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Salesforce Pardot adds fresh B2C style to VMware B2B sales

VMware's virtualization tools represent mature technology that has helped enable the world's work-from-home revolution, as well as put tools into the hands of field service workers that were hitherto impossible to deliver.

But in a digital world of what have you done for me lately, past performance is not indicative of future dividends, as financial analysts like to say. So VMware is looking to freshen its sales approach by expanding its use of Salesforce clouds with a recent emphasis on Salesforce Pardot marketing automation, said Nick King, vice president of product marketing for cloud solutions at VMware.

To do so, VMware is considering porting tried-and-true B2C sales techniques to the staid B2B sales approach with Salesforce Pardot. King is also seeing deeper integration of the various Salesforce cloud tools to mesh sales, service and marketing -- as well as social media contact with customers -- as all three groups play a role in the customer journey and collaborate to better serve VMware customers.

"I think, in B2B, we think of things as being a steel-threaded engagement, and by that I mean marketing creates leads. Inside sales does stuff with leads. Leads become opportunities. Opportunities become closed sales. And you have marketing, sales [and] service," King said.

"But that's fundamentally changing the way we are engaging -- marketing needs to look at all those pieces [such as sales and service]. Service may be getting in touch with people who have never used the product before, they might be asking something on social [media]; salespeople might be driving their own campaigns on LinkedIn or what have you, and salespeople want to follow up on support."

In this video interview from Dreamforce in San Francisco earlier this month, King explains how consumer-esque customer journey mapping figures into VMware's new approach, and how the Salesforce platform increases employee collaboration as customers move through the sales process. 

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