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A Little Context on Salesforce Integration with Act-On

Act-On is well known for its seamless integration with Salesforce.  Having spent more than 10,000 hours working with Act-On technology, I believe that the ease of setting up a complete, dynamic, and automatic sync to Salesforce truly is industry leading.  A typical Salesforce user with basic admin capabilities can walk through the process in about 45 minutes. It’s a simple yet powerful platform feature that provides maximum flexibility for Salesforce admins. However, if you haven’t defined clear data rules for your organization, the ease of use and flexibility can lead to serious errors in the configuration.  Here are the top 3 mistakes made when integrating Salesforce and Act-On.

“If you haven’t defined clear data rules for your organization, the ease of use and flexibility can lead to serious errors in the configuration.”

Mistake # 1: You’re Pushing Too Much

In Act-On’s Salesforce settings, it gives you the ability to configure the “Push” settings from Act-On to Salesforce. Many Act-On customers will commonly opt to “Add new records to Salesforce” and subsequently select all available fields. This is a mistake.  Consider the following example:

(Above) The correct PUSH settings from Act-On to Salesforce.

1. I submit a form and am pushed to CRM with the following data. This data is synced to Act-On.

 Name: pHIL bOSLEY
Company: Tactical MA
Title: head jelly bean
Email: Phil@Tacticalma.com

2. Sales realizes this is incorrect and updates my record to:

Name: Phil Bosley
Company: Tactical MA
Title: CEO
Email: phil@tacticalma.com

3. Because Act-On pushes before it pulls data, the changes that sales made are now erased, and the record reverts to:

Name: pHIL bOSLEY
Company: Tactical MA
Title: head jelly bean
Email: Phil@Tacticalma.com

4. If Sales get’s frustrated and just deletes the record.  It won’t help…

If Act-On is configured to “Add new records,” the bad record will get added back to Salesforce on the next sync. So then, we don’t add records in a sync, unless we have a specific reason to do so, and we only push fields that generate Act-On info (e.g. Lead Score).

Mistake # 2:

You’re Not Removing Records

In an extension of the problem discussed in Mistake #1, it is extremely common to see a long list of errors on your Salesforce sync, where Act-On cannot identify the record to update.  This results in the highly annoying “invalid cross reference id” error.

(Above) The correct PULL settings from Act-On to Salesforce.
The solution to this is easy.  Simply check the “Remove records from this list that are not found on this list in Salesforce” option in your Pull settings, and Act-On will know to delete the records that have been removed in Salesforce, and no longer attempt the invalid sync.

Mistake # 3: You forgot the Admin Layer

(Above) This Salesforce Admin Layer in Act-On has not been configured.

This is a relatively new feature in Act-On, and part of their consistant push to improve data management in the platform.  The CRM Admin Layer provides settings for syncing Account and Opportunity information to Act-On, as well as manages syncing Opt Outs and and Hard Bounces to and from CRM.

Additionally, if you intend to segment based on Account or Opportunity information (functionality provided in Act-On’s Account Based Marketing add on), the CRM layer provides the connection to pull this information into the platform!

Next Steps:

Without reliable data, no marketing effort can reach its maximum potential.  These three mistakes are often the difference between success and failure with your Act-On/Salesforce integration, and there are so many more considerations.  For example:

  • How often should I sync Salesforce and Act-On?
  • How should I push forms to Salesforce and Act-On?
  • How do I integrate my lead stages and automated programs?

If you would like to review your Salesforce + Act-On integration, Tactical MA provides a 1 hour free consultation, and we can look at your sync settings and data management practices with you.  Our goal is always to have your sync optimized by the end of our session, and if you feel we can help in other areas, we’re happy to do that as well!