Productivity is core to any IT team’s mission. Whether you’re upgrading an internal network or vetting new software, it’s for the purpose of helping your employees get more work done each day. At Slack, where we lean on IT to drive business growth, we take this a step further. We proactively partner with our employees and build them custom tools on the Slack platform, using bots, apps and integrations.
These custom configurations can range from simple notifications in Slack to systems that integrate with third-party tools such as Salesforce and Workday, all to meet the needs of a specific team. Collectively, they help our employees save time, check off to-do’s and get a little more joy out of daily work.
Our VP of Business Technology, Stephen Franchetti, has shared our roadmap for finding high-impact opportunities to build on Slack. Any IT team can follow it, but if you’re curious about where to start or what we’ve come up with to date, introduce yourself to the bots below.
1. Metrics Bot
Business impact: democratizes companywide access to data
How do you ensure that everyone at a growing company has the data they need for agile decisions? For us, the answer was to bring that data where our people do their work each day: Slack. Using our UI framework Block Kit—along with our Data Warehouse and an integration with Looker—Metrics Bot delivers performance metrics to a companywide Slack channel on a daily basis.
2. Approvals Bot for Deals
Business impact: helps our sales team close deals faster
A sales team puts in a lot of hard work and hours to secure buy-in from a customer, and it could all be for naught if internal partners can’t get deal terms approved in a timely manner. Managing this approval process over email is messy at best—you need to count on each approver to keep others in the loop and it’s not always clear who needs to sign off next. Approvals Bot—an application originally built to streamline paid time off and expense report approvals for our managers—now brings this entire end-to-end flow to Slack.
When an account executive is ready to have deal terms reviewed, he or she can simply type a slash command in Slack. This allows the exec to select the opportunity and quote and start the approval process. One by one, approvers are automatically @mentioned in the channel, where they can approve the terms with a single click.
3. Deal Support Request (DSR) Bot
Business impact: scales technical support for customer success
Selling software to enterprise organizations means navigating complex compliance and security needs. For that, our sales team leans on a team of technical experts, who can provide the nitty-gritty details of how Slack can check the customer’s required boxes.
Small sales teams likely know which internal experts to loop in for help, but for our growing global team of hundreds, those connections take time. Meanwhile, the technical team needs a system for triaging an increasing number of support requests. Enter DSR Bot: a workflow in Slack that any customer success manager (CSM) can initiate with a slash command.
DSR Bot serves up a quick form that CSMs use to select the account, area of interest (e.g., Enterprise Key Management or single sign-on) and a priority level. From there, the data links back to Salesforce and the request is routed to a dedicated channel in Slack, where technical specialists triage and assign ownership.
4. Midas Touch Bot
Business impact: automates assembly of insights-driven sales decks
Anyone who works in account management knows the power of a compelling narrative. Often that’s delivered to customers in the form of a slide deck—one that’s chock-full of data and colorful charts. For our own sales team, manually assembling these decks was a bear: Each required three to four hours of combing through hundreds of approved slides and dashboard data points, followed by design work. Midas Touch cuts this process down to minutes.
A direct message with Midas Touch brings you to a “generate deck” button inside Slack. Click it, and the bot assembles a 13-slide presentation of data showcasing an account’s overall adoption. No more manual data wrangling or repetitive deck building, which means our account managers have more time to focus on customers.
5. Timelinatron 3000
Business impact: streamlines incident timelines for engineering teams
Incidents mark some of the most unpleasant days at any office, but each one represents a real (and necessary) learning opportunity. To make it a bit easier to understand what went wrong, we built an app that creates a postmortem timeline out of incident channels in Slack.
Using a quick slash command, you get a cleanly formatted Google document showing the incident timeline, as it unfolded. These documents help guide and inform retrospectives that follow.
Have you built a custom bot for Slack that’s helping your team streamline its work? We’d love to hear about it. Tweet us @SlackHQ.
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