Industry leaders from Salesforce and Domain on the three things that will shape the future of business – StartupSmart

Polly Sumner_Salesforce World Tour Melbourne 2016

According to industry leaders from Domain and Salesforce, companies with three core traits will pave the future of business.

The keynote speech at the Melbourne leg of the Salesforce World Tour saw speakers outling how companies that are customer-centric, socially-conscious and innovative will lead the way.

The rise of customer-centricity

Speakers from Domain, Accenture and Salesforce highlighted that a global shift in business is creating a more customer-centric world.

Salesforce chief adoption office Polly Sumner says while companies still have to possess a core purpose, customers have to be placed at the centre of this.

“Every company has to have it’s raison d’etre,”  Sumner says.

The role of innovation

Salesforce solution engineering vice president Dan Bognar said that five years ago only 36% of organisations uses their customer service as a main point of difference, whiel today nearly 90% of businesses do.

And constantly innovating plays an important role in this process, Domain chief commercial officer Tony Blamey says.

Blamey says Domain is driving a customer-centric change in the real estate sector through developing ways to digitalise home inspections and customer data so agents can build more personal and continuous relationships with buyers and tenants.

“The home buying business can become less transactional in the future,” Blamey says.

A social conscience

Sumner also outlined Salesforce’s 1-1-1 philanthropic model where 1% of the company’s time, equity and product is contributed to non-profits.

The initiative has seen Salesforce give back more than $350 million of product and equity.

“It’s super important that as business leaders we focus on equality,” Sumner says.

At Salesforce, employees get seven days a year to dedicate their time to any non-profit organisation and in return the non-profits are able to use Salesforce for free.

So far they’ve contributed more than one million service hours worldwide.

The initiative aligns with Salesforce’s Pledge 1% campaign, which it founded with Atlassian, Rally for Impact and Tides.

Since launching the movement last year, more than 700 companies have incorporated the 1-1-1 philanthropic model into their businesses.

And by the end of the year, they hope to have 1000 businesses on board, Sumner says.

So far the likes of General Assembly, Pozible, Culture Amp and Blackbird Ventures are among the Aussie companies committing to the pledge.

One of the beneficiaries – Australian Schools Plus – has been able to connect with businesses through the movement to help make quality education more equally accessible.

“Schools Plus is really about helping young people, students across the country fulfil their potential,” Australian Schools Plus CEO Rosemary Conn says.

But with disadvantaged students falling behind peers at more advantaged schools by two and a half years, Conn is keen to address the problem.

“For me that’s just not fair,” she says.

With the support of businesses like Salesforce, Conn and her team are working with more than 4500 schools across Australia to help students with disabilities, in low socioeconomic conditions, remote communities or non-English speaking backgrounds to get fairer access to quality education.

“I really believe a great education sets off young people on the right step in life,” she says.

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