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The Birth of the AI Powered Salesperson

Last week, Salesforce announced Einstein – their upcoming project to introduce Artificial Intelligence (AI) to their platform. This announcement is significant in bringing AI to the center of the sales ecosystem.

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While defining Einstein, Salesforce described several core competencies that will be critical in creating a Sales AI. While insights into what Sales AI could look like are a great starting point, the true value of building this technology lies in the end use cases and delivering them in a way people can actually take advantage of today.

This begs the question:

What does Sales AI actually look like in practice?

Let’s take a look at each of Salesforce Einstein’s core competencies alongside real use cases:

Einstein Core Competency 1:

“be able to discover, interpret and reason on both structured and unstructured information such as sales data, email or images”

Merging various data sets has become increasingly important for the modern seller. Every available and relevant signal around a potential sale provides clarity and actionable intelligence that can be used to push a deal forward.

When a seller, or manager, requests information about a particular deal – it’s important to provide a snapshot of information from multiple sources.

In the example below, Dan is looking for information on his customer Zach before hopping on a call. He needs to see information from within his CRM, but also signals from his communication tools, like email, to see how long it’s been since they last connected.

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Sales technologies of tomorrow will condense disparate information from multiple sources into easily digestible and actionable views that work across multiple devices.

Einstein Core Competency 2:

“surface intelligence in the context of a sales application to provide value for a salesperson”

We firmly believe that where salespeople communicate and take action becomes a de facto sales application. Which bring us to…

Einstein Core Competency 3:

“communicate and facilitate dialog in the customer or salesperson’s communication channel of choice”

Let’s not fight it, employees love interacting through chat interfaces like Slack. Real-time everything has become so pervasive in our personal lives, that we should expect the same from our enterprise tools. Platforms like Slack allow for a seamless experience across desktop and mobile.

Whether you’re at your desk, or on the go, communication within your sales team needs to continue seamlessly, and access to critical sales data must be available at your fingertips.

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Einstein Core Competency 4:

“make decisions and recommendations with precision and relevance to enhance specific sales scenarios in real-time”

AI will help sellers close more deals by predicting next steps and helping catch things that have fallen through the cracks.

Through our alpha testing program, we’ve started to experiment with a suite of “seller safety net” concepts which are comprised of a series of alerts to ensure maximum value can be extracted from an existing sales pipeline.

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Identifying and correcting our mistakes has never been easier.

We’ve reached a point in time where the volume of data available across multiple tools allows us to quickly and accurately pinpoint inconsistencies. From there, all it takes is a single click of an in-message button – an increasingly popular user experience – to take action in real-time.

Einstein Core Competency 5:

“get smarter by continually analyzing new information as it becomes available and applying experiences from other similar sales situations”

This boils down to a very simple concept: if you’ve seen a pattern enough times, and are confident in predicting this pattern – do it. Don’t ask the same question multiple times. Remove friction in the process by taking educated guesses that decrease time to action. 

What Salesforce Einstein Didn’t Mention

So…what are we missing? Perhaps the most important tenets of all tools:

Keep the seller in flow.

Taking someone out of flow to use another tool can be a recipe for disaster. Introducing the smallest amount of friction can be the difference between a user taking a desired action and ignoring your prompt.

In sales, reports serve as the compass for how a seller should spend their day, in addition to providing a snapshot of organizational health.

Getting these critical reports in front of sellers and key stakeholder within the flow of their workday presents an opportunity to remove friction and consistently keep everyone on the same page.

Using Troops, your organization can easily schedule your most important reports for delivery to your teams, on their own cadence.

Want to see an opportunity report every morning to help plan your day?

Schedule a report.

How about a pipeline overview before a weekly 1:1 with your manager?

Have it sent to you before you walk into the meeting!

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Bias towards action.

All of this is to say that a Sales AI needs to be biased towards action. It’s our belief that the delivery mechanism is equally important to the intelligence itself because what really matters is whether it prompted completion of an action.

Sellers are constantly inundated with data points from a plethora of tools and social media. Cutting through the noise and providing information that directly enables sellers to take action is the key to closing more deals.

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Salesforce Einstein’s insights are a great starting point for the discussion around Sales AI, and we couldn’t agree more with their initial assessment. There’s no doubt, Sales AI is the future of selling. Getting there will take time, which makes solutions to everyday use cases incredibly valuable.

 

  • Yelena Reznikova

    “The delivery mechanism is equally important to the intelligence itself because what really matters is whether it prompted completion of an action” — Great analysis here.

    Actionable data is key. Looking forward to seeing what comes next!