What is Salesforce integration? It is the integration of the Salesforce CRM with other clouds, apps on the Salesforce AppExchange and/or with 3rd party software. This topic was always important and popular in our part of the Salesforce world, email marketing and marketing automation, and sales team efficiency. The whole purpose of integration is to save your company time, to make your processes stronger and – if possible – to improve the customer experience.
With the recent introduction of Genie (DCP enforced with artificial intelligence), Salesforce continued endeavour to reach a true 360˚ customer view remains, and will bring ‘Salesforce integration’ to the centre-stage. So, let me share with you what it is about.
Salesforce Integration – API or connector?
Salesforce Integration – API or no API ? – that is the question. What?! Often, 3rd party software likes to integrate with Salesforce, and put this forward as an option on its website.
At times, these are perfectly easy to use non-API connectors, that connect at the click of a button. Note: often there’s an extra charge for this connector, which at times can cost more than the 3rd party software itself.
At other times, there’s no connector. But, if that third party company offers and open API, then usually a more sophisticated integration (with possibly with more real-time data) can be configured. This is particularly important for integrations of third parties with the Salesforce marketing cloud.
Salesforce Integration API
The Salesforce Integration API (i.e. its own) is a complete API family. Here is a quick overview of it, so you know what I mean:
|API NAME||PROTOCOL||DATA FORMAT||COMMUNICATION|
|REST API||REST||JSON, XML||Synchronous|
|SOAP API||SOAP (WSDL)||XML||Synchronous|
|Connect REST API||REST||JSON, XML||Synchronous (photos are processed asynchronously)|
|Apex REST API||REST||JSON, XML, Custom||Synchronous|
|Apex SOAP API||SOAP (WSDL)||XML||Synchronous|
|Analytics REST API||REST||JSON, XML||Synchronous|
|User Interface API||REST||JSON||Synchronous|
|Tooling API||REST or SOAP (WSDL)||JSON, XML, Custom||Synchronous|
|Bulk API 2.0||REST||CSV||Asynchronous|
|Metadata API||SOAP (WSDL)||XML||Asynchronous|
|Streaming API||Bayeux||JSON||Asynchronous (stream of data)|
I’ll stop with the technical aspects right after this paragraph. This article is meant as a high-level intro for non-developers, not to teach the ins/outs of how to configure the Salesforce APIs.
- If you are a developer, look for Salesforce API patterns. You know that each integration scenario is unique, but there are patterns for common integration scenarios. Each pattern describes the design and approach for a particular scenario rather than a specific implementation.
- If you are not a developer, but find yourself in a team with developers, just know this:
- Use the Rest API for mobile and web projects.
- Use Soap API for interacting with Salesforce: create, retrieve, update, or delete records.
- Leave it to us, or your in-house Salesforce developers to do the heavy lifting for your desired integrations.
Salesforce Integration tools
For SME and commercial companies
Sometimes, there’s not much of an integration possible at the 3rd party end. That’s when Salesforce integration tools like Zapier come in handy. They are ‘clicks no code’ solutions that befit a lot of situations where a company wants to connect MarTech platforms.
Zapier can be handled by your own Marketing Department. Zapier can be a Salesforce or Pardot solution. We’ll show you the difference.
Connectors are best configured by Salesforce consultants like CloudAnalysts as part of a greater piece of work: your total Salesforce marketing automation solution.
For larger enterprises
For large corporations, there’s a suitable heavy-weight solution: Mulesoft. We just want to mention Salesforce Mulesoft, which connects everything for any department in your organisation. It’s priced in line with scope and impact; £250K/yr cost is not uncommon.
As this article is meant as an introduction, I’ll leave the complete discussion of such integration tools for another day.
Favorite Salesforce Integration Examples
Some Salesforce integration examples that relate to email marketing and email communications I’d like to highlight — i.e. some of my favourites I’ve implemented over the years:
1. Salesforce CRM integrated with Pardot
Yes, while Pardot is owned by Salesforce, it still is an app from the AppExchange that needs to be downloaded, configured and integrated via a connector with Salesforce. This is my bread and butter: Pardot consulting. What is superb about this connector is that it has granular settings to befit any kind of organisational requirements and suit the workflow between sales and marketing.
2. Salesforce CRM with Marketing Cloud
Marketing Cloud can be used on its own or integrated with Salesforce CRM via MCC, Marketing Cloud Connect. Again, a granular connector. If you intend to buy both Marketing Cloud and the Salesforce CRM, then be sure to start with Salesforce and add marketing cloud and the connector afterwards. Saves you a lot of headaches. Ask me why (scroll to page-end to set up a chat).
Again, we are UK Salesforce marketing cloud experts.
Learn more: Marketing Cloud Consulting.
3. Salesforce integration with Outlook
This is a fantastic win for any company whose sales team ‘lives’ in Outlook. This integration allows all email to be brought into Salesforce so that everyone can see the conversations being held and communicate with the client with insights in the back pocket, rather than operate from ignorance. As you can imagine this is a minimum must-have for Account-Based Marketing, whereby multi-disciplinary teams collaborate to win and serve large target accounts.
4. Salesforce integration with Gmail
Same story: allows for total company collaboration to work on accounts. Also allows sales managers better insights into how reps communicate with prospects. By bringing in the conversations into Salesforce, a sales manager can write in-app sales coaching notes, that are crucial for enablement and to hit targets.
5. Integration with Zoom
We were pioneering advanced integration with Zoom for our healthcare practitioners when the pandemic started. Needless to say we forwarded our initial solution to a most -bespoke, fully automated, fully integrated email marketing set up. Over the last few years, Zoom has morphed and integrates really well with Salesforce. Ask us how.
Update Oct 24: See Salesforce Winter 23 Release Notes – Best Free Features. We are excited with the new Pardot development (see point 6 in this article) that allows us to more deeply integrate with third party apps such as Zoom.
6. Integration with CampaignMonitor or Emma Email Marketing
We are recommended implementation partners of “CampaignMonitor for Salesforce” and “Emma for Salesforce” — apps by Beaufort 12 that integrate CampaignMonitor and the Emma email platforms with the Salesforce CRM, extending these email marketing platforms with all that Salesforce has to offer by way of reporting, lead qualification, and more.
Both easy-to-use, inexpensive solutions. Interested?
What about integrating MailChimp for Salesforce? Yes, it’s entirely possible. Just be aware that the UX interface and usability of this connector is not anywhere near as good / UX as the app for CampaignMonitor or Emma.
7. Integration with medical systems / industry-specific systems.
For some of our clients we needed to complement and augment its existing medical system with patient communication details. We configured Salesforce sales & service cloud (Digital Engagement) with Pardot, to handle all patient comms and appointment management. Integration has been achieved via API.
8. Salesforce Integration with Websites
Website integration is possible in so many ways. It ranges from a web-to-lead form, a Pardot form handler, Pardot plug-in for WordPress or for the CRM: Salesforce with WordPress integration, Marketing Cloud Cloud Pages, API work, Zapier, and we’ve even achieved this via Microsoft BI tools.
9. Integration with BI tools
This again is an API project. We’re talking Microsoft BI tools here. Of course, Salesforce has its own BI tools. It’s just that some companies have invested lots in their Microsoft BI tools before they came to Salesforce. So, to orchestrate a smooth business continuation for them while they adapt to Salesforce, we integrate Salesforce with their BI tools. Needless to say, they love it.
10. Salesforce with Survey Monkey
We have integrated Salesforce with Survey Monkey in a number of ways: from simple Zapier all the way to custom API-integrations with a series of automations in Salesforce and Pardot at the back of it.
For companies who take a holistic view to customer experience and measure in lifetime value of the customer, this is a very important discussion point. The potential value of a survey strategy (based on the SurveyMonkey-Salesforce integration) is phenomenal. Please do contact us to learn more how we can help you with this.
11. LinkedIn Sales Navigator for Salesforce
The LinkedIn Sales Navigator for Salesforce application is a great B2B solution. It enables you to view LinkedIn information and Sales Navigator insights where you’re already tracking your other sales activity: right within Salesforce. Turn your contact records into rich profiles by viewing LinkedIn information directly within Salesforce. Makes outreach and sales teams more productive with less time spending importing data in Salesforce, and/or looking into multiple systems for a 360˚ prospect view.
The connector requires Sales Navigator Advanced or Advanced Plus, which might be notch up from your current Navigator investment. Plus you’ll need to spend $125/user/mth. on the connector.
If interested, I’m happy to show you what that looks like.
Bonus: Salesforce integration – Hubspot
Yes, Salesforce can be integrated with Hubspot also. Hubspot lures many smaller companies who then grow and they stay accustomed to it. When they learn that Hubspot is actually more costly when you’ve grown and, that Salesforce has in fact all features wanted, some may wish to integrate the two. Note that Hubspot is both a website hosting company and a CRM. — this is actually not one of my favourites, but some may want this, so I thought to mention it.
12. Other integrations with handy business tools
There is Salesforce with Docusign integration, Salesforce with OwnBackup (we’re resellers – ask us more info or a demo), Salesforce with Calendly (yes this is possible – a low cost alternative to Salesforce Inbox). Or choose Acuity Scheduling with Salesforce.
While Salesforce has its own commerce cloud, it is also possible to integrate Salesforce with WooCommerce, or Salesforce with Shopify.
We’d love to talk to you about your ideas of what platform or tool you’d like to integrate with Salesforce.
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Last Updated on June 30, 2023