It’s been almost 15 years since salesforce.com first disrupted the enterprise software industry with new models for technology, business, and corporate philanthropy. Along the way, amazing memories have been made by those involved, including employees, customers, and partners.
We asked longtime salesforce.com executives to share some of their highlights through the years and what the company means to them.
“I remember the night of the IPO we had a dinner in New York City. I had saved this envelope that we did our first V2MOM on and wrote a note on it and framed it and gave it to [salesforce.com CEO] Marc [Benioff] at that dinner. He hadn’t seen it before. I kept it in a drawer of my desk for the first five or six years. That was pretty cool to be able to give that to him and to remember our first V2MOM. It was on a piece of his mail, it wasn’t even on a nice piece of paper.”
“In the twelve years I’ve been here, every single year is better than the year before, and it just gets better and better. And the future now is brighter than it’s ever been. It’s really the customer journey that we’ve gone on and the relationships that we’ve built, where all these customers, ten, eleven years ago took this leap of faith with us. And now they get up on stage and talk about how salesforce.com has transformed their business and helped them be successful. Those are the validation points over the years.”
“In 2010 we built an advocacy program, now with 115 of our top contributors from the Salesforce Success Community. We call them our Salesforce MVPs: exceptional individuals recognized for their leadership, knowledge, and ongoing contributions. They represent the voice of our customer and provide an enormous amount of content to our greater Success Community. A year ago I ran into Marc [Benioff] in the hallway at headquarters. He loves the MVPs. He asked, ‘Do we do anything with them outside of Dreamforce?’ I said, ‘No.’ So we decided to bring these incredible evangelists out to San Francisco for a special MVP event with all our top executives. At the event, Salesforce’s co-founder Parker Harris called me up in front of everyone and said ‘Look around this room. All of this would have never happened if it wasn’t for Erica and her dedication to the community.’ I have been building the Success Community, now a million members strong, for over eight years, so this was extremely powerful that it was hitting the spotlight. It brought tears to my eyes that all the hard work was paying off!”
“When I got to Salesforce.com, three weeks in Marc [Benioff] calls me into his office. He said, ‘Steve, you’re a smart guy, why don’t you go and tell me all of the terrible things we have in our technology organization right now. We need to fix them.’ I went home and told my wife, ‘Maybe we should dust off that other offer because Marc wants me to go in and tell them that their baby’s ugly.’ So I interviewed the top 20 people in the technology organization at the time, heard what they had to say, synthesized my report and decided that I wasn’t going to hold anything back. And I said, ‘These are the things I see that are awesome and these are the things that really need to change.’ And they really embraced it. This is one of the rare companies that is open to new ideas and if you can come in with a new idea, the company will actually make it better, and amplify it, rather than crush you. That’s the essence of what I love about salesforce.com.”
“It's the people, always the people that are the highlight for me. They are the smartest people and have the biggest hearts. There is a lot of laughter. The vision of the company has also been significant for me. It’s the best and biggest in the industry.”
“For me personally it’s watching the growth of executives that have worked for me, like Mike Rosenbaum. When he was promoted to run the Salesforce1 Platform in the middle of an offsite meeting, and everyone just immediately stood up and so emotionally congratulated and applauded him. The energy in that room, I’ll never forget that. That was a great moment. To see an executive that I have worked with, and have had a small part in developing, really achieve his dream of running the platform, and how happy the team was for him, for me that was just an unforgettable moment.”
“Everyone is looking forward to what we can be. Maybe someday when we’re all retired, then we’ll look back at it more. I still have a huge emotional tie to the company. It’s our ‘baby’ and it’s a healthy teenager now, and it’s got a long life ahead of it.”
What has been your Salesforce “moment”? Tweet your story in 140 characters and use the hashtag #Salesforce15. Learn more about salesforce.com and the customer company with the free e-book below.