Feed Your Salesforce Integration Real Data
The simplest and rudimentary integration is to capture web registrations and push them into Salesforce as leads through simple Salesforce integration. This could be for gated content (white papers, newsletter sign-ups, event registrations, etc.) or commonly used to “sign up for deals” when checking out. Salesforce provides a Web-to-Lead servlet that numerous WordPress plugins (WordPress-to-Lead for Salesforce CRM) and forms tools (Gravity Forms) can easily connect to, to create leads. These types of simple integrations can be done within just a couple to a few hours, and there are numerous free WordPress plug-ins to make it work.
Another servlet for Salesforce integration that can be used is Web-to-Case, whereas a Gravity Forms plugin (Gravity Forms Salesforce Add-on) can be used to push into Salesforce as a case, instead of a lead. This can be helpful if creating a helpdesk or inquiry form and you want to capture the information in Salesforce as a case. These integrations take a few hours, and there is normally a fairly inexpensive cost to the plug-ins.
More Data Transfer Options
So what if you want to transfer more than basic leads? Well then you’re going to need an integration option that integrates with Salesforce’s API, that provides more robust capabilities and exposes more endpoints, such as: Contacts, Cases, Opportunities, Activities, etc. The rule of thumb here is, more costs more. There are a number of paid options (Snap Logic, Zapier, etc.) that offer additional data transfer options, but are still fairly limited to what they can transfer. They’re not heavily customizable and the integration timing, batch modes, etc. work “as designed,” but you can now realize more of the web-to-Salesforce capabilities of your CRM.
Full Bi-directional, Real-time Integration
So now, you’ve got your basic integration and want to start really exploiting real-time analytics and business process automation (i.e. track how, when users are logging in, what they’re looking at, purchasing, etc.) and convert their web behavior into Contact activities. This would allow you to create a view for “Accounts at Risk” (i.e. customers who haven’t logged in for over 45 days, etc.). First off, you’re now starting to push the bounds of WordPress. Since it’s based on PHP, it’s not the most cost effective or easy platform for custom development. If you’re at this point, you’ve got three real roads to chose from. The first is to use a third party tool designed to gather user data, like HubSpot, then use the HubSpot to Salesforce integration to push the user activities to Salesforce (our recommendation, though maybe not the cheapest). Another option would be to switch to a more robust, enterprise CMS that’s designed for customization and automation. Depending how much of your back-office business processes are going to be integrated and automated with your website, this may be a more desirable long-term option. Finally, you can use simple SQL replication. WordPress is built on a MySQL database, which means that if you can get the site data into the database, then instead of a WordPress / PHP integration to Salesforce, you can use a simple SQL database to Salesforce data sync option. Using this option means you have multiple plugins for data-sync, custom code options for API / web services and more. It opens up the ways that you can get the data to and from Salesforce.
For more information on integrating your Salesforce website with Salesforce, give one of our experts a call today.