Salesforce is a highly customizable platform. Its functionality can be tailored based on the specific needs and preferences of the users. This is one of the reasons why the CRM platform has been consistent in providing seamless and automated services to organizations across the world for more than two decades.
The customizable nature of Salesforce has made it possible for developers to integrate it with suitable third-party platforms. Salesforce integration is one of the most sought-after services provided by Salesforce development companies and Salesforce implementation partners.
What Is Salesforce Integration?
Salesforce integration is the process of combining the functionality of Salesforce with that of a suitable platform. It is the process of integrating Salesforce data with that of an external platform to provide users with a single unified platform.
Salesforce can be readily integrated with a range of applications and services. If you are willing to use your Salesforce data for making/receiving payments, you can integrate Salesforce with platforms like PayPal. If you want to use the CRM platform for signing documents electronically, you can integrate Salesforce with DocuSign and other relevant platforms.
Salesforce integration results in an automated flow of data between two platforms. You can migrate and manage your Salesforce with the help of dedicated ETL tools and/or by taking the help of skilled Salesforce developers.
Why Is Salesforce Integration Important For Your Business?
Here are some of the most important reasons why Salesforce integration is important for your business:
A Centralized Platform
The biggest benefit of Salesforce integration is that it provides users with a single unified platform to work on. Instead of having to switch between different platforms for undertaking business processes, it allows your team to access all the required records on a centralized platform.
As Salesforce integration makes it easy for your team to undertake business processes, it leads to increased productivity within your organization. Integrating Salesforce with a suitable third-party platform provides users with an ideal mix of features belonging to both platforms. This allows your team members to give their best and work towards the productivity of your organization.
Automating Business Processes
Salesforce integration helps you leverage process automation. It helps you develop a platform that allows users to automate specific repetitive processes. This allows your team members to save their time and effort that were otherwise spent on undertaking tedious processes manually. Moreover, process automation helps you organize your workflows, leading to higher efficiency.
Having A Holistic View Of Business Processes
When you integrate datasets of two or more platforms, it allows your team to obtain a holistic view of the business processes carried out by them. This allows them to make informed and data-driven decisions without any scope of error.
Keeping Your Data In Sync
Salesforce integration allows you to automate the process of keeping your datasets in sync. Any changes made to your Salesforce would automatically reflect on the data stored within the integrated platform. This saves your team from synchronizing datasets using manual processes.
Best Salesforce Integration Practices
Along with the benefits of Salesforce integration, it is important for businesses to be well-versed with the best Salesforce integration practices. Adopting the right processes help you and your team leverage the overall functionality of Salesforce.
Here are some of the best practices to implement while undertaking Salesforce integration:
Make Sure That The Data Exists In Your Salesforce Org
Before going ahead with the integration process, always make sure that all the datasets to be integrated exist in your Salesforce org. If they don’t, you can migrate relevant data from external sources by using the right Salesforce data migration tools.
Here are some of the major reasons why you might want to migrate data from external systems into Salesforce:
- Improving your existing workflow for process automation
- Improving analytics within the CRM platform
- Adding relevant data to the existing records
- Improving the record and the field-level security model of Salesforce
However, if you are willing to provide Salesforce users with data that revolves around your Salesforce records, you can choose alternatives that provide users with data visibility without storing the datasets within your Salesforce org.
Make It A Collaborative Process
It is always advisable for Salesforce integration to be a collaborative process. Make sure you have skilled professionals within your team who are aware of the context of the data to be integrated and the source to get it from. If you lack resources, hire skilled and capable Salesforce contractors to work on your project.
Develop A Schedule (And Stick To It!)
Just like working on any important Salesforce project, it is advisable for the management to prepare a schedule for Salesforce integration. Depending on the people who would be working on the integrated platform, the anticipated time taken for the integration to complete, and the resources required for the same, make sure that you prepare a workable schedule to execute the project.
Developing a schedule in advance allows you to deal with some of the following challenges:
- The presence of multiple SIS systems within your organization, making the required data available only once every day
- Lack of API provided by the SIS system
- Lack of adequate financial resources to execute the complete project
Have A Well-configured Data Model In Place
Always make sure that you configure an ideal data model that is in sync with your business needs and the objectives you want to attain through Salesforce integration. Never make the mistake of mirroring the data structure of a source system. Instead, it is better to focus on meeting specific user needs with the help of a simple and effective data model.
Calculate The Cost Of The Project
It is always important to ascertain the cost of your Salesforce integration project before going ahead with the education. Make sure you take into consideration the ideal resources to be employed and the results you want from the integrated platform. Once you have the cost worked out, see if it is worth spending that amount behind integrating the CRM platform.
Calculating the cost of your Salesforce integration project allows you to understand where your business stands financially and compare the same with your requirements. If your current project seems to go over budget, you can work your way around it and reduce the cost.
The most ideal way to ascertain whether the money to be spent on Salesforce integration would be worthy enough to carry out a cost-benefit analysis. Here, you need to list the major pain points and the probability of resolving them through Salesforce integration.
While calculating your budget, it is never advisable to go for the cheapest alternative. This may affect the sustainability of the integrated platform. Instead, make sure that you are able to get maximum benefits out of the money spent behind your Salesforce integration project.
Make Use Of Suitable Tools
Salesforce integration can be made easier by implementing dedicated Salesforce integration tools. These tools often help you in simplifying the integration process by offering Salesforce connectors. Robust data migration and integration tools help you automate your processes and increase the speed of Salesforce integration.
Seek For Expert Assistance
Although it is possible for an organization to undertake Salesforce integration all by itself, it is never advisable to do so. Always make sure you take the help of professional experts to obtain the desired outcome. Reach out to Salesforce developers, consultants, and data architects to obtain personalized help in integrating your Salesforce org with a suitable third-party platform.
Be well-versed With Your Integration Pattern
Having a thorough knowledge of your Salesforce integration pattern makes the entire process more effective. Make sure you chart out a list of all possible integration patterns and select the most ideal alternative for your project. Every integration pattern follows a specific template that allows users to define obstacles, endpoints, and the data to be integrated. Choosing the right integration pattern would help you and your team have a clear sense of direction.
Never Rush Through The Process
Before you chart out a plan and a schedule for your Salesforce integration project, always make sure that you are not rushing through the process. If your team members are getting busy soon, it is preferable to start the process once they have enough time. Taking enough time to integrate your Salesforce org would help users get comfortable with the new platform before performing tasks using the same.
Also, dedicating enough time for Salesforce implementation would help the developers to test the platform and make sure that it meets all your requirements. Rushing through the process may help you get the new platform built quickly but it would lack holistic user adoption.
The Final Word
These were some of the best Salesforce integration practices that can be used for expanding the overall functionality of the CRM platform. If executed in an organized and steady way, your Salesforce integration project would simplify the tasks undertaken by your team members and increase the productivity of your organization.