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What are the implication of the Salesforce.com acquisition of Dim Dim teleconferencing in the cloud services? Will sales be virtual experiences? Will independent contractors become the samurai warriors of virtual sales campaigns? See the press release at
http://www.salesforce.com/company/news-press/press-releases/2011/01...
Elizabeth Ghaffari
ChampionBoards.com

Tags: Teleconferencing, sales, videoconferencing, virtual

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Thanks for your post Elizabeth. Yes, this is a big deal and I do agree that it continues to push the selling process towards more and more of a virtual event. I think that this will certainly be the case for smaller transactional selling scenarios but less so for enterprise selling that still involves trust building prior to a longer sales cycle.

 

That said, blow is some additional background from BostInnovation to consider. As a Salesforce and DimDim customer I can understand why it makes business sense to integrate screensharing with Chatter but it is a shame for the non-Salesforce customer.

 

http://bostinnovation.com/2011/01/07/facebook-for-enterprise-salesf...#

 

In Salesforce’s third acquisition in the past month (Etacts & Heroku), they have acquired Lowell-based DimDim for a whopping $31 million in cash.

DimDim was founded in 2007, and provides cloud based enterprise communication platforms. The browser based platform provides real-time collaboration capabilities for web conferencing. Using DimDim you can share documents, hold voice and video conferences, use whiteboards, and even record those sessions. DimDim has raised just about $9 million in funding from Index Ventures, Nexus India Capital, and Draper Richards.

With this acquisition, Salesforce is making a play to be the Facebook for enterprise by combing collaboration and communication into one service.

 

“Facebook has fundamentally changed the way we communicate in our personal lives,” said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO, salesforce.com. “The acquisition of Dimdim will help salesforce.com deliver to the enterprise the same integrated collaboration and communication experience that made Facebook the world’s most popular Internet site.”

“From our start, Dimdim has focused on enabling real-time communication in the cloud, with no software,” said DD Ganguly, CEO, Dimdim. “Salesforce.com gives us the opportunity to apply our expertise and align our vision of real-time, social enterprise software in the cloud – at a scale that wouldn’t have been otherwise possible.”

Salesforce is looking to immediately integrate DimDim’s software into their existing Chatter collaboration platform. This enable Salesforce to shift to the second phase of cloud computing that is social, real-time, and mobile.

For an acquisition press release about Salesforce and DimDim, all that was discussed was Facebook, odd.

Thanks for this post Elizabeth.  This has always been a curious question for me because I was trained as a sales person.  Sites like craigslist and others show that marketing over the web is certainly an effective way to sell services without a brick and mortar presence.  But in the B-B space, I'm just not sure about whether this will be effective.  

 

Sales, especially of big ticket items like computers and large outsourcing projects for example, still need a "consultative" sell - one where the sales person understands the major issues and can put together a full ROI.  While social media might be another communication channel, it can't replace the one-on-one conversations that sell business-business products and services that require such large investments.  Trust still needs to be established.  And this is still done best via face-to-face meetings especially in a sales cycle.  

 

I suppose we'll have to see.  But I can remember back in 1998 when people were predicting that sales forces would become extinct because direct sales channels, like those established by Dell in "e-business" settings, would take over.  At the time I predicted in a report I wrote for Mercer, that this would not be the case.  We'll see if my 'perfect' track record will hold :-).

 

Thanks again! Karen

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