Top 3 Takeaways from Exhibiting at Dreamforce 2018

Posted by Bethany Stachenfeld on Oct 1, 2018
Bethany Stachenfeld
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Last week, VidGrid exhibited our interactive video platform for sales at Dreamforce.

dreamforce

 

As we were planning, I searched for Dreamforce takeaways and tips from prior years. While I found many bloggers urging me to bring comfy shoes, backup phone chargers, and extra space in my suitcase for free swag (all good advice!), I did not find much along the lines of true insights from the experience.

I thought it would be helpful to share some of the industry lessons and takeaways that my team got from hundreds of conversations with sales professionals at Dreamforce.

 

First, a quick background:

VidGrid is an interactive video platform for sales. Sales professionals can capture personalized videos and send them to prospective customers. Videos are interactive in the sense that you can qualify leads and schedule follow up meetings right from the video player.

Dreamforce + VidGrid

Our primary goal for Dreamforce was to talk to as many VPs of Sales, Directors of Business Development, and Email Marketers as possible, and show them how VidGrid would help them increase email click-through rates and schedule more meetings from outbound sales.

We wanted interactive to course through every aspect of our exhibition, so we had Dreamforce attendees launch our interactive videos from NFC or QR codes on their phones. They were able to see the video, click through lead qualification questions, and schedule follow up demos themselves.

 

Our top 3 Dreamforce takeaways:


After hundreds conversations with sales professionals, our major takeaways from Dreamforce were...

 

1. Email marketing is HOT right now. 🔥✉️

One of the first questions we asked Dreamforce attendees was, “Do you use outbound email to generate leads?” (If they replied “yes,” we would pitch them on increasing their click-through to ~25% by including personalized videos in their outreach).

Surprisingly, less than 2% of sales professionals replied that they or their team did NOT use email marketing to generate leads. The exceptions to the rule were generally in healthcare, manufacturing, or financial services.

There was a wide range of tools leveraged for email marketing - SalesLoft, Hubspot, Outreach, Salesforce’s own platform, Pardot, and more - but it seems like almost everyone is doing something here.

 

2. Software is better shown than told. 📹

Because everyone at Dreamforce was having hundreds of conversations a day, words seemed to have less of an impact as the day progressed. We quickly learned that the pitches we used in the morning would have to be simplified as the day went on and conversation fatigue infected us all.

The videos we made for attendees to pull up on their phones spoke more volumes than our own mouths. Here is the video our Director of Sales made for Dreamforce:

https://app.vidgrid.com/gif/sDQOgG5MVOz8.gif?type=gif_preview

 

3. Putting a face to the name matters. 😄

Some of the best conversations we had were with people that we previously only had a one-sided email relationship for - either them pitching us, or us pitching them. Even though the person had never replied before, they would be super excited to meet in person - like we were old friends.  

“Oh, so YOU are the one that has been emailing me for months! 💕Tell me, what do you guys do again?”

Email marketing may be skyrocketing, but there is nothing like a face-to-face relationship.

 

What did you take away from Dreamforce 2018?

I will be the first to admit that our experiences were limited. The hundreds of people we spoke to were only a small fraction of the 180,000+ in attendance. What was it like from your side of the floor?