Marc Benioff promises a CRM revolution by the year's end

24th May 2013

He's waited a long time to say it, but now he can, CEO Marc Benioff clearly loves the sound of his own words when he declares: "We’ve displaced SAP to become the number one CRM market share leader regardless of On Premise or Cloud, Salesforce is number one."

It couldn't come at a better time as Benioff pushes the re-branding of from the Social Enterprise company to The Customer Company supported by a pitch to woo the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) into the camp.

Marketing is the main focus of attention for the company's messaging at present with its various marketing offerings bundled under the banner of "Marketing is an area that we’ve recently entered into," admits Benioff. "It’s not really an area that we’ve gone through into organically or grow our own development, but we’ve acquired our way into marketing, first by purchasing Radian6 and then by buying Buddy Media. By no means, are we number one in revenue, in marketing.

"Our goal is to be number one in marketing, but we realise that to be number one in marketing, we’re going to have to achieve more than $1 billion in revenue in that Cloud and these not just number one in listening, not just number one in publishing, not just number one in social advertising but in a number of other key areas as well."

That said, Benioff contends that's Marketing Cloud is "the world’s number one app for sales, social marketing and the only marketing platform that seamlessly connects with sales and service. Marketers want a unified platform to listen, to publish, to engage, to advertise and giving them the power to target individuals of scale."

CRM revolution

It's all in the cause of cementing the idea of The Customer Company in the popular consciousness and the promise of a CRM revolution. "We’re going to completely transform the CRM market," pledges Benioff. "By the time we get to Dreamforce, at the end of this year, I promise you, we will have completely transformed our vision and our core for CRM market and how we’re operating and we’re going to do it whether it’s a user interface or application programming interfaces. And I’ll tell you, it’s not a focus of our competitors.

"Microsoft basically have said they want to be the Windows 8 company and that in all situations the answer is Windows 8. SAP has said it’s the HANA company. Oracle wants to be the Exadata company," he observes.

"We don’t want to be the Exadata company or the HANA company or the Windows 8 company, we want to be the customer company. We want to enable our customers to help their customers connect in a new way, and that is along the lines of sales, service and marketing and the development of a customer platform."

In days of old Benioff would have laid into the likes of Oracle and SAP without mercy, but these days the message is one of co-existence with the arch-rivals. He cites the example of US firm Toms Shoes as how this works in practice.

"In the quarter Tom selected Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud and Chatter to build the central hub for his entire team of service agents and listen, engage and service customers wherever they are," he explains. "By linking of SAP and Oracle back office systems with Salesforce, Toms would be able to arm agents with a full view of the world that is around each and every customer.

"In every one of these examples, companies are transforming their business of Salesforce’s next generation technologies. Our ability to deeply integrate our cellphone and mobile front office solutions with legacy back office systems like Microsoft, SAP and Oracle is helping many of our customers transform into Customer Companies."


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