Dreamforce 2016: Let the Games begin

by in Marketing

pexels-photo-28554Dreamforce 2016: Let the Games Begin


With the 2016 Olympic closing ceremony behind us, we’re about to embark another global phenomenon. Like the Olympics, it serves as a catalyst for community, bringing together diverse groups of people who share a common interest – not for sport, but for sales.

The countdown has begun to Dreamforce 2016. Whether you are a rookie or a veteran to the Salesforce platform, it’s time to start prepping for the world’s flagship sales conference. 2016’s lineup is sure not to disappoint. As in the case of the Olympics, there are a host of diverse events to choose from (an impressive 1,100 sessions). In order to make the most of your experience, you’ll need to plan ahead.

Without doubt, some of the most eagerly-anticipated events at Dreamforce 2016 will feature a discussion of predictive analytics, a concept that has quickly become a “new normal” of B2B sales. Countless competitors have come to the fore, including the likes of Aviso, Clari, Highspot, and SalesPredict. Not surprisingly, Salesforce has also enlisted in the predictive analytics competition with the launch of its Wave analytics platform in late 2014. Now that the Wave platform has evolved and attracted a large fanbase, Salesforce certainly boasts the “street cred” to speak authoritatively on the subject. If you’re intent on walking away from Dreamforce primed to improve the effectiveness of your sales team by leveraging predictive analytics, you won’t want to miss these three Dreamforce events:


Session #1: Improve Forecasting With Predictive Analytics

Tuesday, October 4, 10:00 AM – 10:20 AM

High performing sales organizations are estimated to be 4 times more likely to use predictive analytics that their lower performing counterparts. It’s hard to argue with the powerful potential of predictive analytics: whereas a mere 8% of “underperforming” sales reps use predictive analytics, 33% of “high performers” do.  If you have your sights set on using predictive analytics, you won’t want to miss this session. You’ll walk away with a better understanding of how you can leverage predictive analytics to develop a more proactive – rather than reactive – approach to sales. The results will do wonders: it’s been proposed that sales people can recoup up to 30% of their day as a result of having the most relevant content delivered to them.

This session focuses specifically on the SpringML Lighthouse for Sales Wave App, SpringML‘s newest predictive analytics application. Hot of the press (it was released in early September), the app purports to help sales teams with sales forecasting, assigning win likelihoods, monitoring pipeline changes, and assessing pipeline flows.


Session #2: Stop Customer Complaints Before They Start With Advanced Analytics in Services

Wednesday, October 5, 5:00 PM – 5:40 PM

Customer complaints can cripple an organization. A startling 88% of online shoppers consider the reviews they’ve read or heard through various grapevines into their ultimate purchase decisions. It’s difficult to recoup from a negative customer review: 86% of customers hesitate to make purchase from a business with negative online reviews.

Your best hedge against customer complains is to stop them before they materialize. Sound like an impossible feat? Attend this Salesforce session to uncover the truth. The session, co-led by Salesforce Director, Jeff Vagg, will focus specifically on educating attendees as to how to leverage predictive analytics to pinpoint the nature of customer complaints.

Also, check out this guide from JitBit that outlines why customer advocacy is the bedrock of your business.


Session #3: Know When Your Customers Need Special Attention Before They Do

Friday, October 7, 9:00 AM – 9:20 AM

An excruciatingly low 4% of customers complain directly to a company when they are dissatisfied. Chances are you can’t rely on customers to complain to you in order to identify when they require special attention. This session promises to help attendees identify when customers need special attention – before they do. The result of a dissatisfied customer can be disastrous, both in terms of churn and in terms of customer acquisition: the average dissatisfied customer will tell 9-15 people about their negative experience and 13% will tell more than 20 people! There’s clearly a domino effect.

Session #3 will star the Desk.com Customer Health Monitor. What’s especially unique about the Customer Health Monitor is the sophistication of its underlying metrics. It is lightyears more advanced than the commonly used – but painfully rudimentary and antiquated – Net Promoter Score (NPS) for assessing customer satisfaction. Unlike the NPS, the Customer Health Monitor accounts for multiple input parameters, including 1) average number of interactions that occur between a customer and a sales rep, 2) number of currently open tickets, 3) total number of tickets, and 4) the average customer satisfaction (CSAT) score over the past 60 days. Also unlike the NPS, the Customer Health Monitor is highly customizable. Users can tweak metrics to best represent the indicators that are most relevant to their businesses.

It’s hard to turn down an opportunity to learn how to anticipate customer sentiment so as to minimize churn, maximize retention, and enhance customer service. This is sure to be a must-attend session.


Like the Olympics Games, which for the first time in 2016, featured golf and rugby sevens, Dreamforce 2016 will see the emergence of a new sport – predictive analytics. The sessions will be popular: a July 2015 survey found that 30% of B2B sales teams planned to pilot or use predictive analytics in the upcoming 12-18 months. The same study found that predictive analytics (along with price rules engine and sales coaching tools) were predicted to have the highest growth among B2B sales teams over the same time period. If you believe in the power and potential of predictive analytics to empower your sales team to “go for gold” and stand atop competitors, you’ll want to tune into the sessions outlined here.



About The Author

Rebecca Hinds
Rebecca Hinds - View more articles

Rebecca Hinds graduated from Stanford University in 2014 with a M.S. in Management Science and Engineering. In 2013, Rebecca co-founded Stratio, a semi-conductor company developing infrared sensors. The company was selected by the Kairos Society as one of the 50 most innovative student-run businesses in the world.