Keelin McDonell, SVP at Narrative Science Blogs about the Best 5 AI Sessions at Dreamforce that Will Change How You Use Salesforce
So you’re building your Dreamforce Agenda. That’s no small undertaking, with four days of programming and hundreds of useful events to choose from each day. This year, I’ll be on a panel about how AI can help companies accelerate their growth, so I’ve been paying attention to the AI-focused events on offer.
If you’re hoping to learn about how AI can turbo-charge your Salesforce use, what you need to know is that the hundreds of AI-related sessions fall into a few major themes:
- The big picture
- Improving productivity
- Prediction builder and next-best action (Einstein features)
- Incorporating AI into your marketing efforts
- Using voice with AI
- Predictive analytics
- Case studies
There are multiple sessions devoted to everything on that list, so be sure to search sessions by keyword to find events that fit your calendar.
Beyond that, many sessions are also tagged by professional role, industry, and experience level (beginner, intermediate, advanced), so check those descriptions as you build your agenda to make sure you’re in a session that will resonate with you.
While you may not need to attend a session on every theme, knowing what they are will help you pack your schedule so you can get the most out of the conference (and not miss out on other topics that catch your fancy). Here’s a look at what’s on offer.
The Big Picture
If you’re curious about AI, you’ll definitely want to attend the AI keynote on Wednesday at 9:00 am. Called Your AI Journey Begins Here, this session will get you fired up to learn more about how to actually start using AI.
The speakers will highlight the improved outcomes businesses using AI are seeing and then offer some tips on getting your company started on its AI journey. Many of the sessions will focus on how to do specific tasks, so pop in here to remind yourself how adopting AI solutions can be transformative at the macro level.
After that, you’ll have just enough time to scoot over to my panel, 3 Ways to Accelerate Growth with Artificial Intelligence. Here, we’ll get right into some tactical ways you can start using AI in your business, with a focus on how to ramp up your growth. Also on the agenda: demystifying AI so you feel confident in AI sessions for the rest of the conference.
One of the big promises of AI is that it will reduce the busy work we all do so we have more time for the fun stuff – analytical thinking, engaging with customers, planning for the future, etc. The sessions on improving productivity get into the nitty gritty of exactly how to do that. Most focus on Einstein Analytics, the AI feature built into Salesforce.
Every morning at 8:00 am, you can attend a session on increasing agent productivity with Einstein. I’d recommend checking out one of these to find out how to…
- Eliminate manual data entry.
- Automatically triage cases.
- Route work.
- Create recommendations so agents can take action at the right time.
Another option, happening Wednesday at 12:45, is “Maximize Agent Productivity,” a workshop that will guide you through creating macros and quick texts so support agents can resolve cases faster.
Curious about what’s next for AI in Salesforce? Check out the Tuesday afternoon session (1:30) “Einstein Search: How to Find and Do Things Faster in Salesforce” to hear from customers who have been using this feature in its pilot phase.
Prediction Builder & Next Best Action
The promise of Einstein’s Prediction Builder and Next Best Action features is that they guide your team toward key decisions, based on everything that’s already happened in an account.
If this sounds compelling to you, I’d check out “Put Predictions into Action: Einstein Prediction Builder and Next Best Action,” (Wednesday, 4:30 – 5:10). This session promises to teach you how to harness both features, plus gives a sneak peek of future features Einstein will offer.
AI for Marketing
If you’re curious about how AI can drive your company’s marketing forward, I recommend “Einstein for Marketing: Demystifying AI Concepts and Use Cases for Marketers,” (Thursday at 12:30). This session promises to offer tangible examples of how real-life marketers are actually using AI, with the goal of making you feel like you’re ready to bring AI to your marketing team.
Another session close to my heart: “Content Marketing in the Age of Artificial Intelligence” (Wednesday at 12:30). Check this one out to hear how AI is changing content marketing strategy and how Einstein specifically can help you deliver more personalized messages.
Mostly, the predictive analytics sessions are the “getting started” workshop over and over (though there are a few other options). It’s being offered twice a day, which means this is one you shouldn’t miss.
The first one is Tuesday from 4:15 to 5:15, and you’ll need your computer. Sign up to learn how to use Einstein to “build adaptive machine learning models that predict the key outcomes that drive your business.”
Two voice-focused sessions worth checking out are Conversation AI: The Future of Voice and Einstein Voice: The Power of “Are We There Yet?” Both are offered a few times throughout the conference and promise to delve into ways you can leverage the power of natural conversation to improve your business outcomes (thanks to AI, of course).
I always find it helpful to check out a few case study sessions to see how other businesses are using AI in the wild. There are several of these, so it’s probably best to find one that matches your industry.A few to consider:
- How Accenture Achieved 97% Accurate Win Predictions with Einstein Analytics (Tuesday, 12:00 – 12:40): A look at how Accenture nurtured one-to-one customer relationships while also prioritizing win-rate efficiencies.
- How Schneider Goes from KPIs to Recommendations with Einstein Analytics (Tuesday, 2:30 – 2:50): Hear how this giant company used AI to translate KPIs into trends and then recommendations.
- Creating Personal Experiences: How Orvis Keeps their Customers “Hooked” Using AI (Wednesday, 11:30 – 11:50): Learn how Orvis is using AI to personalize email marketing to make for better customer experiences.
For Best Results, Pace Yourself
Dreamforce is a massive event packed with more valuable information than you’ll be able to process immediately. I highly recommend taking the time to plan your schedule before you arrive so you don’t have to make decisions when your brain’s overloaded with new information. Good luck, and enjoy the conference!
Keelin McDonell is a senior vice president at Narrative Science, the AI-powered software startup that turns huge amounts of data into plain-English stories.