Last week I attended the Salesforce.com annual Dreamforce gathering in San Francisco (their 8th, my 2nd). Once again it was a most impressive turnout in terms of size (15,000) as well as in celebrity (Bill Clinton, Stevie Wonder, will.i.am). Marc Benioff and his team certainly know how to put on a show.
There were many excellent sessions to choose from, but I was out of luck a couple times because attendance was overflowing and I didn’t reserve a seat. Reflecting on my two days there I came away with the following themes: Clouds, Clouds, Clouds – Dreamforce keynotes tend to have a religious revival vibe to them. The religion of course is cloud computing and it goes way, way, beyond a web-based CRM. The newest dimension I learned about is the service cloud. Salesforce and its hundreds of ISV offer a comprehensive enterprise cloud-based solution. Chances are, if you have a viable SaaS application, salesforce wants you in their cloud
p2p is the new b2b/b2c – Social media has erased the distinction between b2b and b2, meaning that b2b employees are adopting consumer-like social media styles in their work habits: person-to-person (p2p). Accordingly, Salesforce recently introduced Chatter, a face-book like application where cross-functional enterprise employees can quickly collaborate on customer issues. So as an example, a group of employees can follow a customer account; so when a saleperson on the team needs an urgent answer to a customer problem, customer service followers get notified and can respond immediately. Can’t we all get along? – One session, “Bridging the Gap: VP Sales and VP Marketing” was particularly interesting for me because it highlights a hot-button issue that LeveragePoint frequently encounters in working with our clients. The best line from that session was, “the role of sales communications is to translate marketing theoretical arguments into practical messages.” Amen to that!
For more background on this issue, see this HBS Review blog.
VP of Products at LeveragePoint