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Salesforce chief product officer details ‘groundbreaking’ CRM tech

David Schmaier, Salesforce Chief Product Officer, speaks with Yahoo Finance's Brian Sozzi at the Dreamforce tech conference to discuss new product developments in CRM technology and the next era of customer relationship management.

Video Transcript


BRIAN SOZZI: Welcome back to "Yahoo Finance Live." I'm Brian Sozzi at Dreamforce in San Francisco, Salesforce's big giant annual conference back in person. And joining us now is David Schmaier, chief product officer at Salesforce. David, good to see you here. This is a festival of software.

DAVID SCHMAIER: Brian, it's great to be here. Thanks for having me. This is the world's largest technology conference. So it's exciting.

BRIAN SOZZI: How important is it to you and your teams that an event like this is back in person? What do you get from it?

DAVID SCHMAIER: This is a family reunion. So we have 150,000 people registered. It sold out. So it is a customers and partners and our employees are loving being here live. There's nothing that replaces that live energy.

BRIAN SOZZI: Well, you're not just here drinking the coffee and walking around, seeing all the festivities. You're talking to clients. You're meeting with customers in this environment, tough economy, tough stock market. What do they need from your team?

DAVID SCHMAIER: At Dreamforce, we launched the industry's first real time CRM. And I couldn't be more excited. I've been working in this industry for 30 years. And this is groundbreaking stuff that we're doing here, Brian. It's a game changer. Our customers and our partners, everybody's talking about our new data platform, Genie.

BRIAN SOZZI: Take us through that. What it's all about?

DAVID SCHMAIER: Genie allows you to handle the explosion of data. So maybe I'm in the car. We showed the Ford Lightning 150 yesterday. The check engine light comes on. And you--

BRIAN SOZZI: I hate that, David, hate that.

DAVID SCHMAIER: It's the worst customer experience of all. So you've got to schedule an appointment. You've got to bring it in. You've got to take time out of work. Now with Genie, it's a real time data engine.

So in the car, the manufacturer in this case, Ford, they automatically know what the problem is. They can solve it in real time, dialing into the car with the connected car experience. And so Genie really provides automagic, or what we call customer magic, by solving the problems in real time.

And another great example is in the health care industry. Maybe I have a pre-existing condition like asthma. And I go into the ER and they take my vitals-- my blood, my temperature, all those. The test work, minutes and milliseconds matter. So the data from four days ago, that's not good enough. You need real time because patient's lives are at hand.

BRIAN SOZZI: You mentioned there's been an explosion of data. Do you think companies have just become paralyzed because there's so much data coming at them and they don't know what to do with it?

DAVID SCHMAIER: Brian, that's exactly what the problem we're solving, which is, simply put, companies can't keep up with this explosion of data. And Genie and this real time CRM technology, it allows them to keep up for the first time ever. It's truly what I call the holy grail of CRM.

BRIAN SOZZI: What is the next era of CRM? And CRM is what? Customer Relationship Management?

DAVID SCHMAIER: That's correct.

BRIAN SOZZI: You're seen as the OG in this industry. You've been doing this for a while, like you reminded me before we came on set. What is that next era? What does that next decade look like for your business?

DAVID SCHMAIER: Sure, I've been working in the industry since the early '90s. It was a $50 million market when I started. Now Gartner and other analysts estimate it's over $60 billion, the software market. And this real time motion is really changing the game to be real time automated and intelligent. So our automation technology Flow saves our customers 100 billion hours a month.

Our AI technology called Einstein does 175 billion predictions every day. So today, we're doing 175 billion predictions. And so what we believe is the companies with the best data and the best AI win. Because that translates into a better customer experience.

And as you know at Salesforce, we're the number one company that helps companies connect with their customers in entirely new ways. So the future are going to have these amazing what we're calling magical customer experiences. And from your life, you know, how many magical customer experiences do you have every day, Brian?

BRIAN SOZZI: Not a lot. You know, I would say everything is magical on the Yahoo Finance platform. I just don't want my check engine light on. So if you could stop those things, that'd be great.

But take us through hiring for your teams. So what you're doing is incredibly technical. There is a war for talent still in Silicon Valley. What are you looking for? And are you still having problems finding the talent you need?

DAVID SCHMAIER: Sure, it's a great question. Great software teams build great software. We're lucky that Salesforce is recognized every single year as one of the top employers and not just the tech industry, but in all industries credits. To our founders creating a great culture.

I think it's very different-- I've worked in a lot of other tech companies. Salesforce is truly unique. So those five core values that Marc and Brett talked about yesterday, we truly live them-- trust and equality and innovation and customer success and now sustainability. So we're truly a values-driven company and I think that really separates us from I'd say virtually every other big tech company.

BRIAN SOZZI: Of course, sustainability, near and dear to Marc Benioff's heart and it is embedded inside the company. How do you embed that into software?

DAVID SCHMAIER: Sure, so our Net Zero Cloud is really a fascinating story. We built it for ourselves because we're the first Fortune 100 company to become Net Zero. And our customers asked us, hey, that's amazing. Can we buy that? Can we use that too? So we productized that. And now we've come out with the second or third generation.

And here at Dreamforce yesterday, Marc launched the Net Zero Marketplace. So now you can trade carbon credits and you can engage in sequestration projects. And you can really sort of buy and sell different capabilities to help you become a Net Zero company. So companies like Mastercard, JetBlue, and others are now using Net Zero Cloud to become Net Zero.

BRIAN SOZZI: Last one before we let you go, one of the biggest questions we have gone from investors on Salesforce, the team has made a lot of acquisitions in recent years. This might be the first event where it seems like everything has been unified. Is that fair to say?

DAVID SCHMAIER: We are certainly coming together around what we call the Customer 360, which is our portfolio of products. And so with Slack, Slack is our latest large acquisition. And we were talking earlier, you know the founder of Stewart very well. It's an amazing team, an amazing product.

And we announced some incredible innovations for Slack. And Slack really helps us tie together the Customer 360 in what we call the Slack First Customer 360. So Slack really delivers this new way of working in this hybrid world that we live in.

BRIAN SOZZI: We're going to leave it there. I have to check my 97 Slack messages I probably now have after this interview. David Schmaier, chief product officer at Salesforce, good to see you. Enjoy the event.

DAVID SCHMAIER: Thank you for having me.