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September 19, 2017

Salesforce Einstein gets older and wiser celebrating first birthday

A $50m AI fund was just one of the gifts for Einstein on its one-year anniversary.

By Ellie Burns

If anyone in the tech world knows how to throw a birthday party it’s Salesforce, with the CRM giant celebrating the one-year anniversary of its AI platform Einstein with a slew of new features and a huge investment fund.

The latest iteration of Salesforce Einstein has one goal in mind, to bring AI to every step of the sales cycle and to better the 475 million AI-powered predictions dealt out by the sales platform every day.

Chief among these new features is Einstein Forecasting, billed by Salesforce as a breakthrough innovation. Combining the very best of the tech world’s trendy buzzwords – data mining and machine learning – Einstein Forecasting is a fully automated, out-of-the-box solution which analyses, processes and understands key factors to make highly accurate, individualized sales forecasts.

If machine learning and data mining didn’t complete your buzzword bingo then Einstein Forecasting has more, with self-learning algorithms able to learn individual and team forecasting behaviors and then analyse whether they are consistently optimistic, pessimistic or on target. The new feature then offers up an unbiased analysis for the sales leader. Then, explains Salesforce, “Einstein uses special logic to translate the data behind each forecast into human language so sales leaders know what to expect from the pipeline and why.”

Salesforce Einstein

“Predictable and profitable business growth is something that every company strives to achieve,” said Sheryl Kingstone, Research Director, 451 Research Customer Experience and Commerce.

“However, accurate sales forecasting has been a longstanding challenge for many companies. By combining intelligence, pipeline transparency and key sales data, Einstein Forecasting provides a crucial view of sales revenue indicators that helps business leaders correctly predict business growth.”

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Also adding to the new features is Einstein Opportunity Scoring and Einstein Email Insights, ensuring sales reps stay focused on the most important deals.

Einstein Opportunity Scoring identifies, surfaces and prioritises the most valuable deals—those with, for example, the largest deal size or most executive engagement directly within Sales Cloud. It allows sales reps to dispense with the practice of sifting through opportunities and allows them to identify the best deals to focus on.

Einstein Email Insights, meanwhile, gives every sales rep their own personal email assistant. Rounding out a full-house of tech buzzwords, this particular feature is powered by natural language processing and identifies the most important emails and recommends the best action or response.

“As we celebrate our first year of Salesforce Einstein, we’re excited to introduce the next generation of Sales Cloud Einstein, an unparalleled sales platform,” said Adam Blitzer, EVP and GM, Salesforce Sales Cloud.

“Now, equipped with predictive and intelligent capabilities, Sales Cloud Einstein has cracked the traditionally flawed forecasting model, bringing AI to every step of the sales cycle.”

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The birthday celebrations did not begin and end with new features for Einstein however, with Salesforce also announcing a huge $50 million Salesforce AI Innovation Fund.

The fund, led by Salesforce Ventures, Salesforce’s corporate investment group, aims to fuel next-gen AI. Fast-growing AI start-ups Highspot, Squirro and TalkIQ are the first recipients of funding from the Salesforce AI Innovation Fund to accelerate their development of transformative AI solutions on Salesforce.

Of course, Salesforce will ultimately benefit from the funding, with the AI capabilities resulting from the funding set to make Einstein even more powerful.

“Artificial intelligence has the potential to make every company and employee smarter, faster, more efficient and more productive,” said John Somorjai, EVP of Corporate Development and Salesforce Ventures, Salesforce.

“The new Salesforce AI Innovation Fund will help accelerate the development of transformative AI solutions that extend and complement Salesforce, helping our customers reach new levels of success.”

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