Entatio.com for Salesforce: AI and Data-Driven Engagement Platform for Customer Success:
Entatio.com is about knowledge transfer and engagement – two things that lend perfectly to customer success and sales, but to really understand it at a deep level, you have to talk about the old style Learning Management System (LMS).
No one ever wants to talk about an LMS. In my experience, when you start talking about an LMS, people either walk away or their brains shut off. Despite my involvement in the design and deployment of more than half a dozen enterprise scale Learning Management Systems, even I get bored with them. The reason I am bringing this up here (despite the way eyes will quickly roll back into heads) is that Entatio isn’t an LMS, but it was designed with the inherent flaws of the old style LMS in mind because our goal is to transfer timely knowledge and engage people and at its heart, that was what the old style LMS was originally designed to accomplish (even though it rarely does).
So, where did the LMS go wrong:
- In the hands of most organizations, the LMS quickly devolves into a way to verify that people have received some sort of content and reviewed it. They become HR systems for policy dispersal rather than ways to facilitate and gain value from knowledge transfer and engagement. The LMS, as it is in use, is not so much about knowledge transfer and engagement as acting as tool for gatekeepers to information. It’s adds barriers rather than removing them which is antithetical to knowledge transfer and engagement.
- The old form LMS is designed by learning and development professionals who follow Systematic Approaches to Learning that involve work intensive analysis and design phases. They’re not really designed for the sort of everyday engagement that customer success and sales professionals have with an organization’s partners & clients. In other words, most knowledge in the modern workplace moves very fast. Learning platforms and the professionals that tend to work with them are designed and implemented following slow, lagging, processes. The output of this leads to highly structured data models that do not lend well to data warehouses and data lakes that follow unstructured formats and allow for the use of AI / Machine Learning.
- The old form of LMS is heavy on administration, especially the SaaS model LMS that carries high per user costs. New users go through a process before they can be added to the LMS, another process to be added to a course, another process to generate meaningful reports. Again, barriers. Again, over design and rigid structure.
All in all, while a vast number of professionals within an organization are there to make certain that their customers, partners and employees succeed, there has never been a specific type of application that is designed to support this that is actually feasible. The old form LMS just doesn’t do it. This is why I call Entatio an engagement system, focused on resolving the above issues and making it possible to quickly transfer knowledge (while tracking and controlling access to it), drive engagement and derive meaningful data from it.
Enter Entatio.com for Salesforce
As one of the primary architects for Entatio.com and the Entatio.com for Salesforce application, my goal was simply to deliver an application that supported knowledge transfer in the form of online presentations, supported engagement (got people coming back to the content and entering into discussions around it) while generating a form of data that no other platform has. I’m talking about engagement between customer success managers and their communities. I’m also talking about engagement between sales professionals and their customers and prospects. I’m talking about conference and event wide engagement. There’s also engagement across projects – you name it.
For the data, I wanted to create the kind of data that tells leaders what is working and what isn’t. The kind of data that can map out how knowledge and information move across their communities in a way that makes it possible for them to make better decisions.
The goal was to build something that answered this question: How do we facilitate the transfer of timely knowledge while creating the sort of data that meets the objectives of larger initiatives?
How We Did It
This will start out a little techie, but we’ll unpack it all below and start to make sense of it. We took the end point of an LMS (building and delivering a presentation / media) and made it the starting point with Entatio, then automated the setup that an LMS administrator would normally do, while using an unstructured, NOSQL style for transactional data to allow for use of AI.
Sounds fun, huh? Let’s unpack all of that.
Content management systems, document management systems, learning management systems, even messengers and productivity tools like Slack are all just delivering media. This can be an image, a file, an interactive presentation or a one line sentence – it’s just media. Rather than focus on designing an experience or a detailed course, which requires significant investment upfront in analysts and designers, most of whom won’t really understand the audience they need to deliver this to, Entatio takes a presentation (powerpoint, pdf, images, video, interactive HTML, etc) and parses it out so that each individual piece of media is a slide. The collection of slides is the presentation. Upload a presentation and Entatio can break it up. You assemble the pieces however you like.
Both the Entatio cloud application and the integrated Entatio for Salesforce app take this and build a model out of it comprised of a Course (the presentation as a whole), sections (corresponding slides) and activity records (what any existing user related to the presentation can do with every piece of the presentation, such as view it or even not view it). These loosely correspond to the requisite parts of an LMS course, except that instead of using a structured database that relates a user to completion criteria for the course, activity records (transactional records) take that place and exist in the form of:
- User has not yet viewed slide
- User has viewed slide
- User has not yet viewed slide again
- User has viewed slide again
An LMS would do this through complex normalized tables, but we’re not interested in that much structure. I’m interested in engagement and that’s what we are gathering in very precise and simple ways. Each user and slide have metadata associated with them to further define this basic record (This user of this type has viewed this slide associated with this information), along with associated accounts, account sales, activity, etc.
Apply AI to this and you begin to generate some incredibly interesting insights.
What Does All of This Mean (Practical Example)
Let’s say that I am a customer success manager at a tech company. We have a new release and the customer success team needs to engage the teams at each of our 300 customers with the general goal of eliminating issues with versioning (management can define specific metrics for this). This is a fairly common scenario. Let’s see how Entatio is designed to handle it.
Tier 1: Product team develops a powerpoint deck and demo videos outlining the new features, notes and procedures. They upload this to Entatio. Every individual piece of media is automatically parsed into slides and the user adds a title and description for each (metadata used by AI to qualify each slide). Entatio automatically createes the general model in Salesforce.com and the Entatio cloud app.
The product team creates an entatio sharing group, the customer success team, managed and professional service team users are all either added manually, use the sign-up forms or the invite wizard is used. The Product team then delivers the presentation virtually or in person or both. Records are generated in Entatio and Entatio for Salesforce for every user that had access to the presentation and each slide, then updated when they are presented the slides (according only to those they are displayed).
For the first tier, we have supported the creation of the multimedia presentation. We have create a record of the audience and what they were presented and we have created an additional set of records (User has not yet viewed slide again) that is waiting for the audience (customer success, services, etc.) to return to specific parts.
At this point, simply by uploading and presenting the powerpoint deck and other media and providing a sign-in form to your teams, you have:
- An entire knowledge model for what this transfer of knowledge from the Product team to the Customer Success team for the new release looks like
- A record of an initial presentation
- A platform supporting the ability for your teams to continue to engage this content anywhere, anytime
- A platform that is generating additional data to show what areas are of specific interest to each type of professional that is involved and a gauge for the level of interest through the frequency metric
- And finally, all of this data is automatically sent to Force.com where AI can be applied.
Tier 2: Now the customer success team takes the initial presentation and can use the same materials or not, while adding additional ones, to build their presentation in the same Entatio or a new one. Since there are automated access controls using sign-in forms and bulk invite wizards, none of the external customers and partners with whom they engage will see anything from Tier 1, but a separate Entatio portal can be created and integrated to the same Salesforce.com org.
The process starts over except that this time the Customer Success team members are delivering the presentation (which is standard across the team, though any one member can present what they need to present). The difference is that the engagement data that is generated lives in the same Salesforce.com org as the account and contact data. You’re not only facilitating and driving customer success through the knowledge transfer, you are building a data set that can tell leadership the following:
Professionals of this type at this type of Account Engage this type of information this often
When the professionals at this type of account engage this type of information, this is the trend for sales to this account
Across our market, these are the areas & features that draw the most attention and engagement
Whatever other trends the system comes across.
If you are interested in learning more, please do not hesitate to contact me at email@example.com or 412-503-3657
You can launch a free Entatio org at anytime at https://register.entatio.com/register and get started on your own.