An Internet of Things and Salesforce

Braindump:  The ‘internet of things’ IOT concept has been around for a while now but in 2017 how much has it really influenced our everyday lives? We take internet access on our phones and tablets for granted, but we haven’t exactly embraced connected fridges that can order you some replacement cheese when the present block has gone AWOL and is well out of date. How many people strive to be the owner of an all-seeing, ordering chilling device? Perhaps if it could also email me some cheese based recipes before said cheese has departed…?

Thinking it through though, I have a number of IOT connected devices running in my home and they are all actually quite useful:

  • A smart electric and gas meter that automatically sends usage readings back to the supplier. (so I don’t have to remember to ring them in and I receive an accurate bill)
  • A outdoor CCTV camera that is available to be monitored through the internet.
  • A TV box that can be requested to record via mobile app.
  • Google Chromecast video and audio streaming devices that are smartening up an old TV and stereo.

But where does Salesforce fit in this landscape?

They have their IOT platform but we’re more interested in where the IOT applications for the Salesforce traditional sales and marketing spaces are? Combining large data sets gathered with IOT devices with AI processing to enable greater sales is also a compelling next step.

Some focus application areas:

  • Gathering new leads
  • Recognising and then working with existing contacts.
  • Recognising an existing customer and engaging, with the potential to start or complete an opportunity.
  • Complete an interaction with a user, to guide and encourage them to do their job better.

Technology: Location Sensors

  • Access to GPS location with user mobile phone app.
  • Bluetooth
  • NFC
  • QR
  • Barcode
  • Camera with image processing

Use cases:

Send an immediate marketing discount incentive to a loyalty club member when they are twenty meters from your store.

Use NFC tagged product that can be scanned in as it passes through its manufacturing process. Update related opportunity and tie this into an engaging customer journey.

Congratulations, your custom build sports car just had its wheels attached, here’s a picture. Please phone Mario to book your first track testing day!

Bob, your trusty salesman, has just swiped into the office. Give him an encouraging and useful message when he logs into Salesforce.

Hi Bob, Great work yesterday with three opportunities won. Glen from ABTech is a hot lead for targeting today. Have a great day!

Technology: Image recognition

  • Face recognition
  • Vehicle / driver recognition

Use cases:

An important customer turns up a reception, the receptionist knows who they are and who they are visiting before they introduce themselves.

A contact drives into your showroom car park. You know their hobbies and purchase history before they get out of their car.

If you have multiple trading locations, what about determining and contrasting the value of vehicles coming though your car park? Surely that is a really valuable metric to compare locations against each other? (measure of affluence)

Technology: Environmental

  • Temperature
  • Pressure,
  • Humidity
  • Pollution
  • Light
  • Noise
  • Wind Speed
  • Visibility

What environmental parameters affect your lead generation, opportunity conversion or trading?

Supermarkets sell more ice-cream, burgers and BBQs when the weather is good; salt, de-icer and woolly socks when cold.

Although the example above is simplistic, how many businesses measure and record this ‘big data’ and determine correlations? And then take the next step of using that data to predict future sales? Chuck in some AI processing of this data, and it might lead you to find some valuable hidden insights into you operation.

In summary, there is massive opportunity developing in this arena.  Hopefully this braindump has provided some food for thought.  Just don’t think about the sweaty cheese lurking in our unconnected fridge.

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