A direct link between the use of digital technology and growth. A huge focus on improving customer experiences. An ongoing need for good advice and guidance. These were some of the standout themes that emerged from a new research report from Salesforce that captures the opportunities, challenges and strategies of Canadian businesses across the country.
Conducted in collaboration with The Gandalf Group, ‘Future Ready: Advancing Canadian Business In The Digital Economy’ gathered survey responses from more than 400 organizations, including small, medium and large-sized firms. The results reflect optimism about Canada as a whole, with a large majority of 81 per cent describing our nation as a locus of innovation. Companies that said they have increased their use of digital tools, meanwhile, were almost twice as likely to have reported a spike in growth during the same period.
As for those who are still struggling, the research uncovered something that went beyond the usual issues of costs and staffing concerns. Almost half, or 49 per cent of those surveyed, said it’s hard to find good advice on how to use technology to boost their business.
If you think about it, that makes a lot of sense. After all, companies are busy enough handling day-to-day tasks and priorities without having to give themselves homework investigating things like automation, big data and artificial intelligence (AI). We get that, which is why we decided the best way to help was by showcasing some of our most successful customers as digital role models.
In a new eBook called ‘A Tale Of Growth: How To Find, Win and Keep Customers, With The Platform That Connects Your Whole Business,’ we walk through the steps any business can take to embrace digital technologies right now. It’s full of case study snapshots of businesses that are true Trailblazers in the way they’re setting an example for their peers.
Let’s pair some of the key data points in the survey with a bit more context, and point to how you can partner with us at Salesforce to move to the next chapter in your own growth story more quickly:
The Stat: 47 per cent of Canadian firms say enhancing customer relationships is a key operational change that facilities growth.
The Context: This was the most frequently-cited priority in the report, followed by expanding product/service offerings and lead generation. What those things all have in common is a recognition that growth starts with finding customers and making sure they’re impressed once they connect with your company.
How Salesforce Helps: Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools like Sales Cloud significantly accelerate the ability to find great leads and track how you nurture them. Combine that with Marketing Cloud, meanwhile, and you’re able to ensure the customer experience gets off on the right foot with personalized buyer journeys — whether they’re interested in purchasing your first product or your latest one.
The Stat: Six out of 10 high-growth businesses say automating manual processes has been instrumental to their results.
The Context: Even when you look at companies across the board, a staggering 79 per cent said digitization across all sectors will be critical to Canada’s future. Bear in mind that this isn’t simply a matter of applying technology in fits and starts. It was the companies that increased their use of technology who were almost four times more likely to have turned formerly cumbersome ways to working to something more dynamic and flexible.
How Salesforce Helps: Moving from manual to digital processes doesn’t mean much when you have to be sitting at a desk to do everything. That’s why we’ve worked with our customers to run their entire business from a smartphone, including insights around their best prospects. This ultimately makes sales teams more productive and effective.
The Stat: 55 per cent of Canadian businesses plan to use AI within the next three years (and 44 per cent already are)
The Context: What once seemed futuristic and far-off has decidedly arrived. And no wonder: staying competitive in 2019 and beyond means getting ahead of customer expectations so you know you’ll surpass them. In other words, customers don’t want to constantly tell businesses what they want. They expect businesses to anticipate their needs, even before they arise.
How Salesforce Helps: AI is already available through everything from CRM to marketing automation and more, but one of the most common starting points for many businesses is a chat bot. These AI-driven applications are helping more Canadian businesses respond quicker to the needs of their customers and to allow more self-service kinds of interactions (which means you retain more customers).
The Stat: 44 per cent of Canadian businesses say increasing their use of digital technologies has improved customer data across systems.
The Context: Sales teams obviously want to have the best possible information about potential leads in their CRM. Marketers want to know who they should be targeting across various channels. Service teams need to know who might need their help the most. When any of these areas become siloed, however, growing a company becomes a lot more complicated, because departments aren’t on the same page.
How Salesforce Helps: When you adopt a true platform, you’re ensuring integration between applications that prevents one team being walled off from another. Our customers also have a lot of opportunities to develop or source applications that meet their more specific needs through AppExchange. We also make it easy to create customer communities that let those you market and sell to feel more engaged and excited to be part of your ecosystem.
If the data from our research report makes a compelling case for changing how you approach a growth strategy, your best next step is to download our eBook, A Tale Of Growth, to get more information and real-life stories of Canadian companies who are ready to share what they’ve learned. It’s all part of a movement to make Canadian business more vibrant than any of us ever thought possible.