We’ve been talking all month about top ways to increase Salesforce adoption and how to improve your ROI. Another strategy we often talk about with our customers revolves around the “people” component of our People>Process>Technology methodology and the importance of building the right Salesforce support team.

Organizations usually want to quickly get Salesforce up and running so they can start reaping the benefits of a modern CRM. But it’s easy to oversee possible resource issues with all the excitement and planning surrounding your implementation.

Having the right number of administrators, and the right people for the job, is critically important to the success of your Salesforce environment. So too is giving your administrators the right tools to do their job effectively, such as Salesforce administrator training and certification.

The graphic at right shows the suggested number of administrators per your organization’s size and how you should build your Salesforce support team.

Salesforce Admins at Small Businesses

In small businesses, the administrator role is usually not full time. The admin role may be filled by the business owner, a sales rep, an IT specialist or office manager. Make sure you designate one specific person to take the lead on the administrator function.

In the initial implementation stages, an administrator typically spends about 50 percent of their time on implementation. Ongoing Salesforce management, however, requires only about 10–25 percent of the admin’s time.

Keep in mind, though, the bigger footprint you grow with Salesforce as an end-to-end solution for your business processes and central customer database, the greater need you may have for a full-time administrator despite number of users.

Salesforce Admins in the Enterprise

Large organizations will require multiple full time administrators and may include junior and senior-level admins and business analysts. They might find that differentiating their admins by department or region can be very beneficial. Blending partial dedicated teams with cross functional teams and outsourced teams in a mixed support model is also effective.

If you have several business units that use Salesforce such as sales, marketing and support, you may use separate administrators for each unit. Separate Salesforce administrators may spend between 50–100 percent of their time supporting their teams. “Delegated” administrators work on specific tasks such as managing users, managing custom objects and building reports. This type of admin role is usually filled by a junior Salesforce administrator. And “regional” administrators work well for multi-national corporations where administrators are knowledgeable in that region’s currency, language and business processes.

Many partners offer managed support services that can help fill the gaps in your internal resources and quickly scale when necessary. Outsourced admins can remotely and securely access Salesforce to manage users, perform routine maintenance, create reports and more. Outsourced administrators also may carry the added benefit of being Salesforce certified, which means you are hiring a highly qualified individual to do the job efficiently. Outsourced admins can be hired for a set number of hours, or at part-time dedicated and full-time dedicated rates.

If you have a mixed support model of separate, delegated, regional or outsourced administrators, you will also want to consider a lead administrator who can coordinate and manage each team from a big picture perspective.

Investing in the right Salesforce support team will go a long ways in helping your organization achieve success with Salesforce and avoid top Salesforce adoption problems. Quality administrators will configure the environment for your organization’s specific needs; support end users with training needs; generate reports that provide meaningful insight into business performance; and more.