When Slack was launched, it wanted to serve as a connection between all the tools that people used at a workplace. The idea was to become a hub that prevented work apps from being siloed. Office 365 has always bet strongly on its Teams. Now that Slack has been acquired by Salesforce, it will be easy to push for the use of Slack over Teams, simply because Salesforce customers already pay for the service. Integrating Slack into Salesforce, as Teams does into Office 365, will encourage large companies using Office and Salesforce to consider using both, Teams and Slack.
This gives Slack a better fighting chance.
What the Merger Means for Salesforce and Slack
Currently, Salesforce’s CRM software has the enviable reputation that it enables organizations to market, provide services, sell, and conduct business from any location. Slack is a software that brings together people, data, and their tools so that teams can better collaborate and work from anywhere. Slack Connect, additionally, enables company employees to collaborate and communicate with external vendors and partners easily.
With the merger, Slack will now be integrated into all Salesforce Clouds. It is being touted as the new interface for Salesforce Customer 360 and can change how communication, collaboration and action related to customer experience takes place. This will provide overall customer information across Salesforce and all other business apps and systems that are a part of it. It will help organizations be more productive, make faster and smarter decisions, and enable connected customer experiences.
Slack comes with an open platform that integrates over 2400 apps. Salesforce will be able to leverage this to create a strong developer-based ecosystem. From the Salesforce point of view, Slack will help them bring all their elements onto a single platform. Salesforce has expanded, over the years, from being purely CRM to include services for marketing, client service, data visualization, creation of workflows, and more. With Slack, the layer of communication that was missing falls into place and this is crucial for interactions between different stakeholders.
With Slack becoming the new interface for Customer 360, Salesforce is essentially pulling together all their systems. It is a way to rally together all the teams that comprise the many systems of Salesforce and ensure there is a smooth workflow, no matter where they are based. The result is better collaboration.
In each of these teams, there is a connection between what employees do and how machines support this work at the backend. Slack comes in to bridge any gaps between humans and machines. With Slack functioning in the middle of Salesforce’s business processes, any possible friction in the functioning of this complex enterprise starts to get eliminated.
And of course, the key benefit for both Salesforce and Slack is that together, they make for a formidable competition to Microsoft 360.
5 Ways Salesforce-Slack Acquisition Can Benefit Salesforce Users
It is clear now that Slack is the new interface for Salesforce Customer 360. It will be deeply integrated into all Salesforce Clouds, enabling better communication and enhanced productivity. Here is how it can benefit Salesforce users:
- Keep Team Members Updated at All Times
Now that Slack and Salesforce have integrated, team members will not miss any updates to crucial information across Salesforce. Both sales and service representatives will be able to receive customized notifications on Slack instantly. This means, they no longer have to stop work to log into another tool to be kept in the loop. With such streamlined communications systems, the team has more time in each day to focus on important jobs.
- Makes Access of Files Across Platforms Simple and Quick
With Slack merged into Salesforce, representatives can search for and preview all Salesforce records related to accounts they are handling, possible opportunities or new cases, without having to leave Slack. Looping in a team member becomes easy because all you need to do is tag them in Slack and they are provided with all context necessary for that bit of communication. For better visibility into key accounts, even when accessing remotely, executives simply need to use the slash command, with the Salesforce account names, to pull all details from Salesforce across into Slack. This gives representatives the necessary visibility.
- Brings Sales and Service into Collaborative Mode
Collaborative communication becomes easier with Slack. Any information in Salesforce can be shared with colleagues via Slack. Users can choose to share it with specific people and can also define where it should be shared. Any Slack-based conversations can be added to Salesforce, so any important information relating to an account or a case can immediately be viewed in it (Salesforce). An example is – the current status of a deal can be communicated by sales representatives to the rest of the team. Or while support agents are attended to a customer query, they can easily loop in subject experts to address niche issues and resolve matters quickly.
- Keeping to the Aim of Aligning Teams
Slack’s key aim has always been to keep teams aligned and help them access crucial information quickly. By integrating into Salesforce and all its tools, they can deliver on their goal. Salesforce and Slack can now be key to smooth workflows for both sales and service teams. It is also public knowledge that Slack is working on enhancements that will provide support for custom objects and workflows within Salesforce. This will allow collaborating team members to be able to source richer information through Slack from Salesforce records.
- Expansion of Focus on Customer-centric Tools and Employee Engagement
With the acquisition of Slack, Salesforce can now provide a direct route that will focus on the expansion of its customer-facing tools. It will also deal with the market demand for employee engagement. Technology vendors usually address either the vendor or customer, though a sales journey cuts across both groups of people. Bringing together the strengths of Salesforce and Slack can impact customer experience in several positive ways. Trying to bridge the gap that usually exists between employee and customer communications is not a new concept. However, what is often overlooked is the areas between customer care and internal communications. There is a lot of potential here and the merger between Slack and Salesforce addresses this to a large extent.
What is helpful at this point of the merger is that Slack opened up options for a more collaborative space with its Slack Connect making it much simpler for employees of a business to use Slack and communicate with external organizations, including its partners and customers. Slack Connect brings with it the potential to create B2B collaborative networks that would work quite well with Salesforce’s business enablement plans.
How the Merger will Revolutionize the SaaS Sector?
With this merger, it will be interesting to observe its impact on the software-as-a-service (SaaS) sector. Microsoft’s Teams took over a lion’s share of the market in less than a year. Microsoft possesses the most extensive channel available to SaaS companies and every one of the vendors tends to introduce Teams to their new customers. Those planning to move to the Cloud, naturally turn to Microsoft for the way forward.
With Salesforce and Slack coming together, Slack will be able to sell through Salesforce executives and their channel accounts, besides their own sales avenues. The merger also enables a high-quality integration of instant messaging workflows into current record systems.
When Microsoft introduced Teams as part of the bundle for Cloud upgrades, it was provided free of charge to customers. Naturally, financial managers of organizations did not see the reason to pay separately and at a premium cost, for instant messaging software. This dynamic completely changed the market.
However, instant messaging began to evolve and managers and team leaders began to understand the need for a system that streamlines internal workflows. The need for better workflows, made the premium payable seem worthwhile.
Slack stormed the market with some start-ups that found the platform’s distribution network beneficial. But, now that Slack integrates natively into the entire Salesforce ecosystem, acceleration of sales, marketing, and finance tools that are dependent on Salesforce now have Slack working as the user interface and making it easily accessible. This is another win for premium price justification.
For Salesforce too, there is a value proposition. Clients use Salesforce at least a few times each day and after the first few times, may do so grudgingly. Slack, on the other hand, stays on as a background process and can be used many times each hour. Such user engagement can have a catalytic impact on Salesforce upgrades. Slack, takes on all the deficiencies that Chatter left open during its launch.
The next step forward is in the development of customized workflows for instant messages within a large organization. Such workflows will need platforms-as-a-service (PaaS) related products to help with development. Engineers will require databases and execution environments to develop such code. Microsoft has a headstart in this direction with its Dataflex.
Salesforce is not far behind with its own Heroku, a PaaS that serves well as a developer-centric level that engineers can use to develop key workflows that blend well with the Slack user interface and with Salesforce’s huge data repository. Additionally, it blends with the wide-ranging ecosystem of related areas of marketing, finance, and sales data.
In the case of non-technical teams, a Salesforce and Slack merger creates an ecosystem that is a solid competitor to Microsoft Teams and the brand’s general set-up. The coming together of the brands complements each software’s key attributes and is a reiteration of the value propositions they both possess. The merger will spell the reshaping of the SaaS landscape.
All said and done, integrating Slack into Salesforce operation is still a challenge. There are chances that this merger may start off with Slack operating as standalone software for a short while. This is a common approach with multi-billion deals of this nature. Besides the organizations, there are several benefits for end-users too. The deep integration will be across Salesforce’s entire portfolio. Many clients who have already signed on for Slack, are also customers of Salesforce, and this merger only means there is a stronger connection between the two which will also benefit the end-user.