Your phone rings. It’s a user. Not just any user, but the one that seems to talk for hours about nothing and can’t seem to remember where the home button is on his iPhone.

You sit there staring – trying to decide if taking the call is a good decision.

Time has stopped while you contemplate. You answer the phone, and in anticipation of the conversation, you’re about to have your face and palm meet.


We have all had experiences like this. Every Salesforce Admin has at least one user who just dances on your last nerve. In fact, I bet you have that person pictured in your mind right now. Did you just get a chill down your spine? Yeah, me too!

The Role of Salesforce Administrator is Changing

The role of the System Administrator is very dynamic. Gone are the days when the admin only created users, reset passwords and created a new field here or there. Today’s Salesforce Administrator needs to be multi-dimensional. We are change agents

System Administrators MUST be able to analyze data, run projects, propose solutions and build complex processes. At the same time, we are responsible for the adoption, training, and maintenance of the tool. Our communication style has to adapt to our audience because in most cases, we communicate with everyone from the CEO to the very end of end-users.

This is a complex job. So how do you do it all? By winning fans and building advocacy.

A Real-Life Story

In my previous organization, I allowed for users to schedule 30 minutes with me to have a one-to-one training. The goal was to use these training opportunities to create self-sufficient users.

As I got onto the phone with a user, there were issues. I spent the first 20 minutes of the call trying to get him logged into Salesforce before realizing that he was seeing a cached version of the login page but wasn’t connected to the Internet. (Face-palm)!

After nearly 40 minutes on a call that was supposed to last 30, we finally get the ball rolling and begin the training. The whole time, my close friend Felicia Mullison (a.k.a. Marketing Rock Star) was IM’ing me trying to figure out what was going on. She was amazed at how I was able to keep my composure and remain patient.

I later explained that however frustrating the call, it was my job to provide excellent service. This was my customer, and every customer expects and should receive exceptional service.

Creating Fans

This one interaction created multiple fans throughout the organization. Not only was the user grateful for the time I spent with him, but he told his peers about the great service I provided and suggested that they call me too. Those that heard the conversation learned something from it too creating even more fans.

The Customer Rage Study has been around since 1976 and looks at the effect of consumer satisfaction. According to the CCMC (the group that runs the study), in 2013, customers were three times more likely to spread their dissatisfaction compared to those that had a satisfactory experience.

Three times!

Let’s look at some basic math to see how fans are created.

Pain Overcome = Fan

People who overhear fan (peers, managers, etc.) = Fans²

Fans² + Continued Effort to Listen & Learn = Faster Organizational Change

Winning fans and getting them to talk about you is KEY to your success. If you aren’t building fans, you are creating dissatisfaction. You cannot create change or even drive adoption if users are dissatisfied with you.

On-Stage vs. Off-Stage

Being on stage is hard. It’s an always on sort of mentality. You must remember that in every moment little ears and eyes are upon you. You are creating disruption through Salesforce, and the way that you act on stage will have an impact on how others respond to those changes.

In every moment you are either winning fans or inciting a riot. How you speak, what you write, how you show tension, what non-verbal language you use is HEARDWhat is it saying?

Just because you are on stage doesn’t mean you can’t get off the stage. However, you need to plan a safe place to get off the stage.

A safe place where you can regroup, vent and be human for a little while. For me, this was at a Starbucks about a mile from the office. I would meet with a trusted colleague and vocalize anything that I needed to get off my chest. She was also able to be off stage with me. It was like our little therapy session.

The key is that your off-stage location is away from the places and people where you need to be on-stage.

Next Steps

Remember that every interaction matters and will drive change and adoption, or create a riot. So, what to do with this information?

  1. Find a safe place where you can be off-stage.
  2. Write down five ways you need to change your interaction style to build fans. Don’t be afraid to ask others to help you with this point. Outside feedback is invaluable.
  3. Begin your transformation right now and don’t forget, it’s never too late to begin again…again.


2 thoughts on “ You Are Always on Stage ”

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