Last week Salesforce had their massive annual user conference known as Dreamforce. Over 150,000 people from all over the world arrived in San Francisco for the combo tech event/music festival. As always happens, there were a ton of announcements. One new product in particular caught our attention and we wanted to share our reaction. Salesforce announced the release of a new mobile app and Chrome Extension for Salesforce's Sales Cloud customers called "SalesforceIQ for Sales Cloud" that is based on technology found in RelateIQ, a CRM that Salesforce acquired in 2014. You can read all about this new Chrome Extension here.
As we have said before, we believe we are in the early stages of another rewrite of the web. A change as fundamental as moving from on-premise IT to cloud computing. The paradigm we are "used to" today, where we have a sea of apps that we must find, open and use, will be flipped upside down into a discrete collection of services and workflows built around the job that we need to do. These services will come to us, we won’t go to them anymore, and underneath the hood one workflow will be made up of potentially dozens of “apps” built by dozens of different companies each serving their own very specific and valuable purpose.
Browser extensions are one of best examples of this new paradigm in action. Installing extensions into your browser gives you new capabilities and experiences on top of the web apps you already use. Google Chrome has had the extension concept built into its browser for years and is clearly the leader in creating a vast and growing marketplace, so much so that both Microsoft and Firefox have both announced that they plan to add support for Chrome extensions into their browsers.
Push vs. Pull
According to a McKinsey Global Institute report, we spend 1 day per week just searching for information or finding someone who can help us with specific tasks. With so many different apps and so much content, it’s no surprise that a lot of time is spent searching for information, rather than leveraging it.
Browser Extensions short circuit this because they are already part of your workflow, and can be contextually aware of what you are doing and bring useful information to you at the time you are likely to need it. Think "push" vs. "pull".
Salesforce has now become the latest example of this with SalesforceIQ for Sales Cloud. Now every Salesforce customer can bring their CRM right into their inbox. Maybe you just got a verbal commit from a prospect? One click and you update that Opportunity without leaving your inbox. As you are reading the email, SalesforceIQ automatically pulls up the corresponding record in Sales Cloud and places it right next to the email message. What used to require opening a new tab, logging in, doing a search, opening the resulting records, etc. just got compressed into one step! Imagine how many times a day a rep makes a change to a record in the their CRM? Its a big time saver and it will be interesting to see how it impacts the actual performance of a sales team! Can they work on more deals now because they are getting back hours per week of time they used to spend updating CRM? Does the data quality of the CRM improve because its now effortless to update your leads and opportunities? The potential business impact is big.
We are excited - we think its great to see Salesforce acting on this trend (they are also investors in Guru), as they are the biggest and most successful cloud company and they are continuing to innovate. They set the stage for so much of the enterprise tech world. This new product is an acknowledgement from Salesforce that the way we work will continue to evolve and improve, and as technologists we need to recognize that trend and evolve the way we think about the products we make. Fun times ahead!
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