Big Dog, Little Dog
One of the really fascinating things about working with Salesforce is the depth and breadth of companies that use their products. I’ve been lucky enough to work with organizations of all sizes, both through employment and volunteer work that I have done. I’ve discovered small mom & pop companies using Salesforce to deliver amazing service to their growing customer based, and also seen how Fortune 500 companies are using the cloud to transform the way they do business.
Credit to Amazon.com
This highlights one of my favorite things about the Salesforce product suite – some may call it scalability, but I prefer to say the elasticity of their products. And small businesses are still the heart of their customer base. Every year at Dreamforce, Marc asks how many people are there from companies of less than 1000 employees. In my six years of attending, there was only 1 year that I didn’t raise my hand for that question. And if you look around that huge room, you’ll see that I’m not alone.
And even as Salesforce grows & likes to share the stories of their huge customers (Toyota, NBC Universal), I also notice they they don’t forget the little guy (most of the time). And the very best example that I can give stems from an experience that I had.
Now, maybe it’s just me but I’ve always been hyper-aware of the customer service I receive. Always kind & courteous to people that I talk to (more flies with honey and all). I was frustrated with an order that I had placed that still hadn’t arrived after 4 weeks. Now, I knew this was a small family-run company, so my expectations were lowered. I reached out to support & got a fantastic reply, and I noticed a footer on the email & started to dig. Turns out, these folks were using a free-for-life version of Desk.com! $0 forever. If that’s not helping out the little guy, I don’t know what is.
So yes – Salesforce may think of their large customers first, but they still have love for all the rest of us and small companies should have love for them. The 30-day free trial, unlimited developer orgs and moderately flexible pricing all speak to the elasticity of their product offering. And that’s exactly what a growing business needs.