Salesforce is offering new Slack and Sales Cloud integration capabilities, designed to help sales teams drive productivity and efficiency while providing cost savings.
The new offerings, announced at the Salesforce World Tour NYC event, comprise a productivity bundle that is on offer to customers at a discounted rate until mid-January, and a new native Slack integration with the company's Sales Cloud.
Speaking ahead of the event, Blake Markham, vice president of product management at Slack, said that in these times of economic uncertainty, companies are dealing with hiring freezes, and for sales teams, the customers they're selling to are experiencing similar challenges.
“Companies and their employees are focused on how to contend with [those challenges] and organisations are looking at how they can meet their revenue commitments and drive growth, while minimising expenses,” he said. “Ultimately, they need to just find as many efficiencies and cost savings as possible and that rolls downhill to sales, which come under a lot of pressure to produce results and drive their businesses forward.”
According to Slack’s State of Sales report — comprising data from more than 7,700 global sales professionals — sales leaders and reps are in need of more modern and efficient ways to sell and are looking for ways to streamline tools, reduce friction, and improve productivity.
“When we hear from customers, they tell us that sales reps are already voicing a lot of efficiency concerns, with respect to their stakeholders being siloed that the fact they’re spending too much time on manual, non selling tasks,” Markham said.
The research found that reps spend only 28 per cent of their week actually selling — with the rest of their time made up of critical but tedious tasks like deal management and data entry — while 66 per cent of respondents said they're overwhelmed by using too many tools. Furthermore, 69 per cent of sales professionals said that it's harder to sell than before the pandemic and 82 per cent said they’ve had to adapt quickly to new ways of selling.
Retention remains a concern for sales organisations, with respondents to the survey reporting 25 per cent average turnover over the last 12 months.
In order to help struggling sales teams, Salesforce is immediately making available its new Sales Productivity Bundle, which will now include Slack, to help customers automate work and give sales teams a consistent way to work together, connected to all their systems, data and customers.
The new bundle is designed to enable teams to drive sales productivity via automated workflows and alerts, and eliminate data, process and communication silos. The Sales Productivity Bundle will be available to customers at a discounted rate until January 15.
Slack, Sales Cloud integration enables data consolidation
In addition to the enhanced Sales Productivity Bundle, Salesforce also announced it is previewing a new native Slack integration that connects Slack and Sales Cloud. Built on the Salesforce Customer 360 platform, the new integration will allow users to bring all their customer data together, and offer scalable automation so sales reps can be more productive, Markham said.
The new integration between Slack and Sales Cloud joins other integrations that already exist among Salesforce Customer 360 applications, which include Marketing Cloud and Service Cloud.
“It's really all about how Slack and Salesforce are working together to provide much more productivity and efficiency and cost saving for sales organisations,” Markham said.
To help sales staff collaborate and close deals faster, the new integration is meant to connect sellers and key stakeholders in Slack by automating the push and pull of real-time CRM data from Sales Cloud directly into Slack channels. Furthermore, account teams can see opportunities and customer details funnelled into channels dedicated to specific customer accounts.
Users can also send account updates from Sales Cloud into Slack channels and sales reps can quickly update CRM account details with built-in slash commands, a feature that is already widely used in Slack.
The integration also has a range of out-of-the-box templates that teams can use from day one. These templates let users create a workplace with clean sidebar sections, easy-to-navigate channels and time-saving automations that fit their teams’ specific needs. For example, an onboarding template would allow users to add workflows that are triggered automatically as soon as a new hire gets added to Slack.
Additionally, the bundle lets users analyse engagement metrics and insights, meaning leaders can learn and act on this data to continually improve work processes.
“We're on the same learning journey as our customers and we believe that there's a lot of opportunity to make various lines of business very successful on Slack,” Markham said.
“A big part of the way that we do that is both by providing out-of-the box best practices that meet the needs of customer’s particular line of business, but also the configuration and workflow capabilities which they can customise for their needs.”