Lead to cash can be a complex process that involves multiple apps, departments, and customizations. 

Despite its complexity, it doesn’t have to be time consuming to manage, vulnerable to errors, or inflexible. 

During a session at this year’s Biz Systems Magic Conference, a few sales ops and business technology leaders at Slack walked us through how they built a scalable and streamlined lead to cash process that meets their business goals. 

How, exactly, did they do it? And what kind of results have they seen since its implementation? We’ll answer both of these questions!

Watch the full session for more on how Slack streamlined their lead to cash process. 

Slack Built Bots That Can Support Each Phase of the Process

The team at Slack began by identifying the 5 stages of their lead to cash process: 

1. Lead and pipeline generation
2. Opportunity management 
3. CPQ
4. Contract management
5. Invoice and billing management 

Then, using Workato, an enterprise automation platform, they built customized bots (from Workbot) that can handle the day-to-day tasks associated with each stage. More specifically, they built the Midas Touch Bot for pipeline generation and opportunity management, an Approvals Bot for CPQ, and contract management, and the Financials Bot for invoicing.

The ability to use bots that can communicate between Slack and their other systems proved to be critical. Justin Ouyang, a Sr. Sales Strategy and Ops Manager, explained why:

“It really reduces context switching and promotes collaboration across our entire sales organization.”

Read on to learn how they used each bot!

The Midas Touch Bot Provides Key Insights on Prospects and Clients

When it came to pipeline generation or opportunity management, Slack was having problems with extracting data from multiple sources. Account executives, CSMs, and renewal managers found it difficult to find the most relevant data, translate it into valuable insights, and then communicate those results.

The solution? Using the Midas Touch Bot to provide customized executive business review presentations that can be filtered by subsets of workspaces or opportunities within an account. This helped customer and prospect-facing teams receive data-informed presentations within seconds. In fact, Wilkinson claims, “more than 5000 hours are saved every month thanks to Midas Touch.” 

To build this, Slack started prototyping with Workato. Once there was a proof of concept, Slack wanted to scale up and did so by consolidating queries into a dashboard and executing the process asynchronously. Using Workato as an orchestrator, the data was then taken to dedicated micro-servers that sifted through the data and created the slide decks. 

Slack also faced another challenge: the burden of prospecting. Their team found that users lacked the data to prioritize prospecting efforts effectively and any ad-hoc solutions that existed occurred outside of Slack channels. 

To fix this, Slack decided to create Midas Touch for Prospecting. The bot retrieves key information on existing customers and prospects and shares it in a bespoke, prospecting-focused newsfeed in Slack.

The Deal Approvals Bot Fast-Tracks Approvals 

Slack was having issues with summarizing deal structures and making prospective deals widely visible. To fix these issues and let sales focus more on selling, Slack set up the Deal Approvals Bot. 

The bot pushes relevant information about a deal to Slack, and it notifies stakeholders who need to give approval. 

As a result, Slack dramatically decreased their turnaround time: It went from taking them several days to get internal approval to less than one.

How did Slack build this? They use Workato as a middleman, where it receives notifications from Salesforce related to quote approvals. Workato consumes the events and broadcasts refined actions through the bot.

The Financials Bot Simplifies Order Automation

Order booking, invoicing, and review and approval for sales orders used to be completely manual at Slack. To fix this, Slack aimed to automate provisioning and invoicing across all sales orders by using Workato to bridge Salesforce, Workday, and Slack. 

However, Slack still faced some challenges. The biggest problem was related to addresses, as the manually-entered addresses in Salesforce didn’t fit properly into Workday’s address model. Although Slack built an integration with Google’s Geocoding API to fix this, they still faced issues with Google not being able to locate addresses due to localized names and other errors. 

Slack then introduced the Financials Bot, which posts errors into Slack and asks for manual intervention, allowing the team to resume this backend integration once they select the proper address. 

Slack has begun to leverage Financials Bot for other use cases, allowing the team to automate even more of their processes.

Slack and Workato are Complementary Solutions

Slack wouldn’t have been able to accomplish these integrations without Workato. According to Monica Wilkinson, Slack’s Lead Architect & Staff Application Engineer:

“Slack and Workato work directly with most of the applications that impact our lead to cash process.” 

In the end, Slack was able to streamline its lead to cash process by prioritizing cross-functional collaboration, leveraging existing services when possible, and building workflows that utilize  customizable bots. 

Learn more about how Slack implemented these bots by watching the recorded session.

Anusha Kuppahally
About Anusha Kuppahally

Anusha is currently studying Business at Georgetown University. She's excited to learn from and write about the Business Systems Community as she earns her degree.