Everything you need to know about Salesforce ERP integration

Published on June 14, 2023

In the ever-evolving realm of business, companies strive to optimize their operations, enhance productivity, and deliver exceptional customer experiences. Two essential systems that play a pivotal role in achieving these goals are Salesforce, a leading customer relationship management (CRM) platform, and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, which enables efficient management of core business processes.

The convergence of these two systems through integration has emerged as a strategic imperative for businesses seeking to unlock new levels of efficiency, data visibility, and collaboration. This guide explains various integration options, examine real-world case studies, and current best practices to guide you through the integration journey.

What is Salesforce ERP Integration?

Salesforce ERP integration refers to connecting Salesforce with an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system employed in your business. It involves integrating and synchronizing data, processes, workflows, and functionalities between the two systems to enable seamless information flow.

Before exploring the integration of Salesforce with ERP systems, it's important to gain a clear understanding of each system independently.


Salesforce is a leading customer relationship management (CRM) platform that helps businesses manage and streamline their sales, marketing, customer service, and other critical operations. It provides a comprehensive suite of cloud-based applications and services to enhance customer engagement, improve business productivity, and drive growth.

At its core, Salesforce is a centralized database that stores and manages customer information, interactions, and activities. It enables businesses to effectively track and manage their leads, prospects, and customers throughout their lifecycle, from initial contact to post-sales support.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

It is a comprehensive and integrated software system that manages and automates core business processes across various organizational departments. ERP software provides a centralized database and a suite of modules that support functions such as finance, human resources, procurement, supply chain management, manufacturing, inventory management, sales, and customer relationship management (CRM).

The primary goal of ERP is to streamline and optimize business operations by facilitating the flow of information and resources across different functional areas. By consolidating data from various departments into a unified system, ERP enables real-time visibility, collaboration, and decision-making.

ERP integration with Salesforce can be beneficial for businesses

  • Eliminates manual data entry and reduces errors and redundancies.
  • Saves time and resources by automating data synchronization.
  • Provides real-time data visibility for all stakeholders.
  • Ensures access to accurate and up-to-date information.
  • Improves efficiency by streamlining processes.

Integrating Salesforce and ERP can be challenging

  • Mapping data fields between systems.
  • Addressing differences in data formats and models.
  • Ensuring seamless data flow and compatibility.
  • Managing data security and access controls.
  • Planning and preparation for successful integration.

Various Options for Integrating Salesforce and ERP

ERP systems are more productive when they are integrated with other applications.

To explain this with an example, take, for instance, you can convert Salesforce Configure Price Quote (CPQ) lead-to-order data into transactional data with the help of Salesforce Billing. With this integration, the ERP system can access matching data to perform accounting functions, like financial reporting and general ledger.

Option 1 - Native Integration within Salesforce

Salesforce offers native integration capabilities allowing seamless communication between CRM and ERP systems. This integration option eliminates the need for third-party tools and simplifies the setup process. Native integration allows for real-time data synchronization, enabling users to access ERP data within Salesforce and vice versa. However, the native integration may have limitations in terms of flexibility and customization, depending on the specific ERP system being used.

Option 2 - Third-Party Integration Tools

Several third-party integration tools in the market facilitate the integration between Salesforce and ERP systems. These tools provide pre-built connectors and workflows that streamline the integration process. Popular third-party tools include MuleSoft, Dell Boomi, and Jitterbit. When selecting a third-party tool, it is essential to consider factors such as ease of use, scalability, support for different ERP systems, and pricing.

Option 3 - Custom Integration Solutions

Custom integration solutions may be the most suitable option for businesses with unique requirements or complex ERP systems. Custom integration involves building a tailored solution using APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) and middleware platforms. While custom integration provides the highest level of flexibility and customization, it requires more development resources and expertise. Additionally, it may involve ongoing maintenance and support costs.

To compare the efficiency of all three methods, here’s the comparison table:

Native Integration within Salesforce Third-Party Integration Tools Custom Integration Solutions
Complexity Low Moderate to High High
Data Synchronization Limited Flexible and customizable Flexible and customizable
System Compatibility Built-in support for specific ERPs Supports a wide range of ERPs Supports any ERP system
Functionality Limited functionality and customization options Extensive functionality and customization options Highly customizable to meet specific business needs
Maintenance and Support Handled by Salesforce Vendor-provided support Requires in-house expertise or external support
Cost Included in Salesforce subscription Varies depending on the tool Varies depending on complexity and resources required
Implementation Timeline Quick and straightforward Varies depending on the tool Varies depending on complexity and resources required
Scalability Limited scalability Scalable to support growth Scalable to support growth

Best Practices For Integrating Salesforce and ERP Systems

Following best practices throughout the process is crucial to ensure a successful ERP integration with Salesforce.

Preparing for Integration

  • Cleanse and standardize data in Salesforce and the ERP system to ensure consistency and accuracy.
  • Map data fields between systems to ensure proper alignment and seamless data flow. Consider data format, data types, and terminology differences.
  • Assess and implement appropriate security measures to protect sensitive data during ERP integration with Salesforce and ensure compliance with regulations.

Establishing Integration Workflows

  • Clearly define the scope of integration, including the specific modules, processes, and data elements to be integrated.
  • Determine the frequency at which data will be synchronized between Salesforce and the ERP system. Consider real-time or batch updates based on business requirements.
  • Establish mechanisms for data validation errors and exceptions during integration, ensuring proper error logging and notification procedures.

Testing and Validation

  • Conduct thorough testing of integration workflows to identify and resolve any issues or discrepancies. Test data synchronization, data transformations, and error-handling scenarios.
  • Perform end-to-end testing to simulate real-world scenarios and validate the entire integration process, ensuring seamless data synchronization and functionality.
  • Involve end-users in the testing process to validate the integration from their perspective and gather feedback for improvements.

Monitoring and Maintenance

  • Set up monitoring and logging mechanisms to track data synchronization, identify errors or anomalies, and ensure ongoing system performance.
  • Plan for regular maintenance and updates to the integration to address any changes in business requirements, system upgrades, or new functionalities.
  • Document the Salesforce integration with the ERP system process, including workflows, configurations, and customizations, to ensure knowledge transfer and support future maintenance or enhancements.

Recommendations If Considering Salesforce-ERP Integration

As a company with expertise in Salesforce integration with ERP, these are some pointers you can consider when deciding to do a Salesforce integration:

  • Clearly Define Objectives

    Identify and understand the objectives and reasons for integrating Salesforce and an ERP. Determine what data needs to be shared between the systems and the desired outcomes of the integration.

  • Assess Integration Options

    Evaluate the available integration options, whether it's developing a custom integration application or using a pre-built integration solution. Consider factors such as the chosen option's scalability, flexibility, and error-handling capabilities.

  • Involve Stakeholders

    Engage representatives from the departments that will be affected by the integration process. Encourage collaboration and gather input from all stakeholders to ensure their requirements and perspectives are considered. It helps identify potential challenges, address concerns, and foster a sense of ownership and buy-in from all involved parties.

  • Define Integration Scope

    Determine the specific data elements and processes that need to be integrated. Common integration points include sales history, payments, inventory, customer information, and financial data. Clearly define what data will be synchronized and establish data mapping rules to ensure seamless data flow between systems.

  • Plan for Change Management

    Salesforce and ERP integration project involve changes in workflows and processes. Develop a change management strategy to help employees adapt to the new system, provide training, and communicate the benefits of Salesforce ERP integration. It will foster acceptance and adoption among users.

Bottom Line

Integration offers a wide range of benefits for businesses looking to optimize their operations and maximize the value of their CRM and ERP systems. By following best practices and choosing the right integration option, companies can achieve a seamless flow of data, enhanced collaboration, and improved customer experiences.