This is the 6th post regarding the upcoming “Admin To Analyst: Salesforce Business Analysts Talk Transitioning Roles” at Dreamforce 2016. I am excited to be included with these other AWESOME presenters.
I encourage you to bookmark this session and come join us – it will be a fun discussion!
Would you be a great Salesforce BA?
For those of you who are reading this that are currently a Salesforce Admin (#AwesomeAdmin), well, first of all thanks for reading! If you have reading this far, you may be wondering if you should be a Salesforce Business Analyst.
I am here to break the news to you that you might already be headed down the Salesforce BA road, as the activity of “Business Analysis” goes beyond the role or title.
In my own background, I have been in the technology field for most of my life, and have held the following Roles:
- Pre-Sales Engineer, where I was responsible for providing technical support to Sales staff during a sales process, performing product demonstrations, understanding customer needs, responding to RFPs and RFIs, work with both sales and marketing colleagues to transition prospects and leads into customers.
- Help Desk Customer Support, where my role was to ensure that end users can accomplish their tasks in our hardware and software. This including triage, prioritizing, documenting, and actively resolving help requests. Problem resolution involved the use of tracking tools. I learned how to ask good questions and listen to the answers. I learned how to explain complex technical issues to customers and train both internal and external users on difficult functional processes.
- QA Manager, where I was responsible for overall test planning. At a small software company, I built test environments and scripts. I gained analytical and problem-solving skills to help understand the software goals, document the metrics to meet those goals, and validate the processes through testing. Over time, I also built strong bonds with internal developers, architects and management.
- Technical Writer, where I authored, organized, and managed information in support of business units across the enterprise. (Information includes written documentation, visual models, and digital media.) This included accumulating, understanding, and leveraging industry-specific knowledge for the benefit of the organization, its clients, its employees, and its business partners. I was responsible for generating original content and knowledge assets. Critical analysis and customer service skills were essential for this role.
- CRM Product Manager, where my role is to supervise and maintain the installation, configuration, and support of the organization’s CRM software through best practices. I analyze and resolve program issues and hold responsibility for monitoring data quality. I also use communication & problem-solving skills to guide and assist end users on issues related to the design, development, and deployment of CRM software critical to business operations.
While these roles haven’t been titled as “Business Analyst”, they still require an understanding of the organization’s needs intimately and have the skills to communicate those needs in a way that all stakeholders can understand. Other skills these roles share:
- Ability to quickly get up-to-speed on an issue and understand how that issue affects the enterprise
- Establish trust and credibility with your stakeholders
- Tailor communications to different audiences
- Problem solving
- Strong analytical thinking
- Attention to detail
- Intimate knowledge of users, and their business processes
- Documentation skills
Why should I be a BA?
Laura Brandenburg, (CBAP certified leader) wrote 42 Reasons To Start a Business Analyst Career, but my best reason for pursuing the BA career track is that the role of a Business Analyst is both interesting & challenging due to the variety of industries & business problem challenges that it covers. Some professionals are always searching for their “next big thing” and Business Analysis offers a very unique role that allows people be as challenged as they dare to be.
Also, there are compensation reasons someone may want to be a BA. The Salesforce Career page refers to average salary, however the 2017 Robert Half salary study shows a CRM Business Analyst as having a 3.9% increase in salary from last year
One additional side-note about that salary study: They asked CIO’s “In which one of the following areas would you say tech professionals could use improvement?” They saw gaps in the soft skills that would be part of regular Business Analysis core competencies:
Who would make a great Salesforce BA?
Just for fun, I decided to come up with my list of fun people who would make great Salesforce BAs. (click the links in the lists below for videos!)
Who would you add to this list?
Marge Gunderson (Fargo)
In the movie Fargo, Marge Gunderson is the chief of police in Brainerd, Minnesota.
Why she would make a great Salesforce BA:
- Critical / logical thinking
- Verbal and Non-verbal communication
- Interviewing Skills
Columbo is a talkative homicide detective who is first seen as absentminded, however is intelligent and solves all of his mysteries, usually to his ability ton observe mistakes or flaws in the killer’s actions & motives.
Why he would make a great Salesforce BA:
- Methodology Knowledge
- Creative Thinking
- Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
James Tiberius Kirk (fictional character) is the captain of the Enterprise in Star Trek shows and movies.
Why he would make a great Salesforce BA:
Trailhead4All is a challenge within the Salesforce community to host at least one Trailhead event at a nonprofit, school, or any community gathering and spread the Salesforce knowledge before Dreamforce 2016. Read more about the challenge at the annieforce blog
I had the honor of helping the Twin-Cities Tralhead4All event and it was a blast. I would love to do this again.
Why they are great Salesforce BAs:
- Solutions Knowledge
- Conceptual Thinking
- Tools and Technology
I hope to see you all at Dreamforce! Have ideas or questions for further deep-dives in the life of a Salesforce Business Analysis? Let me know!