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Salesforce integration full guide

Learn everything about Salesforce integration options to make the most of the platform

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Salesforce allows you to integrate your Salesforce account with many other third-party applications to make the most of the platform.

This guide walks you through Salesforce integrations and how to use them to boost your marketing and sales efforts.

New to Salesforce? Check our article “What Is Salesforce And What Does Salesforce Do?” to learn everything about it.

What is Salesforce Integration?

Salesforce integration is the process of integrating a third-party app into your Salesforce account to maintain and manage all the data in one place, streamline your workflow, and create a unified experience for your customers.

Salesforce allows you to connect it to many tools you need to run your business, including productivity, marketing, collaboration, and beyond.

How to Integrate with Salesforce?

Here are some ways to integrate an app with your Salesforce account:

1. App-based Salesforce Integration

An app-based Salesforce integration creates an integration between an app and Salesforce to send data between the two platforms. Zapier is a common example.

Zapier allows you to connect Salesforce with thousands of popular apps easily and quickly. You don’t need to have a certain level of technical expertise to do it, and there is no coding required.

You can use Zapier to add new Facebook Lead Ads as leads in Salesforce, create Slack messages for new Salesforce leads, save new Salesforce events to Google Calendar, and more.

2. Code-based Salesforce Integration

Another way to integrate Salesforce with another app is using a programming language like Apex.

Think about Apex like Java or C# for Salesforce. This language allows you to access Salesforce.com’s back-end database and client-server interfaces to integrate your app with Salesforce.

3. User Interface Integration

Salesforce allows for user interface (UI) integration like mashups, which is great for accessing multiple apps from Salesforce.

A mashup is an arrangement of maintaining large data set in a different application and then making that application available to Salesforce. For example, you can create a mashup to display an external website in Salesforce or exchange information with external systems in real-time.

4. Business Logic Integration

Salesforce also supports business logic integration that allows business logic to extend from one app to another.

There are two types of business logic integration:

  • Inbound logic integration: Business logic extends from outside the platform, commonly with Apex Web Services.
  • Outbound logic integration: Business logic extends from within the platform, commonly with Apex Callouts.

5. Data Integration

Salesforce supports several APIs to synchronize data from two or more systems. For example, SOAP API allows integrating Salesforce with your business’s ERP and finance systems. With this API, you can deliver real-time sales and support information to company portals and populate critical business systems with customer information.

Salesforce Integration Types

1. Batch Integration

Batch integration is great for synching a vast amount of data from an app to Salesforce, and schedule integration runs during times when resources are less utilized.

Think about when you want to extract and transform accounts, contacts, and opportunities from your current CRM and load the data into Salesforce. In this case, using batch integration is a good practice.

2. Real-time Integration

With real-time integration, data will be synchronized in real-time. This integration allows data to be replicated in another system immediately and simultaneously.

3. AppExchange

AppExchange is a Salesforce marketplace where you can find ready-to-install apps, solutions, and consultants that let you extend Salesforce into every industry and department, including sales, marketing, customer service, and more.

AppExchange allows you to browse all solutions and review a fully functional demo of an app as a read-only user. When you’re happy with an app, you can easily add it to your Salesforce environment.

Salesforce Integration Best Practices

  • Decide what data you need to exist in Salesforce: Your company may have a vast amount of data from multiple external sources, and not all of them need to be transferred into Salesforce. Determining the most critical data for your teams will help simplify and speed up the integration process.
  • Know your data source and the people who can get it: Ensure your Salesforce integration team clearly understands how the data is collected and managed in the third-party app and who uses it.
  • Choose an integration method and type that works for your business: Which integration you should use depends on many factors. For example, if your data is only made available once a day, you may want to choose real-time updates. If you can’t code your integration, you can use an integration tool that provides a Salesforce connector.

Salesforce Integration Issues

Integrating another system into Salesforce isn’t easy and might take a lot of time to do it. In many cases, it requires extensive coding and multiple external tools to ensure successful integrations. That doesn’t mention those external tools need to be updated and maintained frequently to function properly, making the integration process more complicated.

Another Salesforce integration issue is that sometimes you’ll notice the mismatch of data and field types. It’s because field types vary from one application to another — they may have different names. For example, the address field in Salesforce may be called a city, region, or street in another system.

You should also keep in mind that Salesforce automatically creates an ID for each record created or imported into it. When we integrate data from an external system to Salesforce, if a record already has its external ID, Salesforce may overwrite that ID.

Salesforce integration tools

Using Salesforce integration tools like Revenue Grid is great for quickly connecting your Salesforce with another app in your tech stack. With Revenue Grid, you can have everything up and running in hours for data integration as well as receive ongoing support from our expert team.

Revenue Grid is designed specifically for Salesforce users. It supports many features that help optimize your Salesforce account, boost your sales performance, and build a better sales process. For example, unlimited emails and prospects, calendaring features, smart scheduling and automation, personalization, and full integration with Salesforce. If you want to manage data across email, phone, SMS, social media, and other channels, you can do it with Revenue Grid as well.

Revenue Grid is on the Salesforce AppExchange marketplace, so it’s easy and quick to install. In case you want to discover more about Revenue Grid’s capabilities, click here to get a free demo.

Discover all the benefits of Revenue Grid in action

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    Core UX Writer at Booking.com

    Lavender Nguyen is a Freelance Content Writer focusing on writing well-researched, data-driven content for B2B commerce, retail, marketing, and SaaS companies. Also known as an Email Marketing Specialist, she helps ecommerce B2C brands develop high-converting, customer-focused email strategies.