Archive for Salesforce

Salesforce Completes Acquisition of Slack

Posted in Commentary with tags on July 21, 2021 by itnerd

Salesforce today announced it has completed its acquisition of Slack Technologies, Inc.

Companies around the world have learned one thing over the past year—if you don’t have a digital way to connect with your employees, customers, and partners, you don’t have much of a chance of surviving. 

Headquarters are no longer on Madison Avenue or Main Street—they are in the cloud. Every business—in every industry—has to optimize for a digital-first customer, employee, and partner experience.

This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to rethink and reshape everything about how and where we work. That’s exactly what the combination of Salesforce and Slack is all about—creating the business operating system for the new world of work.

With the world’s #1 CRM, companies can sell, service, market, conduct commerce, and more from anywhere. Slack has transformed the way we work with its trailblazing digital platform for business communication, which is used by millions of people around the world and enables entire organizations to work far more efficiently and effortlessly.

Together, Salesforce and Slack will deliver the Slack-first Customer 360 that gives companies a single source of truth for their business, and a single platform for connecting employees, customers, and partners with each other and the apps they use every day, all within their existing workflows.

The combination of Salesforce and Slack also brings together two of the software industry’s most dynamic communities, creating an open and extensive ecosystem that will deliver the next generation of digital-first apps and workflows for business.

Salesforce and Slack are already making a huge difference. IBM’s 380,000 employees are working together in Slack, with numerous workflows across Salesforce Sales Cloud and Service Cloud powering customer success across locations and time zones.

As part of Salesforce, Slack will be positioned to accelerate and extend its mission to make work life simpler, more pleasant, and more productive. Slack will continue to operate under the Slack brand, driving forward a continued focus on its mission, customers, and community. Slack will continue to be led by CEO and Co-Founder Stewart Butterfield.

On Tuesday, August 17, 10:00 a.m. PT/1:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. BST, Salesforce President and COO Bret Taylor and Slack CEO and Co-Founder Stewart Butterfield will host an event to share more about how the two companies are creating a powerful platform for the digital-first, work anywhere world. You can tune into the event here

New Canadian Data: How Values Are Driving Consumer Behaviour Post-Pandemic

Posted in Commentary with tags on July 13, 2021 by itnerd

For Canadian consumers, actions speak louder than words when it comes to corporate values. According to new survey data from Salesforce Canada, the vast majority of Canadians (87%) want to shop with brands or companies that are open and honest about their values. Half of Canadians care so much about a company’s values that they’ll actively research them before deciding to shop from it.

Sustainability is a clear top priority (84%) for Canadians coming out of the pandemic. Brands now need to reassess to determine how they’ll prioritize their values, internally and externally, and communicate it back to their consumers. 

Other key stats include:

CANADIANS HAVE SPOKEN: COMING OUT OF THE PANDEMIC, CONSUMERS OVERWHELMINGLY WANT TO SHOP WITH BRANDS THAT ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE AND USING THEIR BUSINESS AS A PLATFORM FOR CHANGE

The vast majority of Canadians (83%) want to support brands/companies that prioritize values and profit equally. 

  • Majority of Canadians (87%) want to shop with brands/companies that are open and honest about their values. 
  • Half of Canadians will even actively search for a brand/company’s values before shopping with them.

AUTHENTICITY MATTERS: CANADIANS EXPECT BRANDS TO DO MORE THAN DECLARE THEIR VALUES – THEY NEED TO WALK THE WALK

  • 91% of Canadians ranked Trust as one of the most important values to them coming out of the last year. They want to trust that the brands they shop with are acting in the best interest of society. 
  • 51% of Canadian shoppers said that brand can earn their trust by publicly acknowledging when they make mistakes or missteps
  • 45% of Canadian shoppers said that a brand can earn their trust by providing transparency when it comes to their supply chain (ie. the vendors, suppliers and partners they work with) 
  • 38% of Canadian shoppers said that brand can earn their trust by quantifying and sharing their efforts publicly 
  • 35% of Canadian shoppers said that brand can earn their trust by having transparent hiring practices

A CLOSER LOOK: SUSTAINABILITY IS A TOP PRIORITY FOR CANADIAN SHOPPERS COMING OUT OF THE LAST YEAR

  • 84% of Canadians say sustainability is their top priority coming out of the pandemic.
    • Boomers (55+) find it more important (86%) than any other generation
  • About 2 in 3 most Canadians (62%) say brands/companies have the greatest responsibility to address climate change.
  • 35% of Canadians would sacrifice shipping time in order to purchase a product that is more sustainable, over half (54%) would sacrifice nice packaging and 1 in 3 (29%)  would even be willing to sacrifice price. 
  • Five years ago, only 9% of Canadians made an effort to shop with sustainably minded brands. Today, that number has more than tripled with 34% of Canadians planning to spend their dollars with sustainable businesses over the next two years.

A GENERATIONAL LENS: MILLENNIAL AND GEN Z SHOPPERS ARE BOLDLY VOTING FOR VALUES WITH THEIR DOLLARS

  • A quarter (23%) of Millennials/Gen Z (18-34) started shopping with a brand because it openly supported a cause that mattered to them
  • When discovering that a brand’s values don’t align with their own, 1 in 4 Canadian millennials will unfollow the company on social media. Another 23% will actually stop buying their products.

About the survey: 

From June 18th to June 20th 2021 an online survey of 1,522 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Maru Voice Canada panelists was executed by Maru/Blue. For comparison purposes, a probability sample of this size has an estimated margin of error (which measures sampling variability) of +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been weighted by education, age, gender and region (and in Quebec, language) to match the population, according to Census data. This is to ensure the sample is representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

AWS & Salesforce Announce Expansive Partnership To Unify Developer Experiences & Launch New Intelligent Applications

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 23, 2021 by itnerd

Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS) and Salesforce today announced a significant expansion of their global strategic partnership that will make it easy for customers to use the full set of Salesforce and AWS capabilities together to quickly build and deploy powerful new business applications that accelerate digital transformation.

The partnership will drive customer value through new and enhanced unification between AWS and Salesforce products. Developers will now be able to build and launch custom applications that extend the power of both platforms by connecting Salesforce data and workflows natively into their solutions running on AWS, and make it easy for Salesforce developers to integrate AWS data and workflows into their Salesforce applications. Salesforce will also embed AWS services for voice, video, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) directly in new applications for sales, service, and industry vertical use cases. With these new offerings, customers can purchase out-of-the-box solutions directly from Salesforce and then consume the integrated AWS services on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Organizations from around the world rely on Salesforce to manage their customer relationships and build new applications leveraging the Salesforce platform, while using AWS for their compute, storage, and database needs along with AWS technologies like Amazon Connect (an omnichannel cloud contact center), Amazon Redshift (a fully managed, petabyte-scale data warehouse service in the cloud), and AWS Lambda (a serverless compute service that enables customers to run code without provisioning or managing servers). Previously, significant custom integration code was often required for customers that wanted to combine AWS and Salesforce capabilities for their applications. These new offerings will enable customers to use AWS and Salesforce services together seamlessly through new, unified platforms. The companies have also collaborated on new low-code tools to help customers innovate and build applications that connect data in real-time between Salesforce applications and AWS services.

Unifying the Developer Experience

  • Create custom business applications faster and easier: New low-code and click-to-launch development tools will accelerate the creation of custom applications, built on top of Salesforce and AWS services. Salesforce’s point-and-click development tools will operate directly on data from AWS services like Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) or Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), as if the data were native in Salesforce.
  • Unleash the power of customer data with real-time events: By natively connecting AWS’s services with the Salesforce platform, real-time data will securely move between the two providers, allowing customers to more easily automate workflow and maintain a single view of the end customer.
  • Simplify security, identity and access management: A new guided setup experience will make it easier for customers to bring Salesforce products and AWS services together. Sign into AWS from Salesforce Setup or into Salesforce from the AWS Management Console to simplify service authorization, user identity, security, permissions, and data management and governance between Salesforce and AWS.

New Intelligent Applications

  • Sell, service, and engage smarter from anywhere: Customers will be able to innovate quickly with pre-built out-of-the-box applications and add-ons that leverage AWS services for voice, video, and productivity with AI/ML functionality. For example, customers can activate virtual call centers and empower high-velocity sales teams with Amazon Connect and AWS AI/ML services, pre-integrated into both Sales Cloud and Service Cloud.
  • Launch industry-specific customer solutions: Customers will be able to deliver new digital experiences and services to remain ahead of industry disruption by leveraging AWS technologies like Amazon Chime SDK (embedded real-time communication capabilities), Amazon Textract (intelligent data extraction from scanned documents), Amazon Comprehend (natural language processing to uncover information in text), and others directly within Salesforce Industry Clouds. Starting with a telehealth solution, Healthcare customers can deploy an intelligent virtual care platform to deliver personalized patient experiences.

Salesforce Expands Its Financial Services Offerings For Corporate & Investment Banking

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 9, 2021 by itnerd

Salesforce today announced Corporate and Investment Banking for Financial Services Cloud, new technology to help bankers and deal teams deepen relationships with clients, manage deal interactions on one platform and compliantly collaborate and share sensitive information relevant to a deal.

As the pandemic made clear, industries need to innovate fast to stay relevant. Financial services is no exception; investment bankers need digital technology to drive efficiency, build and deepen relationships with customers, and win more deals. They also require a single view of large amounts of client data, integrated in one platform, to help avoid mismanagement and improve quality. 

In addition, compliance officers are working in a banking landscape wrought with regulatory complexities, including managing sensitive information like material nonpublic information and assessing potential conflicts of interest. Banks can suffer reputation damage, business disruption, regulatory fines and revenue loss if sensitive information is mismanaged, conflicts of interest are not caught in time, or compliance is not securely maintained.

Corporate and Investment Banking for Financial Services Cloud is designed to deliver a complete experience across the client journey, and supports new integrations with Tableau CRM and Einstein Relationship Insights (ERI) to provide bankers with purpose-built technology. This includes:

  • Maximizing banker efficiency and productivity. Investment bankers can manage the entire deal lifecycle while tracking deal activities and client interactions on one platform from anywhere. Using Salesforce low code tools, they can automate deal execution processes related to M&A, capital raising and corporate restructuring. With the power of Tableau CRM for Financial Services, bankers can use deal analytics to optimize their deal pipeline and client engagement with access to historical client data, previous pitches and meeting notes all in one place — and from the device of their choice.
  • Uncovering relationships with an AI-based research tool. ERI is a new relationship discovery tool integrated with Financial Services Cloud. It automatically highlights relevant personnel or companies in sources such as a press release, news article, or email, to surface relevant connections and discover unanticipated relationships. For example, if a banker wants an introduction to a prospective client, ERI is able to search unstructured data and text on the web, such as a new board member announcement, uncovering that the prospect sits on the same non-profit board as one of the banker’s connections, providing the opportunity for a warm introduction. 
  • Ensuring compliance for client engagement. Investment banks can maintain compliance by ensuring sensitive client or deal data is only shared with relevant stakeholders. For example, if a banker is working on a sensitive M&A deal, she can ensure her colleagues trading related stocks do not have a view into the prospective M&A deal under consideration. Also, a banker can initiate the client onboarding process from Salesforce, and track the progress with partner solutions.
  • Leveraging data as a strategic advantage. Bankers often need to log into seven or eight systems to access relevant information to their deal. Now, bankers can integrate internal data on deal mandates with external market data from partners — such as S&P Global — for a full view of their clients. Bankers can access company valuation from S&P Global while viewing information such as revenue, employee salaries, and other potential risks all within Salesforce, avoiding the need to switch between multiple applications.

Major banking institutions are already leveraging Salesforce to engage more deeply with their clients:

  • Evercore, a leading global independent investment banking advisory firm, recognized the value a robust technology platform could bring to their business. Evercore selected the Salesforce platform to create a secure, centralized solution designed to provide bankers with access to relevant client information. As a customer, Evercore will benefit from the innovation delivered through Corporate and Investment Banking for Financial Services Cloud focusing on client relationship mapping, internal collaboration and other functionalities specifically designed to deliver a more personalized experience for investment bankers.
  • TD is one of the largest banks in North America. As part of its strategic technology roadmap, TD is building a unified banking experience including leveraging the Salesforce platform across their businesses.  Within TD Securities, a comprehensive Salesforce-driven CRM solution is being implemented to help bring leading products and trusted advice to their clients.
  • Moelis & Co. is a global independent investment bank that provides financial advisory services to corporations, governments, and financial sponsors. With Salesforce, Moelis & Co. is able to better streamline banker processes. The mobile-first application keeps bankers and deal teams updated on recent client activity and using passively collected data, they are creating more efficient ways to gather suggested relationships for bankers to rate. With this technology, bankers have more visibility into client relationships across the firm, enabling them to better collaborate and maintain a well-coordinated presence with their clients.

Salesforce has an extensive partner ecosystem that provides unique expertise and solutions for financial institutions globally. ISV partners such as S&P Global Market Intelligence and Fenergo extend and complement the value of Financial Services Cloud. Additionally, consulting partners KPMG, Silverline and VASS are experts in corporate and investment banking and are equipped to implement financial services solutions tailored for individual customers.

Built on the world’s #1 CRM platform, Financial Services Cloud enables financial services institutions to build trust by unifying the customer experience across channels, geographies, and lines of business — both consumer and commercial. With purpose-built industry functionality and all the capabilities of Sales Cloud and Service Cloud, financial services firms can increase employee productivity, accelerate time to value, and deepen customer trust with every interaction. Learn more about Salesforce Financial Services Cloud here.

Corporate and Investment Banking for Financial Services Cloud will be generally available in Summer 2021.

Salesforce Unveils New Digital 360 Innovations

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 2, 2021 by itnerd

Salesforce today announced new innovations across Digital 360, helping companies go digital faster and deliver the next generation of marketing, commerce and digital experiences. Salesforce will debut these new technologies and more at the Connections opening keynote today at 9:00 a.m. PT

As consumers continue to push the limits of what it means to be digital first — from buying cars and groceries online to applying for mortgages on their phones — businesses’ marketing budget is following suit, with online sales reaching over $4 trillion and digital expected to hit half of all global ad spend this year. Salesforce is helping companies stay ahead of these shifts, powering an average of more than 100 billion Einstein predictions, sending 682 billion emails and delivering a daily average of three million commerce transactions in 2020. 

To get more from digital, companies need to create connected experiences and have a complete understanding of their customers’ preferences, passions and needs. New technologies from Salesforce combine data and digital to make this possible — bringing together marketing, commerce, sales and service, so companies can put customers at the center of their digital strategy.

Marketing Cloud 360: The next generation of marketing
 With the next generation of Marketing Cloud, marketers can get to know their customers through a single source of truth to engage with relevancy, humanize every moment at scale with AI-powered personalization to inspire action and loyalty, and optimize overall marketing impact with unified analytics.

Salesforce CDPAn enterprise customer data platform, Salesforce CDP supercharges customer interactions everywhere. Companies can bring together data from the world’s #1 CRM — across sales, service, marketing, loyalty and commerce — and use it to deliver powerful marketing, advertising and personalization that grows relationships and revenue. Today, Salesforce CDP is integrating two technologies to help companies quickly deliver a more dynamic experience at any moment:

  • Interaction Studio analyzes cross-channel brand interactions and applies Einstein to instantly determine and send a message, product offer or content recommendation.
  • Loyalty Management gives companies real-time audience segments of their best customers, including membership status, loyalty tier and points balance to nurture relationships and create lasting loyalty.
  • Google and Salesforce: Customers today increasingly interact with brands digitally and have rising expectations for their online privacy. The strategic partnership between Google and Salesforce helps marketers better understand their customers, in a way that respects privacy and maintains trust, by using first-party data to achieve smarter measurement and activation, including Customer Match, across marketing and advertising. The companies will continue to invest in solutions that make it easier to use customer insights from Salesforce products, including the Salesforce CDP, for activation across advertising on Google.
  • Datorama Reports for Marketing Cloud: Powered by Salesforce Datorama, Marketing Cloud’s analytics offering, marketers now have direct access to new email, mobile and journey reports to analyze and optimize performance — all within the Marketing Cloud interface. 
  • Marketer Career Path on Trailhead: Now, there is a single destination in Trailhead — Salesforce’s free online learning platform — with resources for anyone looking to start or build their marketing career. With over two million marketing badges earned to date, Trailhead is providing anyone with access to job-specific learning, a community of expert marketers, and custom learning paths to upskill for marketing career paths in email, demand generation, marketing analytics, data science and CMO leadership.
  • Snapchat Audience Match: Marketers can now use their first-party data stored in Salesforce to create targeted, personalized advertising audiences for Snapchat. Companies can use what they already know about their customers to engage customers with tailored, 1-to-1 content on the platform, and grow customer lists by identifying new targets with similar characteristics to existing customers using lookalikes. 
  • WhatsApp Integration: Companies can use Marketing Cloud’s WhatsApp Business Solution to increase customer engagement with keyword detection, transactional messages and more. Now, companies can communicate with customers on WhatsApp directly, easily setting up an account, channels and message templates.


Commerce Cloud 360: The next generation of customer-centric commerce
Commerce Cloud helps companies move beyond a single transaction and create lifelong relationships. New technologies will help companies identify business trends, personalize customer experiences, and simply connect the end-to-end commerce journey, from the online storefront to order management and beyond. 

  • Salesforce CDP for Commerce: With Commerce Cloud data integrated into Salesforce CDP out-of-the-box, companies get a complete view of first-party customer data across every touchpoint, providing a true single source of truth and the ability to use commerce data in cross-channel marketing. 
  • B2B2C Commerce: With the new B2B2C Commerce app, B2B companies can quickly launch a connected, direct-to-consumer (D2C) ecommerce storefront with clicks, not code. Now, companies that sell through distributors and retailers can capture that first-party data, enabling them to better understand their full customer base, connect directly with marketing, sales and service and in turn unlock a new revenue stream. 
  • Salesforce Order Management: Salesforce Order Management powers companies beyond the buy button — through fulfillment, delivery and loyalty. With Omnichannel Inventory and Distributed Order Management, companies can see real-time inventory across an entire network of stores and fulfillment centers, allowing them to turn their stores into distribution centers and provide customers with a choice in how they receive their items — same-day delivery, buy online pickup in store and more. With the addition of Order Management for B2B, business buyers will have more transparency and control over their orders with self-service fulfillment tracking, cancellations, order modifications and more. 
  • Headless PWA Kit and Managed Runtime: With the new Progressive Web Application (PWA) Kit and Managed Runtime, developer teams can quickly and cost-efficiently decouple front-end and back-end technologies to create highly customized consumer-facing experiences — also known as headless commerce. Traditional commerce solutions take months to implement and are disconnected from the full customer journey. With Salesforce, developers can spend less time maintaining infrastructure and more time creating interactive and innovative customer experiences. 


Availability:

  • Salesforce CDP for Loyalty Management, Datorama Reports for Marketing Cloud, WhatsApp Integration, Distributed Order Management and Omnichannel Inventory are all generally available today. 
  • B2B2C Commerce, Salesforce CDP for Interaction Studio and Snapchat Audience Match are expected to be generally available in June 2021. 
  • Salesforce Headless PWA Kit and Managed Runtime are expected to be generally available in August 2021. 
  • Order Management for B2B and Salesforce CDP for Commerce Cloud are expected to be generally available in October 2021. 

Salesforce Canada Illustrates How Customer Expectations Across Canada Have Changed Since the Beginning of the Pandemic

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 29, 2021 by itnerd

The pandemic adjustment period is long over, and Canadians need more from their online shopping experiences than ever before. E-commerce is now simply commerce, and more than three-quarters (76%) of Canadians expect customer service online to be as good as, or better, than the in-store experience. 

New research from Salesforce Canada reveals insights around how consumers expectations have evolved after a year that redefined and recalibrated long held shopping habits. 

POST-PANDEMIC, CANADIAN ONLINE SHOPPERS EXPECT BETTER EXPERIENCE, ABILITY TO SHOP FOR BIG TICKET ITEMS, MORE PRODUCT VARIETY 

When asked how their expectations of online shopping changed since the beginning of the pandemic: 

  • More than three-quarters (76%) expect customer service online to be as good as or better than the in-store experience. 
  • 67% of Canadians expect online stores to better understand their needs 
  • 46% of Canadians expect online brands to know their customer profile 
  • About one-third (31%) now expect to be able to buy big-ticket items, such as vehicles and houses, online. This increases to nearly half (44%) of 18- to 24-year-olds.
  • More than 8 in 10 (82%) Canadians expect to buy a greater variety of products online. 

IN-STORE SAFETY IS HERE TO STAY – CANADIANS SAY IT WILL BE THEIR TOP PRIORITY POST-PANDEMIC, FOLLOWED BY TECHNOLOGY-DRIVEN EXPERIENCES ALLOWING THEM TO SHOP FROM ANYWHERE

  • 71% of Canadians say the in-store safety experience will be the most important shopping feature to them even after the pandemic is over. 
  • Other Canadian shopper priorities in a post-pandemic world include: 
    • 36% of Canadians want a variety of shipping and return options
    • 36% of Canadians want personalization 
    • 31% want social media shopping 
    • 33% want customer service live chat 
    • 20% want virtual access to in-store associates 

CANADIANS RANK PRODUCT QUALITY #1 PRIORITY IN ONLINE SHOPPING EXPERIENCE – BUT MANY WILLING TO COMPROMISE PRODUCT FOR BETTER ONLINE EXPERIENCE

  • One-third (33%) of Canadians say they are willing to compromise on product quality for a positive customer experience. 
  • When shopping online, the majority of Canadians (85%) prioritize product quality. When shopping in-store, a quarter of Canadians (25%) say customer experience is top priority. 

CANADIAN BRAND LOYALTY IS IN FLUX:  BRANDS WITH THE BEST CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE POISED TO TAKE THE LEAD

  • Nearly half (43%) of Canadians surveyed (18-34)  are less loyal to brands today than they were one year ago: the availability of more brands online means they have more selection of where to shop. 
  • Pandemic supply strain is a notable factor in customer loyalty: 41% of Canadians say they are less loyal to retailers today because they shop wherever there is a consistent and plentiful supply of the products they need. 
  • Of those Canadians who are more loyal to the retailers they shop with today, top reasons include: 
    • 44% of Canadians said the experience is convenient and easy to shop whether they’re online or in-store, while 53% value consistent product quality. 
    • About half (48%) said the customer service they receive is quick and readily available.

MORE THAN POINTS: CANADIANS SAY THEIR BRAND LOYALTY IS LINKED TO COMPANIES THAT GIVE BACK, PERSONALIZED SHOPPING EXPERIENCES AND EXCLUSIVE OFFERS 

  • More than one-quarter (26%) of Millennial Canadians (18-34) expect brands to reward their loyalty by giving back to a cause they support. This is over double compared to older generations (15% of 34-55 and 13% of 55+). 
  • 34% of Canadians surveyed cited brand loyalty being driven by shared values with the brands they shop from. 
  • About one in five Canadians expect brands to reward their loyalty with even more personalized shopping experiences 
  • Nearly half (48%) of Canadians expect exclusive access to new offerings or discounts. 

About the survey:

From April 14 to April 15, 2021, an online survey of 1,521 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Maru Voice Canada panelists was executed by Maru/Blue. For comparison purposes, a probability sample of this size has an estimated margin of error (which measures sampling variability) of +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been weighted by education, age, gender and region (and, in Quebec, language) to match the population, according to Census data. This is to ensure the sample is representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

Salesforce’s Trends In Manufacturing Report Released

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 24, 2021 by itnerd

For manufacturers across Canada, the pandemic has exposed weaknesses surrounding how we produce goods. 2020 really highlighted Canada’s dependence on the manufacturing sector to keep our economy operational, and thus highlighted the importance of ensuring this sector, including all facets of oil & gas, is at the top of its game.

In this new age, what’s becoming infinitely clearer is that Canadian manufacturers need advanced manufacturing technology to deliver premium products, achieve superior operations and meet our country’s needs.

To help manufacturers navigate the road ahead, today Salesforce is releasing its first-ever Trends in Manufacturing Report, a survey of 750 manufacturing leaders globally (including 50+ Canadians), to help guide decision making around the growing need, and in fact opportunity, to become “future ready”. 

Here are the key points:

he Manufacturing C-Suite is focusing on optimizing processes and adapting demand planning

  • 77% of Canadian manufacturers say digital transformation is their top priority for improving operations
  • Eight in ten global manufacturers (81%) say they need both new approaches and new tools for accurate forecasting. 
  • 95% percent of global manufacturers admit to applying manual approaches to their forecasting, with less than half of manufacturers using mostly-automated tools. 
  • In response, 81% consider moving their planning process to the cloud is a critical or high priority
  • Over half of global manufacturers rely on a primary manual process for generating quotes/proposals, prioritizing leads/opportunities and determining what action to take on accounts
  • Canadian C-suite manufacturing  executives say the following is critical or high priority over the next 24 months:
    1. Increasing process efficiencies (82%)
    2. Demand planning (82%)
    3. Digital transformation (86%)
    4. New service offerings  (86%)

Changes to customer-facing roles are here to stay

  • 31% of global manufactures say COVID significantly changed their need for improved marketing/customer communications and 30% of manufacturers say COVID significantly changed their need for customer service capabilities
    • Over half of manufacturers consider the changes to customer service and sales capabilities to be permanent.
  • Legacy tools and siloed operations are among the biggest hurdles
    • 44% of Canadian manufacturers consider legacy tools and dispersed data serious challenges.

Take a look at the key data here:

  • Trends in Manufacturing Report blog post here;
  • Trends in Manufacturing full report here;
  • Interactive research dashboard w/ Canadian specific data here.

New Salesforce Research Reveals Pandemic’s Lasting Impact On Customer Service

Posted in Commentary with tags on December 8, 2020 by itnerd

As the serial crises of 2020 redefines customer engagement, customer service leaders are transforming their operations, accelerating digital transformation, and overhauling their workforce management strategies. 

That’s according to Salesforce’s fourth State of Service research report, released today, which provides a snapshot of the priorities, challenges, and trajectories of customer service teams around the world and in Canada. This edition is based on Salesforce’s largest and most global survey of customer service agents, decision makers, mobile workers, and dispatchers: over 7,000 respondents across 33 countries – including 300 from Canada.

KEY CANADIAN DATA

Teams Navigate New Standards of Engagement – the pandemic has exposed customer service shortcomings, and leaders are taking decisive action

  • 76% of service decision makers say their service organization is accelerating digital initiatives
  • 73% of service decision makers say they’ve invested in new service technology
  • 88% of service professionals say customers have increased their use of digital service channels
  • 87% of service professionals say they’ve changed policies to provide more flexibility to customers during the pandemic

Agent Agility is Key as Demand Surges – digital transformation is accelerating for customers and employees alike

  • 67% of service professionals say balancing customer service speed and quality is difficult
  • 80% of service agents/dispatchers say automating routine tasks allows them to focus on more complex work
  • 70% of service professionals say they’re more reliant on data than before the pandemic

Service Extends to Sales, Marketing, and Beyond – service teams are being challenged by a new era of workforce engagement

  • 75% of service agents say they have a complete and accessible view of a customer’s sales interactions
  • 71% of service professionals say it’s impossible to provide great customer service without full context

Workforce Management Takes a New Shape – the shift to remote work has changed how service works

  • 70% of service professionals don’t know – or aren’t sure if – they’ll work from home in 2021
  • 76% of service agents say they can provide excellent customer experience from home

Career Paths Come Into Focus – training is a focus as requisite skill sets evolve

  • 84% of service agents say they see a direct link between their work and business performance
  • 39% of service agents say they need better training to do their job well

Field Service Evolution Drives Revenue – field service is thriving, even amid a pandemic

  • 74% of service decision makers say field service is a key part of their overall strategy
  • 90% of service mobile workers their they employer has taken the steps necessary to keep them safe in the field during the pandemic
  • 72% of service decision makers say COVID-19 has permanently transformed filed service

If you want to take a deeper dive, an interactive dashboard featuring all data is available here.

Salesforce Serves Up Almost $28B To Buy Slack

Posted in Commentary with tags , on December 2, 2020 by itnerd

Salesforce, the CRM powerhouse that recently surpassed $20 billion in annual revenue, announced yesterday that it is wading deeper into enterprise social by acquiring Slack in a $27.7 billion megadeal:

Salesforce co-founder and CEO Marc Benioff didn’t mince words on his latest purchase. “This is a match made in heaven. Together, Salesforce and Slack will shape the future of enterprise software and transform the way everyone works in the all-digital, work-from-anywhere world,” Benioff said in a statement. Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield was no less effusive than his future boss. “As software plays a more and more critical role in the performance of every organization, we share a vision of reduced complexity, increased power and flexibility, and ultimately a greater degree of alignment and organizational agility. Personally, I believe this is the most strategic combination in the history of software, and I can’t wait to get going,” Butterfield said in a statement.

I’m not sure that this is a win for Salesforce. I’ve been seeing examples of companies that had been using Slack dropping it for Microsoft Teams when Office 365 gets rolled out in their environment. And that’s been happening for at least a year or more. Thus It’s always been my sense that Slack has been circling the drain for a while now. And Salesforce might have massively overpaid for a company with a diminishing value proposition. But maybe I’m wrong about this and there’s something that Slack offers that is worth almost $28 billion. Though I don’t know what that could be. But I guess we will see in the next year or two.

New Canadian Black Friday & Cyber Week Data from Salesforce

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 26, 2020 by itnerd

With Black Friday (Nov 27) and Cyber Monday (Nov 30) quickly approaching, I wanted to share some Canadian research data from Salesforce.

The 2020 Shopping Index Report  predicts that this year’s COVID-19 shaped holiday shopping season will see a 30% spike in global online holiday sales, not surprising considering that 65% of Canadian shoppers plan to shop more online this year than they did in previous years. 

This holiday shopping season’s standout stats include: 

  • 89% of Canadians expect companies to accelerate online shopping capabilities
  • 2020 holiday sales are estimated at $5.1 trillion with a record high of $940 billion of these dollars to be spent online 
  • The surge in online transactions is expected to reach 18 percent of total retail sales globally 
  • Canadian customers estimate 53% of their interactions with businesses will take place online this year, compared to 34% in 2019

FOUR MAJOR 2020 HOLIDAY SHOPPING PREDICTIONS 

Prediction #1: Fulfillment Concerns Will Overshadow Brandy Loyalty

  • 700 million holiday packages are expected to be delayed as online orders exceed shipping capacity by 5% globally.
  • $40 billion in COVID-19 delivery surcharges are expected between November 15 and January 15 globally
  • Buy online, pickup in store offers will grow digital revenue by an average of 90% over last holiday season

Prediction #2: Cyber week growth despite the earlier holiday shopping trend 

  • Cyber Week digital traffic is expected to grow by 28% this year despite early holiday shopping leading to a $26 billion spending increase in October. 

Prediction #3: Growth in Online Shopping Means a Spike in Holiday Returns

  • $280 billion in online purchases are expected to be returned globally—30 percent of all purchases made. 
  • Consumers are predicted to engage 30% more with service agents this holiday season

Prediction #4: New Consumer Behaviours will Drive Hot Product Categories

  • Beauty, electronics and gaming will once again be top holiday spending categories in 2020 but home furnishings and decor, home fitness and toys are among the new leading categories this year

→ Link to entire holiday predictions press release HERE