Use Technology to Innovate

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Explain how embracing new technology can help your company innovate.
  • Describe what a Salesforce Architect does.

Become a Customer Company

Your customers expect to be at the center of your world. No surprise there, right? No matter what your title is or whether you work in sales, service, marketing, or operations, you have an important role in helping your company overcome the hurdles of digital transformation.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution has paved the way for enormous opportunities—and these opportunities are too massive for one department or your C-level executives to navigate alone. Transforming your customers’ experiences and establishing a personalized connection at every touchpoint has to be a team effort. 

But strong customer relationships aren't just about rolling out new apps every quarter or fielding customer concerns 24/7. It’s an ongoing journey that starts with getting everyone in your company to embrace new technology to create unique customer experiences.

Here are four ways to get your organization to start thinking about new technology. 

  • Start with the end in mind. The endgame isn't just to have new shiny technology (although it's nice!). Your goal is to implement technology that can better enable you to serve your customers’ needs. So start with the end in mind: Find out what your customers value most, then customize your technology needs accordingly. In other words, don't launch a new digital channel for customer service until you have a clear vision of your customers’ needs.
  • Speed with collaboration. Organizations that successfully adapt to new technology are more agile. Part of being agile means working cross-functionally with other teams.  Consider this: To respond faster to market demands, IT can’t develop apps without regular interactions with the business side. Instead of working in separate functional teams that oversee end-to-end product development cycles, organize your teams around shorter and more focused efforts that speed up delivering better experiences to your customers.
  • Progress over perfection. Technology evolves quickly—and customer's demands do, too. In today’s fast-changing environment, your end-users’ technology needs change just as quickly. Gathering requirements for new solutions can happen over the course of months (sometimes even years!) before the development teams deliver them to business users like sales and service reps. That's why it's important that you approach technology iteratively: Make small changes to your app or your platform, test, and then iterate quickly based on feedback. Don't strive for perfection with every release, strive for progress.
  • New ways of using technology. Moving from spreadsheets to digital systems requires both a change in processes and your organization’s view on customer data. When your sales teams don’t log their interactions with customers because they think it’s a meaningless task, the marketing team won’t have good customer insights when building relevant campaigns. When leadership doesn’t have accurate forecasting based on market demand, they can’t make smart decisions.
  • It’s also for your leaders. Sure, your sales, service, and marketing teams can benefit from the new technologies you roll out. But your executives ultimately make the decisions on what technology investments go and what investments stay. To ensure that lasting change takes place in how your entire organization consistently fulfills your customers’ needs, your executives should stay engaged after you go live by using the technology themselves.

Change Is a Journey, Not a Destination

Of course, making a change is easier said than done. Especially when you're trying to get your entire organization on board. The good news is that you're not alone—many Salesforce customers have gone through similar transformations. It's not about solving all your challenges in one day, but creating your unique roadmap one step at a time.

In the next unit, we’ll introduce you to advisors who can journey with you as you transform your business—Salesforce Architects. These are platform and subject matter experts who provide strategic and technical guidance to our customers. We show you how these incredibly talented people have shaped business success for other companies and how they turned vision into reality.

Resources

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