Legend has it that the customer is the inspiration behind digital transformation. That making them happy, now constantly referred to as ‘customer delight,’ is one of the primary reasons digital transformation was accelerated during the pandemic. Becoming customer-centric is not just a business mantra in this age either. It is mandatory if you want your business to thrive. This is what became clear at the Salesforce executive gathering held today at Nairobi Serena Hotel. According to Mckinsey, a customer experience digital transformation can increase the revenue of a company by 20 per cent to 50 per cent.
Before opening in South Africa and Morocco, the decision was driven by customer interest. Deemed a risk at the time, the Salesforce economy is what helped keep the faith steady, keeping the organisation grounded. A survey with IDC revealed that Salesforce and its ecosystem of partners “will create 9.3 million new jobs and $1.6 trillion in new business revenues worldwide by 2026.” The 2021 study also found that Salesforce is driving immense growth for its partner ecosystem, which will make $6.19 for every $1 Salesforce makes by 2026.
Translating directly into more opportunities makes a significant difference, the Slack-acquiring company does not believe profitability and making a difference are mutually exclusive. With 400 clients in Africa and over 150,000 customers globally, part of the leading CRM’s strategy is upskilling and reskilling the ecosystem. John Fumba, the Head of Salesforce Academy at Standard Bank acknowledges that their academy boosts fresh graduates as well as existing staff in a bid to build a steady supply of Salesforce skills to ensure the customer is king. “We exist to close that skills gap and make youth aware of opportunities. Ours is an inside-out approach. We aspire to lower unemployment rates, and leverage and create their futures.”
Mitch Sauers, the CEO of UpEnergy (Uganda) takes us back to a time before Salesforce eminence when he said that “Our technical capabilities up to a few years ago was not that great. We looked at a lot of options. The way we work is we operate with teams and a network of agents (600 now), and there were a lot of options built for businesses. When we went through an evaluation process, we realised we needed to work for our business. The ability to grow with a partner and bring the future closer led to 2.1 million active customers.”
Partnerships also gave rise to solid connections to the continent. “There’s no way with all the ambitions we have that we would be able to achieve what we want. Partnerships are part of our secret source. The importance of building capacity for partners is that you need people who understand what you’re doing. With our training availability, anyone can sign up and train, be they customers or partners. We currently have global partners even as we continue to recruit new ones. This is not a silver bullet approach. We understand that there are horizontal industries that might be similar in how they operate, and so we provide platforms for partners to do that.”
Fumbah chimes in stating that through partners there thrives Salesforce for Youth, an initiative resulting from relationships with universities. Take Strathmore University for instance. 300 students turned up for a session – 250 enrolled. Unable to absorb them all, the 24-year-old company started out with a cohort of 50 who will then branch into various Salesforce careers for the “hungry” youth.