On today’s earnings call, Salesforce Chairman and co-CEO Marc Benioff shared news on how one of technology’s biggest enterprises is adapting to the most recent developments in COVID as well as B2B and consumer marketing trends. They also did their part to transform workflows with their own Service Cloud updates.
“Every company that I speak to… they’re all going through major digital transformations,” said Benioff, adding. “And our job remains to help these companies grow and achieve this transformation.”
Why we care. Benioff made clear that his optimism about digital transformation is tempered by world events, including the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the ongoing pandemic. That optimism, however, does reflect rising tides across marketing technology. According to Benioff, revenue for his company was up $7.3 billion in revenue and 26% growth year-over-year for 4Q.
Benioff also offered a glimpse into how a large organization is welcoming back professionals to their New York office space and events.
COVID morale. About a year ago, when vaccines were rolling out in the U.S., it seemed like 2021 was going to be the big comeback year that would usher in another Roaring Twenties. Then the Delta and Omicron variants emerged, forcing organizations to be extra vigilant about opening up offices and hosting live events. But the Salesforce leader sees promising signs.
“We’ve got significant numbers of our employees back here in the office,” Benioff. “I was just with them. And I also just spent a tremendous amount of time surveying [New York City] and how things are coming back to life here kind of in our post-pandemic reality that we’re now entering, and it’s powerful.”
He added, “We’re really turning a corner in our battle with the virus. And I believe, in many ways, COVID is behind us. And certainly, I know that Omicron and BA.2 are very serious [variants], but we are in a very different position in the world today, fighting these things, than we were a couple of years ago.”
Remote onboarding. The Salesforce fiscal year kickoff event was held last month at New York’s Javits Center and welcomed 5,000 employees in-person. Overall, 35,000 of Salesforce’s current 75,000 employees started with the company after the pandemic began, so they hadn’t attended an event like this during their career with the company.
“When we asked, in the room, how many of you have not attended a Salesforce kickoff, stand up and be welcomed, I would say 75% of the room stood up,” Benioff said.
Safety Cloud. To serve Salesforce customers who are also navigating the safety challenges in hosting live events, the company has made available their Safety Cloud and put it into practice.
“We’re interconnected with a number of COVID tests that we’re dynamically updating,” said Benioff. “We did our best to have a very safe program, and we’ve been doing this now. We’ve had two Dreamforces with this program with our Safety Cloud. [And] we’ve had the kickoffs.”
It’s a sign of the times, as is Salesforce’s Net Zero Cloud, which allows orgs to measure and manage their carbon footprint. It might not have been as intuitive, initially, as how Salesforce integrated their Sales Cloud or Service Cloud into their CRM, but these emerging business needs have been timely additions to the Customer 360 portfolio.
Read next: What a Salesforce NFT cloud service could mean for marketers
New B2B divisions. In the B2B space, Benioff also pointed to organizational restructuring among some consumer enterprises that are carving out a distinct B2B arm. Ford is one such company.
“They’re doing a B2B business unit at Ford to complement their B2C unit, not so unlike a lot of our other customers like Home Depot. But I’ll tell you that Ford Pro [is] really looking at targeting professionals, targeting productivity.”
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About The Author
Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country’s first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on “innovation theater” at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.