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Dreamforce Advice From A Developer Who’s Been There

5 min read
Sep. 23, 2016

As a sales organization, it’s easy to forget that Dreamforce is an event for more than just SaaS salespeople. But it’s so much more than that. Dreamforce is the conference of the year for all professionals looking to grow in their skill, passion, organizational health.

Because of this, Salesloft sends a team of people from all different departments, running the gamut of marketing, sales, dev team and more. And for the last couple of years, Steve Bussey, Engineering Manager has been out in San Francisco in the fall with the rest of the Salesloft team.

Dreamforce isn’t just about networking and badge scanning — it’s about your team building a community around your brand, and finding inspiration from other like-minded power players in the industry to create bigger and better things for all customers. So to get some Dreamforce advice from a broader scope than just sales, I decided to go right to the Salesloft source, himself.

Check out Steve Bussey’s tips on how to go big at Dreamforce 2016:

Take Time (and Notes!) in the Dev Zone

While a large part of the team’s mission out in Moscone is to run the Salesloft booth and make the marketing and sales team accessible to potential customers, it’s important for developers to take the time to explore what’s going on outside the sales world and get some intel.

“Find some flexible time to attend the Developer Zone! This is a fun part of the conference that has a lot of interactive work areas and sessions going on. My primary goal in the Dev Zone will be to keep an eye out for new vendors, technology, and Salesforce announcements, which I’ll compile into notes to take back to the engineering team.”

Bond with Your Team

It’s easy in the grind of every average working day to stay holed up in your department, interacting with the same teammates day in and day out. But when you travel with a team of people made up of all different departments, it can be a great chance to support one another and really gain a stronger bond with different people in the company.

“In the past 2 years, I’ve done more exploring on my own, but this time, my goal will be to stay near the Salesloft team and contribute in that way. Sharing meals and the Dreamforce experience with the whole team is an overall enjoyable part of the trip for me.”

Do Your Share of Networking, Too

Don’t be shy! You may not be a frontline sales development rep, but you can certainly hold your own in the sales arena. As a product developer, you have an ear to the ground at all times when it comes to the customer. They are the heart and soul behind why you do what you do, and places like Dreamforce are ground zero for this kind of valuable customer feedback.

“Listening is crucial. When I’m talking to customers, future customers, or just sales enthusiasts, I’m keeping an ear out for what they like and are looking for. Plus, I have been at Salesloft for two and a half years now, so I can hold a conversation about sales fairly well.”

ABL (Always Be Learning)

While your primary focus may be to support your team and listen to your customers, it’s important to remember that you’re sharing a space with some of the smartest people in software development. Take it in and learn as much as you can.

“There is a ton of great content at Dreamforce Developer Zone. My primary value is from seeing how pure Salesforce developers are doing work. While we are a certified Salesforce app, we don’t use the traditional app exchange or visual force platform. Looking at and understanding how these platforms work allows me to be better prepared for the future and for customer troubleshooting.”

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

It may be easy, no matter what role you serve, to stay where you’re comfortable (i.e. an engineer in the Dev Zone or an SDR in the expo), but it’s important to branch out and make ALL of the rounds. This way, you’ll immerse yourself in the full conference experience, top to bottom.

“Visit all of the zones… Even if a zone doesn’t seem that interesting to you, a non-developer in the Developer Zone for instance, they can each contribute to your full Dreamforce experience. (Plus, the developer zone has the coolest swag.)”

Enjoy It!

In any organization, traveling is a luxury, and getting to see a new city is always exciting! So soak it in, enjoy every minute, and remember that these are memories that you’ll have for your entire career. Oh, and bundle up, ATLiens!

“Don’t forget to do some of the fun San Francisco things if you are from out of the area. The food, entertainment, and nature scene is very alive in SF. And if you aren’t from the Bay Area, be prepared for a colder temperature than expected. Having some cooler weather clothes packed is always a good idea!”

Stay tuned for more Dreamforce advice, sales tips, and more from the Salesloft team as we prepare for the biggest conference in the industry. Single digit countdown, here we come!

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