2018 is all about Artificial Intelligence. Of all the tech trends for the year, none is expected to impact quite in the same way as the arrival of something once considered the realms of science fiction. Coupled with an ongoing commitment to gathering, harnessing and examining Big Data for better decision making about their products and services, AI will change how businesses engage with customers. This will affect all devices from consumer electronics such as smartphones, tablets and consoles, to our cars and business systems – both software and hardware.

The Business Applications of Artificial Intelligence in 2018
The main three areas we expect AI to influence in the coming year are:

  • Expanding connectivity between devices and their users, and between digital content and the services that supply them
  • Revolutionising how we do business utilising web technologies
  • Revolutionising the customer experiences to benefit the business and the customer


But we mustn’t forget the other advances for this year. Some will work in conjunction with AI. The Internet of Things (IoT) for example is how we connect our devices to and with each other, and between web services such as Cloud. Organisations in every industry have spent years moving their Big Data towards IoT and it’s expected to be complementary to, and benefit from, Artificial Intelligence.

But how will Artificial Intelligence benefit you or your business? If you’re considering Salesforce or already using it, the short answer is “greatly”.

Salesforce and Customer Service AI with Einstein
Salesforce reports around a third of global organisations use AI in their customer service framework. The evidence strongly suggests that it enhances customer satisfaction by streamlining all processes, allowing for faster resolutions of problems and greater empathy towards those problems. Customers of organisations that use Salesforce Einstein state:

  • Satisfaction with problem resolution in that they are reaching the right person every time. Inability to reach a representative with the knowledge or authority for resolution of the problem is one of the biggest customer complaints
  • This speed presents not only knowledge and competence, but that their problem is receiving priority. Queueing systems are problematic but AI-based systems such as Einstein allow organisations to identify inefficiency and re-allocate resources
  • Chatbots aren’t subject to the same problems as humans – a bad day, frustration, personal problems and sickness. Initial cynicism has given way to positive experiences with these systems


While some may be concerned about the distancing of the human experience, AI helps decision makers effectively plan resources.

Salesforce and Sales AI with Einstein
The Einstein AI operates at the heart of Salesforce and works effectively with your existing Big Data. It aims to improve effectiveness and productivity of your CRM. We’ve already covered how it improves customer service, but there are many critical benefits for your sales process and team too.

  • AI can improve lead scoring using more data and better metrics to prioritise potential quality leads
  • AI can calculate and evaluate opportunity by examining the customer’s sentiment, engagement and likely competitor involvement
  • It will also examine customer accounts such as information in the news, details on potential or actual mergers and acquisitions, or expansions


None of these scenarios is theoretical. It’s well-known to sales executives and to industry analysts that reps spend 80% of their time examining leads and just 20% of their time closing a deal. Sales Managers are fully aware of the problem but Salesforce Einstein for sales has, in many cases, demonstrably sped up this process. Freeing up the time to automate this process will allow sales reps to once again spend time building customer relationships.