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The Biggest Takeaways from the Salesforce World Tour in Toronto

The Biggest Takeaways from the Salesforce World Tour in Toronto

Don’t worry if you weren’t able to be there on April 11. What follows is a recap of the themes and key points most Trailblazers were talking about:

When you get a large group of Trailblazers together in a room, something incredible happens. That’s true all over the world, but businesses from across Canada got to experience the power of those connections first-hand earlier this month at Salesforce World Tour Toronto.

If you’ve never been to Salesforce World Tour before, there’s almost as much to look at as there is to listen and learn. Crowds of Trailblazers were quick to snap selfies with life-sized versions of SaaSy, Astro, Codey and Einstein. Still more tucked Cloudy plush goats into their bags. There was even a “donut wall” to provide that quick burst of sugar when you wanted it most!

Once Salesforce World Tour got underway, however, the real value for Trailblazers was in gaining insight from Salesforce experts, meeting their peers and reconnecting with many others. In fact, in her opening keynote, Salesforce Executive Vice-President of Developer Relations and General Manager of Trailhead Sarah Joyce Franklin described it as a “family reunion” of the Canadian members of the global Salesforce Ohana community.

Don’t worry if you weren’t able to be there on April 11. What follows is a recap of the themes and key points most Trailblazers were talking about:

Business is the greatest platform for change

Plenty of Trailblazers who came to Salesforce World Tour Toronto had important and urgent business objectives they wanted to achieve. There was a tree on site, for example, where many of them wrote down their goals such as, “Grow engagement from users by 15%.”

Franklin noted that the Salesforce Customer Success Platform allows companies of any size to realize those ambitions, but she challenged everyone to think more broadly about the impact companies have on the wider world.

“We believe we can do well and also do good at the same time,” she said. This includes using the resources and capabilities that come with successful growth to make a meaningful contribution towards things like public education, equal pay, equal rights, equal opportunity and the environment.

“This is about putting our guiding values into action,” Franklin added, including trust, customer success, innovation and equality. The great thing about this approach is that you don’t have to be as big as Salesforce to align your values with a focus on the public good. It’s something any business can do.

The biggest change in business involves the ‘Customer 360’

Canadian companies are considering ways to give back at a time when their relationships with customers are becoming deeper and richer than ever before.

Internally, for example, organizations are recognizing the power of data alongside new means of accessing and managing it to deliver superior customer experiences. Salesforce World Tour Toronto provided a demo of Einstein Voice, for example, where Senior Director of Product Marketing Leandro Perez was able to play the role of a rep for a boutique fashion company trying to prioritize his day.

A nearby smart speaker from Amazon used Einstein Voice to look through data in Sales Cloud and inform him that he was scheduled to take part in five meetings that added up to $2 million in pipeline revenue opportunities. The same application was able to give him insight that his customer contact, Rebecca, was looking to double the inventory for a Spring clothing line, helping prepare him to maximize the conversation he would have in one of those meetings.

Externally, meanwhile, organizations are adapting the Salesforce Customer 360 approach to personalizing their own customer experiences at scale. A good example onstage came from Best Buy, which showed how it could help a customer more easily set up their new smart TV, while Unilever is moving away from a project-based approach to IT to empowering its global workforce with a suite of tools that allow them to create digital experiences on the front lines.

The future of business means skilling up

Following the lead of companies like Best Buy and Unilever starts with recognizing that we’re really in the midst of the Fourth Industrial Revolution — a shift from steam, electricity and then computing to connectivity across all stakeholders within companies and industries.

Learning tools like Trailhead become critical here, because they offer ways for business professionals to prepare themselves to meet 21st century challenges. Before even starting to dive into all the available modules, however, Salesforce Chief Digital Evangelist, Vala Afshar, suggested adopting a “beginner’s mindset” to stay open to new ideas. Staying “teachable,” he said, will be key to competing and winning the hearts and minds of employees, customers and partners, because the velocity of innovation and speed of innovation is unprecedented. You have to be able to learn and then execute.

“Predictive analytics might someday tell you tomorrow’s winning lottery numbers, but you still have to buy the tickets and play those numbers to win,” Afshar told the crowd.

Trailblazers lead others down the path to success

Beyond all the expertise from Salesforce executives, some of the most inspiring moments at Salesforce World Tour Toronto came from Trailblazers themselves. Trailblazers like Zarina Varley Scott.

Though she started with her employer in an administrative role, Scott used Trailhead to give her the skills she needed to become Technology and Project Manager at Imperial Capital Limited. She didn’t stop there, though.

“It wasn’t just about the skills. It was about the people that I met,” she said. In fact, Scott has since taken on the leadership of a local women in tech group and will be participating in TrueNorth Dreamin, a Salesforce community-organized event that will be taking place on July 11 in Ottawa.

She noted that while there are a myriad of ways to connect with other Trailblazers online, there’s a lot of opportunities to meet, learn and support each other in person, too. No wonder Scott was given the “Golden Hoodie” to recognize her achievements as a Trailblazer who’s not only focused on self-development, but enriching the community of others like her.

Thank you to everyone who took part in Salesforce World Tour Toronto 2019 — whether you were on stage, leading a session, asking questions or just joining us as a first-time Trailblazer attendee, your involvement made this event the success it was. See you next year!

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