In a world of automated messages, there’s nothing quite like the sound of a reassuring voice. That’s why the founders of Aircall, the global cloud-based phone and call centre system, believe that a conversation is still the most powerful way for organisations to reach customers, prospects, candidates and colleagues.
Making communication more efficient is at the heart of Aircall’s work. And for Aircall’s sales professionals, Slack is the digital sales floor where account executives organise internal and external communication and grow revenue.
Founded in Paris in 2014, Aircall now serves 60,000 customers across 84 countries. Growing a global brand wasn’t the result of plucky sales professionals working alone in silos. Aircall believes it takes a village to close deals and embraces team selling, an approach with multiple teams and external partners working together to craft the best offers for prospective clients.
At Slack Frontiers Europe 2021, an immersive event on the future of work, Andreï Sochala, vice president of sales at Aircall, shared how Aircall’s sales professionals use Slack to:
- Unlock team and company selling in Slack channels – a single place to share files and messages
- Increase productivity with automation
- Nurture relationships with partners in Slack Connect – the secure way to communicate and collaborate with external organisations – to grow revenue
“Magic happens when teams like solutions engineering, marketing and product marketing work together to close a complex deal. At Aircall, all of these interactions happen in Slack channels.”
Why team selling is the antidote to serious sales challenges
Even before the Covid-19 pandemic changed the tried-and-true way of doing business, sales teams were already facing significant challenges. “Today’s buyers have more choices, and more choices mean they can afford to be more demanding for their business and their loyalty,” says Joao Fonseca, account executive at Slack.
A collaborative, team-selling approach that leverages colleagues’ collective knowledge and expertise helps reps deliver more value at each stage of the buying process. In fact, research by revenue intelligence platform Gong.io concludes that team selling can increase the chances of closing a deal by 258%, compared with selling solo.
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Aircall unlocks team selling opportunity in Slack channels
For Aircall, Slack channels are the place where colleagues swarm to help close deals. Account executives create individual channels for discussing current and prospective customers to ensure that everyone who needs to be involved in a deal is automatically included in every conversation. Sales teammates can easily bring cross-functional partners into channels to provide more insight and product knowledge.
The @mentions feature makes it easy to loop in experts in a certain industry, line of business or technical area to weigh in, answer product questions or provide feedback on presentations. Keywords alert others throughout the organisation who may not be in sales but have contacts in their network at a prospect account or knowledge that could be valuable to the account team. Account channels can be public or private if only specific individuals should have access to sensitive information.
“Today each sales rep knows that whenever they’re talking to a lead or a prospect, they are creating a knowledge bank,” says Sochala. “Teammates can use channels to easily share this information.”
“Sales reps can immediately share new product information with our customers and prospects in Slack, which leads to more informed, consultative engagements that build trust and speed up the deal cycle as a result.”
Automating tasks boosts productivity, accelerating the sales cycle
Aircall’s account executives often establish relationships with prospective customers by offering free trials. When an account executive sets up a new trial, a custom-built Slack integration funnels that information into a channel called #feed_trial. This channel automatically captures critical prospect information and makes it available to the sales development team.
Sochala explained that it’s common for two or three trials to start at the same time. Manually entering all of this information into a database would be time consuming and distract from key selling duties. With trial information in one central place, sales reps have all the information they need at their fingertips to make quick decisions and build relationships faster.
Sochala described a hypothetical prospect with a business in the UK During the trial period, the prospect adds a Danish phone number. “This information is key for two reasons,” Sochala says. “First, the sales rep can gather that the prospect is considering doing business in Denmark and second, the sales rep can ask follow-up questions about the Danish number to customise a deal.”
Aircall’s sales reps further optimise their account channels with multiple custom integrations. With just a glance, reps can view updates on key accounts, get up to speed and make decisions faster. Using multiple tools in one central channel reduces context switching, keeping teammates focused and on task.
Slack Connect transforms and strengthens external relationships
Aircall relies on strategic business partners like Salesforce, HubSpot and Slack to build better products for joint customers. With Slack Connect, Aircall securely communicates with its partners in dedicated Slack channels. Slack Connect allows partners from multiple organisations to bring communication out of inboxes and into channels for fast, efficient collaboration.
Aircall communicates in real time with its partners in Slack Connect
“Partnerships usually start with office visits, having a drink together and a nice conversation. Setting up a joint Slack channel with your partner takes the relationship to the next level,” says Sochala.
Account executives and sales development representatives from both organisations can better evaluate which offerings will best fit prospects’ needs. “When you and your partner jump on a call with the prospect, the prospect notices that you’ve already been working with your partner to help them,” says Sochala.
Sochala emphasised that sharing information in Slack Connect benefits Aircall’s sales teams as much as its leadership, transforming and strengthening internal and external relationships.
“Teaming up with our partners in Slack Connect has been the ultimate way to help our customers.”
Celebrating team wins boosts team effectiveness
Now that many organisations are adopting a hybrid approach to office-based and remote work, sales colleagues can’t always celebrate deals in person. For Aircall, the Troops integration for Slack automatically sends alerts into Slack channels, like #nyc-sales, when a deal closes.
Aircall celebrates victories in Slack to keep reps fired up
When a deal closes for Aircall and a Troops notification is sent out, teammates respond with emojis and comments to boost recognition for work well done.
“There’s no sales team if there are no celebrations,” says Sochala.
After a win announcement, sales reps share insights about the customer and closing process in channels. For example, account executives can specify which strategic partner shared the lead with the Aircall sales team. Sharing insights about the closing process supports and scales peer-to-peer learning.
High-performing sales teams, like Aircall’s, believe that the future of sales is collaborative. For Aircall, Slack is the digital sales floor that empowers reps to work with speed and focus to grow revenue and build a global brand customers love and trust.