Salesforce Connections 2023 Recap: The Future of CRM with Data & Artificial Intelligence

This year’s Salesforce Connections took place on June 7 and 8 at Chicago’s McCormick Place, bringing together industry leaders, visionaries, and innovators in both the commerce and marketing industries.

On day one, attendees were treated to a wide array of focused sessions, product demonstrations, and thought leadership. The night featured a concert by renowned rock and pop bands Neon Trees and MisterWives that wowed the audience with their incredible vocals and energetic music. Day two continued with even more insights and learning opportunities covering the latest and greatest Salesforce offerings from its commerce, marketing, and service teams. The event concluded with Emmy-award-winning actor Dan Levy chatting with Salesforce Chief Marketing Officer Sarah Franklin about the power of storytelling and how it and how it can connect customers to brands in new and exciting ways. employees at Connections 2023

Key Takeaways from Salesforce Connections

A central theme of the event, notable in every keynote and product demo, was artificial intelligence (AI) + data + customer relationship management (CRM). Back in 1999, Salesforce began as a bold vision offering CRM on the website, rivaling established vendors like Siebel which offered enterprise CRM software. Fast forward to September 2022, at its annual Dreamforce event, Salesforce announced a new product dubbed Genie. The product has since been renamed to Data Cloud and acts as the customer data platform (CDP) within the walls of Salesforce’s CRM instance.

The primary goal of a CDP is to enable businesses to better understand their customers, improve the customer experience, and enable more effective sales and marketing efforts leveraging that data. It accomplishes this by aggregating data from multiple business systems, such as websites, mobile apps, social media platforms, etc., and surfacing data about how the customer is engaging with those systems, i.e. viewing a product page, installing the mobile app, or replying to a social media post. As a result, the business receives more visibility on how their customers are interacting with the business as well as provides a more complete picture of the customer and their interests. 

Leveraging Customer Data with AI

So, what’s the best way to utilize all of the customer data being collected? AI, of course. At least, that’s the direction the CRM industry is heading. Recent advancements in generative AI are empowering professionals to better perform their jobs and divulge important insights to act upon. For example, at Connections, Salesforce unveiled Marketing GPT and Commerce GPT, tools that enable users to personalize campaigns and shopping experiences with generative AI.

Marketing GPT allows marketers to automatically generate personalized emails, marketing journeys, and smarter audience segments.

Commerce GPT allows merchants to deliver personalized shopping experiences and customized offerings that adapt to each customer’s needs, utilizing GPT-powered buying journeys.

Here are a few examples of what Marketing GPT and Commerce GPT allows users to do:

  • A sales representative can generate a thoughtful summary from a phone call or meeting transcript before following up with the customer next time.
  • A service representative can lean on conversational AI to solve many issues using knowledge articles already stored in Salesforce.
  • A marketer can leverage AI for content and campaign creation.  Everything from campaign briefs to segmentation can be suggested by AI and then refined and improved by the marketer.
  • A commerce professional can create multi-lingual product descriptions and even deploy real-time discounts and promotions for those products contextually during the checkout process.

These examples just scratch the surface of how AI can help empower staff within an organization to operate more effectively and efficiently. These features can be paired with existing AI capabilities from Salesforce, such as Einstein. Insights and predictions organizations are already using these types of tools to provide guidance on leads and opportunities and surface the next best action.

Why should customers leverage Salesforce for their AI business use cases? The point to be made is that Salesforce offers trusted data residency, privacy, and compliance at the center of its products. In addition, the platform offers enterprise-level scale and security inside its architecture, particularly with the recent move to the cloud with Hyperforce. Once your company has carefully and thoughtfully organized its data, a very powerful next step is to use AI to act on that information to make predictions, generate summaries and insights, and leverage recommendations and guidance for the next steps.

Salesforce Connections logo with a cloud graphic, emphasizing the networking and integration aspects of the Salesforce platform.

Work with a Salesforce Implementation Partner has a long track record of building software to enable your business to operate more efficiently and improve outcomes. We have a team of Salesforce agency professionals who can execute your goals on the platform, including those that involve organizing your data in an intuitive and well-structured way so that you may not only report on it historically but also make predictions or generate new insights in the future using AI. If you’re interested in learning more about our Salesforce services, contact us today. 

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