Salesforce Fuels ISV, Consultant Businesses

… a number of challenges today from skills, to technology, to collaboration.

He outlined the keynote topic with three bullet points: how to scale the workforce; shape and bring innovation to the customer; and reimagine customer success to bring value to customers. Keith Block, president, COO and vice chairman of Salesforce, joined the discussion.

Salesforce's Keith Block

Salesforce’s Keith Block

Block pointed to investments that the company is making to add value to partners and how to help partners have a workforce that can deliver. The vendor’s journey to a skilled workforce includes a focus on K-12; Trailhead training and workforce engagement; Vetforce; and using AI, alongside existing workers — as in man, woman and machine.

How Salesforce and partners can work together around workforce development was addressed by Neeracha Taychakhoonavudh, senior vice president, partner and industry innovation. She told attendees to watch for a Trailhead for Student Talent Hub, expected to go live early next year, and she hinted at other announcements to come later this week. She also said that partners can hire the Vetforce Heroes and could find information on Trailhead, via the Military Veteran Recruitment trail.

Dan Smoot, executive vice president, global partner sales, outlined three engagement paths that Salesforce will take to help partners drive customer success. The first involves Salesforce sharing its Data Smart Selling methodology. This methodology looks at customer behavior and their propensity to buy. Salesforce also is going to help partners with Health Check practices by sharing customer insight; and the vendor will recognize partners for specialized customer-success practices, carried out in collaboration with Salesforce’s Customer Success Group, which creates and delivers Salesforce services. This will be done via the delivery of enhanced metrics within Salesforce to make sure that the company is focused on partner success, and by compensating its services leadership based on that success, Smoot said.

He additionally pointed out that the Customer Success Group will share more information and services with the partner community, such as the implementation architect, when dealing with complex organizations. Externally, Salesforce will launch Partner Accelerators, something the company has offered customers for the past couple of years. The accelerators are one-on-one discussions that partners can take advantage of to help solve complex solutions inside their implementations and services practices.

Finally, Compass is a Salesforce methodology for customer success that the vendor will share with partners.

“It’s a blueprint for an execution plan and we’re no longer just going to do this within Salesforce; we’re going to give the same content to you,” Smoot told the audience.

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