In 2018, Salesforce Essentials launched in the market. As the center of innovation within Salesforce, we looked to the future to imagine how Salesforce could evolve to regain its position as the leader in the CRM market.
Essentials had initially taken a "build in place" strategy to go to market and gain traction inside the company. As we successfully launched our product on the Sales and Service Cloud platforms, we became an example of what a modern CRM experience and product could be. As Essentials became an independent business unit and gained further resources to achieve our mission, we needed to chart a path to the future beyond our existing technology.
To remake the company in the vision of Essentials, a north star needed to be created that considered modern experiences, various technologies, and emerging technologies. As a company that expanded rapidly through acquisitions, Salesforce needed a bold idea to reimagine what a coherent product and organization looked like.
Sales and Service personnel use email and social media to interact with customers and prospects. The NEXT concept leveraged conversational design as its core experience. We created customized onboarding experiences to show users how to become more efficient and successful. Unlike how Salesforce typically operated, NEXT didn't put users in a Sales or Service bucket. Instead, it intertwined the Sales and Service motions users went through into one seamless experience. Functionality that typically would have been sold separately was packaged into easy-to-use features.
To further penetrate the market, we imagined a solution that went beyond the core tenants of Salesforce and into project management. Our research and data showed that SMBs struggle to organize and complete their tasks, and we wanted to capture everything they did in their business. Examining existing architecture, we discovered that the core technology needed to make this pivot already existed. With the NEXT vision, we could leverage our current technology and become a full-service solution for our target demographic.
As the co-founder of Essentials and the design lead for SMB within Salesforce, I served as a subject matter expert and led various workgroups within the company. I continued to lead the Essentials efforts throughout our product vision exercises and partnered closely with a design peer, design leadership, and our new Head of Product at Essentials. I developed and led product strategies and design concepts that combined Salesforce's Sales, Service, and Marketing products.
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