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You know that scene in every 007 movie where James Bond goes to Q Branch for the latest car or gadget he needs to complete his mission? Here at Salesforce, we have a Q Branch team of our own. Except instead of supplying gadgets for spy missions, Q Branch is where Sales pros come for killer ideas, prototypes, visionary demos, jaw dropping presentations, and videos to demonstrate why Salesforce is the most innovative company in the world.

But at a company like Salesforce, with sales literally in our name, you might not be surprised to hear that these requests are pretty frequent—we’re currently up to 5,600 requests a year! Back when I was a Solutions Engineer in 2008 here at Salesforce, I found myself spending more time building and coding demos than I did with customers. I knew we needed a new team, with a new mission, and a scalable way to support the requests from the growing sales team.

 

Building demos lightning fast, thanks to Lightning

We used the Salesforce Platform to build a suite of declarative tools to help streamline demo requests and development. In our arsenal, we’ve got the Deal Support Request app, a simple Lighting Platform app that allows sales teams to request assistance tied to Opportunities, right from the Opportunity record in Salesforce. Then there’s the SE Assist app, short for Solutions Engineer Assist, whereby Solutions Engineers can request specialized creative or technical assistance to build out incredible custom demos.

Solutions Engineers enter in the information for their request, and questions are tailored specifically to the type of request. Once the request record is created, Solutions Engineers, Demo Engineers, UI/UX Designers, Video Specialists, Account Executives, and anyone else involved in the project can collaborate on Chatter, add Quip documents, share files—anything they might need to complete the request.

 

From request routing app to data goldmine

The power of building these apps on the Salesforce Platform is in what we can do with all the data captured in each request. Everything from the type of code used to build the demo, to the products demonstrated, to the hours spent working on it can be reported on using Einstein Analytics, providing a clear picture of not only where my team is spending their time today, but also where there might be growth opportunities in the future. Using our own technology to automate these processes has helped turn my team, usually considered a cost center, in a powerful resource for our revenue generating teams.

Eager to learn more about the SE Assist app? Check it out in our latest series of Inside Stories: How Salesforce Uses the Salesforce Platform, all about SE Assist.

Go inside the Salesforce’s employee app development strategy with Inside Stories. Look for more stories of apps built on the Salesforce Platform in the coming weeks.