Salesforce is well known as the world’s most popular CRM platform, and its Marketing Cloud solution allows organisations to navigate their customer’s entire journey, from acquisition to advocacy, in a way that no other offering can.
The feet on the ground for Marketing Cloud are Salesforce’s partners – agencies whose job it is to help customers get all that they can from their Marketing Cloud investment. Thanks to both Salesforce’s evolution and their own efforts, these agencies are experiencing impressive growth.
We spoke to leaders Blair Cooke (MD) of Amicus, Greg Veitch (Digital Director) of Sqware Peg and Joel Norton (CEO) of Kalido in order to look behind the curtain of these agencies; to see what each has done to create such growth, and how each has gone about sustaining it.
What does a Salesforce Marketing Cloud partner actually do?
Cooke neatly describes Amicus as “a consulting firm and Salesforce Marketing Cloud systems integrator.” They help set up a customer’s accounts, structure their data, define a vision and execute the supporting plan, in order to ensure that they fully leverage their investment.
Veitch refers to Sqware Peg as a ‘strategic partner’ to Salesforce. “Everything we do is designed to help Salesforce deliver customer success to our shared clients.” The agency is a partner in the truest sense of the word, running events with and selling directly alongside Salesforce.
Kalido is the first and only Platinum Salesforce Marketing Cloud partner in the Asia Pacific region, a fact that Managing Director Norton is rightfully proud of. Kalido’s efforts, as expressed by Norton, are centred on “delivering a complete offering for businesses who are looking toward marketing automation and evolving the customer experience – from strategy through to platform enablement.”
The cogs within the Marketing Cloud partner machine
So we know that Salesforce Marketing Cloud partners are there to help Salesforce customers get all that they can from the platform, but who exactly do these partners employ to meet that end?
As it turns out a Marketing Cloud partner requires an incredibly diverse range of skillsets in order to meet the needs of their clients. Kalido, for example, employs the following:
- Account Executives: Sales and account management
- Solutions Architects: Providing pre-sales technical solutions and post-sales solution ownership
- Technical Architects: Delivering detailed technical architecture and technical ownership
- Data Developers: Managing data pipelining in and out of Marketing Cloud and platforms
- Data scientists: Building customer models for journeys and communications
- Marketing Cloud Developers: Technical development of a customer’s platform
- Marketing Cloud Platform Specialists: Configuring the Marketing Cloud platform
- Marketing Analysts: Reporting design
- Strategy & Planners: Working with clients to design customer journeys
- Producers: Running the projects and managing the accounts day-to-day
On top of these roles, Norton mentions Testers, Campaign Managers and Marketing Cloud Trainers as full-time team members. It’s an extensive team which demands a seriously broad range of skillsets, and it’s one that is reflected within the four walls of Amicus and Sqware Peg, who in addition fill roles with titles like Implementation Consultant, Social Technologist, Domain Architect and Partnership Manager. And as these companies grow, so too will both their breadth of talent and the specialisation of their roles.
Driving growth through talent acquisition
The effectiveness of their work and the broader success of Salesforce has meant that these agencies are growing at an astounding rate. Sqware Peg has just appointed a Marketing Cloud Practice Lead who will be charged with building the team nationally, Kalido expects their team to grow by 50% in the next 12 months, while Cooke says Amicus expects to double their team in the same period.
Such growth necessitates the acquisition of the very best talent, and acquiring the best talent assures continued growth. As such all 3 agencies take the task of finding new blood very seriously. Their continued success is dependent on it, after all. So what do these companies look for in new hires?
“We look for people with excellent experience, a great attitude and the ability to really contribute to building something special”, says Veitch. “Our number one value is client for life, and alignment with these values is very important.” Both Cooke and Norton put a firm focus on soft skills, with traits of ‘high emotional intelligence’, ‘excellent communication skills’ and ‘team commitment’ amongst the most desirable.
Maintaining growth through upskilling
As forward-thinking organisations, Amicus, Sqware Peg and Kalido all spend heavily on the development of their teams, knowing that this investment will pay dividends well into the future. But it’s also fair to say that with the Salesforce platform continually evolving into an ever more diverse and complex beast, having skilled workers who are proficient with all of its workings is less a luxury, and more a necessity.
“At Kalido, we have designed enablement and continuous skills development training for each of our roles in the Marketing Cloud practice”, says Norton. “Our programs are formed from a blend of external and internal training.”
The Amicus approach is similar, notes Cooke – “We pay for the training and certification of our team within the Salesforce suite, and also provide other training. Developing these skills makes our people well rounded and successful professionals.”
The same combination of internal and external training is also utilised by Sqware Peg, with the company fronting the cost – “All staff who pass certification exams have their exam fees paid for by Sqware Peg”, advises Veitch, “which gives them a huge incentive to remain at the top of their game.”
With investment in their people, and incredible growth in their sector, and an exciting, ever-evolving technology, Amicus, Sqware Peg and Kalido are amongst the most desirable employers for up-and-coming tech professionals today. And if they continue on their current trajectory, that fact isn’t likely to change anytime soon.