Salesforce offers a premier admin service to go with all licences. The cost is usually 15 – 25% of the total licence cost each year added onto the monthly bill. The lower rates enable you to receive premier support – you get better and faster support on cases. The premier admin service gives you access to a team of salesforce admins who will undertake a variety of everyday tasks for you. This article is about how to use Salesforce Premier Admin effectively.
Full disclosure: I’m a Salesforce customer and I am the Salesforce Malaysia User Group Manager but I receive no compensation from Salesforce.
Salesforce Premier Admin is Cost Effective
For small businesses with less than 50 seats I think that the premier Admin service is a no brainer. The fewer the seats you have the more cost effective it is. Here’s why:
In the US the average salary of a Salesforce Admin is $65,000. On a freelance site such as Elance you can find reasonable quality Indian Salesforce Admins and developers for $20/hour. If you are on a 5 person force.com licence you get unlimited premier admin support for $20/month. If you have a five person enterprise licence that becomes around $100 per month.
There’s an immediate cost advantage for you over hiring on an ad hoc basis or having an in house admin. Salesforce’s support model is predicated on the fact that most of the time most people will not be giving their admins a heavy work load.
The other advantage is that by using a dedicated outsourced resource you get more knowledge. In one company that I worked with ($100 million annual sales) the IT manager looked after the SAP implementation, Salesforce and all other systems with just one sysadmin to assist. So every time he needed to do something he headed off to the help pages to learn how to do the task – or refresh himself. Costly and expensive.
For larger instances it can work as well. A lot of the admin tasks in Salesforce can be repetitive or time consuming. Think of going through multiple layouts to add a new field or updating profiles after a process change. So it can be better to hire a developer/project manager and then have him offload much of the grunt work to Salesforce admins thus ensuring that you get maximum value for his time.
Downsides of Salesforce Premier Admin
Of course there are some things that you must appreciate when using outsourced Salesforce admins.
- Based in India or Philippines
- Don’t know your Salesforce instance
- Don’t know your business model
- Not working for you full time?
- Sometimes poor English
- Agents can be misallocated beyond their level of experience
How to Maximise your Return from Salesforce Premier Admin
I’ve used Salesforce premier admin now for 4 years and these are the ways that I get the most benefit from it
Do the project management yourself.
Split everything up into small tasks that can be completed in one or two hours at most. Then make each a separate case. This gives you a high chance of getting the golden outcome of submitting the case, getting the acknowledgement email and then getting the case closed email all in an hour or so.
One case where I didn’t do this was when I had set up a bunch of processes in the new process builder. They were fine when I tested sandbox but when they went live we got flooded with Apex errors. The reason was that process builder doesn’t do any bulkification and we were hitting SOQL limits. There was no work around and so every process had to be deactivated and redone as a workflow and also use a managed package to deal with cross object updating. The specification was very clear but the whole thing took weeks before I abandoned the case and started over. Then it got done in hours as 10 much smaller cases.
Spend more Time on the Case Description.
I can’t stress this enough. Explain the use case and why you are doing the project. Provide the context and then set out very clearly, just like you would to a new graduate exactly what you require. Take this all; the way down to what you want fields to be named as, what goes in the description box, where the validation messages are etc. Firstly it makes their life easier as they don’t have to worry about your intent and can just get on with the job. Secondly you have far fewer problems as you have spent more time getting exactly what you want clear in your mind.
Depending on what you use the admins for it can often be worth developing templates for use when you submit a case. These can make it a lot faster to put a high quality case together and it makes sure that all the little things that you do yourself, or would do if you weren’t so lazy/stress (delete whichever doesn’t apply) are done. Generally I uses them for workflows and dashboards as these save the most time.
If they email you reply back as quickly as possible as they will get back to work on the case straight away if you get back within an hour. If you leave it longer you’ve delayed it by 24 hours normally
Don’t use the Phone.
State explicitly that you don’t want to use the phone in your case. If you don’t you will get a call pretty soon after the case is allocated. The guys are nice but call quality and accent can subtract from value. More importantly I’ve rarely found the unsolicited calls to add much value. They just interrupt my workflow. Salesforce SOP is always to refer to the case by their reference number rather than your case description which is incredibly annoying.
Don’t have too many Cases at Once.
Case management ability in SF for an admin is poor and so you often end up managing via email which only works with a couple of cases. Far better is to maintain a list of prepared cases and flow them through the system as the previous ones complete
Don’t ask anything too technical.
These guys are admins not developers. There are further tiers of support behind them but if you need something technical doing its usually better to get a dev. This is especially true when you remember that the admins won’t touch triggers, apex or VF. They are best used to do the easy time consuming stuff and free up your time.
Be Polite and Treat them with Respect.
The guys and girls are great. They constrained with scripts and things that they have to do once you get past that they will really make a big effort to help you
I hope that these tips and tricks will help you get far more out of Salesforce Premier Admin and help you improve your business