Meet Awesome Admin: Maria Hammer

Name: Maria Hammer
Current Role / Employer: Salesforce Administrator / Fox Networks Group
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Q: If you had to describe your current job to a friend or relative who knew nothing about CRM, how would you describe your job?

A: I am responsible for a number of cloud based platforms that help business users in my company better manage their customer relationships. I design and configure solutions that optimize data collection and facilitate analysis which in turn allows us to improve our offers, provide better service and drive revenue.

Q: If you had to describe your current job to another Salesforce admin, how would you describe your job?

A: The best way to describe my current job to another Salesforce Admin would be: Everything you ever dreamed of doing as a Salesforce admin… and then some.

Q: How did you first get introduced into the Salesforce world?

A: My background is in Operations and Finance. I was working as a Data Analyst on Wall Street and was already comfortable with databases in terms of structure and logic. I was also the Journyx system admin for my unit so was pretty comfortable with web based apps too.
When the company adopted Salesforce I immediately became the group’s power user. It was just a matter of time until I knew this “new and improved” database from the cloud was exactly what I wanted to be working with full time... 

Q: When did you first get introduced to Salesforce? What year?

A: I first started working with Salesforce in 2007

Q: What was your initial impression of Salesforce?

A: I truly felt that Salesforce, and SaaS in general, was the future. It made sense cost wise, it made sense in terms of scalability, mobility and growth potential. It was user friendly (when IT was not involved in the UI design), allowed us to break free from code and the real time analytics was powerful.  I just knew this was the technology I wanted to be part of. 

Q: How did you transition from a Salesforce “newbie” to an experienced admin?

A: Once I made the decision to work exclusively with Salesforce it was just a matter of a) finding the right material to study and get certified and b) finding the right professional opportunities that would allow me to bring my business process knowledge and data management experience and practice it within the ecosystem. So the routine became: study, work, research, study, get certified, research, work, start studying for the next certification, research, work etc.

Q: What do you love most about being a Salesforce admin?

A: A few items come to mind:

  • Taking an executive sponsor’s vision and turn it into a complete CRM solution.
  • Helping my business users navigate their CRM processes better, faster and stress free
  • Having control (and responsibility) over my work
  • Being independent and still part of a collaborative effort
  • Those exhilarating moments of discovering a workaround ☺

Q: If you could give one piece of advice to another Salesforce admin, what would it be?

A: Make sure you think outside the technical box (cliché but boy does it apply here). Remember, Salesforce is about improving processes and making business users’ lives easier, not putting together some monster Erector set for IT to admire. Use code only when it is absolutely necessary. And even then make sure you have some basic code knowledge so you don’t have to chase the developer around for everything. 

And remember: Object relationships ARE the center of the universe

Q: If you could give one piece of advice to another Salesforce user, what would it be?

A: Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Reach out to your admin. If necessary request additional training. If your feedback is requested do provide it. The best Salesforce orgs are the ones where users are active participants of the improvement process.  

Q: What resources have you found most helpful – to build upon your current knowledge and experience in Salesforce, and to solve for any new and unexpected Salesforce issues that you come across?

A great resource for all things Salesforce is Salesforce itself. The Help & Training section has everything you need to study, practice, research and/or share ideas, become certified, get support… you name it, Salesforce Help & Training has it. 

Equally important are Salesforce professionals groups. Either locally or online I think it is essential to join. A shared experience will help expand your technical – and sometimes business- point of view, give you opportunities to improve your knowledge of the platform and you will definitely meet some really cool people. Not to mention awesome admins ;) 

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