Salesforce Admin Best Practices

Updated on May 24, 2023

A Salesforce administrator manages, configures, and maintains the CRM platform. They have a solid understanding of the technical aspects of Salesforce, including data architecture, security, automation, and customization. Their role is to ensure that the Salesforce platform is well configured and optimized to meet every needs of the business.

Since the one-size-fits-all strategy won’t work with Salesforce, the responsibilities of a Salesforce admin will vary depending on the size and complexity of the organization's Salesforce instance. However, some of the core responsibilities include the following:

  • Managing user accounts and permissions
  • Creating and managing custom objects and fields
  • Creating and managing reports and dashboards
  • Configuring automation workflows
  • Implementing business processes and workflows
  • Integrating third-party applications
  • Managing data security and access
  • Providing technical support and troubleshooting
  • Designing and implementing system enhancements and upgrades

Additionally, Salesforce admins are responsible for managing data quality, ensuring that data is accurate, up-to-date, and secure.

This article will discuss some of the Salesforce Admin Best Practices to optimize the platform's performance and enhance organization's overall productivity.

Salesforce User Management Best Practices

In today's digital age, where cybersecurity threats are ever-increasing, implementing Salesforce Admin Best Practices is crucial. This section provides a comprehensive list of user management best practices:

  • Standardize Naming Convention: Use a consistent format for user account names to ensure easy identification and organization.
  • Use Profiles and Permission Sets: Assign roles and permissions based on job responsibilities to control access to data and functionality.
  • Set up Roles and Hierarchies: Define a hierarchy of roles to manage data visibility and access based on job responsibilities.
  • Use Single Sign-On: Implement SSO for user authentication to simplify login and improve security.
  • Limit System Administrator Access: Restrict the number of active system administrators to minimize the risk of unauthorized access.
  • Regularly Review and Audit User Access: Conduct periodic reviews to ensure users have the appropriate access and permissions.
  • Use IP Restrictions: Control access to Salesforce from specific locations by setting up IP restrictions.
  • Implement Two-Factor Authentication: Require users to provide two forms of authentication to access Salesforce for added security.
  • Use Custom Settings and Metadata: Leverage custom settings and metadata to streamline user management and improve efficiency.
  • Use Salesforce Identity for External Users: Use Salesforce Identity to manage authentication and access for external users.

Salesforce Data Management Best Practices

Organizations can ensure data accuracy, consistency, and security by implementing Salesforce Admin Best Practices for data management.

  • Develop a Data Management Plan

    Create a comprehensive plan outlining how data will be collected, stored, accessed, and maintained, including a data dictionary, mapping, and governance policies.

  • Define Data Quality Rules

    Establish data quality standards, such as accuracy, completeness, consistency, and timeliness, and develop rules to ensure data adheres to those standards through data profiling, cleansing, and enrichment.

  • Minimize Custom Fields

    Limit custom fields to avoid data redundancy, complexity, and maintenance issues, and use standard fields or existing objects whenever possible.

  • Use Validation Rules to Enforce Data Quality

    Create validation rules to enforce data quality at the point of data entry and prevent invalid, duplicate, or incomplete data from being added to the system.

  • Perform Regular Data Backups

    Schedule regular backups of your Salesforce data to prevent data loss or corruption, and store backups securely offsite or in the cloud.

  • Use Data Loader for Bulk Data Management

    Use Salesforce Data Loader to import, export, and delete large amounts of data quickly and easily and automate data management tasks through command-line interfaces or API.

  • Use the Appropriate Data Import Method For Your Needs

    Choose the right data import method based on the data volume, complexity, and frequency, such as Data Import Wizard, Data Loader, or third-party integration tools.

  • Monitor Storage Usage and Adjust As Needed

    Monitor your Salesforce storage usage regularly and optimize it by deleting unnecessary data, compressing files, or upgrading storage plans to avoid hitting the usage limits.

  • Use Data Retention Policies to Stay Compliant

    Establish data retention policies aligning with legal, regulatory, and business requirements, and retain or delete data based on their lifecycle or sensitivity.

  • Control Access to Sensitive Data

    Grant access to Salesforce data only to authorized users who need it for their job and enforce data security measures such as profiles, roles, permission sets, or sharing rules to prevent unauthorized access or data breaches.

  • Use Data Encryption to Protect Sensitive Data

    Use Salesforce Shield to encrypt sensitive data at rest, in transit, or in use, and comply with data privacy regulations such as GDPR, CCPA, or HIPAA.

  • Use a Data Archiving Strategy

    Create a data archiving strategy that defines how to archive or delete unused or outdated data and store it in a separate system or cloud storage to reduce storage costs and improve performance.

  • Maintain Data Consistency Across Systems

    Integrate Salesforce with other systems or applications to ensure data consistency, avoid data silos or duplication, and develop data integration strategies aligning with business goals and IT architecture.

Salesforce Automation Best Practices

  • Develop Automation Process Maps

    It’s important to create process maps that cover the desired automation flows before automating the Salesforce. Process maps help businesses visually present the steps and conditions in the overall automation process. Moreover, these maps also help identify certain hindrances, conflicts, and bottlenecks to streamline the automation processes. This way, businesses can appropriately understand the automation and design efficient workflows.

  • Overlapping Automation on One Object Should Be Avoided

    When multiple automation processes, such as workflows, process builder flows, or Apex triggers act on the same object resulting in unexpected consequences it is called overlapping automation. It is best to avoid overlapping on same object as it can result in resource exploitation and unpredictable behavior rather than streamlining the automation process.

  • Save Time by Using Reusable Processes

    Salesforce offers various reusable automation tools to help businesses create modular and reusable information processes. It is suggested for businesses to come up with reusable processes in various scenarios, so they can save time and reduce maintenance across the automation architecture.

  • Always Test Automation in Sandbox

    Sandbox environments offer a safe space to validate the automation behavior, test various scenarios, and identify complications with other existing processes. Businesses must focus on utilizing test automation in a sandbox environment before deploying it to ensure that it functions appropriately and doesn’t result in complications.

  • Choosing the Right Automation Tool

    Conducting automation processes require the right automation tool such as workflows, flow builders, Apex triggers and classes. However, choosing the right automation tools can depend on the complexity of the automation processes. For example, Workflows or process builders work well for small-scale operations while Apex triggers or classes are perfectly suitable for the large-scale operations involving complex processes.

  • Use Scheduled Actions for External Data

    Salesforce lets you integrate with external systems and automate processes depending on the data retrieved from those systems. In other words, it is important to schedule actions or processes at specific intervals to process the data when dealing with external data. Moreover, Salesforce offers features like Scheduled Action in Process Builder or Apex scheduled jobs to further automate tasks based on external data.

Salesforce Customization Best Practices

  • Declarative Approach for Customization

    Salesforce provides various decorative tools including point-and-click configuration options as well as visual builders to customize the platform without requiring coding. Business that can utilize these tools can benefit from the ease and maintenance of customizations and troubleshooting. It also allows salesforce administrators to amend the changes as they don’t have to rely on developers anymore.

  • Follow a Naming Convention for Components

    Businesses can establish a consistent naming convention for Salesforce components that include objects, fields, workflows, and Apex classes to maintain clarity and structure within the platform. In other words, it’s important to have a well-defined naming convention to simplify the research process for components.

  • Avoid Hardcoding values

    It is suggested for businesses to leverage dynamic references, custom settings, and configuration settings to streamline their operations and avoid hardcoding values. Record IDs, URLs and text are some hardcoding values that often cause issues while implementing changes in the data or requirements.

  • Practice Metadata-Driven Development

    The Salesforce platform stores the customizations as metadata rather than storing it in the database. This benefits businesses from easier version control while also tracking the changes subsequently. They can also utilize various tools like Salesforce DX and metadata migration techniques to manage and implement changes between different environments.

  • Employ Test-Driven Development

    Test-driven development method can ensure quality and reliability when developing custom code that include Apex triggers or Lightning components. The method requires using automated tests before proceeding with the actual code. This helps prevent redundancies or regressions and validate the desired behavior.

  • Use Modular Development

    Modular development requires dividing or breaking down complex customizations into reusable components to simplify the maintenance and improve scalability. Businesses can also work on dividing customizations into logical units such as Apex classes and Process Builder flows to address the issues and carry out the necessary improvements. Additionally, modular development reduces the risk of conflicts between developers working on the same project.

  • Test using Sandbox Environment

    Salesforce also offers Sandbox environment that is quite similar to production environment. This helps administrators and developers test customizations before implementing them to production. Businesses can identify and resolve any issues with various modifications and integrations using sandbox environment.

  • Use a Source Control System

    A source control system such as Git can help businesses manage the source code and metadata of Salesforce customizations to promote better collaboration and version control. The control systems also allow multiple developers or administrators to work on tandem on various distinct features, track changes, and manage conflicts. To sum up, source control is an effective and systematic approach to foster stability and transparency within business operations.

  • Select the Right Data Model

    Businesses can benefit from Salesforce’s flexible data model to customize objects and data structures that perfectly aligns with their specific requirements. The process of selecting the appropriate data model involves understanding data relationships, access patterns, and reporting needs. By designing a scalable data model, businesses can ensure optimal performance and adaptability.

  • Choose the Correct Deployment Tools

    Salesforce offers various deployment tools and methodologies to implement changes or modifications between different environments, including Salesforce DX, Metadata API, or with other tools like Gearset.


By implementing these Salesforce Admin best practices, you can leverage the maximum potential out of your Salesforce platform. To be a more effective and successful salesforce admin, always stay updated with the latest best practices and quickly adapt to constantly evolving business needs.

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