Archive for Salesforce

Salesforce Announces The Latest Nonprofit Trends Report

Posted in Commentary with tags on February 20, 2020 by itnerd

As non-profits operate in an increasing volatile world and evolving digital landscape, they face both challenges to their missions and opportunities for their vision.

The world needs non-profits, as it is continuously threatened by climate change, natural and human-made disasters, humanitarian crises, political chaos and food insecurity. In order to meet this need, technology has become the great equalizer. In fact, 85% of nonprofits surveyed agreed that technology is key to the success of their operations, as it allows them to reach new audiences, serve more communities, respond to new challenges, or optimize opportunities.

Salesforce prepared a summary of key findings for the report below, and, the company’s social impact centre focused on tackling the world’s biggest problems, has created a great blog post that summarizes the report really nicely here.

Key Canadian report findings include:

People want to be involved in non-profits’ work

  • 72% of non-profits report an increase in desire from constituents’ to participate in their organizations

Transparency and trust are still the keys to success

  • 71% report an increase in demand for transperancy
  • 23% state there is a lack of trust and transparency within non-profits

Funding continues to be an issue

  • 34% stated that changes in government funding have affected their ability to deliver on their mission

 Capturing and leveraging data are continuous challenges for non-profits

  • 37% say that capturing and managing accurate data on constituents is at least a substantial challenge
  • 71% state it is hard to understand if their programs are effective and/or reaching the population they set out to serve

 CRM is the most used technology

  • 79% of non-profits currently use CRM, followed by marketing automation at 35% and social engagement at 34%


“Hey Einstein”— Salesforce Brings Voice to Every Customer Experience

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 19, 2019 by itnerd

Salesforce is bringing the power of voice to every customer experience spanning the Salesforce Customer 360 Platform and enabling millions of CRM users to talk to Salesforce. With Einstein Voice Assistant guiding every action, insight and prediction, Salesforce users will be more productive—from anywhere. And new Einstein Voice Skills will enable developers and admins to build custom voice-powered apps for employees across every role and industry, in just a matter of clicks. In addition, new solutions for service and sales teams will apply natural language processing to voice conversations, and deliver insights that drive smarter, more personalized customer engagement.

Voice Enters the Workplace

Voice is rapidly emerging as the user interface for our lives. Nearly half of U.S. households are already using a voice-activated device for everyday activities like getting driving directions, dictating text messages, playing their favorite songs and even turning on home appliances – all without lifting a finger or tapping a keyboard. And, just like every other computing revolution that came before itcloud, social, mobile and AISalesforce is helping companies bring voice’s immense potential to CRM to transform the way we work.

Talk to Salesforce Anytime, Anywhere with Einstein Voice

Last year at Dreamforce 2018, Salesforce introduced Einstein Voice Assistant, allowing sales reps to talk to Salesforce. With Einstein Voice Assistant, routine CRM transactions – creating or updating customer records, getting personalized daily briefings and exploring dashboards – can be done conversationally, so sales reps can keep their business moving forward and focus on what matters most, customer success.

But every employee can use a guide to help them be more productive and provide a smarter, more frictionless way to ask questions, get insights and predictions or initiate a task. Today, Salesforce announced it will expand the capabilities of Einstein Voice Assistant for any role or industry, giving every app built on Salesforce a voice. This is powered by new Einstein Voice Skills, which will empower admins and developers to create custom voice apps across the Salesforce Customer 360 Platform in just a few clicks.

Build Custom Voice Apps for Any Business Process

Using Einstein Voice Skills, companies will be able to create custom voice-powered apps to reimagine workflows and processesreplacing any manual data entry or manual Salesforce navigation that may impede productivity. From a simple set-up page, developers and admins will be able to build custom skills for any CRM actionsuch as updating a field, creating a task or reading out a predictionand select the Salesforce fields or objects that inform each action.

For example, an admin or developer can build a custom voice-powered assistant for a field technician that enables her to verbally and instantly check on a service history while en route to her next customer, Acme, just by saying “Hey Einstein, what is Acme’s recent service history?” Meanwhile, admins can also build and deploy a separate, custom voice app for service managers that has a seat at the table for weekly leadership meetings, offering insight on open service cases in top regions, guidance on the team’s overall CSAT performance and more. Each app is purpose-built for the specific needs and processes of each role. Plus, admins can also control how information will be read back to the user, including the ability to offer next steps or follow-up tasks within the response, and which channels and devices that the skill is accessible on, such smart speakers or phones.

Voice Intelligence: Smarter and More Productive Service and Sales Experiences

Powered by Einstein, new voice intelligence applies natural language processing to call transcriptions – providing sales and service teams with insights and trends that will drive smarter, more personalized customer engagement:

  • New Service Cloud Voice: Service Cloud Voice integrates telephony inside Service Cloud, unifying phone, digital channels and CRM data in real-time in one centralized console. Service Cloud Voice can also integrate with transcription services  that convert voice to text in real time, enabling Einstein to serve up relevant AI-powered recommended responses, knowledge articles and next best actions as service agents are on voice calls.
  • New Einstein Call Coaching: Now with Einstein Call Coaching, our newest Sales Cloud capability, managers are able to see insights and trends within conversational data. Natural language processing identifies keywords in sales call transcripts, alerting managers to trends like a spike in competitor mentions, or best practices on topics like objection handling or pricing discussions. Those insights can then be used to provide sales reps with personalized coaching on how to improve the customer buying experience.

Voice Interoperability: Einstein Voice for Any Device 

In September, Salesforce joined Amazon and leading technology companies to announce the Voice Interoperability Initiative, a new program to ensure voice-enabled products provide customers with choice and flexibility through multiple, interoperable voice services. As part of this, Einstein Voice Assistant and Einstein Voice Skills will be compatible with a variety of devices, from smart speakers to smartphones–whether it’s the Einstein Smart Speaker that will be unveiled at Dreamforce 2019 (not for sale), the new Salesforce Mobile App, or customers’ preferred devices.

Einstein at Dreamforce 

Check out the latest innovations from Einstein at Dreamforce, November 19-22, 2019. Chief Scientist Richard Socher will host a visionary keyote (Tuesday, November 19, 4:30 PM PT in Moscone West) on the future of AI and a first look at the new era of customer experiences that Voice will enable. Join us for the Einstein keynote (Wednesday, November 20, 9:00 AM PT in Moscone North) to learn more about Einstein Voice, and visit us at the Einstein Summit on the third floor of Moscone West.

Apple and Salesforce Make A Joint Announcement At Dreamforce 2019

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 18, 2019 by itnerd

Apple and Salesforce today announced the launch of two flagship apps from the world’s #1 CRM: the redesigned Salesforce Mobile App and new Trailhead GO learning app, delivering rich customer experiences with features exclusive to iOS and iPadOS. The companies also announced the next-generation Salesforce Mobile SDK, empowering developers to easily build and deploy native apps for iPhone and iPad on the Salesforce Platform. Apple and Salesforce announced a strategic partnership at Dreamforce 2018.

At Dreamforce 2019, Apple and Salesforce are delivering:

  • The Salesforce Mobile App, powered by AI and reimagined on iOS. Salesforce completely redesigned its flagship mobile CRM app to deliver a powerful new user experience enabled by Einstein, with advanced analytics and features exclusive to iOS, including Siri shortcuts and Face ID. Now anyone can run their business on mobile in a way that’s conversational and smart — leveraging the power of Siri and Einstein Voice Assistant to quickly add tasks, take notes and update their CRM.
  • Trailhead GO, the first-ever mobile app for Trailhead, exclusive to iOS and iPadOS. Trailhead is Salesforce’s free online learning platform used by millions of Trailblazers to skill up for the jobs of today and tomorrow. With Trailhead GO, learners now have access anywhere and at anytime to more than 700 modules covering in-demand business and tech skills — including trails like Get Started with iOS App Development, which teaches developers at any level how to build native apps. Built on Swift using Salesforce’s Mobile SDK, Trailhead GO supports Handoff in addition to Accessibility features like VoiceOver and Magnifier; iPadOS features include Split View for multi-tasking and Picture-in-Picture for video courses.
  • The new Salesforce Mobile SDK, optimized for Swift and iOS 13. The next generation of Salesforce’s Mobile SDK adds support for the latest advancements in iOS 13, iPadOS and Swift, including Swift UI and Package Manager, for easier compiling and distribution of code. The new SDK will empower more than six million Salesforce developers to quickly build and deploy native Salesforce apps for iPhone and iPad. The SDK has already been used by hundreds of businesses to focus on what they do best: provide a superior customer experience.

Apple CEO Tim Cook will join Salesforce co-CEO Marc Benioff for a fireside chat at Dreamforce 2019 on Tuesday, November 19, 1:30 p.m. PT at Yerba Buena Theater. The talk is open to all conference attendees and a livestream will be available at

Attendees of Dreamforce 2019 can get a hands-on look at the new Salesforce products in the Moscone South Campground. Learn more about the Apple and Salesforce partnership:

Pricing & Availability 

  • The Salesforce Mobile App is now generally available for free on the App Store. The new user experience and features require Salesforce admin opt-in.
  • Trailhead GO is now generally available for free on the App Store. Additional features including support for iOS Dark Mode and Sign in with Apple across Trailhead are expected to be available later this year.
  • The new Salesforce Mobile SDK 8.0 with support for Dark Mode and Swift UI is expected to be available later this year, with additional features optimized for iPadOS expected to arrive in a 2020 release.


Nearly Half of Canadians Say They Have an Inner Entrepreneur: Salesforce

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 22, 2019 by itnerd

Ahead of Canada’s Small Business Week (Oct 21-25), Salesforce and market research firm Leger conducted an omnibus of 1,584 Canadians, asking what it would take for them to make the leap to entrepreneurship and what is holding them back.

The data reveals that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in Canada, though it’s not for a lack of having a great idea that’s stopping Canadians from turning their business dreams into a reality.

  • The majority of Canadians (60%) say they would start their own business if they believed they had a great idea.
  • Nearly half (47%) believe the most important factor to help start their own business would be access to capital, yet 51% believe it is also their biggest barrier.
  • However, access to capital is not the only barrier; 1 in 3 (35%) Canadians under 55 said not knowing where to start holds them back, and 32% of women said a fear of failure is holding them back, compared to only 24% of men.

While only 13% of Canadians believe access to technology is the most important factor in transforming their business dreams into reality, the fact is, leveraging the right tech tools makes it easier for anyone, anywhere, to start, grow and scale a business. In fact, a recent report revealed Canadian companies that have significantly increased their use of technology are nearly twice as likely (25% vs. 13%) as others to say their business has grown strongly over the last three years.

A number of local experts and business leaders have joined forces with Salesforce to help educate Canadians on how to scale their small businesses at a unique event experience taking place at stackt market on October 24. It’s worth attending if you are in the Toronto area. Details can be found here.


Salesforce Serves Up New Report On How Canadian Shoppers Browse And Buy

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 15, 2019 by itnerd

Today, Salesforce Research released its third edition of the Connected Shoppers Report, exploring today’s evolving shopper expectations, preferences and channels that brands and retailers must cater to.

It is no surprise that retail is transforming, however the transformation can no longer be boiled down to stores vs. eCommerce. This latest study shows that even in a retail landscape where ecommerce is a rising star, physical stores remain critical and brands are expanding their reach to meet shoppers wherever they are. With the upcoming holiday shopping season, and looking to 2020, understanding how shoppers navigate the crowded retail landscape will be the key to winning customer loyalty and sales.

Key Canadian highlights from the report include:

  • Retailers, brands and online marketplaces are battling for wallet share:
    • 81% of consumers buy from a combination of retailers, brands and online marketplaces
    • 40% of repeat purchases are made at physical stores
  • Shopping is evolving as consumers define new terms of engagement:
    • 49% of consumers shop with a specific brand in mind
    • The number one trait of a shoppers’ favorite brand is offering exclusive shopping experiences/promotions
  • Shopper journeys are moving to the edge:
    • 17% of shoppers buy products with a mobile wallet
    • On average, consumers have 2 shopping apps on their mobile devices
  • Stores remain critical for discovery, experience and fulfillment:
    • 52% of shoppers have purchased a product online for in-store pickup
    • The number one reason consumers shop in-store is to get merchandise immediately, followed by the ability to touch and feel merchandise
  • SPOTLIGHT: 2019 holiday shopping:
    • 47% of shoppers plan to buy more from online marketplaces this holiday season
    • The number one factor influencing holiday purchases this season is what’s available in physical stores

You can read the full report here.

Salesforce Adds New Conversation Channels to Salesforce Essentials

Posted in Commentary with tags on July 24, 2019 by itnerd

Salesforce today delivered new conversation channels in Salesforce Essentials, the all-in-one CRM solution built specifically for small businesses. Salesforce Essentials empowers every small business to tap into the power of Salesforce with apps for sales and service that are easy to set up, use and maintain. Now small businesses can easily manage and engage with customers on their preferred channels including Facebook Messenger, Instagram and YouTube—all while having a single view of the customer.

Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube have been equalizing forces for small businesses — enabling them to reach billions of prospective customers and grow rapidly. As consumers have gotten accustomed to the instantaneous communication of these platforms, they expect a similar level of communication with the brands they engage with. However, small businesses have limited resources and can’t always provide the level of support customers want. In fact, 58% of SMB leaders say meeting customer experience expectations is a challenge for growth over the next two years. Now, with new conversation channels in Salesforce Essentials, small businesses have the ability to engage with their customers across these modern platforms right alongside tried and true capabilities such as phone and chat.

New features for Salesforce Essentials include:

  • Seamless conversations across social channels — Expanding on existing support of Facebook pages and Twitter, small businesses can now have real-time conversations with their customers over Facebook Messenger. For example, when a customer sends a company a question via Messenger, the message is routed to an employee who can have a live conversation over Messenger, directly from within Salesforce Essentials. With Instagram and YouTube, the employee gets notified when the customer makes a comment on a post or one its videos, and can respond from Salesforce
  • Real-time chat conversations from website or help center — Small businesses can add a Salesforce chat widget to their website, and have the chat routed to an employee who can maintain multiple chat conversations from Salesforce. This provides the employee with a complete view of the customer’s profile so they can step right into the conversation and view features like previous interactions, case history, open sales opportunities or other information within Salesforce.
  • Native phone support built into the #1 CRM — Make and receive customer calls withLightning Dialer for Essentials, an out-of-the-box call center solution built right into the product. When an employee makes or receives the call, the customer’s profile and account information is immediately available with a pop-up screen in Salesforce, giving them the full context and customer history to provide fast and personalized service. Calls are automatically logged within the contact and account activity history of Salesforce, reducing manual data entry and making sure that information doesn’t get lost.
  • Easy channel setup with walkthroughs and live help — Salesforce Essentials offers small business customers a library of simple walkthroughs within the product to easily get set up with all of these new features in minutes—including guided overviews on key channels like Facebook Messenger, chat and phone. A team of Essentials Coaches are included in the U.S. and Canada during trials and the first 90 days of purchase to provide customers with any support needed via 1:1 live chat to get set up in no time.

Pricing and Availability

  • Instagram and YouTube are generally available today. Both are included in Salesforce Essentials at $25 per user, per month.
  • Facebook Messenger and chat are generally available today. Every Salesforce Essentials organization includes 1 license. Additional licenses can be purchased at $15 per user, per month.
  • Lightning Dialer for Essentials is generally available today in the U.S. and Canada at $2 per 100 minutes.

Salesforce Research Releases Its Third State Of The Connected Customer Report

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 13, 2019 by itnerd

Today, Salesforce Research released its third State of the Connected Customer Report, exploring how customer expectations are shifting, and which emerging technologies are transforming their standards.

Companies are being challenged to rethink not just the individual experiences they provide customers, but their entire approach to customer engagement. Customer expectations keep soaring, with trust and corporate values becoming increasingly important, and tailored, contextualized engagement across multiple touchpoints is the new benchmark.

As innovation like artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things accelerates, companies are racing to foster the digitally-savvy relationships that consumers and business buyers demand. It has now become essential for companies to get ahead of the digital curve in order to remain competitive.

Below are some key Canadian highlights from the report:                           

  • New Expectations Shift the Digital Transformation Playbook
    • 64% of customers expect companies to use new tech to create better experiences
    • 43% of customers are open to the use of AI to improve their experiences
    • 47% of Gen Xers view voice assistants as revolutionary
  • Extraordinary Experiences Raise the Bar for Customer Engagement:
    • 43% of customers say companies need to transform how they engage with them
    • 70% of customers expect companies to interact with them in real time
    • 60% of customers would rather use self-service for simple questions/issues                               
  • Trust and Corporate Values are More Important, Yet Elusive
    • 66% of customers believe trust in companies matters more than it did a year ago
    • 58% of customers have stopped buying from a company that did something distrustful
    • 52% of customers actively seek to buy from environmentally sustainable companies

Get your copy of the report here.