A Comprehensive Guide to Salesforce Integration with 3rd Party Applications

Salesforce is unquestionably the world’s most popular CRM software. It is ruling the US$57 billion strong global CRM solution domain with a healthy 22% share. Organizations are adopting Salesforce services and solutions to enhance their performance and improve their customer interactions. 

Salesforce Integration with the existing business workflows and systems has indeed become a blistering buzzword all over the world.

Many organizations are using 3rd party applications to avail additional functionalities and features. Such companies do integrate Salesforce with 3rd party applications to crack new prospects for their CRM users.

Salesforce AppExchange integration with 3rd party applications offers an exceptional demand and supply value. A few prominent examples of such integrations are QuickBooks, Google Cloud, LinkedIn, Mailchimp, Dropbox, WhatsApp, and many more.

This blog will help you understand the nitty-gritty of Salesforce Integration, its challenges, benefits, tools, and various other aspects, which will certainly help accomplish a fruitful Salesforce integration with 3rd party applications.

 

What is Salesforce Integration?

Salesforce Integration is indeed software developed to create and manage the interface between the Salesforce CRM and various other solutions.

 

Salesforce Integration Services

 

It utilizes APIs to interpret the communication between different systems. Salesforce Integration offers an incorporated view of an organization’s several departments. 

Be it HR, supply chain, ERP, Sales, or in-house software like SAP, ORACLE, or Microsoft, it fetches the data from these functional systems and ensures it could be monitored and controlled effectively.

If you are planning to maintain consistency among your enterprise’s existing systems and business functions, then Salesforce Integration is the wisest and most cost-effective decision you may make.

 

Salesforce Integration – Market Trend

As per a recent report by Everest Group, Salesforce users and customers have the following expectations:

  • 45% of users assume their Salesforce adoption can enable them to determine new revenue streams and tap more potential customers.
  • 60% expect that Salesforce will offer them a unified source of truth for customer data, that will help them to make informed decisions.
  • 55% of users expect easier and faster Salesforce integration will enhance their upstream and downstream business-specific systems.

Now let’s take a deeper dig into various aspects of Salesforce integration.

 

Salesforce Integration – Components Required

Salesforce Marketing Services

Usually, we have 3 broad categories of components of your existing systems that may be integrated with Salesforce:

  • User Interface integration – This aims to offer a unified interface to the end-users so that they can access the application and various other features. 
  • Business logic integration – This is certainly the most complex component which defines the core of your business. Here, we use various Salesforce integration tools to manage Inbound and Outbound functionalities. 
  • Data integration – For a successful business operation, you must set up a unified data bank, which must be accessed only by authorized employees. Data could be integrated using various APIS (SOAP or REST). 

 

Read Also:- Top Reasons To Choose Salesforce For Your Business

 

Salesforce Integration – Two Ways Approach 

People usually ask the question, “What is integration in Salesforce?” Here we must understand that Integration is a process that can be fulfilled in a two-way approach : 

Application-driven Salesforce integration –

As the name itself suggests, here the dedicated applications are leveraged to perform integration with Salesforce. We can use various Salesforce integration tools, which provide a strong integration platform that will empower the interconnection of data between your existing applications and Salesforce with just a few clicks. 

Code-based Salesforce integration

In this scenario, we don’t use a Salesforce integration tool but a programming language to accomplish successful integration. You can use Apex language, whose syntax is quite similar to Java. Apex offers seamless support to the Salesforce Lightning Platform, which hosts and controls this language.

 

Salesforce Integration – Types

Salesforce offers numerous methods of integrating data into your business systems with ease. Here we have stated a few important Salesforce Integration types that most organizations extensively use :

Types of Salesforce Integration Solutions

Real-Time Integration

It allows the data to be replicated in the other system almost immediately. It is considered the best integration type for aligning salesforce marketing, and sales activities.

When it comes to controlling queues and handling errors, the real-time integration scores big, as it is more adequate and offers fewer challenges.

Batch Integration

If your organization is aiming to excerpt and transform contact, opportunities, and accounts from your existing CRM system and want to load the data into Salesforce from a remote system then Batch Data synchronization is the unarguably the best approach for data integration.

It offers the easiest method to import and disseminate a massive volume of data without any failures.

Real-Time Mashups

Real-time mashups are commonly used for dipping the amount of data to store huge files in multiple apps swiftly and make it available as and when required by Salesforce.

It shows Salesforce-hosted and externally hosted data. Real-time Mashups are usually limited to brief interactions and small chunks of data, which are highly recommended for building customized User Interfaces in Visualforce.

Salesforce AppExchange

It is a foremost enterprise Salesforce cloud marketplace encompassing a wide range of in-built apps, consultants, and solutions. In AppExchange, a plethora of applications are offered, which can be installed promptly within the Salesforce-aided environment.

 

Salesforce AppExchange

 

The AppExchange is a perfect solution that not only supports the integration process, but also helps in saving time, money, and effort.

 

Salesforce Integration with 3rd Party apps – Best Practices to follow

Integration is performed to deliver additional capabilities to the business and offer a seamless experience to the end-user. It is difficult to assess in advance what type of system will cater to your business and user requirements.

Hence, we have listed some best practices that you must follow to execute an efficacious Salesforce integration with 3rd party apps.

1. Determine your business requirements

Salesforce is a massive CRM solution that is equipped with a plethora of features and capabilities, and your organization doesn’t need to implement or use every feature.

Therefore, it is recommended to anticipate your business needs in detail before starting your Salesforce integration procedure. It will help you understand the pain points and flaws of your Salesforce business, and then integrate the right tool to overcome them effectively.

2. Keep your team updated

Integrating 3rd party tools with Salesforce may set your team members in dilemma, as they are responsible for managing Salesforce and other third-party applications.

Hence, it is highly recommended to always keep your team in the loop right from the beginning of your salesforce integration process. It is important to keep the team members updated with information and gather their feedback to make necessary enhancements.

You must understand that no integration will be successful if your team members are informed or satisfied.

 

Salesforce Integration Services

 

3. Know your Competitors

Competitors always keep you on your toes, as they inspire you or sometimes motivate you to develop an innovative solution.

To successfully integrate 3rd party apps with Salesforce, always ensure you crisscross and examine the apps integrated by your rivals. This practice will help you learn from their mistakes and make more accuracy and efficiency in your integration process.

4. Type of Integration

Salesforce comes with numerous integration types, that come with associated salesforce benefits and challenges. Hence, it is highly recommended to examine its types and assess its impact on your business.

Business logic integration, User interface integration, and Data integration are some of the most popular types of Salesforce integrations.

However, selecting a suitable salesforce integration is not that easy, and you must take help from certified Salesforce professionals. You must hire a seasoned Salesforce consulting firm to make an informed choice for your business growth.

5. Get in-depth product details

Once you have finalized your salesforce product it is vital to scrutinize it right from the scratch. You must assess the product details meticulously, as your business success is depending on them.

Examining the product’s terms and conditions is crucial as they may attract legal issues later, which may lead to many unwarranted issues for your organization.

Always ensure that the product you choose to integrate must comply with your corporate policies and must be well-suited to your business needs, only then it will provide the intended business value to your organization.

 

Salesforce Development Company

 

Salesforce Integration with 3rd party Apps –  Benefits for your Business

By Integrating Salesforce with 3rd party applications, your business can avail the following advantages, including:

  • It enhances information accuracy and reliability by eliminating obsolete and duplicate data.
  • It removes the requirement to loggings into multiple systems. It enables an entire organization to access the integrated system and data, which improves performance and efficiency.
  • It empowers businesses to offer constant deals and increase the closure rate.
  • It helps your business to keep customers engaged and informed with effective communication.
  • It uses automation and other innovative methods to enhance employee productivity.
  • It can automate your business workflows without needing any complicated coding.

 

Salesforce Integration – Overview of Tools

To perform a successful Salesforce integration, you must utilize adequate tools. Such tools fall within three broad categories:

Salesforce Integration Tools

Salesforce native tools –

These tools are developed by Salesforce to perform seamless integration. Currently, we have AppExchange and MuleSoft Anypoint Platform.

AppExchange is a salesforce cloud marketplace, which automatically searches and recommends the software that can be integrated into Salesforce.

Whereas MuleSoft is known for streamlining the integration process for 3rd party software, which is not compatible with Salesforce compatibility.

App-native tools

The primary reason behind the immense popularity of Salesforce is that it encourages independent application developers and organizations to develop Salesforce integration capability inside their tools.

This includes Google cloud, Mailchimp, Dropbox, Slack, Outlook, DocuSign, QuickBooks, HubSpot, and many others. These tools allow easy integration without coding and complicated configuration tasks.

Third-party tools –

These tools come into the picture when neither of the previous tools works. You need expert knowledge and efforts to use these tools to integrate your 3rd party application with Salesforce.

However, due to the availability of a wide range of these tools in the market, you get a choice to select suitable tools for your organization.

 

Most Popular Salesforce Integration Tools

Well, we have understood almost every aspect of Salesforce Integration with 3rd party applications. Let’s explore some popular tools, that you can use to perform a successful integration for your organization. 

Most popular Salesforce Integration Tools

Actiondesk

It is a no-code tool, which accesses an organization’s vital data and allows users to add structural logic to it and build customized views and reports. Moreover, the Lookup function allows assembling, mixing, and updating data from multiple sources.

Boomi AtomSphere

This tool is used to perform integration between on-premises environments, SaaS apps, and cloud-based solutions. It performs application integration via leveraging a neat and clean visual interface. You can use another product Boomi Atom to deploy the integrated solution at any other location.

Blendo

The primary objective of this tool is to connect the cloud applications with the databases. It offers an efficient interface to the user so that they can connect with MS SQL Server, Amazon Redshift, and PostgreSQL, and download the historical data to their environment. 

Commercial

It is known for its exceptional capabilities to integrate your Salesforce with an ERP system. Commercial along with its SYNC application helps you to implement the synchronization and automation in real-time. It makes the integration entirely simple since it doesn’t require knowledge of mapping skills, coding, or server access.

Jitterbit Harmony

It helps you to manage the end-to-end integration lifecycle with ease. It offers on-premises, cloud, and hybrid environments functionality, along with API transformation capability. It offers several pre-built templates and drag-and-drop configuration options, which makes integration very easy. 

 

Salesforce Integration with Third-Party Apps – Challenges

While proceeding with Salesforce integration with 3rd party applications, several factors may impact your integration process. You may encounter various internal or external challenges. Here we have listed a few of them :

 

Salesforce Integration Challenges

 

Application Installation and Large-scale Coding

To perform a successful Salesforce integration one must do application installation and extensive coding. These additional installations and coding make an enterprise update its infrastructure and software to avail the intended benefits.

However, frequent updates may make the infrastructure vulnerable to failures. An organization must keep a close eye on the regular updates and must follow a robust change management policy to prevent any issues.

Disproportionate use of APIs

While developing integration applications, usually people utilize REST API and SOAP API to keep the process easy. However, it is always recommended to write the codes as efficiently as possible.

APIs handle a large number of record sets; therefore, organizations must follow best practices to upkeep code efficiency. Inefficient code may result in excessive API calls, which ultimately impact the performance and may lead to salesforce limit issues.

It is also important to call process records in batches rather than a single one at a time.

 

Read Also:- What is Salesforce CPQ? Pricing and Features in 2022

 

Obsolete Data

Another serious challenge in Salesforce integration is to promulgate the old and obsolete data, else it may standstill the efficient and smooth integration process.

To prevent such scenarios, organizations must perform an extensive cleanup and remove the obsolete data before initiating the integration.

It is important because migrating non-useful records or information to other apps may result in duplicate records, which affects the data integrity to a large extent.

Lack of effective Data Management Strategy

It is important to fix data quality and validation issues before initiating the Salesforce integration project. Mapping or rejecting duplicate records, mapping data fields for custom fields, and resolving the type conflicts are important to cater to, else integration may turn into a massive failure.

To prevent such issues, enterprises must devise a precise data management strategy that can help them manage data management matters.

 

Salesforce Data Management Strategy
Image Credit: salesforce.com

 

 

Salesforce Integration – Final Words 

Salesforce is unarguably the most popular CRM solution in the world. It is immensely popular for its ability to help businesses globally to improve their sales, marketing, and productivity. Integrating Salesforce solutions with 3rd party applications enables organizations to blend their services with external systems proactively.

It doesn’t matter what size your business is, if you are aiming to enhance the productivity and efficiency of your business, then Salesforce integration is the best thing you can go for.

 

Salesforce integration services

 

However, the only thing you need is to establish a partnership with the right Salesforce Certified Consulting partner, who can understand your business requirements and craft a suitable solution for your organization.

Arka Softwares is your suitable partner for all Salesforce Integration needs. We are a leading Salesforce certified consulting partner, that has 10+ years of extensive experience in CRM solution consulting.

We can assist you with our exceptional Salesforce integration services. All you need is to discuss your requirements with our experts and leave the rest with us. 

Satyam Chaturvedi

Satyam Chaturvedi is a Digital Marketing Manager at Arka Softwares, a leading mobile app development company dealing in modern and futuristic solutions. He loves to spend his time studying the latest market insights.
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