If you're running a Drupal site and want to automatically synchronize your data with your Salesforce instance, or if you're considering using Drupal and Salesforce in the future, this article is for you. Here we'll describe the benefits and a starting place for intregating both systems.
#An Overview of Drupal and Salesforce
Drupal is an open-source content management system that has been around for about two decades. It’s known for its reliability, security, and performance, especially with medium-to-large websites. The world's top government, higher ed and non-profit organizations use Drupal to power their marketing and transactional websites.
Salesforce is the leading enterprise customer relationship management system. It makes it easy for businesses to track customer activity from prospecting to sales and more.
Drupal comes ready with an official Salesforce module that’s a great starting place for your integration needs. This makes the integration between the two systems easier.
At a top-level, integrating the two systems can:
- Reduce development costs. Both systems come with many tools right out of the box. Drupal is the ultimate content management platform. Salesforce is the ultimate sales management platform. Using both together will help you offset manual development needed for custom filtering, reporting and other data management needs
- Make your people happier. When Drupal and Salesforce are integrated, your employees won't need to do the banal manual work of exporting data and transferring it. The systems will be automatically sync'd
- Give you more powerful business insights. With Salesforce, you have more knowledge about who is coming to your Drupal site and whose placing orders.
Let's dig deeper into these benefits.
#You Can Work More Efficiently
Drupal Salesforce integration includes the ability to share data between the two programs, either one-way or two-way. This helps with data accuracy and efficiency since you won't need to manually transfer data.
Once you have data sharing setup, creating new data or updating in Drupal or Salesforce will automatically update data in both systems.
That can reduce the hours that your team needs to work to get similar results, translating into greater profits for your company. It can also free up your employees to work on other tasks that you need them to take care of.
#Drupal Salesforce Integration Helps with Managing Territories
Most companies have some sort of division by territory or area. However, it can be challenging to track the relevant data and organization for each of these within Drupal out the box.
Salesforce can help you offset the manual development work involved in creating custom tables, filters and reports for this data on the Drupal side.
#Integration Helps with Order Management
Integrating Salesforce and Drupal will give you a convenient and accurate system for tracking orders and the entire customer relationship.
Via the customer relationship management software, you can follow the various engagements you have with customers, including the initial contact, the first order, and future orders. There is even the ability to create automated reports and convert estimates to orders when the client decides to go through with the order.
A common example we see is for non-profits working with Drupal Commerce or accepting transactions on their site. We've helped non-profits send donation and customer data directly to Salesforce. And in the CRM, they're able to view, filter and export necessary reports from donation histories to customer information.
#Tracking and Taking Advantage of Opportunities
With Drupal and Salesforce, you will also find it easier to spot sales opportunities. There are many tools built into Salesforce to help you remember to explore the opportunities you come across. These include opportunities when a potential client makes an inquiry about a product or service.
#Integration Helps with Forecasting
Integrating these programs can also assist you with forecasting, letting your company look ahead to the future with fairly accurate predictions and forecasting. This includes the ability to customize your forecast depending on parameters that are specific to your business.
#Your Choice of Integration Method
One of the nice things about integrating Drupal and Salesforce is that you can choose from two different integration methods. Even better, you can run both in a single Drupal site.
Real-time integration exports Drupal objects to Salesforce immediately. This includes immediate feedback to confirm that the export was successful and almost-instantly-available data in Salesforce.
Queue-based integration relies on a batching system. As the name implies, Drupal objects do not get exported to Salesforce immediately. Instead, they go to a queue. At set intervals, multiple items in the queue are exported as a batch. You can configure the schedule for the queue. This method is always running in the background, and it allows you to send multiple objects to Salesforce simultaneously.
Real-time integration is ideal for those situations when you need your data in Salesforce to be as close to real-time as it can be.
Queue-based integration is ideal if you have big data sets and want to reduce the API calls and increase performance.
#The Salesforce Drupal Module Suite
The best starting place for your Drupal to Salesforce integration is the Salesforce Suite module.
The module synchronizes Salesforce objects, such as organizations and contacts, with Drupal entities, such as users, nodes, and content.
It features numerous submodules that perform various tasks. For example, Salesforce Integration maintains the integration between Salesforce and Drupal.
Another example is Salesforce Push, which pushes Drupal data to Salesforce when you make updates. Yet another is Salesforce Logger, which consolidates logs for Salesforce Log events.
From our experience, the process of integration Drupal and Salesforce tends to require some custom work.
The Salesforce Suite Module, at the very least, will offset the work required to authenticate with Salesforce. But depending on your use case -- including the data you'd like to synchronize and the technical architecture for your Drupal site -- some level of customization will be required to set-up the integration for your needs.
#Do you have questions about integrating Drupal and Salesforce?
Are you a non-profit, government or higher ed organization looking to integrate Drupal and Salesforce?
Over the years, we have become experts at working with both platforms. We have developed a set of best practices to help ensure the implementation process is as smooth as possible.
Contact us for a free integration consultation.