I met up with two other Sundoggers at the airport anxious and excited to attend the Salesforce Customer Tour on April 18th. We were welcomed by the downpour of rain, which was a better sight than the snowfall in Minneapolis. When we arrived at McCormick Place, the event had volunteers every 10 feet willing to help and execute with ease. I was very impressed with the event; however did find some volunteers was unaware of the event hashtag. After asking three volunteers, I waited until the keynote to hear the announcement for the Twitter hashtag. Millions of Salesforce branded banners lead us to the Cloud Expo first and then we made our way to the Customer Story keynote, which was the highlight of my experience at the event.
As this was my first live Salesforce event, I was prepared to hear the same message I have listened from previous events online. To my surprise, Benioff did a great job leading the keynote, tying in new stories with fresh demos. Through a strong presentation, I was motivated to see the larger picture of the customer story. Businesses are no longer working in silos but as one company together in open innovation, collaboration and engagement.
The biggest hit of the keynote was the local Chicago-based company, Trunk Club. They are a company that has grown quickly and seamlessly, and connects their stylists to managing 500 clients at a time through mobile devices all using Salesforce. Make sure to watch the Social Story of Trunk Club as it’s quite an eye opening way of modern business focused on the customer.
Another new customer story I enjoyed was the Obama Campaign. I love how it illustrates how the right social tools were used internally to connect with undecided voters and help others find volunteer opportunities in real time. They didn’t need a lap top as the cloud works on every mobile device. You can do everything you need to do on a phone, iPad or the device of your choice. It’s fun to see this video after I wrote my initial blog post on the campaign social strategy last fall.
After the keynote, I attended a couple breakout sessions including, Marketing Cloud: The Building Blocks of a Social Media Strategy. This session included an interview with Caterpillar’s Social Media Manager, Kevin Espinosa. At one point, he used social to connect a specific dealer to a local customer who was interested in 19 pieces of equipment. This case study helped demonstrate the power of social to the company and illustrated how to connect with specific dealers through this platform. The breakout session was reassuring as we are implementing many of the same strategy elements with our clients.
I also attended a breakout session on Data.com: Connecting With Your Customers and Increasing Sales. I was interested to hear more about Social Key which they did not touch on. However, I did enjoy learning more about this area and managing your data around your customers rather than using excel spreadsheets and marking stars around which “Joe Johnson” is the right contact. The presentation was positive, educational and informative.
Overall, the tour was a success and the largest message was how to connect with your customers in a whole new way. Salesforce provides the tools that allow companies to do this and create a customer company while making your business social.