Dreamforce 2021: Key Takeaways From the Biggest Salesforce Event

Dreamforce 2021

Last year, Dreamforce conducted an all-virtual event, bringing the Salesforce community together despite the difficult pandemic situation. This year Dreamforce 2021 came not just virtually, but as a hybrid in-person/digital conference, with all its events streaming on Salesforce+, the new streaming services by Salesforce. 

Dreamforce 2021 kicked off with the keynote speech by Mark Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, and Bret Taylor, COO of Salesforce. The event was started with a lot of enthusiasm, inspirational stories, musical guests, and a powerful discussion on how we can create more inclusive workplaces to deliver engaging customer experiences. 

Day 1: Trusted Enterprise, Customer Centricity, and Digital Workplaces

Benioff introduced everyone to the idea of Trusted Enterprise, presenting the responsibility each organization has towards its customers, employees, and the world at large, making it important to respond to the crisis of COVID-19 in a responsible way. 

Salesforce wants to help companies find the solution to problems related to the pandemic, a struggling workforce, environmental sustainability, or inequality around sexual orientation or gender. Benioff mentioned the importance of digital headquarters with the recent Salesforce acquisition of Slack, which will be the building block of setting up a Trusted Enterprise. 

Also, with Dreamforce 2021, a new Health Cloud 2.0 is introduced for the safety of everyone in the surrounding community with the Dreampass, enabling safety protocols against COVID-19 for in-person attendees. 

Day 1 of the event continued with Bret Taylor sharing client stories about how companies are using Salesforce to make a change. The story of IBM was spotlighted, showing how the company is using Slack to migrate 350,000 employees from office to work from home setups. It was followed by the story of Mercedes-Benz building a customer-centric marketing experience with Customer 360 to gain more attention on their new range of electric vehicles. 

Day 2: Reimagining B2B Sales, Black Women in Leadership, and Connected Health

Day 2 of Dreamforce 2021 started with a conversation between Soledad O’Brien and Salesforce Co-founder and CTO, Parker Harris. The conversation focused on the insights related to Salesforce’s past and future. 

Moving forward, Accenture took over the main stage with Bryan Beruman and John Carney talking about the state of B2B sales and the changes observed with the pandemic. Carney shared the story of John Patterson of NCR related to the growth of B2B sales in the 20th century with all his principles. But all of that is changed now. With buyers changing and sellers increasing the need to respond, Carney mentioned the current B2B market as the “the new new.”

Dreamforce 2021 majorly focused on social justice and racial equality. In this context, Soledad O’Brien introduced 3 female Trailblazers black leaders: the award-winner Minda Harts, San Francisco Mayor London Breed, and the award-winner journalist Elaine Welteroth. They talked about the meaning of black excellence and how this state of mind is opening new doors to opportunities for black people to thrive in their community. 

With the effort of tackling COVID-19, LaShonda Anderson-Williams, SVP of Healthcare and Life Science at Salesforce, talked about how technology is contributing to improving global health. It was mentioned that the world needs connected health for which a platform is required that would integrate providers, payers, pharma, MedTech, and public health organizations. The idea of a connected health ecosystem is to deliver a modern health experience. The emphasis would be on personalization to provide people with safe and accurate treatments.  

Day 3: Digital-First Leadership, Prioritizing Sustainable Future, and Building Loyalty in the New Age of Retail

Day 3 kicked off with Stewart Butterfield, CEO & Co-Founder of Slack, and Jennifer Tejada, Chairperson & CEO of PagerDuty, discussing how today’s leaders are driving more flexible, inclusive, productive cultures. Slack, in partnership with Salesforce, is enabling companies to connect with their teams easily in the work-from-home culture, maintaining one digital source of truth. Jennifer talked about Slack not only as a way to connect with her employees but also to democratize and flatten the overall organization. 

Sustainable future and sustainability have been the trending topics during Dreamforce 2021 event. Salesforce utilized  100% renewable energy and achieved net zero emissions across its value chain, and purchasing carbon offsets when either of them was not a possible approach. Salesforce also scaled up its Sustainability Cloud to support better collaboration with suppliers while achieving industry-specific climate action plans.

Moving forwards, Rob Garf, VP & GM of Retail at Salesforce, talked about how people have switched to e-commerce during the last year. With customers at the center of businesses, retailers need to accelerate digital transformation to successfully meet the highly increasing demands. Salesforce Customer 360 helps to reduce friction across multiple channels, allowing retailers to analyze customers. Rob also gave an introduction on a Slack-First Customer 360 for retail demo in action.

And that’s it, folks! Dreamforce 2021 came to an end with amazing sessions, a fun-filled celebration, with many more advancements to help organizations grow digitally. 

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