My 3 Key Takeaways from Dreamforce

Last week was the Salesforce Dreamforce conference and it didn’t disappoint.  Over 135,000 registrations makes it the largest software conference this year — and a lot of fun too.  There Dreamforce 2013was a great deal going on at the conference but here are my 3 takeaways.

1. Salesforce1 is really solid.  For years did not have a rock solid mobile offering but now there’s Salesforce1 which I used to demo our Full Circle Insights app on my phone.  Simple to download and it just works.  Plus it was introduced in a good-natured keynote segment by CTO Parker Harris dressed as “Doc” from Back to the Future and backed by the Power of Love and Huey Lewis playing live.  Who could ask for more on a Tuesday morning?

2. The Sheryl Sandberg interview was amazing. Leaning In, CEO Marc Beniof interviewed Sheryl Sandberg in an afternoon keynote which took a really amazing turn.  I’ve seen Sheryl interviewed many times but never seen anyone ask for live management advice in front of a large audience. On stage, Marc told Sheryl he wanted to try to promote more women into his management team and was taking some action by reaching down into the organization to invite more women to his quarterly meetings.  One woman he invited refused to come because her boss (presumably male) wasn’t invited.  What should he do?  Sheryl promptly replied, that we have such a major problem in getting women into higher level management positions, that we need to make exceptions to get them involved and into the management meeting.  The discussion was very personal and it was wonderful how the two made the interaction very real by discussing real situations.  I loved it.

3. Marketing Automation is alive and well at Marketing Automation has not been a strong suit of but this year, introduced, not one but two offerings.  ExactTarget, the more B2C-oriented offering had some impressive demos showing cool workflows and a built-in nurture analytics interface.  Pardot, the more B2B-oriented offering, showing a good looking sales interface to help salespeople find hot deals.  Both keynote sessions were well-attended which bodes well for Salesforce to grow their marketing user base. Of course, Full Circle Insights work great with both offerings and complement both with important capabilities like funnel metrics and campaign influence.

One other final thing.  The Salesforce event management team is to be really commended.  When you have 100,000+ people at an event, crowd control can really be an issue!  But the staff seemed exceptionally well-trained, holding up ipads with “can I help you signs”?  They were quite extroverted and asked loads of people if they needed help.  And the staff was really good at keeping walkways cleared so there was never a very long wait to get anywhere.  Kudos to the event people!



Bonnie Crater

About Bonnie Crater

Bonnie is a 5-time VP of Marketing at Genesys, Netscape, Oracle (Network Computer Inc.), Stratify, and VoiceObjects. While valuing the creative side of marketing, Bonnie's real love is marketing operations -- measuring marketing investments and determining investment optimization. Now as CEO of Full Circle Insights, Bonnie is working to help fellow marketers get the data needed to succeed. In 2000, Bonnie was named one of the “Top 20 Female Executives in Silicon Valley” by San Jose Magazine. Bonnie holds a B.A. in biology from Princeton University.