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What Do Sales and Marketing Leaders have to Say about the Salesforce Analytics Cloud?

What Do Sales and Marketing Leaders have to Say about the Salesforce Analytics Cloud?

Recently, VentureBeat dropped news that Salesforce.com is rumored to announce its Analytics Cloud at Dreamforce in a few weeks. Data and predictive analytics are our lifeblood, so we thought it would be interesting to round up commentary from the industry. Here’s what our sales and marketing experts had to say. 

Jason Lemkin, Storm Ventures

“I don’t think anyone should be surprised about Salesforce getting more deeply into analytics — or really anything related to the customer relationship.  Salesforce long ago ceased to be primarily about ‘SFA’ or salesforce automation. Instead, as Salesforce has crossed $5 billion in recurring revenues, on its way to $10 billion and far beyond, it has necessarily expanded well beyond its initial roots as it has grown into eight and nine figure deals. Vendors and others in the marketplace should expect Salesforce to continue to expand into all the largest areas of software that relate to the customer record. After all, Salesforce’s core asset at the end of the day is the customer record.  The only areas I don’t see them going deep on for a long time are employees, HCM, and core ERP.  They may continue to dabble there but customers, not employees, are the center of their data, database and value proposition.”

Carlos Hidalgo, Annuitas

“In light of the PwC study that shows only 29% of executives rely on data and analytics to make big decision, the anticipated announcement of the Analytics Cloud by Salesforce is good news for marketing and sales professionals. There is a business intelligence gap that exists in many of today’s B2B environments and most lack the ability to truly measure end-to-end engagement throughout the Engage, Nurture and Conversion process of a buyers purchase.  I hope this announcement brings the marketing and sales data together and allows B2B marketers the ability to conduct better analysis and gain better insights that they can use to optimize their Demand Generation programs.”

Shashi Upadhyay, Lattice

“Now we’re talking about finally experiencing the true promise of CRM. Sales and marketing professionals have been drowning in data and yearning for analytics beyond dashboards so they can make more informed decisions. We work with the largest number of salesforce.com customers today who are already using the power of predictive analytics to identify their highest value leads and accounts, increasing conversion rates and deal sizes by as much as three times.”

Matt Heinz, Heinz Marketing

“The explosion of data available to modern marketers is currently making our jobs harder, not faster or easier.  Too often we either are frozen with inaction due to too many variables at play, or can’t quite get the data to tell us an accurate story with clear next steps or optimization points. Salesforce has a massive opportunity to provide focus, clarity and direction to companies while making far better sense of the proliferation of data showing no signs of abatement.”

Craig Rosenberg, TOPO

“Honestly, it’s early to understand the impact. I think it’s exciting that they are tackling the analytics issue. Being able to effectively track metrics has been the holy grail for lots of companies. There is typically a “frankenstein” mix of different applications and human intervention to get organizations the visibility they need. On the other hand, we just don’t know enough about the scope of their analytics solution to really comment on how effective it will be for companies, especially those with complex platforms with multiple applications. And furthermore, one of the biggest roadblocks to a successful analytics platform has nothing to do with technology — data cleanliness and standardization destroys the best laid analytics plan. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try and that is why I am excited to see a Dreamforce product announcement for the first time in years. ”

Brian Vellmure, Value Creator

“An early knock on CRM systems was that they required lots of effort to enter customer information in, and it was close to impossible to get any meaningful information out. Systems have evolved, and a new generation of apps and services are allowing CRM systems to capture customer information more seamlessly, largely through integrations with social networks, transactional systems, external data services, and mobile platforms.

The explosion of data has given birth to a new generation of analytics providers like Good Data, Birst, Tableau, Domo, Qlik and Bime. Salesforce has always been “good enough”, but analytics is hardly an area they’ve been known to excel in. The pending announcement of the Salesforce Analytics cloud would be interesting.

As Benioff continues to evangelize the amazing opportunities that will be coming from the internet of things and internet of customers, it only makes sense that as you connect more things, you must increase your capabilities for not only enabling those ‘things’ to connect and communicate, but also to understand what’s happening and where new opportunities might be. Here’s where an ‘analytics cloud’ would fit.

From a business perspective, Salesforce has increased pressure to meet revenue growth goals. 30%+ annual growth rates are hard to sustain for $5 billion organizations. They are known to invest in divisions that have $1 billion opportunities. Analytics certainly fits that bill as the overall market continues to grow and is estimated to be in excess of $35 billion (IDC). Finally, an analytics offering would also allow them to check an additional box when competing with other enterprise giants Oracle, SAP, IBM, and Microsoft, who bring in the lion’s share of the market’s analytics revenue, along with private company and analytics specialist SAS Institute, Inc. rounding out the top 5.”

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Written by

Amanda Maksymiw
October 13, 2014