So the rumours are true, the marriage has happened, or maybe at this stage it’s less of a marriage and more of an engagement. Actually I suspect it’s more like an apartment share between two people who seem to be compatible, and are looking forward to widening each others outlook by seeing more of each others interests. In this case the living space is the Internet, and the shared interest is in a new approach to developing a new generation of capabilities. There is undeniable logic in this basic supposition, which probably accounts for the lack of surprise in them coming together, the surprise seems to have been that they didn’t have anything more revolutionary to announce.
What was announced? That the Google AdWords platform has been built into Salesforce.com platform making Salesforce.com the first on-demand application company authorized to resell the Google AdWords platform globally in the 43 countries where the two companies both operate in an alliance covering joint distribution, technology and marketing efforts. Actually I think that this is rather revolutionary as it arguably takes CRM into a new dimension of coupling marketing through advertising to sales follow up, and hopefully quick closures through better alignment.
Why better alignment, because it changes the whole orientation towards people and events as an alternative from using procedures and systems. Procedures and systems are great for recording transactions, but not very good of the interaction that takes place between people before hand. Classic, or original CRM, was a massive capability improvement for an enterprise in collating events into a manageable procedure from which people could be directed to handle the events. SalesForce.com moved this to add more focus on the actual sales people’s ability to plan their responses towards people, meaning the actual buyers and influencers. It’s this people focus that both Google and SalesForce.com have in common together with supporting them with tools to help them find, learn, communicate, and act.
Together they have got the whole people based process covering the cycle from marketing through to sales closure. It’s a great starting point that could be a real catalyst for developing further process innovation as SalesForce.com brings the business side to Google who really have the eyes, and increasingly the ears, of people at large.
It also shows a glimpse of the potential that real time can bring as for the first time ever there is immediate and direct feedback to marketing on the success of any campaign or proposition in terms of conversion to closed sales, that’s powerful. May be there wasn’t the instant fireworks of an acquisition that some in the market expected, or hoped for, but I suspect the devil lies in the detail, and that detail may well turn out to be more influential than most people may suspect.