As a Salesforce Consultant and a Solutions Architect, I’m regularly in the trenches with our customers solving their deepest pain points using the Salesforce Platform. Thus, every Dreamforce I’m on the lookout for those few features or products that have the potential to be of immediate value to a large swath of my customers. There is, of course, the big visionary stuff that comes out of Dreamforce, but this post is not about that. Instead, I’d like to share the things you can plug into existing implementations and drastically improve the way you do things on the platform.
Creating multiple List views for an object – standard or custom – is an all too familiar paradigm to provide access to relevant records to an end-user. Think “My Opportunities Closing this month,” “…This Quarter,” “…. of a certain type,” “… in a certain region,” “… of a certain size,” etc. One can imagine such slices as individual list views requested by end-users and configured by admins and/or end-users themselves. Imagine the proliferation of such list views, the constant switching between different list views, and the click-intensive nature of getting to the right view and from there the correct record. You’ve seen this movie before.
Enter Einstein Search and its natural language processing capabilities. Simply type in a natural language search query, such as “my open opportunities” in the global search box, much as you would in the google search box. Einstein Search does the rest to surface the right list of records. You no longer must maintain a plethora of list views. It will even personalize the results to the end-user. For example, a user who works with opportunities in CA, for the most part, would see those opportunities show up higher vs. others. You get to the most relevant data in the quickest possible manner. Imagine what a personalized consumer-grade search experience can do to your enterprise data search. Exciting! Read more here.
This one falls into the category of something that would ordinarily require risky custom development work and quite frankly falls out of the normal wheelhouse of traditional Salesforce implementations. The SMB customer segment especially would normally not prioritize location-based intelligence features ahead of standard sales use cases. Even if one built it, it would be a point solution for maybe a couple of use cases. Thus my excitement around mapping features and location intelligence – by virtue of Salesforce’s acquisition of MapAnything – directly built into the platform. Yet another testament to Salesforce’s innovation pipeline and my constant refrain to my customers, “There is practically nothing I cannot do on the Salesforce platform and its ecosystem.”
Imagine the ability for field sales teams to visualize customer locations on a map and optimize their day or their free time. Now, field sales teams can spend less time planning and more time doing what they are hired to do – building relationships and hunting for new business! Similarly, field service personnel can optimize their service routes and increase productivity. Sales staff can visualize say deal size on a map and decide to prioritize their effort and time differently. And what’s more, all of this available on desktop as well as mobile! The potential seems limitless. Read more here.
Einstein Opportunity Scoring/Insights
Sales reps are notoriously reluctant to enter CRM data. And why not, to be fair, their time is literally money. The time they spend doing administrative tasks such as CRM data entry is time not spent selling. It has a direct impact on their commissions and, therefore, their bottom line. Unless you show them the money, thus my excitement around these features. That and the democratization of big scary concepts like AI & machine learning, making AI accessible and relevant.
Not only does this score opportunities, offering sales reps a way to prioritize their opportunities a tad more objectively, but it also delivers insights as to why an opportunity scored higher vs. not. It also offers insights as to how to improve the profile of an opportunity. Imagine looking at your pipeline and forecast, learning which opportunities can help contribute to achieving quota, and how to do so!
Best of all, it’s automatic, and you need nothing more than diligent and accurate data entry. Now sales staff have a reason to have their data as accurate as possible in Salesforce. It ceases to be an administrative activity and becomes a strategic one. One that enables sales reps to make their numbers, make money for themselves and their business. That, in turn, leads to forecast and pipeline accuracy, making sales managers and the whole sales organization happy!
Granted, as with most things Salesforce, some of this may take time to mature and may come with associated costs. However, the vision and potential this represents for my customers excites me.
That’s my list. What’s yours?