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Outlook and Salesforce

Frans Leys

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Salesforce and Outlook. PieSync is available for ALL SALESFORCE PLANS. The first is a state of the art CRM & marketing beast, the second is the environment you spend most of your working day in. If you’re not properly connecting these two apps, you’re missing out. PieSync offers a connector for Outlook & Salesforce.

Didn’t Salesforce already have a built-in connection with Outlook & Exchange?

Yes - Salesforce has developed the so-called Lightning sync. We'll be honest: in itself, Salesforce Lightning is a very complete syncing solution and covers the needs of a lot of businesses. If you're using it, you're not wrong. It does a full calendar sync, it syncs your contacts two-way, it's available out-of-the-box, and best of all it's included in your Salesforce subscription.

Furthermore, there's also plugin which nests itself right into Outlook to give you a very native integration experience.

But if you are reading this article, there is probably still something missing to the Lightning sync.

So what's different about PieSync's Outlook connector for Salesforce?

At its core, PieSync strengthens the link between contacts databases. It's all that PieSync's been focused on for several years now. Our two-way sync engine supports an ever-growing list of apps. In fact, Salesforce & Outlook were among the first of the apps we released two-way sync support for.

Who should care about this sync? At PieSync, we've spoken to a lot of lawyers, real estate agents, brokers, ... their Outlook database is nicely structured and really a true goldmine of contacts. Their CRM though? Often underused and giant mess.

That's where PieSync helps. To take an organized Outlook database, to make the CRM just as organized. And keep it like that.

With PieSync, you get two main advantages over Salesforce's built-in sync:

  • A better configuration of how you send new and existing Outlook contacts upstream into Salesforce
  • An improved and complete configuration of the field mapping
Combined Shape

Compared to the Lightning connector, PieSync offers unique abilities to configure the sync of Outlook contacts into Salesforce, and Salesforce contacts into Outlook. We'll list some configuration options down below.

PieSync comes with the ability to sync Outlook folders & categories to regular custom attributes on Salesforce leads & contacts. This makes our sync suitable to aid in new implementations of Salesforce if e.g. the contacts structure is already well structured in Outlook. Setting up the sync rules in PieSync is easy - it's by no means something only a Salesforce admin can pull off.

Mappings, i.e. how the data syncs between Outlook & Salesforce, is highly configurable too. This is not the case in Salesforce built-in sync. For instance, within PieSync you can have all information sync for contacts, but keep the "Notes" field private to your Outlook, instead of it being broadcast to the CRM for everyone to see.

Just to be clear: which contacts will be synced by PieSync?

PieSync provides a solution to 2-way sync contacts you would find in Microsoft Outlook, specifically inside personal contacts folders. A personal Outlook Contacts Folder is meant...

If you’re looking to sync other Outlook contacts, like those from a GAL or a Public Folder - we also have you coverd. Check out this article on CiraSync.

Sounds great! How do I set up this sync?

If you haven't already, setting up a sync between Salesforce & Outlook is as easy as following this link. A one time operation involves authorizing both apps at this stage, which is super easy. A popup will open inside PieSync and you just log in to both platforms respectively. This brings you to the sync setup, where you can leave everything to its default settings, or really dial in some custom syncs.

The connection can be adjusted in several ways. The default setting of a sync is always a 2-way sync. This means you allow PieSync to transfer changes you make to contacts in Salesforce as well as in Outlook. We recommend you keep this 2-way setting. However make sure you understand the two rules that you start off with by default.

  • All contacts in Outlook will go into Salesforce, so that may include personal contacts.
  • All contacts in Salesforce will go into Outlook, so you're running the risk of making this sync very heavy depending on your database.

To avoid those unwanted scenarios, use the filters, or you can turn off any of these two rules if they don't fit your workflow. This quick video shows the various options:

What are filters & actions?

Filters & actions allow you to really dial in the sync settings. It brings more nuance to the sync, and also allows you to scope with laser precision which contacts should be part of the sync. For instance, consider the following example where contacts in an Outlook folder are matched up to an owner in Salesforce:

There is a toggle at the bottom of this rule meaning you can also consider the rule in the other way around. Depending on the owner in Salesforce, some contacts will be synced to Outlook, and others will be kept out of scope.

Here's another rule to prevent contacts from Outlook to sync into SF if they are just simple contacts. Yet if you fill out a company name for them, then and only then will they sync with Salesforce. Contacts that you already had in Salesforce will sync with their company names attached to them so they will also sync 2-way.

These IF-THEN rules are easy to create and the above were just examples. How will the data sync? Up to you to decide. You can validate the existing mappings, toggle them off or on, and include new fields.

Combined Shape

Want to discover more great tips for Outlook? Click here to download our ebook “The Ultimate Guide to Outlook People”
More information about the two apps can be found here: Office 365 Outlook.com & Salesforce