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Salesforce playbook of connecting platform, partner ecosystem and community matter together

With 85% of revenue 💰 coming from 20% of customers that use 4+ clouds (products), Salesforce is a compelling case of why #platform, partner ecosystem and #community matter and how they fit together.


🗽 Community


Salesforce (SF) today likes to mention its community in the broadest sense to showcase maximum impact.


"We have over 15 million trailblazers" (this include customers and partners)

4M people used Trailhead learning platform

9.3M jobs to be created in SF economy by 2026.


Significant part of this community originates in SF partners.





🤝 Partner #ecosystem


Salesforce has ~ 200K partners with "90% of Salesforce customers rely on partner apps & experts".


In recent report, SF highlighted that their #1 opportunity in Sales is to “Increase self-serve and 📍 partner-led sales, rep productivity, land and expand”


That said. direct sales still generate higher % of revenue today.


“We sell our services primarily through our direct sales force….

To a lesser extent, we also utilize a network of partners who refer sales leads to us and assist in selling to these prospects.

This network includes global consulting firms, systems integrators and other partners…”


Since SF is a complex platform, it partners with companies to implement and manage its products for large enterprise and mid-market clients.


In addition, SF partners with Independent software vendors (“ISVs”) and third-party developers to create, test and deliver cloud-based apps on its platform.



🛠️ Platform


Evidently SF superpower is its platform and its ability to 📍 expand services inside accounts over time.


Salesforce started with a sales CRM module, aka Sales Cloud.

The company pioneered the app store concept (AppExchange) in 2005 (3 years before Apple's) to enable complementors to sell their apps to Salesforce customers.


SF also created a dev environment (Force[dot]com) to help 3rd-party developers build their applications.


Today AppExchange has 3K+ apps (e.g. HubSpot has ~1K apps) and 1M + developers registered on Force[dot]com.


SF expanded Sales Cloud to Customer 360 concept with modules (Clouds) for Customer service, Marketing, E-commerce, Analytics, etc .

More recently SF launched Industry Clouds - industry-specific products such as Financial Services Cloud and Health Cloud.


To stitch together its modular architecture and create better external integrations, SF acquired an integration platform MuleSoft, with their own API marketplace - Anypoint Exchange. They further developed the MuleSoft integration capabilities and turned them into what is now Integration Cloud.


Later, among others, SF acquired Tableau and Slack (its biggest acquisition td) to boost SF analytics and make it's products more collaborative.



💡 Why this matters?

Average ARR/customer vs. single cloud (product) customer


2 cloud customer = 3x ARR

3 cloud = 9x ARR

4 cloud = 24x ARR

5 cloud = 72x ARR ...


[Source: IR materials, etc.]

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