In November 2018, IDC published Western Europe CRM Application Vendor Shares, 2017 with the sub-title Salesforce Blitzes the Competition. Well, it seems that Salesforce is at it again.
On June 25, it held an EMEA Analyst Summit 2019 in London where it presented similarly impressive results and an aggressive agenda for growth. Above all, the cutting edge of its growth plans is an increased focus on industry sectors and “speaking the language of the customer.” Aligning its sales reps to specific industry markets is part of this initiative.
Speaking the Language of the Customer
Salesforce is targeting 7 key industries: Financial services, healthcare & life sciences, retail & consumer goods, manufacturing automotive & energy, communications and media, public sector, and travel transportation & hospitality. Therefore, the company is already reporting great traction for its Financial Services Cloud in EMEA, and its Health Cloud is starting to establish itself after success in the U.S. Currently the Government Cloud is only available in the U.S. Salesforce also plans to launch additional industry clouds in the near future.
After a relatively slow start, Salesforce has made significant progress in its industry solutions practices over the past two years. In addition, Salesforce is seeking to remain super customer-centric in its approach to building “industry clouds”. In the “Blueprint stage” it seeks to identify critical customer challenges and prioritize solutions before engaging with its partner ecosystem to create industry solutions.
Partnering and Creating Industry Communities is Key
Partners are critical to the success of Salesforce’s industry solutions. The large systems integrators and management consultants such as Accenture and Capgemini have in-depth industry know-how and resources, and Salesforce is working closely with these and other partners to “reimagine industry best practices”.
Salesforce is looking to cross-fertilize its industry clouds. For example, many industries want to learn from innovations in the retail industry. Trailblazer communities are being established for each industry cloud to encourage group learning and sharing of ideas. All Salesforce’s clouds include industry-specific components, Salesforce applications, intelligence (Einstein), and integration (Mulesoft) elements. Blockchain also features as a mechanism for reinventing industry products.
“Experience” at the Center of Everything
As well as a more intense focus on customer experience, Salesforce is also working on its employee experience. Salesforce is showing great progress here too, and has been named “the Best Workplace in Europe” for the last two years, eclipsing its technology peers Cisco and SAP in the Top 10 places in the “Great Place to Work” rankings.
Salesforce’s EMEA revenue grew faster than any other region in FY19, up 33% to $2.6 billion. As a company, Salesforce has issued guidance that in FY 19–22 it will achieve 20% growth (CAGR). IDC believes Salesforce’s EMEA growth rate will be even higher than this. Given Salesforce’s market momentum, confidence and investment in its future EMEA growth, it would be a brave person to bet against the company. In its view, “the blitz” is only just beginning.
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