies overall mission? Compensation doesn’t have to only be a monetary exchange, especially with Salesforce resources who have lived the horror of being in a unmanageable role. It’s shocking to have say this but: Liking your job and being treated fairly is being underrated from what i’ve seen in this Salesforce market. If you can tap into a solid rewards based compensation plan, as well as delivering a healthy work environment you can compete “above” your weight class in terms of pay when hiring a resource.
Avoid the Revolving Door
The above suggestions can dramatically change the way you look at your Salesforce resource. As we all know, silence and obedience doesn’t always mean someone is content in their current position. If you aren’t getting feedback from your employee and any of the three items above sound like something your Salesforce resource might be experiencing its never too late to put processes in place in attempt to right the ship. If you ignore the topics above you could end up with a never ending revolving door.
If you are having issues with your sale operations process, give us a call. We can help you build out a process that works for your company.