Cars Commerce revs up its expansion efforts with Slack

‘I can’t imagine how a company could do business without Slack’.

Katie HelgesenDirector of Revenue Strategy and Operations, Cars Commerce

With a mission to simplify everything about buying and selling cars, Cars Commerce is transforming the automotive industry by enabling more efficient and profitable retail operations. Its powerful products and solutions and personalised approach blend seamlessly to provide engaging consumer and automotive retail experiences both online and offline. Cars Commerce provides a full suite of integrated platform capabilities, delivering a simplified and connected buying and selling experience, all powered by Slack.

Cars Commerce wanted a solution to support unlocking cross-team collaboration, integration complexities with Salesforce and MuleSoft, and data quality inefficiencies. Recognising the important role of reliable technology in overcoming these hurdles, Cars Commerce was drawn to Slack’s simplicity and quick adaptability, offering a productivity platform where work happens with precision and speed.

Selling faster and more efficiently with automated workflows 

With a goal to centralise functionality into one CRM platform, Cars Commerce uses Sales Cloud to merge all selling paths through Slack and MuleSoft. If an employee is referred from one portion of the business into a different sales stream. MuleSoft pulls all relevant information from across Salesforce, funnelling it into Slack for comprehensive collaboration.

Leveraging the automation of Slack’s Workflow Builder with other key features ensured a smooth transition during a multiyear consolidation project for the business. ‘Slack is a bridge between our different selling paths’, says Preston Hafer, the Manager of Salesforce at Cars Commerce. ‘I take the power of Salesforce with our leads, opportunities, deals and referrals and use Slack as the central place where all users work together to cross-sell our products’. The revenue operations team manages approximately 700 enhancement requests and relies on Slack to help streamline this process. The Revenue Referrals workflow involves intricate steps, such as filtering and prioritising the top 50 requests with substantial business impact, translating user needs into actionable items for the CRM team and considering enhancements to cater to diverse user groups. This establishes a centralised workspace and promotes efficient collaboration between the two organisations.

‘The nice thing about Slack is you can automate and you have more control – you can do things you can’t do with other messaging platforms’.

Preston Hafer Salesforce Manager, Cars Commerce

Hafer and his team are also in charge of addressing Salesforce account help requests. Before, employees simply posted in a help channel, but managing the queue and having no way to track case lifecycles posed a real challenge. Cars Commerce harnessed Slack’s Workflow Builder, enabling employees to fill out forms directly in the Slack channel’s canvas. This dual functionality streamlined the creation of records in Salesforce, providing Hafer’s team with real-time information to offer efficient support.

Slack’s automated workflows help streamline requests for original equipment manufacturers (OEM), too. Often, dealers have questions or need additional support to find the correct automotive parts for their customers. They simply go into an OEM channel on Slack Connect and fill out a form. Once submitted, the appropriate OEM team members are tagged and notified, ensuring that dealers get answers as quickly as possible.

Using Slack to support seamless acquisitions and mergers

Over the past several years, Cars Commerce has seen incredible growth in support of its comprehensive automotive platform. In addition to its flagship marketplace,, the company acquired DealerRater, Dealer Inspire, Accu-Trade, CreditIQ and D2C Media and has integrated teams, technology and systems across the enterprise. The task of seamlessly integrating diverse teams and operational processes became paramount. Using Slack’s productivity platform played a pivotal role in synchronising workspaces, ensuring a harmonious transition. 'The key was synchronising our Slack workspaces. It was like aligning the stars – a bit daunting but absolutely necessary’, says Kyle McKenna, the Manager of Enterprise Technology at Cars Commerce.

In the company’s most recent acquisition, McKenna and his team were able to migrate the acquired company’s Slack workspace into theirs in just six days. Slack’s Enterprise Grid addressed aspects of organisational dynamics, such as controlling employees’ display names, a feature that helped maintain cohesive internal communication at Cars Commerce.

Slack Atlas also contributed to a smooth transition by automatically updating essential employee information, such as job titles and departments. Slack Atlas and JumpCloud, an integration that automates the synchronisation of user information from the company’s HR platform to Slack, formed a cohesive system that prevents HR from needing to go into separate systems to make changes and ensures that the company’s internal communication is always secure and protected.

Slack’s dynamic capabilities became a foundation in transforming what could have been complex integrations into streamlined and controlled processes.

'The key was synchronizing our Slack workspaces. It was like aligning the stars – a bit daunting but absolutely necessary’.

Kyle McKennaManager of Enterprise Technology, Cars Commerce

Accelerating revenue operations with asynchronous collaboration

The revenue operations team at Cars Commerce is at the forefront of the multiyear consolidation project for the company. A big challenge was filtering the right kind of data into the new CRM. Katie Helgesen, the director of revenue strategy and operations, initiated a speedy solution to create a channel with relevant stakeholders to strategise next steps.

‘Getting a meeting on the books between our six schedules would have been so difficult’, she says. Helgesen recorded a clip – an audio and video recording that can be viewed anytime – explaining her idea. She posted it to the channel and encouraged her teammates to share their thoughts. Within three days, the team agreed on a viable solution.

‘Everybody’s opinion was captured in writing, and people could reply to different points. With a hyper-focused channel, we were able to work so efficiently’.

Katie Helgesen Director of Revenue Strategy and Operations

Helgesen and her team frequently use Slack huddles and clips – video or audio-only conversations that happen right inside Slack – to efficiently decipher and translate those user requests for the CRM team. Using these asynchronous communication tools offers a solution to the challenges posed by varying schedules.

At Cars Commerce, nearly 70% of employees use clips and huddles regularly to promote team alignment. This not only saves time but ensures that the team captures all perspectives and maintains a cohesive workflow for the fast-paced nature of their operations.

Driving forward innovation with Slack

Looking forward, Cars Commerce is excited about the potential of Slack’s AI features, especially channel recaps and thread summarisation. The company is on a trajectory to empower its users, reducing manual tasks and enabling a sharper focus on critical aspects of its operations. Its journey with Slack is not just about driving efficiency, it’s about embracing the future of work with enthusiasm and innovation.