After nearly a decade at Salesforce, Adam Spearing’s enthusiasm for the company, its work and clients shows no sign of abating. If anything, he seems more enthusiastic about the future possibilities of enterprise solutions. To put the past 10 years in perspective, Salesforce had some 6,000 staff when Spearing joined. It now employs more than 50,000. Spearing, who had cut his teeth at IBM, Hewlett Packard, and Sun Microsystems among other companies, started out in platform sales for the EMEA region working up to his SVP position three years ago where he helps the sales teams to understand the technology available and how it can be applied to business problems. He is also field CTO, which involves talking to Salesforce’s larger customers and getting involved in big transformational projects.
“The technology portfolio at Salesforce has mushroomed over the years,” Spearing says. “The proposition is hugely transformed, and I think that’s part of what’s kept me at Salesforce. Another thing is what hasn’t changed: the values which drive the culture and the organisation we are have remained constant. But what really gets me out of bed in the morning, honestly, is the work we do with our customers, some of which is really exhilarating.”
Shifts in the enterprise technology landscape over the past decade have been tectonic: the rise of cloud, subscription as the dominant form of licensing, and huge amounts of innovation that grease these and future transformations of the technology base. But for Spearing the change has been about how Salesforce communicates with its customers. “When you start engaging, you can get creative and you can workshop their business or their future. We’re stepping away from talking about technology. That’s really exciting.”
Part of the culture change at Salesforce has been informed by a change in how the organisation looks at a personnel level. It’s something Spearing is passionate about. “The beauty of the whole concept of diversity is it gives you a different lens on a situation. Whether it’s gender or ethnicity or experience or age or culture – all those differences create a richness and you look at a problem in a different way, you can come up with solutions that are totally different. As organisations, we need to reflect the societies we serve. If you don’t reflect on them, you can’t serve them. It’s one of the most important things on every organisation’s agenda for the next… for the future full stop. It’s never going to go away. We need to keep working at this.”
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