Salesforce Essentials in Raleigh – A Few Takeaways

Salesforce logoYesterday, I was pleasantly surprised by an event that Salesforce did in Raleigh at the Crabtree MarriottĀ called Salesforce Essentials.

Aside from a scheduling glitch that likely cost more than a few attendees valuable time (originally the invite went out with the wrong hotel listed and the communication to correct that was lacking a bit) the presentation was pretty cool.

Salesforce positions themselves as the ultimate cloud company. No software! And it obviously works as they claimed 130,000 attendees to their Dreamforce conference this year in San Francisco.

Their platform has become so much more than just a CRM tool with the mobile capabilities adding to the overall attraction of the various services that cover sales, service, marketing and more.

Some key takeaways:

1. No matter how ‘modern’ you are, if you put in crappy data even the best programs will produce junk. Do the upfront work and cleanse your data thoroughly before you try to integrate into a workhorse like Salesforce. I have seen the downside of this and it’s not pretty.

2. Slick voice command ‘tricks’ are still that at time: tricks. A demo by a sales engineer produced the humorous miscue of trying to have the voice function hear ” You owe me a steak dinner” that was translated “You mistake dinner”. Not much but during a demo it looks kinda foolish especially when you scrap the function for the rest of your demos later for fear of the same malfunction.

3. Salesforce is a sales organization. This is a hard sell group but you have to respect that. Hey, it’s worked pretty well for EMC all these years, right?

4. The world is truly becoming a mobile place.

5. Implementations of large scale CRM or any other paradigm shift can be painful initially but will yield fruit if well planned and executed.

6. Marketing and sales hype is still far ahead of reality and if you get suckered in by it then that’s on you.

In other words, the more things change the more they stay the same. That’s not the worst thing as long as we all try to master the basics before flying off to try the next greatest toy.