We are now in the last quarter of 2023, and it is safe to say that artificial intelligence (AI) has been the star-talk of the year. Every industry and sector is curious to implement AI in one form or another.
Even Dreamforce '23 put a 'confirmed' label on the AI trend. But AI in Salesforce isn't something new. It started with predictive modeling in 2014 and is now carried on by generative modeling.
As we step into 2024, it's crucial to understand how AI in the Salesforce ecosystem works, what it has in store, and how your business can take advantage of it.
AI has been a part of the Salesforce ecosystem for some time, primarily through the Einstein suite. These early AI implementations brought incremental enhancements to various Salesforce clouds. However, this didn't make Salesforce a platform with significant AI usage.
But with the emergence of generative AI, we are seeing a shift in the Salesforce ecosystem. This new wave of AI isn't just about improving productivity – it's about reshaping how we work and deliver customer experiences. The shift becomes more visible when you look at the numbers.
Recent findings from an IDC study outline the power of AI within the Salesforce ecosystem. This study projects a net gain of over $2 trillion in business revenues and the creation of 11.6 million jobs between 2022 and 2028.
Here are some key insights from IDC's survey:
These figures highlight the transformative potential of AI in shaping the future of businesses across the globe.
Salesforce is known to adapt to changes and achieve new industry standards. Artificial intelligence is catalyzing new changes in the Salesforce ecosystem. In 2024, Salesforce will continue to climb up the AI revolution into its next phase by introducing generative AI capabilities.
The combination of predictive and generative AI profoundly impacts four critical areas within the Salesforce ecosystem. These four pillars are revolutionizing overall CRM and business operations, including the following:
In 2024, one of the most notable applications of AI will be seen among internal Salesforce users. The recently introduced Einstein 1-powered tools are set to transform the work of Salesforce professionals.
This generative AI advancement will help produce AI-generated sales emails and content for Sales Cloud users. The generated content will be relevant to specific customers and can be contextualized through account details and history.
Similarly, Service Cloud users will benefit from features like service replies that can automatically address customer inquiries. This generative AI functionality seamlessly extends across various Salesforce clouds, from Marketing Cloud to Tableau and Slack.
Salesforce has already introduced Einstein GPT early this year. In partnership with Open AI, Salesforce developed Einstein GPT, the generative model successor of Einstein. It is the first-ever generative AI purpose-built for CRM applications.
The impact of AI isn't confined to enhancing internal operations – it's also redefining how businesses interact with their customers outside Salesforce. Being the number one CRM, Salesforce also wants to focus on customer satisfaction outside of Salesforce. Hence, tools like Einstein Bots and Commerce Concierge, driven by AI and generative technology, are leading this front.
Stephen Ahikian, Founder of Airkit.ai, stated that customer satisfaction has been at its lowest since 2007. Hence, along with internal operations, Salesforce also focuses on customer-facing operations to elevate customer experience.
The AI wave is not just about enhancing user experiences – it's also accelerating software development. AI tools like ChatGPT and GitHub Copilot are already changing the game in this regard. These tools can generate code in various languages, including Apex, for Salesforce development.
While AI needs to be more mature to replace Salesforce professionals, it's undoubtedly enhancing their workflow. Developer-focused tools like Einstein GPT for Developers and Admin-focused tools like Copilot Studio and Prompt Builder have fast-tracked development processes by a mile.
Furthermore, upcoming tools like Flow GPT are said to enable Administrators to create workflows effortlessly through text prompts. This doesn't just improve efficiency – it also accelerates the deployment of Salesforce enhancements.
Implementing AI is not a one-click affair. It's essential to build an infrastructure using the power of generative AI. Salesforce has recognized this need and has developed a range of no/low-code tools to facilitate this process, all under the umbrella of Copilot Studio.
These tools, including Prompt, Skills, and Model Builder, empower users to create templated prompts for specific use cases. Smaller organizations can easily adopt these tools, but larger and more complex Salesforce orgs might require implementation partners with expertise in various AI platforms.
This opens up opportunities for partners who can bridge the gap between generative technology and its practical application.
Getting carried away with all the fuss is easy, but AI is not a magic wand. Reading about its advancements is one thing, but implementing it is another. Here's how to create a successful AI strategy for your Salesforce business ecosystem:
Begin by understanding what makes your organization unique. What are your strengths, and what are your priorities for the next few years? AI should align with your broader company strategy. It's not about implementing AI for its sake but for the sake of your unique business needs.
Every organization is unique, and the impact of AI will differ accordingly. Dive deep into individual roles, processes, and tasks to identify areas where AI can make the most significant difference. AI is not a one-size-fits-all solution – it should be a customized tool to address specific challenges and pain points.
Innovation thrives on experimentation. Learn from organizations that are fearless in experimenting with generative AI use cases. The most valuable insights often emerge when you step outside your comfort zone.
IBM, in its report, also offers practical recommendations for organizations venturing into generative AI:
Follow along with the organizations that dive headfirst into generative AI. They use AI to secure a competitive advantage and learn more about generative AI technology's limits, challenges, and capabilities. The key is to start now and follow their lead.
Generative AI isn't about minor enhancements. It goes beyond improving processes and efficiency related to the current state of operations. It has transformational potential that extends well beyond current use cases. Plus, the more you work with it, the better it gets.
You need a clear vision of how generative AI can help your enterprise. You can also involve your CIO and CMO in a demo workshop where you can define use cases, identify data sources, and create a roadmap for integrating transformational generative AI technology.
AI is no longer a distant future – it became a close reality in 2023. In 2024, AI is set to reshape many industries along with Salesforce. But how can you take advantage of this AI revolution?
It is easier for businesses using Salesforce to take advantage of AI. Salesforce is already doing its job of bringing in new AI-powered tools in the ecosystem. All you need to do is use them. The future of Salesforce and associated businesses is now, and AI powers it.