Image of Narender Singh next to text that says, "Automate This! — Approvals and Flow in Slack."

Automate This! — Boost User Productivity by Integrating Approvals and Flows in Slack

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Welcome to another “Automate This!” In this live-streamed video series, we cover all things automation, from use cases and best practices to showcasing solutions built by #AwesomeAdmin Trailblazers like you. Automation allows you to remove manual tasks, drive efficiency, and eliminate friction and redundancy. In this episode and accompanying blog post, Narender Singh will show us how we can boost user productivity by integrating approvals and flows directly in Slack.

Frequent app switching can severely impact user productivity. Each time a user switches between tasks, it takes time for their brain to shift focus, which leads to cognitive overload and decreased efficiency. Streamlining tools and reducing interruptions can help users maintain focus and maximize their productivity.

If your organization is using Salesforce and Slack, your business users might find themselves switching back and forth between Slack and Salesforce to get the work done. What if you could make them more efficient by reducing their need to switch between apps? That’s what we’d like to achieve in this blog. So without further ado, let’s roll!

Note: In this blog, we’ll be focusing more on technical implementation instead of discussing the whole use case I demoed in the Automation This! episode.

Before we begin let’s take a look at the prerequisites:

Step 1: Enable Salesforce for Slack integration

Follow these steps to connect Slack to your Salesforce org.

  • Go to Setup -> Initial Slack Setup.
  • Agree to the terms and conditions in the Agree to Terms and Conditions section.
  • Give your user the following permissions:
    • Connect Salesforce with Slack
    • Manage Slack app organization connections for Slack apps
    • Manage Slack user mappings
  • From the Install Slack Apps via the Slack App Directory section, click on the link to install the Salesforce for Slack app. Once you click on the link, you should be redirected to the Salesforce for Slack app detail page in app directory. Click on the Add to Slack button.
    Note: Make sure you’re adding the app in the right Slack workspace if you’re logged in on multiple Slack workspaces.

Salesforce for Slack app

Step 2: Create a screen flow to run in Slack

  • Create a screen flow and add a Screen element to it.
  • Click Save, give it name and description, and click Advanced.
  • Select Make available in Slack and save the flow.

Screen flow enabled for Slack

  • Add your business logic to the flow. Save and Activate the flow.

Step 3: Send a flow to run in Slack

When you enable a flow to run in Slack, an action with the name of the flow is automatically created.

To invoke/launch the flow you created in Slack in Step 2, you’ll need a second flow. In your second flow, you’ll have to use the automatically generated flow action (how and when you configure your flow to run depends on your use case). Check the screenshot below for how to find which Slack action to choose.

If the name of your flow is User Onboarding – Get User Preferences, then the action will look like this.

Action: Send/Launch the Flow in Slack

Once you select the action, you’ll configure the inputs.

Action inputs configuration

Action inputs

Slack Input Name 

Description 

Slack App

If your org has properly enabled Slack integration, you should see a choice "Salesforce for Slack." Choosing anything other than that is for experts.

Slack Workspace

This will show the workspace(s) that have 1) installed the specified Slack App and 2) connected it to your org.

Execute Action As 

This should generally be set to Slack App. If a flow is running in User Context and not System Context, you can choose to have the message sent to Slack by the running User, as opposed to the app.

Slack Conversation ID 

This allows you to input the channel ID of Slack channel or User ID of the Salesforce User to whom you want to send the mesage.

Slack Message 

This allows you to customize the initial launch message.

Button Label 

This allows you to customize the name of the button that launches the flow.

Slack Bot Name

This will change the label that posts the launch message.

Slack Timestamp 

Slack timestamp acts as unique identifiers for messages. If you pass in a valid message timestamp, the flow launch message will show up as a response to that message.

If you want to pass any inputs to the flow, you can use the Set Flow Input Values section while configuring the action.

Save and Activate your flow.

Step 4: Get your org users to connect to Slack

Before you can test it, you will need your users to connect their Slack to Salesforce. They should be able to do it by logging in to their Slack workspace, going to Salesforce for Slack in the Apps section on the pane, and connecting their Salesforce account.

What does it look like in Slack?

Let’s see how it would look for an end user in Slack.

Salesforce for Slack user interface

Screen flow in Slack

Set up approvals in Slack

Approval notifications are automatically enabled in Slack if you have the Salesforce for Slack app installed. To receive approval notifications, users must connect their Slack account to Salesforce as explained in Step 4.

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