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3 Tips To Improve Marketing Workflows and Grow Relationships With Slack

Here are ways Slack can help marketers build relationships with partners to deliver powerful B2B marketing campaigns.

professional woman in a casual environment, working on her laptop. Marketers grow with Slack marketing workflows.
A marketer collaborating with her colleagues on her laptop while working in a chic cafe. [Marija Savic/Stocksy]

The work-from-anywhere world isn’t on the horizon — it’s already here. With only 28% of U.S. workers back at their brick-and-mortar buildings and nearly 50% of salespeople anticipating more virtual sales, demand generation marketers need to market faster and smarter. How can they create digital-first strategies that drive demand and fuel business growth? By improving marketing workflows. When work flows, relationships grow, and relationships are the key to creating the white-glove experiences customers want.

Slack is changing the way demand gen teams engage with projects, vendors, partners, and customers. Demand gen marketers are using Slack to improve project workflows, optimize campaign performance in real-time, deliver innovation by collaborating around insights, and much more. Here are three ways Slack can help you build relationships with internal and external partners to deliver powerful B2B marketing campaigns.

1. Create dedicated channels to stay close to your sales team

From nurturing leads to analyzing metrics, sales and marketing alignment is vital for optimizing every stage of a campaign. As part of a three-member demand gen marketing team for Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Galit Heimlich and her colleagues are responsible for influencing 40% of the product’s marketing pipeline and annual contract value. Each team member owns demand gen activities for a specific marketing persona; Heimlich’s is the B2B marketer. And they each partner closely with sales to ensure their campaigns resonate with customers and prospects.

“We talk to sales about what we’re doing with targeted activations to make sure we’re aligned to their goals,” Heimlich said. “In that sense, we function as strategic partners and project managers. But it goes both ways. Sales informs us about the kinds of things their customers might want in market, and we go about activating those.”

To deliver real-time, relevant customer experiences, marketing and sales must be in lock-step alignment on activities that grow revenue. So their communication needs to be immediate, transparent, and organized. It also has to go beyond meetings and email — two tools that don’t easily support the new hybrid workplace. Meetings can extend project timelines and delay approvals as organizers scramble to accommodate competing schedules. Meanwhile, ideas get stuck in inboxes, so that sales feedback never finds its way into marketing activities. 

That’s where Slack channels — dedicated spaces for focused collaboration — come in.

Heimlich announces marketing initiatives in a Slack channel that includes all of her sales partners. She gets real-time feedback from sellers in the comments.

She also has a channel for sales leadership that covers high-level strategy discussions, and specific channels for every activation, asset, and targeted account-based marketing (ABM) program.

“These allow people to participate in the conversations that are most relevant to them and ensures we’re always on the same page,” she said.

Huddles is great for those two- or three-minute conversations you would normally have in an office setting. It’s a fantastic feature for in-the-moment clarification.

Galit Heimlich, Salesforce Marketing Cloud

A feature that supports real-time marketing and sales communication is Slack Huddles, which enables live audio calls within the platform and optional screen-sharing. Huddles has become a staple in the way Heimlich communicates with team members.

“Huddles is great for those two- or three-minute conversations you would normally have in an office setting. It’s a fantastic feature for in-the-moment clarification,” Heimlich said.

2. Use channels to organize marketing workflows and engage project teams

Slack enables end-to-end marketing by bringing the right people, data, and workflows into one place. Heimlich recommends creating a unique Slack channel for your overarching campaign and each related marketing activation. 

Channels offer a level of flexibility unmatched by email or even instant messaging or chat. People can easily jump in and out as roles change and work progresses, and new team members can quickly get up to speed at their own pace.

Channels offer a level of flexibility unmatched by email or even instant messaging or chat. People can easily jump in and out as roles change and work progresses, and new team members can quickly get up to speed at their own pace. Using threaded messages — comments organized under a parent message — marketers can consolidate conversations within campaign channels and keep things tidy.

Once your channels are established, you can invite the appropriate project team members to brainstorm ideas, organize timelines, and execute campaigns while easily sharing progress to keep key partners aligned. Pin your go-to marketing tools and core resources to seamlessly project-manage activities, collaborate around design mock-ups and files, respond to campaign data, and more. You can also unlock data across marketing and sales channels into a collaborative workflow — creating a system of engagement around static data that helps you make informed decisions in an agile way.

Heimlich recently used Slack to cultivate cross-team engagement and collaboration for a large-scale marketing initiative.

The team’s planning approach paid off. The webinar boasted 900 registrants and a 38% conversion rate — the highest registration for a Master Your Marketing event in 2021 to date, and the second largest in the program’s history.

“We just ran a large ABM webinar as part of Marketing Cloud’s Master Your Marketing series, and it involved extensive planning due to having so many internal and external speakers,” she explained. “The channel was created for Salesforce employees to share knowledge and files that didn’t require customer input. We delivered a very complicated panel session seamlessly partly because we had a home base for collaboration between planning meetings.”

The team’s planning approach paid off. The webinar boasted 900 registrants and a 38% conversion rate — the highest registration for a Master Your Marketing event in 2021 to date, and the second largest in the program’s history.

3. Manage external communication seamlessly in one place with Slack Connect

Slack Connect, a feature that allows you to work with people outside your company in channels and direct messages (DMs), has also made external communications easier, especially with vendors. “It’s important to be able to reach out to a vendor at any time to say, ‘I’m ready to go on this project,’ or ‘Let’s talk about this purchase request,’” Heimlich said. Slack Connect’s sponsored connections capabilities let you work with anyone in Slack, even if they’re not a Slack customer. Sponsored connections lets you host any company at your digital HQ without asking them to be on a paid Slack plan themselves.

“That’s why I always use Slack Connect with vendors, and DM specifically. It’s faster than email or a phone call, and it creates an organized record of correspondence.”

Slack supports a wide range of integrations, from productivity apps like Salesforce Anywhere and Google Drive to departmental tools like Zoom and Workday. These apps integrate seamlessly into both internal- and external-facing channels, centralizing activities and company-specific software.

“It’s all about speeding things up,” Heimlich noted. “For example, the integration with Google means I can grant access to Drive files and documents right in Slack.”

Slack-first marketing reminds demand gen marketers of the value of real-time communication, especially when it comes to aligning with sales and keeping tabs on your campaigns. By optimizing marketing workflows, Slack can help you hone your digital-first strategies and deliver campaigns your customers will never forget — one channel at a time.


Neha Shah is the Director of Product Marketing at Salesforce Pardot. In her role, she drives product positioning and solution messaging for Salesforce's B2B marketing offerings. She brings a strong background in technology and business, and has a proven track record of bringing solutions to market that help SaaS companies accelerate growth. She’s passionate about leveraging data-driven techniques to drive superior customer engagement. Neha holds a BS in Computer Science and Finance from Rutgers University and an MBA from Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley.

More by Neha

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