Back That SaaS Up: A Key Top Tip for Detroit-Area Salesforce Admins

I was recently in Ann Arbor to help lead the “Top Tips for Salesforce Admins” discussion at the Detroit Salesforce User Group. My partner in educational outreach was Kevin Edelmann, Principal Cloud Success Technologist with salesforce.com…and boy, did we have fun! Kevin and I led “Circle of Success” discussions with two different groups of admins. Since there’s no “one size fits all” top tips for a room full of Admins with different orgs, experience levels, and interests, we turned it into a working session on how to ensure a tip is worthy of your time.

Here’s some of what we covered:

  • Defining what makes a tip “good”
  • The taxonomy of tips – people, processes, tools / tech, and data
  • Great resources for info / answers
  • “User Group Therapy” – what tips would be most helpful

It was a great session, with lots of shared ideas, but I think the tip with the most value for the discussion group was “how to use reporting to promote yourself.”

Top Tip 1: How an Admin Can Show Their Value to Their Organization

Before we went through the presentation (you can find it here), I posed a question: “How many of you are asked to participate regularly in executive-level planning and strategy meetings?” Only about 10% of the participants in either group raised their hands.

The reason I asked was simple: the more an Admin develops dashboards and reporting customized to show trends (and enable drill-down) for the exact KPIs upper management cares about, the more valuable the Admin is to their organization. When an Admin develops custom reporting, dashboarding, and analytics, executives will find value in their participation in management team meetings, because questions always arise about the data underlying analytics.

Those dashboards designed to share insights into what your executives care about make a Salesforce Admin invaluable to their organization. But few Admins know that, when they build those reports and dashboard, their work is not captured in the Weekly Export. That’s when we discussed another important tip – back that SaaS up with a third-party solution like Spanning Backup for Salesforce!

Top Tip 2: Preserve Your Value, and Back That SaaS Up!

The Weekly Export is a good start on protecting Salesforce data, but it’s incomplete. The Admins at the Detroit Salesforce User Group learned that it’s not enough to be an #awesomeadmin and build the reporting their organization needs – they need to protect themselves and their value by backing up those customizations and reports.

When it comes to the taxonomy of tips, this one covers all facets:

  • People – Even the best Admin can have a bad “oops” moment and permanently delete an item.
  • Processes – Daily automated backup that’s “set it and forget it” easy saves precious time, and it’s faster to restore from Spanning Backup than the Weekly Export.
  • Tools / Tech – Technology should enable “a better way,” and that’s what Spanning Backup for Salesforce does.
  • Data – It’s as important when thinking of data to consider metadata; the Salesforce Weekly Export doesn’t preserve metadata (customizations), but Spanning does.

As Kevin Edelmann reminded our participants, “The Weekly Export isn’t going to protect your Salesforce customizations” – you need to back that SaaS up!


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