The sales process is changing. In person meetings and traditional sales calls have been largely replaced by digital technologies. Sales professionals now typically spend six times more hours in front of a computer or mobile screen than in the field, according to Salesforce.com.
Last September the CRM giant introduced Einstein, artificial intelligence technology designed to make using digital sales tools easier by giving sales reps suggestions on how to better identify leads and serve the clients they already have.
In the past few months Salesforce has released several new versions of applications enhanced with Einstein including Service Cloud and Financial Service Cloud designed for contact centers and service professionals and financial advisors respectively.
Now the company has brought Einstein to its core constituency, salespeople with Salesforce Einstein High Velocity Sales Cloud, which is generally available starting April 4.
“Salesforce Einstein is the future of Salesforce. It makes AI accessible to everyone,” Lynne Zaledonis, vice president of Sales Cloud, told eWEEK. “Today sales reps use online chat, email, voice over IP and other digital technology. That doesn’t change the way you engage with customers, but it does change the way you sell.”
Specific new features in Sales Cloud include Einstein Lead Scoring that uses machine and deep learning to find and prioritize the leads reps are most likely to convert to confirmed sales. The system proactively presents the best leads to the rep including information like the prospect location, past purchase history and the prospect’s job title.
Another new feature, Einstein Activity Capture automatically collects the reps interactions with customers and prospects saving time doing manual data entry. Salesforce users need to connect their email and calendar to the Salesforce platform to make Activity Capture work.
Three other new features round out the improvements. The Lightning Sales Console guides reps through the selling process, tracks the progress of deals and suggests the best leads.
The new Lightning Dialer gives reps a single click-to-call option for any new leads the system offers. Salesforce Engage gives reps real-time prospect notices such as when a lead has viewed or been active on a relevant product website or signed up for a related webinar.
“Reps love this because it alerts them when the customer is engaged with the product and they can strike while the iron is hot,” said Zaledonis.
“We’re seeing a strong desire from our clients to run their sales organizations on one unified platform,” said Saideep Raj, senior managing director and Cloud First Applications Lead at consulting firm Accenture in a statement. “By integrating AI-fueled insights into a platform that is underpinned by cloud, our clients can close deals faster and accelerate their business in a cloud first world.”
AI has been touted as both a welcome advance and potential threat to white collar worker’s employment if the systems get smart enough to where fewer, if any, humans will be needed for some jobs.
“There is a lot of concern about the impact of AI, but I see it as a positive impact,” said Zaledonis. “We’re empowering reps to be smarter and more productive.”
Salesforce also said reps can get up to speed quickly on the new features of Einstein High Velocity Sales Cloud using Trailhead, the company’s free, interactive, learning platform that uses a gaming approach to training.
Editor's Note: This article was updated to correct the title of Lynne Zaledonis, Salesforce.com's vice president of Sales Cloud.