Data Analytics Tools, Microsoft Partnership Among Newsmakers At Dreamforce

Source: Dreamforce (Twitter)

Source: Dreamforce (Twitter)

Salesforce unveiled several new and upgraded products at its Dreamforce 2015 conference in San Francisco this week. The solutions debuted are designed to help companies maximize the data they collect from current customers and prospects, enabling them to make more data-driven marketing and sales decisions.

Salesforce introduced SalesforceIQ for Small Business and SalesforceIQ for Sales Cloud, a sales tool that aims to leverage data science to analyze relationships between prospects, users and partners to enhance selling effectiveness. Built as a result of Salesforce’s acquisition of RelateIQ, the sales solution automatically captures and analyzes data to identify patterns — positioning sales teams to enhance customer relationships with actionable insights.

“CRM needs to be proactive rather than reactive,” said Timothy Fletcher, Senior Director of Product Management for SalesforceIQ. Fletcher said customers need relationship intelligence. “That’s what we’re trying to deliver with these two products.”

{loadposition GIAA} The Salesforce Marketing Cloud also got a facelift with the debut of its Marketing Cloud Connect product. Scott McCorkle, CEO of Salesforce Marketing Cloud described it as “the integration of the customer journey across the entire customer success platform” in his keynote. The Connect product is designed to gather data from a variety of sources, including web behavior, customer service information, account information and account history. Features include continuous data sync and point-and-click integration, McCorkle said. It also connects with the IoT (Internet of Things) Cloud.

The IoT Cloud, another new product, positions users to personalize the way they market and sell by connecting digital events with Salesforce, automating data collection and providing insights into how they can create relevant and resonant engagement with prospects.

“The IoT Cloud will allow businesses to create real-time, one-to-one, proactive actions for sales, service, marketing or any other business process, delivering a new kind of customer success,” said Marc Benioff, Chairman and CEO of Salesforce.

The IoT Cloud runs on Salesforce Thunder, the company’s real-time event processing engine. Key features include:

  • Data listening capabilities intended to connect data from websites, social interactions and more to Salesforce, enabling the IoT Cloud to help make the user’s data actionable;
  • The ability to create, modify and set rules and logic for events that can trigger actions across Salesforce; and
  • Automated data aggregation, positioning users to be proactive with their customer engagement initiatives.

Salesforce Expands Microsoft Partnership

During a keynote session, Microsoft announced that it extended its partnership with Salesforce and intends to launch new solutions to integrate the CRM solution with several Microsoft products — including Skype for Business, Windows 10 and OneNote.

Microsoft also announced the general availability of integrations between Salesforce, Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Office. The integrations enable sales reps to create personalized messaging to prospects through email and other content formats.

“Furthering our mission to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more is the motivating force behind our partnership with Salesforce,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

Salesforce this year also held its first Women’s Leadership Summit on Thursday at the conference. Re/Code Executive Editor Kara Swisher kicked off her discussion with co-founders Marc Benioff and Parker Harris by noting the “irony of two men talking about women.”

Benioff said that women’s workplace issues, such as pay disparity, lack of women in leadership roles and lack of female engineers, received scant attention in 1999 when Salesforce was founded.

“I wish we could rewind history,” Benioff said. “When we set out our core principles we didn’t make goals around this. That was a huge mistake.”

Benioff said making transformational change within Salesforce requires buy-in from the CEO. Harris noted that “it’s important to me and our organization,” which prompted him to launch a leadership program within Salesforce.

“We can talk about it, give it lip service, but I wanted to do something,” he said. “That includes pairing younger employees with execs within Salesforce and mentoring them.”

Harris said that change “starts with education, more women in engineering. Salesforce is trying to help. The pool of women at Salesforce needs to be bigger. We need to get more women to rise in the company. They’re not all at the levels they need to be.”