Amalia Miller is a startup ecosystem builder and director of marketing for the Salesforce Small Business Essentials Business Unit.
Getting a new business off the ground is hard work. The right tools, connections, and resources can go a long way towards getting your startup out of the gate and on the road to business sustainability. But where to begin? Whether it’s moving off of spreadsheets to run your business on a customer relationship management (CRM) system, or joining the world’s largest cloud marketplace, opportunities abound.
We are here to help startup communities innovate and thrive. Our CRM for small businesses, Salesforce Essentials, makes it easy to manage customer relationships, sales, and service. But did you know we also host AppExchange, the world’s largest marketplace for cloud apps and consulting services? And that we’ve got both a world-class cloud development platform (Heroku) and a killer visualization tool (Tableau) that enables anyone to turn data into business insight, no programming required?
The startup community is adapting to COVID-19 just like the rest of the world. While the long-term economic effects of the pandemic on investment activities still remains to be seen, in the short term, many entrepreneurs say they’re actually able to get more done working remotely. Innovation isn’t slowing down, and neither should your startup. Let’s take a closer look at how our program, Salesforce for Startups, can help.
What is Salesforce for Startups?
Innovation is key to getting through critical moments in history like the one we’re in now. We’re here to support innovators through a variety of programs aimed at startups, accelerators, incubators, and other organizations that support the startup community.
Salesforce for Startups is a collection of programs, products, and resources to build and grow your startup. Here’s a look a look at what’s available:
Keep your customers close, even from a distance
PepTalkHer is a small business founded on the mission of closing the gender pay gap. While PepTalkHer CEO Meggie Palmer runs her business on Salesforce Essentials because it helps small teams get more done, faster, it’s also proven critical in navigating change throughout the pandemic. “Keeping customers engaged is important all of the time, but particularly at the moment,” she said. Essentials helps Palmer’s team maintain close customer relationships from afar, and the CEO loves its email integrations. “Essentials absolutely scales my time and my ability to respond quickly and efficiently to clients,” Palmer said. Salesforce Essentials is the CRM system built for small businesses, designed to fit startups’ needs and budgets.
Are you an incubator, accelerator, or VC firm? Offer your startups valuable resources and a product discount on Salesforce Essentials.
Build your business on the leading enterprise cloud marketplace
Working on the next killer app for the Salesforce ecosystem? Or maybe you’ve honed your admin or developer skills and are ready to share your savvy with other organizations who need a hand? AppExchange is the highly lucrative market of savvy, app-driven Salesforce customers looking for solutions and consultants to help their businesses get more out of Salesforce.
We offer two programs for startups looking to tap into the Salesforce ecosystem through AppExchange: Salesforce Accelerate is a three-month virtual incubator for developing on the AppExchange. Spaces in Accelerate are limited, and participants are invited to apply to the program. The AppExchange Partner Program is a program for building on the AppExchange that’s open to all.
Ray Hein, CEO of Propel, a cloud-based platform built on Salesforce that connects the people, systems, and processes needed to deliver products from concept to customer, credits Salesforce Accelerate with helping his company grow their audience. “For Propel, the time in the incubator allowed us to develop deeper ties with many leaders and product experts at Salesforce, he said. “Through that interaction, we learned how we both can accelerate and leverage our partnership.”
Make the most of your data, no code required
All businesses generate data. The great ones turn their data into actionable insights.
Tableau helps people see and understand data. Founders and small business leaders who don’t have data analysts on staff to crunch numbers can use Tableau’s data visualization tools to quickly uncover answers and insights from their data. Tableau allows you to import data from a cloud-based CRM like Essentials, or straight from spreadsheets, and get immediate results. It harnesses people’s natural ability to spot visual patterns quickly, unlocking business insights and opportunities you might otherwise miss.
Build apps faster, easier, and more securely
Startups move fast, and they need development platforms designed to keep up. Heroku is our cloud platform as a service for building, deploying, and running modern apps. The platform is flexible and easy to use, and built to integrate with the tools and workflows your developers already use. That’s why startups like Softgiving, a platform that helps charities engage donors across social platforms and through livestreams, build on Heroku. “In a live experience, you get one chance to get it right, and then it’s over. So, we put a huge emphasis on quality,” said Softgiving CTO Brian Wetzel. Heroku’s scalability lets Softgiving seamlessly handle spikes in traffic during live events, and its operational tools support on-the-fly troubleshooting to ensure everything stays up and running.
Heroku for Startups provides teams with the resources they need to quickly get started on Heroku — including platform credits, technical support, and networking. The program works with select startup accelerators, incubators, and seed and venture capital (VC) funds to offer resources to their members.
Salesforce Ventures: Our strategic investment arm
Then there’s Salesforce Ventures, our strategic investment arm focused on helping to grow the most innovative cloud companies and founders globally that are core to the Salesforce ecosystem. These innovative, next-gen startups do amazing things that drive digital transformation in areas like sales, service, marketing, platform, and commerce and they innovate across industry verticals like financial services, retail, and healthcare. Salesforce Ventures has partnered with hundreds of leading enterprise cloud companies such as Zoom, Snowflake, nCino, and more. Interested to see if your enterprise cloud startup may be a fit? Visit salesforce.com/ventures.
Great ideas are important, but successful startups are forged by their ability to turn those ideas into business growth. Finding the right tools, resources and connections to support that growth is what Salesforce for Startups is all about.
Salesforce helps you find more customers, win their business, and keep them happy so you can succeed. Learn more about our small business CRM solutions by following us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
For more business and leadership inspiration, check out our entire Leading Through Change series.