AI in Salesforce: History, Present State and Prospects

• Date: December 2017 •
Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly transforming the way people interact with technology, outer world and each other. Siri and Alexa have become our everyday companions that we can't imagine today's world without. At the same time, small and medium-sized businesses and large enterprises start to use AI too. Up until very recently, artificial intelligence (AI) was a complex and costly technology to be used on such a scale. In fact, only a few enterprises could afford it. But now the game has changed.

Customer relationship management (CRM) is, of course, one of the fields where artificial intelligence could potentially have plenty of applications. Organizations generate tons of data on marketing and sales, and surely your sales managers wouldn't mind some help gaining insights from it. To address this burning need, Salesforce introduced Einstein — an AI helper. Let's figure out how it works.

Salesforce Artificial Intelligence Journey: Brief Overview

In 2014 Salesforce caught wind of the emerging AI trend and started heavily investing in it by acquiring machine learning startups. In 2016 the company spent around $ 4 Bn on acquisitions. That was some big investment!

Though some thought this was too risky an undertaking, to the point that the company’s stock dropped by 4%, Marc Benioff has a vision that he is diligently bringing to life — to create a stunning AI platform that would transform the way corporations communicate with their clients forever. As a result, Salesforce introduced Einstein, which doesn’t just take available data and manage it — it learns from the data.

Current State of CRM Artificial Intelligence

Launched over a year ago, Einstein is becoming an invaluable tool in the hands of both regular CRM users and admins. And despite the ongoing concern that artificial intelligence might replace human workforce, Salesforce assures us that its newly available artificial intelligence technology is ultimately aimed at enhancing the efforts of sales staff and making their job easier. How does Einstein do that?

It takes administrative work, such as tracking sales, entering notes on interactions, prioritizing emails, etc. off the shoulders of sales professionals and lets them focus on what is really important — enhancing the customer’s buying experience. Einstein AI benefits can be leveraged through all Salesforce clouds, including Community, Service, Commerce, Analytics and IoT. At the same time, it is not a separate software product that users need to integrate with the CRM — it’s already there!

Some of the best things Einstein provides sales staff with are the following:

Forecasting, a machine learning and data mining technology that uses data about customer interactions to make predictions about how sales are going to perform. The resulting reports are very easy to make out.
Predictive lead scoring, which helps sales managers spot leads that are most likely to convert, with the help of data mining and machine learning.
Email assistant, natural language processing tool that brings the most important emails to the attention of sales reps. Moreover, the technology suggests the best action to take in a given situation to close deals faster.

As for Commerce Cloud Einstein, it also has some really helpful features:

Predictive Sort, which sorts out products specifically for an individual based on previous browsing history. The benefit is obvious — it helps convert leads much faster.
Order Management, which streamlines order fulfillment and allocation using intelligent order-routing algorithms.
Commerce Insights, allowing you to learn which products sets and deals are the best through analyzing purchasing behavior.
Salesforce admins also have something to play with — Einstein AI allows them to build apps on top of Salesforce clouds, using their own code and preferred frameworks or actually without writing a single line of it with the help of Lightning Components. These predictive analytics apps and extensions can be aimed for the whole organization or address the need of its single department.

What's More to Expect

A lot of awesome Salesforce’s AI features is still under development, but we don’t have to wait long till they come out. Some technologies are expected to be launched in 2018 and they are going to make each Salesforce cloud smarter, empowering their users with deep learning, smart data discovery and other AI tools. Some of them are already launched in pilot, like Einstein Prediction Builder and Einstein Bots, and will become generally available in summer 2018.

Oh, and we can’t but say a word about Einstein Language — a natural language processing technology which will provide insights into customer behavior and with the help of this data get ideas on which product exactly the customer is interested in, classify issues they are having and refer them to specialists who are the fittest to resolve them, prioritize interactions based on whether the customer satisfied or dissatisfied with the product, etc. This feature is currently available in beta, but we can expect it be released soon.

As you see, Salesforce is very serious about elevating its clients' interactions with their customers to a new level. The company claims that most organizations won’t even need a data scientist to create artificial intelligence extensions for their existing apps, since Einstein APIs are pretty intuitive and easy to work with. However, if you need some help, that’s not a problem — you can always get in touch with us at Twistellar.
Twistellar is a proud Salesforce subcontractor
with dozens of successful projects behind its bank.
It has unrivaled expertise in Salesforce consulting and development, as well as projects auditing and technical support. We will eagerly assist you in your Salesforce AI undertakings, bringing the power of artificial intelligence to your business.