&l;p&g;Salesforce.com&a;nbsp;crossed $10 billion in sales for fiscal 2018. That&a;rsquo;s good. But it is just the beginning.
Parker Harris is the company&s;s chief technology officer and co-founder. He has a&a;nbsp;&l;a href=&q;https://mandrillapp.com/track/click/30905169/techcrunch.com?p=eyJzIjoiRWpINkpzRmp1T0tucDlmUGFqaXNLZE95cnI4IiwidiI6MSwicCI6IntcInVcIjozMDkwNTE2OSxcInZcIjoxLFwidXJsXCI6XCJodHRwczpcXFwvXFxcL3RlY2hjcnVuY2guY29tXFxcLzIwMThcXFwvMDFcXFwvMDRcXFwvc2FsZXNmb3JjZS13YW50cy10by1iZS1hLTYwLWJpbGxpb24tY29tcGFueS1ieS0yMDM0XFxcL1wiLFwiaWRcIjpcImRlYjRjN2M0OGE1ZTQ2OWY4YzQwNTQwNDE3NTZiNzFlXCIsXCJ1cmxfaWRzXCI6W1wiMzg0ODRlNjA1ZGU4ZjExOWRlOGRjODk1NmJiZmEyODU1YTgwY2NlYlwiXX0ifQ&q; target=&q;_blank&q; rel=&q;noopener noreferrer&q; target=&q;_blank&q;&g;strategy&l;/a&g;&a;nbsp;to push sales at the customer relationship management company to $60 billion by 2034.
&l;img class=&q;dam-image bloomberg size-large wp-image-40163693&q; src=&q;https://specials-images.forbesimg.com/dam/imageserve/40163693/960×0.jpg?fit=scale&q; data-height=&q;640&q; data-width=&q;960&q;&g; Marc Benioff, chairman and chief executive officer of Salesforce.com Inc., stands in front of a poster during a topping off ceremony for the Salesforce Tower in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Thursday, April 6, 2017. The Salesforce Tower, officially the tallest occupiable building west of Chicago, is 61 stories high and is expected to be completed in 2017. Photographer: Michael Short/Bloomberg
Given his track record, investors should use&a;nbsp;this weakness in the shares to get on board.
Long-term corporate goals are righteous. They provide clarity. Salesforce began in 1999 when Marc Benioff, a former&a;nbsp;Oracle&a;nbsp;executive, teamed up with Harris and two other West Coast software developers to automate customer relationship software for enterprises.
Only five years later, the company had a stable of the biggest corporate clients in the world, and a successful initial public offering.
Born in the Internet era, Salesforce has always been focused on networks and thin clients. The transition to a true cloud-based platform was a logical progression. Benioff and Harris understood the cloud would allow them to roll up the sales, service, marketing, community and analytics businesses they were building.
In 2014, those applications became the Customer Success Platform.
It was cohesive, scalable and subscription based. From there, it was just a matter of onboarding, and writing the next chapters in the business plan. During the past three years, sales have ramped at an annual clip of 25%.
In 2009, Harris set the goal of $10 billion in sales by 2018. It was a rational target based on integration and leverage. This year he set targets for 2022, 2028 and 2034. If all goes according to plan, revenues will surge to $20 billion, $40 billion and $60 billion, respectively.
As crazy as those numbers seem, the growth rate is only 16%. That is slower than the recent torrid pace. It is also&a;nbsp;more&a;nbsp;likely.
The San Francisco company is in perpetual motion. Managers are innovating. In 2017, it was ranked by Forbes as the&a;nbsp;&l;a href=&q;https://mandrillapp.com/track/click/30905169/www.salesforce.com?p=eyJzIjoidldHYjR2UVdMZXJNVVdObVlGNFhxNFNCU3NnIiwidiI6MSwicCI6IntcInVcIjozMDkwNTE2OSxcInZcIjoxLFwidXJsXCI6XCJodHRwczpcXFwvXFxcL3d3dy5zYWxlc2ZvcmNlLmNvbVxcXC9ibG9nXFxcLzIwMTdcXFwvMDhcXFwvc2FsZXNmb3JjZS1mb3JiZXMtbW9zdC1pbm5vdmF0aXZlLTIwMTcuaHRtbFwiLFwiaWRcIjpcImRlYjRjN2M0OGE1ZTQ2OWY4YzQwNTQwNDE3NTZiNzFlXCIsXCJ1cmxfaWRzXCI6W1wiZTc5M2VjYjlmOGFlMmQ4NTcwYzJlZjU4MzdkOTI4ZDMzMDgwYzIwMVwiXX0ifQ&q; target=&q;_blank&q; rel=&q;noopener noreferrer&q; target=&q;_blank&q;&g;most innovative&l;/a&g;&a;nbsp;company in America. Recently, Benioff and Harris have been folding in smaller companies and hiring talent to build Einstein, an artificially intelligent platform that will feature predictive analytics.
It&a;rsquo;s a big deal. Einstein will not just consume and manage information like traditional CRM software suites. It will learn from the data. Ultimately it will understand what customers want before even they know. That would be a game-changer in the CRM industry.
Einstein enabled products: Sales Cloud, Services Cloud, Marketing Cloud and Analytics Cloud, will be ready for developers shortly. They will be able to build applications on top of the clouds using their own code or Einstein extensions.
Grand View Research, a boutique San Francisco consulting firm,&a;nbsp;&l;a href=&q;https://mandrillapp.com/track/click/30905169/www.grandviewresearch.com?p=eyJzIjoib0UzNUU5WTZ3cnpvWnZPbHFfVHM3SmszaGE4IiwidiI6MSwicCI6IntcInVcIjozMDkwNTE2OSxcInZcIjoxLFwidXJsXCI6XCJodHRwczpcXFwvXFxcL3d3dy5ncmFuZHZpZXdyZXNlYXJjaC5jb21cXFwvcHJlc3MtcmVsZWFzZVxcXC9nbG9iYWwtY3VzdG9tZXItcmVsYXRpb25zaGlwLW1hbmFnZW1lbnQtY3JtLW1hcmtldFwiLFwiaWRcIjpcImRlYjRjN2M0OGE1ZTQ2OWY4YzQwNTQwNDE3NTZiNzFlXCIsXCJ1cmxfaWRzXCI6W1wiYzhhZWQ2NzUzMWMzODBkMmU1Y2FmYzhlMGZiODBmMjcxZmI3ZjhiN1wiXX0ifQ&q; target=&q;_blank&q; rel=&q;noopener noreferrer&q; target=&q;_blank&q;&g;expects&l;/a&g;&a;nbsp;the CRM market to reach $81.9 billion by 2025. This is starting from a base of $26.3 million in 2015. The implied growth rate is 12%.
Salesforce shares reached a record high at $128 in the middle of March, before falling back on news it would acquire Mulesoft for $6.5 billion.&a;nbsp; Traders are nervous the company is expanding its platform too fast, and paying too much for the maker of integration software tools.
Traders are getting it wrong.&a;nbsp; Salesforce is building a platform that brings together customer data from a variety of services, then delivers actionable intelligence with Einstein.&a;nbsp; The connective tissue Mulesoft adds is important.
This is a terrific business with plenty of runway.&a;nbsp; I&s;m buying this pullback.&a;nbsp; The longer-term outlook is outstanding.&l;/p&g;