Salesforce, the $100 Billion Company, and what it means for your Career

If you follow technology closely, or have worked at an organization that has purchased the Salesforce platform, you may have a sense for what Salesforce is all about. But for most of us, understanding what the company does isn’t so easy.

Let’s talk a little about the company, the types of jobs emerging from its meteoric growth, and why we’re so excited about the Salesforce Administrator role in particular.

Sales-who?

Salesforce is a customer relationship management (CRM) software provider. What that means in plain language is that Salesforce helps businesses, nonprofits, and universities track and improve their sales efforts. If a company has hundreds or even millions of current or future clients, the platform helps track all of that data in the cloud. Salesforce also has a robust set of marketing, e-commerce, and analytics software.

Salesforce isn’t just any CRM provider, it’s the market leader. This means over 20% of organizations use Salesforce worldwide -- they have over 200,000 clients. Salesforce is  growing by leaps and bounds every day and they are currently valued at over $100 billion. The software serves as the backend for sales and business development for most industries, including pharmaceuticals, advanced manufacturing, technology and finance.

Why should I care about Salesforce?

Salesforce is a complex platform and when companies buy the service, they need employees who know how to use it effectively. With their growing list of clients, Salesforce predicts that there will be over 3.3 million jobs created through the Salesforce ecosystem by 2022. That’s a lot of jobs! And even more exciting, Indeed ranked the Salesfroce Administrator role at number 4 on their “best jobs list” in 2017. It’s a gateway into an entry level job in the technology industry.

How can I get in on this Salesforce thing and what does an Administrator do?

What does it mean to work with a Salesforce client as an Administrator? Salesforce is extremely customizable, which is one of the reasons why it is so successful. Once companies buy the software, they tailor it to fit their needs specifically. An Administrator takes the lead on that work. Companies generally hire Administrators to help maintain their CRM. These are good, well paying jobs.

Salesforce quickly becomes an essential part of a sales teams’ workflow and daily life. If Salesforce isn’t set up right, or if there are problems accessing the data in the system, salespeople can’t track their interactions and can’t see where any individual client is during a cultivation process. In other words, companies depend on Salesforce to track every kind of activity they have and this means that the Administrator has a really important role in implementing and keeping the system up and running properly.

Sales people need to know which leads they’re working on, where their best opportunities are, and who their key contacts are in each organization. Sales managers need reports on the size and status of their sales pipeline. They also need to know which stage each opportunity is at so that they can provide useful information to senior managers. Marketing teams use all of the client contact information and intelligence stored in the system to create outreach campaigns that resonate with old and new customers alike.

In sum, the Salesforce Administrator role is critical to organizations of all sizes.

Growing your Salary (and career) as a Salesforce Administrator

The Salesforce training platform Trailhead describes the Salesforce Administrator role as one that focuses on “automating complex business processes, creating reports & dashboards, and training users on using Salesforce.”

Knowledge of the Salesforce system, data management and system configuration are all essential to becoming an effective Administrator. On top of these technical skills, a Salesforce Administrator has strong communication skills to interact with sales managers and marketing leads, as well as strong project management and problem solving skills to tackle the many open-ended requests that inevitably come across their desk. Salesforce Administrators are well organized, and have an eye for detail in order to support multiple internal “customers.” They are great at catching problems and mistakes before they happen.