Roku presses play on Slack as its productivity platform for sales

‘My vision is to make Slack the front-end system for sales’.

Lauren FarberHead of Business Operations, Roku

The convenience of streaming movies and TV shows at home led to millions of people cutting the cable cord and turning to Roku. Roku’s devices give viewers easy access to what they want to watch – from sports to the news to the latest movies – and the company’s popularity soared during the pandemic when people were stuck in their homes and hungry for entertainment.

Roku has relied on Slack as its productivity platform, increasing the speed of work by streamlining collaboration and automating routine tasks, since 2014. During this time, its business has gone from around £165 million in revenue to over £2.3 billion.

‘Slack Sales Elevate gives me a chance to build and play and innovate new ways to streamline processes. I’m always searching for the next best product to drive revenue’.

Lauren FarberHead of Business Operations, Roku

Now the company is gearing up to transform the way its advertising sales team sells ads, with Slack Sales Elevate, an integration that became available to the public in August 2023. By bringing customer data and insights from Salesforce Sales Cloud into Slack, Sales Elevate simplifies and automates work where collaboration is already happening.

Lauren Farber, Roku’s head of business operations, says the solution allows her teams to innovate and streamline processes. ‘I’m excited for Sales Elevate to bring in more revenue for Roku because it will always keep pipeline management and deal progress top of mind’, she says.

Closing the sales cycle faster with Slack Sales Elevate

Roku’s ad sales team sells ads that feature on the Roku streaming platform and Roku City, its popular screensaver. The team, which consists of a mix of about 100 employees in sales, is in the early stages of using Sales Elevate to bring real-time data from Sales Cloud directly into Slack, allowing sales reps to track KPIs and receive alerts on their accounts without leaving the platform. When they update opportunities in Slack, the information automatically syncs to Sales Cloud.

‘Sales Elevate brings our CRM into Slack, a system that sales already knows and loves’, Farber says. ‘It weaves all the team’s work within a user-friendly platform, making pipeline management and actionable business insights infinitely more accessible and efficient’.

Team members can conveniently customise their workspaces within Sales Elevate to manage and update their CRM data from Slack. And since the solution offers the same desktop experience on a mobile device, the Roku ad sales team can seamlessly work on deals while on the go – which saves reps serious time.

According to Salesforce’s State of Sales Report, sales reps spend only 28% of each week actually selling because many of them are weighed down with administrative tasks. With Sales Elevate’s automations, Roku team members will slash the time they would have spent manually entering data and tracking down information and spend it instead on closing deals in record time.

Kaitlyn McBride, a senior manager of performance product management at Roku, says that her team is just scratching the surface of what’s possible with Sales Elevate, and their best work – generating more revenue with ad sales – is yet to come. ‘I think Sales Elevate will help us both sell faster and smarter in the future’, she says.

Tackling tasks faster with automated reminders and notifications

As Roku’s operations grew, so did the amount of applications used to keep the business running smoothly. For employees, this resulted in a growing toggle tax – the cognitive time it takes to reorient yourself after switching between different applications.

With Sales Elevate, Roku sales team members can get notifications directly within Slack about deal progress, pipeline updates and account news. They can then make account updates from wherever they are without leaving the Slack app.

‘Our sellers love working out of one tool. With Slack, things move faster because everything they need is in one place’.

Kaitlyn McBrideSenior Manager, Performance Product Management, Roku

Roku combats context switching with its over 200 Slack app integrations and custom apps. Teams use Slack’s Outlook Calendar app to sync their calendar to Slack and get notifications a minute before any meeting starts. They also use a Jira integration, Troopr Assistant, that allows engineers to create and update Jira tickets right within Slack.

‘Slack is a game changer’, says Tristan Cary, a senior enterprise applications manager at Roku. ‘Not only will it help you communicate better, it will help you stay on top of your work. It will help connect all your applications together so you context switch less’.

Roku uses Slack’s Workflow Builder to create no-code workflows that automate everything from expediting maintenance requests to reporting technical bugs to onboarding employees. When a new hire joins the team, an orientation workflow cycles that person through steps on how to get started and provides them with critical resources and information about their job.

Workflows are also used to report technical bugs to engineers automatically. ‘I have a Roku television, and if I have an error with it, I can report it by opening up Slack on my phone and hitting “Submit a bug”,’ Cary says. ‘The workflow will trigger a ticket that alerts our engineers to look at the bug and see what’s going on with it’.

Improving productivity through efficient collaboration with partners

Roku recently made the switch to Slack Enterprise Grid to accommodate the company’s growth and evolving processes. As the company grew, so did the need for more structure to comply with the laws and legislation of the countries where their content is streamed. Made up of unlimited workspaces with up to 500,000 users, Enterprise Grid allows teams to reach their productivity potential while meeting security requirements and keeping data safe.

‘We needed a platform that was easy to use and empowered us to be innovative, but could also help us build the structure we need to stay secure’, Cary says.

‘Slack is a game changer. Not only will it help you communicate better, it will help you stay on top of your work’.

Tristan CarySenior Enterprise Applications Manager, Roku

Roku makes the most of its Slack workspace by inviting external partners to join dedicated channels through Slack Connect. As the company works closely with streaming services and vendors to ensure that viewers get the best TV experience possible, Roku has 180 Slack Connect channels that allow them to collaborate quickly and securely with partners in real time and celebrate wins. Partners also have access to the same Slack tools Roku employees use.

One of these tools is Slack huddles. To re-create the feeling of face-to-face office conversations, Roku teams use huddles to talk through pressing tasks in channels and direct messages. Activated by a single click, huddles allow users to share their screen and take notes in the threads, creating a searchable archive of the conversation. Roku’s engineering team uses them regularly to triage IT issues and solve them in record time.

‘Slack ticks a lot of boxes as a collaboration tool’, Cary says. ‘It’s a way to do your job, get information and connect all of your applications. But it’s also a way to connect with people no matter where they are’.