Slack and Salesforce Integration: Zapier vs. Workato vs. Troops

Sales teams are collaborating more than ever on Slack. But to get the most out of Slack for revenue generating teams, you need to leverage the full power of the Slack platform beyond just conversation.

Specifically, you need to integrate your key business systems into your collaborative hub so teams can streamline workflow, access mission critical information, and have timely conversations that move your business forward.

TL;DR? You need to arm your organization with a Slack and Salesforce integration.

In this article, we provide an apples-to-apples comparison of three popular platforms for bringing Slack and Salesforce together: Zapier, Workato, and Troops. We’ll also let you know when the native Slack and Salesforce integration performs one of the features discussed.

Here’s what we cover in-depth:

  • Alerts (i.e., what types of events will trigger the alert, who you can send alerts to, and what you can include in the alert message)
  • Actions and Buttons (i.e., updates you can make from Slack into Salesforce)
  • CRM Querying (i.e., whether you can query Slack for information stored in Salesforce)
  • Salesforce Reporting (i.e., making reports and dashboards visible in Slack)
  • Administration (i.e., executive insights, user management and overview of usage)
  • Security (i.e., SOC 2 Type 2 certified)

In the following sections, we break down these six components that are key to optimizing your Slack experience for your revenue generating teams. For those of you looking to skim, we’ve put together the following chart to summarize our findings.

Zapier vs. Workato vs. Troops: decide which Slack and Salesforce integration is right for your organization with this in-depth comparison.

You might have noticed that we’re writing an article about the difference between our platform and others. We’ve done our best to give them a fair shake because we want you to make an informed decision. But it should come as no surprise that we think we have the best Slack and Salesforce integration around. Want to try it out? Get started for free here.

1. Alerts: Conditions, Routing, and Message Content

Zapier, Workato, and Troops all offer the ability to create alerts that push information from Salesforce to Slack. We’ll compare three aspects of read-only alerts: conditions (what triggers them), routing options (who can get them) and message content (what information is provided).

Before we dive into a detailed look at what each platform supports, here’s the summary for each category:

Summary: Alert Conditions

Zapier and Workato both support alerts based on changes happening in Salesforce. Troops offers additional options, including alerts when something that should have changed doesn’t (like stagnant stages), as well as on dates. This enables your team to proactively identify and solve problems earlier vs. just reacting to changes. Troops also has more options for filtering, meaning you can fine-tune automated alerts to send only information that’s worth your time by use of very granular conditions.

Summary: Alert Routing

Zapier and Workato can push alerts to a specific channel, be it for a single user or a group channel. That leaves you setting up dozens of channels for the same alert types… over and over again. And you’ll have to fix them anytime someone leaves or joins the team.

Here’s the thing: A lot of information isn’t meant for an entire channel, but rather for an individual or distinct group of people. In fact, putting it in a channel can dilute the value as well as hamper your team’s ability to see what they need to.

A great example is inbound leads. Let’s say you have a high volume of them. If the goal is high signal and quick response, you’d rather send it directly to the person who owns the lead vs. make your team look through an entire channel to see their leads. This is how you limit noise and optimize the experience.

That’s why we created alert routing by Salesforce user reference fields. It’s far more efficient because you can tell Troops to send an alert to the account owner, or SDRor bothin a group environment if the use case is collaborative, like a handoff scenario; Troops will automatically find that person in Slack based on auto matching between who someone is in Salesforce and who they are in Slack. Again, this is not only great for making things high signal, but also creating a scalable experience for your team that doesn’t have to get updated repeatedly as people and roles change.

You can also route information to any Slack user in a direct message using Troops. That’s useful in the event that you’d want to notify someone not referenced on a Salesforce object, like an executive.

Summary: Message Content

Zapier and Workato both use dropdown lists to choose what information your alert will provide. You can attach specific data from Salesforce on the object you are referencing on the alert. With Troops, you get a drag-and-drop message builder, along with the ability to add media like custom or stock GIFs and emojis. It’s more fun that way.

You can also very easily reference fields across if you want to show account information on an opportunity workflow, this is a very simple point and click experience.

Zapier’s Alert Features Deep Dive

Zapier allows you to push important alerts to a Slack channel based on a field change or custom object creation in Salesforce. For example, you can push alerts based on things like stage changes, new contacts, updated accounts, and more.

Zapier lets you trigger alerts, as shown in this dashboard.

Currently, you’ll need to create a separate zap for each type of alert you want to receive.

Zapier only pushes alerts to a specific Slack channel. If you want the same alert to go to more than one channel, you’ll need to set up a separate zap for each one. If you need the alert to go to multiple people, the simplest way to get the message to them is to add them all to a specific channel.

Unfortunately, that means you’ll have to add and manage channels when employees leave or join your company.

The information you can include in the message is limited to objects in Salesforce.

Workato Workbot Alert Features Deep Dive

Workato’s Workbot can push notifications to a channel based on a field change, object creation, or threshold met. The threshold option is primarily for meeting a new record threshold in Salesforce which is more related to data mapping between systems vs. the context of sharing information in Slack.

Workato has a Workbot that integrates with Slack and Salesforce.

If someone deletes a record, creates an object, adds new information, or changes existing information, you’ll know about it as long as you have the right settings enabled. Getting a notification setup looks like this:

It is pretty simple to setup notifications for just about everything in Workato

Workato’s routing is the same as Zapier’s: the platform supports alerts sent to a specific channel (be that a custom-created channel or a specific user that you select).

That said, it’s easier to copy workflows in Workato than it is in Zapier, so it’s not as difficult to set up the same alert for multiple channels. And they have a number of premade, commonly-used alerts to get started. But you’ll still need to create all those channels by hand.

As far as message content goes, you can select options from a dropdown list. If you want a custom field, you’ll need to add that to the dropdown list and you have to follow a specific format.

Troops Alert Features Deep Dive

Troops can push an alert to Salesforce based on five different categories: field changes, object creation, dates, stuck-in-stage status, or calendar events related to Salesforce objects. All of these can be further qualified by conditional logic filters.

Troops can utilize over five different filters for notifications -- including conditional logic filters.

As mentioned above, this is one of the key differences between Troops and other platforms: not only can you be advised if something new is happening, but you can also know when something isn’t happening as well, based on date parameters. The easiest way to do that is to set up an alert that tells you if a deal hasn’t changed stages within a certain time frame (for example, 14 days).

Troops allows you to setup notifications when things aren't moving as well, using date parameters.

You can also customize alerts with filter settings. For example, you could set alerts to happen after fourteen days of no change, but only if the stage is “SAL” and the deal size is at least $10,000. Any deals meeting those criteria will be posted to your chosen Slack channel.

Troops notifications will push through to Slack to keep everyone on the same page.

The other alert type that is quite popular is based on calendar events that contain leads or contacts in Salesforce. These are great for prompting people around specific updates based on the meetings they are having on their calendarwhich can be done immediately following an event, or once a day at your desired time.

Troops allows you to easily make updates within Slack itself.

While you can easily select a channel or specific user to receive the message, Troops offers additional options that the other two platforms lack.

You can send alerts based on the recipient’s role (aka user reference fields) in Salesforce. And you can select more than one person when relevant to facilitate dynamic group experiences. Need the alert to go to the account manager and the SDR? No problem.

Troops makes the process run smoothly by letting you select the recipients for specific notifications.

Rather than creating dozens of copies of the same alert for different people, you can have Troops automatically route the message to the person who needs to receive it. You don’t have to build 20 workflows for your individual team members to receive specific alerts relevant to them that are dynamic based on the record; you just have to set it up once.

Messages are highly customizable. Troops offers a ‘drag-and-drop’ builder to select which information to share in the message. Even if that information isn’t available under the opportunity in Salesforce, Troops will pull info (like industry or company size) from the parent account or any user reference field.

Troops is highly customizable, making your workflow a breeze.

You can even add emojis and custom media, like GIFs.

Since GIFs can be customized per object owner, you can make this fun for your team. For example, each person could have their own GIF that pops up when they close a deal. You can see more on that here.

2. Actions and Buttons

Getting alerts from Salesforce is great, but where Slack-Salesforce integrations really skyrocket productivity is when you can modify, edit, and add to Salesforce right from Slack, without opening Salesforce at all… queue the slow clap from your reps who think trudging around the Salesforce interface leaves much to be desired.

Here’s a summary of what each platform lets you do in Salesforce right from inside Slack, followed by the detailed breakdown:

  • Workato and Troops both offer buttons that you can press in Slack to cause a change in Salesforce. Zapier does not have that option.
  • Workato’s buttons are limited; while you can use them to execute a number of tasks, it will take a lot of effort to set them up.
  • We designed Troops’ buttons with revenue generating teams in mind, so you can do anything from updating opportunity information to creating a new lead in Salesforce, all from within Slack.

Read on for more details below.

Zapier Actions and Buttons

When you’re using Zapier, there’s no way to press a button in Slack and make something happen in Salesforce. The closest it gets to taking an action in Salesforce from Slack is the following process:

Zapier: When this happens, then do this!

  • Create a channel you want to use for specific Zapier commands
  • Set up a specific message that, when typed, results in the creation or update of a certain object in Salesforce
  • Manually type that message in the exact manner specified for the desired effect to take place

Both the Workato Workbot and Troops have more extensive, scalable options in this category.

Workato Workbot Actions and Buttons

Unlike Zapier, the Workbot can push data from Slack back to Salesforce. You have two options: buttons and commands.

If you set up a Workbot button, you can execute basic tasks from Slack.

A Workbot button allows you to push information to Salesforce.

Anyone who presses the button will have to log into Salesforce for authentication, but can then immediately return to Slack without having to scroll through Salesforce.

With a little coding knowledge, you can set up custom button actions for your Workbot. Doing so will trigger a recipe you created and you can do anything from pull information from Salesforce to updating fields in Salesforce which is often done by entering information in the command line vs. a customizable form.

Another way to accomplish this is to use typed commands. Doing so will initiate a series of questions from the Workbot so that you can walk it through the action you want to take.

Workbot commands aren't intuitive, but have customizable potential.

As you can see in the GIF above, Workbot commands aren’t the most intuitive, but they do have significant customization potential.

Troops Actions and Buttons

To solve the problem of easily updating Salesforce from Slack (without coding and other headaches), we created a variety of premade Slack buttons for Troops users. Your team can do things like log a call, mark a deal as won, add an opportunity, and moreall from Slack.

Ease of use between Slack and Salesforce is really important to us. Teams who want to add custom buttons can do that, too. These action buttons can be attached to any alert, as well as any search query (more on that later).

Troops provides the most significant ease of use between Salesforce and Slack.

For example, let’s say you want to pull up a Microsoft opportunity in Slack. You run a query (more on that below) to pull up the opportunity and want to enable your team with very custom actions based on what they’d typically need to do when viewing an opportunity.

With Troops you can name these buttons and customize what happens when they are clicked in order to make dead simple calls-to-action that your team can move on.

Troops "Progress Opp" allows your team to keep the status of everything up-to-date.

The example above shows a field set you might want to show your reps when they are progressing an opportunitywhich is why the button is named “Progress Opp”.

Action Buttons Outside of Salesforce

Troops also offers connections to a few common sales tasks outside of Salesforce. For example, if you want to follow up on an alert with an email, you can press a button in Slack to create an email using one of Troops templates.

Troops provides email templates to make it easy to follow up with potential leads and existing clients.

You can read about more about that in this blog post.

3. CRM Querying

Want to search Salesforce from the comfort of your Slack workspace? While Zapier does not offer this feature, Workato and Troops do. One big difference between Workato and Troops is that Workato can perform command-based queries for many platforms, whereas Troops has optimized their integration for a highly flexible Salesforce search and update experience.

Note that the native Salesforce Slack integration does provide querying. At this point, you can’t make updates with that integration or customize and expand which information you see.

Let’s dive a bit deeper into the additional querying functionality that Workato and Troops offer.

Workato Workbot CRM Querying

Querying is a use case of the Workbot’s commands. As long as you use the correct format, you can ask the Workbot to share all kinds of information from Salesforce with you.

For example, let’s say you want to know more about recently approved deals. Workato has a “list” command that, if typed in Slack along with “recent approved deals,” will pull up all recently approved deals, as you can see in the image below.

Workato provides a list command within Slack.

But since Workato can sync with more than just Salesforce, querying can even let you pull information from one app and push it to another, all from your Slack workspace — presuming you’ve programmed the bot for your organization.

For example, let’s say you want to know if an account listed in QuickBooks is also listed in Salesforce. In the query shown below, the account does exist; had it not, the rep could ask Workbot to sync the data between QuickBooks and Salesforce.

Workato has multiple integration options!

This flexibility pre-supposes that your team will remember the commands and be comfortable working from the command line vs. a point and click experience.

Troops CRM Querying

Troops supports queries for all objects (both standard and custom) in Salesforce. There’s a list of all pre-existing queries and commands that you can customize for any object you want.

For example, maybe when you look at an account or a custom object, you care about a very specific set of fields that you want to display. Within the Troops platform, you can customize this information for your organization so the experience is as relevant and actionable as possible.

Troops is customizable enough to make everything relevant to your business and your specific needs.

You can also attach specific action buttons to queries based on the object that you’re viewing which allow you to make updates to Salesforce. Troops has opted for a point and click experience for Salesforce updating vs. working from the command line.

Let’s take a look at the entire interaction.

Querying with Troops starts with a /troops command vs. trying to interact with a bot. You can type in the name of any Salesforce search and you’ll get the exact same search results that you would in Salesforce.

For example, let’s say you type in “microsoft.” That brings up buttons for contacts, opportunities, customer feedback, leads, tasks, and accounts. If you want contacts, you would press the “contacts” button and select the contact you want.

From there, you can navigate to the specific record you want by previewing key information. You’ll see the custom field set your team has designated for each object. If you want to share that with the channel, you can do that, too.

Need to make an update? Just click on the prescriptive action buttons. Once you click save, that will write back to Salesforce in real-time preserving validation rules, update history, and permissions just as if you did it in Salesforce.

4. Salesforce Reporting

What if you want to view Salesforce reports in Slack? Zapier does not have this functionality, but Workato and Troops both do.

Reports can be displayed by either a schedule or a query. Let’s investigate the main differences below.

Workato Workbot Salesforce Reporting

While Workato’s Salesforce reporting options are not extensive, you do have a few out of the box options you can select. If you want a custom report, you’ll have to build a custom recipe.

For example, you can see a breakdown of which stage your deals are in each morning.

The Workato Workbot can provide a summary of your leads every morning.

Updates can be scheduled, or you can use a command to pull up the report (assuming you’ve set that up ahead of time). Workato has a handful of pre-made recipes for the reports themselves; but if you want to customize the information in your report, you’ll need to build it from scratch inside of Workato.

Troops Salesforce Reporting

With Troops, you can get reports through either of two ways:

  1. Proactive querying via /troops-reports
  2. Scheduled messages

The primary difference between Troops and Workato is that Troops allows you to import any of your pre-existing Salesforce reports whether they are Tabular, Summary, or Matrix. This means there’s no need to spend hours rebuilding them.

Troops allows you to easily see the "Deals Closing This Month" report.

Once you have these, you can schedule them to individuals or channels based on your desired frequency with no send limits like you face in Salesforce. You also can program on a per user level, and those reports can be seen when they use the /troops-reports command—which displays an option of all reports set up. This is great for executives on the go who want to quickly check in on information via mobile.

5. Administration

While all three platforms offer some kind of administrative view, the information provided by each differs considerably.

Zapier will show your task history and grants access to team folders for all workflows. Workato logs changes to recipes, so if anyone messes up your automation, you’ll know who to blame.

With Troops, we wanted the executive team to have visibility into how their organization is adopting the tool. So, we not only show you activity logs; we’ll also display statistics on individual users within your organization.

Zapier Administration

Zapier provides a log that displays which workflows have been used (“task history”). When on the team plan, you’ll have shared access to folders and workflows so that you can collaborate to build team processes.

Workato Workbot Administration

Workato will log changes to recipes, so you can see who changed which recipes and when.

Workato logs changes to recipes so you can keep track of the editing that's being done.

There’s also an admin panel so that you can manage who has which permissions.

Troops Administration

The main difference with Troops is that it was built with the idea that individual Salesforce users, rather than an IT admin, would be interacting with it. This means that functionality like inviting team members, managing them, understanding individual connection statuses, and monitoring individual usage has all been built into the platform.

For example, under your account, you can see statistics that show how extensively Troops is being used by your team. You can also see who in your company has adopted the technology the most. All data can be organized by team or individual.

Troops provides statistics so you can see which employees are utilizing the platform effectively.

This type of granular information allows you to understand who is getting the most value out of the platform and who might need help.

6. Security

We can’t forget the importance of security….we’re talking about sensitive customer data after all! Here’s the quick version:

Troops and Workato are SOC 2 Type 2 certified and enterprise-ready. While Zapier does provide details regarding security measures (think info on login credentials, account access, and internal security policies), they do not appear to be SOC 2 Type 2 certified. You’ll need to confer closely with your internal security resources before giving Zapier access to sensitive data.

Which Platform Makes Sense for You?

After reading through the categories above, you should have a good sense of which platform makes the most sense for your business. Obviously, we hope you’ll choose Troops. But we realize that not every company is a good fit for us.

So if you’d like the summary, here it is:

Choose Troops if you…

  • Want a Slack and Salesforce integration that works out of the box, but is also highly customizable
  • Need a solution that’s fine-tuned for individual members of your sales teams
  • Like the idea of easily updating Salesforce from Slack

Choose Zapier if you…

  • Only need a few alerts based on field changes in Salesforce
  • Don’t need to push data to Salesforce from Slack
  • Don’t mind setting up every alert and channel by hand

Choose Workato if you…

  • You’re looking for a broad based integration platform where the primary user will be your IT team, vs. individual revenue team members
  • Need some, but not all, of the features discussed above
  • Aren’t afraid of the technical learning curve to get Workbot up and running efficiently

You might have noticed that we’re writing an article about the difference between our platform and others. We’ve done our best to give them a fair shake because we want you to make an informed decision. But it should come as no surprise that we think we have the best Slack and Salesforce integration around. Want to try it out? Get started for free here.

Scott Britton

Written by Scott Britton

Subscribe to our blog