Intercom Launches Two-Way Slack Integration

Intercom yesterday announced a two-way integration with Slack that allows users to not only know about new Intercom conversations in Slack but also respond, qualify, and close from there as well. According to the company, Slack has been an essential tool for many of its users who don’t have dedicated live chat agents and aren’t manning their Intercom inbox full time. The existing integration between Intercom and Slack aimed to ensure that they wouldn’t miss a conversation from a lead or customer, and now the two-way integration takes things a step further.

“Our Slack integration has already been our most popular integration. It’s used by more than half of Intercom customers, and it serves a very simple purpose—to notify teams in Slack about relevant activity happening in Intercom, such as a new lead or conversation,” says Colin Bentley, director of product management at Intercom. “[But now] you no longer have to switch tools to engage with leads. This is really important for sales teams because it saves them time and lets them respond right away—which dramatically increases the chance of conversion, [and] it means that sales teams never have to miss an opportunity.”

In addition, the integration enables sales teams to choose exactly what kinds of leads to be notified about and how. “This ensures that the most valuable leads get the best attention while preventing Slack from ever getting too noisy,” Bentley adds.  

The two-way integration has three key elements: real-time notifications, the ability to respond instantly, and the ability to capture lead data as you qualify. The real-time notifications in Slack indicate new leads, users, and conversations. As noted, users can choose what to be notified about and in which channels, based on their Intercom inboxes. Once a notification comes in to Slack, the user can respond directly from the conversation, without switching tools. And as the user is chatting and qualifying a lead from Slack, they’ll be collecting details from the conversation such as company name, website, and phone number. This information can be captured in Intercom directly from Slack with a simple command.

Bentley notes that the Intercom-Slack integration is part of an effort to help businesses re-create online the personal and human connections that naturally exist when people interact in person. “Traditionally, sales conversations happened in person—people meeting face-to-face or over the phone. We’ve seen this start to change in a big way. Today, customers are increasingly buying things online. This major shift impacts the entire sales cycle, and businesses that are mapping their sales strategy to the old way of buying are being left behind,” Bentley says. “Messengers have become the best way for friends and family to create these connections, and Intercom’s Messenger is increasingly becoming the primary choice for businesses looking to do the same with leads and customers.”

And as customers’ expectations around response times continue to grow, businesses must adapt. “Messengers are the best way to deliver these response times at scale. It also lets sales teams engage with people as soon as they visit their website,” Bentley says. “We’re seeing businesses spend all this money to try to get people to their site, and then ignoring them once they’re there. Messengers solve that problem.” 

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