How modern sales teams use Slack to close more deals
Account based collaboration is manifesting itself as the strategy of choice for modern sales organizations. As a result, high performing sales teams are using Slack more than ever.
At Troops, we wanted to uncover in detail exactly how top sales teams use Slack to close more business. That’s why we analyzed Slack usage at more than 500 sales organizations, including leading companies like HubSpot, WeWork, Intercom — and even Slack themselves.
Here, we take a closer look at 10 Slack channels every top performing sales team should use. (We also reveal two crucial takeaways for any sales team using Slack!) First, let’s take a look at how teams organize their most used Slack channels.
Organizing your key Slack channels
#sales: In use at 80% of sales orgs
#sales was in use at 80% of the sales organizations we looked at and 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.
#customer: In use at 45% of sales orgs
#customer channels were also popular, giving reps a place to manage communication around specific existing customers. These channels usually included the customer name.
These channels are also a great place to communicate directly with an ongoing customer by inviting outside guests to the channel.
#enterprise: In use at 17% of sales orgs
For organizations selling into large accounts, #enterprise channels gave sales teams a way to organize conversations about their priority accounts.
This also allows enterprise or higher-level managers to follow the progress of the most important deals—without having to track every deal being worked by the sales team.
#onboarding: In use at 14% of sales orgs
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.
#account: In use at 13% of sales orgs
A number of sales organizations simply used #account channels to designate specific prospects or customers currently owned by either sales reps or the customer success team.
#inbound: In use at 8% of sales orgs
A small number of sales teams used #inbound to designate prospects that came from inbound marketing — as opposed to traditional outbound prospecting methods.
Organizing your Slack channels to create the ultimate team experience
Many sales organizations use specific channels for collaboration and sharing across the sales team and the rest of the organization.
We use many of them at Troops too, and here are our favorites:
#closedlostnotes - Understand lost deals at a glance
When an opportunity is marked as “Closed Lost” in Salesforce, our notes from the deal are automatically pushed to Slack. This way, the entire company gets a better understanding of reasons why some deals might slip through the cracks.
We’ve found it helps our teammates in marketing and product to better understand what makes people buy (or not) as well.
Slack was built to be used across every department in a company, not just in sales. For that reason, Slack shines in all the areas where other tools can fall short for sales teams.
#sales-gong - Share your wins!
If you share losses, you have to share wins too! A digital sales gong for closed won notifications makes this a fun process for the entire organization.
This is also a great strategy to replace the company-wide “all staff” emails that are so often ignored or buried in people’s inboxes.
#sales_call_reports - Share your expertise with the team
Sharing sales call notes in Slack enables other salespeople to share their expertise, especially if they recognize a situation that’s similar to one of their previous sales encounters.
#customerwins - Celebrate your wins!
These give us a place to celebrate, learn, and share as we interact with customers and prospects.
Here’s a sample from our #customerwins channel:
Two key takeaways for sales teams that use Slack
1. 70% of sales orgs have dedicated channels for their most important opportunities and clients
Of the hundreds of sales teams we looked at, over 70% are using unique channels for sales opportunities and top tier accounts. Regardless of whether it was a B2B or B2C business, across the board we saw the same pattern.
The reason behind this is twofold:
- Organizing communication around a particular deal or account is incredibly important in a complex sales environment.
- Slack is the easiest place for everyone to stay in sync.
To put it simply: top sales teams swarm around opportunities in Slack —because that’s where they are already working.
By creating a dedicated channel for each opportunity you’ll have a complete timeline with all necessary information for your most important accounts in one place.
This means that SDRs, AEs and C-level management (anyone involved in a deal) will have key information at their fingertips at all times. You can connect these channels to Salesforce and other systems through products like Troops deal rooms or custom development work.
2. B2B brands added prospects and customers to their channels
For B2B brands, we saw a number of companies that directly added sales prospects to a shared Slack channel. Shared Slack channels let two separate organizations work together in a single channel.
By doing this, they’re able to communicate with clients in real-time rather than through the normal back and forth emails.
In addition, all communication and documents are gathered in one place, which makes things easier for both deal teams and the customer. Another reason many companies have opted for this, is the increased responsiveness and problem solving ability provided by real-time messaging interfaces which makes POCS and pilot periods a perfect use case.
By streamlining communication in this way, they can increase their chances of closing the deal.
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 at Troops. The difference today is that sales teams are moving away from sales-only platforms (such as Chatter) in favor of tools like Slack that are being used company-wide.
But just because your sales team is using Slack, it doesn’t guarantee results. Adopting Slack isn’t just adopting a tool, it means changing the way people work. The better your team uses it, the better your results will be (and the less people will revert back to email).
Looking to build a high performing sales team? Grab our practical guide on building and scaling a sales team: The Sales Hiring Playbook.