Salesforce is one of the world’s top-rated CRM, and as such, it has loads of capabilities to help you grow your business. Its integration capabilities are a big reason why most companies prefer it over other CRM platforms and are also the reason why we decided to put together this article. Since we’re big fans of Qlik’s easy-to-use interface and its numerous features, we decided it’d be good to share with you all why we believe integrating Qlik with Salesforce instance would be beneficial to your company.
What are the benefits of this integration?
Before we begin, it’s worth mentioning that Salesforce has its own charts and visualizations and can present the data it’s storing. However, they’re quite limited, and this brings us to the first benefit – compared to Salesforce Qlik is more robust, agile and provides a much more customizable visualization of your data. On top of that, Qlik’s UI is much more simplified; therefore, it can provide you with powerful tools without making it difficult for the users to maneuver around. Additionally, by integrating Qlik within your Salesforce instance, you open yourself up to more data sources, since Salesforce can only visualize the information you have within the platform. This benefit can, for example, mean getting access to public data that would help you make more informed decisions on potential customers.
All these benefits, combined with the fantastic mobile application Salesforce provides, equals a more natural, clear, and complete understanding of your company goals and strategy for your employees. By taking advantage of Qlik, they can tap into the right data at the right time while on the move towards their next potential sale.
The three modes of integration
Qlik Application using Salesforce Data Model
So, we’ve touched on this subject a bit earlier. Still, to reiterate, you can integrate your Salesforce data into a Qlik application via a native data connector and the make a Qlik application based on it. This first mode of integration provides you with a great bridge between your data and the insight you are looking to take away from it. You may also combine that data with some outside sources, like public data, for example, and consequently gain a significant advantage over your competitors.
Embedding Qlik Elements into Salesforce
To get even more benefits out of this integration, you will have to use the next mode of integration – the possibility of embedding separate dashboards, objects, or even mashups within your Salesforce instance. This allows you to implement various Qlik apps in your Salesforce custom pages, or even combine specific objects from several apps into one custom tab. This second part is quite beneficial when you need some “straight to the point” information quickly because you could just go to the appropriate tab and view all the key information there. The best part is you won’t need to jump between different platforms and apps and log into several places at once just to view a few KPIs, because you’ll have everything in one place – Salesforce.
Update Salesforce data through Qlik
The final aspect to cover is the ability to fill in or update fields in Salesforce through Qlik. Admittedly, the benefits of this last one might not be immediately apparent. Let’s assume, for example, that you wish to have a field updated daily based on the previous day’s performance. Doing it manually every day wouldn’t be too much of a bother, but if you wish to have several fields updated in different tabs, it would certainly start taking a sizable chunk of your productive time. Other quick examples could include changing up price fields to reflect current discounts or summarizing daily sales.
Some use case examples …
So far, we’ve talked a great deal about the various benefits of the integration, but how about some examples. For starters, from the previous section, we touched on the possibility of creating mashups with the help of the embedding aspect. This way, we can provide the salespeople with the company’s portfolio performance, competition situation, and market shares for a clearer picture of the current state of affairs. Likewise, they can also have connecting pages that also show the ongoing marketing strategies and promotions, and maybe even some other KPIs or KODs. Knowing all the relevant information for their customer provides the sales representative with a competitive edge over other companies.
Now couple this with the fact that a company’s Salesforce instance can be set to have one universal home page or different profiles in the organization can have a customized one. This means that every user can have the most important metrics for them at their fingertips at any time, mashed up in a single page. This way, your employees will have easy access to the company’s strategic measures and other important information while on the move. If you think that this isn’t necessary, then consider that most of the users would be salespeople using Salesforce’s mobile app to get some insight while traveling to their next customer. By integrating Qlik in this case, you’ll give your users a quick and easy way to be better prepared, more productive, and efficient, which in turn leads to better results for your company.
Finally, these results could be tracked and analyzed to provide your salespeople with accurate information about their performance, various target achievements, and even a real-time bonus calculation, thus motivating them to do better and aim higher.
How do you set up this integration?
For all of you interested in the technical side of the integration, we’ve put together a quick guide that you can follow. This will be more a showcase of how easy and quick the integration can be, rather than a detailed step-by-step approach, so we hope all of you will read on.
1. First thing’s first, you’ll need to download the metadata from Salesforce from the Identity Provider tab, in order to use it as an authentication for the integration between the two platforms.
2. Then in your Qlik QMC, you’ll want to create a new virtual proxy, so that you can establish a connection. It’s not mandatory, however, since you can use any proxy you already have. This way, though, you’ll be able to set up various rules and settings for this exact connection.
3. Following that, you’ll want to adjust the settings of the proxy. Mainly you’ll need to specify that the SAML host URI is your Qlik server and that the SAML attribute for user ID would be an email since that’s how you’d usually validate a user. Also, be sure to upload the metadata here, in order for the authentication to have a source to go from. In the end, you’ll need to whitelist the proxy server and any other server that might need to communicate with the environment.
4. This next bit is optional but recommended. You can set up a rule in Qlik that would automatically provide a license to all the users accessing the server through Salesforce. Again, this is not necessary, but keep in mind that if you don’t, then you’ll need to do it manually.
5. Lastly, you just need to connect Qlik to Salesforce by created a so-called “Connected App” back at the Identity Provider tab in Salesforce. Just fill in the info as needed and make sure to download the SP metadata from your Qlik proxy, so that you can provide it in the ACS URL field. Then you’ll need to provide access to the Connected App to all of the users that will be taking advantage of the Qlik within Salesforce, and bingo! You’ve successfully completed the integration process.
Regardless if you only need to embed a single chart or sheet, or if you require the use of full-blown apps or even mashups, you’ll be surprised by the chemistry that flows between the two platforms. Unlock the power of your data and enhance your strategies so that you’re always one step ahead of the competition. So, in what way would you consider utilizing this integration?
Author: Stiliyan Neychev