Power your B2B sales team with these bots available on the Slack App Directory

One of this year’s most anticipated IPOs took place last month. No, I’m not talking about Uber’s IPO (ok, I guess that one was kinda important too!). I’m referring to Slack, which went public last month with an eye-popping valuation of $23B.

Besides being a messaging and collaboration platform that commands the loyalty and undivided attention of many users, Slack is also known for the 1,500+ Slack apps, chatbots and integrations that are listed on its App Directory and available for Slack users to download.

As a chatbot enthusiast with a Business-to-Business (B2B) sales background, I was curious to learn about the different types of bots on Slack that are relevant for B2B sales teams, how easy it is to install these bots and what type of capabilities they bring to the table. So, I went on a quest to find out what type of Sales Slack bots are out there.

Initially, the task seemed daunting. I counted over 100+ Slack apps listed under the sales category on the Slack app directory. However, after going through the description pages of the apps and watching their overview videos I was able to narrow the list down to about a dozen or so apps that either describe themselves as bots or as having bot-like capabilities.

After installing and playing around with the bots it became very clear that the bots fell nicely into one of two main categories:

  • Child Bots: these bots are extensions/plug-ins of a parent web application — most likely a CRM app. This means that the core functionalities and capabilities are being delivered to the user via the parent web application while the child bot offers only a small subset of the parent app’s functionality. The idea is that the slack user can perform some action (e.g. read, update or delete a record) to the content of the web application without leaving the comfort of Slack.
  • Parent Bots: these bots are standalone independent bots and are fully capable of delivering their full feature set of functionality without requiring the user to signup or login to any web applications. Parent bots offer the advantage of very quick and easy installation- typically in a few seconds without requiring any integration. They also offer the widest user appeal because they don’t require the Sales teams to be using a particular CRM application in order to leverage the bot’s capability.

With this understanding, I started installing and testing out the bots to understand the similarities and differences between their functionality. I selected a few to highlight below as they offer interesting contrasts on the variety of capabilities that the bots can offer.

DealBot

DealBot is a good example of a child bot. It is a notification extension of the lead management CRM app Pipedrive . The bot allows Pipedrive users to get real-time notifications whenever a deal on the Pipedrive web app gets updated allowing sales teams to keep their fingers on the pulse of their pipeline at all times.

I was able to quickly sign up for a 14-day free Pipedrive trial and test DealBot without any hassle or having to speak to a sales rep from Pipedrive. In the example below, I received a notification in Slack once a deal that I had created in Pipedrive progressed from the “Contact Made” stage to the “Demo Stage”.

Dealbot is a one directional notification only bot. This means that you can only receive notifications in the bot but you can’t send back or make any changes to the data on Pipedrive via Dealbot.

If your sales team already uses Pipedrive to manage their leads then this Bot would save them from having to constantly log back into Pipedrive to track lead status updates.

https://medium.com/media/0dcaa6b1189108dd886496bcc97a6798/href

ValueGal

ValueGal is a standalone bot. It is designed to deliver its full set of capabilities without requiring the user to connect to any CRM or signup to a back-end web application. Users can install ValueGal in a matter of seconds and start using it right away. No integrations, no signups, no hassle… just hit the “Install to Slack” button and start interacting with the bot right away.

ValueGal is a value discovery and value selling bot designed for Business-to-Business Sales Executives. It helps sales teams discover the pain points of their enterprise customers by analyzing their public financial statements (income statements, balance sheets, …etc) and benchmarking them against industry peers to determine pain points and opportunities of improvement.

ValueGal also quantifies the economic value of alleviating these pain points on the customer’s bottom-line allowing sales teams to build financial business cases that justify the costs of their products and services to their customers. This is particularly useful if the deal size is large and requires a CFO’s approval (think enterprise software deals or large consulting projects).

ValueGal goes beyond just offering a simple notification or text response back to the user and also builds a PowerPoint sales business case complete with economic impact analysis and present value calculations that the sales executive can download directly from the bot and present to their customers.

https://medium.com/media/9a9a634d0cda96ae835ffad5dcfbf863/href

GrowthBot

GrowthBot is built by HubSpot, a CRM provider. Initially, I expected GrowthBot to be a child bot offering only a small subset of Hubspot’s CRM functionality.

However, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the bot goes beyond just integrating with Hubspot and can also connect with third party marketing platforms like MailChimp, Google Analytics and Twitter.

Even without any integration, you can still use GrowthBot and get value out of it — which is why I consider GrowthBot to be an interesting hybrid between a parent and a child bot.

For example, if you are preparing a Google ads campaign for a product that competes with Slack and want to steal some eyeballs away from Slack’s Google ad campaigns then GrowthBot can help you determine the top-ranking Slack Keywords and their associated Cost Per Click.

The bot can also help you research your prospects by entering an email address of a contact and getting their LinkedIn profile back — which I found pretty cool and wasn’t able to easily replicate on Google search.

https://medium.com/media/995603fdaaab666a2b0bcec66900a10d/href

Trustbot

Trustbot is another good example of a standalone bot. You can install Trustbot and start using it in a matter of seconds regardless of the back-end CRM system that your sales team uses and without any configuration.

Trustbot helps sales teams create, send, sign and manage NDAs without leaving their Slack workspace. It comes with a built-in library of NDAs that you can select from and email out through the bot to a prospective customer.

Once the NDA is signed, a notification gets posted back to the user in Slack. The bot is also intelligent enough to alert you if you are trying to send an NDA to the same email address more than once preventing you from accidentally sending different NDAs to the same customer.

WooBot

WooBot is a child bot that connects to Salesforce.com. It allows sales teams to both pull and edit Salesforce leads and pipeline data directly from Slack instead of having to log onto the Salesforce web app.

It took me a few minutes to install WooBot because I had to also create a free trial subscription on Salesforce and connect WooBot to it. But once I was able to integrate it with my free Salesforce subscription it was smooth sailing from there.

Unlike DealBot, where you get notified every time an opportunity changes on the PipeDrive CRM system, WooBot offers a “Smart Notification” feature allowing users to filter notifications so they only get important alerts and block out the noise.

WooBot is also much more than just a notification bot. WooBot users can quickly create new Salesforce leads, edit existing ones and assign follow up actions to leads directly from WooBot and without leaving Slack.

https://medium.com/media/062951b39b51278328013310261fcf80/href

Conclusion

Despite all the hype about ChatBots, there aren’t that many bots on Slack geared towards B2B sales teams that go beyond being an extension or plug-in of their parent’s CRM application. The majority of the bots I came across are extensions of an existing web application offering the same or a subset of the web app’s functionality.

Less than a handful of the bots I came across are standalone bots that offer new functionality to sales teams beyond what they can already do today in CRM.

Disclosure: I am the creator of ValueGal. I did my best to provide an objective and unbiased coverage of all bots including ValueGal.


6 Slack Bots That Will Boost Your Enterprise Sales Team’s Productivity was originally published in Chatbots Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.