By: Gene Marks
It’s a chronic problem and it’s been going on since my company began selling sales force automation systems back in the ’90’s: Managers need complete and accurate data to better run their companies. But their salespeople feel that the time spent entering that data is taking them away from doing what they do best: selling.
The explosion of CRM systems over the past decade has only intensified the issue. That’s because a CRM system is, in the end, just a database. And if people aren’t getting the right data into it, the value of the system seriously diminishes.
Of course, that’s easier said than done. Getting sales people – particularly those old-school ones – to use their CRM system has arguably been the number one problem that has challenged both the business owners and sales managers that I know. Sales people are typically very social, convivial and personable…and are oftentimes notorious for resisting technology. The older ones are set in their ways. They have their “process.” They don’t want to be micro-managed. My struggle, along with my clients, is to convince their teams that great technology certainly doesn’t make a great salesperson. But it can definitely make the greatest ones even better.
So how to solve this problem? Maybe, just maybe, Einstein has an answer. No, not THAT Einstein. The Einstein I’m referring to is Salesforce.com’s voice automation technology.
Introduced a few weeks ago, the tool intends to help salespeople do what they normally do without typing. The Einstein Voice mobile app will let a salesperson get advanced information about an upcoming meeting, log meeting notes, notify team members, create tasks and interact with data dashboards just by talking into his or her smartphone. Einstein isn’t just about the natural language interface for salespeople. The application will also be used to trigger workflows and create automated customer-facing communications using AI-based bots in the years to come.
“We’re in the midst of an incredible technological shift, where the power of voice is fundamentally changing the way we work,” Parker Harris, co-founder and CTO of Salesforce said in this ZDNet report. “Einstein Voice will usher in a new era of conversational CRM, delivering new levels of productivity and redefining customer experiences with voice technology.”
There are other third-party applications (and competitors) that can provide the same functionality for Salesforce users – as well as users of other popular CRM applications. But this is the first time the CRM giant is offering this capability natively, at least for its enterprise users. Next up: integration with applications like Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa so that commands can be done in the office using smart speakers and other devices. –
OK, it’s not nearly as important as some of the scientist’s other theories and as far as I know Salesforce hasn’t solved the problem of time travel…yet. But Einstein (the app) – and other voice technology like it – will soon put to bed the chronic problem of getting sales people to use their CRMs systems, and remove one less headache for sales managers.