On Wednesday, while on a flight, I was chatting with Ian, one of our awesome product managers, about how I'd love to have a Pushbot send me our Salesforce reports in Slack. As someone constantly on the move, I'm 80% on my iPhone or iPad. I'm a big fan of Salesforce. It's a great system of record for sales activities, but, man, it's mobile app and Slack integration leaves a lot to be desired.
So Ian (who I think I can safely say loves Salesforce almost as much Pushbot) and I start kicking around ideas. I start by going down a brute force path...
Well, how about if I could just get this one Salesforce report? But no, it has to be reduced because I'm on mobile and can't wade through that wide of a report. So, maybe I can get a top level summary report and then detailed reports on demand? Like, we could use our browser automation to just grab reports from a desktop, saves them as PDF, and then sends them to me in Slack.
As it turns out, Ian showed me a much more powerful and easier way to go about it. Salesforce has this funky language called SOQL that anyone who has ever written a SQL query will immediately love. So rather than going through all of the hullaballoo of creating a report intended for mobile consumption and using brittle surface automation, we (and by we, I mean, Ian) created a much more elegant, durable solution leveraging our Pushbot platform:
- Run a SOQL query Opportunities into a Pushbot Data Table.
- Use our built-in data processing to group and aggregate Opportunity details to a specific format I want.
- Post to Slack.
Boom! So simple. We completed the whole exercise in like 20 minutes. On an airplane. Via Slack. Over airplane wi-fi.
And there's so much more to love:
- It runs on a scheduled basis so, every morning, I get a custom-to-me, summarized, update of our Opportunities.
- We also tied a Slack trigger to it so I can get it on-demand.
- Our controller now doesn't need to navigate around Salesforce for simple tasks like updating a forecast. In fact, come to think of it, one of our next move should be to automatically update forecasts in real-time by tying this to our forecasting system (by which I mean Google Sheets).
The next iteration, which will undoubtedly also take less 30 minutes, will likely be clickable Salesforce Stages in Slack that will automatically come back with detailed Opportunities within that Stage. Followed by clickable Opportunities. We may have just rewritten the Salesforce Slack integration to be better for us in less than an hour of time!
Now, you may think – well, Sean, you're running an automation company so all this is easy for you to say and do. You're just bragging. That may be. It's hard for me not to occasionally brag on our platform. I'm super proud of it. But I'd be remiss to not say that we can now make this a Pushbot Template that anyone can install in their own team. So ping us and let us make Salesforce work better for you!