Salesforce Integration and a Single View of Your Customer

Are you collecting valuable customer data in cloud and on-premise solutions? If you’ve adopted a CRM solution like Salesforce, then integration of that data with all other data sources throughout the organization becomes a necessity to accelerating ROI.

This post presents the steps to achieving Salesforce integration.

10 Essential Steps to Gaining a Single View of the Customer

#1. Locate Customer Data

Track it down, a task that’s less simple than it sounds. Still, your organization has invested in collecting data that should be transformed into information. If Salesforce is not already your repository, and if sales is how you generate revenue, you should see red flags waving.

#2. Determine the Source(s) of Your Data

You probably collect data from multiple different sources, such as your accounting system and Salesforce (or another CRM). Knowing which aspects of your data sources will comprise a customer master data record will help you maximize the effectiveness of these systems.

#3. Choose the Right Platform

The right platform for your organization should prove to be easy to access and use. A hard-to-use analytical tool increases the chance of failure. Your teams won’t use it, and IT resources may be stretched too thin to help.

#4 Synchronize

Your master data management (MDM) solution should adapt to changes in data governance requirements. It should synchronize Salesforce data with changes in other systems in real time. This is very different from running one-off or scheduled data dumps, which can cause duplicates in Salesforce.

#5. Use Fuzzy Matching

Duplicate records can be a major pitfall. Duplication doesn’t always mean records with exactly the same information. In fact, small variations such as “John Smith,” “Jon Smith,” and “Jonathan Smith” can cause undetected duplicate records. Initial profiling of a sample of your data can help you zero in on typical duplication patterns.

#6. Be Proactive

Address data quality sooner rather than later. Poor quality almost guarantees low Salesforce adoption. Look for a flexible MDM solution with fuzzy-matching capabilities you can tune to meet your needs.


#7. Appoint a Data Steward

This is critical. The head of sales or marketing operations is an ideal choice to ensure all salesforce integration processes are carried out correctly.

#8. Insist on Current, Complete Data

Plug holes. Invest in an address validation solution. Review frequently updated data and import data if necessary. And, as mentioned in steps #5 and 6, consider a solution that does fuzzy matching.

#9. Standardize Your Data

Free, unstandardized text fields can create inaccurate reports. If, for example, the United Kingdom appears as UK, England, and Great Britain in different instances, you won’t be able to obtain accurate data on sales performance in the UK.

#10. Create a Culture of Ownership.

Easier said than done, but an important step nonetheless. Choosing an MDM solution that notifies data owners of duplicates or missing information will make it easier to automate account data management without requiring IT help.

And here’s a bonus tip.

#11. Don’t go for the quick fix.

Unless you want to be back where you started from in a couple of months, consider adopting an enterprise-class Salesforce integration solution today!

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