Dreamforce 2023 Recap: Lessons and Insights 

Salesforce’s annual conference continues to serve as the cultural and intellectual crossroads for modern tech companies. 

Dreamforce is one of the most eagerly anticipated events in the tech world and Dreamforce 2023 did not disappoint. A small but mighty crew from Total Expert descended on San Francisco and we’re excited to share some of the invaluable insights gained from experts across the technology and financial services industries—and from our role in the Salesforce partner ecosystem. Let’s dive into the key takeaways from enlightening sessions, engaging conversations, and one of the most enriching event experiences we’ve ever seen. 

First and foremost, thank you to Salesforce for putting together such an incredible event!  

“There’s no other conference like it in the world that I’ve been to…incredible experience, incredible energy, they put on a conference that is unmatched in terms of scale and scope, and what I found most enjoyable is the number of conversations we were able to have with both customers, prospects, and executive team members at Salesforce and other ecosystem partners.”  

Total Expert Founder & CEO Joe Welu

Salesforce remains the dominant force 

Salesforce is doing everything except resting on its laurels. And they continue to prove why they’ve been the undisputed CRM market leader since their inception. Their commitment to innovation and their focus on AI and Trust (yes, with a capital “T”) were central themes at the event; touching every stage, keynote, breakout session, and product roadmap presentation. It was crystal clear how both themes will have industry implications and impact the way we live in a digital-first world. 

During a session that presented Salesforce’s Financial Services Cloud roadmap, they discussed how to improve what both consumers and industry professionals feel is a broken lending process. We learned that 60% of consumers think loans should be processed “in minutes” and that the entire loan origination process is too complex.  

Their solution will focus on creating a unified lending platform, and partners from identity resolution to customer intent will be a key part of their offering. And, since lending is one of our core industries, we’re excited about the possibilities Salesforce provides. 

Trust is the beating heart that sustains data, CRM, and AI initiatives 

It was impressive to see such a cohesive message emerge out of a massive event like Dreamforce. Salesforce customers span countless industries and the sessions covered innumerable topics, yet a single message seemed to weave its way through everything we saw, heard, and experienced: Without trust, everything you’re building will crumble and everything you’re working toward will remain out of reach. 

People are no longer blind to how their personal data is being collected, used, and shared by technology companies. Understandably, they’re skeptical and increasingly hesitant when asked to hand over private information or financial details. 

If tech companies—and especially financial services companies—hope to grow and sustain their customer base, transparency will no longer be optional and trust will become a commodity in itself. 

Using artificial intelligence to create authentic connections 

AI is not a fad or a passing trend like 3D TV or NFTs. It’s the real deal. We’re only beginning to learn what it can do (and what regulatory bodies will allow it to do), but it’s already clear that AI has the potential to completely revolutionize the way we work—and the way we engage with consumers. 

By combining AI with existing marketing automation solutions, we’ll be able to deliver the best content, products, services, and experiences on hyper-personalized levels. That means financial institutions of every size can tackle—and possibly eliminate—the fragmentation that’s taking place within their customer base. 

Siloed tech stacks are becoming relics 

No two companies are the same. They have different strategies, customers, goals, and capabilities. That also means no two tech stacks are the same. Each company assembles a patchwork of platforms and solutions that best suit its needs, but that approach can quickly become unmanageable if the disparate tools don’t integrate. The focus now needs to be on creating a seamless technology ecosystem. 

Salesforce works with 12,000+ financial institutions and features 400+ financial services partners on the AppExchange to help FIs create a powerful, fully integrated solution that works for them and their customer base.  

People and communities must come first 

Beyond the conference itself, Dreamforce embraced the spirit of community engagement. Salesforce is very focused on giving back to the community and always hosts an incredible volunteer day before Dreamforce kicks off. What did we learn? Himalayan Blackberry bushes hurt! This year, we tried to add some green to our thumbs by pulling out the invasive Himalayan Blackberry bushes growing inside Buena Vista Park. It was a great way to meet people from all over the world while providing some much-needed help to the local community. 

How Total Expert brings value to the Salesforce partner ecosystem  

Salesforce is all-in on integrations. With over 7,000 technology solutions available on the AppExchange, helping their customers find the best solutions for their business is just as important as ensuring that every integration works together to create a seamless technology ecosystem. 

Total Expert is a purpose-built customer engagement solution for modern financial institutions. Our goal is to provide existing Salesforce customers with immediate access to essential content, co-marketing, and customer intelligence services without adding development costs.  

Essentially, Total Expert operates as the “last mile” functionality for Salesforce in financial services, helping customers generate leads and close opportunities with a focus on empowering relationship managers to grow their book of business. 

The Total Expert and Salesforce partnership teams have placed a significant bet on the strength of our integration. With a growing number of large enterprise customers seeing the benefits of this joint solution and seeking out more information about how it could benefit their businesses, the momentum continues to build. 

“The ‘better together’ story is always what we’re seeking, and it really is about offering the best possible solution for our joint customers.”  

Patrick Hanley, VP Partner Ecosystems 

Dreamforce is a must-attend event for any sales or marketing professional in the tech world. The sheer amount of knowledge being shared and innovative ideas driving the industry forward is equally enlightening and energizing. We left San Fransisco eager and ready to push the boundaries of what we can do with the Total Expert platform and help our customers continue to thrive. 

Listen to our Dreamforce recap podcast with Total Expert Founder & CEO Joe Welu and VP Partner Ecosystems Patrick Hanley for more insights from the event and their thoughts on the role of tech in the financial services industry.