The biggest ever Dreamforce ‘19 event wasn’t just confined to San Francisco. This year we gathered 4,000+ Trailblazers to hear all the big updates and announcements from across the pond.

In the heart of the London Docklands, The Excel Centre was transformed into a slice of California (weather aside). The campground was complete with workstations stretching across the venue, suited and booted Trailblazers, and even log fires. Attendees were serenaded with piano solos by children from Restore the Music, our charity partner on the day. 

Over the course of half a day, stories were swapped and learnings were shared aplenty. 

Here are the 5 key takeaways from Dreamforce to You 2019.


1. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is an opportunity

As our Co-CEO Marc Benioff puts it, “You need to get to the future, ahead of your customers, and be ready to greet them when they arrive.”

73% of customers expect their needs to be understood. The same number say one extraordinary experience means they expect the same from other companies. It’s key for businesses to rise to the challenge and take advantage of the tools available.

With AI, new data sources and new tools to bring them all together, there’s a massive opportunity for brands to start serving their customers in innovative new ways.

During the Opening Keynote, the audience was treated to an appearance from journalist and broadcaster, Andrew Marr, who chaired the innovation panel discussion with BT, Supermums, and Dame Inga Beale, Board Director of London First & former CEO at Lloyds of London, to hear how these new opportunities are being met with innovative use of technologies, like Salesforce.  



2. The Single Source of Truth truly personalises customer experience

As part of the Opening Keynote, UK and Ireland CTO, Adam Spearing, demonstrated the power of our Customer 360 Data Manager. Users now have a single data model that follows customers across their buying journey – a Single Source of Truth reflecting all knowledge about a customer. As Spearing put it, “The objective is very simple. We want you to be able to see your customers as they see you – through one single lens of engagement.” This means B2B and B2C businesses can now create a seamless buying experience for each individual. 

To ground this in the real world, Adam took the audience through a buyer’s journey with a luxury retailer. Using the power of Einstein AI, different customer personas were intuitively and deliberately taken on journeys matched to them. New customers were shown detailed information on each product. Regular buyers were shown more images than text, as they were already well acquainted with the brand. And recent customers were shown accessories and clothing that matched with their latest purchases. 

Fueled by the Customer 360 Truth, buyers enjoy an experience tailored to their needs and level of knowledge, from start to finish. Generic interactions and user experiences are a thing of the past. With Customer 360, businesses can match and then exceed customer expectations over and over again.



3. Everyone can learn to make a difference

Learning new skills is a key part of our philosophy. And opportunities for learning at Salesforce are endless. At Dreamforce to You, everyone was encouraged to ask themselves, “Where are skills gaps I can help to fill? What can I learn that will enable me to make a difference?”

In the Opening Keynote, UK and Ireland CEO, Dame Jayne-Anne Gadhia, shared the most pertinent lessons she’d taken from San Francisco. The most telling was from former President of the United States, Barack Obama; we shouldn’t wait for leaders to change the world. We can all make a difference now. 

Perhaps the best example was Supermums. Salesforce and our eco-system is expected to help create 4.2 million jobs by 2024. So it’s vital they are filled with a diverse range of talent, with a culture that fuels gender equality in the workplace. Supermums is helping mothers (and fathers) across the globe to return to work, by training them on Salesforce, with industry recognised certifications meaning they can take control of their careers and start making a difference. 



4. The end-user experience needs to be wonderful

Everything at Dreamforce to You was grounded in the principle of making users’ lives easier. The first talk of the day, run by Senior Principal Success Manager, Cyrill Lampart, showed how in-app guidance can vastly improve business users’ efficiency and effectiveness. 

With tailored pop ups, customers can find features they didn’t know were there – while business users can collate data and feedback to see what guidance is effective and tweak to maximize usefulness to customers. 

There was a strong focus on seeking end user feedback to constantly improve. Fran Donaghy, a Senior Principal Portfolio Success Manager, says “the people on the ground are the people who can tell you what you can do to improve…have a two way process so you’re passing on any changes you’ve made.” Interact with customers to tap into their problems, then solve them, fast. 

Data is only valuable if it is the right data. Share data with your users that empowers them the most. In other words, provide value. Help customers plan where they need to go next, what to continue doing and what to fix.



5. Trust is earned, not built

“Trust is having a confident relationship with the unknown”. 

We often hear about transparency being the key to building trusting relationships in business. This was promptly debunked in the Closing Keynote by Rachel Botsman, Trust Fellow at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School.

“If you need things to be transparent, you’re in a low-trust state,” she says. In an all-too-effective demonstration, audience members were told to swap phones and do as they please for 20 sweat-inducing seconds. Those who were suffering the most, were in a low-trust state, fearful of what could be happening in those few moments.

Trust isn’t a reservoir you can tap into. It moves up and down, depending on experiences and interactions.

It’s the currency of interactions, whilst money is the currency of transactions. Without the former, you won’t get the latter. 65% of surveyed customers have stopped buying from companies they now distrust.

For businesses, the challenge is defining what it means to be trustworthy, and then acting on it. Botsman defines trustworthiness as capability – doing what you say, and saying what you do, and character – acting with integrity and empathy. It means putting the customer first, at all times.

Given what we saw at Dreamforce to You, this was a fitting way to wrap up for another year.