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Create a Unified View of Your Customer Data with Salesforce Integration Tools

By |2022-09-14T07:46:48+00:00April 30th, 2019|

Due to the widespread popularity of the platform, Salesforce integration tools are an essential requirement for any business intelligence and data warehousing software. Businesses strive to optimize their processes to offer a consistent and engaging customer experience. Having a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system like Salesforce in place fully integrated with other business systems, such as BI tools, cloud-based apps, integrated apps, and databases, can help manage and improve this experience.

Complete integration of customer-centric activities is essential to ensure that customers get the best experience every time they interact with your organization. Salesforce Integration tools help synchronize business systems to create a 360-degree view of the customer data, enabling you to offer a seamless experience to customers and other stakeholders.

How Salesforce Data Integration Tools Optimize Data Management

Business data is usually scattered across different systems, and this isolation can lead to an inconsistent experience for employees and customers. Salesforce data integration tools combine the information dispersed across diverse internal and external sources and create a unified view of the customer data, simplifying data management.

Enterprise software with built-in CRM Salesforce etl connectors is an integral part of various data management processes, including:

Data Integration

Integrating Salesforce with other systems, such as data warehouses, databases, or ERP systems, enables organizations to break data silos and acquire actionable insights from customer data. This reduces manual work, provides faster access to data, and shortens the response time.

For instance, in the CRM integration below, we export Salesforce etl data to SQL Server to create a consolidated data view.

Figure 1: Integrating Salesforce data from two sources and writing to SQL Server

Data Migration

Whether you are implementing Salesforce for the first time or carrying out your monthly business processes, your Salesforce implementation will most likely involve data migration at some point. Unfortunately, migrating data to and from Salesforce data warehouse can be challenging due to data inconsistencies, invalid mapping, or improper formatting.

An integration tool that migrates data in and out of Salesforce and offers built-in data quality, data profiling, and data conversion features ensures a successful and error-free data migration.

In the example below, customer ticket data from a delimited file is migrated to Salesforce after being validated through data quality checks to identify records with no information in the Reason and Status fields.

salesforce integration

Figure 2: Migrating data from a delimited file to Salesforce

Data Virtualization

Data virtualization creates an abstraction layer that presents data from disparate sources as a virtual database near real-time. Salesforce can be treated like any other data source in the virtual layer to integrate on-premise and cloud data and create a single view of customers.

The screenshots below illustrate this with an example. Campaign data from the Salesforce platform and Opportunity data stored in Excel are joined and transferred to an XML/JSON destination file using data virtualization. First, the two tables are deployed as a virtual database.

ERP integrations

Figure 3: Campaign and Opportunity data sources are added on the virtual data model, later to be deployed as a virtual database

Next, tables from virtual databases are connected using the Multi-table Query Source and added to the dataflow. The tables are then joined using the Tree Join transformation and written to an XML/JSON destination. This enables the user to get data from disparate sources via a virtual layer in near-real-time.

CRM integration

Figure 4: Using data virtualization to migrate data from Salesforce and an Excel spreadsheet to XML/JSON destination

Challenges of Integrating with Salesforce

A survey conducted by Progress-Dimensional Research concluded that 54 percent of Salesforce subsidiaries users consider data source and application integration their primary challenge.

Here are a few reasons why Salesforce data integration is rapidly becoming a central challenge:

Data Mapping Method

Integrating Salesforce CRM with other applications or databases is a multi-step process, one of which involves data mapping. Unfortunately, mismatched data types and fields between source and destination can affect data consistency, failing the Salesforce data mapping project. Therefore, to ensure that your project doesn’t suffer due to mapping inconsistencies, opt for a solution that offers simple, point-and-click-data mapping options.

Data Quality Issues

According to Ebsta, data quality has been a significant challenge for Salesforce users for the past three years. Since reporting and consolidation require accurate data, the significance of error-free data cannot be ignored. Inaccurate data can create a domino effect, spreading wrong information across the enterprise and affecting the company’s finances, day-to-day operations, and other processes. Therefore, an integration solution with features to ensure data quality is important.

Duplicate Data in Salesforce

Duplicate records lead to insufficient data, which leads to inaccurate results in the long run. Using an integration tool with data quality management features, like data profiling, can help identify duplicate records at the initial steps of the integration process.

Turn Data Integration into An Opportunity

Salesforce ETL within the data warehouse is great for streamlining day-to-day business processes to increase organizational efficiency.

Salesforce data integration tools enable data extraction, transformation, and loading large datasets to and from your desired system. Furthermore, they can be used to migrate information from CRM to some other system, such as a database, or vice versa.

The main benefits of salesforce ETL tools are apparent when organizations deal with large CRM-specific datasets to enhance decision-making. These include:

Automate Data Processes

When working with large data volumes, enterprises need to automate specific processes to improve operational efficiency. Integration solutions allow creating and scheduling custom data processes to efficiently resolve internal conflicts. Many organizations use such software for marketing automation to generate more leads and to nurture them seamlessly.

Foster More Sales Prospects

Integrating sales data with financial, marketing, service, and inventory records empower the sales team with more information. For example, interactions about purchases, when compiled with buying preferences, enable salespeople to interact with customers personally and offer customized solutions.

Improve Client Communications

With all the information at your disposal, you can stay on top of your leads’ interests, demographics, and engagement levels. This will allow you to make informed sales calls and send relevant e-mails, improving customer interaction.

Deliver a Connected Digital Experience

Integrating Salesforce with cloud applications via REST API can deliver a connected and consistent customer experience across different marketing channels and improve overall revenue.

Salesforce Integration Approaches

Broadly, Salesforce database integration methods can be categorized into two types:

Custom Coding

Until a few years back, organizations relied on internal IT teams to write custom codes to connect legacy systems to Salesforce data. The main benefit of this approach was that the developers could create customized solutions for specific use cases.

However, this approach was time-intensive and didn’t account for system volatility. In case of a version rollout of Salesforce, the coded integrations would stop working, and the developer would have to rewrite the code.

Integrating via Tools

These tools integrate systems and applications with Salesforce via API. They come with various in-built transformations that convert data into a destination-compatible format, simplifying data processes and promoting automation. These integration tools are a cost-effective and scalable alternative to the first option. Moreover, operating them does not require advanced technical knowledge.

The Right Solution Is Just a Checklist Away

There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to finding the right Salesforce database integration solution. Here’s a checklist that can help you find the right one for your enterprise needs:

  • Easy-to-use, visual interface executes data processes without writing a single line of code.
  • Support for large data volumes without compromising performance.
  • Drag-and-drop data mapping features.
  • The ability to integrate with disparate systems, including databases, cloud applications, and BI tools.
  • Pre-built connectors and transformations that can process complex integration flows.
  • Streamlined deployment with automation capabilities, such as job scheduling, workflow automation, etc.

Astera Centerprise – Simplifying Salesforce Integration

Salesforce is a popular CRM company with forecast to generate lower Return on Assets (4.44%) than the US Softwar -Application industry average (4.64%).

Astera Centerprise, a data management software and integration platform, synchronizes data between Salesforce and other enterprise systems using a connector that presents the data as a database.

With a simple, user-friendly interface, Astera Centerprise allows you to establish a connection to Salesforce using your login credentials. Further, you can use the drag-and-drop objects to configure them as a source or destination and apply transformations to convert the data into the desired format.

This Salesforce data integration solution has advanced features, such as support for custom objects and fields, data source browser, auto-mapping capability, and SQL query source and bulk inserts.

Salesforce Data Integration Tool | Astera Centerprise

The extensive features in Astera Centerprise allow support for disparate data sources, including DOCX, PDF, XML, JSON, EDI, and more. Moreover, the multiple integration functionality instances break down data silos in a visual user interface and give users a complete view of the customer data. With this data at hand, you can make informed business decisions.

Download a free trial of Astera Centerprise and experience for yourself how it helps you create a 360-degree view of your customers by simplifying Salesforce data integration.

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