The Rise and Future of Salesforce

3 min

At MA, we are passionate about connecting talented candidates to the latest Salesforce jobs....

At MA, we are passionate about connecting talented candidates to the latest Salesforce jobs. This passion for Salesforce stems from its fascinating history, innovative thinking, and dedication to building a positive and inclusive workplace and talent community.

This article will explore a range of topics which make Salesforce such an exciting and rewarding company to work for. These topics include:

  • What is Salesforce, and how is it supporting businesses? 
  • The company's early days and its rise to CRM industry leader.
  • Salesforce today and how it is building an inclusive and sustainable workplace.
  • What does the future of Salesforce hold? 

To start the insight into this fascinating company, let's explore what Salesforce do and how they have helped businesses elevate their customer experience. 

What is Salesforce?

Salesforce is a customer relationship management solution that enables a closer connection between customers and companies. Its integrated CRM platform allows all of a company's departments, including sales, customer service, and marketing, to possess a single, shared view of all its customers. 

But how does an integrated CRM platform support a business? Companies build up a vast amount of customer data and often ask, how can we use this data to elevate our customers' experience and grow our business? Unfortunately, many companies struggle to answer these questions. 

Furthermore, organisations' departments often cannot share data with other departments. For example, sales don't share data with marketing, even though sales data could lead to highly effective marketing campaigns. 

With the rise of eCommerce and an increasingly digital world, customer expectations are incredibly high. This, mixed with a challenging and competitive economy, businesses need to use their customer data as efficiently and effectively as possible. 

Salesforce's CRM software can break down the technology silos existing between departments and unite all teams from commerce to customer service. The software will allow departments to have shared access to all customer data, so they can work together to create an elevated customer experience. 

Early History of Salesforce 

It is hard to believe that a global powerhouse like Salesforce started life in March 1999 from a one-bedroom apartment in Telegraph Hill, San Francisco. Its creators were Marc Benioff, Parker Harris, Frank Dominguez, and Dave Moellenhoff. During their time in their humble apartments, they had motivational aids consisting of two pet dogs and posters of Albert Einstein and one of the Dalai Lama from an Apple advert, encouraging people to 'think different'. 

So, what was the vision and goal of this small band of pioneers? Their vision was clear, to create 'a world-class internet company for sales force automation'. In addition, they wanted to develop business software applications in a new and innovative way and deliver software through a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) application.

The team began working on Salesforce and had the prototype working within a month of starting its development. For this basic model, Marc Benioff took much of his inspiration from Amazon. This caused him to wonder why business applications can't be delivered via a website that's as simple as Amazon. And so, the design had a very similar layout to Amazon, with tabs across the top so users could easily find the page they wanted to visit. 

Also, in 1999, the company wrote its first V2MOM strategic plan. V2MOM is a management process that stands for Vision, Values, Methods, Obstacles, and Measures. The process is still used to this day and aims to provide employees with a clear vision and align the whole organisation around common goals. In keeping with the bare-bones start-up operation they were running in the first year, the original draft of V2MOM was written on the back of an envelope. 

In July 1999, Marc Benifoff went full-time at Salesforce, and his next move was to take the company out of the Telegraph Hill apartment and find a new office for the company's now ten-strong workforce. Salesforce's first office was at the Rincon Centre in San Francisco. By the end of the year, the company had expanded to 40 employees.

By 2001, Salesforce had become the fast-growing CRM company world. It had opened offices in Dublin and Tokyo and had 3,000 customers. Benioff was also named the Chairman and Chief Executive Office of the company. The brand has now become a global powerhouse and continues to grow and remain the largest CRM company.

Salesforce Today

The rise of Salesforce from a tiny San Francisco apartment to the number 1 global CRM company is extraordinary. 

Here are four incredible facts that show the magnitude of the company's growth since its humble beginnings. 

  • Salesforce has over 79,000 employees worldwide.
  • In the fiscal year 2022, the company achieved a record $26.49 billion in revenue. This was a 25% increase vs the previous fiscal year. 
  • Salesforce operates in 89 cities, with 110 offices globally. 
  • Salesforce has a CRM market share of 23.9%, which, when you compare it to Apple and Samsung, which have 28% and 27% of the smartphone market, is highly impressive. 

Towering Above the Competition 

The company is also famous for its towers worldwide. However, its main tower and global headquarters are in its founding city, San Francisco. Opened in 2018, it is an impressive structure at 1,070 feet, 61 stories and 1.4 million square feet of office space. Here are a few fun facts about the tower:

  • It took more than 2.5 million working hours to build. 
  • The elevator takes 61 seconds to travel from street level to the 61st floor. If you feel active, there are 1,762 steps if you take the stairs. 
  • The tower has the largest onsite water recycling system in a high-rise commercial building in the US. It filters up to 30,000 gallons of water daily from showers, sinks, and toilets and then repurposes safely for non-potable uses. The system saves water to the equivalent of 7.8 million gallons per year. This is around the same amount of water used by 16,000 residents. 

As well as the San Francisco site, Salesforce has eight towers in separate locations worldwide in London, Indianapolis, New York, Atlanta, Tokyo, Dublin, Sydney, and Chicago.

Promoting Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace 

Salesforce has an ambition of creating a workplace that reflects society; to achieve this, they need to increase representation. So in 2019, they set four targets to drive representation:

  • Have 50% of their US employees from underrepresented groups (women, Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Multiracial, LGBTQ+ employees, people with disabilities, and veterans) by 2023.
  • Double the representation of Black leaders and increase the representation of minority groups in leadership by 50% by the end of 2023. 
  • Increase the US representation of underrepresented employees by 50% by the end of 2023. 
  • 40% of the global workforce will be women and non-binary employees by the end of 2026. 

What is the progress so far? After setting up incentives such as a diversity recruiting team, an increased equitable referral process, and the Insiders program (which is designed to connect candidates to employees in their community), hiring representation of underrepresented minorities (URM), as well as Laxtinx and Black, have all increased since 2021. For example, the global representation of women increased from 33.9% in February 2021 to 35.7% in February 2022. 

Furthermore, in the US, Salesforce has already achieved its 2019 target of having 50% of the workforce made up of underrepresented groups, as the figure currently stands at 50.7%

Salesforce is a company that strives to be a company that is friendly, supportive, and open to all. These efforts have resulted in numerous awards. These awards include the 2022 Glassdoor Employees' Choice Best Place to Work in all five countries assessed (the US, Canada, the U.K., France, and Germany). In addition, it was awarded the 2021 Best Workplace award by Great Place to Work International in 17 countries and ranked number five in the World's Best Workplace. 

Salesforce Sustainability - Building a Better Future

In 2021, Salesforce achieved net residual emissions across its entire value chain and reached 100% renewable energy. In other words, the company has purchased enough renewable energy to match all the electricity it uses worldwide. 

After committing to this goal in 2013, Salesforce has focused on six sustainability priorities - carbon removal, education and mobilisation, innovation, emission reduction, trillion trees and ecosystem restoration, and regulation and policy. In addition, its Climate Action Plan is helping to drive towards a 1.5c future. Furthermore, it co-founded, a global movement to conserve, restore, and grow 1 trillion trees by 2030, and launched the Ocean Sustainability Program to support the protection of our oceans. 

Sound like your ideal employer? Then be sure to check out the latest Salesforce jobs and see how you can become involved in this innovative and future-focus company. 

The Future of Salesforce 

Salesforce has shown throughout its history that it can be a company of cutting-edge thinkers prepared to take on and rise above the competition.

When they burst onto the scene in 1999 with their SaaS offering, they were competing against established and significant players in the market, such as Microsoft, SAP, and Oracle. Incredibly, a company starting in a small 1-bedroom apartment would beat these major players at their own game just a few years later.

While you could argue that the same thing could happen to Salesforce in the future, a major technological shift would need to occur due to its large market share. 

Furthermore, Salesforce is dedicated to staying at the forefront of innovative technology. So much so that they were voted the number one most innovative company in the world by Forbes.

Salesforce has proven to be a future-thinking company time and time again. Examples are the introduction of AI tools, such as the launch of Einstein AI in 2016, and Field Service Technology. 

A more recent example is the recent launch of NFT Cloud in 2022. The aim of the NFT Cloud is for customers to drive the birth of a new breed of communities. This will cause a shift away from just being a customer to being part of a community due to the element of ownership. The Cloud makes it easy to mint, manage, and sell NFTs. It will allow businesses to create connected experiences across digital and physical worlds to enhance the customer experience well into the future. 

Adam Caplin, Senior Vice President of Emerging Technology at Salesforce, commented:

"Our customers have been asking us to help them navigate Web 3.0. NFT Cloud is all about helping our customers mint, manage, and sell NFTs – and of course, it's all no-code." 

Marc Benioff has major plans for future growth, reaching a market cap of $1 trillion by 2030. With a market cap of $132.52 billion in 2022, it would require the company to continue its 20%+ annual growth rate. However, with a long history of achieving their goals and realising their ambitions, you would want to avoid betting against Marc's predictions. 

With their finger on the pulse of technology, a future-focused vision and a diverse and inclusive workforce behind them, Salesforce will continue to lead the CRM and tech markets and be an attractive and open employer to the entire talent market. 

Looking for the Latest Salesforce Jobs? 

As we have read, Salesforce is a highly innovative, inclusive, and market leader in the technological world. As well as trying to support and advance businesses, they care about their workforce and the future of our planet. 

If you see your future career with Salesforce, then MA will support you. Our dedicated Salesforce consultants are here to connect with you and find a role that meets your needs and personality.

For more details, visit our dedicated Salesforce page for information on the latest jobs and our work with Salesforce. In addition, visit our candidates' services page and discover more about how MA supports your journey into a new career.