Believe it or not, sales reps spend less than 36% of their time selling. That’s according to a recent study published by ClickFunnels, which found that administrative tasks take up close to 15% of the average salesperson’s working hours.
Salesforce believes it has the answer, with a slew of new features intended to streamline access to information and collaboration. The San Francisco company today took the wraps off Salesforce Inbox Now with Einstein Insights — a refreshed mobile email experience that serves up insights and actions — alongside Einstein Campaign Insights and Social Intelligence Module, AI tools that identify similarities among sales prospects and surface curated social media feeds.
“While we can’t do your expense reports for you … we can help reps be more productive,” wrote senior vice president of product management Robin Grochol in a blog post. “To tackle that, we took a close look at how information flows in and out of Salesforce to better understand how and where we can streamline processes [and to] help reps be more productive in the time they do have.”
To that end, Salesforce Inbox Now flags key customer info — like account details, contacts, and opportunities for follow-up meetings within calendar events — and it automates meeting recaps with prompts that capture notes and other items. Additionally, it alerts sales reps to important events via Einstein Insights, Salesforce’s AI component designed to help companies keep track of relationships with customers.
Second on the list of enhancements is Einstein Campaign Insights, which highlights — for both reps and marketing teams — similar prospective customers who engage with particular campaigns. This feature, Grochol says, can be used to identify profiles to target and to suss out which campaign assets resonate the most. “For example, if directors in IT in the manufacturing industry show high engagement with a campaign asset, reps know that piece of marketing material will resonate with similar prospects and understand this may be a new audience to reach out to,” she said.
Also new is Social Intelligent Module, a natural language processing add-on within Salesforce’s Sales Cloud customer relationship management platform that allows reps to create curated, business-focused social media feeds and to create leads via social profiles or add leads’ profiles to existing contact records. It currently pulls from Twitter and “top-tier” news sites, with more channels expected to be added throughout the year.
In somewhat related news, Salesforce announced updates to High Velocity Sales, its first-party toolset within Sales Cloud that automatically prioritizes leads likely to convert. Now multiple Sales Cadences — templatized sequences, scripts, and templates that instruct reps how to reach out to new prospects via call, email, or other channels — can be linked together to address more complex queries, like longer lead times and extended outreach programs. Additionally, Work Queue — which tap AI and data from Sales Cadences to bubble promising leads to the top — can be customized to show details “most important” for selling strategies.
Lastly, Salesforce announced that live documents and spreadsheets (e.g., account plans, executive briefings, and quarterly business reviews within records) can now be embedded within Quip for Sales, its cloud-based document solution. An accompanying new feature automates the creation of best practice templates, which show up alongside new objects, like accounts and opportunities.
“With these new productivity features, we’re managing the flow of information so that what you need is surfaced when you need it, all within Sales Cloud,” said Grochol. “It’s about making every rep more efficient, guiding their focus to the most impactful accounts and tasks, and elevating and upskilling every individual performance.”
Today’s announcement comes after the San Francisco company acquired MapAnything and follows the reveal of new AI-driven features headed to Service Cloud. These include article recommendations and automated case routing, plus Einstein Reply Recommendations, a feature that uses natural language processing to “instantly” suggest agent responses over chat and messaging; Einstein Translation, which will enable developers to set up translations of Salesforce objects; and Einstein Optical Character Recognition, which leverages computer vision to analyze documents and automatically update the right record.