Altify and Salesforce – What’s Next for Selling Simplified with AI

7 minute read

The B2B sales landscape is undergoing a seismic shift. Altify and Salesforce, two titans of the CRM and sales effectiveness world, are partnering down to deliver a potent blend of AI innovation that promises to redefine how businesses close deals. But with talk of “Sales AI” reaching a fever pitch, a critical question begs an answer: what’s next?

If you are wondering about the future of AI, you aren’t alone. Most businesses today are expressing an active interest in deploying AI solutions across their enterprises. Indeed, most of them are already in a proof-of-concept with potential AI-powered solutions. However, just 5% of businesses are using AI in production environments.  

Could that change? 

Dan Doman, Chief Product Officer at Upland Software and Ed Thompson, SVP Market Strategy at Salesforce, think so. In a recent webinar between Altify and Salesforce, Dan and Ed met to discuss the implications of AI on sales organizations in the future. 

Here are the highlights from the webinar.  

Sales represents specific issues for AI adoption 

We’ve spoken at length about the many unique benefits sellers can gain from a successful implementation of AI. Perhaps ironically, however, the very qualities that make sellers great at their jobs can at the same time be at the root of the challenge inherent in implementing AI. 

Being unfailingly innovative, sellers are already using AI-powered tools that they have found helpful, with or without leadership approval. This poses certain risks, especially when, as Dan Doman says, the price tag for many of these solutions that at first appear “free” add up down the line. 

“People don’t like to talk about the cost: it feels free today at a small volume but in reality, the big players are betting their corporations on AI and it’s going to come with a hefty price tag later.” – Dan Doman, Chief Product Officer at Upland Software 

One way organizations can help ease the transition to AI more safely and cost-effectively is by having internal advisory teams in place to evaluate and guide the implementation of new AI tools as they become available. This could ease the burden of change and help address security and financial burdens over time. 

Skills are going to be a major challenge moving forward 

One of the biggest issues facing any organization moving forward in the adoption of AI is ensuring they have access to the skills needed to properly use it. As Ed points out, relatively few businesses will have their own, tailored LLMs. The vast majority will rely on their existing workforce to learn and adapt to LLMs. Ed estimates about 1% of the workforce will need to be adept at AI.  

So how do you get access to these uniquely skilled individuals? 

Well, you could hire a bunch of data scientists. But as Ed points out, Data Scientists are very expensive right now. The most scalable way to adapt to this change is instead leveraging your existing talent to shoulder the burden. 

How do you do this? Ed advises that you look to the employees and workers who show an innate interest and desire towards AI. Forcing people towards it isn’t the way to go. 

At the end of the day, the roles most critical to interact with new innovations in AI aren’t going to be in technical roles. They will instead sit in areas like marketing and sales, and they will need to be able to adapt to the constant change in prompt engineering (or getting AI to say good stuff).  


15% to 20% of the workforce are excited about AI. You go with the people who are enthusiastic. Most people didn’t leap on the internet when it came along. Only a few did. They were ahead of everyone else. Those who are enthusiastic and go after it will be just as similarly set up for success. – Ed Thompson, SVP Market Strategy at Salesforce 


Salesforce and Altify are the air traffic controllers for the future of AI  

You may have noticed, but new AI tools are cropping up every day. Already we are seeing a new phenomenon arising where sellers are amassed with countless AI tools suggesting contradictory things. This is a huge problem for both productivity and efficiency. With multiple tools suggesting different and contradictory insights, what do you believe?  Unfortunately, this will likely only get worse as the rest of the tools in a seller’s tech stack will have AI one day soon. 

How do you make sense of these disparate insights? 

Altify and Salesforce can help, working together to guide sellers towards the right insights. Things like personalization, buying intent, and even the unique problems of multiple decision makers in an account will be easier to grasp thanks to this centralized capability. As Dan puts it, Salesforce and Altify are at a unique point in history to act as the air traffic controllers for all of this information – delivering it to sellers in actionable, productive ways.

How close are we to full end-to-end administrative automation? 

We have neared the top of the hype cycle for AI. AI evangelists seem to be saying that AI can do anything and everything all at once. At the same time, product-ready enterprise AI solutions are lagging, with only 5% of companies currently using such solutions beyond proof of concept.  

What’s happening, of course, is that as we move through the peak hype phase of the cycle, many are realizing the issues and pitfalls of AI (which you can read more about in our eBook). It’s not that AI isn’t great: it’s just new and getting it to do all that is promised is a challenge.  

Of course, the main issue beyond the skills one already highlighted is the fact that AI poses certain, specific security challenges to enterprises. And not everyone has an answer for that. 

Salesforce, however, just might. 

The invaluable security layer 

Salesforce has invested an incredible amount of time, energy, and resources into what is known as the Einstein Trust Layer. This trust layer is created to help ease the glaring security concerns facing most enterprises in rolling out AI solutions  

In Salesforce’s own words, this trust layer “will enable companies to get started with trusted generative AI faster by optimizing the right model for the right task. It will also provide deployment capabilities for any relevant LLM while helping companies maintain their data privacy, security, residency, and compliance goals.” 

As more enterprises benefit from this trust layer, we will undoubtedly see a rapid adoption of generative AI at every level of interactions between sellers and customers. 

Additionally, Salesforce vendors like Altify benefit from the trust layer, as they are able to easily feed into it, and benefit from its additional protection. In Ed Thompson’s words: 

“It took a lot of investment, and it is still going on and little things are getting added to the trust layer. It represents a complex collection of technologies gathered beneath one banner. It’s a big benefit for partners as well and you can feed through that trust layer.” 

AI, Buying Experience, and Implementing AI 

Lastly, both speakers highlighted the importance of human touch in the buying experience. As AI becomes more widespread, sellers are going to remain integral to the buying experience. Meanwhile, what will set great sellers apart is their ability to build relationships and become trusted advisors to their customers. 

Sellers aren’t being pushed aside – the great ones are accepting their roles as trusted advisors to their customers. While B2B purchases become increasingly done online, initial purchases are still heavily impacted by interactions with the sellers, and sellers are increasingly called on for guidance when things go wrong.  

When it comes to implementing AI, both speakers highlighted the need for a measured approach. Start with a few projects first, then add use cases incrementally overtime. 

Want to learn more about Salesforce and Altify and the future of AI in sales?  

Watch the full Webcast on demand – just click the banner below! 

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