Introduction to Slack for Salesforce Admins.

Introduction to Slack for Salesforce Admins


Admins like you often field questions from your business about Salesforce products, features, and value. As our offerings continue to expand, it can be difficult to stay up to date. Let’s break down what you need to know about Slack as a Salesforce Admin.

Not just another communication channel

Slack is a messaging app for business that connects people to the information they need. By bringing people together to work as one unified team, Slack transforms the way organizations communicate.

To understand how Slack is different from other forms of communication, we should start with the name. Slack is an acronym! It stands for Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge. That’s a cool name, but let’s explore what that means.

Slack is connected

Slack makes communicating with your colleagues easy—message anyone inside or outside your organization and collaborate just like you would in person. People can work in dedicated spaces called channels that bring together the right people and information.

Integrate your existing productivity tools—such as calendars, video conferencing, slides, and documents—to create a single experience where you can receive and send feedback without opening another app.

Slack is flexible

Slack supports asynchronous work. When work is organized in channels, no matter your location, time zone, or function, you can access the information you need on your own time. Ask questions, get caught up, and share updates without having to coordinate schedules.

Configure notifications based on working hours, keywords, or mentions. Choose desktop, web, or mobile apps to fit your working style. Hop on a real-time voice-to-voice conversation using Huddles. Record a video clip and share it with your team without leaving Slack. Support up to 15 users with native video conferencing and screen share.

Slack is inclusive

In Slack, everyone in an organization has access to the same shared and searchable information. When teams work together in channels, information can be shared with everyone at once, helping teams stay aligned and make decisions more quickly.

This is a significant shift in how knowledge is shared. Historically, organizations used channels that were exclusive by design. Phone, email, and text all target small groups, and expanding this reach takes time and effort (hellooooooo cc: in email). While Slack features robust security and privacy features, it was engineered to provide users with the knowledge they need in the most efficient way possible. This means that channels are intended to be public. The benefit? A channel with a dozen members produces valuable knowledge that every employee at your company can put to good use.

Slack is empowering

Slack is intended to empower users. Users can create their own channels, standardize, format, and automate messages with Workflow Builder, or create stunningly beautiful messages with Block Kit Builder. You read that right. Users. Just as users are empowered to create reports and dashboards within Sales, Service, and Platform Applications, Slack users are encouraged to boost their productivity in their own channels. The result? Admins like yourself spend less time delivering enhancements to your users. We call that scaaaaaaaaling.

Getting started in Slack

If you’re brand new to Slack and want to better understand core features like the sidebar, channels, @ mentions, and more, start here. You’ll find a thorough definition of core features as well as helpful videos to get you up to speed quickly.

The core features of a Slack sidebar.

Moving beyond the basics

Once you’re comfortable with the core features of Slack, we highly recommend you explore some of the tools available to you and your users.

Workflow Builder

The bread and butter of productivity tools within Slack, Workflow Builder allows users to quickly design, configure, and publish forms, screens, and responses. If you’d like to learn more about Workflow Builder, you should start here. You’ll find definitions for each feature, short video tutorials, and additional resources.

At Salesforce, we use Workflow Builder a TON! Here are two example workflows we use on a daily basis:

  • Kudos: We love to celebrate our colleagues. Whenever a teammate does something noteworthy, we launch the Kudos workflow, which allows a user to choose a teammate and explain what they did that was awesome. Then, it’s announced in our team channel, all nicely formatted. The recipient also receives a direct message letting them know.
  • Daily Updates: Our team is distributed and we like to stay connected. We use this workflow to let everyone know the three things we’re working on each day. This saves time because the formatting is automatically generated, and it makes it easy for the entire team to share in a way that’s easy to read.

If you’re nervous about getting started, never fear! Slack has a whole host of example workflows you can download and customize within the app!

Block Kit Builder

Block Kit is a user interface (UI) framework built with… blocks! Blocks are visual components that can be stacked and arranged to create beautiful messages. Block Kit can make your messages easier to read, which means faster responses and higher productivity.

Example of Block Kit Builder in Slack.

While blocks are created with JSON, you can compose blocks directly within your browser using the drag and drop Block Kit Builder. Dragging blocks onto the canvas renders them, and you can update text, links, and images in the payload pane.

Example of drag and drop Block Kit Builder in Slack.

Our team at Salesforce loves using Block Kit Builder to share important information on a regular schedule across the company. Here are some example use cases:

  • Weekly Newsletter: Salesforce has 70,000 employees. Communicating the work we do can be a daunting task. By creating a stylish and readable format with Block Kit Builder, we’re able to share our content quickly and easily with as many channels as we’d like.
  • Adoption/Metrics: If you’ve been measuring the impact of an enhancement in your Salesforce org or are preparing to roll out a new feature, you can assemble blocks to present this information to leadership.

If you aren’t sure where to start, remember to check the message templates provided by Slack. You can select a template and configure it to meet your needs.

Slack for Salesforce

Let’s be very clear: Slack is a very useful tool, but you’re an #AwesomeAdmin. So let’s talk Salesforce. You can connect Slack and Salesforce with clicks. The benefit? In Salesforce, you can see Slack messages associated with a record, send records to Slack for others to view, and receive alerts in Slack when a Salesforce record changes.

Example of how you can quickly send messages and records from Salesforce into Slack.

Combining the power of Salesforce and the communication of Slack can deliver some quick wins for your organization. Here are a few examples of how admins use Salesforce and Slack together:

  • Case Swarming: When a top-tier customer opens a high-priority case, you can notify the sales and support teams, while surfacing the record directly in Slack. This cross-functional communication allows for real-time conversation. Members can even start an audio-huddle right in the channel to further discuss. Every member has the information they need at their fingertips.
  • Deal Desk: If you’re working on an opportunity above a certain value, you can automatically notify Sales Leadership, Contracting, and Pricing. Important questions can be hammered out quickly. Everyone can get on the same page easily, and leadership can update the record directly in Slack.

To install Slack for Salesforce, you’ll first want to review the required steps and considerations. Then, install both the Slack App for Salesforce and the Salesforce App for Slack.

Connect your existing tools

If you’re tired of switching between applications, screens, tabs, or devices, then you’ll want to check out Apps in Slack. From project management tools like Asana to web conferencing tools like Zoom, the Slack App Directory has you covered—even the fun stuff.

Connecting Giphy and Slack.

For step-by-step guidance on how to add your apps to a Slack workspace, start here.

Salesforce Admin + Slack Admin = MEGA ADMIN

If your organization already has Slack or is planning to purchase Slack soon, it’s a great time to familiarize yourself with the admin tools at your disposal. This includes managing workspaces, members (users), channels, apps, workflows, and access & security.

Thankfully, each and every one of these categories is covered thoroughly right here.

Whoa. That was a lot.

I know, right? The important thing to remember is you’re surrounded by our amazing community and helpful resources. If you’re looking for additional ideas and templates, you can find them here. And remember to talk to your users. Find out what they need—and what they want to avoid. While Slack may be different from the technology you use, it relies on the same core skills you possess as an admin. You got this! If you need a reminder, hit me up on Twitter @j__mdt.


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