Comparing AI tools in Salesforce Einstein and Dynamics 365

Both Salesforce with Einstein and Microsoft with Dynamics 365 are offering AI capabilities that promise to improve your customer service, sales pipeline and business processes. Here’s a look at the new AI features, what’s available now and why you’ll need them in the future.

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Microsoft touts its cheaper pricing for Dynamics 365: The E1 plan costs $70 per month per user and includes customer and field service, project service automation, knowledge management and social engagement as well as sales. Salesforce puts those into different cloud services in Sales Cloud and Service Cloud and there are extras like Field Service, all of which cost $135 to $150 per user per month.

Get smart

AI and machine learning for CRM work on the same data you already have access to, but automating insights from your data can speed up responses and make sure you don’t miss opportunities. A recent survey of financial institutions by LexisNexis found that about half of them turn away between six and 15 percent of potential customers (individuals and small businesses) because of the processes they use to manage credit risks and onboard new customers. Few businesses really have “customer journeys” in their sales and marketing processes today, so there’s a lot of low hanging fruit that you can improve with smart tools.

And there’s a lot of potential for growth. When Accenture predicts that AI could double annual economic growth rates by 2035, it’s talking as much about supporting existing employees and making them more efficient as it is about replacing them. “AI can enable humans to focus on parts of their role that add the most value,” Accenture said in a report on the growth of AI. “AI augments labor by complementing human capabilities, offering employees new tools to enhance their natural intelligence.”

Whichever cloud CRM you use, the intelligent tools that Microsoft and Salesforce are adding aren’t going to replace your customer support or marketing teams, but they might make them a lot more effective. And as AI is going to be a standard part of both services, you’ll want to look at where it will be useful to you, because your competitors will be using it too.

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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