Salesforce: More important than you think

The biggest event on the CRM calendar for 2023 was the Salesforce World Tour Essentials Johannesburg, which saw the leader in the field touch down in our country for the local leg of this globetrotting adventure.

This local event is now, unfortunately, over, but that doesn’t mean you need to miss any of it. We had boots on the ground at World Tour Essentials Johannesburg and you can see what happened by following our coverage here.

We’ve already written about how Salesforce is leveraging AI to improve all parts of its business, and the businesses of its clients. How the company is bringing money and jobs into South Africa and Africa as a whole, how skills shortages are being addressed and much more.

Before all that, however, what is Salesforce? It may seem like an afterthought, but for new and even returning clients it’s nice to go back to the basics to ask this question.

Asking it again – and answering – is Robin Fisher, head of the Mediterranean, Austria, Israel, CEE, Middle East, and Africa region for Salesforce.

Fisher kicked off the event as the first speaker at a roundtable by giving us the condensed history of Salesforce and its immense impact in the world of software, such as the fact that it popularised the free to try enterprise software model. Now that many pieces of software, enterprise or otherwise, are expected to have a free trial as a norm, shows the decades-long impact of Salesforce.

While innovations like this are obviously important, the core of Salesforce is made on five core values: Trust, Customer Success, Innovation, Equality, and Sustainability.

“Trust has to be at the core of everything we do. We are now the world’s largest enterprise cloud computing company. There are companies that are bigger than us in other aspects such as non-enterprise software, but why do we continue to lead? It’s because of trust. Our customers trust that our solutions just work. We employ the best of the best to guard against downtime and security incidents, especially as others let this aspect of software slip,” Fisher says.

This trust from customers to rely on Salesforce solutions that always work leads to the second core value of Customer Success.

And again we have to cover the unique way Salesforce has innovated in the space. In the past, when enterprise software was a million-plus dollar one time purchase, the company selling that software cared less about the success of their customer. The sale had been made. With Salesforce and their renewable model, it’s in their best interest to help you succeed, which is why they do things differently, such as employing people – Customer Success Managers – whose sole role is to help customers succeed.

If the free trial, Customer Success Managers, unique business model, and more didn’t already explain innovation, Fisher goes on to provide more examples.

One of them is the iterations of Salesforce’s platform. While Salesforce is always improving and offering more (especially with AI, a recurring theme of World Tour Essentials Johannesburg), customers don’t need to worry about juggling updates and different versions. Instead there’s one version of Salesforce that is always up to date and ready to go.

The core value of Equality is especially important in South Africa, a country that is famous for not only nurturing huge companies, but also for its strong small and medium-sized enterprises (SMME) landscape. This means that single person companies get the same great service and treatment from Salesforce as a multinational corporation.

This is again how Salesforce does things differently where enterprise software used to only be sold to blue chip companies and everyone else was left out. Instead, everyone can buy a Salesforce licence. No matter who you or your company is, Salesforce is there for you.

Finally we have the most recent of the core values, Sustainability.

“You have to leave the world a better place than when you found it. Sustainability is at our core and at Salesforce we have worked to become a net zero company. This, in turn, helps our customers become net zero themselves,” Fisher concludes.

This has been just an introduction to Salesforce and the World Tour Essentials Johannesburg. As mentioned you can click here for more.


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