How to be a Salesforce Power User
How to be a Salesforce Power User

How to be a Salesforce Power User

12/03/2021 by Michelline Granjean
Whether you’re new to Salesforce, a long-time end user, or eyeing a potential career in the Salesforce ecosystem, here are some ways to stand out as a Power User at your organization.

My Salesforce journey began as a novice end-user, but as I gained experience, I became a more knowledgeable user. Colleagues soon sought me out for support and management sought me out for suggestions. I soon became my business unit’s go-to person for troubleshooting common user issues and managing the backlog of feature requests and bugs to submit to our Salesforce Administrator. 

Next thing you know, I was acting as Project Lead for complex enhancement projects in collaboration with Salesforce Consulting Partners. What brought me here? I had become a Salesforce Power User without even realizing it. I'm now a Certified Salesforce Admin and an Arkus Implementation Consultant.

What is a Power User? 

Power Users are typically responsible for knowing their Salesforce system well, including the business processes behind it. They are Salesforce champions who are often involved in some decision-making and testing out of fixes and features. 

They provide feedback and are able to explain business use cases in a way that makes it easy for Salesforce Administrators and Developers to translate into concrete requirements. Other end users come to them with questions on basic functionality, as well as tips and tricks. Most importantly, Power Users are essential for a successful Salesforce implementation long-term. 

If you get excited when talking about Salesforce, can’t get anything done in your day-to-day without it, find yourself being a champion for user adoption within your organization, or have contemplated a career in the Salesforce ecosystem, you are well on your way to being a Power User. 

Get Educated

First things first. Take the time to truly grasp the business processes that underpin your system, even if you weren't involved in or present during the implementation of a particular solution. For example, if a certain field update to a record triggers an email, make it your job to remember what email and to whom, so you can spot when it’s not happening. 

You can also expand your knowledge on Salesforce Trailhead — a free and fun way to learn some Salesforce basics. Even if you don’t have System Administrator access to your company’s org (which is most usually the case), you could learn a bit about the fundamental configuration and data models to better understand your own org’s architecture. 

More so, if you see features that your company isn’t leveraging, but could be useful for your work, write that down. At my last organization, I asked our Admin if we could enable inline editing on list views since we often had to make the same update to multiple records when certain staff changes occurred. 

Lastly, I can’t end this section without making a plug for the Arkus Blog. Though, I probably don’t need to say much on this because you're already here. Congrats on taking this step towards becoming a Salesforce power user! While you’re here, explore our archive for more blog posts about expanding one’s Salesforce journey, such as Transitioning and Transferring to a Salesforce Career, Learning Salesforce Basics: Tips for New Admins, and Where to Go for Salesforce Help When the System Administrator is You, just to name a few.  

Show and Tell

Just like your school days, sometimes it can be fun to show off something that you’re knowledgeable about and get others excited and curious about it too. 

Salesforce is no different. However, to be as knowledgeable as possible, remember to use it or lose it, which includes using your Salesforce system the way it was intended. Remember the saying — if it’s not in Salesforce, it doesn’t exist. 

Encourage others on your team to do the same or gently point out some ways they could be (or rather should be) using it if they aren’t already. If you have an update to present at a staff meeting, don't simply talk about it; show it to your colleagues in the form of a report or dashboard, and close with a tip on report formatting or filtering choices so they have a tangible takeaway. Furthermore, proving Salesforce's value-add could impact your company's leadership's commitment in the product, as well as their investment in your professional development.

If your team is excelling at Salesforce user adoption, chances are your company has incorporated Salesforce training into their onboarding process and could use someone to walk new employees through the basics of using the system. Be that person by volunteering not only to train new users but develop the training materials, such as a user guide. 

This could also carry through to general support of your fellow team members well after onboarding by using what you know to help others out. If someone is having trouble finding certain records they frequently need, give them tips about global searches, how to create list views, or walk them through a record detail page, including related lists so they can be more efficient with their time. 

If someone finds something you've shared with them particularly useful, make a note of it to add to a user guide or even offer to hold a little workshop that you can record.

Collaborate and Partner with your Salesforce team 

Whether you have an in-house team of Admins and Developers, or have partnered with an official Salesforce consulting company, take advantage of opportunities to collaborate and work with this team when you have ideas or questions. 

Have you been keeping a list of frequently asked questions from your colleagues? 

Anything you’ve seen on Trailhead that you want to mention? Any page layout changes, report types, or quick actions that could make your and your team’s life easier? Talk to your manager or someone else who serves in a sponsorship role about how to get these ideas in front of the Admin or consulting team. 

Even if there isn't enough capacity or bandwidth to implement your requests, it adds to the pool of ideas, and your coworkers (and managers) will see how committed you are and may come to you in the future when it’s time to propose innovations or get leadership buy-in to invest more in the platform. That’s a benefit to not only the organization but to you. 

If any of your ideas lead to a bigger implementation project, volunteer to be part of the project team to talk through use cases, validate business requirements, and test changes or fixes. As part of this role, make sure you are detailed in your communication and feedback by following any best practices set forth by the implementation team. For example, if a test fails, provide screenshots where you can, links to records, and the specific user that is impacted. Even better, make a recording of all the steps you took so everything is captured. There are plenty of free screen recording tools out there such as Screencast-O-Matic

Finally, focus on communicating challenges and needs instead of suggesting solutions. It's a tight line to walk, but if you're not an official Admin, leave it to the professionals.

In conclusion, establishing yourself as a power user could take you very far in your current, or future, roles where you can continue to collaborate with Salesforce experts and influence the adoption and usage at an organization. And if you’re planning to pursue a career in Salesforce, but don’t fall into the category of “Accidental Admin”, forging your path as a power user can be the key to success.

Do you find yourself already checking off some of these Power User boxes? If so, what are some other ways you’ve contributed to your organization's successful implementation of Salesforce? Share on the Salesforce Trailblazer Community, or tweet directly at me on Twitter @MichellineArkus.