Salesforce is among the world’s leading customer relationship management tools, while Slack is one of the most popular workplace communications apps.
Using both of these products together can streamline communication across your key organizational teams and drastically improve customer relationships.
In this detailed tutorial, I’ll share how to integrate Slack with Salesforce, the things you need to consider during integration, and the common problems users face while using Salesforce through Slack.
Let’s get started.
Understand How Slack and Salesforce Work Together
Slack’s integration with Salesforce works slightly differently from other apps. To send/receive alerts and execute commands without any restrictions, you’ll need to install the Salesforce app to your Slack account and then install the Slack app to your Salesforce account.
Once you install both the apps, you’ll need to connect your Slack and Salesforce accounts and assign the required permissions to fully integrate these tools.
This app requires access to the Salesforce API, which means it works with the Professional, Enterprise, Unlimited, or Developer Editions of Salesforce.
Slack recommends that you first add the Slack app to Salesforce in sandbox or development mode and ensure that all functions are working correctly before repeating the installation process in your production Salesforce instance.
In the following sections, I’ll cover how you can successfully integrate these apps.
Step 1: Install The Salesforce App To Slack
The first step of Slack-Salesforce integration is to install the Salesforce app to your Slack account. Slack recently updated the Salesforce app and added several new functions and features to it. You can search for the app in Slack’s app directory.
Here’s how to install the Salesforce app.
Open Slack and sign in to your workspace.
Click on Add apps under Apps in the left menu on your screen. This will take you to the Slack app search page.
In the search box, search for Salesforce.
Click on the Add button under the Salesforce.
This will take you to the Slack app directory page of the Salesforce app. Click on Add to Slack to start the installation process.
You will be routed to another dedicated page for Slack’s Salesforce app.
When you scroll down this page, you’ll see the Salesforce app’s installation button under Step 1. Click Add to Slack under step 1 to proceed.
Grant the necessary permissions to complete your app installation by clicking Allow.
The Salesforce app is now installed on your Slack account, and you can see it listed under the Apps heading in your Slack workspace.
As I’ve already mentioned, this is only the first step in the Slack-Salesforce integration.
Now that we’ve completed step 1, we’ll move to the next step.
Step 2: Install The Slack App To Salesforce
The second step in integrating Slack with Salesforce is to install the Slack app for Salesforce. For this, you’ll need a Salesforce System Administrator to install and configure the Slack app in Salesforce because only they have the necessary permissions.
Here are the installation steps you need to follow.
Sign in to your Salesforce account.
Click on the menu icon and go to the App section.
Click on Visit AppExchange.
Search for Slack in the search box.
Click Get Now on the bottom right.
You will now be required to sign in to your account once again. Click Open Login Screen.
Next, you’ll get the choice of installing the Slack app directly to your production environment or test it in a sandbox first. Salesforce recommends you do the latter to ensure there are no issues with the integration.
For this tutorial, we’ll move with the live version. Click Install Here under “Install in This Org.”
Accept the terms and proceed with the installation by clicking Confirm and Install.
Finally, Salesforce gives you the option to install the Slack app only for admins, specific users, or all users. Choose the best option for you and click Install.
Accept any other prompts or permission requests during the installation process and return to your Slack window once the installation is complete.
Step 3: Connect Your Slack And Salesforce Accounts
Now that you’ve successfully installed the Slack and Salesforce apps, it’s time to complete the integration process by connecting your Slack and Salesforce accounts.
Here’s how this works.
Go to your Slack workspace and click on the Salesforce icon in the Apps section.
In the Salesforce chat window, click on Connect Account under the heading that says “Connect your Salesforce account.”
Click Allow to accept any permission requests by Slack.
Salesforce app will also ask for your permission to allow Slack to access your account.
Once you grant the necessary permissions, your Slack and Salesforce accounts will be connected.
Even if you don’t install the Slack app on your Salesforce account, you will still be able to connect the two apps, but your permissions and features will be limited to searching data in Salesforce only.
But when you install both the Slack and the Salesforce apps, you’ll be able to use all the features.
Let’s see how you can perform different actions in Salesforce using Slack.
Find And Share Salesforce Records In Slack
Using the Salesforce-Slack integration, you can search for six different Salesforce records and share them with your team members without having to leave your Slack chat window.
You can also search for additional standard or custom Salesforce records if a Salesforce Admin configures them for you.
Here’s how you can pull different Salesforce records in Slack.
Open your Slack workspace and choose the relevant person or channel where you want to share a record.
Click on the lightning bolt icon in your chatbox.
Choose the Salesforce app from the menu.
Click on Find and share a record.
Search for the relevant record or choose it from the dropdown list. Once you find the record you’re looking for, click on View Record.
Click Share, choose the conversation you want to share from the drop-down menu, and click Share again.
Click Done to complete the process.
Slack will pull the relevant record from Salesforce and display it in your chat window.
Set Up Alerts In Slack
You can use the Salesforce app to receive alerts in Slack whenever a record is edited/changed. This way, you’ll never stay updated with the latest status of a lead or customer.
Here’s how to do it.
- Open the Salesforce app in Slack from the Apps section.
- On the Homepage of the app, click on Set Up My Alerts.
- Enable all the alerts that you want to receive from Salesforce.
- Click Save to complete the process.
You will now get Slack updates as soon as a Salesforce record changes.
Set Up Slack Channel Alerts For Salesforce Record Changes
You can also set up Salesforce alerts for a Slack channel to notify all your team members when there’s a record change.
Here’s how to do it.
- Go to the Salesforce app and click on the lightning bolt icon next to your message box.
- Choose the Salesforce app from the dropdown.
- Click on Add/edit alerts for a channel.
- Choose the Slack channel where you want to post alerts.
- Click Add a record.
- Find the relevant record from the dropdown menu.
- Click on View record and choose Add to [channel name].
- Select all the alerts that you want to post to your selected channel and click Save to complete the setup.
The Salesforce app will now send all the relevant alerts to your selected channel.
Set Up Bulk Alerts In Slack
You can use bulk alerts to post updates about all the records of a particular type to your Slack channels. Use this only when your team needs all the information because too many alerts and irrelevant records can make it hard to spot the vital information and messages.
Here’s how you can set up bulk alerts.
- Open the Salesforce app in your Slack workspace.
- From the Home tab, choose Click Bulk Alert.
- Choose the Slack channel where you want to send the bulk alerts.
- Choose a record type for the alerts.
- Click on Add To Channel and Save.
Now all the updates you’ve chosen for a record type will be posted to your selected Slack channel.
Benefits Of Integrating Slack With Salesforce
There are many benefits of integrating Slack with Salesforce but let me share the most important ones.
Benefit #1: Your Sales Team Gets The Latest Information
Communication is one of the biggest problems in large organizations where multiple departments like sales, customer services, technical teams, finance, and more are involved in closing a lead.
By integrating Slack with Salesforce, you can ensure that all relevant team members always have a lead’s latest status. This dramatically reduces miscommunication and gives a clear picture to every stakeholder.
Benefit #2: You Never Miss An Important Update
Using Salesforce app alerts in Slack is a great way to ensure that you never miss an important update on a lead or customer. It’s easy to miss important updates in large organizations with hundreds or thousands of leads and customers.
This doesn’t happen when you have all the relevant updates coming right to your Slack account.
Benefit #3: You Don’t Need To Switch Between Apps
Switching between Slack and Salesforce for information needs is annoying and collectively costs large teams thousands of dollars every year.
Thanks to the Slack-Salesforce integration, you can get all the information you need on one platform.
Common Problems When Integrating Slack With Salesforce
Users worldwide have reported several problems they’ve faced while integrating Slack with Salesforce.
Here are the most common ones.
Problem #1: Multiple Apps Complicate The Process
To fully integrate Slack with Salesforce, you need to install both the Slack app for Salesforce and the Salesforce app for Slack.
This complicates the process because multiple versions of the Slack app for Salesforce have been released in the past. While not all of them are currently active, the Salesforce app exchange documentation still links to them, confusing users.
Problem #2: Technical Issues And Bugs Hurt User Experience
Users have reported frequent bugs in the Slack app on Salesforce App exchange. These apps lead to permission issues, problems in data recovery, and unexpected errors during deployment.
Salesforce app support isn’t anything to write home about, probably because Slack is a free app for Salesforce users.
These factors can impact the overall user experience and make integration a tedious process.
Problem #3: Does Not Work With Salesforce Essentials
Slack integration with Salesforce does not fully work if you’re a Salesforce Essentials user. This happens because you need API access to configure the Slack app for Salesforce, which is not available in Salesforce Essentials.
To be precise, Salesforce Essentials users cannot set bulk alerts or send/receive messages in Slack.
They can, however, search for Salesforce records in Slack and set up My Alerts and channel alerts from Salesforce.