Salesforce and Slack apps on a phone screen with somebody's thumb next to the Slack app.
PHOTO: Ascannio

Salesforce announced yesterday its first product developments around its $27.7 billion acquisition of Slack that happened last December. The product capabilities cater to sales, marketing, service and analytics teams and leadership plans to to make Slack the core platform for each function: sales collaboration, marketing insights and decision-making, customer service support and operations and business analytics.

Salesforce markets these enhancements with a "Slack-First" moniker under the new Slack-First Customer 360 product suite. It includes: Slack-First Sales, Slack-First Marketing, Slack-First Service and Slack-First Analytics. Bret Taylor, president and chief operating officer of Salesforce, calls the Salesforce-Slack software operations a "digital HQ."

Salesforce, which has earned top market share for CRM software eight years in a row according to IDC, seemingly is pushing marketers, salespeople and support and analytics leaders to start their days firing up the Slack app and staying there throughout for daily operations. They also want to unite teams and streamline workflows built around CRM data.

Collaboration Is a Friend to Customer Experience

There's the saying that no one software vendor can do it all. However, Salesforce does appear to be trying to move in that direction with these Slack-based moves. The features and functions aim to combine all of Salesforce's software acquisitions over the past decade or so, including ExactTarget (marketing automation), Datorama (marketing data analytics) and Tableau (business analytics).

And it's another sign larger software vendors are embracing the marriage between employee experience/digital workplace software and customer experience/marketing software. It's all happened within the past year through three significant acquisitions. "What's the total price tag," you ask? $43.9 billion.

Salesforce competitor Adobe acquired Workfront for $1.5 billion one month before the December 2020 Salesforce-Slack deal and has similar intentions to bring the work of marketing operations and collaboration front and center under one software suite. Zoom did the same thing — crossing the collaboration/customer experience border — with its acquisition of contact center provider Five9 for $14.7 billion last month.

Related Article: Why Marketing Operations Got a Billion-Dollar Nod in Adobe-Workfront Acquisition

Slack-First Product Updates

Here's how Salesforce sees its Slack integration unfolding:

Slack-First Sales: Sales reps can collaborate on deals in real-time with deeper visibility into account details in Sales Cloud, all in Slack as the system of engagement. It includes digital deal rooms for collaboration around a customer or deal cycle in Slack. Sales reps can access and update Salesforce records and meeting information from Slack. External partners and customers can join in directly to close deals with Slack Connect. Automated daily briefs in Slack are designed to help reps with a personalized daily list of tasks, meetings and priority deals.

Slack-First Service: Customer service teams can collaborate to provide real-time customer support, bringing customers directly into the channel if needed. Service agents get access to relevant Service Cloud case data, experts and channels in Slack. Service teams can collaborate on "swarm channels" on complex and high priority cases, bringing in the right employee and external partners through an "Expert Finder" feature.

Slack-First Marketing: Marketing teams and agency partners get a shared digital workspace, and marketers can collaborate on customer journeys and get insights. Marketing insights from Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Datorama are shared directly in Slack. Workflow notifications automatically update Slack channels when changes to a marketing journey (i.e. a new email headline) are made.

Slack-First Analytics: Business users can access data-driven Tableau insights in Slack. Automated notifications in Slack help users stay connected to Tableau data. Watchlist digests provide a daily update on selected metrics and trends, while Subscriptions automate dashboard updates in team channels.