Introduction to Slack
Slack is one of the fastest growing and most popular collaboration applications on the market today, and in 2021, Salesforce acquired Slack to add to its ever-expanding tech stack. You might be thinking, why would Salesforce acquire Slack?! Salesforce is a fantastic platform for managing the customer 360, but what about all of the collaboration that occurs outside of Salesforce to get deals done?
According to Slack, it reduces emails by roughly 32% and the need for meetings by 27% – this is a lot of time back for users to do more meaningful tasks, like focus on creating an amazing customer experience, which is Salesforce’s ultimate goal. So it makes sense that Salesforce would invest in such a tool. Read on to learn about how Slack and Salesforce work better together.
Slack + Salesforce: A Match Made in Heaven
Every good sales rep knows that it takes a village to close deals; from the BDR who books the deal, the Sales Engineer who does the demo to the services team scoping the implementation and everything in between, there’s a lot of collaboration that needs to happen before a deal is marked closed-won.
Enter, Slack. Slack keeps everything organised, using public and private channels as well as DMs to centralise every internal communication with an organisation. You can even set up external channels and DMs, to collaborate with contacts outside your company.
As organisations become increasingly global and have more remote staff, Slack serves as a one stop shop for all forms of collaboration. Slack is the main point of collaboration for many organisations that use it. It serves as the place workers spend the majority of their time, when communicating with each other. Slack makes it easy to work with colleagues no matter where they are in the world, and it allows people to express themselves more freely than via more formal methods of communication, such as email.
In addition to the collaboration Slack offers, everyone in the corporate world has experienced the neverending email thread; a constant stream of back and forth, most of which does not apply to you, but you have to wade through it all just to find out. Slack allows users to filter out the noise and only consume and respond to what applies to them, through tagging or mentioning. Simply type the “@” followed by the team member you want to alert and they will be notified immediately.
Slack also offers a mobile app which makes it easy for everyone to stay connected on the go. Users can easily customise their notifications, and have different settings for their mobile device, so that they don’t get bombarded with information that isn’t relevant to them.
Channels vs. DMs
Slack makes collaboration easy through the use of channels. Email threads are often missing a person and are time consuming to read as we already mentioned. Slack channels allow you to collaborate with the required team members for a specific purpose. Some channels will be used for company wide announcements, Slack even provides some standard channels such as #general and #random. Organisations can create their own channels as well and add the relevant team members such as a channel for #sales or #support.
For Salesforce users, sales teams can create channels dedicated to a specific Account or Opportunity. For example, let’s say you’re an Account Executive and you’re working on a deal in Salesforce but you need to ask a question to the team that’s helping you win the deal. You can quickly create a channel, add all the relevant team members, such as your sales engineer, your manager, and the executive sponsor, and start collaborating in real time. You can post relevant updates on the deal, ask questions of specific team members and keep everyone in the loop with regards to the deal’s progression. It’s easy to notify everyone in a channel as well, using “@here” or “@channel” if you have an urgent message for the team.
Direct messages or DMs for short, are typically used for more private conversations not relevant to a channel. Slack is both a real time and asynchronous form of communication – something which all users should remember. Slack makes it easy to see when someone is online and also allows users to set their own custom status message to let others know what they’re doing, such as commuting, travelling, in a meeting, or simply that they’re out of office.
Learn more about setting up channels for your team here.
Access Salesforce, Files & More
Salesforce users can now interact with Salesforce data where they spend most of their day. The Slack integration with Salesforce allows users to:
- Create new Salesforce records from Slack: You can create new Salesforce records, such as leads and contacts, directly from Slack. This saves time and reduces the need to switch back and forth between the two tools.
- Search Salesforce data from Slack: You can use Slack commands to search Salesforce data, such as accounts, contacts, opportunities and even pipeline data. This allows you to quickly access relevant information without leaving Slack.
- Receive notifications in Slack: You can receive notifications in Slack about updates in Salesforce, such as new leads, closed deals, and updated opportunities. This allows you to stay informed and take action quickly without leaving Slack.
It’s also easy to access files from within Slack – you can add your organisation’s chosen file sharing tool like Google Drive, Box, Dropbox and more to Slack to be able to easily retrieve files when needed. Users can easily “pin” or “save” messages or documents posted in channels for quick reference at a later date.
Approvals in Slack
Most managers have to approve all sorts of things for their direct reports, such as a discount on their opportunity or quote, expenses from a team day out and their team’s paid time off. When you have to approve records in multiple systems, it can get time consuming and it’s hard to keep track of what’s coming into your approval queue. Luckily, Slack can help with that!
Users can now approve or reject records directly within Slack. This ensures the approver never misses a notification for a record they need to approve, especially as approvals can be time-sensitive! The integration can be configured to show the most relevant fields for the approval, which hopefully means the manager can approve directly within Slack, saving them valuable time.
Learn more about Salesforce approvals in Slack here.
Huddles & Voice Notes
Perhaps you need to communicate something that is better said than written. Slack quickly allows you to connect to another user via a huddle – huddles are a quick way to connect with your teammates directly within Slack. No need to create a separate meeting invite, simply start a huddle and ask your teammates to join you!
Users can also send voice notes via Slack, which is great for users who may be on the road and need to quickly alert their team about something, but they don’t have enough time to type the reply.
Alerts & Reminders
Slack has native capabilities for setting up alerts and reminders such as the ability to select a message and ask Slack to “remind me about this” for messages – but you can also set up reminders for your deals using the Sales Cloud for Slack app.
Slack users can also set up generic alerts to remind them to follow up with prospects, schedule a meeting, or any other useful reminder to help them organise their day.
In addition to the standard reminders, the Sales Cloud for Slack app gives users alerts such as upcoming close dates, unchanged stages, and unchanged next steps for opportunities that users own, as well as amount and stage changes.
Workflows in Slack
Finally, Slack offers workflows to automate day to day activities. There are connectors available, such as Centro, which come with pre-built workflows to help get you started with automating tasks directly within Slack. Create records such as Leads, Cases, or even Opportunities using a Workflow.
Let’s take a customer service representative as an example. He might monitor a Slack channel that has external participants in it – i.e. customers! This is a great way for customers to learn from one another, ask questions and get support right away, but it’s hard to track how many people the customer service rep has helped by counting the amount of answered Slack messages. The customer service rep can create a case record each time he assists a customer with an issue, and that issue will be logged in Salesforce to be reviewed along with every other customer issue. This allows the customer service rep to track his work in a quick and easy way to ensure he’s hitting his KPIs.
So, what are the benefits of integrating Salesforce with Slack? Integrating Salesforce with Slack provides several benefits, including:
- Improved collaboration: Slack allows teams to collaborate in real-time on deals and projects, eliminating the need for long email threads and reducing the need for meetings.
- Better organisation: Slack channels allow teams to collaborate with the required team members for a specific purpose, making it easy to filter out the noise and only consume and respond to what applies to them.
- Direct access to Salesforce data: Users can now interact with Salesforce data where they spend most of their day, without the need to switch back and forth between the two tools.
- Streamlined approvals: Users can approve or reject records directly within Slack, saving time and reducing the chances of missed notifications.
Overall, integrating Salesforce with Slack helps teams work more efficiently, improve communication, and stay informed on important updates in real-time.