May 28 by Maria Pergolino
The keynote presentation at Salesforce1 Amsterdam highlighted growing trends in business technology that allow you to connect to customers in a whole new way:
- 75 billion connected “Things” (from smartphones, and wearables to jet engines and ultrasound machines) including by 2020
- 1 trillion connected devices by 2014
- 5 billion smartphones by 2017
- 4.5 billion aggregated social users
This event served as a reminder to prepare for these changes. Here are five things your company should be considering based on this Salesforce1 event:
1. Innovation is Key For Your Organization’s Success
Salesforce is undoubtedly a leader in enterprise cloud computing, due to their unwavering commitment to innovation. In fact, Forbes recently named them the World’s Most Innovative company for a third year in a row. Their tagline says it all: No Hardware, No Software, No Boundaries.
During the Salesforce1 Amsterdam event, they expanded on this commitment to innovation by introducing their Ignite offering, which will allow companies to partner with and utilize Salesforce’s cloud delivery infrastructure to design and execute their visions faster than ever before.
What your company should do: Think critically about how you are innovating. Create a plan for ways to innovate by leveraging internal ideas and exploring new technologies.
2. Your Success is Only as Good as Your Employees
Employee focus was a common theme throughout the event. It was an important reminder to consider ways to improve on-boarding and training, sales processes and the communication tactics we use with our employees.
What your company should do: Look at what you offer your team members and decide whether this is enough to attract and retain top talent. Then think about how you are training your employees and what processes could be improved to make their job easier.
3. Give Back
Amid all of their success, what many fail to recognize about Salesforce is their commitment to philanthropy. The Salesforce Foundation supports 22K nonprofits that use their technology by offering free or reduced fees for their product. Sessions at the Amsterdam event also highlighted other well-known and fast growth companies like Google, Box, VMWare, Splunk, Dropbox, Yelp, Zynga and Workday that have similar philanthropy models.
What your company should do: Invest in philanthropy now, but try to utilize your own people, technology and resources to do it. Not only will you be giving back, but you will be motivating your employees and helping others succeed.
4. You Must Deliver Locally to Support Globally
Salesforce is doubling down in Europe in a big way. It is no longer enough to simply sell locally; you must deliver locally as well to ensure your customers are happy and successful. This may sound expensive, but is critical if you want to continue to expand.
What your company should do: Consider how you are delivering for your global customers in a local way. Are you simply staffing employees in local regions to sell more, or are you really delivering a top-tier product or service for your customers around the world?
5. Make your Products Connected Products
Much of the discussion in Amsterdam revolved around the increased connectivity of products and consumers. We are in the middle of a customer-led revolution where technology is forever changing the expectations for user experience and actionable data collection. Every company that makes a product (both physical and digital) is responsible for delivering services tied to real-time data, location-awareness and highly contextual engagements that will enhance these connections.
What your company should do: You can no longer view your products and services in a siloed fashion. More and more, products are being integrated into the daily lives of your customers through these connections. Invest in connections across all channels and devices to improve the usability of your products for your customers.
Built on Saleforce1, Apttus Quote-to-Cash is taking part in this connected revolution by creating stronger links between vendors and their customers and partners. Whether it is enabling your reps and partners to sell more, sell bigger, and sell anywhere or your marketing team to build flexible, highly localized and customer-driven e-commerce storefronts, Quote-to-Cash is creating its own revolution in sales effectiveness across both direct and indirect channels.
The benefits of Quote-to-Cash will be discussed in detail by an impressive roster of industry experts at the upcoming Accelerate 2014 conference, June 16-18 in San Francisco. To learn more, click here.