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Salesforce Integration: How to Connect your LMS and CRM

Posted by Sandi Lin on January 21, 2015

Since Skilljar's clients are often delivering customer-facing training, we are frequently asked about integrating our online training software with Salesforce. Salesforce is the leading Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Their flagship product, Sales Cloud, enables sales teams to easily organize and manage their potential customer pipeline.

(Although this article focuses on Salesforce.com, it is applicable to other CRM systems like Zoho CRM, SugarCRM, and Microsoft Dynamics.)

We've learned that the term 'Salesforce integration' can mean many things depending on the context. Here are 3 common use cases for connecting your LMS and CRM, along with how to automate training activities for each.

1. Client Onboarding: Invite new users to training based on their Salesforce opportunity stage or status.

Many companies take new customers through an onboarding training process. The typical process starts with the sales representative changing the Salesforce opportunity stage to Closed-Won, then handing off the account to the customer success manager. Next, the customer success manager creates invitations to a training course or sets up instructor-led onboarding sessions. This process can have 2 unfavorable results:

  1. It delays the customer from getting started.
  2. It creates unnecessary manual steps for internal teams.

With a learning management system like Skilljar, this process can be automated:

  • Create an email template in Salesforce under Communication Templates. In the email, provide a link to the training site with instructions on how to log-in. The simplest option is to use a single unlimited use access code (enrollment key) and rotate it periodically. For more security, you can pre-generate access codes and include as a custom variable (may require developer support).
  • Create a workflow rule in Salesforce that is triggered based on opportunity stage. You can use the Closed-Won status, or create/use your custom status like Onboarding. (The exact trigger will vary dependent on your sales and contracting process.) You can also set up the workflow action to trigger immediately or after a certain number of hours/days after the case status is changed.
  • When the customer receives the email, they can log in to the training site per the email instructions and get started right away.

2. Lead Generation: Send training registration data to Salesforce.com to create sales leads.

Free training courses are frequently used to generate awareness about a new product, demonstrate subject matter expertise, and capture leads via content marketing. Companies that sell paid training might also offer a 7 day trial to give prospective customers a way to demo the content before purchase. In both of these scenarios, it is vital to send training registration data to Salesforce so the sales team can follow up appropriately.

Skilljar sends detailed registration data to Salesforce, including:

  • Trainee first name, last name, and email address
  • Course titles and links
  • Promotion or access codes used (a great way to track performance by channel if set up appropriately)
  • Whether the trainee has opted into receiving marketing messages
  • Date and timestamp of registration

Skilljar integrates with Salesforce and other common CRM systems through our partnership with Zapier. We also provide direct webhooks/APIs for companies who need deeper integrations.

3. Sales Training: Provide training to my sales team as a tab within Salesforce.com.

Sales representatives require a high degree of training to cover product details, sales skills, and to onboard frequent new hires. In addition, sales teams are often distributed geographically and spend most of their day working leads in Salesforce directly. As a result, many sales managers and sales trainers would love to have a learning management system that's deeply integrated in Salesforce, shares login credentials, and enables associates to move seamlessly between sales activities and training activities.

Please note that while Skilljar does not support this use case, there are several options in the App Exchange, HR category that do.

salesforce_integration-connect_lms_crm

Conclusion

Salesforce is critical to the business operations of thousands of companies around the globe. If you are looking to integrate Salesforce with your training process, consider which use case best fits your goals - client onboarding, lead generation, or sales training - and make sure that your LMS provider is on the same page when it comes to 'Salesforce integration.'

Topics: LMS

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