Salesforce.com is in peak performance mode as companies shift their operations to become more digital and cloud-reliant, the software giant’s Chairman, co-founder and co-CEO Marc Benioff told CNBC on Tuesday.
“I don’t think the company’s ever been stronger or been in a better position, and the reason why is every company that we’re dealing with is going through a huge digital transformation and every digital transformation begins and ends with the customer,” he told Jim Cramer in an exclusive interview on “Mad Money.”
“If you don’t have a digital, one-on-one relationship with your customer, you’re just not going to be that successful,” the CEO added.
Salesforce’s third-quarter earnings report, issued after Tuesday’s closing bell, beat analysts’ earnings and revenue expectations, bolstered by growth stemming from the company’s recent acquisition of MuleSoft.
Benioff said that his company has a bright outlook for the fourth quarter and beyond, telling Cramer in the interview that Salesforce’s prospects are strong through fiscal year 2020. This quarter’s revenue, he said, was “way beyond” Salesforce’s internal expectations.
“The third quarter was phenomenal,” the CEO said. “You see we’re giving phenomenal guidance for the fourth quarter and, certainly, we’re all praying and hoping to improve on that, by the way. And now, we can see a strong fiscal year ahead, and fiscal year ’20 as well.”
The cloud giant is forecasting revenue between $13.23 billion and $13.24 billion for fiscal year 2019, and between $15.9 billion and $16 billion for 2020.
Addressing questions of whether data-based industries are slowing — a narrative that dragged on the tech sector for much of October and November — Benioff said the concerns were largely overblown, as evidenced by Salesforce’s and its competitors’ end markets.
“All the players are doing well because every company is going through this customer transformation. Who’s not going through a customer transformation?” he asked rhetorically. “Everywhere I go in the world, this is happening, and it’s been going on and it’s not going to stop anytime soon. And you said it right: it’s about sales, it’s about service, it’s about marketing, it’s about commerce, it’s about analytics, it’s about applications, it’s about building community, or, in the case of one great customer that we have, DuPont, it’s about integration.”
Salesforce’s stock jumped more than 7 percent in after-hours trading after climbing less than 1 percent intraday on Tuesday. Also on “Mad Money,” Benioff spoke to big tech’s responsibility to its consumers.