April 24, 2018
  |   AEM, Digital Marketing

Maximize your Salesforce Integration with AEM

Salesforce is a lead management system that has been around since the ’90s and is one of the most established and comprehensive CRM’s available on the marketplace today. It’s consistently rated as one of the top CRM choices for business and one that many of our enterprise customers rely on.

“With a tightly constructed Salesforce integration into AEM, we were able to tremendously improve our productivity along with saving money. Our leads were better organized, in a central location, and we now have a system to build a process around.” – Fortune 100 Client

Salesforce integrations are often either very simple or extremely complicated, depending on the business case and your current site configuration. Due to its popularity, there’s a lot of great documentation available online to help with either case. However, sometimes just applying the available information to your situation is not all it takes. You’ll almost certainly need to get your development team involved and be sure your Salesforce instance is set up to allow the integration that best suits your business needs. Which begs the question – do you have your KPIs for this CRM established? Salesforce is extremely powerful and can help streamline your businesses lead generation process when integrated correctly.

In this blog post, we focus on implementing Salesforce forms into Adobe Experience Manager (AEM), a common business problem that occurs with many of our clients using the AEM platform. We’ll also discuss what Blue Acorn iCi did to solve this challenge for a Fortune 100 company that ultimately helped to improve their productivity.

Download Blue Acorn iCi’s Complete Customer Experience Report to learn how to create an unforgettable, personalized customer experience.

Is My Business Getting the Most out of its Salesforce Integration?

Let’s first look at this question from a few different angles. Often times clients have a Salesforce instance and want to feed information from their forms into it. Pretty standard ask right?  However, over time they realize that all they were getting from their forms was standard information like name, email, and phone. Which leads us to a bit more complicated question: Why would you need such a robust lead management system when all your getting is standard information?

Great question! Our Fortune 100 client had the same one. Together we worked with them to understand what they were looking to achieve and help them realize and eventually utilize the power of such a robust lead gen system. Salesforce provides multiple ways that the client can learn more information about their users and provide more in-depth information to them. Below are just a few of the powerful things you can do with a fairly basic Salesforce integration:

  • Lead Source: Identifying where the lead originated: Search engine, email campaign, banner Ad, etc.
  • Geographical Information: User location such as zip code, city, state.
  • Email Templates: Based on certain user criteria you can send them a specific email tailored towards the user with highly personalized information such as their name, geographical location, and phone number.
  • Analytics Information: Time spent on forms, the success rate of specific forms, A/B Testing using Adobe Target.
  • Lead Funnels/Queues: Based on certain user criteria we were able to funnel specific leads to a Queue marked for specific business teams. Better organizing the client’s leads and allowing them to get back to their users in a more timely manner.
  • Reports: If you haven’t heard from certain customers in awhile or you simply want to let them know about a new special, you can run a report to grab all the customers that haven’t had any interaction with you in 6 months and blast an email template with information.

Integrating Salesforce with AEM

Now that we’ve talked about the business ask and some of the powerful things you can do with Salesforce let’s get into the nitty-gritty and talk a bit about how exactly we did the integration with AEM. As we discussed earlier in our post, Salesforce integrations can be extremely complicated, yet oftentimes what most businesses need is a simple solution.

Salesforce has a web2lead integration which is one of the more basic integrations. In a nutshell, you have standard or custom fields in Salesforce that need to be mapped to a form with the same field names on your site.

In AEM we created a custom form solution (you can also use AEM forms) that allows a component author to create highly customizable forms where you can map field names to a form. The forms can be extremely complex or they can be dead simple and just be a name, email, and phone. 

We gave the author the ability to have forms simply go to an email and saved in AEM’s Database (JCR) or the ability to have them filter into their Salesforce instance. If the author wanted them to be sent into salesforce we simply had them check a checkbox to send it to Salesforce (example 1.2) and then we added other necessary information to successfully allow the form to be submitted to Salesforce.

You might be asking how we got the lead source, geographical or necessary funnels/queues set up using this? The key to achieving this feature was using hidden fields mapped to the same field names in Salesforce along with query string parameters. We created a “hidden fields” component and were able to drop it anywhere on the form. Whenever a user clicked on a banner or came from another specific lead source we made sure the link contained a query string parameter such as ?leadSourceVal=bannerAd and then when the page loaded we consumed that query string parameter value into the hidden field and passed it to a Salesforce field.

After we were able to successfully get the aforementioned information into Salesforce the client began to realize the power of what it could really do. Not only was the information they gained about their users priceless but they were able to tremendously improve their productivity since their leads were better organized and they now had a system they could build a process around.

In this blog post, we just touched the surface of what Salesforce can do when it’s combined with AEM. There are more complex integrations with AEM’s Target and Analytics components making the possibilities truly endless.

We’d love to hear about questions you might have about Salesforce or perhaps challenge us with a new implementation of Salesforce and AEM. Reach out to us today.

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