Guest: George Burton, Founder, Proco
If you’re in business management, you’ll know that regulations are always changing, particularly regarding your carbon footprint, ethics, and employee policies. Today, George Burton, the founder of Proco, joins us today to illustrate how their tech helps businesses respond to these ever-evolving expectations.
Proco is an Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) sales intelligence app for Sales Cloud, empowering B2B ESG solution sales reps to quickly assess what their clients need to adhere to current and future regulations.
Explore how this AppExchange solution can improve qualified ESG lead generation, ESG compliance across the economy, and businesses’ overall impact on the environment.
ESG Data via Salesforce
Don’t have time for the full episode? Here’s what you need to know:
0:49 - ESG stands for environmental, social, and governance. Really it's a way of thinking about a business's risks and opportunities relating to those three areas. This includes . . . where the company gets its resources, where in the world it's operating, the suppliers that it works with through, to the outputs of the business—what happens with the product or solution that they provide. What's the impact to the environment and society of that company operating and doing business?
. . . A company with high ESG risk would be a company that has a high proportion of greenhouse gas emissions resulting from its operations and the way it produces its products or services. Conversely, a company with a low ESG risk would be a company that uses a lot of renewable energy, uses the water in the local area where it's based responsibly.
2:06 - We aggregate environmental, social, and governance, or ESG, data on companies from multiple sources. We then aggregate that and deliver that to our users. Our first product is an app for Sales Cloud. The idea is that we give our sales people or our customers extra insight on their customers, in particular what their needs are based on this data.
2:45 - ESG is quite a broad church, for want of a better word. I'm sure your audience has heard more references to it in the news and the media, across LinkedIn progressively in recent months and years. I think that's testament to increasing interest in the area. That's driven largely by regulators and investors encouraging companies to improve their ESG performance. What that means for a salesperson is that they can take advantage of this information to better understand even more about their customers, and in particular, their customers' needs.
3:24 - One example of a company we're currently in talks with is an energy company and they are looking to use Proco to find customers that have made net zero commitments. They want to use our tool to find how those companies are performing and whether they can sell their renewably-generated electricity to those customers to help them achieve their goals. In short, ESG as I say, is a pretty broad church that appeals to lots of salespeople in lots of different industries. And that's why we find it so exciting.
4:08 - In theory, ESG appeals to basically most businesses. A use case in the hospitality industry would be let's take a Hilton or a Four Seasons, one of these massive global international hotel chains. These companies are so large, they tend to have investors and a greater deal of scrutiny compared to smaller companies. What that means is that they are feeling the pressure to improve their ESG performance today. Any vendor looking to transact with those businesses would find it beneficial to position their solutions in a way that reduces their customers' ESG risk.
4:49 - Let's take Four Seasons for example. Let's say the investors are pressuring them to improve their waste management, so [sending] less stuff to the landfill, more recycling, and more reusing of materials. A salesperson working at a relevant company, selling recycling services, for example, could take advantage of this ESG data by saying, ‘Hey, look, we realized you're currently struggling in this aspect of your business. And in particular in relation to your competitors. . . . Let's help you become more competitive in this aspect of your business.’
5:32 - I guess it's a million dollar question, in terms of why take the entrepreneurial leap. Going way back, I've always been quite passionate and curious about the environment, more generally. I was very lucky enough as a child to have some pretty cool experiences in nature and that's been a kind of long-term thing for me throughout my life.
5:54 - Then more recently in 2020, in the lockdowns here in the U.K., there wasn't a great deal to do, to be honest and I took that time to educate myself a bit on personal finance and investment themes. Whilst I was doing that across various articles, blogs, audiobooks, this keyword ESG kept popping up again and again. The more I read into this space, the more I found it pretty exciting and made me quite hopeful. . . . I decided this data is fantastically important and valuable, but currently it's only being used by financial services professionals, people working in pension funds, investment banks and because it covers the performance or how a business operates. That information is useful to more business stakeholders than just the status quo. . . . Proco is the next logical step in that journey.
7:02 - First of all, it's the world's number one CRM by market share. More than a hundred thousand companies worldwide of various sizes trust Salesforce as their basically business brain, so that's a really credible and trusted environment to to build our business in.
7:17 - But there's also other aspects to it. Salesforce has. . . 2 of its 5 values are equality and sustainability, which really aligned with our mission at Proco to help the world become more ethical and sustainable faster. There's a nice mutual alignment there.
In terms of our users, our approach is really all about rather than asking our users to learn a brand new standalone piece of software, we want to make it easy for them by building an extension to how they already work. So they don't have to sit through hours and hours of training. It's plug in and play.
8:14 - At the moment we, as you say, we're plug and play product available in the AppExchange. Its setup is relatively easy. However, we would really recommend to our customers that they have good data hygiene in their Salesforce because that really gives them the best results.
8:46 - We use a “souped-up” version of Sales Cloud, for want of a better term. It's called a Partner Business Organization. . . . Basically it's Sales Cloud plus specific apps that help us manage Proco as an AppExchange partner. And yeah we love it..
9:16 - We are pretty much brand new. We're a baby in the ecosystem. The current version in the AppExchange was only released in May of this year. At the moment, we're collecting early customer and advisory feedback, which is great. That's helping us to shape . . . our product roadmap in the best way possible. . . . In the very near future, we are releasing our next version of the Salesforce app, which will be lighter, leaner, [presenting] more data, faster which is really exciting.
9:49 - Simultaneously, we'll be releasing our first API product, which will give our customers more flexibility for how they use our data across Salesforce. At the moment, we're quite a small team. We're trying to really nail our 1st value proposition, which is the Sales Cloud sales intelligence solution.
From there, the sky's the limit really. Our core ethos is to get this really powerful data and have it enriching people's working lives in as many ways as possible.
If you currently don’t have a way to track your CRM or ESG operations, let’s chat about how Salesforce can set you on the path to success.