What is Salesforce?
If you’ve managed to work in a B2B marketing environment, and not have heard of Salesforce, then bravo, we commend you. Salesforce began as the Grandfather of CRM systems – the original, and many would argue the best. Over time, as it evolved to become a truly enterprise cloud computing company, it has been able to add additional features to become a complete sales, marketing and analytics platform. It continues to drive forwards through research and development, and through acquisition of other companies.
Why would you want to integrate it with your WordPress site?
WordPress is the World’s most popular Content Management System, and Salesforce is the World’s most popular CRM platform, so you won’t be in the minority of people looking to integrate WordPress and Salesforce.
A good CRM implementation should be able to help you achieve the modern marketer’s dream of the ‘single customer view’. All of your interactions, touch points and activity from a customer stored in one centralised location, breaking down those data silos you have nightmares about. Integrating Salesforce with your WordPress site should allow you to store website activity and any interaction on your website in one place, allowing you to gather insights and make decisions.
This can in turn help you to improve your on-site experience for potential customers or people interested in your company by personalising the experience and tailoring content to what is likely to appeal. You can also easily add web to lead forms to your WordPress site, allowing form entries to be fed straight into Salesforce. Salesforce has an API and a number of means to connect with it, allowing for more custom integrations also.
We regularly see a CRM tool such as Salesforce used in tandem with a marketing automation platform such as HubSpot, Pardot or Marketo, particularly for our clients in the B2B technology space where marketing automation might be used for the initial lead conversion and nurturing, and once a lead reaches a certain quality score it is passed into a CRM such as Salesforce for a sales team to take over. The diagram below is an example of how marketing automation and CRM might overlap across a customer experience.
Source: Customer Experience Matrix
What should I consider when integrating WordPress and Salesforce?
It’s worth considering that there are a multitude of methods of implementing WordPress and Salesforce, from plugins to custom builds, each with pros and cons and varying in cost.
Therefore a good place to start is How. The first option is the free Brilliant Web-to-Lead Salesforce Plugin, which is probably the simplest way of connecting the two for a simple form integration. It’s certainly the most frictionless solution, with a simple to understand UX and pain-free integration, the plugin can be downloaded for free from the WordPress plugin repository. However, due to it being free, it does have some functionality limitations so our recommendation is that this option for integration of Salesforce should be for small to medium businesses (SME’s) just interested in connecting their website forms to Salesforce.
Other options include using third-party integration services, the most popular of those being Zapier, or going for a custom built solution.
Zapier, in a nutshell, allows users to integrate all of their other web applications with one another other. It really can be quite magical, and regardless of whether you choose this option to integrate your Salesforce, we would certainly encourage you to check out the possibilities for your business systems using Zapier.
If you use a form builder such as Gravity Forms on your site, it is possible to connect it with Salesforce via tools like Zapier also. Aside from Zapier, there are enterprise integration platforms such as SnapLogic and MuleSoft which can offer platforms to connect systems together, albeit with some more advanced technical knowledge.
For a more comprehensive look at the various plugins that connect WordPress and Salesforce, we would recommend that you check out this in-depth post from our hosting partners WP Engine.
Lastly, there is a well documented Salesforce API available for more custom integrations that an experienced development team such as our own can work with to bring Salesforce and WordPress together.
Salesforce isn’t the cheapest or easiest to use CRM, but if you can do it, it’s a no-brainer to integrate it with your WordPress site.
That said, there are other CRMs worth looking at if you feel Salesforce is overkill. Get in touch if you would like some guidance.