Advanced Admin vs Senior Admin Comparison

Advanced Admin vs Senior Admin Comparison

Intro

Ben and I worked together as part of a project team on a large project migrating two Dynamics databases with their functionality and data into an existing Salesforce org.  During our time working together, Ben was in a Senior Salesforce Administrator Role. I was in a Salesforce Administrator Role and had earned the Salesforce Advanced Administrator Certification.  While Advanced Administrator and Senior Administrator skill sets and roles often overlap and are frequently filled by the same person, they are distinct in many ways.

While Advanced Administrator and Senior Administrator skill sets and roles often overlap and are frequently filled by the same person, they are distinct in many ways.

While many Senior Administrators also has an advanced technical skill set that the ADM 211 tests for, in the case of me and Ben, he has not pursued the advanced technical skill set and certification, instead focusing on the business needs, strategy, and impact of change management in Salesforce. When it comes to working in larger enterprise organization, a senior admin is relied on heavily to provide best practice as well platform management.  A Senior admin will meet with Senior Management to discuss Org Health, to project planning for enterprise wide projects, to assess employee resources needed, and to review business processes and how they intertwined with each other. They might not have the technical know how to complete the requests, but they need a full understanding of what can be accomplished with Salesforce and how to achieve company goals based on the company roadmap. At times the role leans towards administrative work (meetings, proof of concept sessions, after action reviews).

Evaluation of Qualifications

Advanced Admin

The value of an Advanced Admin is centered around a skill set and an ability to accomplish technical tasks, such as building apps, writing validation rules, configuring flows and processes, and understanding technical best practices.  For a Salesforce Advanced Administrator, passing certifications like the ADM 211 Advanced Administrator or the CRT 402 Platform App Builder is a great way to validate this skill set.

(Blog Post: Passing the ADM 211 Salesforce Certified Advanced Administrator)

Senior Admin

The value of a Senior is centered around experience.  Instead of an emphasis on technical ability and certification, a Senior Admin is valued for being able to say, “I’ve seen that before,” “I’ve done that before,” and “These are the lessons I learned experientially.”

Job Description

While the job descriptions for an Advanced Admin and a Senior Admin frequently overlap in title and responsibilities based on an the need of a particular company, there are some key differences that might make one candidate a better fit for a particular role than another.

At a high level, a Senior Admin will have more emphasis on managing process, people (when there are Jr. Admins), and executive relationships.  An Advanced Admin will have more focus on technical development, production support, and enforcing data quality and security. A Senior admin will have a more strategic focus (who, when, and why); whereas, an Advanced Admin will have a more tactical focus (what, where, and how).

A Senior admin will have a more strategic focus (who, when, and why); whereas, an Advanced Admin will have a more tactical focus (what, where, and how).

Advanced Administrator

Typical focuses in responsibilities for an Advanced Admin include:

Production Support

  • Triage, prioritize, and resolve end user issues

  • Triage and build enhancement requests

  • Support Training Team in answering questions and creating user training

Declarative Development

Build new functionality in Salesforce based on business requirements to include: process builder, visual flows, auto-launched flows, workflows/time based workflows, workflow actions, email alerts, email templates, custom and standard objects, custom and standard fields, validation rules, lookup filters, page layouts, Lighting pages, Lightning apps,  List Views, and Salesforce communities.

Reporting and Dashboards

  • Build and maintain custom reports with multiple objects and lookup fields

  • Maintain folder organization with appropriate permission restrictions

  • Creating reports and dashboards on an ad-hoc basis and as part of planned projects

  • Understand limitations of salesforce reporting

  • Create and manage matrix reports, Lightning reports, and report formulas

Security and Privacy

  • Manage Profiles, Permission Sets, Roles, and Sharing Rules to enforce principle of least access

  • Understand private sharing model and role hierarchy access with standard objects

Data Management

  • Maintain and manage data quality leveraging data quality score/dashboard

  • Perform mass data updates using exports, transformations in Excel, and Data Loader

  • Assist with migration from older systems/processes into Salesforce

Documentation

  • Create and maintain end user and admin team documentation

Change Management

  • Communicate system changes to the users in advance so they understand the change

  • Review release documentation and identify wins and concerns each time Salesforce deploys a new release.

  • Leverage deployment best practices including QA, UAT, Staging, and Validation

Senior Administrator

Typical focuses in responsibilities for an Senior Admin include:

Create and Manage Changes to the System

  • Proactively seek out and identify needed system changes

  • Proactively gather feedback from users

  • Manage system changes without interruption to the user

  • Communicate system changes to the users in advance to use it prior to implementation

  • Gather requirements from end users

  • Modify the system to increase benefits and usability

  • Manage the change control process and “Change Management” process/committee

  • Manage all processes that impact / relate to Salesforce.com

  • Manage new releases of SFDC and efficiently roll out new features

  • Handle on-going customization/ alteration of Salesforce.com

  • Provide sales and financial data to company executives

Maintain System, Security and Integrity

  • Map salesforce.com hierarchy and territories in response to personnel changes

  • Reassign Accounts, Contacts, and Opportunities in response to personnel changes.

  • Grant/ remove and maintain user licenses.

  • Maintain security including sharing rules and security levels

  • Design, Create and maintain user roles, profiles and hierarchies

  • Monitor application storage usage and archive data as needed

User Assistance, Training, Adoption and Satisfaction

  • Create and administer training to existing or new users/groups

  • Provide one to one training to end users on an on-going basis

  • Expand use of Salesforce.com – attend planning meetings, assist with determining if /how

  • salesforce.com can be used in new ways as opposed to purchasing a new internal system.

  • Assist sales management to create processes in salesforce.com to help monitor activities,

  • trends, sales and leads.

  • Communicate regularly with user base regarding new features, enhancements and changes to

  • the system

  • Monitor usage and mentor users/groups needing assistance

  • Continually seek ways to further enhance the end-user experience

  • Be the company SME on Salesforce.com

Process Creation, Documentation and Maintenance

  • Document company processes and workflows

  • Develop process documentation and field maps

  • Create new processes and associated reporting

Data Quality, Migration and Maintenance

  • Assist with migration from older systems/processes into Salesforce.com

  • Monitor neglected Leads, Opportunities, Accounts, and Contacts as appropriate

  • Import data as appropriate

  • Monitor and manage exception logs for back end system integration with SFDC.

  • Manage duplicate records

  • Monitor and improve data quality

  • Ensure data integrity by merging duplicate Leads, Contacts, and Accounts; performing mass

  • uploads and updates of data as required; Removing unnecessary fields and data; ensuring

  • screens, fields and workflow have accurate names and reflect current workflow

Report and Dashboard Creation and Maintenance

  • Develop reports and dashboards to assisting senior management in making data driven business decisions.

Compensation Comparison

I have pulled in some Pay Snapshots from Payscale.com to illustrate some of the pay spectrum for an Advanced Administrator versus a Senior Administrator.  Here are some key takeaways from the comparison:

  • Senior Admins are usually but not necessarily paid more than an Advanced Admin

  • There is a $30k overlap in the pay range comparing an advanced admin to a senior admin

  • Certifications are more valued earlier in one’s career ($5k-$6k salary boost at 5 years of experience versus $2k at 10 years of experience)

  • A combination of certification and experience is the best recipe for success

Mid-Level Administrator

  • Job Title: Salesforce Administrator

  • Years in technology: 5

  • City: Atlanta, Georgia

  • Relevant Certifications: Salesforce Certified Administrator

  • Top 3 Skills: Salesforce, Microsoft Excel, Database Management and Reporting

  • Type of Employer: Company

Advanced Administrator

  • Job Title: Salesforce Administrator

  • Years in technology: 5

  • City: Atlanta, Georgia

  • Relevant Certifications: Salesforce Certified Administrator, Salesforce Certified Advanced Administrator

  • Top 3 Skills: Salesforce, Microsoft Excel, Database Management and Reporting

  • Type of Employer: Company

  • Highest Level of Education: Bachelors

Senior Administrator

  • Job Title: Salesforce Administrator

  • Years in technology: 10

  • City: Atlanta, Georgia

  • Relevant Certifications: Salesforce Certified Administrator

  • Top 3 Skills: Salesforce, Operations Management, Business Analysis

  • Type of Employer: Company

  • Highest Level of Education: Bachelors

Combined Advanced & Senior Administrator

  • Job Title: Salesforce Administrator

  • Years in technology: 10

  • City: Atlanta, Georgia

  • Relevant Certifications: Salesforce Certified Administrator

  • Top 3 Skills: Salesforce, Operations Management, Database Management & Reporting

  • Type of Employer: Company

  • Highest Level of Education: Bachelors

When for Which

Each individual is different, and most Salesforce administrators with 5+ years of experience will have a combination of advanced technical skills and senior strategic skills.  Comparing an Advanced Admin role with a Senior Admin role should not be seen as an either- or box to put people in, but rather as a framework for understanding strengths and weaknesses in comparison with particular needs a company company has.


7 Tips for Finding a Junior Admin

7 Tips for Finding a Junior Admin

Salesforce World Tour Atlanta - Pictures and Connections

Salesforce World Tour Atlanta - Pictures and Connections