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The ultimate guide for Salesforce-WhatsApp integration

Salesforce WhatsApp integration

What is Salesforce WhatsApp integration?

WhatsApp is a powerful channel to reach new leads, nurture prospects, and close deals worldwide. But the manual process of sending every Salesforce contact a WhatsApp message is very repetitive - export contacts from Salesforce, import contacts into WhatsApp, and log WhatsApp messages as activity in Salesforce. 

A Salesforce WhatsApp integration is all about building a user-friendly and intuitive chat interface that enables Salesforce users to interact with customers and manage WhatsApp communication easily. 

6 things to know before implementing WhatsApp integration with Salesforce

Looking to invest in a new Salesforce integration software? Want to build your own system with WhatsApp API and Salesforce API? Here are 6 things to consider for a successful Salesforce WhatsApp integration.

  • Use case: Where in your business funnel do you require using WhatsApp for communication? For example, your customer service team sends booking information on WhatsApp. Does the tool connect well to your existing scheduling software (e.g. Vcita)? If you want to close deals with WhatsApp, ensure that the Salesforce integration service provider can process payment.

  • Messaging combined services: 86% of customers love channel-hopping. If you want to communicate with Salesforce contacts anywhere, consider an omnichannel provider that merges multiple messaging channels into one place. Your team can move fluidly between WhatsApp, Viber, LINE, Telegram, etc.

  • Native or custom integration: Some companies require a Salesforce native integration, so data doesn't leave the Salesforce platform. But native integration is more rigid. Many salesforce integration partners do not provide the flexibility to adapt the solution to your specific requirements. For example, to extend the integration and include other CRM tools (e.g. HubSpot).

  • Budget: Do you have a big budget to hire a team of solution engineers and developers to build a custom integration? Besides the one-off cost of building the system from the ground up, you will also need to maintain and optimize it constantly.

  • Payment amount and frequency: If you prefer to subscribe to a Salesforce integration software, look into the billing structure. Per-user pricing is easy to understand, but it can get expensive when scaling fast. A flat rate pricing with flexible add-ons allows you to extract the product's value as you like and predict the ROI accurately.

  • Template manager: WhatsApp API users must use the template to send a message to anyone who did not interact with them for over 24 hours. How do you want to create and manage your approved templates? Do you need to be able to send template messages as quick replies?

How to integrate WhatsApp with Salesforce and skip all the manual work of exporting and importing contacts into different systems? There are 2 options, which are Salesforce's products and third-party vendors.

TD; LR, here is a comparison table:

OptionSalesforce’s own product (currently available on Marketing Cloud)Third-party vendors (WhatsApp Business Solution Provider, which provides Salesforce integration solutions)
Cost StructureAcquisition cost, implementation cost, and support/maintenance cost.Monthly subscriptions, cancel at any time
Best Use CaseB2C MarketingSales, Inbound and outbound marketing, Customer Support
Messaging combined servicesBuild Your OwnSome omnichannel platforms provide an all-in-one Salesforce social integration solution that includes Viber, Telegram, etc.
CRM integrationSalesforce Customer 360Some omnichannel platforms offer integration with various CRM software including Salesforce Customer 360, HubSpot, Microsoft Dynamic 360
E-commerce integrationSalesforce Commerce CloudSome omnichannel platforms offer integration with multiple e-commerce platforms including Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Shopify, Magento

How to implement Salesforce WhatsApp integration?

In September 2022, Salesforce announced its strategic partnership agreement with WhatsApp. Businesses of all sizes will be able to build WhatsApp messaging experiences and manage communication across the Salesforce Customer 360 applications. The WhatsApp integration with Salesforce also allows brands to activate their audience on the Marketing Cloud Customer Data Platform. With that, brands can launch highly-targeted Click-to-Message ads on Facebook and Instagram to drive conversions.

To integrate WhatsApp with Salesforce this way, you need to fulfill some prerequisites, according to WhatsApp News and Salesforce News

  1. Ability to build the integration on top WhatsApp Cloud API: You need to have a team of in-house developers and sign up for Meta's cloud-based API to customize the chat experience. 

  2. Salesforce Marketing Cloud user license: The Salesforce integration with WhatsApp Business Platform is only available on Marketing Cloud starting from December 2022. The timeline is still being determined for Salesforce Service Cloud and Commerce Cloud.

This option offers flexibility to make the integration do precisely what you want – such as tailor it to your customer data model. But it can be expensive to retain internal resources to support the constant build and optimization of the tool.

How to use Salesforce Marketing Cloud WhatsApp integration?

L'Oréal group is one of the first few Salesforce enterprises to extend their CRM strategy into WhatsApp. The group sends coupons and offers to customers who have abandoned shopping carts.

WhatsApp API features such as personalized broadcasts, list messages, and chat buttons make customer re-engagement easy. 

For example, a brand can embed a List Message in a personalized greeting message to allow customers to browse their catalog. Next, they confirm the customer's order by setting up two quick reply chat buttons: 'Add to Cart' or 'More Options.' Followed by a call-to-action chat button: 'Checkout,' the brand directs customers to pay on its e-commerce website. The entire marketing journey happens within Salesforce, helping to maintain a single source of truth of the brand's customer data. Brands can deliver personalized customer service if they are also using Service, Sales, and Commerce Cloud.

Salesforce WhatsApp integration

Find out more about what WhatsApp API can do from our ultimate guide to WhatsApp Business API.

Benefits of Salesforce integration services from WhatsApp Business Solution Provider

If you want to save development and maintenance costs for building your own WhatsApp API, consider paying for an ongoing subscription to a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider (BSP). Working with BSP comes with the following benefits:

No code integration solution 

These partners feature software/ apps with pre-built features like team inbox, bulk messages, automation rules, payment integration, commerce integration, and other no-code tools to save you money in system development. They also provide a pre-built WhatsApp template manager to set up auto replies and auto-messages. BSPs also have a team of customer success specialists to help your business.

Shorten onboarding time

BSPs implement embedded signup on their platform and allow businesses to onboard to the WhatsApp Business Platform (access to WhatsApp Cloud API) directly from their website. If you DIY, you have to connect your WhatsApp Business Manager account, create WhatsApp Business Accounts (WABA) and verify phone numbers on different platforms. Working with a BSP reduces onboarding time from days to minutes by simplifying the process and making it happen in one place.

How to integrate Salesforce with other applications?

The integration method varies depending on which WhatsApp Business Solution Provider (BSP) you're working with. Some third-party vendors use the HTTP request method to retrieve data from Salesforce API. You will need to map the response manually. There are some potential failures in executing HTTP requests, such as invalid authorization.

Therefore, you may want to check if the WhatsApp BSP is capable of the below Salesforce integration services.

Automating filtering, mapping, and exporting Salesforce contacts

Automate filtering, mapping, and exporting Salesforce contacts

Matching Salesforce account owners to the WhatsApp Business Platform users

Match Salesforce account owners to the WhatsApp Business Platform users

Offering two-way contact sync to mirror any contact information updates on the WhatsApp Business platform or Salesforce

Offer two-way contact sync to mirror any contact information updates on the WhatsApp Business platform or Salesforce

Here's an example workflow of a user-friendly Salesforce integration solution designed by BSPs like SleekFlow:

You can now connect your Salesforce account to SleekFlow on Salesforce AppExchange
  1. Grant access to the WhatsApp Business platform to obtain data on a connected Salesforce account

  2. Map Salesforce properties to the WhatsApp Business platform

  3. Select the WhatsApp Business platform contact properties that would be synced back to Salesforce wherever there are updates

  4. Map Salesforce accounts to the WhatsApp Business platform users

  5. Define import conditions with custom filters

Ready to explore the power of Salesforce and WhatsApp integration? SleekFlow offers a free trial for the Salesforce integration add-on to all subscribers.

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