By Kestryl Lowrey

Wouldn’t it be great if your database could help you analyze your data and make predictions from it? Would it make your organization more impactful if your CRM could actually learn from the data you store in it—-and maybe teach you things about your data you hadn’t noticed before? In an age of machine learning and artificial intelligence, this isn’t just wishful thinking. If you’ve attended any Salesforce events in the past year, or even skimmed the release notes or blog, you’ve probably heard about Salesforce Einstein. Not just a genius theoretical physicist, Einstein is also Salesforce’s AI layer, described as “artificial intelligence for everyone.” Einstein encompasses a variety of new smart features that span the Salesforce clouds, ranging from lead scoring to image recognition to natural language processing.  So now it’s time to start dreaming: how could Einstein make your organization smarter?

 

  1. Identify where to focus your fundraising efforts

Einstein Sales Cloud is an add-on suite of functionality that was designed with sales teams in mind, but could be just as valuable for development and advancement departments.  One feature, Einstein Opportunity Insights, will help your major gift officers identify which gift proposals are most likely  to result in a gift, and the reasons that they are the most likely.  This can guide your team to focus on the prospects and donors that are most likely to respond to your efforts—and even better, Einstein gets smarter over time, and modifies its recommendations and scoring as you accumulate more data in your Salesforce database.

 

  1. Predict client outcomes

Sometimes, when you’re providing direct services, it can be difficult to identify exactly which of your efforts are having the biggest impact in moving your clients to positive outcomes.  Einstein Prediction Builder allows you to define which outcomes you’re aiming for—and then analyzes your current data to predict the probability of each individual attaining that outcome, while providing you with additional insight about why the outcome is more or less probable.  Perhaps you’ll find that the number of one-on-one sessions with a case manager has the biggest impact, or that clients are more likely to succeed if they are enrolled in a particular combination of programs.  Sure, this might be information that you already assumed based on your own data analysis and reporting, but now Salesforce can flag for you with dynamic predictions to keep all of your clients on the right track.

 

  1. Flag student risk factors

Einstein Prediction Builder can be used to identify risk factors as well.  What advisor hasn’t wished for a way to flag early on the students that will need a bit more attention and support?  Set up Einstein to flag the students that show risk factors for dropping out, and notify advisors proactively so that they can reach out before it’s too late.  The powerful thing about Einstein is that it works dynamically with your data, adjusting its models and predictions based on the real results you record—so you don’t have to worry about an outdated static risk calculation pointing you in the wrong direction.

 

  1. Dive into data science

Salesforce Einstein Discovery is everyone’s data scientist.  Feed the tool thousands or millions of rows of data and it will return correlations and predictions based on the trends that it detects.  The incredible part of Einstein Discovery is that you don’t need a background in data science to use the tool to gain insights in your data. Connect your data, tell Einstein the outcomes or results you’re interested, and let the algorithms analyze the data for you.  Einstein Discovery can analyze data from multiple sources, so if you have additional databases beyond Salesforce, you can feed that data into Einstein Discovery as well.  Einstein Discovery will guide you through finding the questions to ask of your data—and then delivering key, actionable insights. You can try it now on Trailhead.  (https://trailhead.salesforce.com/en/modules/wave_exploration_smart_data_discovery_basics)

 

  1. An intelligent Assistant

You’re always juggling at least ten different tasks—wouldn’t it be helpful if you had an assistant to remind you what needed to be done and make sure nothing slipped through the cracks?  The Lightning Assistant component uses the power of Einstein to do exactly that.  This tool is most useful for fundraisers and major gift officers, identifying which Leads and Opportunity records need your attention and the actions you should take. The Assistant flags Opportunities that haven’t recently had any activity, or that are coming up on their expected close date, and allows you to take action directly from your home screen—letting you work smarter as you engage your supporters and pursue your mission.

 

  1. Recognize images

Image recognition is becoming an increasingly familiar aspect of artificial intelligence—consider the suggested “tags” when you post a picture to Facebook.  Similarly, Einstein Vision allows you to train your database to recognize specific things in images.  This may seem like something that doesn’t have as many nonprofit use cases, but some of the possibilities are exciting:  your food pantry might be able to count inventory by taking pictures of shelves, or record the items a client put in their basket with a snapshot instead of scanning each individual barcode.  Trailhead has already identified another nonprofit use case for Einstein Vision:  identifying cat breeds for a (fictional) feline rescue organization!

 

  1. Prioritize inquiries

If your organization receives inquiries from clients that need support or services, Einstein can help categorize those inquiries and route them to the correct staff based on the content of the message.  This is part of the Einstein Language functionality, where your database can learn to identify the intent of messages that you receive.  You’ll need to work with a developer to implement Einstein Language and train your model, but imagine how much time it could save your client support staff and case managers if inquiries went directly to the person best qualified to respond!

 

Some Einstein features, like the Lightning Assistant component, are already embedded in the Salesforce platform for all users.  More advanced functionality such as Einstein Discovery, Vision, or Recommendations are available via additional licenses, which you can discuss with your Salesforce.org account executive.  If you’re not yet sure if Einstein is right for your needs, you can test it out in a free “developer org” from Trailhead.  There are several great modules to get you started with Einstein hands on!

 

If you’re interested in Einstein but not sure where to start, please reach out.  Our consulting team can help you think strategically about Einstein and guide you through the implementation process so that your organization can start leveraging a smarter CRM.

Kestryl Lowrey

Kestryl Lowrey