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Digital Capability in a Modern Sales World with Salesforce

This article was originally written on LinkedIn on Wednesday 21st October, and has been reproduced here with the author’s permission.

The first Salesforce live event that I ever attended was last Tuesday, 13th October, and it was an unbelievable show. This event was a live webinar due to Covid-19.

Of course I would have loved to have actually been at a venue in person, meeting all the lovely people who attended the event face to face and being able to watch Craig David with my own eyes and not just through a screen, sitting on my sofa.

However, despite the difficult times we find ourselves in, Salesforce still managed to provide us with a great event that was thoroughly enjoyable! People who tuned in were able to witness demonstrations of new innovative features, gain great insights into Salesforce partners, as well as the understanding of the changes in the expectations of digital capability due to Covid-19. 

As a newbie to the Salesforce ecosystem, this event was a fantastic way for me to be properly introduced to the software company. I was able to witness the slickness of the event and how Salesforce have really set the standard in terms of product and innovation. I am glad that I have the pleasure of being part of the Salesforce family.

In 20 years, Salesforce has become the number one CRM software company and is always keen to innovate in new markets. The main topic I felt they were trying to address in the Salesforce Live event last Tuesday was the digital capability of companies and organisations; which would make sense due to the current Covid-19 situation.

Digital Capability

Digital capability is the term used to describe the skills and attitudes that individuals and organisations need if they are to thrive in today’s world. At an individual level we define digital capabilities as those which equip someone to live, learn and work in a digital society.

According to Salesforce,

“digital transformation is the process of using digital technologies to create, or modify existing business processes, culture, and customer experiences to meet changing business and market requirements. This reimagining of business in the digital age is digital transformation”.

Salesforce, What is Digital Transformation?

Salesforce gave us some great statistics during the event, one of them insisting that 9 out of 10 employees prefer to work at home! Let’s all be true and honest with ourselves; this comes as no surprise. 

The ability to work in the comfort of your own home, saving valuable money and time, is seen as a huge plus for employees. It could be suggested that this was going to happen anyway, due to the unrelenting improvements in the digital world. 

The 4th industrial revolution is well and truly on its way. Covid-19 has certainly sped up the process. With people now working from home, it’s therefore important organisations have the digital capability for their employees to work from home efficiently, in order for organisations to survive.

Another great stat that Salesforce provided us with was that 62% of B2B buyers prefer self service capability rather than speaking to an agent. I find this stat quite impressive within the B2B industry especially, as traditionally it takes a lot of resources to sell between businesses. 

However, it shows that there is a huge market for online automation and digital capability. Every business needs each and every department to be working efficiently and if the buying process can be made much quicker and easier, it becomes much more appealing. Therefore there is an increased demand for companies to be able to enable digital capability.

This is the same for consumers as well, due to the fact accessibility to shops and branches etc is more difficult right now. There is an increased stress on digital capability, so consumers are able to shop with minimum disruption.

We are in a time where we are changing from functional digital capability, where we integrate old processes into a digital platform, to a fully immersive digital process, where AI has a huge role to play.

This leads nicely onto my next point. 

The need for more immersive digital capability has become widely apparent due to the increased use of artificial intelligence (AI). AI in its simplest form is described as “the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think like humans and mimic their actions”.

We are able to create technology which can learn and adapt to its environment, therefore making it more practical. This means AI can be adopted to be used in any way to speed up processes within business. 

For example most UK banks offer a service over the phone where you can access your bank details within a minute due to technology which enables voice recognition. Gone are the days where you wasted time, trying to find the piece of paper with all your passwords needed to know what your balance is: going through a number of different agents before the phone cuts out before you reach the right person. 

Salesforce and AI

The AI that Avnio uses allows organisations to access a wide knowledge base, and enables the software to learn how to respond to messages, therefore responding to RFPs and other documents has become much simpler and less time consuming. This shows that an organisation’s digital capabilities are endless when paired with the right AI, and many methods can be used to allow all stakeholders to access information much quicker and easier. 

Salesforce have recently invested in AI by joining with new tech companies as well as investing in its own technology. They presented two new features, one of them being Salesforce Maps which uses AI to allocate specific regions or territories to the sales team, as well as the wider workforce, to allow for more efficient collaboration. 

Salesforce recently acquired MapAnything (now known as Salesforce Maps) and it’s now part of their ecosystem which is used to extend the power of Sales Cloud and Service Cloud post-closing to deliver market-leading location-based intelligence solutions that improve field sales and service employee productivity and deliver customer success.

The development of Salesforce Maps and working with Independent Software Vendors developing strong AI, such as Avnio, as Salesforce Partner companies shows that Salesforce is forward thinking and really pushing the boundaries of business.

More Salesforce Live events, please!

Overall, last week at the Salesforce Live Event I learnt that we are all adapting to our current situation and Covid-19 has forced companies to look at moving their digital capabilities from functional to a more immersive experience. 

Every part of an organisation needs to be perfectly aligned to work effectively, therefore it’s important their digital capability is sustainable enough for everyone to work efficiently. From their employees to their customers, each stakeholder must be able to have a fully immersive digital experience. 

This is mainly made possible by AI, which has allowed us to put more emphasis on software to enable faster processes and more reliable information. The Salesforce Live event reiterated the direction we are going with regards to digital capability.

The event really demonstrated Salesforce’s ability to help to provide updated knowledge to individuals as well. Last week’s webinar gave me a great feeling as to how privileged it is to be a part of the Salesforce ecosystem, and to be able to learn a huge amount.

Salesforce has shown me that they want to help and support other companies with potential, in order for them to also show fast growth, and if you can provide a product which innovates the market, they will push you to succeed. 

I hope one day I will be able to attend the Salesforce Live event in San Francisco, where I will be part of the Salesforce Partners crew representing Avnio. For now, I’ll settle for amazing web events, instead.

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