What better way to get to know a customer than by joining their customer event? You can learn more about an organization in one day at a customer event than what you would usually learn in months.
That’s why we were thrilled when we were offered the opportunity to attend Salesforce’s World Tour in Amsterdam earlier this month. And it turned out we were not the only ones. Here’s just some of the lessons we learned.
Every day should be Girlsday
The Salesforce World Tour coincided with Girlsday in The Netherlands, a national initiative to attract more women towards a career in technical/ICT jobs and organizations. As it happens, Salesforce is equally passionate about reaching a gender equality, not only in the organization but also in the management committee and in the strategic meetings. Obviously, they created a separate track for girlsday with lots of speakers and activities for an excited group of female students.
6.000 customers can’t be wrong
It is one thing to know that an organization has many thousands of satisfied customers, it is quite another to see all these customers gathered together in one event to share their enthusiasm and to learn more about new opportunities to leverage the Salesforce platform. Many customers testified about their own Salesforce journey for large groups of interested peers. Too large sometimes: even the ample seating arrangements sometimes proved insufficient. So in the physical world Salesforce faced a problem they never face in the digital world: insufficient capacity for their customers. Isn’t it ironic?
1 - 1 - 1 and more
Salesforce founder and CEO Marc Benioff is not just your average CEO. Next to his boundless ambitions for Salesforce, he also continuously strives to make this world a better place. And he’s not afraid to expect the same from his employees. That’s why the 1-1-1 rule has been instated in Salesforce: at least 1% of the revenue should be spent on humanitarian causes, at least 1% of the research and development should be for good causes, and at least 1% of the employees’ time should be spent on voluntary projects for worthy causes. This last KPI has already been raised in the meantime: in practice, each employee spends on average 7 days per year on voluntary projects.
During the World Tour, the worthy causes were represented a.o. by the Royal Dutch Guide Dog Foundation, who were given a prominent role in the keynote session.
Aloha and Ohana
One of the striking observations when you meet so many Salesforce employees on one day is their burning enthusiasm about working for Salesforce. “It is unlike any company I’ve ever worked for”, was a very commonly heard sentence that day, more often than usual on such events.
Apart from all the reasons above, this is also due to Hawaii, more specifically the Hawaiian ‘aloha’ and ‘ohana’ attitude. Everybody knows ‘aloha’ of course: the Hawaiian word for ‘hello’ and ‘welcome’. At Salesforce, every employee should feel that they are welcome in the organization, as should every visitor, customer, partner or anyone else. ‘Ohana’ is less known but equally important. It represents the idea that families – related or chosen – are bound together, and that members feel a sense of responsibility for one another.
It may seem like just words, but they perfectly illustrate how Salesforce is actively and explicitly defining its culture to create a better workplace. And judging from the employees’ reactions, this strategy is working flawlessly.
And not to forget...
... Salesforce does have a great set of products and services that everybody gets excited about and that prompted millions of users to go ahead and use it, even if the ICT staf was not informed or not willing to support this choice. After all, it is what brought everybody together in the first place.