Top four Salesforce customer trends of 2020

By | 3 minute read | December 16, 2019

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There is no question Salesforce has grown and emerged as a critical engagement platform connecting employees and brands to their customers. This year’s The State of Salesforce research places Salesforce at the center of two distinct chapters of digital transformation: Chapter 1 which includes digital transformation of customer-facing channels from the outside-in (which has mostly occurred in the past decade), and Chapter 2, where companies transform their data, processes, and workflows with data from the inside-out.

As businesses continue to move more business-critical apps to the cloud, they subsequently create a complex set of hybrid and multi-cloud environments. Data integration and AI are becoming more critical than ever, but Chapter 2 of digital transformation will demand more than technology and business. It will also mean building the right workforce and culture to innovate and transform, opening new opportunities for companies to reinvent themselves digitally.

There are four top trends that are clear from global leaders (referred to as “the best”), and show how they are separating themselves, delivering both the experiences customers demand and business impact companies seek.

Trend 1: Customers are building themselves around Customer 360

Key datapoint: 9 out of 10 global leaders rank integrating additional data sources as their top priority.

With the goal of delivering personalization and relevancy customers demand, next-generation applications consume and digest data from a wide variety of sources empowering employees in real-time. Unlocking data to both inform business strategy and guide decision making requires data to be well-integrated and governed. Salesforce’s investments in Customer 360 and MulesSoft signal that a unified customer profile is starting to emerge.

Trend 2: AI efforts are scaling up

Key datapoint: 83% of organizations currently piloting AI are implementing in the next 18 months.

An increasing number of organizations are reimagining critical workflows, as they move from piloting AI to scaling it. Early adopters who’ve established a Test and Learn environment are now planning to expand how they use AI to deliver value to customers and employees alike. Purpose-built AI, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, drives smarter interactions with machines that solve human problems. Organizations can quickly detect changes and optimize operations as a result. Top use cases all indicate that using AI is less about pure automation and more about augmenting human decision-making.

Trend 3: Sellers want more mobile

Key datapoint: 73% of sellers say they spend most of their time in front of a desktop computer–versus just 8% on a mobile device.

The arrival of fifth-generation (5G) mobile networks brings a new standard for fast, secure, and reliable mobile capabilities. It also signals the disparity between consumer-grade and enterprise mobile experiences. For Sales Cloud customers, adoption is a persistent challenge that hinders sales performance. The best companies are implementing mobile-first employee experiences that remove the technical barriers that exist between sellers and selling. With its new mobile SDK, Salesforce has expanded its mobility beyond field service agents. It’s time to prioritize the missing mobility needs of sellers.

Trend 4: 24/7 Salesforce management moves mainstream

Key datapoint: 67% of IT customers who use a consulting partner for 24/7 Salesforce management realized their target ROI.

Salesforce has become a business-critical application. Where once 24/7 management for Salesforce was uncommon, it’s quickly becoming a new expectation–impacting the broader ecosystem, as well as the teams, partners, and companies that surround it.  To help keep Salesforce relevant to the business at any given moment and respond to global changes both in the market and from employees and customers, an increasing number of organizations are seeking management partners. While IT respondents are almost evenly divided on whether 24/7 Salesforce management is a necessity or not––47% and 53% respectively––it’s proving to be a valuable strategy.    In this year’s report, we also hear directly from a number of global customers already leading this next wave of internal transformation, including Autodesk, Caixa Bank, and Telecom Argentina. These companies and others are great examples of companies deploying Salesforce across their businesses, and scaling emerging technologies to empower employees with solutions that transform how they work, sell, market, and serve customers.