Empowering staff to create growth is possible, even in a pandemic.

At Salesforce: Innovate Together we were joined by Stephen Gee, Chief Revenue Officer, GDS Group. This global event-management company provides business leaders with intelligence to make better decisions.

The conversation focussed on how, these days, a digital-first model is essential. Especially, as the world has become increasingly remote and businesses can’t always rely on plush office spaces. Yet with digital-first in place, a truly holistic client and employee experience is possible.


In the people business, it pays to empower your people. 

A more connected workforce can be a driving force that unites and excites. Just as customers turned to e-commerce during the pandemic, business services; spanning professional services, legal, real estate and talent, must embrace digital transformation and emerging technologies.

As the pandemic taught us, it’s about recognising the individual – we’ve all interacted with people in their homes, so it’s become more personal now, let’s keep it this way. It’s not just a matter of surviving, but improving.


A focus on delivering better employee experience can make all the difference.

Revenue Growth Leaders agree – 76% rank employee experience as a top priority in the next 3 years. Whilst 89%, say that improved employee engagement and satisfaction leads directly to improved customer satisfaction. It makes you think.

Before the pandemic hit, GDS Group relied on 80% of business coming through events. The stark choice they faced was, “wait it out, or rethink?”

GDS chose to invest, pivoting to drive the kind of digital engagement that now sees them on track for 70% growth. Why did they invest? “Because we all felt that the human need to connect was great at the time, and the need to generate revenue for partners was also great.”

As Salesforce Service Cloud customers, GDS set about creating one true voice for customer experiences, allowing them to pivot with product delivery and not have to re-engineer processes. A great example of joined up CRM.


Today’s authentic leaders are the ones inspiring the change.

Communicating freely and making a human connection is key. Staff training and online get-togethers are opportunities to show up for your workforce and celebrate their achievements. When you organise an online party, pick up the pizza delivery tab. Be there, just as you are for your customers.

As Stephen Gee says, “the ‘new normal’ phrase is an interesting one, because if you go back to being normal, you’ve probably missed the opportunity to be better.”


So, how can strategic leaders lean-in, foster collaboration and improve business outcomes? 

One way is to implement machine learning and artificial intelligence to make sense of all the new data being captured in a digital-first world, as well as identify ways to automate and improve processes.

A solution like Sales Cloud Einstein can help drive the businesses forward by providing a holistic view of customers from lead to close, including opportunity stages, daily tasks, events and more. Leaders can use that information to find new revenue streams.

Now’s the time for the client and employee experience to dovetail, with a digital-first strategy that invites everyone on board and leaves no one behind.

The complete session, where Stephen Gee delivers strategic insights and gives a complete picture of how his business has grown by implementing a digital-first strategy, is available to view on-demand. Watch it here.