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American IT expert on course for success in NRW

©Salesforce Germany

©Salesforce Germany

The Sales Cloud takes the sales process to a new level: companies save time, generate more leads and increase their productivity - all without hardware or software. The CRM solution was developed by San Francisco-based IT experts Salesforce. In an interview, Sibylle Westermann, Area Vice President Public DACH at Salesforce Germany, talks about her experiences at the location.

  • Salesforce are experts in the field of CRM (customer relationship management) solutions. How exactly do they work?

In the technology industry, the holy grail has long been that companies get a 360-degree view of their customers – now, for the first time, our technology is actually making this possible. This ranges from sales and service to marketing, from retail to a platform for app development. There are numerous points of contact with customers, not only in sales.

  • Where do you see the future challenges in your industry?

This industry is changing very fast and we must try to take all companies and organizations along on this journey. Artificial intelligence, for example, is the next major driver of innovation – we must try to reduce fear of contact here and demonstrate the enormous advantages for companies and organizations. Here is an example for our AI solution Einstein: The software recommends to sales staff which customers have the best chances of success. Or it predicts which marketing campaigns will achieve the best success with which customer group at what time of day. But there are also new scenarios – an insurance company uses the software to estimate accident damage to cars using image recognition. This is already possible to an accuracy of 80 percent. 

  • The Düsseldorf branch office has grown rapidly in recent years – what locational advantages have contributed to this?

Here in NRW we have not only found very well trained employees, but also a lively start-up and hidden champions culture. We see enormous potential for digital transformation, especially in medium-sized companies – and we are in great demand here as digital advisors.

  • What's next for Salesforce?

The next big step is to build up public business. This is where we expect the next major push for digitalization in public administration. Citizens want to communicate with their city via all channels and also while on the move. Our Customer360 platform provides a basis for this, offering customers an impressive, cross-channel contact option, giving companies a uniform customer view and enabling them to adapt to public sector requirements. For example, I see an opportunity here for municipalities, municipal companies and organizations to become more responsive and efficient. They can create the holistic experience that citizens want – just with clicks, without having to write code or have special IT skills.

  • What makes Salesforce different? 

We are not just another American software firm. The founders of Salesforce had a vision of a slightly different company. A company that would not only change the way business relationships are created in the future, but also help to make the world a better place little by little. When we launched Salesforce, we created the 1-1-1 model by donating one percent of our time, products, and capital to charity through Salesforce.org. The 1-1-1 model has spread beyond Salesforce. Over 9,000 companies from more than 100 countries are involved with Pledge1percent.org and have already donated over one billion euros. 

Our values form the foundation of Salesforce; they guide us in everything we do as a company, including working together with our stakeholders: Trust, customer success, innovation, and equal opportunity.

Sharing the same values is also an important foundation for building a relationship with our customers based on trust.