Cindy Robbins, executive vice president of Global Employee Success at Salesforce
Courtesy of Salesforce
By Cindy Robbins
July 29, 2015

The Fortune 500 Insider Network is our newest online community where top executives from the Fortune 500 share ideas and offer leadership advice with Fortune’s global audience. Cindy Robbins, executive vice president of Global Employee Success at Salesforce, has answered the question: What’s one quality that drives your company’s success?

If I had to pick one quality that drives our company’s success, it would have to be our focus on customer success. Salesforce (CRM) was founded on the belief that there was a better way to deliver enterprise software that would make it available for businesses of all sizes. That way was via the cloud — with a customer experience that is as easy as an Amazon (AMZN) purchase.

This new way of delivering enterprise software meant customers wouldn’t be as locked in as they had traditionally been with on-premise software. That’s why we measure our success not just by how much we sell, but also by how well our software is adopted and how long our customers stick with us.

The secret to delivering success for your customers is to first deliver success for your employees. On the frontline of every customer interaction is an employee, making it a symbiotic relationship: happy employees equal happy customers and vice versa.

At the core of employee happiness and engagement is meaningful work, and there is no greater meaning you can deliver for employees than to make sure they understand how their work has a direct impact on customers. Here are three ways you can ensure your employees make that connection.

1. Set clear goals and accountability
Each year we decide as a team what we want to deliver for our customers and write it down in priority order on our company goal plan, which we call our V2MOM (Vision, Values, Methods, Obstacles and Metrics). It is a detailed map of where we are going and serves as a compass to direct us there. Once it’s published, each employee in the company crafts their own V2MOM to define how they will personally contribute to the plan. By encouraging employees to contribute, you’ll give everyone clear direction and accountability to go forward with focused, collective energy that delivers incredible results.

2. Leverage the collective power of employee community
At Salesforce, we like to say that everyone in the company from R&D to marketing to back-office functions is in sales. Use your social, mobile and internal employee community to unleash the power of the crowd on every customer opportunity and/or challenge. Together, you’ll generate incredible solutions for your customers and move forward faster.

3. Connect employees directly with customers
All of our employees have the opportunity to connect directly with our customers in our Salesforce Success Community and at our many cloud-computing events hosted in markets around the world. We share our incredible customer success stories inside our company, not just outside.

Putting the customer at the center of everything you do will help your company succeed, while also helping you attract, engage and retain the talent you need to thrive. This principle has been at the heart of our success at Salesforce since day one, and I expect it will be at the heart of what we do for years to come.

Read all answers to the Fortune 500 Insider question: What’s one quality that drives your company’s success?

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