Achieve Full Control Between Slack and Salesforce [In-Depth Overview]
From chaos to order – bring control between activity in Slack and Salesforce for any team using a native, user-friendly tool that doesn’t require a single line of code!
- Embed Slack within Salesforce with the Centro Lightning Web Component.
- Seamlessly create and edit any Salesforce records from Slack (both standard and custom objects).
- Tap into the endless automation possibilities with Centro’s custom components for Slack and Salesforce.
- Easy-to-set up Slack and Salesforce integration.
Slack, and how to connect it effectively with Salesforce, is one of the most popular topics in the ecosystem. For admins and users leveraging both tools every day, having a robust integration between the two has become a necessity, especially when it comes to the features that Salesforce apps for Slack do not support.
Centro is here to bridge the gap between all existing Salesforce processes and the speed of collaboration that Slack can offer – without creating any disruption to the business. In addition, users are able to easily update Salesforce records, upload files, receive notifications, and more, all while access remains properly controlled.
This in-depth overview will showcase the main features Centro offers, ideal use cases, and setup effort, as well as how fast your users can enjoy and make use of this integration.
Centro is focused on providing a very clean and intuitive experience in terms of the Slack and Salesforce integration, heavily relying on Salesforce Flow – a very hot topic today – and Slack Workflows, which are extremely easy to understand.
Slack Conversations in Salesforce
One thing Centro has successfully enabled for their customers is the ability to view Slack messages and threads, and engage in live chat directly from the Salesforce page. We will review how this is achieved and, of course, why users will absolutely love the enhancements Centro brings to Salesforce records.
Custom Lightning Web Components
In the Centro managed package, two Lightning Web Components (LWCs) can be found – the Centro Single and Linked Conversations respectively. I’ve chosen to use the Linked Conversations component as it allows more flexibility when relating multiple channels and threads without having to hard code anything.
As with any other component, Linked Conversations can be placed wherever makes the most sense for your users. In this case, it was positioned under a new “Slack Activity” tab right next to the standard Activities and Chatter.
Once the component is added (and permissions granted to the running user), the ability to link the record to an existing Slack channel and create a brand new dedicated Slack channel directly from this page becomes available. The record can also be linked to a specific message or thread, but this must be done exclusively from Slack – it will then be displayed in Salesforce once it’s done.
Note that Centro also provides a Flow element and Slack Workflow Step to link channels, or even threads, to Salesforce.
Another powerful collaboration element of this LWC is the ability to invite users to channels. This eliminates the need to create the Slack channel first, before going to the channel, adding the users, and returning to Salesforce.
This is very handy for sales reps to start individual Deal Rooms, for example, in just a couple of clicks. Even if the Slack channel will at some point be archived after the deal closes, the linked conversation will still be retained for reference and the content can easily be previewed in the Lightning Web Component from the Opportunity Record Page – cool right?
Also, external users can be added immediately using their email address, or a related Contact record can be selected starting from an Account record.
What will increase productivity even more while using Centro (especially when working on records with various files shared back and forth), is the ability to add attachments on the LWC from the record page, which will then be displayed in Slack.
Live Slack conversations on records
By far my favorite thing about Centro is the fact that Slack conversations, be they direct messages, threads, or channel conversations, can be continued from Salesforce records and immediately synced back and forth!
As this is not available with the out-of-the-box Salesforce to Slack integration options, it is definitely a game changer. With all the open questions regarding Slack perhaps replacing Chatter in the future, Centro is definitely one step ahead of the competition as they have successfully brought the speed of Slack to the Salesforce records you’re already looking at.
The below example will definitely speak for itself – I was curious to test this functionality, so I watched the messages I sent from my Slack mobile app immediately show on the Salesforce record, almost in real time.
Use Salesforce Flow
With the fairly recent announcement of Salesforce deprecating Process Builder and Workflow rules, most Salesforce Admins should be familiar with using flows. Centro provides ten Flow elements in total which can be used for various implementations, of which two components are dedicated to screen flows.
The same Linked Conversations Custom Object (which stores the Slack message details in the Lightning Web Component above), can be used to trigger various automations such as record updates through flows.
As an added bonus, examples of flows are shipped as “inactive” along with the Centro managed package, which can be used as a base for your very own custom Lead assignment notification (in Slack, for instance).
After going through the simple flow above, you can then make use of one more custom element in a new flow. Alternatively, why not incorporate them into your existing automations to enhance the user experience directly in Slack?
View, create, and edit records in Slack
Perhaps one of the key advantages of Centro is the uncanny ability to not only access and create, but also update records directly in Salesforce – be they from Standard or Custom Objects – without ever leaving Slack.
Slack’s very own Workflow Builder will be the main player for all of these processes – don’t worry if you’re not familiar with it just yet, as you will become best friends by the end of this section. Similar to the Salesforce Flow elements, Centro also comes with seven Workflow Builder elements for Slack, and also supports the customization of Record Blocks.
Access Salesforce Records
Once a related Salesforce record’s information is displayed in Slack, it is important for the information to be very straightforward – that’s where customizing Record Blocks comes in!
With the ability to choose a maximum of ten fields to be displayed from the associated record, Centro offers the possibility of separating the internal view from the information displayed in channels with external users, making sure the audience sees exactly what they need when they open the Slack channel.
After choosing fields, you can also select the standard buttons to allow users to create records (including related records) that are displayed in each of the blocks. There is also the option to add your very own Custom Workflow Buttons, which you can build and adapt to your needs.
Create records from Slack
A really nice thing about Centro is that it successfully replicates a version of the well known Web-to-Lead or Web-to-Case functionality for Slack – but in a much more practical way with the help of the Submit Salesforce form workflow step. Keep in mind that, once again, there is no limitation when it comes to the Salesforce Object you’d like to use, meaning that you might as well apply this to one of your Custom Objects.
This workflow step allows users to easily trigger the creation of records through a shortcut, hence removing the need for them to switch between Slack and Salesforce to log data in the CRM. Hidden fields can also be predefined when the process is set up for users to no longer spend time completing the values.
In the example below, the form will allow Slack users to create a Case record from a channel – they will only need to provide the details pertaining to their issue, without worrying about the Case Origin. The Salesforce record is created in seconds, and as mentioned above, since a record will become linked to a message, all the conversations in the thread will continue being synced to Salesforce.
Note that you will need to use the Slack Workflow Builder for this, which is included only for Slack Pro and above and is not available in the free version. All workflow steps provided by Centro can be combined to achieve exactly the desired end result.
Even if we are looking at an Account record, Centro actually supports editing everything – both Standard and Custom objects – making manual actions and potential automation possibilities almost limitless.
The visible Record Block fields can be edited, and once the edit screen opens, even the other fields (including long text ones) can be easily edited and saved to Salesforce.
Also available out of the box, Centro offers a direct option for changing record ownership through the Slack actions – without having to look for the field and edit the entire record. As with adding fields on the Record Blocks, you can either type the name of the person or choose one of the Salesforce users from the list.
Centro has SMS and email capabilities from Slack, which can be very handy for sending updates to customers while discussing the issue with your team in Slack. They aim to constantly improve this capability with threaded SMS/email replies, the ability to pick your own SMS number, and more.
For the time being, reports such as the example below (showing the channels linked to an Account record) can be run in Salesforce using the Linked Conversations custom object. The Centro team is actively working on developing more robust reporting capabilities, ensuring their customers will have a readily available out-of-the-box reporting engine. Stay tuned!
This is such an important aspect when testing out an application, as the potential use cases and business challenges to be solved can make or break a purchasing decision. While Centro can be used for a wide variety of processes and teams, we will take a deep dive into a couple of the most common ways their solution is currently leveraged by customers.
When it comes to either internal or external teams getting the help they need, Centro is aware that time is of the essence. The particular focus on enabling users to submit support requests seamlessly with the help of their product is certainly obvious; not only can Salesforce users raise a Case to have their Salesforce password reset or permissions changed, but customers included in Slack channels can also make use of this functionality without leaving the channel.
Keep in mind that you are not limited at all as to what object you can use; if your company has chosen to use a Custom Object instead of the Standard Case Object for the support processes, Centro can support it.
And perhaps the most important thing? The conversation can go on in the Slack thread, as it will be automatically logged in Salesforce and related to the newly created record. How nice is that?
Take a look at this video which walks you through the process of creating a workflow from scratch – you can cover this use case in just a few minutes!
To add to the Help Desk use case above, there are a lot of Salesforce customers out there using Experience Cloud, and of course, Centro could not exclude this aspect when building their solution.
The Centro Single Conversation component can be added when editing the experience page, with a direct link to the channel the customer is supposed to access. Here’s the beauty of it – while the community user does need a Salesforce license, they do not need a Slack license. This means that all of your customers can benefit from fast responses from their account manager without the company being a Slack customer.
When it comes to the Slack to Salesforce integration, the way Centro handles both existing and potential new processes is sure to have a visible and immediate impact on productivity. There will also be a positive impact on user satisfaction as every single functionality will reduce the number of clicks and switches required between the two tools.
For me, the ease of setting up Centro was a nice surprise, especially considering I am not an experienced Slack admin! Everything from connecting multiple Salesforce instances and automation users, to actually using Slack’s workflow builder was a breeze, as I was able to complete tasks in just a few minutes every time.
It’s worth highlighting that Centro avoids unnecessary license costs, as Slack users interacting with the automations do not require individual Salesforce licenses – as long as the connected Salesforce automation user can be used instead.
On the other side of the fence, through the managed package installed in the org, Centro provides a guided Salesforce setup experience, with notification use case suggestions shipped as flows, with the managed package ready to be tested out.
Not only can Centro be connected to production instances, but sandbox organizations are also supported to make sure all automations are thoroughly tested before reaching your user base.
With managed packages on the Salesforce side, I like to see out-of-the-box dedicated permission sets for admins and users. Centro also recommends the creation of a Designer permission set which allows the triggering of flows, but this is an optional choice for each organization.
Centro’s Support Center contains all the documentation you’ll need for a successful implementation, from FAQs to a quick setup guide which will help you to implement Slack-to-Case in just a few minutes! There is also a Centro YouTube Channel at your disposal including short videos that cover the main functionalities.
The best part about Centro’s support, though, is that you never have to google the information or bookmark the links. These are sent out to you in the Slack app, and in case the resources don’t cover all of your questions, you can always book a call with the team or contact them directly. Additionally, Centro provides support via Slack Connect, using their own tool to ensure a seamless experience on both sides.
The transparency Centro offers when it comes to capabilities and technical aspects also applies to pricing. There are two available plans to choose from (at present), and the pricing starts at $25/user/month. The most up-to-date information pertaining to costs can be found on Centro’s website.
Finally, with both Slack and Salesforce so widely used, Centro is sure to add value to whichever process you decide to use when seamlessly integrating the two systems – this is definitely not another ‘notification-only’ engine!
You should definitely take Centro for a spin to find out how easy it is to navigate through their components, as well as how fast it is to implement – from start to finish – an entire process, such as actioning Cases or Leads, and many more features.