Best Practices For Salesforce Integration with Third Party Applications
- October 31, 2022
- 17 minutes
When choosing the best CRM software, the first name that will come to your mind is Salesforce. This CRM tool covers more than 20 percent of the total market share of global CRM solutions. Most businesses have started using it to boost their performance and enhance customer interactions. Besides, they are also trying our Salesforce Integration with existing tools and systems to enjoy maximum benefits.
Integrating Salesforce into a third-party application can witness some additional features and functionalities. Some major examples of Salesforce Integration are LinkedIn, Dropbox, Google Cloud, WhatsApp, QuickBooks, and more.
Salesforce integration with third-party applications is a strategic move for businesses looking to centralize data and streamline their processes. By integrating Salesforce with other software, companies can gain a 360-degree view of their customers, enriching customer interactions and improving business outcomes.
The Concept of Salesforce Third-Party Integration
In simple words, Salesforce Integration is a process of combining the data and functionalities of Salesforce with your organization’s existing apps or system so that you can enjoy a unified experience. With this, you will get a centralized platform to manage different tasks. It can bring the important data of various systems, like supply chain, ERP, HR, SAP, ORACLE and more. As a result, you can monitor and control your business processes efficiently.
Salesforce third-party integration refers to connecting Salesforce CRM with other business applications. This connectivity allows data to flow bi-directionally between Salesforce and other systems, breaking silos and enabling comprehensive insights.
The process of integrating Salesforce with third-party applications is multi-faceted. It involves selecting the right integration tool, defining data mapping, configuring settings, and conducting tests. While the complexity of the process can vary based on the specific tools you’re integrating, having a clear roadmap can ease the journey.
Detailed Step-by-Step Guide to Salesforce Integration
Pre-integration Considerations: The Must-Check List
Before starting your Salesforce third-party integration, several factors need to be considered. These include assessing your business needs, understanding the technical requirements of the integration, defining the data to be shared, and setting up a contingency plan for any data loss during the integration.
Salesforce Integration Software: Choosing the Right Tool
Selecting the right Salesforce integration software is crucial in your integration journey. It’s essential to consider factors such as ease of use, compatibility with your existing systems, features offered, and pricing.
Configuration and Settings: Your Initial Steps for Integration
Configuring the settings on both Salesforce and the third-party application forms the first step of the actual integration process. That includes setting up the access permissions, defining the connection parameters, and configuring the data exchange rules.
Data Mapping: Bridging Salesforce with Third-Party Applications
Data mapping is a pivotal step in the integration process. It involves defining how data fields in Salesforce correspond to those in the third-party application. A well-defined data mapping process ensures the data flows seamlessly between the two systems.
Validation and Testing: Ensuring a Seamless Integration Process
Before the integration goes live, it’s critical to perform thorough testing. This step involves validating the data accuracy, checking the data synchronization in real time, and ensuring no errors during data exchange.
Best Practices for A Successful Salesforce Integration
One of the major reasons why most people opt for integration is to explore the additional capabilities and provide the end-users with a seamless user experience. Here are some best Salesforce Integration practices you can follow to eliminate all the major obstacles and make the process smooth.
Understand Your Unique Business Requirements
Salesforce CRM software offers a comprehensive range of solutions and works perfectly with more than 4000 apps. Well, you don’t need to use every solution. That’s why you will have to understand your business requirements before proceeding with this process. Understand the current issues that you are dealing with, and then you can choose the solutions or apps that can help you attain your goals. By exploring your business requirements, you can avoid unwanted integrations.
Analyze and Scrutinize Your Competitors
Per experts, your competitors can keep you motivated to find innovative and new solutions. Analyze your competitor and understand the type of technologies they are using. The tools that work for them may also work for you. But you should rely on this as you may miss out on some important aspects of their infrastructure. Before you can begin the integration process, know about the apps integrated by your competitors. This way, you can bring more efficiency and accuracy to your Salesforce Integration process.
Practice Makes Perfect: The Art of Salesforce Integration Planning
Having a clear integration strategy can make the process smoother and more effective. It includes defining your objectives, understanding your data needs, and selecting the right integration tool. Remember, good planning lays the foundation for successful execution.
Choosing the Right Integration Tool: Navigating Salesforce Integration Tools
Numerous Salesforce integration tools are available in the market, each offering unique features. When choosing an integration tool, consider its compatibility with your systems, ease of use, scalability, and support services.
Don’t Forget to Involve Your Team in The Process
For better results, you should involve your team in the process of Salesforce Integration. After all, it is your team that will use the application. So, choose a team and inform them about the integration process. You can divide the team into two categories to make it a little easier for you.
Keep your team updated, and don’t forget to consider their feedback. There is no point in Salesforce Integration if the entire team is not satisfied with it. However, it is advisable to assign a single decision-maker with years of experience to make the final call.
Data Integrity: The Golden Rule of Integration
Maintaining data integrity during and after integration is crucial. Make sure you’ve backup plans and error-handling mechanisms in place. Regular audits can also ensure that your data remains accurate and reliable.
Security: Safeguarding Your Business Information
Data security should be a top priority during Salesforce integration. Ensure the chosen third-party application follows strict security standards and complies with relevant data protection regulations.
Ongoing Maintenance: Regular Testing and Monitoring
Salesforce third-party integration is not a one-time task. Regular monitoring and maintenance are essential to spot potential issues early and ensure smooth data exchange.
Examples of Salesforce Third-Party Integration
Salesforce Integration with Marketing Automation Tools
Marketing automation tools integrated with Salesforce can provide a seamless flow of customer data between the two systems, enabling targeted and personalized marketing campaigns.
Salesforce Integration with Accounting Software
By integrating accounting software with Salesforce, businesses can have real-time access to financial data within their CRM, which improves billing processes and customer service.
Salesforce Integration with E-commerce Platforms
E-commerce businesses can significantly benefit from integrating their platform with Salesforce. It can streamline processes like order management, customer service, and inventory management, enhancing the overall customer experience.
Understanding the Market Trends
Future Scope: Next Big Things in Salesforce Integration
With the advent of technologies like AI and machine learning, the future of Salesforce integration looks promising. These technologies can drive more intelligent and automated data exchanges between Salesforce and third-party applications.
Keeping Pace: Adapting to Changing Salesforce Integration Trends
As the business and technology landscapes evolve, businesses must stay updated with the latest trends in Salesforce integration. Regular learning and adaptation can help you harness the full potential of your integration.
As per the latest study on Salesforce Integration, the users or customers of Salesforce have the below-mentioned expectation.
- More than 60 percent of the users expect that it can provide them with an effective source to obtain customer data, which will help them make informed decisions.
- Around 45 percent think that Salesforce may help them identify new revenue streams and attract more potential customers.
- More than 50 percent of customers assume that Salesforce Integration can boost their upstream and downstream organization-specific systems.
Understanding the Components Required for Salesforce Integration
In general, there are three common categories of components of your existing apps or system that you can integrate with Salesforce. These are:
1. Business Logic Integration
This is a complex component that greatly defines your business’s core. Such a form of integration will help you create all-around business solutions that will combine different back-end systems and apps.
2. Data Integration
If you must establish a perfect synchronization between data from different systems, then the data integration type will work well. With this, you will witness a real-time data-sharing experience.
3. User Interface Integration
You can opt for user interface integration if you want to provide your users or customers with a customized experience. With Salesforce, you can get the tools required to accomplish your business goals if the users utilize different applications in various languages.
Some Challenges That You May Face During the Integration
1. Use of Multiple APIs
While creating an integration application utilizing REST API or SOAP API is crucial to create the codes efficiently. APIs can deal with large record sets, so you should follow the right practices to ensure the efficiency of the code. If the codes are inefficient, it will lead to excessive APIs issues, which can lead to poor Salesforce limits and performance issues.
2. Large-Scale Application and Coding
Extensive coding is required to make your integration process successful, and you may also need to install multiple apps. And to keep them running efficiently, you need to keep updating your software and infrastructure.
3. Storing Obsolete Data
It has been seen that most businesses keep obsolete data. But this can affect the integration process. You should get rid of any obsolete data and clean up the system before you can begin with the integration. This way, you can avoid data duplication and free up more space.
4. Poor Data Management Technique
During Salesforce Integration, it is crucial to fix the data quality and validation issues as soon as possible. Merging or rejecting duplicate data, mapping data fields, etc., are common problems that may develop during the process. So, ensure you have an effective data management strategy to deal with such issues.
Salesforce Integration- Different Types
Salesforce supports various methods to integrate data into your existing business systems. Some crucial Salesforce Integration types that you can consider are:
1. Real-Time Integration
With this type of integration, you can allow the data to be displayed in other systems immediately after completing the integration process. This is an effective and efficient integration type for aligning Salesforce sales and marketing tasks. Real-time integration has fewer challenges and is also adequate. Besides, most businesses opt for this when handling errors and managing queues effectively.
2. Real-Time Mashups
This method is generally utilised to lower the amount of data to keep large files in different applications faster and make it readily available 24×7. It can display Salesforce as well as externally hosted data. Furthermore, mashups support a small amount of data and short interactions. And this makes it an excellent choice for crafting highly customised UIs.
AppExchange is a popular Salesforce cloud marketplace with a huge selection of in-built apps, solutions and consultations. You will find different applications that can be easily installed within a Salesforce-supported environment. It supports an easy integration process and allows you to save money and time.
4. Batch Integration
If you are searching for a perfect way to extract and then transform contacts, opportunities and accounts from your current CRM system to Salesforce or want to load your customer billing data from a remote system into a Salesforce system weekly, then you can opt for the batch data integration method. With this, you can import and disseminate a huge volume of data without hassle.
Some Benefits of Integrating Salesforce with Third-Party Apps
Unleashing Operational Efficiency: Improved Workflows
Salesforce third-party integration can significantly streamline business processes, eliminating the need for manual data entry and reducing the chance of errors. It leads to improved productivity and operational efficiency.
In-depth Customer Insights: Enhanced CRM Capabilities
With Salesforce integration, businesses can have a holistic view of their customers. Information from different sources gets consolidated within Salesforce, facilitating more informed decision-making and personalized customer engagement.
Streamlined Business Processes: The Power of Automation
The integration enables the automation of various business processes. For instance, an update in the third-party application can trigger a corresponding action in Salesforce, ensuring data consistency across platforms and reducing manual efforts.
Making Data-Driven Decisions: Leveraging Enhanced Reporting
Generating detailed reports becomes much more straightforward with all your business data consolidated in Salesforce. That means you can make better, data-driven decisions and accurately measure your performance across various metrics.
Pitfalls to Avoid in Salesforce Integration
Common Mistakes in Salesforce Third-Party Integration
While integrating Salesforce with third-party applications, businesses often make mistakes like rushing the integration process, neglecting data security, or not considering long-term maintenance needs. Avoiding these pitfalls can help ensure a successful integration.
Practical Strategies to Overcome Integration Challenges
Overcoming Salesforce integration challenges requires a thoughtful approach. Using a structured integration plan, setting realistic timelines, ensuring data security, and committing to ongoing maintenance can help you navigate these challenges effectively.
There is no doubt that Salesforce is one of the most popular CRM tools, and when used properly, it can help you improve your sales, productivity and marketing. On the other hand, integrating Salesforce with other 3rd party applications will allow your businesses to witness more benefits. Whether you have a small or large-scale business, if you want to enhance the efficiency and productivity of your company, then Salesforce Integration will be an excellent option for you.
The journey towards Salesforce integration doesn’t end with the initial setup. Regular monitoring, maintenance, and updates are essential to ensure the smooth functioning of the integration. As you embark on or continue this journey, remember that the goal is to enhance your business capabilities and drive growth.
Partnering with an experienced provider like GetOnCRM Solutions a global Salesforce silver consulting partner. With our expertise and support, you can navigate the integration process more efficiently and reap the full benefits of your Salesforce third-party integration.