Salesforce is adapting to new digital environment amid COVID-19 pandemic

Technology-based companies are cutting costs and investing in growth areas in line with the new digital normal, and, as per this industry trend, hiring remained conservative for Salesforce between May and July. However, the company has had an upward trend in job postings since mid-August, indicating a revival of recruitment, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Aurojyoti Bose, Lead Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “In the last three quarters, the technology sector has seen distinct trends. While job postings increased in Q1 2020, hiring declined in Q2 due to the COVID-19 lockdown measures implemented across various countries. The recovery in Q3 has not been that significant either, as spending has been largely muted with companies looking to roll out budget only on critical requirements.”

While many companies were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Salesforce has thrived and reported a strong performance in Q2. However, the company is cautious about revenue growth and future guidance with uncertainty around the impact of the pandemic on its clients. Therefore, it is deprioritizing areas that are not offering high growth and instead redirecting resources to areas that are fuelling growth. This trend is noticeable in the company’s hiring and lay-offs.

Despite a healthy performance, hiring was conservative with active jobs declining in Q2 and the decline continuing in Q3, before the company started posting jobs in mid-August. Sales and marketing head count increased significantly – around 29% since July 31, 2020, with a focus on adding new customers and increasing penetration.

Bose continues: “Salesforce continues to innovate and invest in products around a new digital, work-from-anywhere environment. Solution suites such as Salesforce Care and Work.com are helping organizations reopen safely and efficiently.”

On 23 September, the company launched Digital 360, a unified platform for its marketing cloud, commerce cloud and experience cloud, to enhance customer engagement in a digital remote-working environment. Furthermore, Salesforce has been adding artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to its platform. Some of the recent AI-based enhancements around field service include appointment scheduling, optimization capabilities, guidance for dispatchers, insights around asset performance and automated communication. The company is also enhancing sales in the virtual environment with its virtual selling suite for optimizing tasks and supporting contactless relationship with customers.

Bose concludes: “Salesforce continued to perform well, despite the pandemic, due to strong growth strategies such as expanding into new horizon markets through investments that target vertical industries. Moreover, Salesforce’s CEO and co-founder Marc Benioff recently announced that the company will be hiring 4,000 new employees in the next six months and 12,000 in the next year. With these new jobs, the company is setting new expectations in the future. However, a lot will also depend on the business performance of its customers amid the challenging period during the pandemic.”

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