Where is everyone getting those blue lanyards? Welcome to Day One of Dreamforce 2015, Salesforce’s annual software conference, expecting 150,000 attendees this year, from more than 90 countries. It takes over Moscone Center, closes streets, hosts a legendary concert and this year, even brings in a cruise ship, cleverly named Dreamboat.
— Jeremy ☁️ (@jeremywaite) September 14, 2015
My 4 Key Takeaways
After attempting to park at three full BART stations on the Peninsula, I finally made it there, needing to be inspired. My Free Pass permitted me to wander the expo floors, any open educational area and attend a variety of keynotes, which can be viewed live online. This year, I got most of my updates from the expo floor and one-on-one demos. Here are my highlights:
1. The Lightning Experience.
Anyone who has ever been frustrated with Salesforce’s less-than-intuitive platform will be thrilled with Lightning Experience. Drag and drop, touch points and easy responsive design are just a few of the platform improvements that will now be at the fingertips of users, admins and developers.
I watched a workflow be created in 10 minutes. In another 10-minute demo, an app was developed and tested with simple drag and drop, and logical, attractive functionality. Let the kinks be worked out over the next few months and look out for it – you’re sure to enjoy using it and work faster with it.
2. Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud vs. Pardot.
I was always curious how Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud differed from other automation systems such as Pardot, a Salesforce company. In a nutshell – Marketing Cloud enables automated, targeted, one-to-one multi-channel communication, while Pardot is designed more for “considered purchases” where a salesperson is involved.
For example, with Marketing Cloud, a customer who is non-responsive to email can be automatically served a personalized ad on Facebook. I observed an interesting case study for Phillips, where Marketing Cloud, Community Cloud and Service Cloud worked in cohesion to trigger customers to register their new air filter, respond to product cleaning questions with tips from fellow consumers and do online chat to understand warranty status.
Pardot’s booth labels it for B2B, but as one of the reps explained, a banking client servicing consumers (B2C), is an absolute great fit for Pardot. (“Considered purchases” didn’t quite fit on the signage.)
3. Data and Analytics.
In the data and analytics department, Salesforce’s own abilities have improved while a number of partners continue to proffer their capabilities for integrated, multi-dimensional targeting and reporting. Lightning will make dashboard development and customization sleeker and at the same time, more comprehensive for the Sales Cloud pages.
A Pitney Bows rep described their geo-code match process, enabling about a 90% match rate on thousands of data elements. There will be no shortage of data to keep sales teams, marketing automation and service departments humming, and reports will be easier to create and prettier to look at for proving the performance level of each of those investments.
Gaming was a bigger topic than I’d seen in years past. We all know that adding a level of competition and reward makes things fun, while also proving to improve productivity.
Inside Sales has a gaming capability built into their platform that allows salespeople to challenge each other to vie for sales goals or particular accounts. At the Dreamforce conference itself, developers are following a trail map to achieve designated training milestones for prizes.
Yes, I Was Inspired.
All in all, Dreamforce, even in a few hours, did not fail to impress. I’m excited to watch these developments over the next year. In case you’re wondering, Dreamforce 2016 is October 4 to 7.