Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff At Dreamforce 2021: 5 Boldest Statements

‘You look at the incredible market share that Salesforce has been able to achieve, it is because of our “trailblazers,”’ Salesforce CEO and co-founder Marc Benioff says at Dreamforce 2021 Tuesday.

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff delivered a keynote at his company’s annual Dreamforce conference that touched on Slack’s important role in Salesforce’s “digital headquarters” strategy, the power of Salesforce’s Health Cloud and the importance of the company’s ecosystem of customers and partners, a group the company calls “trailblazers.”

“They have created this incredible company,” Benioff told attendees, a mix of people in person in San Francisco and watching online worldwide. “You look at the incredible market share that Salesforce has been able to achieve, it is because of our trailblazers. You look at the incredible business performance that we’ve been able to achieve and $26.3 billion this year in revenue, it’s because of the trailblazers and we know that.”

Sam Shrefler, chief technology officer of Candoris, an Annville, Pa.-based Salesforce partner, told CRN in an interview that his company’s Salesforce implementation services “are in high demand” among nonprofit, education and commercial customers.

[RELATED: New Slack, Salesforce Integrations Announced At Dreamforce 2021]

“We’re seeing just a lot of implementation work, we’re seeing managed services in the Salesforce ecosystem. I think all their acquisitions are doing well. Mulesoft, Tableau,” he said.

Shrefler said that he looks forward to seeing more acquisitions from Salesforce that improve the product suite and investment in the customer experience.

“I notice they’re making investments in just what it’s like to buy from Salesforce,” he said. “It’s a mix of acquisitions and changes to their product set. Easier purchasing is a big thing that I see them probably working on and looking forward to.”

Here’s what you need to know.

Salesforce Health Cloud On Display

Before Dreamforce participants arrived for the conference, they received testing kits from Salesforce and sent in used cotton swabs. Salesforce used its Health Cloud for a cotton swab management system. The company did 10,000 tests in the seven days leading up to Dreamforce, resulting in 10 people “not able to attend,” Benioff said.

He did not specify whether those 10 people couldn’t attend because they received positive COVID-19 tests. But attendees experienced part of Salesforce’s Health Cloud 2.0, particularly the Dreampass feature for in-person events, bringing together capabilities for attendee registration management, COVID-19 vaccine and testing status verification, and testing vendor integration for issuing testing kits.

“Everyone, look around your neck. You see that certificate? You see that QR code? You know what it’s connected to? It’s connected to your Q-tips,” Benioff said. “That’s our Health Cloud.”

He continued: “That’s how we achieved our contact tracing. That’s how we achieved our vaccine management. That’s how we got everyone into this space today, with Health Cloud 2.0. When you scan your badge, you’re working with Health Cloud 2.0. And all of the different connected sectors and experiences and stakeholders that are able to take that digital certificate that you have around your neck and connect it back to our system.”

Slack Part Of ‘Digital Headquarters’

Benioff views Slack as such a powerful force for how companies interact with customers and employees, that he and co-founder Parker Harris might have considered ditching a physical office if they founded the company today, Benioff said to the crowd.

“If Parker and I were starting Salesforce today, would we do it up at 1449 Montgomery Street, a few blocks away from here? Maybe. Or would we have just stayed in our homes and set up at digital headquarters instead? So a digital headquarters becomes an essential building block to build a trusted enterprise in today’s world.”

Just before the start of Dreamforce, Salesforce and Slack announced new integrations between the two companies and other divisions of Salesforce, including new video message and alert capabilities.

‘We’re In A Trust Crisis’

A global pandemic, workers unable to return to work due to COVID-19 or deciding to change jobs and careers and ongoing environmental disasters including fires in California and hurricanes on the East Coast add up to multiple crises that companies need to navigate to service customers.

“At the time of the workforce crisis, in the time of the sustainability crisis, in the time of the pandemic, we also have this inequality crisis because every race and every sexual orientation and every gender has had a different experience during these crises,” Benioff said. “As Trailblazers we have compassion for that. And we want to understand that. We want to have a response to that that brings more equality to inequality.”

He continued: “When you add all those things up, and you look at the inequality crisis that’s happening, then we know we’re in a trust crisis.”

Though he didn’t elaborate on the details, Benioff told the audience to watch for a future playbook on building a company in the modern climate.

“We want to have a playbook to create this new trusted enterprise,” Benioff said. “We want to have a playbook for this new trusted enterprise. It‘s got to start with trust. It has to.”

‘Trailblazers’ Shoutout

“Trailblazers” -- Salesforce’s term for its community of developers, administrators, architects, sales leaders, marketers and CEOs -- received plenty of praise from Benioff during the conference, including credit for Salesforce’s “incredible market share.”

Some of Benioff’s bolder proclamations this year about his company’s growth include calling Salesforce “the fastest growing enterprise software company ever” in August and predicting in May that Salesforce would “pass SAP as the largest enterprise applications company in the world.”

“They have created this incredible company, you look at the incredible market share that Salesforce has been able to achieve it is because of our trailblazers, you look at the incredible business performance that we’ve been able to achieve and $26.3 billion this year in revenue, it’s because of the trailblazers and we know that.”

Look Out For ‘100,000 Dreamforces’

Salesforce will repeat a program it did in December and put together custom packages of the 2021 Dreamforce conference for customers. He told audience members to find their account executives to make the orders.

“We’re going to package all of it up: the entertainment, the content, the demos, and we’re going to bring it directly to you,” Benioff said. “We want to deliver 100,000 Dreamforces. That is when we will get really excited.”

He continued: “This is the first of 100,000 Dreamforces. And we’re going to create the entertainment, the energy, the excitement, the motivation, everything that comes with Dreamforce, targeted for you and your company. So this will be an opportunity for you to exactly articulate what is it that you want -- what do you want from us right now -- and we’re going to put that together, and then be able to deliver that back to you, your company, your teams, your organizations.”