September 17 by Conga

Everyone is different, Salesforce administrators and business users especially.

Both parties love the power of the Salesforce platform, but they clearly speak two separate languages. Salesforce admins know the in’s and out’s of the platform and see everything with technical considerations in mind. Business users on the other hand, are experts on the company’s respective product and know how Salesforce can benefit their processes. One group loves the technology, and the other loves the product.

Does this problem sound familiar? If you’re a Saleforce admin or business user utilizing the Salesforce platform, you may be accustomed to these complications. However, there is no need to worry, aligning is much easier than you’d expect.

1. Have a Plan: This may sound like an obvious factor, but it is one that many people overlook or underestimate. Have the same vision then figure out how to reach it. Map out a super, clear and transparent plan with action items and deliverables that directly affect how your Salesforce admin team and business users will utilize the platform, but also reflect what your company is trying to achieve. Leave a buffer for changing plans as expectations or realities are often subject to change. A core part of mapping out an effective plan is enabling it to be flexible and agile enough to adjust to any type of situation –
both expected and unexpected.

2. Keep the Team Updated: Another important aspect to keep in mind is to ALWAYS update each respective team on progress for any project. Full visibility and complete communication among the entire team is critical. Here are some tips on how to achieve this:

Shared planning docs: Document every step of a project so that anyone can refer back to it if any questions or confusion comes up. It will not only keep you on track to reach your goal, but it can also help adhere to the plan that you’ve put in place. Keep everyone up to date with on-going documentation.

Chatter: There is no better way to move a project along than interaction in real-time. if there are enough people that you need to frequently communicate with on a certain project, then it might be beneficial to create a Chatter group
to host your various discussions.

Even though planning docs and Chatter are terrific tools, it is always best practice to meet and collaborate in person as well. If you have a large team, then in-person meetings on a consistent basis is a must.

3. Talk in Actions, Not Just History: Be sure your hard work and team efforts are being highlighted with your desired results. Be proactive and see early warnings into overall revenue issues that are impacting your business – whether its coming from rogue discounting, poor communication from contract negotiations, or more. Sync with your revenue teams over financial models to understand your Salesforce data and the information that your dashboards are showing. You can also set up gamification features and utilize sales incentives to influence revenue.

4. Know Your Team’s Strengths: As a Salesforce Admin, you should make a conscious effort to spend some time with your business users. This is a great way to really understand the process and if it is working for your organizations. It also helps you determine how much training is needed for your team, enabling you to plan out how you can limit any confusion. You should define your process, make sure its comprehensive, it aligns with your systems, it’s easy to understand, and that all of the necessary people are properly trained and prepared.
5. Make it Easy to Update: Empower your users by making it easy for them to update fields within Salesforce. Users do not want to fill out every single field that you put in front of them. Be selective and strategic in setting up your instance in Salesforce, and remember to understand their goals and objectives, as well as their frustrations. Keeping things simple for them will inevitably make it easier on you.

6. Make it About the Big Stuff: Don’t forget why you are even working on aligning your teams in the first place – make sure your projects will make an impact. Do everything with your end goal in mind. Ask yourself – is it really going to make a difference? Will it get executive attention and support? What are the opportunity costs? Don’t be myopic or short-term. Think about the bigger picture and how your projects and efforts to align your admins and business users will help your business years down the road.

Salesforce Admins and the end business users don’t need live in their own separate silos. Admins and users may speak different languages, but that doesn’t mean both teams can’t work fluently together.

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