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Following the Slack acquisition closing on July 21, Salesforce today announced the first set of its features that integrate Slack’s products, including for Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, and Tableau. The enhancements are designed to connect employees, customers, and partners in a single platform, Salesforce says, with the ultimate goal of helping to close deals, resolve cases, and optimize sales campaigns.
Slack also announced that it’s donating $54 million to the Salesforce Foundation as part of its Slack for Good commitment to increase the number of historically underrepresented peoples in the technology industry. Slack for Good’s strategic grant-making will now be integrated into the Salesforce Foundation, and starting this fall, Slack employees will be able to participate in Salesforce’s Volunteer Time Off program.
Salesforce first announced that it would acquire Slack in December 2020 for $27.7 billion, a purchase widely seen as a play for a workplace collaboration market experiencing pandemic-accelerated expansion. Slack, which went public on the New York Stock Exchange last June, has more than 3 million subscribers across 43% of Fortune 100 businesses. And it’s poised for further growth — 90% of companies plan to combine remote and onsite work through collaboration tools going forward, according to McKinsey.
“The way people work together has fundamentally changed, so we’re bringing the power of Salesforce … directly into Slack to meet people where they already are. We saw a special opportunity to bring two companies and products together,” Rob Seaman, SVP of product management at Salesforce, told VentureBeat via email. “Our guiding principles to build these Slack-rirst solutions were to make them multiplayer, lightweight, and quick; prioritizing integrations that help a user get work done and stay in their natural flow.”
Sales Cloud and Service Cloud
One of the reasons some employers avoided remote work pre-pandemic is concerns around worker productivity and their ability to collaborate with distributed team members. According to a recent FlexJobs survey, approximately a third of workers who made the transition from in-person to remote work during the pandemic said that their collaboration remained as strong as it was in person, while 29% felt that “some” things can be more difficult. A similar number of workers said that their ability to collaborate improved a little or a lot, with 5% characterizing virtual collaboration as more difficult than in-person collaboration.
To address the challenges, Salesforce is introducing “Account” and “Deal” Slack rooms to Sales Cloud, which the company says will allow sales teams to interact around a customer deal cycle. The new rooms unify files, conversations, and data in one place, letting reps and partners onboard accounts by accessing the rooms’ histories and joining in to help close a deal.
A complimentary new feature called “Automated daily briefs” provides reps with a daily list of tasks, meetings, priority deals, and changes to Salesforce records within Sales Cloud. Meanwhile, Swarming and Expert Finder, two new features in Service Cloud, create a Slack channel for service teams to collaborate on high-priority cases and automatically identify experts to add to a swarm channel based on availability, capacity, and skills.
Marketing Cloud and Analytics
Failures in communication can have an impact on bottom lines. According to Salesforce, 86% of employees and executives cite ineffective communication as the reason for workplace failures. And 33% of employees say the ability to collaborate makes them more loyal.
On the Marketing Cloud side, Salesforce aims to head this off by letting teams share insights on marketing channel performance from both Marketing Cloud and Datorama directly in Slack. New workflow notifications automatically update channels when changes to a marketing journey are made, giving teams the ability to review and approve changes in real time.
Beyond this, new notifications features enable users to set up automated alerts for events in Tableau, like when a sales pipeline dips below a specified threshold or when they’re mentioned in dashboard comments. Watchlist Digests provide a daily update on selected metrics and how they’re trending, while Subscriptions send dashboards to channels on a regular basis.
“Whether a company is going hybrid, fully remote, or when they’re in person, a digital HQ is a way to meaningfully connect and work across your company and with external partners, vendors, and customers,” Seaman added. “By integrating Salesforce and Slack, plus other business apps and systems, into one digital HQ, we’re making Slack the primary engagement layer for customers. Slack is where work gets done, and these new Slack-first … innovations are speeding up and streamlining processes so people can work together from anywhere.”
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