No matter your line of work, there’s likely a routine part of your job that has you thinking, Surely there’s got to be a better way to do this. For the Slack sales team, this played out daily through a particularly tedious, error-prone process: creating data-filled, customer-facing slide decks.
Account executives and customer success managers spent hours sorting through complex dashboards to understand a customer’s existing adoption of Slack. Only then would the team begin transforming those metrics into a narrative presentation, chock-full of actionable insights and recommendations.
Through Slack on Slack, a program for employees to share ideas for new internal tools built on the Slack platform, our sales analytics team asked, What if we could distill this process down to a few minutes? Fast-forward a few months, and we rolled out Midas Touch, a custom app that delivers these very same data-informed presentations right inside Slack.
Now Midas Touch saves our sales reps hundreds of hours each week. It’s just one example of how our business technology (BizTech) team is improving employee experience with custom Slack integrations—something any IT team whose organization collaborates in Slack can do as well. To give you a little insight into building on our platform, we’re sharing the backstory of how Midas Touch came to be.
Building Midas Touch: what’s under the hood
The process of building an app like Midas Touch begins well before wireframing and Figma files. First, our BizTech team sits with our sales partners and observes their workflows—even assembling a few decks themselves—to understand the root problems, along with how Slack can help. We scoped the issues down to three goals:
- Reduce the time spent making these sales decks (a clear need)
- Pinpoint the data points that best showcase the value of Slack, such as weekly active usage, number of files uploaded or third-party apps installed (because for even the most data-savvy among us, dashboards can be confusing)
- Create a consistent, on-brand visual narrative (because like most of us, salespeople don’t moonlight as designers)
To meet those goals, we began building an experience that leveraged a handful of key integrations, including Salesforce, Looker and Google Slides. A few developer platforms connect those tools, and you can read more about those technical details on our platform blog. Here’s how the application works from the perspective of a sales rep in Slack.
- A user kicks off the workflow using the /midas slash command in Slack.
- Midas Touch queries Salesforce to ensure that the user has the permissions necessary to access the data. When the greenlight is given, the user searches for and selects an account.
- In the background, Midas Touch downloads the account’s relevant data from Looker and formats the material into a Google Slides template.
- The new Google Slides file is shipped back to the user, and thanks to Block Kit, our UI framework for building apps in Slack, it displays a rich preview of the stats.
The delivered slide deck not only includes the aggregate data but also comes with pre-populated bullet points and templated talk tracks and visuals. Plus, it’s completely customizable, so each user can fit the story to their customer’s unique challenges, line of business and more.
Ten thousand hours of work saved and counting
Since the app’s October 2019 launch, our sales org has used it more than 5,000 times—saving upward of 10,000 hours of manual work. It’s time that can instead be used better serving our customers.
That’s great engagement, but without a campaign to drive adoption, even the most elegant app will go unused. Naturally, our rollout began in Slack. We announced that Midas Touch was open for business in a global
#sales-announcements channel, as well as in team- and region-specific channels that require more specifics and links to training materials.
Beyond that initial rollout, the sales team receives regular training sessions, new hires learn about Midas Touch during onboarding, and we’re regularly collecting feedback to improve and iterate. Our main method for doing so: a dedicated
#feedback-midas-touch channel that features a standardized feedback form created in Workflow Builder.
Our sales team has already identified new ways to deepen what the app can do, including more granular data and narratives specific to key points in the customer life cycle. There’s also an opportunity to one day bring this to the Slack App Directory for public use.
Can’t wait for your own Midas Touch, or itching to make your team’s working lives simpler, more pleasant and more productive with a custom app for Slack? Learn more about how to build on our platform with the additional resources below:
- Your company’s untapped growth lever? IT.
- How our IT team builds on our platform (and yours can too)
- How we unlock companywide productivity with custom Slack bots
- Getting started with Slack apps
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