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Salesforce Connections 2019—what an action-packed and informative three days! With over 450 transformative breakout sessions from Twitter, BMW, Fidelity, Nordstrom, and more groundbreaking Trailblazers, we were spoiled with great choices. Throughout several sessions, the message was clear–retailers should dive in deep with marketing, commerce, and service to work stronger across multiple channels. 

There was also a lot of buzz this year about three major updates:

  1. Customer 360. Salesforce plans to pilot the new Customer 360 CDP (Customer Data Platform) this fall. As B2B businesses strive to “create meaningful human connections — to create amazing experiences for whoever your customer is.”, as said by Stephanie Buscemi (CMO of Salesforce), the product aims at providing an omnichannel approach by giving brands access to more consumer behavior data than ever before.
  2. Salesforce acquiring Tableau. In its largest acquisition to date, Salesforce purchased Tableau, an interactive data visualization software company, for $15.7 billion in May 2019. "We are bringing together the world's #1 CRM with the #1 analytics platform," said Marc Benioff, Chairman and co-CEO of Salesforce. 
  3. AI-powered Einstein. Einstein will eventually have artificial intelligence (AI) built into the platform, making AI available to everyone with a growing set of tools and AI-powered analytics, predictions, and recommendations. Salesforce intends to deliver AI-fueled, real-time customer experiences by interconnecting data sources. This ties into the idea of automation where machines can take automatic actions based on their own programming. It can be extended to the analytics space, alerting you about customer behavior deviation or unusual happenings on your site.

With tools like Customer 360 and AI-powered Einstein, more Salesforce clients can create better views of their customers, and thus, better experiences. How? By bringing the Salesforce Clouds together with upgraded predictions and suggestions.

Maintaining the lifetime value of customers

Refers to the continuous value that a select customer base can bring you. These customers are the ones who have established a loyalty-based relationship with your brand and are the best candidates for cross and upsells. With personalization, delivering highly customized, intent-based experiences to your customers will enable you to secure their loyalty. 

B2B2C business model

Patrick Stokes, SVP of Product Management for Salesforce Customer 360 said, “Traditional B2B sellers now want to have a direct relationship with their consumers because they need to understand who their end consumer is so that they can compete.” B2B commerce aims at gaining a more holistic view of all its accounts to ultimately better position their marketing teams to adjust the customer’s journey in real time based on their engagement.

Theater session by our subject matter experts

Rolf Kraus (GSPANN’s Practice Lead) and Johnny Vu (Salesforce Commerce Competency Lead) took the stage to present a session, titled ‘SFRA vs. MFRA vs. Pipeline—which increases your cart conversion more quickly?’ to communicate the differences between current and historical Salesforce Commerce Cloud architectures, how they impact customer experiences, and affect your cart conversion. The session was very well attended by the people wanting to understand the many acronyms and names Salesforce uses for its various versions of Salesforce Commerce Cloud.

It was exciting to be able to test drive the latest Salesforce products and features for marketers with product experts’ guidance. There was something for everyone at the event - dancing stuffed animals, entertaining talks from the likes of Peter Sagal (of ‘Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!' fame), and Gwen Stefani’s energetic performance.