Salesforce unveils its first Slack integrations

Salesforce wants to make it easier for sales, marketing and service teams to chat and share information when using its Customer 360 platform.

Salesforce has offered up a first glimpse of plans to integrate Slack into its products following the completion of its US$27.7 billion acquisition last month.

Salesforce said on Monday that Slack will be integrated into the Customer 360 platform in several ways to help connect sales, marketing, and service staff more effectively — both internally and cross-company.  

The announcement follows similar moves from Salesforce rival Microsoft, which integrated its Teams collaboration platform into Dynamics 365 in recent months to improve information sharing for staff using Microsoft’s CRM tools.

With Slack-First Customer 360, sales reps will be able to access and update Salesforce records with “digital deal rooms” in Slack; Salesforce cited a study from Forrester Consulting that suggests sales cycles are 15 per cent faster when using the team collaboration app. Automated daily briefs provide sales staff with a personalised list of tasks, meetings, and deals.

For customer service teams, integration with Salesforce Service Cloud will enable the creation of Slack channel “swarms” to resolve customer problems quickly, while an “expert finder” feature can “automatically identify” staff equipped to help with high-priority cases “based on availability, capacity, and skills.” 

Salesforce Service Cloud integration Salesforce

Integration of Salesforce Service Cloud enables the creation of Slack channel “swarms” for quick resolution of  customer problems.

And for marketing staffers there will be access to information from Datorama within Slack. (Datorama is Salesforce Marketing Cloud’s marketing intelligence platform.) The integration allows marketing staff to receive notifications of changes to marketing materials.

These three Slack-First Sales, Service and Marketing features will be available in pilot this fall, Salesforce said; the Datorama integration available now.

Salesforce also announced plans to integrate Tableau into Slack, with notifications of changes within the analytics tool, such as a sales pipeline drop, as well as “watchlist digests” to provide a daily update on certain metrics. Slack-First Analytics is set for general availability this fall.

Slack-First Marketing Salesforce

With Slack-First Marketing, teams can get insights and changes about marketing projects they can use to act on quickly.

“Slack and Salesforce had two jobs: Don't break either product and make both better than the sum of the parts,” said Wayne Kurtzman, research director at IDC. “They did this by avoiding the temptation to quickly integrate the two interfaces, yet effectively enable integrations that streamline work.”

The integrations will enable both products to “do what they do and improve on that with a channel-based conversational layer that can trigger actions within the Salesforce stack,” he said. 

While the two companies already had some integrations between their tools, this week’s  announcement indicates Salesforce’s intention to tie the platforms together more deeply and to maximise cross-fertilisation between them, said Angela Ashenden, principal analyst at CCS Insight.

Although the integrations should be useful in bridging user workflows, the process is in its early stages and the platforms remain very much separate, she said.

“We can expect to see lots of investment going into tightening this integration in the coming months, firstly to help Salesforce deliver on its Slack-first Customer 360 positioning, but also to help it respond to the growing threat of Microsoft Teams and Dynamics 365 — and of course to help justify the eye-watering price tag of the acquisition,” said Ashenden.

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