Salesforce Data Integration: Go Beyond Native Integrations

A Salesforce data integration synchronizes the CRM with other apps and systems. This feature lets you leverage the CRM’s insights by crossing data into other sales or marketing systems. It’s a great way to ramp up productivity, boost efficiency, and enhance collaboration between teams. 

Today’s marketers, sales teams, and corporate leaders are grappling with a core organizational challenge: data silos. Silos occur when valuable data remains locked into separate applications and systems. It’s a problem faced by organizations using a stack of multiple tech solutions. It runs across the board, affecting sales, marketing, leadership, customer service, and even HR.

Data silos represent barriers to productivity, collaboration, and decision-making. It inhibits the ability to act cohesively based on accurate information from every organizational sector.

To compensate, forward-thinking business leaders are turning to data integrations that can unify their entire tech stack.

Leveraging Insights with a Salesforce Data Integration

Data silos are always problematic. But having your CRM data locked away is a far greater risk to growth and the business itself.

Accurate customer data used to be an optional competitive advantage used by tech-friendly firms. However, the rise of AI and predictive business strategies make it a basic survival mechanism.

Staying in business, connecting with the customer, successfully engaging them, and understanding the market depends on the quality of your data and how effectively it’s used.

Salesforce is currently doubling down on AI, machine learning, and other technologies that create growth and drive business results. It’s already an AI leader, and the CRM is poised to become an even more significant growth asset than before.

You can maximize its already powerful insights and prepare for future growth by bringing its data into other sales and marketing systems. 

Right now, most of Salesforce’s customer insights are confined within the CRM. There aren’t that many options available for transporting data to other systems unless it’s part of a basic sales workflow.

Salesforce facilitates integrations for a core set of tools, including email providers, messaging, document signing, and file storage. This capability is helpful for tasks directly related to closing a sale. But what if you want to go beyond this and tap into your content strategy, trigger your marketing automation, or connect the CRM to an event being planned?

Salesforce simply doesn’t account for strategic business activities if they fall outside its core product offer. In this case, you need a way to pull customer data out of Salesforce and send it through to other systems, like HubSpot, Outreach, or Marketo. In real life, the barriers that formerly separated distinct organizational areas are shrinking.

Leadership, outreach or target marketing, sales, and inbound marketing don’t work in isolation. Your data shouldn’t be isolated either.

Related: Best Practices for a Seamless HubSpot/Salesforce Integration

How to Facilitate a Salesforce Data Integration

Salesforce already facilitates certain data syncs through its native integration sync. But it does make accommodations for other connections through its API.

There are several methods and protocols you can take, but it generally comes down to two options — either get a custom integration developed or use a third-party integration tool.

A native Salesforce data integration is an obvious first choice. However, most people who go this route come across two key issues:

  • It can get highly technical and require programming
  • There are data hygiene challenges

We’ll cover these challenges in more detail, then get into your other integration options.

Core Challenges with a Native Salesforce Integration

A native Salesforce integration is infamously tricky, complicated, and error-prone. This is mainly due to how complex the application’s architecture is. Salesforce is built with several data levels, components, and security barriers.

Here’s a quick walkthrough of some common challenges:

  • Field Mapping. Salesforce’s fields don’t usually match well with others. Data often needs to be converted into different forms before it can be transferred.
  • Junk IDs and Duplicate Records. Salesforce creates record IDs for anything that’s created or imported. This is convenient unless you’re integrating a solution that also uses entity IDs. In that case, you’ll end up with multiple IDs or lose track of items. You can also end up with duplicate records if the data isn’t clean or the location isn’t correctly mapped.
  • Systems of Records. Salesforce stores information in cloud locations called “systems of records.” Every system contains different types of information for each of your customers. Your integration must pull these attributes from each sector. Or send information from an external to Salesforce and store it in the correct location without creating duplicates.
  • Multiple Instances. Running more than one Salesforce instance? Your data may be locked in separate servers, making everything exponentially more complicated. This requires a custom integration involving coding, pattern selection, and data orchestration.
  • No Customer Object and Customer Field Support. Performance suffers when moving records greater than 500,000 contacts.

This is alongside the standard integration challenges of maintaining real-time or near real-time updates, blocking bad data from being transferred, correctly distributing data, finding migration errors, and more. 

It’s generally so complicated that Salesforce offers courses and credentials for technical specialists. There are plenty of blog posts, guides, and consultants to help take you through one. But is this something you want your team to deal with? Even if you have the technical capabilities, there’s still the ongoing data cleaning task.

Related: HubSpot-Salesforce Integration Issues

Core Advantages of Using a Salesforce Integrator App

A Salesforce data integration tool that’s built to link your CRM with specific solutions can eliminate many of these issues.

It will have already analyzed attributes, mapped systems of records, planned for ID creation, and organized where the data should go.

You should be able to start it up, drag-and-drop a few things into place, and be ready to go. This immediately makes it more user-friendly and accessible.

Here are a few advantages that you won’t get with a custom build.

  • Instant. Need data flowing now? Go with an integrator over custom development that can take weeks.
  • Specialized. Data integrations take a little more forethought than connecting tools for an automated workflow. You can either analyze it for yourself or find a developer who dedicates their time to Salesforce optimization.
  • Reliable. You won’t be taking on the role of IT management, ensuring uptime, or making fixes.
  • Cost Efficiency. Have you calculated the cost of hiring a developer, contracting IT, or outsourcing data work? Or are you redeveloping an integration after Salesforce updates its software? Using a tool that matches your integration’s data capacity is likely to be far more cost-effective.

What’s Your Best Option?

Custom integration isn’t always a problem. You can hire a Salesforce integration architect to implement it or retrain a staff member who has programming expertise and enough time to handle it. This involves writing API protocols, using adapter tools, and coding.

Otherwise, there are several integration tools available — not all of which are equal. Most are “low-code” applications that only meet Salesforce’s basic technical recommendations.

Lightweight connectors leave much of the work to you. This can include initial setup, coding, data organizing, and cleaning. Or you might end up with a one-way integration that only sends updates from or to Salesforce.

Some companies choose to use a barebones tool, then outsource ongoing debugging and data hygiene tasks. But if you want a strong and seamless connection, an advanced Salesforce integrator is your best option.

You’re looking for a highly configurable solution with zero coding involved. The right partner is flexible enough to custom its integration capabilities to the environment and business process you are solving for.

Here’s what to look for:

  • Automatic Alignment and Connection: Integrator should already match and orchestrate the data, even in complex integrations
  • Bi-Directional Data Flow: Information flows both ways with near real-time updates
  • Automated Data Hygiene: Audits, organizes, and cleans the information for you
  • Code Free Operations: Zero coding involved, with visual, intuitive processes
  • Smart: Salesforce integrations are notoriously buggy, so go with an integrator smart enough to error correct

This adds up to an autonomous integration that automatically cleans and organizes the data for you.

Skip the Coding, Data Orchestration, and Cleaning

Salesforce is the world’s #1 CRM for a reason. It consistently drives sales, marketing, and business growth.

And in today’s data-driven business environment, this CRM is playing a more significant role than ever before. Salesforce is stepping up and delivering AI innovations to deepen customer engagement and growth. But its customer-related information, data, and insights need to be fully integrated into your entire organization to maximize the value.

Salesforce has native integrations available. But these aren’t focused on creating end-to-end analytics or pulling out insights. You might want to link tools like HubSpot, Outreach, or Marketo to get a complete view of sales and marketing activities. Or connect eCommerce apps to see how accurate your insights are.

You don’t have to build out your own integration or turn one into a full-time job. Despite what the assortment of Salesforce courses, credentials, guides, and exams might lead people to believe, you can get a solid integration done without any coding or data work.

This comes with an innovative new tool like Vertify. Vertify is an intelligent data integrator with zero coding, setup, or management involved. It unifies apps then generates high-quality data for decision-makers, growth strategists, sales teams, and marketing.Are you ready for a robust, maintenance-free Salesforce data integration? Request a demo today.

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Author: Matt Klepac | CEO | Vertify