Synchronizing and Leveraging Salesforce Data in Front via Rules


For many companies, Salesforce serves as their system of record, holding valuable information about accounts, contacts, opportunities and more. However, all of this context is siloed and difficult to access where we need it most, in our inbox. In this article, you’ll learn how to synchronize your Salesforce contacts and leverage Salesforce data in Front via our API.

If a company uses Front’s Teams feature to create multiple workspaces, make sure contacts are synced to a Team that all users will have access to. For more information on how to create and manage Teams reference this help article.

Please note that Front’s Zapier integration does not support custom contact fields at this time. Additionally, there are a number of tools on the market, like PieSync, that can accomplish the functionality detailed below.

Laying the foundation for contact syncing

Create a shared contact group

To create a single reference point for all Salesforce contact information across the entire company, create a Contact Group within your team workspace. This contact group will be leveraged in the following rule creation steps and can be utilized across both individual and team rules.

As a reminder, when you’re in the contact manager, make sure to click the ‘+’ icon next to the Team name and give the created group an easily identifiable name, like “Salesforce Contacts”.

Create the custom contact fields you need

While Salesforce may hold a lot of information about any given contact, not all of that information is necessary in Front. Our recommendation is to first think about what data you want to use in your automation, like “Acct Owner”, “Geography”, “Value”, etc, and then to create Custom Contact Fields in Front that map to each of those fields.

Syncing Salesforce Contacts using Front’s API

Initial contact upload from Salesforce

The first thing your development team is going to want to do is sync Salesforce contacts over to Front. To accomplish this, your developers will pull the designated contacts via Salesforce’s API and use Front’s create contact API endpoint to sync them over. Don’t forget to include the name of the contact group in your request.

Continued contact sync with Salesforce

Once your Salesforce contacts are created, you’ll want to stand up a system to ensure the data of those contacts in Front is accurate and maintained. The two things your system should accomplish are: 

  • Ensure when new contacts are created in Salesforce, those contacts are also created in Front using the create contact API endpoint
  • Ensure when contacts in Salesforce are updated that the respective Front contact is also updated. To do this your developer would need to use Front’s update contact API endpoint. While the update contact API calls for a contact_id, an alternative approach would be to pass through the contact's information using alt:{source}:{handle}. For example, your PATCH request could look like this:

Leveraging Salesforce Data in Rules

Utilize rules in Front based on Custom Contact Fields

With your Salesforce data now living in Front, you can leverage these custom fields within your rule conditions. The key to success is to leverage the “If” condition that targets the newly created group “Salesforce Contacts”. In the example below, we leverage the group as a filter and a Custom Contact Field. This way, our rules engine knows even if a message is received in a personal inbox, to look at the team space version of the contact and its properties.

Looking for a simpler way to update conversations in Front based on external data or don't have a developer? Check out Assign a conversation based on the Salesforce account owner.

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