The employee view
Imagine you’re a sales rep today and you’ve just been assigned a new account. How many hours would it take you to find a company overview, catch up on the latest company news, find the right contacts, and draft an intro email? Now imagine your customer relationship management (CRM) platform doing all this in seconds, so you can fine-tune that email and send it sooner.
- This is the promise of generative CRM, which will combine the power of generative artificial intelligence (AI) with your customer data to make your teams more productive.
- “Generative CRM is the e-bike version of CRM,” said Vala Afshar, Salesforce’s chief digital evangelist. “You could ride traditionally, but why would you ever want to go back to a traditional bike?”
The view across teams
Generative AI is poised to reshape CRM across departments in the years to come. It promises to help companies quickly and easily generate AI-created content across sales, service, marketing, commerce, and IT interactions.
- For service teams, this could mean automating the creation of smarter, more personalized chatbots that can understand, anticipate, and respond to customer issues.
- If you’re a marketer, generative CRM can help you more quickly generate product descriptions that are accurate, compelling, and optimized for search engines.
The big trend
Generative AI has sparked a lot of discussion and interest since the public-facing introduction of ChatGPT in November 2022. The technology uses machine learning and algorithms to create content such as text, audio, images, and code.
What is generative CRM?
Generative CRM combines the power of generative AI with your customer data to enhance your productivity and efficiency. It can perform countless functions like answering queries, teeing up conversational text, crafting an email — even helping address challenges in human disease and the environment. The more people who use it, the smarter and faster it will get.
Generative CRM will perform those tedious everyday tasks, freeing up your time to focus on more important projects. Because it can scour the internet and relevant data in seconds, it can help craft better responses, for example, within customer service interactions and then write knowledge articles based on those and past interactions.
“It really reduces the friction of going from an idea to a first draft,” said Jayesh Govindarajan, Salesforce senior vice president of AI and machine learning. “That could be writing a document based on six meetings you’ve had. Or, it could be summarizing several conversation streams to look for one or two insights that you can use to improve your approach.”
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How Generative CRM can boost productivity, efficiency, and customer relationships
People spend hours performing mundane tasks just to get their jobs done. We sift through data and research, bang our heads against the wall trying to come up with a fresh ad for a new social marketing campaign, write and rewrite what we think is the perfect email pitching a prospective client, and scramble to find the right balance in conversations with angry customers. What if you had a tool to streamline all of that, no matter what industry or department you work in?
With generative CRM tools, which combine the power of generative AI with CRM across many industries, this will soon be possible.
Reduce time to value
While AI has been around for some time and Salesforce’s Einstein already delivers more than 200 billion predictions daily, generative AI products like ChatGPT for writing and Dall-E for art are helping people across industries work more efficiently. So how can this affect and help you, especially with building and maintaining customer relationships?
“Ultimately, the superpower of generative AI for CRM is to reduce time to value,” Afshar said.
The technology will help filter out the noise many of us encounter on the internet, he added. Generative CRM will be smart enough to know what to search for if you ask it the right questions.
Free up humans for high-value work
Imagine you are trying to land a great new client. You spend hours going through data to beef up your sales pitch and it ends up being outdated. You then scour your network and the company website trying to find that perfect person to help get your foot in the door, only to find they left the company two weeks earlier. These are all repetitive and mundane tasks you’ve exhausted precious time on instead of building a new relationship.
“Think about all the typical tasks done in a CRM — a lot of those are repeated and automated,” said David Berthy, senior director, Salesforce Futures. “The idea of speeding up these things makes you faster and more productive. Then hopefully it gives you more time to work on building relationships with people you’re selling to.”
AI you can trust
Security and privacy will be key to generative CRM, which will build on long standing principles for trusted AI with guidelines that specifically address concerns with generative AI.
While some generative AI models rely only on publicly available data, generative CRM will be rooted in secure, private customer data, while also drawing on public data. That’s a key part of what will make the technology both trustworthy and impactful for businesses.
“ChatGPT and other systems are extremely powerful and built on public data sources,” Govindarajan said. “But to work in the enterprise, the technology has to be grounded in the data available in that organization. Being able to blend public and private data together is what makes this a more trusted, more valuable experience for our customers.”
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What will generative CRM look like in action?
Here are more examples of how generative CRM can be put to use:
Generative CRM can create knowledge articles, improve response times, analyze customer feedback, and offer responses to frequently asked questions. Imagine you’re having a virtual chat with a customer. While they’re messaging you, Einstein GPT is scouring thousands of web pages and data to help craft the best reply. As the agent, you can edit the reply to ensure it sounds like they’re chatting not with a machine, but a person, which they are.
Generative CRM will be able to enhance lead generation, predict future sales trends, analyze sales data, and create personalized communication. For example, generative CRM will find the most updated information on a company and can target the appropriate contacts within a company. It can then draft an email and give you the most current information and stats about the company or industry to help you prepare for a meeting.
Generative CRM will design visually appealing, personalized ads to target specific audiences based on browsing and purchase history, build predictive models to forecast customer buying behavior, and create influencer campaigns. For example, a new shoe store is opening in a hot shopping area of Austin, Texas. Generative CRM can design a targeted promotion for social media that describes that area and then target customers most likely to visit that store based on past purchases or their social media posts and comments.
“This is the power of how generative AI will use data to help guide us in real time,” Afshar said. “The ultimate Holy Grail is prescriptive use of analytics, the generative power of a real-time CRM.”
How you can develop generative AI responsibly
Generative AI has the power to transform the way we live and work, but it’s not without risks. Here are five guidelines for building it inclusively and intentionally.