When making business plans, the accuracy of your sales forecasting can make or break companies and careers. Salesforce thinks it has found a way to improve forecasting accuracy in its Einstein Sales Cloud product with everyone’s go-to tool of late, artificial intelligence.
The company will introduce Einstein Forecasting on Tuesday, the one-year anniversary of its Einstein AI push to use machine learning on customer data in hopes of unlocking a deeper understanding of that data. The new product is aimed at sales managers who carefully weigh their pipelines and prospects in clunky spreadsheets only to make precarious forecasts, said Lynne Zaledonis, vice president of product marketing for Einstein Sales Cloud.
Einstein Forecasting “allows business leaders, sales leaders, to be able to make company decisions because you have predictive information at hand,” she said. The technology uses 24 months of trailing sales data to model current sales pipelines for both individual sales representatives and teams, and surfaces that through a dashboard that lets managers detect budding problems before the last two weeks of the quarter.
Forecasting is part of Sales Cloud Einstein in Salesforce’s flagship customer-relationship management product. Everything Salesforce is announcing today is in pilot format, and won’t become generally available until the first half of next year. Pricing will be disclosed once the products are released.
Salesforce is rolling out two other AI-related services Tuesday. Einstein Opportunity Scoring evaluates individual deals and gives representatives and managers a better idea of which deals to spend their time, Zaledonis said. Einstein Email Insights is an email-sorting service that works with Outlook, Gmail, and mobile email apps to identify emails that should be given higher priority based on historical data.
With just two weeks before rival Oracle’s big downtown San Francisco conference extravaganza (and six weeks before Salesforce Dreamforce), the company also announced a new AI-centered venture fund, earmarking $50 million toward the effort. Salesforce Ventures has already put money into AI startups like Squirro, TalkIQ, All Turtles, and Seattle’s Highspot.
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