What does a Salesforce specialist do?
A Salesforce specialist wears many hats during the lifetime of a project. Below, we have listed the various phases of a project, what is involved and the typical activities that a Salesforce specialist will undertake.
Discovery and scoping
A Salesforce Discovery and Scoping
exercise is a phase that is used to identify the goals, objectives, and requirements for a Salesforce project. The purpose of this exercise is to ensure that the project is well-defined and that all stakeholders have a clear understanding of what needs to be accomplished.
The purpose of a Salesforce requirements gathering exercise is to identify and document the specific needs and requirements for a Salesforce project. The outcome of the exercise is a clear and agreed-upon set of requirements that can be used as a guide for the rest of the implementation process.
Analysis and design
The purpose of a Salesforce analysis and design phase is to evaluate and plan the details of a Salesforce project based on the identified requirements and business needs. This process involves analysing the requirements, developing a design for the project, and creating a detailed plan for implementation. The outcome of the exercise is a clear and agreed-upon plan for the project, which includes a timeline, budget estimate, and other details.
The purpose of the Salesforce solution build phase is to develop and implement the solution that was designed during the analysis and design phase. This involves configuring the Salesforce platform and any 3rd party applications to ensure that the solution meets the requirements and business needs.
The purpose of the Salesforce testing phase is to ensure that the solution meets the necessary requirements and standards, and that it is ready to be deployed and used by the client. This phase is critical to the success of the project, as it helps ensure that the solution is reliable and meets the needs of the end users.
The outcome of the testing phase should be a fully tested and validated solution that is ready to be deployed to production. Any issues or bugs that are identified during testing should be addressed before the solution is deployed.
The purpose of the user training
phase is to educate end users on how to use the new solution, and to ensure that they are comfortable and proficient in using it to support their business processes. This phase is important for the long-term success of the project, as it helps ensure that the end users are able to effectively use and derive value from the solution.
The purpose of the Salesforce solution deployment phase is to move the solution that has been developed and tested into production, where it can be used by the end users. This typically involves preparing the solution for deployment, deploying the solution to the production environment, and conducting final testing and validation to ensure that the solution is working as expected. Deployment may also involve data migration and system integration.
The purpose of the data migration
phase is to transfer data from the client’s existing systems into the new Salesforce solution that has been developed and deployed. This typically involves extracting data from the existing systems, cleaning and preparing the data for migration, and then loading the data into the Salesforce solution.
The outcome of the data migration phase should be a fully populated Salesforce solution with all of the necessary data in place. This is critical to the success of the project, as it ensures that the end users have access to all of the data they need to support their business processes.
The purpose of providing user support
is to assist end users with any issues or questions they may have while using the solution, to ensure that they are able to effectively use the solution to support their business processes, and addressing any issues or bugs that may arise.
This is important for the long-term success of the project, as it helps ensure that the end users are able to derive value from the solution and that they are able to effectively use it to support their business processes.
The purpose of providing ongoing solution enhancements once a Salesforce org is live is to ensure that the solution continues to meet the changing needs and requirements of the client. This typically involves adding new features or capabilities to the solution, updating existing features and taking advantage of new Salesforce functionality that is released.
Salesforce specialists are in high demand due to the increasing popularity of the CRM
Salesforce might be a near-ubiquitous software suite, but really competent specialists are sometimes not easy to find. The right combination of Salesforce knowledge, first-hand experience learned on-the-job, and great customer skills are quite a rare combination. But they are out there, and you don’t necessarily need to put somebody on your payroll to take advantage of their skills. Outsourced Salesforce consultancy is now a mature industry in its own right, and there are many UK companies providing this service.
You might be concerned about the cost of engaging an outside contractor to help you. But it’s worth putting the cost into the context of what you might save. If in the course of a year, your specialist can shave 1% off your cost of sales ledger, for example, how much would that equate to over the course of 10 years? Now weigh this up against the cost of a short term contract or project and see what you could save.
Below are some examples of solutions we have created that are saving time and money for our clients:
Automation of manual, repetitive tasks
Benefits of automation include time saving, consistency, immediate and proactive action, scheduled actions that are not forgotten.
- Document generation eg Contracts, Proposals and Management reports
- eSignature eg Contracts
- Email notifications eg reminders, acknowledgements and updates
- Online data capture eg enquiry forms, CSAT surveys, Application forms
On-demand reports and dashboards
Benefits of having up to date information on demand include informed decision making using accurate data, easy to understand insights, time saving.
- Sales Pipeline
- Trends / Anomalies / Exceptions
Centralised source of data
Benefits of having a single, centralised source of data include time saving, improved data quality, increased user trust, high user engagement and better data governance.
- Consolidating data into a single system
- Integrating systems to maintain data integrity
- Reduced errors
- Increase user adoption through trust
What certifications should a Salesforce specialist hold?
Whilst it is essential to have on-the-job experience,
this should be coupled with Salesforce Certifications
to demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the platform.
Salesforce Certified Administrator
A Salesforce Administrator has in depth knowledge of the Salesforce platform and helps to configure and maintain the platform. They also monitor the data quality in Salesforce and fix any issues such as duplicates or incorrect information.
Salesforce Certified Advanced Administrator
This certification expands on the core Certified Administrator qualification and acknowledges a greater depth of knowledge relating to advanced Salesforce features .
Salesforce Certified Platform App Builder
This certification demonstrates a thorough understanding of the declarative (point and click) capabilities of the Salesforce platform
Salesforce Certified Sales Cloud Consultant
This certification validates that the holder has a good knowledge of how to design and build Salesforce Sales focused solutions covering a range of use cases. Hands-on experience is required in order to pass this exam.
Depending on the project specifics, the following certifications may also be relevant:
Salesforce Certified Experience Cloud Consultant
This certification validates that the holder has a good knowledge of how to design and build Salesforce Experience Cloud solutions (eg portals) covering a range of use cases. Hands-on experience is required in order to pass this exam.
Salesforce Certified Service Cloud Consultant
This certification validates that the holder has a good knowledge of how to design and build Salesforce Service Cloud focused solutions covering a range of use cases. Hands-on experience is required in order to pass this exam.
Three key questions to ask your Salesforce expert
What are the first steps in a brand new engagement?
The first step in a greenfield Salesforce project is to clearly define the scope and objectives of the project. This may involve identifying the business needs and challenges that the project is intended to address, and developing a high-level plan for the project.
The next step is to gather requirements for the project. This will involve working with the client to identify the specific features and capabilities that the project should include, as well as any technical or other constraints that need to be taken into account.
Based on the requirements that have been gathered, the Salesforce team will analyse the business needs and design a solution that meets those needs. This may include developing a detailed plan for the project, including a timeline and budget estimate.
Beyond this point, the project moves into the build phase.
How would you embark on an audit of an existing Salesforce implementation?
An audit of an existing Salesforce implementation typically involves evaluating the current state of the Salesforce org and identifying any areas for improvement. Here are some steps that could be taken to embark on an audit of an existing Salesforce implementation:
The first step in an audit is to clearly define its scope and objectives. This may involve identifying the specific areas of the Salesforce org that will be evaluated, and setting specific goals or objectives for the audit.
The next step is to gather as much information as possible about the current Salesforce implementation. This may involve reviewing documentation, speaking with stakeholders to understand what works well and where challenges exist, and reviewing the current configuration of the Salesforce org.
Based on the information that has been gathered, the next step is to conduct a thorough evaluation of the implementation. This may involve assessing the current configuration of the Salesforce org, evaluating the quality of the data, and identifying any issues or challenges that are being faced.
Based on the evaluation, the next step is to identify areas for improvement. This may include identifying areas where the current implementation is not meeting the needs of the business, or where there are opportunities to optimise the use of the Salesforce platform.
The final step is to develop a plan for improvement. This may involve outlining specific recommendations for improving the implementation, and developing a timeline and budget for implementing those recommendations.
How will you maximise Salesforce user adoption?
There are several strategies that can be used to maximise Salesforce user adoption:
Providing comprehensive training to users can help ensure that they are comfortable and proficient in using the Salesforce solution. This may involve offering in-person training sessions, online training materials, or a combination of both.
Ensuring that the solution is user-friendly can also help maximise user adoption. This may involve designing the solution with intuitive interfaces and user-friendly navigation, and providing clear and concise documentation to support users.
Providing ongoing support to users can also help maximise user adoption. This may involve offering support through a dedicated support team or through online resources such as knowledge bases.
Finally, continuously improving the solution based on user feedback can also help increase user adoption. This may involve adding new features or capabilities that meet the needs of the users, or addressing any issues or challenges that users are facing.
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