Fan Friday: Salesforce!

Salesforce, the world’s largest supplier of CRM software and one of the largest suppliers of business software in the cloud, has recently joined the Herculean family. Their products form the foundation for tens of thousands of customer relationship management solutions designed by their partners. Thanks to their close cooperation, Salesforce’s software platforms have all the specific functionalities needed in every industry imaginable. Globally, they serve hundreds of thousands of satisfied clients and even more users.

They’re definitely fans, as Bob Vanstraelen, a Salesforce regional sales vice president, explains: “A sportive teambuilding event like the Hercules Trophy is the designated way to get to know colleagues better, to forge new ties and to experience Salesforce’s corporate culture. I’ve been following Inge and Yves, the organizers of the Hercules Trophy, for a couple of years now. We’ve established a good relationship and the Hercules Trophy is an absolute landmark in Belgium. I’m very much impressed by both the event itself, as by the participants’ wildly enthusiastic responses.” He continues: “The enthusiasm among our colleagues was immense, after seeing a video of the Hercules Trophy 2015. Both teams of seven players were full in no time. Unfortunately, we couldn’t enroll a third team, as the Hercules Trophy in Mechelen on the 18th of June was already completely sold out.” Nice to know for those interested: there are still some places left on the 17th and 19th of June, so hurry up and gather your team!

When asked how their teams are composed, Bob explains that they’re a mix of sales-, presales- and professional services workers, both clients as competitors/colleagues. As he puts it: “A little competition is always nice!” Every team has two women –a very smart move indeed, in order to score some extra points. He and his colleague Carmina Coenen, will be the teams’ mental coaches and those that couldn’t participate due to the fact that the 18th of June is already fully booked, have been assigned supporting roles. They’ll be handing out towels and water to the players and they’ll care for possible injuries as well (though the only injuries they’re likely to suffer are a sore throat and aching cheeks from laughing too much).

Their approach towards the Hercules Trophy 2016 proves that Salesforce pays close attention to the wellbeing of its every employee. Their efforts translate into making time on a regular basis to both reinforce the bonds of their teams, and participate in voluntary work. Bob Vanstraelen gives an example: “Soon, we’ll partake in ‘Bike to Close the Gap’. We’re sending one sporty team to cycle as much laps as possible. We don’t just sponsor the event, but double the amount our team achieves as well. We strive to organize a pleasant group activity every quarter of the year.”

Marc Benioff, Salesforce’s founder, holds the company’s corporate responsibility in high regards. It is in fact Salesforce that introduced the, now widely used among global multinationals like Google and Yelp, 1-1-1 model. In short, it comes down to attributing 1% of a company’s technology, equity and labor, on charity.

‘Aloha’ and ‘ohana’ are two Hawaiian concepts that have been integrated in the Salesforce corporate culture, Bob explains. “New employees have to be able to feel at home in our company and they should be treated as if they were family. Everyone should be able to be straightforward and sincere, and last but not least, everyone should have a healthy level of fun.”

Their participation in the Hercules Trophy 2016 in De Nekker is a perfect fit: “Salesforce Belgium has been growing strong the last couple of years, which resulted in the fact that we’ve hired quite a lot of new people. A teambuilding revolving around physical exercise is the best way to get to know colleagues, to become ever closer and to embrace the Salesforce way of life. Next to that, it’s fun to do something else instead of just working (together) all the time. We’re aiming for a maximum amount of fun, rather than first place, but our most competitive employees are ready to give their all nonetheless.”

Read the entire interview with Bob Vanstraelen here.

Patricia Bijnens, a Lead Solution Engineer at Salesforce, is one of their participants who’s more than ready for the event. She’s looking forward to it, as the following mini interview shows.

What do you expect of the Hercules Trophy?

“For me personally, participating in the Hercules Trophy is the ideal way of teambuilding. Creativity and perseverance are inseparable values of Salesforce in any case. Add lots of fun and (hopefully) sunshine and we’ve got all the necessary ingredients for a perfect day!”

How do you prepare yourself?

“I’m not really afraid of the labours that focus on endurance, since I’m preparing myself for my first quarter triathlon in September. During the Easter holiday for instance, I went to Lanzarote to train.

Only an injury could put a spanner in the works. Then again, the more adventurous labours are a less than perfect fit for me, especially if they’re high in the air. We’ll just try to find a daredevil colleague to cover that. (laughs)”

What do you hope to achieve?

“Pushing the limit, both personally and team wise. Salesforce is growing very fast and initiatives like these ensure that the necessary time is being accounted to getting to know one another better. We’re going to make up a new team name for instance, which means that we’ll get to know everyone’s taste in music… Interesting times indeed.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s