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Slack tailors its chat app to sales staff

Slack tailors its chat app to sales staff

Slack Sales Elevate provides native access to parent company Salesforce’s Sales Cloud software.

Credit: Slack

Salesforce’s efforts to embed Slack into its product portfolio ramped up this week with the general release of Sales Elevate, a new offering that natively integrates Sales Cloud into the popular chat app.

It’s the first time Slack has customised its app to the needs of a specific job role, with a dedicated home screen for sales staff available in the sidebar to offer an overview of information from Sales Cloud.

“This is a new way of doing integrations between Salesforce and Slack that's more native to Slack…,” said Rob Seaman, Slack’s senior vice president for enterprise product. “We're charting a new path for the way we build line of business-specific products at Slack.”

The feature is available to Slack Business+ and Enterprise Grid customers with access to Professional, Enterprise, and Unlimited Sales Cloud editions. It’s priced at $60 per user each month.

There are also plans to create similar features in line with other Salesforce products aimed at marketing and customer support professionals, for instance. No release date for these additional editions has yet been set, Seaman said.

Salesforce acquired Slack two years ago for $27.7 billion, promising that the collaboration app would form the basis of a “digital HQ” to connect workers.

Adapting Slack to sales professionals can help overcome some of the productivity challenges they face by minimising the need for task switching and enabling “seamless collaboration among sales teams,” said Irwin Lazar, president and principal analyst at Metrigy.

Business demand for real-time collaboration software to support sales staff is on the rise, said Raúl Castañón-Martínez, senior analyst at 451 Research, a part of SP Global Market Intelligence. It’s a use case that sits “at the intersection of both Salesforce’s and Slack’s core competencies,” he said.

Salesforce and Slack face competition, though: others in the unified communications space have adapted their products to sales teams, too, said Lazar. “We've seen a number of UCaaS providers launch sales-specific features,” he said, citing Zoom IQ for Sales as an example.

While Sales Cloud has long been available as a Slack integration, even before the Salesforce acquisition, Sales Elevate provides greater functionality within Slack.

Available via a “Sales” tab on the app’s sidebar menu, the Sales Elevate home screen offers users access to an overview of relevant information such as customer opportunities reminders, deal notifications, and KPIs — including revenue generated.

From here, they can also access and update sales information via the Opportunities view, with default fields including deal amounts, close date, stage, and next steps. Changes are then synced back to the Salesforce Sales Cloud.

Users will also be able to create their own customised notifications to ensure they’re kept up to date on a specific customer deal or changes made to their team’s pipeline. For example, a notification could be set up to inform sales staff when a deal changes stage or amount.

“It’s a real-time feed that managers and reps control themselves; that’s historically been in the realm of IT and admins, so it’s often bottle-necked and the information doesn't make it to salespeople as quickly as it could,” said Seaman.

While the space is optimised for Sales Cloud, the aim is to provide a space for notifications from third-party apps relevant to their workflow.

Sales Elevate will also let users automate certain actions via Slack’s no-code Workflow Builder tool. For instance, the creation of a new Sales Cloud opportunity could trigger a workflow automation that sends a note to an account channel to alert sales reps.

There’s also scope for integration with SlackGPT — the generative AI tool currently under development — too, said Seaman, though this was not part of the general availability release on Wednesday. This could mean generating briefing documents and other forms of content for sales reps, for example.

“I think the opportunity within sales for technologies like that is massive,” he said.

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Tags salesforceSlack Technologies

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