Salesforce Sales Cloud Unlimited Edition Adds AI, Automation

On Thursday, Salesforce folded eight previously à la carte AI and automation tools for Sales Cloud into its premium Unlimited Edition subscription, streamlining the price list.

These include Conversation Insights, which uses natural language processing to analyze audio and video recordings for keyword insights such as competitor mentions and challenges; Salesforce Inbox, which pulls email and calendar information to Salesforce; and sales engagement (formerly High Velocity Sales), which includes reporting, manager-set workflows, and other productivity tools.

Others include automated contacts, lead scoring, forecasting, opportunity scoring, and pipeline inspection. The subscription fee for Sales Cloud Unlimited will not increase at this time and will remain at $300 per user, per month, said Ketan Karkhanis, executive vice president and general manager of Salesforce Sales Cloud.

The moves come during what Salesforce calls a “relaunch” of its flagship Sales Cloud Unlimited Edition CRM Product. The tools reflect Salesforce’s philosophy of looking at the top 10 things salespeople do manually, and automating as much as possible to give them more time to sell, Karkhanis said.

While Salesforce Sales Cloud Unlimited — the most expensive plan — can theoretically be used by businesses of all sizes, it’s appeals to companies of 1,000 employees or morethat typically have sales organizations with deep pockets.

That said, Sales Cloud Unlimited’s onboarding and workflow automation could also appeal to smaller businesses that are increasingly reliant on remote or outside salespeople, said Rebecca Wettemann, CEO of research firm Valoir. An example is Unlimited’s Sales Engagement customer communication cadence, set by inside sales managers. Such workflows can quickly spread a company’s proprietary best practices across distributed sales teams.

The complexity of the product or service a Salesforce user provides also often determines which Salesforce subscription is the best fit.

“I’m either going to go to an all-digital sales model — where the salesperson can be an order taker or go all the way,” Wettemann said, “or I’m going upstream, where the complexity of services and support I have to provide that product means.” I need the coaching — and day-to-day AI recommendation-driven capabilities — that Sales Cloud Unlimited will now provide.”

Salesforce Unlimited Edition
Salesforce Unlimited Edition now includes Pipeline Inspection, one of eight tools released with AI insights on the dashboard.

Troop takeover to add Slackbots for Sales Cloud

This is because Salesforce plans to add sales-focused Slack features to Salesforce through the acquisition of Troops.ai, announced last month. Salesforce said the acquisition would close by the end of next month; financial terms were not disclosed.

Troops.ai creates bots for both Slack and Microsoft Teams that connect to Salesforce and automate sales-related tasks such as retrieving and updating Salesforce data within Slack. Troop bots can notify salespeople when changes to Salesforce records require action — or when a lack of action means it’s time to nudge a customer or co-worker to keep sales moving. Troops’ back-end data processing and analytics capabilities had already attracted investment from Slack’s own venture capital fund.

The troops’ tools reflect what the initial Sales Cloud-Slack Integrations The preview of Salesforce previewed last year should look like this, Wetteman said. One of them, Deal Rooms collects Salesforce data in a Slack channel to keep sales team members informed about the progress of a potential sale.

“Sales organizations worldwide must all move [away] from transactional relationships — from selling to mentoring, from pitching to deep listening — and doing it all through digital channels,” Karkhanis said. “At the same time, when I’m talking to customers everywhere, for everyone, productivity and efficiency is about maximizing the sales capacity.”

Box integrates electronic signatures, Flow

In related news, Box Inc. last week deepened its integration with Salesforce by adding: Box sign functionality for documents. It also added support for Salesforce Flow, a low-code automation platform that could, among other things, push contracts through approval processes when different parties sign up. Salesforce and Box have hundreds of joint customers, said Woodson Martin, general manager of Salesforce AppExchange.

The Box integration also has the ability to auto-populate proposals and scope sales documents with standard user-defined content. That, Wetteman said, has a lot of potential to streamline deal approval.

“Of all the pieces of the lead to cash cycle, proposal creation, delivery and tracking is the last mile that is not automated in many cases,” Wetteman said.[This makes] it’s slower, more error prone, and more open to – say – “interpretation” by salespeople trying to make deals. Having a secure content trail that follows proposals through the process reduces the chances of non-standard proposals making it. It also makes legal [staff] to manage on an exceptional basis, instead of having to redraft the general terms and conditions contract by contract.”

Don Fluckinger covers enterprise content management, CRM, marketing automation, e-commerce, customer service, and assistive technologies for TechTarget.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.