A couple of years ago, tech journalist Gene Marks wrote a popular story for Forbes about the common reasons Salesforce adoption fails. He lists a few frequent pain points ‒ reps who won’t adopt, executives who expect too much ‒ before getting to a piece of advice that likely strikes a chord with most companies trying (and failing) to painlessly integrate Salesforce into their sales process.
“Invest in an administrator,” he writes bluntly. “Every successful CRM system…has a strong administrator behind it.”
What struck me about this bit of advice was not its novelty ‒ we’ve written before about the value of a great SFDC admin ‒ but instead the message underneath: the success of your Salesforce instance rests squarely and unambiguously on your admin’s shoulders.
To illustrate this point, Marks tells the story of Kathy, the “best CRM administrator [he] ever met.”
“Sweet and loving most of the time, Kathy becomes a fierce and vicious defender of her data when it comes to HER system. She owns it. She knows the system backwards and forwards…She takes full responsibility for its success.”
The implicit backstory here is clear: Kathy is a model SFDC admin because she covers up the mistakes everyone else makes, handles all the frustrating grunt work, and spends a lot of time dealing with people who hate and don’t understand Salesforce.
And if I had to bet, I’d wager that there’s a pretty good chance Kathy drinks fairly heavily.
Misery Loves Company
Kathy’s not alone.
The unenviable plight of SFDC admins has become so well-known that it often trends on Twitter under the hashtag #WhySFDCadminsdrink. If you’re ever in the mood for some gallows humor or stories of startling incompetence, I definitely recommend checking it out. (We’ve been known to get in on the fun ourselves.)
Here are some of my recent favorites:
— Salesforce Yoda (@SalesforceYoda) February 4, 2014
#whysfdcadminsdrink “Make salesforce look like my excel spreadsheet”
— Cheryl Feldman (@CherFeldman) July 24, 2015
— Missy Lowery (@melissajl000) July 21, 2015
A user wants to sit down with me to review how to mark an opportunity as closed. He has been a user for 4 years. #whysfdcadminsdrink
— Brent Downey (@brentdowney) January 10, 2014
A Brief Musical Interlude
Still not convinced that the pressures of a Salesforce admin’s job lead to trouble? Here’s a song recorded last year titled “That’s Why Admins Drink.”