You use it when asking your smartphone for directions, movie times, or the name of that one Spielberg movie with the kid from 6th Sense (A.I. with Haley Joel Osment), but can artificial intelligence make the leap from being a buggy, and somewhat trivial convenience tool into the sophisticated future of customer relationship management? Salesforce certainly thinks so as just last week, on September 18th, 2016, they announced their new platform-spanning artificial intelligence program, aptly dubbed “Einstein”. Considering Salesforce’s track record of predicting and early-adopting industry trends, this announcement is definitely something to keep an eye on.
What we know so far
Einstein is the initial iteration of an ambitious project which started back in 2013 when Salesforce acquired AI startup Relate IQ to explore the possibilities it could bring to their platform as a whole. Since then, Salesforce has spent a combined $4 billion on developing Einstein, including in the acquisition of several other AI and machine learning startups such as PredictiveIO, Beyondcore, and Metamind. Although this is an ongoing project, the full capabilities of Einstein in this initial version will be revealed at Salesforce’s annual conference, Dreamforce (which is also the alternate title to the movie Inception*), next month, on October 4-7.
Practically every aspect of Salesforce’s cloud-based CRM program will be manipulated by Einstein’s influence in one way or another. Through the use of advanced machine learning, predictive analytics, natural language processing, deep learning and smart data discovery, Einstein is meant to enhance Saleseforce’s capabilities across the board.
On the sales side of things, Einstein will use its vast machine learning and data processing capabilities to become the ultimate tool for sales pros and rookies alike. For those salesmen and women who spend all day cold calling potential clients, Einstein can utilize its vast pool of data to pull to the most likely candidate and place them as your next call, automatically. It can also keep you abreast of your competitors’ moves/announcements while you’re out in the field so you can stay updated at all times.
When it comes to customer service, the AI can anticipate a customer’s needs before a problem arises, notify an advisor when a client is at risk of defecting so they can reach out with a deal to maintain loyalty, and overall provide you with a constant stream of client data so you can meet their needs more effectively than ever before.
For the marketing team, Einstein allows you to utilize predictive intelligence to build out audience groups based on their likely future actions, adapt the user journey for each individual client and deliver the perfect piece of content or offer at the perfect time.
Einstein even assists the IT team by allowing for the creation of predictive apps, expediting the app building process and leveraging the power of open-source frameworks.
It all sounds very exciting on paper but we’re looking forward to watching it in action after its demo at the Dreamforce conference. Find out more about this step forward in CRM straight from the source by downloading their AI field guide.