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A trillion-dollar boost: Salesforce releases new research on the economic impact of AI on CRM

15 Jun 2017

CRM provider Salesforce today announced new research from IDC detailing the economic impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on CRM.

AI-powered CRM activities will drive new efficiencies in how companies sell, service, and market, ultimately expected to create more than US$1.1 trillion in new GDP impact worldwide and 800,000 net new jobs by 2021—surpassing those lost to automation.

AI has impacted nearly every aspect of our consumer lives, redefining how we engage with technology and each other.

With the convergence of increased computing power, big data and breakthroughs in machine learning, AI is also poised to transform how people work.

While some researchers predict automation driven by AI could impact 49% of job activities and eliminate around 5% of jobs, new data from IDC suggests AI could also augment and increase the productivity of employees, specifically in CRM-related fields.

From predictive sales lead scoring to service chatbots to personalised marketing campaigns, AI could provide every employee with tools to be more productive and provide smarter, more personalised customer experiences.

According to the new IDC White Paper commissioned by Salesforce, 2018 will be a landmark year for AI adoption.

More than 40% of companies said they will adopt AI within the next two years.

In fact, by 2018, IDC forecasts that 75% of enterprise and ISV development will include AI or machine-learning functionality in at least one application.

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, personalising marketing campaigns and lowering costs of support calls.

“AI is impacting all sectors of the economy and every business,” Salesforce president and COO Keith Block says.

“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.”

“For companies embracing AI, it’s critical that they create new workforce development programmes to ensure employees are prepared for this next wave of innovation.”

Beyond the hype: Companies turn to AI to work smarter

Key findings from the IDC White Paper on the economic impact of AI on CRM include:

·         AI associated with CRM could boost global business revenues by US$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 (US$121 billion) and lowered expenses due to automation (US$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 US is predicted to lead the way in new business revenue growth due to the economic impact of AI (US$596 billion), followed by Japan (US$91 billion), Germany (US$62 billion), the U.K. (US$55 billion) and France (US$50 billion).

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