In October 2019, at Slack Frontiers London, Slack and Salesforce announced availability of a deeper integration between Slack and Salesforce Sales and Service Clouds.
The announcement validates the need to make work easier for sales and service teams by allowing them to perform key tasks from within Slack.
While it’s great to see improved integration between Slack and Salesforce, Troops provides deeper and more actionable integration with out-of-the-box workflow automation that’s easy for business users to adopt and use. Read on to see what’s new between Slack and Salesforce, as well as how Troops is different.
We’ll cover in depth:
- What’s new in the updated Slack/Salesforce integration
- Key differences in overlapping functionality with Troops
- CRM Querying
- Functionality Unique to Troops
- Action Buttons (Writing Back to Salesforce)
- Actions on Command
- Deal Rooms
- Salesforce Approvals
- Salesforce Reporting
- User Management + Administration
- Functionality Unique to the Salesforce Integration
At the end of this article, we’ll also provide a recommendation on which option might be the best decision for you based on the needs of your business.
For those of you looking to skim, here’s a cheat sheet that summarizes the differences.
You might have noticed that we’re writing an article about the difference between our platform and the native Salesforce-Slack integration. We’ve done our best not to be biased because we want you to make an informed decision. But it should come as no surprise that we think Troops has the best Slack and Salesforce integration around. Want to try it out? Get started for free here.
What’s new in the updated Salesforce integration?
With the growing number of Sales and go-to-market teams living in Slack, it comes as no surprise that Salesforce and Slack have released an expanded integration.
With this comes a few new and upgraded features:
- Teams can receive notifications in Slack on select objects (New)
- An enhanced SFDC querying experience (Upgrade)
- Team members can send records from a Salesforce page directly to Slack, choosing where and with whom they want to share information (New)
- Slack conversations can also be added to Salesforce records, so important messages regarding an account or a case can be viewed in Salesforce (New)
- An enhanced unfurling experience (Upgrade)
Some of this functionality overlaps with Troops in some capacity, some of it is completely unique. Let’s start by unpacking the difference in experience and capability where there is overlap between Troops and the updated native Slack and Salesforce integration.
Alerts: The primary differences between the native integration and Troops
With the new update, both Troops and the native Salesforce integration offer the ability to create alerts that push information from Salesforce to Slack. We’ll compare these aspects of read-only alerts:
- Salesforce object support
- Conditions (what triggers them)
- Routing options (who can get them)
- Message content (what information is displayed)
Salesforce object support
The new Salesforce integration allows you to create alerts on Opportunity, Account, Lead, Case, and Task objects.
Troops supports alerting on all of these as well as on all custom objects, including more sophisticated Salesforce functionality such as approvals.
Conditions determine when we want to receive information from Salesforce to Slack.
The native Salesforce Integration facilitates the following use cases:
Setting up each use case occurs in Slack in the particular channel or message where you would like the alert to appear.
In its current state, all alerts are out of the box based on these limited standard field types and there is not currently any way to apply filters.
Troops alert deep dive and differences
Troops can push an alert to Slack 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.
Again, Troops supports alerting off all Salesforce objects.
The majority of the native Salesforce integration alerts are related to basic changes on fields or object creation with the exception of an alert on a deal closing today. Within the supported objects, the scope of which field changes can trigger an alert is limited.
Troops supports alerting on all field change types, creation events, stuck deals, and on any date field.
You can also customize alerts with filter settings on both the selected object as well as cross-objects. 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 desired location in Slack.
For companies that want granularity, do not use the out of the box Salesforce fields, or have use cases beyond the basic ones supported, Troops provides more robust flexibility.
Another alert type that is quite popular is based on Google 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 calendar—which can be done immediately following an event, or once a day at your desired time.
Above you can see this meeting workflow in action.
Once the conditions for your alerts are defined, now it’s time to decide where we want to send that information.
To do this in the native Salesforce app, you navigate to the channel where you’d like to receive an alert and select which subscription from the available 5 objects you’d like to add to that channel.
For individual users, you are able to select from the following subscriptions you’d like to receive within the Salesforce app channel.
This can only be done on an individual user basis, which means for example if you wanted all leads sent to owners (without any filters) you’d be required to ask everyone on your team to go and turn on this subscription individually.
We’ll get to administrative capabilities later, but as it currently stands there is no way to see who has or has not done this which can make this a challenging prospect for implementing amongst larger teams.
Troops routing capabilities
As part of the Troops workflow builder experience, you are able to send information to the following places:
- Public and private channels
- Individual Slack users
- Salesforce referenced user fields
- Dynamic group DMs (based on reference fields or Slack user)
From an administrative perspective, this flexibility is critical.
A lot of information isn’t meant for an entire channel, but rather for an individual like the record owner 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 of this is inbound leads. Let’s say you have a high volume of them and only care about certain types of leads being field immediately. 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 alerts to the account owner, or SDR at scale in a single, centrally managed set up.
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.
Sending alerts to individual Slack users who aren’t related to Salesforce objects can be handy for instances where the person you want to alert does not have a Salesforce account or has no relation to the object in Salesforce. One example might be letting an executive know when a big deal gets pushed out.
Alert message content
In the native Salesforce application, all alerts contain standard messages that cannot be customized.
Using Troops, alert messages are highly customizable. Troops offers a ‘drag-and-drop’ builder to select which information to share in the message across the selected and related objects.
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.
Salesforce querying: Troops vs. the native integration
Both Troops and the native Salesforce application support querying of the Salesforce database directly from Slack using a ‘/’ command.
With the Salesforce app, you can type in /salesforce and see search results on Leads, Contacts, Accounts, Opportunities, Cases, and Tasks.
You are able to see up to 10 results for each query, and are presented with a standard, non-customizable field view for each record that you can post to a channel.
Here is an example of the standard account view.
Troops Salesforce querying
Querying the Salesforce database using Troops can be done in a very similar way using /Troops + (search term).
The primary differences come after that happens. Off the bat, key differentiators include:
- Support for all objects (and customization of which ones your team can see)
- Customization of fields displayed
- Smart preview information
Most companies care about unique and specific information when they are viewing a record which is why the ability to customize what information you see on a given record is so critical.
All customization for field displays is done inside of the Troops platform as shown above, and applies globally to your organization.
Additional capabilities available within Troops are the ability to default hide or show search results, actions, and actions on command which we’ll cover in the differences section.
The Troops platform unique functionality
In this section, we’ll cover functionality unique to the Troops platform in the following order:
- Troops action buttons (writing back to Salesforce)
- Actions on command
- Deal Rooms
- Salesforce reporting
Let’s dive in!
Troops action 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!
This is exactly what is possible using Troops action buttons.
Above are example action buttons that allow you to update your forecast fields, next steps, and close lost deals.
Troops allows you to create and customize action buttons for the following use cases:
- Updating Salesforce Fields
- Creating Salesforce Objects
- Sending templated emails
- Making Calls
- Directing people to specific URLs
- Creating Deal Rooms
Within each Salesforce action button you are able to name the button, define key things like which fields are able to be adjusted, and determine what data is required or optional. You can also auto-update fields to minimize cognitive load on your team.
You can create and attach buttons to any workflow (alert) in the Troops platform as well as any CRM query.
For example, you could alert the rep if they have a deal with a close date 7 days away and then provide them buttons to adjust the date or update the forecast field.
Companies all over the world have experienced upwards of a 50% increase in important data in Salesforce using these buttons!
Actions on command
Often times there are repetitive actions that teams need to take that they want quick access to without searching for a Salesforce record.
This is exactly what Troops actions on command was built for.
Using actions on command, you are able to provide access to any action button directly from the command line using the /troops-action + enter command.
That allows your team to do key actions like create a salesforce lead or log a meeting in just 2 clicks which makes it a very popular feature on mobile.
Troops Deal Rooms
Working with 100’s of customers, one of the things we noticed was that many customers were creating Slack channels for specific accounts and customers to drive collaboration, visibility, and organization around a team’s most important accounts.
Troops has built an entire product to support this motion called Deal Rooms. Deal rooms makes it easy to harmonize these account channels with the related records in other business systems like Salesforce, Google Calendar, news events, and more.
Above is an example #account-piedpiper channel that displays alerts from Salesforce and calendar events only related to contacts from Pied Piper.
Deal rooms are quickly becoming a best practice for teams focused on driving collaboration around accounts to accelerate sales cycles and drive the best customer experiences.
Troops Approvals allows you to execute all of your existing Salesforce approval processes directly from Slack so that you can get them moving faster, makes sure they reach the right people, and provide key decision-making context where needed.
Within Troops, you can activate and customize Salesforce Approval notifications for Slack while leaving Salesforce Approval processes intact.
Key product functionality includes:
- Ability to submit an approval
- Approve/reject actions for approvers
- Add approval comments
- View history
- Routing to Salesforce referenced users and channels
- Nudge ability
- /troops-approvals for pending and completed actions
Troops has helped companies like Stack Overflow decrease their average approval time by over 94% by moving this workflow to Slack!
By using Troops, you are able to bring any of your existing Salesforce reports into Slack. You can access reports in two ways:
- Proactive querying via /troops-reports
- Scheduling reports
Troops supports all report types including tabular, summary, or matrix reports.
Once you have your Salesforce reports built out, 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.
User management + administration
Unlike the native Salesforce integration, Troops provides a robust administration suite to allow admins to centrally manage the experience.
Key administrative functionality includes:
- Global view and ability to edit all alerts
- User permissioning (admin vs. user)
- CRM global query controls
- Inviting and deprovisioning team members
- Managing team connection statuses
- API monitoring and throttling
- Analytics: usage, historical logs, leading metrics
Troops is also SOC 2, Type II compliant, making it best in class in security.
This sums up the primary functionality available in the Troops platform, that is not currently available in the Salesforce platform. Our team is constantly updating and enhancing the product based on customer feedback, so we imagine this may change as our team continues to evolve!
Salesforce integration unique differences
In addition to some of the overlapping functionality shared above, the native Salesforce-Slack integration does offer some functionality not available in the Troops platform. For this reason, many teams use both!
With the Salesforce application, every time a Salesforce link is shared in Slack, the app automatically displays context on that unique record.
Send Salesforce records to Slack from Salesforce
Team members can send their records from Salesforce directly to Slack, choosing where and with whom they want to share information. Check it out in action:
Use either the /chatter slash command or the /slack slash command to send updates from Slack into Chatter and vice versa.
Add Slack messages to Salesforce
One thing the new app enables is a “send to Salesforce” button that facilitates adding conversational context from a Slack message to a Salesforce record. It is unclear where this goes.
These are the primary unique features we have been able to find that the native Salesforce integration provides that are not supported by Troops. To learn more you can always see the latest integration announcement as well as the original one.
Which integration is right for you?
We hope the overview above is helpful in understanding the major capabilities and differences between each integration.
Both Salesforce and Troops provide a free way to get started so you can ultimately experience which option is a better fit for your team. As you start to build more and more processes around connecting systems, and are looking for a way to centrally manage the experience, this is really where a dedicated platform like Troops shines.
And if there is certain functionality you find highly valuable in the native integration, you can certainly always use both!
Want to see if Troops is the right integration platform for you? Get started for free here.