Best Practices For Salesforce Integration with Third-Party Applications 15 min 15.11.2023

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Salesforce is the world’s most popular CRM platform, centralizing customer data to optimize sales, marketing, service, and more. At Routine Automation, we believe integrating Salesforce with other business systems maximizes its value by extending CRM insights across your technology ecosystem. 

In this comprehensive guide, Salesforce Architect Olga Shishkova will share best practices and critical factors for successful Salesforce integration with third-party tools and external systems. Read on to enhance your use of Salesforce through strategic integration.   

Salesforce Third-Party Integration: An Overview

Salesforce third-party integration refers to connecting your Salesforce deployment with external applications beyond the platform’s native capabilities. This allows sharing of data and workflows between Salesforce and tools like:   

  • Marketing platforms: Marketo, HubSpot 
  • ERP systems: SAP, Oracle 
  • Help desk software: Zendesk, Freshdesk  
  • Productivity suites: Office 365, G Suite   
  • Databases: SQL, Mongo DB 
  • And countless other systems.  

Integrating third-party apps with Salesforce breaks down data silos, enhances collaboration across teams, and centralizes information to improve decision-making. It also allows you to leverage specialized functionality offered by external tools directly alongside your CRM.   

But while the benefits are substantial, successful integration requires following key steps and best practices covered in this guide.   

Partnering with our integration experts helps companies implement reliable, scalable connections between Salesforce and third-party systems essential for your business.   

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Guide to Salesforce Integration

Integrating Salesforce with other applications involves multiple technical and strategic factors:   

1. Choosing an Integration Approach 

There are two primary integration approaches:   

  • Code-based – Using languages like Java, JavaScript, or Apex to programmatically integrate applications.  
  • App-based – Leveraging dedicated third-party integration platforms with pre-built connectors, templates, and configuration wizards.  

App-based integration is lower-code and faster, while code-based allows advanced customization.

2. Selecting an Integration Tool

If taking an app-based approach, evaluating integration tools is key. Some factors to analyze:   

GIF shows Selecting an Salesforce Integration Tool
  • Ease of use and setup time   
  • Pre-built connectors to Salesforce and target applications  
  • Scalability to handle data volumes  
  • Support for real-time vs. batched data sync  
  • Cost and pricing model  
  • Reviews and Reputation  

Leading tools include Boomi, Workato, Zapier, and Informatica. Again, Routine Automation consulting experts can help select the ideal platform.  

3. Planning the Integration Architecture

Next, the technical architecture for the integration must be mapped out including:   

  • Which systems will integrate with Salesforce? Prioritize based on need.  
  • Will it be a two-way vs. one-way sync?   
  • What are the “source of truth” systems for different data types?  
  • How will API calls be triggered between systems?  
  • How will data be filtered and transformed?  
  • How will data conflicts or duplicates be reconciled?  

Answering these questions will frame the integration build.  

4. Configuring Connections and Mappings 

The integration tool will connect to Salesforce using APIs and authentication. Connections to target apps must also be configured.   

With connections in place, data fields must be mapped between Salesforce and external objects. This mapping ensures data aligns correctly on syncing.   

5. Building Automation and Workflows 

Workflows and logic can be built to automatically trigger syncs based on events, schedule batches, or filter data. This automation prevents manual intervention once integrated.  

6. Testing and Deploying 

Rigorously testing synchronized data and scenarios is critical before full rollout. Monitoring tools and logs help identify and resolve any points of failure

7. Maintaining Integrations 

Like any technology, the integration must be continually maintained, enhanced, and adapted to any changes in connected systems. This sustains seamless data flows.   

By following this technical process with care and rigor, Salesforce can integrate reliably with any external system needed by your business.   

Our technical team can help at every stage, from planning integrations to configuring tools to ongoing management, ensuring your Salesforce integration initiatives succeed.   

Ready to unlock the full potential of your Salesforce?   
Our specialists are here to tailor a solution that fits your unique business needs. Let’s transform your workflows and drive performance together.   

Salesforce Third-Party Integration: Examples and Use Cases

Some examples of impactful Salesforce third-party integrations include:   

1. Salesforce Integration with Third-Party System for Mortgage Lending 

For a UK-based financial services organization, Routine Automation enhanced its mortgage lending process by integrating Salesforce with a third-party system. Key aspects include:  

  • Seamless Integration with Third-Party Database and Scoring System: Enabled effective opportunity identification and schedule generation, optimizing loan processing.  
  • Broker Interface Configuration: Customized interface allowing brokers to efficiently manage mortgage applications and client assessments. 
  • Improved Data Synchronization: Enhanced data flow between Salesforce and external systems, ensuring accurate and up-to-date information for decision-making.

2. Pardot Integration for Enhanced Social Media and Web Analytics

A global computer software provider based in Germany leveraged Pardot integration for advanced social media campaign management and web analytics. Key implementations include:  

  • Social Media Integration: Pardot was connected with LinkedIn and Facebook, allowing scheduled posts and in-depth tracking of engagement metrics like comments and likes. This enabled the client to gauge the effectiveness of their social media campaigns. 
  • Google Analytics Configuration: Integration with Google Analytics for a more nuanced understanding of prospect sources through UTM parameters, distinguishing between social media, Google, website sources, and more. 

Results:

  • The integration significantly enhanced the analytics capabilities of social marketing campaigns, leading to data-driven decision-making, and resulting in notable time and cost savings in metrics collection and analysis. 

3. Salesforce B2C Commerce Cloud & SAP Integration for Retail Giant

A leading international retailer with UK headquarters revolutionized their online and offline store operations by integrating Salesforce B2C Commerce Cloud with SAP. This strategic move transitioned them away from an outdated legacy system.  

Key Implementations:  

  • Comprehensive Data Integration: Combined major data sources and systems including SAP for streamlined accounting, inventory, and order management. 
  • Enhanced Online Store Functionality: Leveraged SAP Hana for unified sales data and improved online store capabilities. 
  • Optimized Order Management: Integrated Commerce Cloud with Service Cloud for efficient order tracking and loyalty program management. 
  • Improved Customer Engagement: Utilized Marketing Cloud Social Studio for enriched interactions on social media platforms. 

Results:

  • Operational Efficiency: The new system lightened the internal team’s load and saved time. 
  • Prioritized Marketing and Analytics: Enabled the retailer to focus more on marketing development and analytics, reducing the need for e-commerce system maintenance.  

These are just some examples of high-value Salesforce application integrations by the Routine Automation team. The possibilities are endless for connecting Salesforce across your unique technology landscape.   

Our consultants can identify high-value use cases where integrating Salesforce with marketing, ERP or other systems would maximize your technology ROI.   

Salesforce Third-Party Integration: Best Practices

Follow these best practices when planning and implementing Salesforce third-party integrations:   

  • Start with business goals – Integrate to solve defined problems or opportunities vs. integrating for its own sake. Stay focused on tangible outcomes.  
  • Assess tradeoffs – Consider the advantages and disadvantages of code-based vs. app-based approaches for your use case.  
  • Involve stakeholders – Get input from Salesforce users and other teams on needs to inform integration plans.   
  • Leverage experts – Work with experienced integration consultants and developers to maximize the chance of success. Our team is always here to help you.  
  • Plan scalability – Ensure integration architecture and tools can handle future data and usage growth.  
  • Focus on data quality – Cleanse and prepare data to avoid propagating bad data across systems.  
  • Map data carefully – Ensure field and object mapping aligns accurately across all systems.  
  • Test thoroughly – Rigorously test synchronized data before going live to catch any issues.  
  • Start small, then expand – Take an iterative approach to integrate additional systems over time.  
  • Monitor closely – Watch integration logs and metrics closely after launch to catch problems early.  
  • Maintain rigorously – Keep integrations current by adapting to changes in connected systems through ongoing management.   
GIF shows maximizing the value of Salesforce

By following integration best practices, you can maximize the value of Salesforce and additional apps important to your business in a unified technology ecosystem.   

Collaborating with our integration specialists, organizations can adopt proven methods to integrate Salesforce safely, efficiently, and strategically.  

Apps and Systems that Can Integrate with Salesforce

In addition to major hubs like marketing automation, ERP, or help desk software, Salesforce can integrate with countless other apps including:   

  • Email – Gmail, Outlook, Office 365   
  • Docs – Google Drive, Office 365, Box  
  • Calendar – G Suite, Office 365, iCalendar   
  • Talk/Chat – Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Chat   
  • Tasks – Asana, Trello, Wrike, Smartsheet   
  • Forms – Typeform, Google Forms, SurveyMonkey  
  • eCommerce – Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce  
  • Finance – QuickBooks, Xero, Sage 
  • HR – BambooHR, Workday, SAP SuccessFactors
  • Support – Zendesk, Freshdesk, Jira Service Desk 
  • Social media – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram  
  • AI tools – ChatGPT, IBM Watson, Midjourney, Customer 360, and others. 

And countless others offering important digital capabilities. Routine Automation integration experts can help identify high-value connections to amplify your Salesforce ROI and improve workflows and analytics

Salesforce Integration: Types and Patterns

There are some core integration types and patterns commonly used with Salesforce:   

Different types of Salesforce integrations including REST API, SOAP API, and Bulk API for seamless data exchange.

Understanding these core integration styles and patterns helps inform the selection of the optimal approaches for your technology environment.   

Our team keeps current on all the latest integration styles and patterns to provide recommendations on optimal approaches for your goals and environment.   

Benefits of Integrating Salesforce with Third-Party Apps

Some major benefits provided by Salesforce third-party integration include:   

  • Unified data – Eliminate silos and discrepancies by centralizing data from across systems.  
  • Process automation – Trigger complex workflows across apps without manual intervention.  
  • Enhanced visibility – Combine data from Salesforce and other apps for holistic insights.  
  • Improved collaboration – Provide integrated access to teams using different systems.   
  • Customized experiences – Embed specialized external functionality directly in Salesforce UI.  
  • Expanded functionality – Access app capabilities like advanced reporting without leaving Salesforce. 
  • Increased adoption – Allow users to leverage other familiar tools via integration.   

The right integrations transform Salesforce from a standalone CRM into a connected hub at the center of your technology ecosystem. Partnering with us enables realizing the full benefits of Salesforce integration faster, without the pitfalls that can thwart success.   

Integrate Salesforce Flawlessly with Our Experts

Our technical experts can guide you through planning, architecting, and implementing seamless third-party integrations with your Salesforce environment.   

We start by thoroughly understanding your business goals, workflows, and pain points to identify high-value integration opportunities. Then our team assesses your ecosystem and recommends optimal integration tools and approaches based on your needs and technical landscape.   

Leveraging leading platforms, our skilled developers can rapidly build, test, and deploy bi-directional syncing between Salesforce and essential marketing, ERP, e-commerce, or other systems using a combination of pre-built connectors, custom coding, and automation. We handle all API configuration, field mapping, duplicate reconciliation, and error handling to ensure fully smooth data synchronization.   

Our team follows agile methods to deliver integrations iteratively, starting with high-impact use cases and expanding over time. We also partner long-term to actively maintain and enhance your Salesforce integrations as your needs change. With our guidance, companies can effectively integrate Salesforce with the critical applications that drive key workflows, unlock analytics, and ultimately boost business performance.   

Conclusion

Integrating third-party applications with Salesforce via modern integration platforms unlocks game-changing value for businesses. Following best practices for planning, architecting, and implementing bi-directional data flows and automation between Salesforce and external systems enables you to maximize ROI across your technology investments.   

By taking an iterative, use case-driven approach, any business can enhance processes, collaboration, analytics, and productivity through Salesforce integration. Partnering with specialists accelerates safe, reliable integrations that adapt as your needs evolve.   

At Routine Automation, experts provide strategic guidance and implementation services enabling Salesforce to integrate seamlessly with the applications central to your business success.   

Let our technical team provide guidance on planning and implementing scalable, reliable Salesforce integrations that adapt to your changing needs and empower your business.  

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