Archive for Salesforce

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.


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


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

New Salesforce Research Reveals that 76% Of Canadian Financial Services Leaders Say Focusing On Client Financial Well-being Is Paramount Since COVID-19

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 19, 2020 by itnerd

Salesforce, the global leader in CRM, today released its Trends in Financial Services report which shows how financial services institutions struggle to keep up with the pace of change driven by the global pandemic. An analysis of two waves of survey data fielded in 2019 and 2020 shows that the customer experience suffered in response, leading organizations to reshuffle their priorities and drive competitive advantage with new technologies. 

Salesforce Research surveyed nearly 2,800 global leaders in insurance, retail banking and wealth management across North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia Pacific, including 196 respondents from Canada at two key junctures – immediately preceding the pandemic, and again nearly a year later. Combined, these two studies provide a unique perspective into the financial services industry’s evolution and what it now takes to succeed, uncovering the following insights: 

  • How health and economic crises are upending financial services’ priorities, exposing the cracks in digital foundations and a need to improve customer experiences (CX)
  • Growth strategies and tactics adopted by financial services institutions (FSIs)
  • The importance of innovations like autonomous finance — which Forrester defines as algorithm-driven financial services that make decisions or take action on a customer’s behalf – will enable financial services institutions to deliver superior customer experiences at scale, and drive entirely new value streams

New for this year, the report features interactive data available in Tableau, highlighting the key findings by country and by financial sectors.

Here are the insights from local respondents in Canada:

Financial Institutions Reshuffle Priorities Amid the Crisis

The pandemic upended every industry – including financial services. Canadian FSIs completely reshuffled their 2019 priorities, with developing new products and services rising to be the #1 priority in 2020 from #4 in 2019. As priorities changed, so too did customer satisfaction. A global look at customer satisfaction shows major gaps: only 27% of global customers describe FSIs as completely customer-centric. Even fewer, 23% of global customers believe FSIs handled the crisis as best as they could have.*

Financial Services Providers Adopt New Tactics to Respond to Pandemic

Our research also included net-new questions in 2020 to uncover different tactics employed by financial services leaders in response to the crisis. In Canada, 76% of FSIs agree that focusing on client financial well-being is more important since the onset of COVID-19. At the same time, 74% say expanding services has grown in importance since the pandemic started. However, considerably fewer Canadian FSIs are taking concrete steps in response. Only 36%are investing in omni-channel service and 39% are emphasizing client financial wellness.

Achieving Growth Objectives At Scale Requires Intelligent Automation

As personalized, on-demand experiences become the norm across other verticals, customer demands for improved financial experiences are spurring change in the industry. In Canada, 81% of financial services leaders in 2020 agree autonomous finance will soon be critical to being a top performer. 

For more information: 


Data in this report is from a double-blind survey conducted in two waves. The first was fielded from November 12 through December 12, 2019 that generated responses from 1,400 leaders in insurance, retail banking, and wealth management across North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia Pacific regions. The second wave was fielded from August 21 through September 21, 2020 that generated responses from 1,360 leaders in the same sectors and geographies. All respondents are third-party panelists (not limited to Salesforce customers). Due to rounding, not all percentage totals in this report equal 100%. All comparisons are made from unrounded numbers. Countries surveyed include Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nordics, Spain and UK. Cultural bias impacts survey results.

New Salesforce Research Reveals That 89% Of Canadians Expect Companies To Accelerate Digital Initiatives

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 27, 2020 by itnerd

Salesforce, the global leader in CRM, today released the fourth edition of its State of the Connected Customer report which reveals that while a string of crises has affected all facets of life, including a fundamental shift in how customers connect with brands, factors like empathy, personalization, convenience, and digital transformation are the keys to customer relationships. As these same customers reevaluate the role of business in society, the notion of stakeholder capitalism is increasingly factored into purchase decisions.

The global report captures insights from over 15,000 consumers and business buyers across 27 countries, including 650 respondents from Canada, to help companies transform how they drive customer success. The research examines survey results across four generations of customers: baby boomers, Gen Xers, millennials, and Gen Zers. 

New for this year, interactive data by country and generation is available in Tableau, highlighting the key findings byCOVID-19 impacts, consumers and business buyers. 

The key trends revealed in this year’s State of the Connected Customer show:

  • Customer Connections Are Essential Amid Crises

The events of this year have upended the relationships between customers and brands. During a time when uncertainty and confusion reign, brands have an opportunity to reinforce and rebuild trust with new and loyal customers alike. In Canada, 90% of customers say how a company acts during a crisis demonstrates its trustworthiness.

  • Understanding and Convenience Drive Differentiation

As each individual navigates change and uncertainty, empathy for and support of customers’ unique needs, expectations, and challenges are as critical, as is providing a convenient, connected experience that eliminates unnecessary burdens in a stressful time. Fifty-five percent of Canadian customers say it generally feels like sales, service, and marketing don’t share information.

  • The Digital Imperative Hits Its Moment of Truth

Digital-first behavior is here to stay as customers develop new habits that will last for the long term. As digital engagement grows, customers expect companies to digitize their operations for multichannel, high-touch interactions. This relies in no small part on the use of personal information, and customers are calling for enhanced transparency and stewardship. In Canada, 66% of customers say that COVID-19 has elevated their expectation of digital capabilities.

  • Customers Demand That Brands Demonstrate Their Values

Long-overdue reckonings with social, economic, and ecological ills have come to the fore, and society is calling on businesses to do their part in righting wrongs. A failure to heed responsibilities to more than shareholders threatens bottom lines. Eighty-five percent of Canadian customers say the societal role of companies is changing.

Look Ahead: Lessons from Across Sectors and Industries

Customers navigate products, services, and experiences from a variety of industries throughout their day-to-day lives, criss-crossing between the personal and professional, digital and physical, essential and supplementary. As they do this, their standards are being constantly influenced, with distinctions between sectors often blurred in their minds. 

Companies seeking to differentiate themselves are wise to look beyond their immediate competition and evaluate how their capabilities stack up against other industries. Globally, 62% of consumers say their experiences with one industry influence their expectations of others.

For more information: 


Data in the State of the Connected Customer report is from a double-blind study of 12,000 consumers and 3,600 business buyers across North America, South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia Pacific. Data was collected between July 16 and August 18, 2020. All respondents are third-party panelists. Countries surveyed include Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Singapore, S. Africa, S. Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, UAE, UK, and the United States. Cultural bias impacts survey results. Data was weighted to accurately represent the general population.

Slalom & IG Wealth Management Rollout Wealth Management Salesforce Solution In Canada

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 14, 2020 by itnerd

Slalom, a modern strategy, technology, and business transformation consulting firm, has partnered with IG Wealth Management (IG), part of IGM Financial Inc. and one of Canada’s leading diversified wealth and asset management companies, to develop a Wealth Management Advisor Portal that will deliver a modern digital experience for IG’s advisors and enhance the client experience across mobile and web channels.

Built on Salesforce Financial Services Cloud, the IG Advisor Portal provides advisors and their teams “360-degree views” of their clients and prospects.  It can also streamline advisor/client interactions through guided digitized business flows and electronic signatures, allowing advisors to work with their clients anytime and anywhere on mobile devices. Slalom helped IG Wealth Management – as part of their digital transformation journey – to vision, architect and deploy the innovative Advisor Portal solution.

Using an agile delivery approach at scale was critical to deliver new features and functionality to the field in monthly releases.  Roll-out was completed through COVID-19, in a fully remote support model, to 67 regional offices and approximately 5,000 users nationwide.  The IG Advisor Portal was well received and quickly became a critical application for advisors during the pandemic when in-person interactions were severely limited.

Slalom is also providing ongoing application management development services to help IG run and develop Salesforce platform capabilities.

Salesforce Serves Up Consumer Predictions For The 2020 Holiday Shopping Season

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

For the past several months, the pandemic has forced many companies to operate at Black Friday levels of efficiency everyday as people move to digital commerce. Throughout Q2 2020, Canadian digital commerce grew by 120% and in Q3 by a further 68%. As we approach the holidays, it is predicted that this year’s COVID-19 shaped holiday shopping season will see a 30 percent spike in global online holiday sales, and 65% of Canadian shoppers who plan to shop will shop online more this year than they did in previous years.

As we enter an unprecedented retail season, Salesforce wanted to share new consumer insights and predictions. The aggregated data used to produce these holiday insights is from the activity of over one billion global shoppers across more than 40 countries, powered by Salesforce’s Commerce Cloud platform and publicly available third party data sources.

Key info includes:

  • Global online holiday sales are predicted to grow 30 percent year-over-year (up from 8 percent growth in 2019)
  • Total digital sales are expected to reach a record high of $940 billion globally 
  • The surge is expected to accelerate digital commerce to 18 percent of total retail sales globally 
  • Overall holiday sales are expected to be flat despite this digital growth, with an expected $5.1 trillion in global holiday sales


Prediction #1: Fulfillment Concerns Will Overshadow Brandy Loyalty

  • Two converging pressures from traditional carriers are expected to arise from the spike in online orders:

1.       The overall volume of packages that need to make it from a retailer to a customer’s doorstep will likely exceed shipping capacity by five percent globally, potentially delaying up to 700 million holiday packages

2.       Approximately $40-billion of COVID-19 delivery surcharges are expected between November 15 and January 15 globally, as shippers prepare for a massive shift to digital commerce

  • To avoid a fulfillment crunch, retailers are offering alternative pickup options such as buy online, pickup in store (BOPIS)

Prediction #2: Holiday Demand Will Start Sooner

  • The combination of Amazon’s Prime Day event in mid-October and consumers eager to ensure their packages arrive on time will lead to an earlier start in the holiday shopping season.
  • This earlier demand is expected to shift up to $26 billion globally to the month of October 
  • Cyber Week digital traffic is still expected to grow by 28 percent year-over-year—a trend accelerated by nearly ubiquitous access from mobile phones and the fact that fewer people will be rushing to stores on Black Friday

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

  • More digital purchases will mean an increase in returned merchandise. In total, $280 billion in online purchases are expected to be returned globally—30 percent of all purchases made
  • Consumers are predicted to engage 30 percent more with service agents this holiday season

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

  • The rapid change in consumer behavior brought on by the pandemic will drive a different set of top products this year
  • 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 the holiday predictions HERE

Salesforce Releases The Small and Medium Business Trends Report

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 28, 2020 by itnerd

Fun fact: 97.9 per cent of all businesses in Canada are SMBs, and these companies in particular have had to demonstrate exceptional resilience as they adapt to a spectrum of unforeseen challenges during the pandemic.

Today, Salesforce has released the fourth edition of their “Small and Medium Business Trends Report,” analyzing the responses of more than 2,300 SMB owners and leaders (including 251 Canadians) before and after the pandemic took hold around the world.

The report determines:

  • How multiple global crises (pandemic, economic, and racial injustices) affect their changing motivations, challenges, and goals
  • The role of digital transformation in driving small business resiliency
  • How SMB leaders are planning for recovery and growth in a post-COVID-19 era

Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on Canadian SMBs:

  • Expectations for Canadian Businesses After COVID-19: 
  • Only one-third of Canadian SMBs expect to return to business as usual 
  • Half of Canadian SMBs say their business will be slightly modified 
  • 1 in 10 Canadian SMBs say their business will have an entirely new structure

Top 3 Factors Constraining Future SMB Growth Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic:

  • Reduced revenue (46%)
  • Reduced customer demand (43%)
  • Public health mandates (40%)

SMB resilience and optimism persist, even amidst new challenges:

  • A quarter (26%) of Canadian SMBs say they are very optimistic about the future (compared to 22% globally) and almost half (47%) of Canadian SMBs say they are somewhat optimistic about the future of their businesses.
  • Half (48%) of Canadian SMBs are putting more effort into their customer communications and expanding the ways customers can reach them

Digital-forward SMBs are more equipped to handle market volatility:

  • Over a quarter (28%) of Canadian SMBs have adopted technology to help digitize customer interactions and offer contactless services.
  • A third (31%) of Canadian SMBs have adopted technology to help digitize internal communications, so employees can collaborate or access info from anywhere
  • Almost half (46%) of Canadian SMBs say technology drives their customer interactions, and 4 in 10 (42%) of Canadian SMBs say it drives the growth of their customer base

CIBC Selects Salesforce’s CRM Platform

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 5, 2020 by itnerd

CIBC today announced it has selected Salesforce as its enterprise platform for customer relationship management (CRM) as it continues to transform the banking experience for millions of CIBC clients. The announcement is one more example of CIBC’s commitment to continuous transformation that includes investments to further simplify the bank, with a focus on end-to-end digitization, advanced analytics, and speed to market. 

Under the multi-year agreement, CIBC will deploy Salesforce Customer 360 to further bring the full capabilities of the bank to more clients through tailored financial advice, service and solutions at every touchpoint. CIBC will also leverage other key technologies in Salesforce’s portfolio, including Sales Cloud and Service Cloud for a holistic view of client interactions, and Einstein Analytics for intelligent and customized data insights.

CIBC will be leveraging the Salesforce platform across all of its channels to support diverse client needs. CIBC Capital Markets has been using Salesforce since 2008 to support client servicing and advice to corporate and institutional clients. The new agreement will further help strengthen CIBC’s CRM capabilities for its clients and teams across North America.