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    Salesforce Applies Einstein AI to Sales

    If Salesforce has anything to say about it, the way the average salesperson spends their day is about to become a lot different thanks to advances in artificial intelligence (AI) that can be applied to prospecting. Salesforce today unfurled Einstein High Velocity Sales Cloud, which combines productivity applications for salespeople with the Einstein AI platform that Salesforce is embedding across its entire software-as-a-service (SaaS) portfolio.

    Lynne Zaledonis, vice president for Sales Cloud product management for Salesforce, says infusing AI capabilities into the applications that salespersons use every day to allocate their time and efforts will enable them to prioritize sales leads better through a customizable console through which every interaction with a customer is tracked. To help sales teams understand how to invoke those capabilities, Zaledonis says, Salesforce is also adding new modules to its Trailhead training courses to teach salespeople how their role evolves in an age when first contact with a customer usually involves some form of digital communication rather than a traditional phone call.

    In general, Salesforce is trying to narrow the divide between sales and marketing functions in a way that enables individual sales representatives to drive their own marketing efforts. Via integration with the Pardot marketing automation platform that Salesforce provides, Zaledonis says salespeople can now exercise more control over which pieces of marketing collateral any customer gets exposed to at any given point in time. As Salesforce continues to refine the expertise of Einstein, a lot more of those interactions with customers will be automated.

    “There can now be a lot more alignment between sales and marketing,” says Zaledonis.

    LightningSalesConsole

    Of course, it’ll be up to each individual salesperson to decide what that level of automation should be. Depending on the nature of the product and customer base, Einstein might bring more firepower to bear than needed. But in any scenario where salespeople are being asked to cover hundreds of potential customers, chances are high that some form of AI is about to bring welcome relief.

     

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    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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