Salesforce led the B2B tech market – the entire B2B tech market – to the “Social Enterprise”. As they drove innovation and traction throughout the Enterprise and SMB with Chatter and integration to social products and platforms, this had a direct effect on the HCM marketplace. Both with competitive innovation by SAP (acquiring SuccessFactors and their CubeTree product) and new innovation via firms like WorkDay.

Salesforce is now leading the way to where Social can be tied to real business results. Their CEO, Marc Benioff, has been announcing their new message: “Become a Customer Company”. Leveraging social and other platforms to become a company that listens to the customer, and develops deeper relationships – based on data and direct interaction – and then driving better revenue and retention results.

The HCM tech community should take note. Get ahead of the curve on these concepts. They directly relate to the way you approach your customers. They also directly relate to the way social is, and will, drive value within the Talent Management space.

From my seat, I don’t see these as new concepts, as much as applying social, mobile, crm, and marketing automation as they have all evolved to deliver a more direct tie to business results.

Salesforce remains a dark horse in the Human Capital space, in my opinion, with their existing core capabilities and apps, their roll out of work.com, and their growing list of HCM-related apps in their App Exchange.

Benioff Announces Chatter To Be Primary Interface to Salesforce.com in Boston on 3/22/13

My previous posts on Salesforce and their opportunity in Work Management.

Information Weeks editor’s take on the new message.

Enterprise Irregulars take on the new messaging.