Salesforce.com today launched the Einstein High Velocity Sales Cloud, a sales productivity platform that incorporates artificial intelligence and online learning capabilities to help reps handle customer interactions that are increasingly digital.
According to Lynne Zaledonis, vice president of Salesforce.com's Sales Cloud, the typical sales engagement "has moved, over time, from traditional to digital channels." In the past, reps spent much of their time speaking to prospects in person, but today, they do so primarily through chat and messaging applications, email, voice over IP, online conferencing sites, and social channels, among others. The implication, she reckons, is that there is "six times less face time and six times more screen time in a sales process."
To help professionals adapt to this reality and better connect with their customers, Einstein High Velocity Sales Cloud includes features that harness the millions of digital signals that are gathered in CRM systems. A Lead Scoring feature leverages machine learning to "learn over time" and recognize patterns from prospect interactions, helping reps determine which opportunities to prioritize and which prospects are most likely to convert. The Activity Capture tool automates routine data-entry processes, as it records information from email and chat exchanges, telephone calls, online conferences, and calendars to save reps the hours they’d typically spend documenting it manually.
The Lightning Sales Console serves as a personalized workspace where end users can locate information on a single desktop screen. It includes a Lightning Dialer feature, which allows reps to place calls digitally by simply clicking a button with their mouses, automatically log them, and proceed to their next call when they are finished. Users can also browse the AppExchange directly from within the Console interface to select needed add-on apps.
Through the Console or the Salesforce1 mobile app, users of Pardot's B2B marketing automation platform can access the Engage add-on for real-time notifications about customer activity, including when they have downloaded a white paper or interacted with a page on the company’s website or other marketing materials. Knowing about these customer engagements just after they've occurred allows reps to "strike while the iron is still hot," Zaledonis says.
But having access to these capabilities on their own isn't enough, Zaledonis says, pointing to the Salesforce Trailhead online interactive learning platform as an imporant piece; the platform, she says, offers a fun, gamified way for users to learn how to use the software and adopt best practices.
Adam Blitzer, executive vice president and general manager of Salesforce.com’s Sales and Service Clouds, agreed in a statement: "The combination of digital and AI technologies are revolutionizing the way every salesperson works. With Einstein High Velocity Sales Cloud and Trailhead, anyone can have the tools and education required to succeed in the future."
Gerry Murray, marketing and sales technology director at IDC, noted in a statement that today’s “successful sales strategies are driven by a company's ability to embrace and successfully utilize digital technologies." By combining AI with Einstein High Velocity Sales Cloud, he said, "sales teams will have the insights needed to move faster and be more productive."