At Salesforce, we have always been proud of our Trailblazers and partners, and I never pass up an opportunity to speak with these inspirational people. I was so glad to be able to travel to Sydney for this year’s Salesforce World Tour, and take part in several conversations. The people I met are experts in their fields, and, as ever, they gave me lots to think about. 

Recurring themes from the day told me that it is a combination of processes, technology, and, most importantly, people that will drive business growth in the coming years. I can’t wait to see what amazing things we’re talking about in 2023.

Optimised processes lead to phenomenal growth

I talked to Hamish Wyatt, Chief Product & Marketing Officer at Conveya, who told me about the impressive growth his organisation has been experiencing. By building apps on the Salesforce Platform, Conveya was able to scale at speed over the last couple of years. 

He also told me about how Salesforce solutions have allowed him and his team to optimise their processes, reduce friction, and deliver great value for their customers. Working across three continents, it was important to Hamish and his team to have a digital HQ allowing them to collaborate and connect.

This same digital HQ, built on Slack, allows Conveya’s sales teams to connect with their customers where they are. This is something brought about by the new hybrid workplace, but Hamish was confident that this new way of selling is going to stick around, to everyone’s benefit. He emphasised that offering an excellent digital experience is vital to success – if you’re not offering a seamless customer journey, you can be sure that your competitors are. I couldn’t agree more.

You can hear more about Conveya’s growth story on Salesforce+.

Using technology to create connected experiences

The focus on a faultless customer journey continued in my conversation with Ashwin Sinha, CDO, and Wendy Brown, Head of Broker Sales, from Macquarie Bank. The financial services industry has been through many ups and downs recently, including the challenges facing all businesses over the last couple of years. 

We talked about their recent project to transform the way they work with lending brokers. Most importantly, when creating solutions like this, is to make sure that you understand the requirements from the users’ perspective. Brokers, like everyone else, were having a rough time in the economic climate of late-2020. Wendy, Ashwin and their team wanted to make the lives of these valuable partners easier, and so set off on a digital transformation journey. 

Wendy and Ashwin assembled a cross-functional team to tackle the problems that were described by the brokers themselves. By taking an approach that included the needs of the users at every step, they avoided creating solutions that no one needed or wanted. 

Throughout their six-month pilot, they sought feedback from the brokers that used the platform the most. As Wendy put it, some of this feedback was brutally honest, but it helped the team iterate, and ultimately deliver a better solution for their customers - external and internal. 

Their transformation journey didn’t stop there. Watch our full conversation on Salesforce+ to find out where they went next.

Facing a digital skills gap? Try diversifying your talent pool

The latest technology and the smoothest processes are nothing without a talented workforce. In our latest research, we found that we are facing a widening skills gap — a challenge that we all need to solve soon.

In my conversation with Behavioural Scientist Dr Carlos Vazquez; Tom Alstein, Global OD Leader at Deloitte; and Kyle O’Brien, Director, APAC at Revolent Group, we covered a range of ways that businesses can step up to meet this challenge head on. 

So what can we do about the digital skills gap? First of all, we have an opportunity, as business leaders, to define which skills we need to ensure that our organisations thrive in the coming years. Of course, the skills needed will vary from industry to industry, but one thing we can say with confidence is that there is an increasing need for specialist skills in all areas. We also need to be realistic — many of the skills needed by businesses cannot be learned overnight. But if we sow the seeds now, we can reap the rewards in the future. 

There are ways of finding skilled people. With equality being a core value at Salesforce, we champion looking to non-traditional talent pools that we might not have considered before — Aboriginal communities, marginalised groups, neuro-divergent communities, ex-athletes, veterans — the list goes on. These communities have the potential to disrupt the technology economy, and we can help them do it.

There were so many fascinating and inspiring sessions at World Tour Sydney 2022. You can catch up on any you missed over on Salesforce+.