You are learning or seriously considering a purchase. How exciting! To get you started on this journey, first is a primer of AI & Advanced Analytics on the Salesforce Platform.
Then, we share what you need to know to get started with Salesforce Einstein, and how to know if you are ready for it today.
If you’re interested in using data to drive incremental revenue, greater profitability and better customer experience, then advanced analytics is just the ticket. It can analyze large volumes of data and generate powerful insights. It can recommend specific actions to empower front-line users.
Underneath the covers, this work is done by analytic techniques such as predictive modeling, propensity analyses, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. As we discuss in Guide 3, much more than technical expertise is needed. Strategic thinking and deep industry/domain knowledge are crucial.
What is Salesforce Einstein?
It is the branded umbrella of AI & advanced analytics capabilities from Salesforce. It runs seamlessly within your Salesforce Org, from data infrastructure to the customer interface.
Einstein has the following major components that you can purchase:
- Reports and Dashboards
- Prediction Builder
We’ll focus on the first three here: Reports and Dashboards, Discovery, and Prediction Builder. They are the foundation of your advanced analytics strategy. They can be applied in many use cases to achieve Sales & Marketing goals. The latter three (Voice, Chatbot and Vision) apply to specific use circumstances, and we’ll talk about them in-depth at a later date.
The benefits of applying advanced analytics in Salesforce:
- Get insights across several fields and relationships
- Identify key drivers of behaviors for customer, channel, and sales
- Predict and execute actions to provide tangible, incremental value
Actions taken by the right Salesforce user at the right time can produce consistently superior results compared to basic analyses.
What would you like AI to do for you?
Let’s start with expectations. Who and what is driving the need to take this journey? Where do you want to make the most impact? Which of the following drivers do you most identify with?
- Customer Facing – Re-imagine and transform your customer experience
- Systems Facing – Consolidate tools, processes and systems that are getting out of hand
- Market Facing – Competitive factors that you must address or face market erosion
- Enterprise Facing – Scale your company’s growth and profitability
What are your business goals?
From a sales and marketing perspective, goals can be straightforward:
- Gain insights about customers (customer 360 view)
- Acquire customers efficiently
- Grow revenue and profitability per customer
- Gain loyalty and increase lifetime value
To achieve these goals, your Salesforce org and Einstein together can provide:
- Business intelligence and insights – Know your customer well and share this across stakeholders
- Selling guidance – Put key data in the fingertips of users and channels where customers interact
- Full-fledged predictive capabilities – Create models and recommendations to grow customer value
What is your Salesforce environment today?
Your Salesforce setup is a huge factor in how quickly you can get value from Einstein
Salesforce should not only be up and running, but you should have full adoption (preferably in Lightning, yes?) and Salesforce should be part of everyday use.
Without this in place, investing in Einstein won’t make sense. There won’t be enough data, adoption, or cultural readiness.
Also important to how Einstein will fit into the stack:
- Salesforce edition – Enterprise, Performance, Unlimited
- Cloud – Sales, Service, Marketing, Financial Services
- Instance – Single, Global, Multiple and license structure
If you have external tools such as Heroku for the data models, or Informatica/Mulesoft for integration, these must also be considered because they can affect Einstein architecture and implementation.
Before you sign on the dotted line, assess if your company is ready to make the most of the licenses right now. You may be ready. You may need to put some practices in place first. Ask yourself the following questions.
These questions give a glimpse into how quickly you can get Einstein up and running, gain adoption and show tangible ROI:
Have you established a culture of analytics?
Culture is not always difficult to measure. It is often hiding in plain sight!
Do your teams create and share reports and dashboards on an ongoing basis? Are there champions in each department or line of business who are hungry for more data and insights? Is there a Know Your Customer (KYC) initiative that seeks to get a 360 view of customers? And does your leadership set tangible goals that cascade down to the customer level?
Culture is not about having an army of data scientists. It is about valuing, using, and acting on data and information when making decisions. From the executives to the front lines. Do you see signs of this in your organization?
Is Data Quality in place?
Don’t wait until you’re close to signing the contract or implementing Einstein. Clean data is crucial to reliable analytics. But the data cleansing step is a lot harder than it seems. It should be started as early as possible in the process.
You may discover poor legacy practices, gaps, broken links (for householding or company hierarchy), and obsolete data. You might find a lack of established processes that are critical to have in place.
Data correction, transformation, and enrichment have to be done in order to produce reliable segmentation, models and reports.
Get visibility into the timeline for data preparation and transformation. You could factor this timeline in to when Einstein licenses should become active and when you start paying for the licenses. We wouldn’t recommend Einstein to your Salesforce users until data is cleaned and prepared for Einstein.
You can refer to our ProsperServe Managed Data Services for an idea of data quality steps to have in place.
Have you identified specific use cases?
This is the proverbial “rubber meets the road” where advanced analytics can be used for customer-facing interactions to drive desired outcomes. For example, customer attrition models might predict the exact time of peak risk for closing an account or decline in activity. Map out the specific touch points going back in time across all channels and build out the cadence of touches, channels, messaging, and offers.
Then, create reports that compare to a control group or baseline to determine the additional value (like customers, revenue, profit, account balance) that were produced.
Are you clear on the costs and ROI?
There is no doubt about the value of implementing Einstein. We know from customer case studies that it pays for itself many times over.
That said, build an ROI framework that is suited to your needs. It should include direct and indirect costs related to implementing Einstein. On the revenue side, it should include measures like expected additional sales, customer retention and contract renewals. Don’t forget to include any savings from replacing other tools and processes.
Capture all licensing, data transformation, data acquisition, implementation and onboarding costs. For each of the business goals to be improved by Einstein, identify three levels of potential gains (i.e., reduction in customer attrition by 5%, 7.5% and 12%), how many customers you will save, how much revenue you will save.
Start with a simple ROI model rather than a complex one. Be conservative with expected gains, acquire buy-in from key stakeholders for all the variables and calculations, and establish set times when results will be reviewed.
What alternatives are on your radar?
Before you launch into Einstein, also look at other options. They may satisfy your initial requirements for advanced analytics, and get you ready for a future Einstein purchase. The AppExchange has apps that provide analytics features, including our Prospervue sales acceleration app for Salesforce, which complements Einstein.
Are you trying to fix a broken process with Einstein? If so, heed the warning that Einstein will not fix process problems. It may amplify them. Change the processes while investing in Einstein. You’ll be more likely to see results with Einstein, and you’ll see them faster.
- Fully leverage Salesforce – Have you set up all functionalities in Salesforce for data, analytics and users?
- Do process improvement – Are you trying to fix a broken process with Einstein? If so, heed the warning that Einstein will not fix process problems. It may amplify them. Instead change the processes first before investing in Einstein. Then, you’ll be more likely to see results with Einstein, and you’ll see them faster.
- For due diligence – Review other Salesforce analytics apps and functionality as alternatives.
While the promise of AI is alluring, it may not be a good fit for every time and circumstance. This can be especially true for Einstein. First, ensure you draft your requirements, include stakeholders, assess internal processes/data, and outline clear goals and ROI.
Once you’ve answered the questions above, evaluation of Einstein is next. Review existing Salesforce capabilities, data warehousing requirements, and user feedback. Map that to Einstein licenses and implementation needs.
When you have purchased Einstein, visit us in Guide 2 to learn how to ensure a successful implementation.
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