This article provides a guide for sales teams that want to start utilizing Slack Connect, while highlighting some best practices to ensure we all respect and safeguard this versatile communication channel.
For those new to Slack (it’s ok, this is a safe space!), ‘Slack Connect’ allows you to invite external members to your Slack Workspace. We often see this tool used to collaborate with partners, with increasing popularity for both customers and prospects. What makes Slack unique is its ability to accelerate conversations, while allowing personalities to shine. Expect emojis, humor, sarcasm, and a general sense of attentiveness – just like real-life conversation!
Before you get started, here are some important technical considerations to take into account:
- Slack Connect requires Pro Plan or above (Slack offers a 90-day free trial).
- Clients may require approval from an Admin prior to accepting your invite.
When Do I Send a Slack Connect Invite?
Slack Connect should be used when you have an established relationship with a prospect. This may be after they have expressed an interest in your offering, or following an initial discovery meeting. Slack Connect should not be used as a cold outreach mechanism; it erodes trust and willingness to participate in Slack Connect. It’s important to preserve and respect its integrity!
How Do I Use Slack Connect?
There are two forms of Slack Connect:
- Direct Message (DM)
- Slack Connect Channel
Both require that you invite someone to Slack Connect into your Workspace (via email address). The tendency is to invite someone and start a DM or Group DM, but we recommend you to create a Public Slack Connect channel specific to the prospect.
Slack provides a useful guide for setting up Slack Connect channels.
What’s the Harm in DMing?
The old adage holds true: “No one benefits from a DM, except those in it.” DMs don’t allow others to join the conversation, which becomes necessary as decision makers and additional evaluators are included during the sales cycle. It’s cumbersome to start a new conversation without the message history, so our advice is this: Public Channels are best.
In November, an Australian-based entertainment company approached Centro (native, no-code automations) with a use case for Slack-to-Case. In less than three weeks, we had run an entire trial, provided technical support, and established a partnership – all without a single phone or Zoom call.
Here’s how we did it:
1. We Slack Connected after an initial follow-up email was received. The prospect had a configuration question, so we pivoted support from email to the Slack Connect channel. We Created an External Channel, and invited the prospect.
2. We recorded Slack Clips for configuration guidance.
3. The iteration of the configuration/support process continued for a few days, and three new members from the client’s side were added during this time.
4. We approached with commercial questions following the technical review.
5. We shared the quote and signed.
This process plays out daily as we engage via Slack Connect. Customer success and support are a natural follow-on in the same channel post-signature.
Slack Connect Etiquette and Tips
It’s easy to get excited when someone Slack Connects with you. It reminds me of back in the day, when I would rush home to log into MSN Messenger to overanalyze the messages I was exchanging with my crush! Now I have Slack on my phone, and it’s very easy to be overly eager. Consider defining some guiding principles for your team as you start to leverage Slack Connect.
Here are ours Centro’s guidelines for Slack Connect:
- Be Genuine and Patient – ‘Commission breath’ is amplified in Slack Connect. I have come on far too strong a few times – it’s icky and still sticks with me.
- Support, don’t Sell – Centro’s Slack Connect premise is based on helping either with a trial or by answering technical questions. Consider how you can support your prospects, rather than simply selling to them.
- It’s ok to break up – It can be hard or uncomfortable for a prospect to exit a Slack Connect channel – it requires an action vs. simply ignoring your emails/calls. If the engagement seems to dry up, recognize it and offer to archive the channel.
Here at Centro, we have an 8% win rate without Slack Connect. That rate jumps to a staggering 59% (7x) when we ‘Slack Connect’ with a prospect. Pair that with an accelerated sales cycle (42 vs. 29 days – 30% reduction), and it’s hard to ignore the benefits of incorporating Slack Connect into your selling motion.