Skip to main content

Get Started with Einstein

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Explain what Einstein is and how it is a Smart Assistant.
  • Explain how Einstein differentiates from the competition.
  • Explain how Einstein is making every Salesforce user smarter.
  • Describe the underlying AI technology powering Einstein.

There’s been a ton of buzz about Salesforce Einstein, but what is it exactly?

Einstein is your trusted AI Assistant for CRM.

By infusing your CRM with artificial intelligence (AI), you can completely change the way your company understands and interacts with your customers, across all functions and industries. Consider this module your cheat sheet to all things Einstein.

This unit highlights questions your users can ask—and the answers you can give them. But first, let’s briefly visit some basic knowledge on AI and smart assistants.

AI Basics and AI Assistants

AI Basics at a Glance

Because you seem like the naturally intelligent type, we’re guessing you already know a fair amount about AI from the Artificial Intelligence for Business module. But before we go into more detail about Einstein, here’s a quick recap of what we covered in that module.

  • AI makes our lives easier with personalized recommendations and predictions, intelligent search results, and automation of tasks.
  • AI is at an evolutionary tipping point with the convergence of data, computing power, and algorithms.
  • AI is embedded in the applications that we already use in our consumer lives and is surfaced inherently through various user interfaces (UIs).
  • The emergence of generative AI opens up new possibilities for companies to truly provide unique and tailored experiences that closely resemble human conversation

AI Assistants: 

AI  assistants  can perform and automate tasks for any individual or group. Over the last decade, smart assistants have surged in terms of their capabilities. If you’ve ever asked Apple’s Siri what the weather was looking like today, or Amazon’s Alexa to order you some new kitchen supplies, or Google’s Assistant to play you the newest Drake album, you’ve interacted with a smart assistant. 

What makes this assistant so smart? Have a look.

  • Voice input: Yep. Your savvy assistant has made it its full-time job to actually listen to you when you speak.
  • Natural language understanding (subset of natural language processing): It’s one thing for someone to listen to you, and another to really hear what you’re saying. This technology means your assistant has the ability to truly understand what you’re saying when you speak and to respond accordingly.
  • Voice output (natural language generation): There’s nothing like the art of conversation. So appreciate the fact that this technology enables your assistant to speak information back to you, as opposed to displaying it on a screen for you to read. (Bonus: It gives your eyes a break from screens!)
  • Intelligent interpretation: Anticipating your needs is key. This technology can figure out what it is you want next, based on context, past behaviors, and data (for example, ordering sushi every Tuesday night online, Google surfaces ads around that time next week for sushi).
  • Agency: We’re always looking for an overachiever. This allows your assistant to take action on things you didn't necessarily request. A good example: Assistants schedule follow-up meetings based on unfinished action items on meeting notes post-meeting.

I Have AI and Trusted Assistants Down. How Does Einstein Fit In?

Einstein is Your Trusted AI Assistant, and it can be viewed as two categories.

  1. Einstein Out-of-the-Box Applications
  2. Einstein Platform

Einstein Out-of-the-Box Applications

Like we mentioned in the previous section, AI is embedded into applications we already use, and thus it is inherently surfaced throughout the Salesforce UI. Just like with consumer apps, Einstein infuses AI into every Salesforce app (Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, and so on)—a built-in smart assistant—so that every business user in every role, function, and industry can be assisted right inside of the Salesforce product that they use every day. 

Einstein Platform

Each business operates differently, and therefore, uses Salesforce differently. Einstein includes powerful tools that allow admins and developers to build  customized smart assistants for their businesses. You can build an assistant that uses natural language understanding, intelligent interpretation, understands intent, extracts text from imagery, and agency components to better help your business interact with and understand its customers. You can also build capabilities that allow your customers to interact with smart assistants, giving quick answers to questions they have, and solving routine cases for them.

With as little friction as possible, Einstein allows all Salesforce users to:

  • Discover insights that bring new clarity about your company’s customers.
  • Predict outcomes so your users can make decisions with confidence.
  • Recommend the best actions to make the most out of every engagement.
  • Automate routine tasks so your users can focus on customer success.
  • Generate tailored content - from emails, to knowledge articles, to code.

But How Can Einstein Specifically Benefit My Business?

We’ll tell you how.

  • In IT, Einstein helps build intelligent apps, business processes, and workflows for every function and industry.
  • In Sales, Einstein helps reps better understand their customers and locate opportunities so they increase conversion rates, and close more deals.
  • In Service, Einstein helps customers find answers instantly on their channels of choice and helps agents resolve cases faster by triaging cases and recommending the right articles.
  • In Marketing, Einstein helps marketers send the right content, to the right customer, at the right time, on the right channel, thus increasing customer engagement.
  • And for Commerce, Einstein helps retailers recommend the best product to each customer, at the right time, boosting revenue.

Some examples of specific customer success include:

  • 2.35x increase in lead conversion of top-ranked leads with Sales Cloud Einstein Lead Scoring
  • 20% increase in sales rep productivity by reducing time spent on manual data entry with Sales Cloud Einstein Activity Capture
  • Increase on open rates on new product email to 71% as compared to 8—15% open rates without Einstein
  • 9.6% increase in conversion rate and a 15.5% increase in revenue with Commerce Cloud Einstein Product Recommendations

So What Makes Einstein Different?

Data in Salesforce

It all starts with the data you collect. The data you’ve been putting into Salesforce since the first time you logged in. But, Einstein also uses email, calendar, social, IoT, and external data. This data becomes the fuel needed to train our AI models. Sounds complicated? It’s not. Most of the data already lives in Salesforce, you don’t have to do anything to it. It’s already structured so that Einstein can start learning. We have tools like MuleSoft and Data Cloud, that help you connect all of your data, regardless of source, into Salesforce. Data Cloud takes it a step further to help you make sense of that data, unify it into a central view, and makes it available to Salesforce or your own AI models. While MuleSoft and Data Cloud are not prerequisites for using Einstein, they help streamline connecting and unifying data so that you can get started with Einstein quickly.

Tailored Predictions

Every business’s data in Salesforce is different. In fact, 80% of all records in Salesforce are custom objects. Salesforce customers each have their unique data conventions, meaning there is a trove of custom objects housed on the platform. For us to deliver AI to each customer with different use cases and data, we’d need an army of data scientists. And if we didn’t and you wanted to build AI into your business’s customer data, you’d need your own data scientists. Instead, we at Salesforce have created something pretty special under the hood of Einstein that can scale to all of our customers, across all of your use cases, so neither of us needs armies of data scientists. We call it automated machine learning (AutoML).

Let’s dive into an example on how AutoML works.

Say your commerce team wants to predict how likely it is that a customer will buy an item. In order to predict anything, your team needs a list of customers who bought that item, customers who didn’t, and all of the attributes surrounding those customers - like age, location, other items purchased, and so on. This data can help your commerce team understand which factors were the most significant in leading to purchasing that item. But, let’s be honest. There might be duplicate entries with a few fields not completed in one of them, field usage may change over time, and the fields may not be completely standardized in general across all entries. AutoML’s data cleansing sifts through your data and detects these errors and either automatically fixes them or flags them to be fixed.

Once the data has been cleaned, your data needs to be trained so that a predictive model can be created. Before you train your data, you must identify attributes, or features, that are significant to predicting propensity to buy that item. Examples include “length of time being a customer,” “customer address,” or “last purchased item.” But we know you have a massive amount of data, and we don’t want you to sift through it all. AutoML also includes feature engineering, which automatically combs through your data and begins identifying the most significant features for buying the item, so you don’t have to. As you feed your system more cleaned data, your data continues to be trained, which makes the identification of features more and more accurate.

OK, so your data is trained and the features of the dataset have been engineered to know which ones might influence a purchase. Lastly, AutoML uses automated model selection to build a unique predictive model that weighs the significance of each feature. The higher the weight relative to the other weights, the more significant the feature is for predicting propensity to buy. 

Even better, Einstein tells you the most significant features and determines the percentages of the impact they have on the purchase. So now you have enough information to decide how best to engage your customer to influence a purchase. 

With AutoML, the data cleansing, feature engineering, and automated model selection are automated, so no need to hire a data scientist to get those same business predictions.

It Lives on the Salesforce Platform

And finally, because Einstein is part of the trusted Salesforce platform, all Einstein insights, predictions, recommendations, and actions are served up inside Salesforce—meaning you can take advantage of the same model management and monitoring tools you’ve come to know and love. 

Do I Have to Be a Genius to Use This? I’m Pretty Sure Einstein Was a Genius

True, Einstein was smart, but don’t underestimate how smart you are too. Besides, Einstein is Your Trusted AI Assistant— it’s easy to use and helps you better understand your business and interact more effectively with your customers. It’s a win-win.

Using Einstein, you can build AI-enabled smart assistants and applications for your business and your customers using easy, declarative, point-and-click tools. 

And with Einstein out-of-the-box applications, there are built-in intelligence features for each cloud that cover the most widespread use cases for sales, service, marketing, and commerce.

So if you remember one thing about Einstein, remember that it makes users better at their jobs, allowing them to:

  • Discover hidden insights and patterns in their data.
  • Predict business outcomes.
  • Recommend the best action, offer, or engagement.
  • Automate business processes and workflows.
  • Generate tailored content - from emails, to knowledge articles, to code.

And Einstein just keeps getting smarter; the more your business uses Einstein, the more insight you can get from the tool. 

The Time Is Now for Einstein

So now you have an overview of Einstein, and you’re prepared to answer some general questions about what it is, how it works, and why you need it. But what if you get questions about specific products and features? 

We got answers. Next up: Einstein Out-of-the-Box Applications.


Rights of ALBERT EINSTEIN are used with permission of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Represented exclusively by Greenlight.

Keep learning for
Sign up for an account to continue.
What’s in it for you?
  • Get personalized recommendations for your career goals
  • Practice your skills with hands-on challenges and quizzes
  • Track and share your progress with employers
  • Connect to mentorship and career opportunities