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Slackmas Series 3/4: How to set up the Sales Cloud for Slack app

It's no surprise that Sales Cloud is Salesforce's main cloud, and therefore by extension, the Sales Cloud for Slack App will be the main Slack integrated solution followed closely by a few other apps like Service Cloud for Slack (check them all out here). So, as the third installment in our Slackmas series, we thought it was high time to provide a quick guide on how to get it configured and validated for initial simple use.

📝 Note: As of Salesforce World Tour in NYC on December 8th, 2022, there are some new exciting enhancements coming around this integration which you can read about here. We will not cover the updates as part of this article as they are still TBD release date in 2023.


Requirements

  • Salesforce Org

  • Admin user to complete setup

  • End users with "Salesforce" license to validate functionality

  • Slack Workspace

  • Workspace Admin user to complete setup

  • End users in Slack to validate functionality

  • Patience 😂

  • Time - Initial config can be done fairly quickly (<1-2 days). Complex config will take much longer (weeks? months? years!?! oh my!!)

Setup


Step 1: Install Sales Cloud for Slack App in Slack

This step will both install the Slack Sales Cloud for Slack app in Slack as well as connect your Slack to your Salesforce org in one fell swoop. Be sure to have your Salesforce credentials at the ready.


After clicking "Allow" you will see a success modal and be redirected to Slack where you will see a direct message from the Sales Slack app in the Messages tab.


Step 2: Initial Slack Setup Wizard in Salesforce

Now that Slack and Salesforce are connected, we will do the "back-end" setup and configuration in Salesforce. As far as this article, we'll only be focused on Sales Cloud for Slack, but this step is currently required as a pre-requisite to all Salesforce <> Slack integration configurations (i.e. Service Cloud for Slack, CRM Analytics for Slack).

The important things to mention here specifically for Sales Cloud are below. Note for other apps, different permissions will be required:

  • ✅ Agree to the Terms and Conditions

  • ✅ Enable Sales Cloud for Slack

  • ✅ Assign "Sales Cloud for Slack" permission set, create new permission set or add permissions to an existing:

  • The app permission "Slack Sales User"

  • The system permissions "Run Flows", "Connect Salesforce with Slack"


Step 3: Sales Cloud For Slack Wizard in Salesforce

Once the initial Slack setup is completed we move on to more business specific configuration -- essentially setting up how your Sales team will work with the integrated systems. This is where s*$# gets real!

Unlike Step 2, there are multiple tabs on this wizard to review. Let's quickly discuss each.


Getting Started

This tab is only links to other places and documentation. Nothing to do here in itself other than read read read. Note, both of these Setup wizards like to link back and forth and to Salesforce documentation, be prepared for a little confusion.


Sales Channel

Now there is some actual config that needs to be done here, but first what is a Sales Channel? How are they different from Feed Channels (which we'll get to in a bit below)?


In short, Sales Channels are Slack channels where your sales team works. They will be created following how your sales team works deals and the sales channel strategy should be determined by a sales operations or sales leader in your organization. They can be created via Salesforce or Slack. To figure out how they will be used, teams need to discuss and understand:

  • Why and when to create a sales channel?

  • How many sales channels to create?

  • Who to invite to the sales channel?

  • What to name a sales channel?

With those questions answered, you can start to understand how things should work and build to those answered. Additionally, there is some quick configuration that is required:

  • Review permissions for who can create Sales Channels.

  • Add Sales Channel related list to Account / Opportunity page layout - This allows you to see what sales channels are related to which accounts and opportunities.

  • Add Link a Channel action to Lightning and Mobile Actions section on Account / Opportunity page layout - This allows you to link an existing (or create new) sales channel to an account or opportunity.

Automated Notifications

We're getting deep into it now -- this is where we'll start to do the fun stuff. Get your Flow hat on! So Salesforce provides five template flows that we can use for general default Opportunity notifications:

  1. Send Slack Notifications for New Opportunities - Notify your account team when a new opportunity is created for a specific account.

  2. Send Slack Notification for Opportunity Changes - Notify your sales team when an opportunity's amount, close date, or stage is updated.

  3. Send Slack Notification for Approaching Opportunity Close Date - Notify opportunity owners when an opportunity close date is within 7 days. Note: This flow requires Opportunity Field History tracking to be turned on for the Next Step field specifically.

  4. Send Slack Notification When Opportunity Next Step is Unchanged - Notify opportunity owners when an opportunity's next steps haven't been updated for 30 days.

  5. Send Slack Notification When Opportunity Stage is Unchanged - Notify opportunity owners when an opportunity's stage hasn't been changed for 30 days.

These are simply something to start with and work from. They must be cloned, updated and activated to work. It's a great idea to go step-by-step in each flow to get familiar with the objects used and the flow in general. This IS the weeds. The first two above are very straightforward while the last three are a bit more complex.


⚠️ Highly suggest getting started with these before moving on to more complex flows, flows for other objects, creating flows from scratch or trying to automate end-to-end processes.



Feed Channels

So far we've set up Sales Channel configurations/permissions, determined our strategy for Sales Channel usage and activated some flows related to Opportunities. Now, we set up more "#general"-esque broadcast channels which Salesforce calls Feed Channels and defines as "a combination of dedicated Slack channels and notifications sent by pre-built flows". Both Sales Channels and Feed Channels can receive automated notifications depending on the flow. For the purposes of initial set up, we'll create two new channels and two new flows to broadcast updates to those channels.


Salesforce suggests:

  1. Deals Won - To celebrate your wins as a sales team.

  2. Flow: Send Slack Notifications for Deals Won

  3. Deals to Watch - To monitor deals that need attention.

  4. Flow: Send Slack Notifications for Deals to Watch

With both the feed wizards and flows configured, we can now move on to testing everything.


Validation


Feed Channels

Let's knock the easy broadcast flows out first.

  • In Slack or Salesforce, create or update a test Opportunity that has (1) Amount > 0 and (2) Probability > 50% and validate that you see a notification in Deals to Watch channel.


  • In Slack or Salesforce, update a test Opportunity to Probability = 100% and validate that you see a notification in Deals Won channel.


Sales Channels

Now, for the purposes of keeping it brief, we'll validate just one of the five flows.

  • In Slack or Salesforce, create a new Opportunity and new Sales Channel. Then, edit either the (1) Stage (2) Amount (3) Close Date and validate that you see a notification for each in the sales channel.


Extra Credit


More things you can do from Slack

Aside from the actions you can take on record blocks (like clicking "View Opportunity" and getting edit/share modals), you can use slash commands.



The /sales-menu option provides core actions (minus /sales-muted-notifications). From here you can view your sales pipeline, create Sales Channels and link records or create new records (Lead, Contact, Account, Opportunity), making it really simple for your sales team to stay in Slack.


More things you can do from Salesforce

There are a handful of different Flow Actions/Elements available, some of which we've already used in our template flows. What you'll notice is there is a lot you can automate, which will save your team time and give them the opportunity to work on their higher priority items... and sales! 💰


Imagine being able to automate an entire process (and not just receive notifications like we've set up so far). Say when a New Opportunity is created, a flow is kicked off that:

  1. Creates a new Slack Channel (i.e. Sales Channel)

  2. Links the new Sales Channel to the Opportunity

  3. Sends a Slack Message with the Opportunity record

  4. Pins the Opportunity record to the channel

  5. Invites relevant sales team users to the Slack Channel

  6. Automatically has important sales team members join the Channel

At this point, the team has all they need to work the deal, and can take it through to closing, at which point another flow can fire which automatically archives the channel.


Summary


The initial setup leaves you with a totally workable and usable baseline starting point. This may be enough for smaller, junior teams or those with very basic and simple sales workflows. For those more complex workflows and teams, configuration gets exponentially more advanced real quick. Things like automation of the entire flow, not manually creating Sales Channels or manually archiving them. Using all the commands available in Salesforce Flow to get these more complex processes automated. When done correctly, you hear of customer success stories like at NewsPick (source):

“By having the person in charge of the previous process tell the person in charge of the next process what to do in a timely manner, work can proceed without a hitch. It’s no exaggeration to say that NewsPicks’ sales growth has been supported by the twin pillars: Slack and Sales Cloud.”

So, regardless of how you run your sales team, the more strategic goal of this should be to figure out how to optimize Slack and Salesforce together and answer questions like:

  • What is the strategy for Sales processes through Slack and Salesforce?

  • Where do you want your users doing their day-to-day work?

  • Who is able to take certain actions while others cannot?

  • What more complex flows should be created next?

  • How do we keep our processes updated as we incrementally learn more?

  • Who will be responsible for all of this long term? IT? Sales?

Annnnd that's why 21b exists! We're here to help your company answer these questions and then continuously help optimize and improve. If you're curious how we can optimize this for your company - check out our services, check out LinkedIn and contact us via website or Slack Connect!


 

Additional References:

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