And thank you Mark Benioff for the dreams and vision you gave me of what a sales and marketing system should truly be. Thank you for the knowledge of tools and options capable of making my marketing dreams come true. Thank you for the Dreamforce Experience. I came back with so many fantastic ideas for automation, client journey mapping, sales enablement, repurposing content, event experiences, signage, booths, giveaways, community, personalization, and culture building activities. Most of all, thank you for the phenomenal guest speakers and concerts. I feel privileged to have seen – Stevie Wonder, Foo Fighters, U2, Alicia Keys, Lenny Kravitz, Lukas Nelson, Metallica, Janet Jackson and a host of other top-notch performers and speakers from music, government and business.
In spite of four full days of literally running from session to session, hoping to get into the already full rooms to learn what marketing automation, personalization, account-based marketing, and event management should look like, I absorbed tons of valuable information. Dreamforce is an event that takes a minimum of three years straight to learn how to navigate it to receive full benefit. But if you keep your eyes peeled and your camera snapping, you gain so much.
Why am I saying goodbye and will I ever want you again? Maybe. I’m currently starting a new relationship with a CRM and automation tool – FunnelMaker.com. So far, this company has been on the phone walking me through an easy setup and not once have they said, “Oh, well, you’ll need to implement and subscribe to this company’s add-on to do that,” or “You’ll need this customer service package at this additional cost to get help with that.” In fact, early on in the onboarding process, I noticed a gap between the product and my needs, and surprisingly they had me hang on a development-minute while they added the feature!
It’s a real dream and I’m awake for this one. So, the moral of this story for SMBs is that if you aren’t prepared to have a full-time salesforce admin – don’t do it. Don’t drink the Kool-Aid. If you can have an admin – or even better yet – an in-house Salesforce admin team – go for it. If you plan to become a full-on Salesforce shop, then you’ll eventually have the awesome ability to listen, react, communicate, support, and plan for every customer whim. It’s possible with the right expertise and budget.
I thought about writing Mark Benioff so many times during my tenure as a salesforce customer to say – hey, you sold us this product, but we can’t do anything with it without adding more products on top of it. This is not fulfilling the promise you made without more blood, sweat and tears.
Please spare yourself the trouble. Instead of Salesforce, look for an all-inclusive CRM, email automation, A/B testing, account based marketing, landing page and website building, survey taking, social media posting, event management, live chat, click-to-dial call transcription, booking calendar, digital document signing, SMS marketing, analytics reporting, ticket-taking system that provides support over the phone and doesn’t say no.
P.S. I have to confess. I have slight FOMO on building a perfect Salesforce platform. So Mark, if you’re reading this, I’m always open to free Dreamforce tickets once it’s a thing again. ☺