Happy 10th Birthday, Salesforce AppExchange!

Recently, IDC published research about Salesforce’s global economic impact. The key findings? “By 2018, Salesforce and its ecosystem of customers and partners will create 1 million jobs and generate $272 billion in GDP impact worldwide.” My livelihood has been directly linked to that ecosystem for the past three years and brought me from Brooklyn to the Bay.

At Salesforce, for two years, I was responsible for bringing new applications to the AppExchange by recruiting revenue-sharing partners from within the company’s home city, San Francisco. A number of these companies that had historically closed small, three or four license deals, soon went on to close much larger enterprise deals and even beat competitors because they were on AppExchange. Instant credibility gained through its stringent security review process and a distribution mechanism that was simple and well-understood by Salesforce customers reduced the friction of complex technology sales. It was during this time that I became familiar with Demandbase and brought them (us) on as an ISVforce partner. Having become acquainted with the exciting and innovative things Demandbase was doing to push Account-Based Marketing forward as a category of its own, I jumped on the opportunity to come aboard.

While I led the formalization of the business relationship between Salesforce and Demandbase last year, AppExchange was hardly new to our Founder and CEO, Chris Golec; Demandbase has had a listing for seven-and-a-half years. He recognized the importance of AppExchange and knew that the success of Marketing was ultimately measured in CRM, through opportunity creation, sales and revenue. Customers needed this connection to be strong and seamless. Salesforce was the obvious place to start and AppExchange was the facilitator.

Today, while Demandbase and AppExchange have each grown and evolved, the benefits of AppExchange experienced by Chris in 2007, credibility and ease-of-distribution, have remained. Our Salesforce application in its current form, Sales Accelerator, uses our proprietary technology to identify web visitors by account, in real-time, revealing previously anonymous behavior and empowering Sales with web-engagement insights that had historically been siloed in marketing. This enables Sales and Marketing to zero-in on B2B buying signals from their target accounts. Given that research has shown that 70-80% of the B2B buying process occurs before a hand-raise, this provides enormous value to our customers. In that same sense, AppExchange provides this value to us. We are able to see what accounts are viewing our demo or requesting to be contacted due to AppExchange’s backend and its integration with our own Salesforce instance. Few buying signals are stronger than those that result from an inquiry sent to us by AppExchange. Sales Accelerator has been a catalyst to conversations with a number of our prospects and customers that have led to broader discussions about Account-Based Marketing, which has positioned us as a strategic partner to our customers.

As we embark on a new year, we look forward to deepening our relationship with Salesforce and AppExchange to deliver even more value to our customers.

Here’s to another 10 years of growth and innovation for Demandbase and AppExchange!