While some researchers predict automation driven by artificial intelligence could impact 49 percent of job activities and eliminate around 5 percent of jobs, new data from IDC suggests it could also augment and increase the productivity of employees, specifically in CRM-related fields. From predictive sales lead scoring to service chatbots to personalized marketing campaigns, AI could provide every employee with tools to be more productive and provide smarter, more personalized customer experiences.
“AI is impacting all sectors of the economy and every business. For the CRM market—the fastest-growing category in enterprise software—the impact of AI will be profound, ushering in new levels of productivity for employees and empowering companies to drive even better experiences for their customers,” said Keith Block, Vice Chairman, President and COO, Salesforce.
“For companies embracing AI, it’s critical that they create new workforce development programs to ensure employees are prepared for this next wave of innovation,” Block added.
Companies turn to AI to work smarter
According to the White Paper, 2018 will be a landmark year for AI adoption. More than 40 percent of companies said they will adopt AI within the next two years. In fact, by 2018, IDC forecasts that 75 percent of enterprise and ISV development will include AI or machine-learning functionality in at least one application.
It further states that AI-powered CRM activities will cover a large spectrum of use cases and touch almost all facets of an enterprise, including accelerating sales cycles, improving lead generation and qualification, personalizing marketing campaigns and lowering costs of support calls.
Key findings on the economic impact of AI on CRM:
- AI associated with CRM could boost global business revenues by $1.1 trillion from the beginning of 2017 to the end of 2021.
- This global business revenue boost is predicted to be led primarily by increased productivity ($121 billion) and lowered expenses due to automation ($265 billion).
- The types of AI companies are planning to use, or exploring, range from machine learning (25%) and voice/speech recognition (30%), to text analysis (27%) and advanced numerical analysis (31%).
- New jobs associated with the boost in global business revenues could reach more than 800,000 by 2021, surpassing those jobs lost to automation from AI.
- Underpinning the adoption of AI, 46 percent of AI adopters report that more than 50 percent of their CRM activities are executed using the public cloud.
- The United States is predicted to lead the way in new business revenue growth due to the economic impact of AI ($596 billion), followed by Japan ($91 billion), Germany ($62 billion), the U.K. ($55 billion) and France ($50 billion).
Salesforce fills the knowledge gap
With Einstein, Salesforce aims to empower its customers and business users with AI-embedded across the company’s leading apps for sales, service, marketing, commerce and more. It claims that its customers are expected to account for $293 billion of the $1.1 trillion GDP impact and more than 150,000 of those direct jobs by the year 2021.
With more than 800,000 net-new jobs expected by 2021 as a result of new global business revenues, Salesforce holds that it is imperative that job seekers skill-up on artificial intelligence. To achieve this, the company had introduced Trailhead, a free, interactive, guided and gamified learning platform, where anyone can develop skills that empower them to land a job in the workplace of the future. Since launching in 2014, Trailblazers have earned 2.5 million badges, which directly relate to in-demand job skills.