Why You Need Salesforce Business Analysts

Why You Need Salesforce Business Analysts
Max Maeder
Why You Need Salesforce Business Analysts

I believe one of the most critical (and often overlooked) roles on an internal Salesforce team is the Business Analyst.

This function is the biggest productivity unlock for your Salesforce efforts.


Because it enables proactive project planning.

Far too often, I see companies hiring an Administrator when they should've hired a Business Analyst. Even more common is asking your Admins to also function as a Business Analyst - this kind of all-around role only works if you're an incredibly small Salesforce instance. But any organization with 2-3+ people on the Salesforce team shouldn't be haphazardly blending roles this way.

How Business Analysts Can Help Your Team

When an internal Salesforce team lacks Business Analysts, it leads to reactive project planning.

The way this plays out is that stakeholders end up driving the product strategy by default.

Additionally, companies with a strong investment in Business Analysts / Product Owners tend to have a lower Admin-to-User ratio.

  • Yelp: 13 Salesforce Business Analysts + 5 Administrators (3,000 users)
    Learn more about the Salesforce Team at Yelp.
  • Okta: 9 Business Analysts, 12 Product Owners, and 6 Admins (3,000 users)
  • Snowflake: 7 Business Analysts, 7 Product Owners, and 6 Admins (2,300+ users)

Business Analysts serve as the connective tissue between stakeholders and Technology teams.

It allows for an organized prioritization of roadmap items and inbound requests.

And this leads to strategy roadmap planning, which is the key to success. Better planning will allow your team to get more done and provides predictability.

What Happens Without Enough Business Analysts

In contrast to the above examples, many companies underinvest in Business Analysts:

  • MongoDB: 2 Business Analysts and 14 Administrators (1,500+ users)
  • SumUp: 4 Product Owners and 15 Administrators (1,200+ users)

This structure will inevitably lead to inefficiencies within the team.

Poor Stakeholder Management

The best way to keep your stakeholders aligned with the features you're building and future of the product roadmap is through a trusted, collaborative relationship. The only function on a Salesforce team that truly has time to invest in building this relationship is a Business Analyst. Without them, stakeholders are left out of the collaborative process and these leads to tension.

Lack of Inbound Prioritization

A common point of friction between stakeholders and Salesforce teams is that the stakeholders don't feel their requests are actioned quickly enough. Well, sometimes those requests aren't a smart roadmap decision. Or they are a good idea but simply can't be prioritized right now. The only way to properly manage inbound tasks is by facilitating a healthy dialogue around what's possible and what's not - again, only something that Business Analysts have the time to take on.

Incomplete Solution Design

Business Analysts are responsible for documenting processes, conducting a gap analysis, and helping to translate requirements into technical specifications and solutions. A shortage of Business Analysts means this work falls on someone else that doesn't have the time to do it properly - or worse, it gets overlooked entirely, leading to half baked solutions making their way into production.

Hiring Business Analysts isn't some silver bullet that will solve all your Salesforce problems. BUT. You need to be more strategic about HOW you construct the Salesforce team.

The resource strategy enables the product strategy.

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