By @SimonCocking

Interview with SanjBhayro, @SanjBhayro Senior AVP for SMB in EMEA

What is your background?

I joined in 2005 and I’m approaching my 10th year Salesforce. In that time I’ve worked in a variety of  roles.

I’m currently the VP for Small To Medium Business EMEA, focusing on helping small to medium business grow and scale. I’m Head of sales organisation for Small to Medium Business  across EMEA which is located out of our office in Sandyford, Dublin

How long have you been in Ireland?

I’m 12 years in Ireland and during that time I’ve seen tremendous change in the Technology industry in the country. Today, Ireland is seen as one of the major tech hubs in Europe and the World and is creating a new generation of innovators and entrepreneurs.

Salesforce in Ireland was first established in Ireland in 2000. The Dublin office is the European Shared Service Centre for Salesforce, playing a crucial role in the company’s growth and success in Europe. Today we are actively recruiting to meet the demands of new business and continued growth in Ireland. We have positions available in sales, marketing, IT and customer support functions.

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How was 2014?

Europe is Salesforce’s fastest growing region as of FY15 Q3, with revenue growth of 34 percent (in constant currency). We are seeing tremendous momentum across EMEA. Businesses’ of all sizes are adopting cloud at a significant rate. As part of its continuing investment in the region, Salesforce opened its European Data Centre in the UK in October, 2014. Two more European Data Centres are planned for France and Germany during calendar year 2015.

We have just got back from Dreamforce 14 and had more than 140,000 registered attendees and more than five million people viewing online, This was the largest ever software conference. We had  keynotes by world leaders, inspirational speakers and technology visionaries such as former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Microsoft’s Tony Prophet, will.i.am, Tony Robbins and former Vice President Al Gore

Attendees also came together to give back, delivering 1 million meals to fight hunger—all attendees are encouraged to bring a can of food. During Dreamforce we launched the  Customer Success Platform, bringing together six revolutionary cloud services— Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Community Cloud, Analytics Cloud and Salesforce1 Cloud Platform—to empower companies to connect with their customers in new ways.

Wins?

We continue to see unprecedented success in Europe The company has seen great customer success in Europe with leading European brands including ABB,  AXA, Direct Line Group,, PernodRicard, Unilever and Zeiss. In Ireland we work with companies like BordGais, Glanbia Social Media Monitoring, EMC, O2, Magnet Networks, Currency Fair and Newsweaver.

Looking forwards to 2015, plans, goals?

The world is changing so quickly — soon there will be soon 50 billion connected devices with 70% of the worlds population on mobile devices. We live our lives in apps with billions of apps on mobile devices sending massive amounts of data to the cloud.

Behind every device  and  behind every app there is a customer to connect with. The Salesforce Customer Success platform provides every company to connect with their customers in new ways. We are investing a considerable amount of time and energy in mobile so that we can help these companies connect with their customers, partners, employees and even communities

The Salesforce Customer Success Platform is built for the  cloud, social, mobile and connected world. This enables companies of all sizes to sell, service, market and engage with customers anytime, anywhere and on any device. Moreover, the customer success platform allows companies to adapt, to scale and to innovate how they connect with their customers.

With the Salesforce Customer Success Platform our clients can run their business from their phone and every company can grow sales faster, deliver customer service everywhere, create 1:1 customer journeys, engage with customers in vibrant communities, deliver analytics for every business user and build mobile apps lightning fast, all from a single trusted platform built for customer success.

As we continue on this journey, Salesforce will continue to invest in the Irish Market. Our Dublin office is the European hub for our commercial sales operation as well as many of our marketing, IT and support functions – therefore it is a key component in our strategy for success. Today we are actively recruiting to meet the demands of new business and continued growth in Ireland. We have positions available in sales, marketing, IT and customer support functions.

Irish start up scene, your impression?

The Irish Start Up scene in thriving. It has never been easier to start up a company and to scale their business – this allows Irish Start Ups to move at speed and become global from day 1. The number of Irish Tech StartsUps at Websummit is proof of the thriving community that exists in Ireland.

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Tips for new Irish startups?

Salesforce.com is a great startup success story example for many entrepreneurs. We like to see ourselves as the 15 year old start-up. . Through the years, we’ve learned that turning a startup into a great company requires many ingredients, but the most important one is customers.

Most startups fail when they lack relevance to customers. Starts Up have the opportunity to disrupt through their product and/ or service, but they should also disrupt and innovate how they attract, service and retain their customers.

How can Saleforce help them?

At Salesforce, we are passionate about transforming every startups’ journey, and want to help young companies focus on customers from day one. Salesforce is a great platform for entrepreneurs, with the number one PaaS and a developer community of more than 1.7 million members. Our technology helps starts up and small business grow and scale – by putting the customer at the heart of your business from day 1.

It’s simple to use, and elastic – meaning you pay for what you use. Many of our customers are start ups and small business including Square, Optimizey, & One Kings Lane. In Ireland start ups like Lifes to Good, Micks Garage and Currency Fair have adopted the Salesforce Platform. We are also delighted to annouceSaesforce for Start Ups.

Salesforce for Startups is a brand new community that allows entrepreneurs to:

LEARN from successful fellow entrepreneurs and Salesforce experts
BUILD product fast with free access to the Salesforce1 Platform
PARTNER with Salesforce and find customers on the AppExchange
GROW your business with free CRM and customer service tools for a year

For companies who have already raised an institutional round of funding and have brought an exceptional product to market might also have the opportunity to work with theSalesforce Ventures team.

Salesforce Ventures recently launched the $100m Salesforce1 Fund to support innovative entrepreneurs who extend the power of the Salesforce1 Platform to build next generation mobile apps and connected products.

In 2013 we also launched the  €5 million Innovation Challenge,, which has already given more than 450 European startups the opportunity to pitch to leading investors while opening the door to the critical enterprise app market.

Your definition of success?

Success is talking to customers, partners and employees who are proud to be using our technology. At the end of the day it is all about user experience and acceptance.

We know we are headed in the right direction when community is thriving.

Salesforce has a great philanthropy ethos, what’s your own take on it?

From day 1 15 years ago, our CEO committed that we would  use this opportunity give back. This was how the Salesforce Foundation was born.

At the heart of the Salesforce.com Foundation is the “1-1-1 Model” of integrated corporate philanthropy which leverages the resources of salesforce.com for public good: donating 1% of salesforce.com’s equity, 1% of employees’ time, and 1% of product to help non-profits achieve their missions.

The Salesforce.com Foundation has been part of the company since day one and the spirit of giving back is a part of salesforce.com’s corporate culture from every employee’s first day. More than 23,000 nonprofits run their organizations on Salesforce for free or at highly discounted rates. The Salesforce.com Foundation has given more than $68M in grants.

Since the start of the year, Irish Salesforce.com employees have volunteered 1,214 hours to date. Our overall European foundation hours target for the year is just over 22,000 and we’re over 17,000 already.

We work with non for profits right across Ireland including City Wise, Irish Guide Dogs, Codojo, and the Trinity Access Programme.

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Social media, you tweets a lot of interesting content, what is your strategy in general for social media?

Marketing strategy has evolved more quickly in the past five years than it did in the past five hundred.

The days of print advertising and mass media dominated marketing has changes, creating opportunities to craft unique customer journeys .

Content is the new channel to connect buyers and sellers. It is the primary means of communication now that the buyer has wrested control of the sales cycle.

Our content is dedicated to attracting and engaging customers early in their journey, serving them with insights and stories that serve the buyer’s needs and not just their products needs.

The Salesforce Success Community  is a great way for our community to create, engage and share content

Work life balance & how does you  balance the demands of that with wider job duties?

The lines between work and life are becoming more and more blurred. The standard 40 hour office week no longer  feels like the norm. This is partly driven by the fact that many businesses operate globally and partly driven by technology.

It is becoming just as easy to update a quote, close a case, or collaborate on a document via your phone in your business life as in the same way as you run your consumer based life on your phone.

As goal posts shift we need to become more accountable of the impact on our lives. The right balance is essential for personal health, and the health of the company. Employees need to come into work refreshed – whether that’s following a work-free weekend or a relaxing evening away from their emails. Getting this right can boost efficiency and creativity; getting it wrong can have detrimental effects on the business.

Mobile, Cloud and Social Technology helps us balance our work and personal lives and means we can work in a more flexible way. One of the only downsides to mobile technology is that everywhere can become your office; you can pick up emails at the store, monitor your sales stats in the gym and even make a call just before reading your kids a bedtime story. Technology means you can stay connected wherever you are, but it is up to us to understand when to diss-connect.

If we understand the importance of a healthy work life balance, and train ourselves to focus on what’s important rather than what’s urgent, we can embrace technology to allow us to achieve a much better balance.

Favourite tech tools?

Concur Mobile app – expense management app

Voice Storm – Content Advocacy Platform

& Salesforce 1 Platform – run your business from your phone