In Marc Benioff’s view, the social revolution has become the trust revolution.
And leading the way is the cloud. That was the cornerstone of the Salesforce.com CEO’s welcoming keynote today. Approximately 90,000 entrepreneurs, vendors and salespeople—including an additional 35,000+ online—raptly listened as the head of the largest global cloud CRM company laid out his vision for the future.
Using six leading companies—Facebook, Coca-Cola, Burberry, Rossignol, GE, and Virgin-Atlantic—Benioff and is team of Salesforce leaders asked enticing, even magical questions: What if your jet engine could speak to your engineers? How would your customers be better served if they could tell you what beverages they wanted you to create? How could you better motivate your staff if you were better connected? And most importantly, how much more efficiently—and profitably—would your business run if your employees were connected to your product, your product were connected to your end-user, you were connected to your vendors, and you were all inter-connected to each other on a social network?
In an era where social is paving the way to a 32% increase in sales productivity, a 44% increase in forecast accuracy and a projected revenue stream of $30 billion by 2015, it’s a segment that Benioff argues can’t be ignored. His team of experts, the CEOs, CIOs and CMOs representing the portfolio companies who already leverage Salesforce to great success, agree.
“[Chattebox] translate[s] into real action,” says GE’s CMO Beth Comstock. Comstock’s mission was to fully digitize her team to leverage learning, deal-making and messaging. “Social connects the actions to the company. It’s humanizing.” And it also provides actionable insight. She values the immediate interaction she can have with her clients, whether B2B or B2C. “The ability to query someone in real-time—that’s a marketer’s dream.”
Adds Charlene Begley, also from GE, “social gives us new revenue streams. It’s about connecting the right people to the right information at the right time. It’s about bringing value to our customers.”
So how can you bring value to your customers, especially as a salesperson? First, get to know the new apps released today.
- Besides Chatterbox, the Salesforce team introduced new tools across all its platforms: The Salesforce Marketing Cloud helps marketers “manage social listening, content, engagement, advertising, workflow, automation and measurement.”
- Not to be outdone, the Sales Cloud gets Chatter Communities, to enable private social interactions with partners, suppliers and distributors.
- On the human resources side, Work.com revolutionizes recruiting, developing and managing the motivation and performance of talent.
- All these resources will now be easier to access with Salesforce Touch, enabling deal-making on any mobile device.
Next, make sure that your organization buys into social. According to a recent IBM CEO study cited by Benioff, 1709 CEOs think social has become most important way to connect with their customers—at expense of traditional approaches. Just about 70% of all companies now use social to interact either with their customers or vendors. The sector is adding $1.3 trillion to the global economy says McKinsey, and it is growing at a rate of 47% year-over-year according to IDC. With more than 150 million customer conversations happening on social every day, it’s not a question of whether your business should incorporate social. Business is social.
Finally, decide how you might transform the way you sell, market, service, innovate, collaborate and work. Your approach to these key metrics may be outdated. Make sure that you have the tools that work for you—and your customers—or you’ll hear about, via a social network.