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5 Ways to Use Slack to Boost Your Sales Teams’ Efficiency and Productivity

5 Ways to Use Slack to Boost Your Sales Teams’ Efficiency and Productivity

Slack is ideal for sales teams because it has features that make it easy to foster collaboration internally and with customers, partners, and suppliers.

There were times when closing a deal would earn sales reps a high five from nearby coworkers or their manager. In some cases companies would have a bell in the office that would ring out in victory. Today, the celebratory activity is magnified among sales teams that use Slack – as is all the activity that leads to reasons for celebrating.

As more companies look for ways to boost revenue and combat a challenging economic climate, equipping your reps with the right tools can make all the difference in how much they get done every day. It can also make a difference in how their work is done – a shift from running around an office trying to get answers to having them arrive near-instantaneously to their smartphones.

Slack is an ideal tool for sales teams because it has all the features that make it easy to foster collaboration internally and with the wider world of customers, partners and suppliers. Unlike a traditional phone system that only allows one call at a time, Slack channels provide a means of managing multiple channels at once. This makes it a powerful mechanism for managing stages of the buying journey.

Unlike many other communication and productivity apps, deploying Slack doesn’t put your small and medium-sized business (SMB) at risk of being stuck in a data silo. With the ability to integrate with critical business systems like a CRM, marketing automation, and customer service, Slack has become the foundation for operating a digital HQ for organizations of every kind.

Slack is still new enough, of course, that it may not be obvious how it could align with the typical processes and workflows that go on within sales teams. That’s okay, because we’re happy to offer some ideas to get you started:

1. Let new reps hit the ground running faster with a Slack-fuelled onboarding process

The first few days on the job can involve a lot of wasted time for new employees, including sales reps. Sometimes they’re waiting on HR to provide them information about benefits enrollment. Their manager might want to introduce them to some more senior reps, but they’re on the road. When new reps need help, they may have to toggle across multiple applications in order to get the resources they need.

Slack takes all these issues away by centralizing data and connecting it to the rest of the sales team. You could create a “newbie” channel to officially welcome new reps, for example, where everyone can share the best times to connect and their area of expertise. Other departments can send links to files and documents rather than burying them in an email inbox. Sales assets can be stored in channels too.

In this way, Slack becomes like a self-service tool for more effective onboarding.

2. Create sales centres of excellence to execute more targeted strategies

In most companies, you’re not selling to the whole world. There are often specific customer segments, such as vertical markets, that are the big priorities. In other companies sales opportunities are mapped out as territories that need to be covered. Those using account-based marketing (ABM) might be going after an even more defined customer list.

Think about setting up Slack channels where you can divide and conquer based on the experience, expertise, and talent. You could form a dream team that uses a dedicated channel to pursue opportunities in the financial services space, for example, while another channel could be focusing on a sector like life sciences.

The same approach works if some reps are assigned to win deals with startups and others are pitching to large enterprises. These channels don’t have to be limited to reps alone. You can also bring in partners, such as resellers and consultants, and create space to store highly relevant data that helps close deals.

3. Accelerate the time to decision (and action) through automation

The wheels can turn very slowly in some companies. Reps might get asked to put a quote together, which then has to be sent to their manager, who in turn has to get it signed off by someone more senior. That sign-off process could see a single document move through email, a print-out, or just involve a verbal conversation.

Slack can standardize these kinds of processes and make them much faster. When everyone is using the same tool, it’s easy to build in rules on where messages and information should be routed over the course of a buying journey. That’s great news for the quality of your customer experience, but also for the reps who want to crush their quota.

4. Stay up-to-date on what matters in real time

A customer raises an objection a rep hasn’t heard before. Better jot that down later, they think. Maybe the customer mentions changes to their budget or procurement rules. That’s probably worth noting too. The only risk, of course, is that the rep may forget after the meeting when they go back into their various applications.

This is another benefit of using Slack as a one-stop shop for your sales processes. All the data and records can be updated while meetings are still going on, without leaving Slack. That can save reps a lot of extra time and allows them to capture insights while they’re still fresh.

5. Form deeper relationships with customers

In the end, reps succeed by being good at getting to know their buyers. That usually means doing a lot of emailing, calling, and trying to set up additional in-person meetings. This can be tiring for reps and customers alike.

Fortunately, Slack is highly secure, so you can not only conduct live conversations with customers but make them more meaningful. Instead of the famous “I’ll get back to you on that” when they have a question, for instance, you can bring in subject matter experts into the discussion within minutes by tagging them, no matter where they’re working. Tagging is also a great way to ensure no miscommunication or confusion with other parties that may wind up being part of the buying and post-purchase process.

Slack is a great way to help teams work smarter – by staying in sync and using a single tool to manage the complexities of selling in a digital-first era.

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