Community//

Salesforce VP Igor Faletski: It has been great to see an increasing focus on mental health as a side effect of the pandemic; it is our job to make sure that team members have the space and resources to take care of their mental well-being

It has been great to see an increasing focus on mental health as a side effect of the pandemic, with Salesforce as a prominent voice. Good news is, so much can be achieved with just the first few steps — such as not keeping your phone by your bed, creating and respecting boundaries between work and home […]

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

It has been great to see an increasing focus on mental health as a side effect of the pandemic, with Salesforce as a prominent voice. Good news is, so much can be achieved with just the first few steps — such as not keeping your phone by your bed, creating and respecting boundaries between work and home life, as well as prioritizing quality sleep. Ariana Huffington’s “The Sleep Revolution” book has been a real eye-opener for me in this regard. As leaders, it is our job to make sure that team members have the space and resources to take care of their mental well-being. Just like with physical health, investing in mental health is a lifelong journey that ultimately is the best antidote to burnout.

As a part of my Marketing Strategy Series, I’m talking with fellow marketers at the top of their game to give entrepreneurs and marketing pros an inside look at proven strategies they might also be able to leverage to grow their business or career. Today I had the pleasure of talking with Igor Faletski.

Igor Faletski is a VP of Product Management at Salesforce and co-founder of Mobify. Igor successfully scaled Mobify from a Vancouver start-up to a global leader in headless commerce, leading to the Salesforce acquisition. Igor’s passion is making digital commerce simpler, faster, and truly personal for Salesforce customers all around the world.

Thank you for doing this! Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

I’ve recently joined Salesforce Commerce Cloud via the acquisition of Mobify, where I was co-founder and CEO. At Mobify, we spent over a decade building products to help brands embrace mobile and headless commerce way before it was commonplace. I remember in our first few years at Mobify when mobile traffic was just 1–2% and few retailers expected that their audiences would pivot to smartphones so quickly and in such large numbers. Then, iPhone and Android gained traction and the rest is history, with mobile traffic being well over 50% for most brands today.

Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?

There were definitely several moments in the early years of Mobify when we struggled with the financial runway and didn’t yet have a stable customer base. In those days, the excitement about mobile and ecommerce technology was getting bigger every day and was what kept us going. We knew that even if today was hard, the market would be bigger tomorrow, and eventually things fell into place.

One important piece of advice for new entrepreneurs out there is to pick a market that is going to be bigger over time and then make sure that the company can go the distance. Eventually you will catch the wave!

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are?

All of us stand on the shoulders of people that came before us, figuratively speaking. At Mobify there have been many times when my co-founder John, our amazing team, or board members stepped up to help us move forward. One story that still stands out is that of an early customer, a certain iconic coffee chain based in Seattle. After a coffee tasting at their offices and a close look at our technology, the brand awarded us a contract to power its mobile commerce presence. Our team was less than a dozen people at that point. We believed in what we were doing and our ability to make a difference for the customer and their shoppers, and the magic happened. This story has been a great reminder of how staying customer-focused can provide a way forward in almost every situation.

“Staying customer-focused can provide a way forward in almost every situation.”

What do you think makes your company stand out?

Even as we build innovative products at a global scale, Salesforce takes a really active position when it comes to taking care of local communities. Marc Benioff has been outspoken in his approach to fighting homelessness, supporting public education, and giving back to all stakeholders. It empowers all of us at Salesforce, with the company matching donations to nonprofits and encouraging volunteer work. It’s truly genuine, generous, and unique amongst large tech companies. It would be amazing to see the rest of the market follow as our local communities need more support now than ever before.

That is wonderful. Which tips would you recommend to colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

It has been great to see an increasing focus on mental health as a side effect of the pandemic, with Salesforce as a prominent voice. Good news is, so much can be achieved with just the first few steps — such as not keeping your phone by your bed, creating and respecting boundaries between work and home life, as well as prioritizing quality sleep. Ariana Huffington’s “The Sleep Revolution” book has been a real eye-opener for me in this regard. As leaders, it is our job to make sure that team members have the space and resources to take care of their mental well-being. Just like with physical health, investing in mental health is a lifelong journey that ultimately is the best antidote to burnout.

Great advice. The pandemic has changed many aspects of all of our lives. One of them is the fact that so many of us have gotten used to shopping almost exclusively online. Can you share a few examples of different ideas that businesses are implementing to adapt to the new realities that were created by the pandemic?

At Salesforce Commerce Cloud we have partnered with hundreds of brands transforming their businesses throughout the pandemic. It’s not an understatement to say that every single retailer out there has been challenged to accelerate their ecommerce plans by several years and in some cases, even reinvent their business entirely. One of these impressive successes has been seeing customers move grocery shopping online literally overnight and scaling it dramatically. Buying produce on your phone may have seemed like a fantasy just a few years ago and now it’s quickly becoming the norm. Another has been the shift of B2B commerce from offline to online, which is still in the early stages — even business buyers are beginning to prioritize digital experience excellence and marketing automation.

What are the most common mistakes you have seen CEOs & founders make when they start an eCommerce business? What can be done to avoid those errors?

We’ve worked with many ecommerce businesses over the years and the long-term winners excel at three things: sustained product-market fit, focus on unit profitability, and building a great culture internally and externally that’s worth following. Getting even one of them right is a lot of work and the need for technology excellence is weaved into them all. At Salesforce, we work hard to provide ecommerce businesses with a strong product foundation for the full Customer 360 journey, so they can rely on one platform instead of having to rebuild much of their tech stack.

In your experience, what are the best strategies an eCommerce business should use to convert more online visitors into a sale?

Online conversion rates are composite indicators of many different initiatives — merchandising, pricing, reviews and so much more. One frequent gap that we see is in the general web performance of an ecommerce site. If it is slow, then all parts of the shopper journey will convert at a lower level — especially on slower mobile connections. Using the latest web technology like Progressive Web Apps and keeping an eye on Google’s Core Web Vitals metrics is one way to get more speed, which is something all shoppers appreciate!

As you know, another important way to increase conversion rates is to create a trusted and beloved brand. Can you share a few ways that an eCommerce business can earn a reputation as a trusted and beloved brand?

All of us have brands we trust and can also think of an instance or two where our expectations were not met. It starts with a compelling, crisp value proposition and goes all the way through check-out to shipping, delivery, and returns. It’s a huge amount of effort for the merchant! To help, Salesforce is working hard to bring simplicity to modern retail — from digital commerce and marketing all the way to order management and service. This way, brands can spend more time focusing on their unique customer promise and shopper feedback.

Thank you for sharing so many valuable insights with us!


Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Community//

“Put others first” Grace Brookshire and Parveen Panwar, Mr. Activated

by Parveen Panwar, Mr. Activated
Community//

Briony Leo: “Social Support ”

by Ben Ari
Community//

“Focus on your own self-care” with Amy O’Neill and Parveen Panwar, Mr. Activated

by Parveen Panwar, Mr. Activated
We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.