Salesforce has been on an acquisition tear of late with one important goal in mind: to build an AI team that can make artificial intelligence-based knowledge available to every Salesforce user. The company’s Einstein AI technology draws on the expertise of over 175 data scientists, many who have come from acquired companies including RelateIQ, MetaMind, Implisit, PredictionIO and Tempo AI. As company CEO Mark Benioff said in a call with analysts before its release, “Salesforce Einstein is AI for everyone. It’s going to democratize artificial intelligence. It’s going to make every company and every employee smarter, faster and more productive.”
So what does Einstein, which is sold as a separate add-on, mean for the individual Salesforce user? Einstein adds a new level of ease and functionality to the objectives of data capture and intelligence. While SaaS reports and dashboards do a great job of providing historical information, they are not predictive in any sense—a bit like driving a car by looking in the rear-view mirror. As AI becomes increasingly integrated with our systems, it will be exciting to see how predictive it will become in helping to solve current problems.
Here is an overview of some of Einstein’s top features, including some new capabilities for Spring ’18.
- Einstein Activity Capture – Connects your email and calendar to Salesforce, allowing your emails and events to be logged automatically. Requires Gmail, Microsoft 365 or Microsoft Exchange 2013 or 2016.
- Einstein Automated Contacts – Suggests or adds contacts to Salesforce accounts automatically. This feature is especially useful when a customer or prospect copies their colleagues, and Einstein proposes adding these new contacts. Requires email connection to Salesforce and Einstein Activity Capture activated.
- Lead Insights – Scores each lead based on any past history as well as various standard and custom fields, and information from third-party data sources. Goal is to identify the best leads, provide scoring information and increase conversion rates. This high-volume feature requires at least 1,000 leads created in the previous six months and more than 20 conversions per month.
- Opportunity Insights/Opportunity Scoring – Provides predictions about which deals are likely to be won, follow-up reminders, and notifications regarding key moments in a deal. Allows users to focus on the highest scoring opportunities and analyze lower-scoring opportunities to enhance the likelihood of conversion. Scores are calculated based on record details, history, related activities and even the lead owner’s track record.
- Forecasting Insights – Available only in beta, uses opportunity scoring to reveal gaps between closed and predicted sales and quotas. Provides a graph on home page illustrating past opportunities and predicted performance, and compares Einstein’s predictions to sales target forecast categories. Allows users to drill down to capture prediction range and contributing factors.
Here’s an example of how this product can help someone in the manufacturing business decide which leads to pursue first. Say there are two possibilities before your salesperson. The first has the positive attributes of originating in the Marketing Department, participating in the non-profit industry and holding a manager-level job rank. Its Einstein Score is 40. The second lead comes from the manufacturing industry, is sourced as a “lead buy,” originates from the Finance & Administration department and has no known negative attributes. Its Einstein Score is 95. With this information, the sales professional knows that the second one is a better prospect and can spend the majority of his time pursuing that lead rather than the first one. In addition, for each sales rep, an Einstein dashboard shows a range of high-value information, including a listing of opportunity scores and sales stage for each lead, revenue predictions to quota, and a selection of custom “Einstein Insights.” While Einstein provides helpful AI attributes right from the start—including predictions, suggestions and automation—it is programmed to “learn” as your sales activity and CRM information improve, providing even greater benefits over time.
I confess that I was at first skeptical because Sales Cloud Einstein is sold as an add-on rather than an integral part of the Salesforce product. However, the more I use it, the more I appreciate its enormous capabilities and the boost in productivity and revenues it provides. One of the best parts, as of Spring ’18, is that Einstein Analytics and Salesforce Inbox are bundled in with Sales Cloud Einstein. For most of my customers, it is worth its price, having already paid for itself many times over.
Several more developments for Einstein appear to be on the horizon, including mobile capability and enhancements to Salesforce Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud and Commerce Cloud. We will continue to be on top of these, so stay tuned for future updates!