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Salesforce Einstein Copilot: What Customers Need to Know about the Generative AI Tool

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At the end of February 2024, Salesforce announced the “public Beta availability” of Einstein Copilot, a new customizable, conversational, and Generative AI assistant for CRM. The announcement came a day before their most recent earnings call, where Salesforce executives, including CEO Marc Benioff, made it crystal clear that pushing Einstein Copilot and the more robust Einstein 1 bundle on the customer base will be key focuses for Salesforce moving forward.

Here, I will outline what Einstein Copilot is, its capabilities and costs, how Salesforce customers can access it, why adoption is critical for Salesforce, and how customers should approach Salesforce during their negotiations.

What is Einstein Copilot?

Einstein Copilot is a conversational AI assistant for Salesforce’s CRM platform that delivers trusted AI responses grounded in Salesforce’s unique data and metadata. This enables Einstein Copilot to deeply understand business and customer relationships in a way that customizes the experience for each individual organization. Einstein Copilot is natively embedded across Salesforce applications to deliver a consistent user experience.

Its capabilities include answering questions, generating content, and dynamically automating any action to deliver better productivity, deeper customer relationships, and higher margins. The following are core capabilities of Einstein Copilot that Salesforce will focus on when pushing customers to adopt:

  • Grounding Prompts in Data Cloud: Einstein Copilot grounds its responses with business data from Data Cloud to provide the necessary context for the highest quality outputs.
  • Out-of-the-Box Actions: Einstein Copilot comes with a library of out-of-the-box actions, including pre-programmed capabilities, automated responses, or business tasks that the AI can perform for the user when prompted.
  • Customization for Specific Business Needs: Einstein Copilot can be customized to accomplish specific sales, service, marketing, commerce, and IT tasks, ensuring company and industry policies are applied.
  • Reasoning Engine to Interpret Intent and Choose the Best Action: Einstein Copilot’s reasoning engine, the process that interprets and processes information to make informed decisions, solve problems, or generate insights, interacts with a Large Language Model (LLM) by analyzing the full context of the user’s prompt, determining the actions or series of actions needed and generating the output.
  • Generating Trusted Responses and Actions: Einstein Copilot serves up trusted AI interactions with privacy and security measures provided by the Einstein Trust Layer.

As for use cases, a couple that Salesforce has put out there include:

  • Helping salespeople accelerate deal closures by summarizing records or generating customized communications to provide more personalized client engagement
  • Helping customer service and field service agents streamline case resolutions and boost customer satisfaction by surfacing relevant answers, offers, and data from disparate systems

How Can Salesforce Customers Access Einstein Copilot and How Much Does Einstein Copilot Cost?

Einstein Copilot’s Beta release was announced on February 27, 2024, specifically for Sales Cloud and Service Cloud. According to Salesforce, it will be available for Commerce and Marketing Cloud as well as Tableau later in 2024.

Currently Einstein Copilot is available as part of the Einstein 1 editions of Sales Cloud (Einstein 1 Sales) and Service Cloud (Einstein 1 Service). The Einstein 1 editions of Sales Cloud and Service Cloud cost $500 per user per month (list price).

In their 2/27 announcement, Benioff stated that the Einstein 1 editions give organizations “access to the best of Salesforce technology, including CRM, Einstein Copilot, Data Cloud, Slack and Tableau, in a single offering, helping them transform their business and deliver strong customer experience.”

In addition to Einstein Copilot, the Einstein 1 edition of Sales Cloud includes:

  • Everything that comes with the less robust editions (i.e., Unlimited)
  • Performance management, sales programs, and team collaboration with Slack
  • Ability to connect all data with Data Cloud and Revenue Intelligence

The Einstein 1 edition of Service Cloud includes:

  • Everything that comes with the less robust editions (i.e., Unlimited)
  • Digital channels, service intelligence, and Slack
  • Data Cloud

As for pricing, the Enterprise Edition of Sales Cloud and Service Cloud is priced at $165 per user per month (list price). The Unlimited Edition is priced at $330 per user per month (list price).

This means that the move to the Einstein 1 edition comes with a 203% and 52% premium, respectively, when compared to the other Sales Cloud and Service Cloud editions. Needless to say, customers looking to go this route to get access to Einstein Copilot need to understand that even with proper discounting, it is going to be much more expensive and will bring a big increase to the customer’s current spend with Salesforce.

Customers can also access Einstein Copilot through acquiring an add-on to their Enterprise or Unlimited Editions of Sales Cloud and Service Cloud subscriptions. These add-ons are priced at a hefty $75 per user per month (list price.) When you add in the underlying subscription costs, a customer’s price, using list pricing, will become $240 per user per month if subscribed to the Enterprise Edition and $405 per user per month for those customers subscribed to the Unlimited Edition.

How is Salesforce Driving Adoption of Einstein Copilot and Why is Einstein Copilot So Important to Salesforce?

Throughout their recent Q4 FY24 earnings call, Salesforce made it clear that getting customers to add Einstein Copilot is not what Salesforce ultimately wants – they want more. They want, and even need, customers to adopt and use the most robust Einstein 1 editions.

By getting customers to adopt the Einstein 1 edition, they are getting customers to not only adopt Einstein Copilot but also Slack, Data Cloud and Tableau. This will be viewed very favorably by the investment community given the amount of money Salesforce has spent acquiring Slack and Tableau as well as developing and marketing Data Cloud. Getting Einstein 1 adoption will also drive up the very important Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) even more so than if Salesforce was able to get the customer to go the add-on route.

COO Brian Millham said during the recent earnings call that Salesforce continues “to see significant average sales price uplift from existing customers who upgrade to the Einstein 1 Edition. It’s also attracting new customers to Salesforce; 15% of the companies that purchased our Einstein 1 edition in FY ’24 were net new logos.”

To push and promote upgrading to Einstein 1 Sales or Einstein 1 Service, Salesforce and its account executives are going to lean heavily on the promise of customers receiving trusted responses from Einstein Copilot that are based on the company’s unique data and metadata. The ultimate pitch is that only Einstein 1 will provide this because it includes Einstein Copilot and Data Cloud.

Benioff said during their recent earnings call that Salesforcecustomers just get so much more value, and they can do so much more when they take the full advantage of our Einstein 1 Platform.”

How Should Customers Approach Their Salesforce Negotiations if Interested in Einstein Copilot?

If there is a genuine interest in adopting Einstein Copilot, especially if the interest is in upgrading to the Einstein 1 edition in term or at your next renewal, it goes without saying that there will be a significant amount of leverage going into your Salesforce negotiations. Using this leverage correctly can lead to meaningful discounting tied to the Einstein 1 edition upgrade. In this scenario, if you are adopting Slack, Data Cloud and Tableau for the first time through this robust bundle, there is even more leverage that can further drive improved pricing if used correctly.

If you go the add-on route, there is an opportunity to not only get significant discounting on the add-on SKU but also the underlying Enterprise or Unlimited edition Sales or Service Cloud SKUs.

For customers considering adding Einstein Copilot at their Salesforce renewal, either through an upgrade to the Einstein 1 edition or as an add-on, they can use this potential adoption to drive down any price increases that Salesforce will try to apply to the other products already in their portfolio that are up for renewal. Customers should point out that without improved pricing tied to the other products you’re renewing, including appropriately addressing the price increases being proposed, there is no way a move forward can include adoption of Einstein Copilot.

As mentioned before, when an Einstein 1 upgrade is on the table, it will be important to mention that if Salesforce really wants to increase your current product pricing, they need to understand that now Salesforce may lose out on getting not only Einstein Copilot adoption but also Data Cloud, Slack and Tableau.

If you are not using many of the features in the underlying Sales Cloud or Service Cloud subscriptions you have in place, that will also add to the leverage and increase the ability to get further discounting, whether it be on the Einstein 1 SKU that would be replacing the Enterprise or Unlimited SKU or on the add-on should that be the route under consideration. The more granular you can get in terms of showing the lost value to date, the more impactful.

The proposition that can be made to Salesforce is quite simple at this point: if Salesforce wants the adoption of more of their products, they need to first properly address the lost value to date and likely expected moving forward. Deeper discounting on the Einstein 1 SKU or add-on certainly helps but they should also provide no-cost resources to help unlock the value of these products.

Lastly, for customers interested in Einstein Copilot but who do not have the ability to adopt it at this time, if you show Salesforce legitimate interest and have key people within the organization lay out the roadmap of how you could eventually adopt Einstein Copilot or Einstein 1 downstream, you can leverage this genuine interest to achieve the right pricing on your other Salesforce products already in use and up for renewal.

If Salesforce decides to impose significant price increases on the products already in use, they certainly can, but they must understand that it won’t be forgotten when it comes time to decide on whether the interest to learn more about Einstein Copilot is still there.

What Can Customers Expect from Salesforce Moving Forward?

There is no question that Salesforce is going to be aggressively pushing customers to adopt and use Einstein Copilot. More specifically, they are going to be pushing customers to upgrade to or adopt out of the gate the most robust and costly Einstein 1 edition.

Salesforce is always focused on gaining adoption of new offerings and market share, they are always focused on having customer use as much of the products on their famous Customer 360 slide, and they are always focused on increasing revenue through increasing customers’ Annual Contract Value (ACV). By getting customers to adopt Einstein 1, they get all of this at once and create vendor lock-in by integrating more of their products into customers’ portfolios.

Benioff addressed this point during the recent earnings call when he said, “we have a lot of work to do to sell our existing clouds into our customers and also to upsell our existing customers and cross sell them with Data Cloud, with Einstein 1, with the full platform.” You can bet that Benioff and leadership are telling the sales teams to make this happen so he can get up there at the next earnings call to report success.

Not to mention, and also incredibly important to Salesforce, by getting customers to use their GenAI offering, it puts Salesforce in a strong position to support their claim that they are one of the leaders in this space and the go-to GenAI vendor that C-Suite executives turn to in order to unlock the expected benefits.

At UpperEdge, we help Salesforce customers interested in adding new product offerings like Einstein Copilot to ensure they are getting the best deal possible while optimizing the existing relationship in place. Explore our Salesforce Advisory Services to learn how we can help.

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