Top organizations are using Slack for sales now more than ever.
We wanted to see in detail how — exactly — top sales teams use the platform, so we recently analyzed Slack sales usage at hundreds of B2B and B2C companies, including leading teams like HubSpot, WeWork, Slack, and Intercom.
Below, we dive into our findings, including 10 specific takeaways for any sales team using Slack.
Of the takeaways, this is the big one:
70% of sales organizations using Slack create dedicated channels for every customer and prospect.
You’ll also discover how Slack-powered sales teams use channels to differentiate and prioritize certain prospects, involve customers themselves, encourage sales collaboration, and celebrate wins.
Note: At Troops, we’re building solutions that help salespeople close more deals as a team. Want to know more about how it works? Sign up for a free trial.
Key Takeaways for Slack Sales Teams
70% of sales organizations dedicate Slack channels to their most important opportunities.
Of the hundreds of sales teams we looked at, over a third (70%) create unique Slack sales channels for leads and accounts. This pattern proves true across the board, regardless of whether the sales team works for a B2B or B2C business.
Why? Top sales teams swarm around opportunities in Slack — because that’s where they are already working. By creating opportunity-specific channels in Slack for sales, you’re organizing and updating all communication around a particular account in one heavily trafficked location.
This means that your SDRs, AEs, and C-level management always have easy access to a complete timeline with all the necessary information for your most important accounts.
The majority of sales organizations prefix their dedicated prospect sales channels with #sales, #customer, or #account.
Different organizations organized their prospect channels in different ways. Here are the most popular ways we saw teams organizing channels for individual accounts:
80% — #sales was the most common channel or prefix we found in our research. Typically, #sales was followed by a specific account or a subset of the sales team.
Top sales organizations use #sales for their Slack sales channels.
45% — #customer was also popular, giving reps a place to manage communication with specific existing customers. These channels usually included the customer name.
Slack sales teams use #customer for sales channels.
13% — #account was also used to designate specific prospects or customers currently owned by either sales reps or the customer success team.
Top sales teams use #account channels to manage collaboration on specific accounts in Slack for sales.
The prefix you use provides context on what communication is expected within the Slack sales channel and who’s allowed to participate. For example, a #sales- channel might focus entirely on sales-specific information related to moving that prospect through the sales pipeline. On the other hand, #customer- might be used across teams for for managing new or long-term customers, while #account- could go either way.
This context is important. An engineer with thoughts on how to solve a core Airbnb problem might assume it’d be off-topic to speak up in the sales-dedicated #sales-airbnb channel but might feel at ease speaking up in the #customer-airbnb or #account-airbnb channels.
By providing the #sales-, #customer-, or #account- context upfront in the Slack sales channel name, you’re telling your sales team and the rest of the company where the prospect is in the sales pipeline, as well as what info is welcome in that channel and who can chime in.
17% of sales teams use #enterprise to prioritize sales collaboration on large accounts.
Organizations selling into large accounts create #enterprise channels for their customers. This gives sales teams a way to organize conversations around their priority accounts.
It also allows enterprise or higher-level managers to follow the progress of the most important deals in one place. That means they don’t have to chase down details from every sales team member who touched an enterprise opportunity.
Top sales organizations use #enterprise for Slack sales collaboration on large accounts.
14% of sales teams use #onboarding to emphasize the prospect’s position in the sales pipeline.
Some organizations created dedicated channels specifically for customers in the #onboarding process.
Organizations using this approach will often change the prefix of a channel as a company moves from prospect to customer to established account. This temporary prefix signals that the current priority is making a smooth transition from sales to new customer and that channel communication will focus on establishing goals, timelines, and meeting expectations.
Sales teams use #onboarding to designate where prospect is in the sales pipeline.
8% of sales teams use #inbound to differentiate inbound from outbound.
A small number of sales teams used #inbound to designate prospects that came from inbound marketing — as opposed to traditional outbound prospecting methods. This provides additional context sales can leverage in dealing with prospect conversations.
For example, your outbound prospects likely needed more education on your product or service as you initiated their sales journey. Inbound prospects, on the other hand, have most likely done some research, putting the onus on sales reps to understand what they've learned so far to provide additional value. This context will steer future interactions.
Top Slack sales organizations use #inbound to provide more sales and marketing context.
B2B sales teams invite prospects and customers to join their dedicated Slack channels.
A number of B2B sales teams prefer to directly add prospects to their designated Slack sales channels.
By doing this, they’re able to communicate with clients in real-time rather than through the normal back-and-forth email exchanges. It also ensures that all communication and documents are gathered in one place. If anyone involved needs to look up the deal history, pricing information, or any other details, it’s easy to find in the channel.
Streamlining communication in this way increases their chances of closing the deal.
Sales teams use #closedlostnotes for company-wide learning and improvement
Many sales organizations use a Salesforce Slack integration to alert the company when opportunities slip through the cracks. We use many of the same notifications.
For example, when an opportunity is marked as “Closed Lost” in Salesforce, we automatically push our notes from the deal into Slack. This way, the entire company gets a better understanding of reasons why some deals might fall through.
We’ve found it helps our teammates in marketing and product better understand what makes people buy (or not) as well.
An example of a Closed Lost alert in Slack for sales.
Sometimes sales team motivation is as simple as #sales-gong
If you share losses, you have to share wins too! Many sales teams use a digital sales gong to announce wins in a way that’s fun for the entire company.
The Troops Sales Gong, for example, gives sales teams the power to personalize the trigger and messaging to give it that extra pizzazz. No need to waste time responding to congratulatory emails that clutter your inbox — just pop an emoji on the automated sales gong Slack post and get back to closing deals.
An example of a Sales Gong alert in Slack for sales.
Sales teams use #sales_call_reports to take advantage of shared expertise
Sharing sales call notes in Slack prevents salespeople from operating in silos. A #sales_call_reports (or similar) channel enables other salespeople to share their expertise, especially if they recognize a situation that’s similar to one of their previous sales processes.
This means everyone can share their best practices, and sales teams can identify sales challenge trends that they need to address across the board.
An example of a sales call alert in Slack for sales collaboration.
A company-wide #customerwins channel gets everyone involved in sales celebrations!
Sales teams create #customerwins channels to give the entire company a place to celebrate, learn, and share prospect and customer successes. This Slack sales channel is especially useful for sales motivation.
Want to see #customerwins in action? Here are two samples from our own channel:
Sales organizations use a #customerwins or similar Slack channel to promote sales team motivation and sales collaboration.
An example of a #customerwins post in a Slack channel for company-wide and sales motivation.
Slack Empowers Account-Based Sales Collaboration
Collaboration in sales isn’t new, but we do see an increased focus on team selling across many of the top sales organizations we work with. The difference today is that sales teams are moving away from sales-only platforms such as Chatter in favor of Slack, which is usually in use company-wide.
Slack opens sales to everyone. More teams are using Slack sales channels to get the right people in customer success, marketing, executive management, and other teams to chime in. This real-time, account-based collaborative sales approach take advantage of your company’s diverse array of expertise. It makes it easier to tackle more complex sales problems and often means more wins, bigger deals, faster sales cycles, and a more customer-focused company culture.