Friday, May 07, 2010

A case for Google buying out Salesforce

The San Francisco Chronicle makes a strong case for Google buying out Salesforce.. I especially like the part about injecting a sales culture into an engineering-driven company:

Google would acquire a sales culture. This is what’s most important to us. Along with leadership, culture is the single most important factor in a company’s success. Everything else derives from it. Google has an engineering culture, which is great, and it has plenty of salespeople, most of whom we’re sure are great, but having great salespeople is not the same as having a great sales culture. Google’s advertising products basically sell themselves, they’re so effective. This does not at all create the same culture as having to fight tooth and nail to bring the conservative, risk-averse IT departments of large corporations on board with a new, innovative product. Benioff is a technology and product visionary, but he’s also a relentless salesman down to the last fiber of his body, who has built a fantastic, sales-oriented culture at Salesforce. Google needs to add that scrappy, hungry sales mindset into its DNA. It could be argued that Microsoft’s tremendous past success is due to the fact that it was able to marry two often incompatible cultures: a great engineering culture and a great sales culture (each embodied by Microsoft’s historic leaders, Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer), which allowed it not only to churn out proficient products faster than anyone else but to pummel its competitors in the marketplace with superior salesmanship. Google needs to take a page from the Microsoft playbook.