Segment is on a mission to help organizations distill raw data into invaluable growth-driving insights. As a customer data platform, its core values are firmly rooted in building strong customer relationships. That’s why teams across Segment—from development and engineering to marketing and sales—are using Slack Connect to take their business collaboration to the next level.
Slack Connect allows teams to move all their conversations with external partners, clients and vendors into Slack channels—a single place to share files and messages. It effectively replaces email and extends channel-based messaging to everyone you work with—inside and outside your organization—increasing visibility and alignment for all stakeholders.
Headquartered in San Francisco and with a distributed workforce across the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Australia, Segment currently shares more than 100 channels with 48 external partners and 20 customers. We spoke with teams across various departments to see how a global company like Segment uses Slack Connect to:
- Speed up communication with partners
- Turn sales leads into opportunities
- Deploy service to its largest enterprise customers
Speed up communication with partners
Segment often works with vendors, freelancers and contractors to plan and launch joint marketing events and campaigns. These kinds of projects require sharing designs, landing pages and content, as well as managing slide decks with partners. Teams also have to consider speakers and presentation structure.
Sasha Blumenfeld, a group partner marketing manager at Segment, says being able to work with all of the company’s partners in a single space has been a game changer for executing on marketing strategies.
“With Slack Connect, we can reach decisions with partners and stakeholders within a day. In the past, these conversations would normally take at least a week.”
Coordinating marketing initiatives with partners across multiple time zones can present its own obstacles too. Before Slack, Blumenfeld says, teammates often missed critical email threads or had to hound teammates to schedule phone and video check-ins, taking up way too much time planning events or campaign launches.
“It was challenging in terms of creating the content, getting the speakers and figuring out who was going to get the venue together,” Blumenfeld says. “We finally decided to just create a Slack channel, where all partners—no matter what their time zone—could log in and see conversations taking place.”
Working in the same channels not only helped Segment speed up communication with partners, but also kept conversations organized and focused.
Turn sales leads into opportunities with Slack channels
On a typical day, Alex Chou, an account manager for Segment, might speak with prospects from both a five-person startup and an enterprise with more than 1,000 employees. No matter whom she’s speaking to, it’s her responsibility to carefully research each organization’s mission, determine its goals for customer data, and then propose a solution for which Segment can help.
Chou says liaising with prospective customers in Slack has had a profound impact on streamlining the sales cycle. For each prospect, the sales team spins up a dedicated Slack channel. It serves as a central hub where anyone from account executives to solution engineers from each organization can connect, share information and answer questions.
This channel is also where account managers like Chou share proof of concepts, contracts, close dates and post-sales implementation plans. Whenever a channel is first spun up, Chou uses the pin feature to keep track of critical documents, such as project plans or timelines, so everyone’s on the same page. Saving documents and conversations in a way that’s easily searchable and archivable makes it simple to onboard teammates onto accounts or pass the baton to new stakeholders.
“If I inherit a new account from another sales team member, I can use the account’s dedicated Slack channel as a reference point and can even access the people who were once involved in the proof of concept.”
Internally, Segment’s account managers also share information with each other in channels. Chou explained how the
#guild-sales channel has become a resource for sales team members to:
- Share skills and sales experiences
- Offer professional development opportunities
- Ask follow-up questions about specific customers
- Provide observations about the current sales and business market
Setting multinational customers up to succeed on a global scale
One of Segment’s customers is a large multinational company that operates in 77 countries across Europe, Asia and the U.S. Segment knows that deploying software solutions at this scale can be challenging for one team to tackle alone. That’s where its partners come in.
In the past, Segment communicated with partners in separate, individual channels. However, this led to a lot of redundant information.
For instance, two partners, one in Europe and one in Asia, might be working on a similar project, but both partners would ask questions in separate channels, leading the Segment team to share the same responses multiple times. By connecting partners in the same channel, Segment used Slack Connect to successfully bridge time zones and speed up deployment because partners could hand off work to one another as each one comes online.
“Being able to work side by side with multiple partners and deploy Segment to a customer gives us this open line of communication without relying on hundreds of email threads,” says Jacob Kramer, a senior customer success manager at Segment.
“Being able to collaborate with partners in one Slack channel changes the game for how we can deliver the best experience to our largest customers.”
Channel-based communication and the future of work
The way teams work has changed in the wake of Covid-19. But Slack channels have kept the doors to communication open between Segment’s distributed team members and customers, even opening up new opportunities for collaboration.
“Communicating in a Slack channel with our partners makes it easier to build stronger relationships,” Blumenfeld says. “With everyone working from home, that’s more crucial than ever.”