Now that I am back at my day job, I’ve had a chance to reflect on my week at Dreamforce 2012. To set the scene – 90,000 people registered, 40,000+ attended and 350+ vendors were on site. There were nine keynote presentations, hundreds of breakout sessions and a two-hour opening session – whew! Oh, yeah, I almost forgot about the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert in front of City Hall in downtown San Francisco.
With all of that, did anyone learn anything new? The party atmosphere is exciting and certainly attracts people from all around the world, but the real value is in the opportunity to learn and network within the Salesforce.com (SFDC) community.
With that focus in mind, I split my time at Dreamforce among the keynotes, breakout sessions and the expo (no, not just for the free stuff). What I learned is that:
I do have one criticism. Within the breakout sessions, it was nice to see SFDC introducing customers and vendors as presenters, but many used this time as a sales pitch opportunity instead of an opportunity to share best practices. I spoke with many attendees to find out if I was the only one with this opinion, and many agreed with me. My insight for future Dreamforce attendees: When signing up for breakout sessions, read the descriptions with a skeptical eye; do not sign up for something based only on the title.
SFDC continues to be the tool of choice for many b-to-b organizations. If you did not make it to Dreamforce, find a way to watch YouTube recordings of the keynotes and breakout sessions. When watching, remember that the true value of sales force automation is in driving efficiencies that can increase productivity in your organization – a true ROI.
Mark Levinson is Vice President and Group Director of Sales and Channel Services at SiriusDecisions. Mark’s nearly 20 years of experience includes a wide variety of sales operations issues including strategic planning, territory optimization, compensation plans, account management, sales tools and sales analytics. Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkBLevinson.