Why Salesforce Genie is the next-generation CRM

Why Salesforce Genie is the next-generation CRM

Announced at Dreamforce in September 2022, Salesforce Genie is a fundamental shift in the Salesforce ecosystem.

Normal data to real-time data

For a long time, data has been at the heart of Salesforce’s proposition. It’s been excellent at executing a single customer view and driving better customer experiences as a result. Up until now, that data moved quite slowly, in computing terms. External data sources would need to be imported to be used, resulting in long processing times, integration, monitoring of those integrations, and more.

With Genie, Salesforce has changed the underlying data landscape. It gives the ability to process data very fast; therefore triggered actions can be performed in real time, rather than based on the delay introduced by regular imports and processing time. External data sources, for example, can be connected, but not imported. The data in the source system is used in place, not copied into the Salesforce ecosystem. This is called a zero-data copy.

This opens a huge number of possibilities for creating and refining customer journeys based on the real-time picture of the customer. All the possibilities come down to one theme, which is personalization. Many brands are striving towards a personalized experience. Often, they want to execute a 1-1 personalized experience. The number one challenge that slows down these initiatives? Availability of data and the speed at which it’s updated.

Once you have all the data available and connected, decision making can become, in essence, real-time. How does this help us?

Real-time personalization

We now understand what’s happening to the underlying data infrastructure. What does it mean for the good stuff? For making customer experiences better and more personalized?

Salesforce has a built-in automation engine called Flow. Flow enables buildingflows that can execute tasks across the platform. Some examples:

  • Set up an opportunity for a salesperson to follow up.
  • Create a customer service case based on a form being filled in.
  • Send out an email as a result of a process finishing (e.g., newsletter subscription).

All of this is standard and not related to Genie. People can automate many processes using Flow right now.

When we add Genie on top, we get a new set of possibilities to use Flow, within a real-time context. We can be confident that our data is completely up to date, allowing braver messaging—more personalized messaging.

Let’s look at at two examples:

  • You were browsing a car manufacturer’s site, and looking at a particular model. At the same time, you’d been playing around with the finance calculator switching between terms and types of finance. You then call in because you want to know what price they would offer for a trade-in. You’ve called before so your record comes up for the car salesperson. They can see what model you’ve been looking at, and that you were checking out finance. The conversation is so much better because of that immediate access to knowledge. They could offer a test drive, offer a car to pick you up at your house, or offer a special finance deal.
  • You booked a holiday with a package holiday company (flights, hotel, etc). The flight gets delayed due to airport issues and within a few minutes, you get a notification saying that your transfer at the destination has been rearranged due to the flight delay.

The truth is that not all businesses need real-time personalization. For many businesses, data updated within hours as opposed to milliseconds is sufficient enough. On top of this, rapid updates rely on downstream system abilities, and legacy systems continue to be a problem here.

Customer Data Platform for the whole business, not just marketing

There’s a more important shift to spot here. There’s a bias to talking about real-time data and personalization because that’s the main headline. What is even more useful in the long term is what this shift in the approach to data brings to businesses.

It moves the idea of a CDP away from being a marketing tool that solely drives some smart personalized messaging for customers, and starts to make it a key and dependable resource for the whole business. They can rely on it to give them the truth they need to operate their needs. Whether that’s customer service, finance, or operations,—all can benefit from a single source of truth that combines all their data sources with less effort than before. They can add huge data lakes from Snowflake or AWS with zero copy and still access those rich customer records.

Wrapping up

Salesforce Genie can be a difficult one to understand. The key points to take away:

  • Genie is an underlying data technology that shifts Salesforce from a platform that can ingest data and store it to one that can use, display, and automate data it has on and off the platform.
  • Genie enables that complete view of data to be accessed and used in real time, enabling next-level personalization and interaction with customers.
  • It moves the idea of a CDP into a true business system for all stakeholders, not a marketing-only tool.

Genie is not for everyone. As always, businesses should understand their needs. The need for real-time interactions, and their need to ingest large data lakes from places like Snowflake. Not all businesses have these needs, and so while Genie is cool, it might not be for them.

Rob Smith

Author: Rob Smith, aVP Presales & Technology

Rob has over 20 years of deep ecommerce and digital transformation experience. He joined OSF in 2019 through an acquisition and is responsible for taking OSF's services and products to market, ensuring they are impactful, well-positioned, and serving our customers' needs.