Dreamforce, the annual Salesforce User conference, took place September 12th – September 14th in San Francisco. The focus was heavy on Artificial Intelligence, with Salesforce boasting that it was the largest AI event of the year and AI focused keynote Speakers including Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI. Paciolan’s own Harrison Gore and Christopher Carney were in attendance. Check out their recaps below!
Harrison’s biggest takeaway: This was my first Dreamforce, and what an amazing opportunity it was. Getting to learn first-hand from experts from across the world provided unique insight into how Salesforce can be used to the fullest. It was also exciting to see new tools that are upcoming in the CRM World. These tools will make a sales rep’s life more efficient and allow admins to focus on larger projects. I was particularly impressed by an upcoming feature known
as reactive screen flows. This feature will further enhance user automations, that already save time, by making them even easier to use. We also got a tremendous view into how AI will shape the way we work in the future with Einstein Co-Pilot - a tool that will eventually help build reports, dashboards, account overviews, and even help with communicating with patrons.
Harrison’s favorite session: When is it best to be Reactive? When you’re a Screen Flow. This session promoted a great new tool coming in the October release. Screen Flows will never be the same providing new tools to help simplify complex tasks for admins, managers, and reps alike. I cannot wait to get in flow designer and start creating some great new best practices around this.
What’s next for Harrison: There are a lot of new features coming to Salesforce in the next few months. It will be important to learn how to use these tools and put them into practice. We are always looking for new ways to improve our services, and I believe that with some of the new capabilities coming we will be able to develop some great new practices. My other goal is to look at some of current offerings and find ways to improve them.
Christopher’s biggest takeaway: When I saw that Dreamforce was going all in on AI, I was a little skeptical at first. I was worried that the conference was going to be one big AI upsell and I wouldn’t get the same value out of it that I have in the past (this is my fifth in-person Dreamforce). I have also admittedly been slow to come around to AI - I am probably the only person on the Salesforce Admin team that has yet to ask ChatGPT a question. What I learned through attending sessions however is that these same hesitancies I feel are not only common, but actively being used to improve AI products. Attending Dreamforce reshaped the way I view AI in the future of Salesforce Administration – it is not a fad technology that is going to replace workers with oddly phrased, uncanny valley type responses. It will be a tool that allows those same workers to move faster, smarter, and more efficiently. It also needs more user input to learn, which means that there will always be some level of free access which is a definite plus!
Christopher’s favorite session: Architect with ChatGPT. Sitting in this session reminded me of when I was a kid and my dad brought home our first desktop computer. He took a course at the local community college that taught him basic functionality of Microsoft office – how to use Word, Excel, etc. For me, learning to use ChatGPT feels like my dad learning to use Microsoft Office 25 years ago – this is something I am going to need to do that the next generation will be able to do instinctually. In this session, they talked through when to use ChatGPT, how to phrase prompts to get the information you actually want, and more importantly what to keep in mind when using ChatGPT’s answers. For example, one use case could be to describe a problem you are working through and how you plan to solve it, and then ask ChatGPT to poke holes in that solution or provide alternatives that you may not have considered. Being very specific and adding context is key. One idea I thought was really cool was to feed ChatGPT transcripts of your zoom calls and ask it to summarize the meeting with key action items and follow up suggestions. I’ve always said that when interviewing potential new admins for a role on the team, knowing how to Google things is the number 1 skill I look for. Pretty soon it will be knowing how to ask ChatGPT the right questions!
What’s next for Christopher: Cleanup, cleanup, cleanup. In an AI dominated future, the data returned is only going to be as good as the data learned. AI won’t be able to give very good insights into how likely a deal is to close if 90% of all opportunities are still sitting open in perpetuity. Besides opportunity cleanup, there is also some future proofing that our team will need to do around user management as Salesforce modernizes the way certain feature operate. It’s not the sexiest part of the job, but if we can get this done we will be setting ourselves up for future successes.