There are a variety of ways you can bring the Salesforce experience and customer 360 into Slack,  which we have detailed in previous articles. In this article we outline the key differences between Troops and the Slack and Salesforce’s native integrations.

Here is a brief overview in case you want to hop around:

  • Slack Salesforce Native Integrations vs. Troops Executive Summary
  • Deep Dive On Alerting in the Native Salesforce Slack Apps Vs. Troops
  • Additional Functionality Offered Through Troops
  • Why Troops + Native Integrations Work Better Together

 

The Native Salesforce + Slack Integrations

Currently there are two distinct native apps that connect Salesforce and Slack; one built by Slack and another by Salesforce.

Slack’s Salesforce App Primary Functionality:

  • View Slack messages associated with a record - also known as “unfurling”
  • Send Salesforce records to Slack
  • Set up record alerts in Slack channels

Salesforce’s App for slack

  • View Salesforce records for standard objects and any configured custom objects
  • Route relevant alerts to channels
  • Add Slack messages to Salesforce records


How This Compares to Troops

You can see the full difference between these integrations and Troops full product suite in the table below, but in addition to unique functionality, it is really important to understand the differences in “how” each solution brings customer 360 into Slack.

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As we have learned working with some of the fastest growing companies in the world on the intersection of CRM and messaging, in order to move mission critical business processes and workflows into a new medium, how that happens ultimately determines its efficacy and ability to help businesses generate outcomes.

The primary piece of overlapping functionality with either integration and Troops is the concept of alerting, which we will compare in depth. Compared to native integrations, Troops does not unfurl Salesforce URLs in Slack or ask users to take actions inside of the Salesforce UI. 

This is often why we see many customers use both Troops and native integrations in order to cover a broader range of use cases.

Unique functionality to Troops beyond alerting:

  • Spreadsheet like connected grids for easy updating across any Salesforce data
  • Customized write back actions attached to any alert to push data back into Salesforce clouds and other systems
  • Deal rooms
  • Alert and action integrations with 10+ addition systems in the GTM ecosystem
  • Microsoft Teams support
  • Robust reporting and administration 
  • Ability to support and centrally manage multiple Salesforce and Slack instances

When it comes to making Slack the digitalHQ for CRM workflows, data, and processes the devil is in the details which is why we are going to get right into the comparison of how alerting works in these applications vs. Troops. 

 

Alerting in Salesforce Apps vs. Troops

The main difference between creating alerts with Troops and the Slack and/or Salesforce apps, beyond the robustness, ease of deployment and centralized management, is the user experience paradigm.

Creating an alert with Troops is centered around defining the use case or business process (closed won, update your deals, see next steps) and then engaging the right people at the right time with actions in Slack.

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With this philosophy in mind, Troops is built to accommodate very granular conditions across any object or field, to support bringing any business process into Slack.

In the case of the Salesforce & Slack apps, it’s more oriented to implementing an alert starting with a channel or an individual record rather than the use case. Let’s take a look at the difference.

 

Alerting in the Slack App

Within Slack you can create alerts on specific objects and apply them to all records or alerts on a specific record. 

Channel Alerts On Objects

Again, the Slack application thinks about the world of alerting in Slack starting from the channel first vs. the use case first. 

To create an alert, you must go to a channel and select which static and non-customizable alerts you’d like to drop into a specific channel by pulling up the Salesforce app using a command.

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Here is an example of the basic alerts I can create related to an opportunity. They call these “bulk alerts” because they apply to all opportunities when set up.

Currently the only objects supported for bulk alerts are Opportunity, Account, Lead, Case, and Task. Within each object, there are some static use cases related to standard fields with no ability to apply filters or customize the information shared in Slack once the alert fires.

For customers with highly customized data sets and use cases, this is very limiting and, without any filtering, causes alerts to become noisey. 


Channel Alerts on Specific Records

Alternatively, you can set up an alert starting with the record in mind. To do this, you can select a record by pulling it up from the Salesforce app which will display all of the available alerts you’d like to configure as that individual record changes. Again, these alerts are limited to the out of-the-box use cases and are not configurable in any way.

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Alerts to Individuals in Direct Messages 

For individual alerts in direct messages, the Slack app provides alerting on records that get assigned to you, without any actions or customizations.

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To configure these alerts, every single individual must do it themselves, manually vs. done centrally by use case or an admin. Additionally, there is no way for an admin to determine who has done this and who hasn’t which makes relying upon this for any business process very tenuous and time consuming. 

 

The Salesforce App Alerting

In the case of the Salesforce App, alerts originate within Salesforce on the record page.

Let’s say you are viewing the Acme Opportunity within Salesforce. You either can manually send info on a record by clicking Send to Slack or you can choose from a handful of static use cases to automatically send to Slack when that basic criteria is met on that individual record.

Manual Send to Slack:

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Automatic Single Record Alerts from a Single Record:

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The automated alerts are limited to a set of static use cases across Cases, Opportunities, Accounts, Tasks, and Leads. Custom objects are not supported. Moreover, there is no ability to provide filters on the static use cases, customize your own use case and or adjust the display information that is shown in Slack when these trigger.

Perhaps the bigger challenge with the Salesforce app is that there is no global configuration based on a use case. For example, if I wanted to get alerted every single time a deal’s stage changed you’d need to navigate to every record in Salesforce and turn this setting on for each record. This makes scaling any alerting with the Salesforce app near impossible. 

Working with 100’s of customers over the years, our observation is that neither app today accommodates the complexity or the use case driven model required to realize the vision of bringing business processes from Salesforce into Slack.


Troops Signal Builder

As far as alerting goes, Troops thinks about the world in terms of use case first. The goal for our customers is to send the right information, to the right people (individual or group), at the right time with the appropriate next best actions directly within Slack.

To see this live, you can sign up for free or check out our product tour to see the experience in action. We’ll also cover the details in full here.

With this in mind, Troops has 2 primary alert paradigms: 

  • Real-time signals - send an alert when something is changing across any data condition 
  • Scheduled signals - query a system and return any results at a designated cadence

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From here you can select your system, and then can see all objects in the system both standard and custom.

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Once you’ve selected the object, you can dictate which combination of fields you’d like to create an alert on using any combination of and / or conditions.

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If it turns out you want to integrate data in the conditions from related objects to get even more granular on the use case, you can apply a filter from any related object.

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Here is  an example of what a full set of conditions might look like applying single and related object filters.

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In this instance, I have constructed an alert when opportunities are in stages 2 or 3 above a certain amount or related to product upgrades that are also Tier 1 accounts as denoted on the account object.

This level of complexity around when an alert can be triggered within a codeless interface that automatically understands object fields & hierarchies unique to your CRM is unique to Troops relative to native integrations.  


Data Routing

Once the event driving your use case has been established, you can then determine who you want to engage. With Troops, you have the option to send alerts to:

  • Individuals in Slack that are troops users
  • Channels
  • Reference field users across the triggering and related objects
  • Group DMs and Salesforce Teams
  • Email lookup fields
  • Other messaging interfaces (Microsoft Teams)

You can also send any combination of these. For example you could send an alert to a channel and the opportunity owner in a direct message at the same time based on a single condition.

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Use case driven routing, targeted at reference fields within a no-code builder offers companies the ability to roll out processes with ease as they scale and new people join the organization.


Messages Customization

Another element unique to Troops is the ability to customize the information that is shared once an alert has been triggered. As a user, you can customize both the message text as well as the truncated message fields which allows you to display information across all related objects.

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This level of customization ensures that every time you engage a user, they have exactly the information they need to take the correct action.


Actions

Speaking of actions, one of the most compelling unique features of Troops is the ability to create customizable action buttons that drive the desired behavior for your team in any scenario. 

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Available actions include updating Salesforce fields, creating an object, sending a templated email, making a phone call, or driving someone to a URL. 

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This functionality is incredibly powerful because it not only aids, guides, and drives behaviors within context, but it also allows people to more efficiently execute the work they need to across devices without leaving Slack. 


User & Alert Management and Administration

Part of the value of Troops is that it truly allows for central management and configuration of the connectivity between Slack and Salesforce. This is imperative to successfully rollout any Slack and Salesforce integration.

Key administrative features include:

  • Designation of admins and users - admins can build alerts for anyone while users can simply create alerts for themselves, action global alerts and use grid projects
  • Analytics and audit logs of all alerts
  • API throttling management 
  • Global management and view of all alerts and actions
  • User specific preferences (time zone, destination, system by system oauth)
  • Team ,anagement (invite, deprovision, view status)

Compared to the native Salesforce application, this makes it easy to see who is using what and make adjustments to drive better outcomes. 

 

In addition to these administrative tools, Troops also allows you to integrate any combination of multiple Salesforce and Slack instances and manage it all from one place. 

 

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This is immensely valuable for enterprise companies as well as M&A scenarios where companies want to share data in Slack prior to eventually consolidating their CRMs.


Additional Functionality Available Through Troops

In addition to the core signal builder, there are a few additional capabilities that Troops offers worth noting.


Troops Grid

One of the things we’ve learned working with 1000’s of companies is that sometimes you might need to take action on lots of information. For example, you might need to update 10 deals in your pipeline before a key meeting.

Although Slack is great, it might not be the best place for such a high cognitive load task. This is one of the reason we created our grid product. 

Troops Grid is a spreadsheet-like tool that empowers sales, success, and support teams to quickly update all their customer and prospect information across every system we integrate with including all the Salesforce clouds. 

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Unique elements of Troops Grids are that they work across 10+ systems, accommodate updating multiple objects from a single grid, and they can be attached to signals to drive the right data and behaviors.


Deal Rooms

Deal rooms provide 360-degree view of your key accounts and customers directly in Slack by creating and matching channels to Salesforce records. Once created, Troops empowers you to send automated signals on any signal from any system we integrate with in that channel. 

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By bringing context from your systems by where your entire company lives, Troops delivers on the promise of customer 360 with ease.


Data and Integration with 10+ Additional Systems

One of the things we’ve learned working at the intersection of CRM + Messaging over the past 5+ years, is that customers don’t just want data from Salesforce brought to Slack, but all their go to market systems. Although there is a lot of this data piping into Salesforce which Troops can provide signals off of, sometimes there are insights and actions that require a direct integration.

Today Troops monitors all data and provides actionable alerting + grid functionality across the following platforms:

  • Salesforce clouds (Sales, Marketing, Revenue, Support)
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365
  • Zendesk Support and Sell
  • Hubspot Sales and Marketing 
  • Gainsight
  • Outreach
  • Jira Cloud and Service Desk
  • Intercom
  • Netsuite (coming soon)

This breadth of data and interactivity makes the vision of Slack being the engagement layer for customer 360 a reality.

Why Troops & Native Integrations Work Better Together

This overview hopefully reveals to you how both the native Salesforce integrations fit into your business and where Troops may be able to play a supporting role. 

For many customers, it is very common for them to start with one of the native integrations and then as their requirements and needs grow, to evolve to a more robust solution. And when this happens, customers still are able to take advantage of convenient native functionality like Salesforce URL unfurling in Slack. 

If you’re just getting started on this journey, we recommend checking out this guide to connecting your CRM and Messaging as well as report on industry trends.

We believe that the future of Customer 360 looks like one where teams are managing their most important data and workflows in Slack, but also providing the administrative and enablement support to make this scalable and effective. Today, Troops is the most robust solution in market to make this possible.

We hope that you found this guide helpful, and if Troops seems like it can help your organization, we encourage you to try it for free here

Salesforce Flow

The only option that is a bit more interesting out of the box for Salesforce customers is the Flow platform. It claims to be clicks not code, but unless you are comfortable with Apex, it’s not intuitive and still lacks a lot of functionality relative to a purpose built platform. 

You can for example, use the flow platform trigger and schedule events to identify a particular scenario in a more robust way like Troops.

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However when it comes to routing that information and customizing it, things get very confusing and complex quickly. 

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Just to send a simple slack message things like API keys and IDs start to come into place which for most users is too technical to execute. You start to get into Salesforce developer land which even then runs into limitations.

There is no easy way to make the alerts interactive with things like messaging, and then easily manage and adjust these across the team. 


Deal Rooms

Salesforce Flow today is the only hypothetical way to execute the deal room or swarming concept. Here is an article and video that outlines the various steps required and additional packages to be installed to initiate the creation of a deal room. It’s a lengthy process and fairly technical:

  1. Get opportunity
  2. Extract account team members
  3. Convert into user records
  4. Extract slack user ids
  5. (install slack action package)
  6. Create slack channels
  7. Invite self
  8. Invite others
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Although this might be capable of creating a room, it starts to fall short a number of ways when you think about having a “deal rooms” process. Creation of the room is step 1. After this you want to continually add updates to that room, ideally with information from all systems that impact the customer experience. In this model, you’d have to create these 6-8 step automations for every piece of information. 

What about variance and deal rooms for different scenarios? For example, opportunity rooms vs. existing account rooms? Rooms for cases? The complexity of management for all these starts to become incredibly complex with a solution that is flexible, but not built with this use case in mind. 


Which Integration Is Right For You?

We hope this overview is helpful in understanding the key capabilities and differences among each of these three integration solutions, and will help guide you to the solution that best suits your needs.

Want to learn more about Troops and see if it’s the right platform for your business?

Try it free for 30 days!

Scott Britton

Written by Scott Britton

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