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8 Tips to Streamline Sales Questions in Your #sales-help Channels in Slack

March 17, 2024
Liz Melton
Liz Melton
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What changed for sales productivity in 2023
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What changed for sales productivity in 2023
What changed for sales productivity in 2023
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Buyers today want answers to their questions quickly, especially if they’re in the middle of convincing their team to buy your product or are in the end stages of closing a deal.

That’s why most companies create #sales-help or or #ask-sales channels in Slack.

In theory, having a dedicated spot where reps can get advice on sales questions and be reminded of standard procedures should speed up their communications and make them more productive. But in practice, getting reps fast answers to their questions is easier said than done — even in an instant messaging tool like Slack.

Sales enablement, ops, and management teams have other work consuming their days, and adding Slack channel management duties on top is a big ask.

The good news is that there are several ways to reduce that overhead, and we’re covering them in this post. Keep reading for eight tips from #sales-help channel pros.

How to optimize your #sales-help channel in 8 steps:

1. Pin resources to the top of the channel.

You can utilize Slack’s bookmarks feature to pin valuable resources to the top of a Slack channel, making them easily accessible and top of mind for channel members.

Consider including links to useful documents from your knowledge base, such as FAQs, objection handling, templates, and decks.

Abhishek Shah, founder and CEO of Testlify, says his company’s most common internal sales questions “revolve around platform features, pricing plans, and integration processes.” To tackle these questions efficiently, he coaches his team to “refer reps to our comprehensive knowledge base and documentation.”

Setting aside time at a regular cadence is also a good idea to keep the bookmarks current.

Be sure to point out these guidelines during new hire training — there’s no better time to build up a rep’s good habits.

2. Identify and outline Slack etiquette

To avoid clutter and disruption, lay out some best practices for channel members. Here are just a few examples that will keep your sales questions channel organized and tidy:

  • Use channels like #sales-help over group DMs to give the rest of the team context.
  • Use@here or @channel sparingly — they should be for urgent or time-sensitive posts that require immediate attention by everyone in the channel only.
  • Summarize multiple thoughts and messages into a single message instead of sending multiple messages sequentially.
  • Reply in threads instead as a new message to reduce noisy notifications and improve skimmability of channels.
  • According to Redditor qualityartisanalpaca, creating an emoji reaction glossary gives AEs more clarity on how their questions or suggestions are handled. Use their reaction library as inspiration:
    👀 = Taking a look
    ⚪️ = Low Priority
    🔵 = Medium Priority
    🔴 = High Priority
    ✅ = Completed
    🛑 = Blocked
    👍🏼 = Ok / Understood
    🙌 = Nice job
    🙏🏻 = Thank you
    Many teams create custom Slack emojis as well. Not only can they convey custom statuses or meanings, they’re also an effective way to add some personality to your #sales-help channel. Check out this list of Slackmojis for inspiration.

3. Use Slack’s Later feature to track and organize your to-dos

#sales-help channel managers have a lot going on. They host training sessions, onboard new employees, approve discounts, and monitor the CRM. So it’s unsurprising that some #sales-help questions get bumped to the end of their to-do list—or worse, forgotten.

Many #ask-sales moderators rely on Slack’s native reminders to manage channel requests. But in March 2023, Slack added another helpful feature: “Save for Later.”

If channel managers know they must return to a message, they can now hover over it and click the Save for Later icon (or press “A”). When they go to their Later tab, the message will appear “In Progress” until they decide to Archive it or mark it as complete. They can also set a reminder to return to delayed sales questions in 30 minutes, an hour, or another custom time, preventing questions from falling through the cracks.

And if they’re on the go, they can try Slack’s new read/unread swiping feature. In the mobile app, users can now swipe right to mark messages unread, reminding them to answer those questions later.

4. Take advantage of Clips when explaining technical concepts of sales questions

Some answers to #sales-help questions require more nuance or context than text alone can provide. But hopping on call isn’t always possible. Even if it is, sales meetings, in particular, tend to grow into broader conversations with a high likelihood of tangents or offshoot conversations that completely derail their schedule.

Instead of booking calls, Morgan J. Ingram, a sales influencer, told Slack he uses Slack’s audio or video Clips to give in-depth explanations of technical or complex topics. He said, “You can respond quickly, and no tone gets misinterpreted.”

Other teams use Slack’s Loom integration to record their screen or short videos and share them straight from the Slack UI.

5. Share the responsibility with others

This tip is short but sweet: if other channel members know the answers to sales questions, encourage them to answer!

Sudhir Khatwani, Director of The Money Mongers, says, “We urge the entire sales team to participate on our #sales-help channel. Not only does this improve the efficiency of sales support efforts, but it also fosters a collaborative environment where knowledge is shared freely.”

Using a rotation system can also be a helpful way of splitting up the load. Each sales team member could monitor the channel for a specific period.

6. Capture follow-ups

Sometimes, #sales-help threads turn into great ideas for new content, processes, or even opportunities for competitive research. Slack already integrates with software product management tools like Linear, Jira, and Productboard.

With these integrations enabled, you could:

  • Create and update issues from Slack.
  • Sync Slack threads for immediate updates.
  • Start a new Confluence doc from a Slack message.
  • Push Slack sales questions and conversations into a repository of user insights (within indicators of importance)

7. Explore Slack workflows

Slack workflows are highly underutilized for their power. Workflows allow you to create flexible automation by integrating your existing tools, such as Salesforce, Zendesk, and Jira.

Sales teams can utilize workflows in various ways, in your #ask-sales channel, and in other channels, too:

  • Lead qualification: Automate the process of qualifying leads by capturing key information from team members and routing it to the appropriate sales rep or CRM tool.
  • Deal update reminders: Create a workflow that prompts sales reps to provide regular updates on active deals, ensuring the entire team is informed about the sales pipeline's progress.
  • Discount approval requests: Streamline the process for sales reps to request approval for discounts or special pricing from managers directly within Slack.
  • Onboarding new members: Set up a workflow to send an automated welcome message to new members who join the sales channel, providing them with resources and introducing them to the team
  • Tracking feature requests: Logging Product Feature Requests: Implement a workflow where sales reps can quickly log customer feature requests. This could automatically create a ticket in the product management system and notify the product team.
  • Automated sales reports: Schedule a workflow to generate and share daily or weekly sales reports with the team, providing insights into metrics like lead conversion rates, average deal size, and sales cycle length.
  • Celebrating wins: Create a positive team culture by creating a workflow that celebrates closed deals.

8. Use an AI Knowledge Assistant to answer sales questions

AI Knowledge Assistants use natural language processing to digest employee questions and search for relevant answers.

Dashworks, for example, uses real-time AI search to ensure accurate, live answers from a company’s apps, knowledge bases, and previous Slack conversations. And unlike channel managers, Dashworks is always on, allowing team members to ask questions and get answers 24/7, 365.

Our customers tell us that SDRs and AEs ask the Dashworks Slackbot sales questions like:

  • What’s the best case study to share with a manufacturing prospect?
  • How do I do [insert activity] in Salesforce?
  • What’s the approval process for discounts?
  • When is the sales QBR?
  • What’s my commission rate on a partner-sourced opportunity?

And they get comprehensive answers every time. This has allowed #sales-help managers to spend more time on strategic activities and answering one-off questions less. Perhaps most importantly, Dashworks has helped push deals over the finish line faster.

Thomas Mancuso, Director of Global Product Partnerships at Podium, shares, “Having Dashworks answer questions sales folks were getting from prospects about our products has moved the deal cycle into a much faster lane. It’s been quite helpful.”

Automate #sales-help and close deals faster

The longer it takes a rep to get a response to sales questions they have, the worse their productivity becomes. And in some cases, answering an AE’s question quickly and thoroughly can mean the difference between a closed-won and a closed-lost deal.

Don’t put that weight on your channel managers’ shoulders — let Dashworks do the work for them.

With Dashworks, channel managers have automatically triaged over 40% of sales questions, saving them 73% of the time they usually spend searching for answers and replying to reps. The best part? It only takes minutes to set up. Dashworks has native integrations with apps most sales teams use, like:

  • Salesforce
  • HubSpot
  • Google Drive
  • Dropbox
  • Quip
  • Gmail
  • Outlook

Curious to learn more? Book a demo with one of our SMEs to discuss how AI knowledge assistants can help your team with its specific setup.

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