Have you heard of a company called Salesforce? If you are a business owner and you haven’t, you should! This is a company that builds software to help business owners to generate leads more efficiently and also streamline the business using state of the art technologies like Artificial Intelligence.
After working at the database software company Oracle, Marc Benioff decided that it was time for him to go out on his own and form a company. His idea was to create a company that hosts software online in what people in the industry call the Cloud, rather than installing the software in the computers. The shift meant huge savings in costs and the ability for the company to deliver more value to its customers.
Salesforce is the leader in the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software around the world. The company has helped Marc reach a net worth of nearly $10 billion, and the future looks bright for the cloud computing industry.
How was Marc able to reach such heights of success? It was his commitment to the technology and investment in himself and his people that created this multi-billion-dollar company. If you follow Marc’s advice on leadership, you can also take your company to new heights.
Building Trust Is the Most Important Thing
Trust is at the core of everything that a business does. You need to build trust with your employees for them to work efficiently. You need to deliver trust with your stakeholders who want to see your business succeed. And you have to build trust with your customers for them to choose you over others.
For Marc, nothing is more important than trust at Salesforce. He created a new department in his company a few years ago that is known as the Office of Ethical and Humane Use. The job of this department is to collect the concerns of customers, employees, and other stakeholders and relay that information directly to Marc.
Titles Don’t Mean Anything
When you reach the position of CEO of a multi-billion dollar company you have reached the pinnacle of success. You have reached the end of the corporate ladder and you can’t climb any higher. After running Salesforce for over 20 years in various capacities, Marc realized that these titles, although they look glamorous to outsiders, are meaningless.
For Marc, it is enough to know that his employees, customers, and stakeholders are happy with what his company is doing. He wants to make sure that his company is contributing to the community. These are issues that occupy his mind rather than empty titles.
In the end, success will not be measured by what your title is. If you are able to add value to your company and your community, you will eventually get the success and respect that you deserve and this success is something that you would have earned.
The Future Is a Puzzle You Can Crack
A business leader has one job. She has to see what the future will look like and build products for that future.
Marc was friends with Steve Jobs and he would often get advice from the Apple founder. One day the two of them met and Steve told Marc a few things he needed to do to take his company to the next level.
One of the things that Steve told Marc to do was build an application economy. Marc didn’t understand what that meant and asked for clarification. The Apple founder’s only reply was that he would figure it out.
Marc went out thinking about what this future of application economy would look like. He immediately bought the domain name AppExchange.com. A few years later Steve called his old friend for an event, where he announced the app store for Apple.
Marc gave Steve a gift and that gift was the rights to AppExchange.com. Steve was surprised by the gift and asked Marc how he thought about the name. The Salesforce founder reminded his friend and mentor about his guidance.
The future may look like a puzzle when you get an idea. If you spend enough time thinking about it, you will be able to crack the puzzle.
Get Rid of the Starting Trouble
When you think about starting a company, you go thoughts bursts of anxiety, fear, and a whole range of emotions that can be daunting. This is the main reason why most people allow their dreams to die with them.
Marc’s advice to entrepreneurs is that you should do your best to transcend these emotions. You should be able to visualize the future and know exactly where you and your company are going.
Try to put all your negative emotions in a box and focus on what kind of a company you want to create. Think about your dream, the one that you are building, and let all kinds of ideas flow into it. Soon, you will see your anxieties dissipate and it will be replaced with excitement about the possibilities and confidence about the future.
You Can’t Delegate Customer Relationship Management
A business leader is in charge of customer relationship management. It doesn’t matter whether you are a small business owner or if you are a CEO of a fortune 500 company. You can’t delegate customer management to the head of marketing or sales anymore.
According to Marc, if the business leader makes the mistake of thinking that he/she doesn’t have to deal with customer management, they will find out in a hurry that they should be.
If a business has to survive in the long run it has to focus on innovation. The role of a company in society is to make the world better by either offering products that make it easier to perform a task or find less expensive way of making a product.
If you can constantly innovate and add value to your customers, you can stay in business indefinitely without fear.