Salesforce Applies AI to Identify 'Customers Most Likely to Purchase'

Salesforce today unveiled a new AI-driven marketing platform designed to help its customers tune into signals that their customers are ready to buy. The new Account-Based Marketing (ABM) capability is a feature of the CRM platform maker's Salesforce Digital 360 product and services bundle, and it's driven by the company's Einstein AI tech.

The new ABM capability is being billed as a complete B2B marketing platform. According to Salesforce, it uses AI to help marketing and sales teams "understand buyers in strategic accounts, focus on their most important sales opportunities and deliver personalized content to strengthen relationships with their customers."

It comprises two new capabilities: Einstein Key Account Identification, which uses AI to surface the accounts with the highest likelihood to purchase and provides scoring, recommendations, and insights for companies to market and sell to these accounts; and Accounts as Campaign Members, which uses "AI-powered insights" to create personalized ABM campaigns for buyers within top-tier accounts. This new capability allows organizations to target their most valuable accounts even if they do not have any contacts for that account, the company says.

"The COVID-19 pandemic set off a seismic shift in the marketing industry, as every business was forced to transition to a digital-first world," said Meredith Brown, SVP and Head of Product for Salesforce Pardot, in a blog post. "Previously, business-to-business reps would meet customers where they were looking to do business — dinner meetings, live entertainment events, and industry conferences. Now, these customer interactions are primarily happening digitally, as Zooms are the new conference rooms and sales deals are closed in home offices. As customer demands for digital experiences grow, business-to-business companies need a platform to build a single view of their customer, identify key accounts, and quickly turn new leads into deals."

Brown pointed to a recent survey of CMOs sponsored by Deloitte. Among other things, the survey revealed a sharp increase in enterprise focus on marketing "Marketing, as the function and process responsible for managing customers and the firm-marketplace interface, was placed at the center of many corporate initiatives," writes Christine Moorman, professor of business administration at Duke University, which conducted the survey. "72% of marketing leaders responded that the role of marketing in their companies increased in importance during the last year."

Einstein Key Account Identification and Accounts as Campaign Members are both expected to be generally available later this year, Brown said.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at