May 23, 2019

Q&A: Driving Business Transformation with Consultants on AppExchange

By Woodson Martin, General Manager, Salesforce AppExchange

Dave Falconer is Senior Vice President of EMEA at PolSource — a Platinum Salesforce consulting partner.

 

It’s no secret that we are living in an era of unprecedented technological change, otherwise known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Innovations are transforming the way we live and work, creating jobs that never existed before. Amid this rapid evolution, the Salesforce ecosystem of customers and partners is projected to create 3.3 million new jobs worldwide by 2022.

In this era, customers are demanding technology expertise and innovation within our growing ecosystem. To navigate this supply and demand, Salesforce launched Consultants on AppExchange today at London World Tour — a new destination within AppExchange, the world’s leading enterprise cloud marketplace, tailored for customers looking for personalized solutions and specific industry expertise. With Consultants on AppExchange, customers can now easily identify and connect with the best Salesforce experts for their business needs.

We sat down with Dave Falconer, Senior Vice President of EMEA at PolSource — a Platinum Salesforce consulting partner — to dive into what the launch of Consultants on AppExchange means for PolSource’s business and the ecosystem at large.

Give us a brief overview of PolSource’s history of delivering customer success on the Salesforce Platform.                 

We have been a consulting partner for over 10 years, but in the last three years, we have pivoted to become an end-to-end digital transformation agent. Our ability to augment Salesforce functionalities in out-of-the-box ways has enabled us to build critical business and IT solutions that can be deployed quickly and efficiently for customers across many different industries.

Today, our clients are increasingly looking for a trusted advisor that can steward them through the complex landscape of digital transformation options. They seek rapid return on investment and differentiation from competition to achieve their business objectives. Fast results with minimal customization are of paramount importance for our customers — and with our  Consultants on AppExchange Listing, we will be able to deliver just that for a targeted customer base.

How has the need for Salesforce consulting expertise shaped the way PolSource has built its business?

At PolSource, we lead with a business-focused discussion that gets to the heart of a customer’s core objective. This has formed a natural need to build our practices outside of the technical core with expertise from industry and lines of business.

PolSource is a champion of key industries like manufacturing, automotive, retail, aerospace and defense (A&D), and consumer packaged goods (CPG). We target industries and clients that are experiencing accelerating rates of disruption and are looking for a nimble, full-service Salesforce consulting partner to empower them to realise their vision of digital transformation affordably.  Companies operating within these industries are often bound by legacy analog systems that constrain them from innovation at a time when increasing competition from digitally-native organisations is threatening their revenue.

These companies need creative ways to put their customers closer to the center of their businesses. By looking at trends within these industries and implementing the right Salesforce solutions, PolSource helps companies succeed in their digital journeys.

When a customer comes to PolSource with specific business challenges, how do you typically leverage AppExchange solutions to help them succeed?

PolSource has established key relationships in the AppExchange community within our verticals, cloud expertise and geographic coverage. We find this combination critical to acting as a trusted advisor for customers. Clients often think they have to build a solution from scratch to achieve their goals, but why spend more money creating a custom solution when there are already applications built on the Salesforce Platform that customers can take advantage of?

We actively recommend AppExchange solutions to our customers and help facilitate introductions and engagements, not only through sales but continually throughout the deployment — and beyond in managed service. Our clients need to see we are operating in their best interest and making the right recommendations based on their requirements and objectives.

How do you think being listed on AppExchange via Consultants on AppExchange will propel your business?

This is really exciting for us a PolSource. We endeavour to provide solutions for our customers that fully leverage the Salesforce Platform — and giving our customers the ability to rate our AppExchange listing is attractive. However, the proximity to the ISV solution base that can complement and enable business solutions is the true gamechanger. Customers looking for specific solutions will be directed to consulting partners that can validate their assumptions and provide a clear roadmap to success, all in one place. How could this not propel our business?

How do you think consulting partners will have to differentiate their AppExchange listings to connect with the right customers?

The way we brand ourselves will be critical in order for the right customers to find the right partners. We all know and experience the frustration with search engines delivering out-of-date results. Consultants are going to need to make sure their listings are constantly correct in order for them to be seen and found by customers at the right times. Demonstrable outcomes for customers in addition to statistics about qualifications will be top of mind for prospects.

What are you most excited about in the next five to ten years?

Business transformation is merely at the cusp of what can be achieved with technology. New innovations are challenging traditional practices, bringing positive changes to numerous industries. One industry I’m particularly excited about is the energy industry.

I am convinced that the digitisation of the energy industry will enable changes necessary to overcome reliability and sustainability concerns associated with renewable energy, catalysing the decarbonisation of our energy system. Cloud computing, IoT connected field service, and artificial intelligence can play a major role in tackling the global environmental crisis.

I understand you work closely with Good Energy, one of the UK’s leading renewable energy suppliers. How did PolSource aid in Good Energy’s digital transformation?

It was critical for Good Energy to put their customers at the center of their service, marketing and selling strategies by converging their data and processes. When we initially engaged Good Energy, they had limited understanding of what they could accomplish with Salesforce as their digital transformation platform, so we helped the leadership team understand and prioritise the kinds of streamlined innovation that could be achieved.

Over five weeks, PolSource aligned Good Energy’s executive stakeholders on the vision and goals for their transformation, while also aligning the organisation around their capability gaps. We created and validated the first phase of a solution design and garnered Good Energy’s support for the business case and solution roadmap. Executing this roadmap by integrating with Sales Cloud and Service Cloud has reduced manual work in customer service and lead management functions by about 80%, giving salespeople time to focus on selling and significantly reducing the handle time on customer service calls.

 

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