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March 2nd, 2022 (Updated 08/15/2022) | 11 min. read

Pavel Topinka
Engineering Manager at Pricefx

Native Salesforce Integrator vs API – Which Is Best for Pricing Software?

Without integrating your chosen pricing software with your Salesforce CRM, you run the risk of your business operating an ineffective and disorganized pricing strategy. The most important information you have available at your fingertips (your customer data) could be siloed and keeping you from making the best possible pricing decisions possible for your business.  

It is like trying to throw a strike without knowing where the strike zone is – good luck throwing blind pricing pitches! In this article, we’ll examine which is best for integrating with pricing software – Native Salesforce Integrator vs API plus a bonus third method to boot. At Pricefx, we’ve spent more than 10 years assisting hundreds of enterprise companies across more than 40 countries worldwide to use pricing as their pathway to achieve profitable growth. And that growth potential is powerful. But to inform the pricing software accurately you need to access your company’s data as neatly and easily as possible, and that is what integrating your systems with your pricing software is all about. 

Achieving pricing automation with your Salesforce and other data sets through integration will allow you to access robust and current pricing information without costly hours of manual inputs and potential human errors. Getting started will mean considering how to integrate your system with pricing software. 

So, you can determine which one is right for you, let’s drill down into the 3 methods to integrate your Salesforce CRM with your pricing software – Native Salesforce vs an API – and the method that we use here at Pricefx – an I-Frame System Integration – or as it is sometimes referred to – a Mashup Integration.  

What is a Native Salesforce Integrator?

Salesforce-Logo

A Native Salesforce Integrator means that instead of an integrator being built outside of your Salesforce CRM and having to integrate with Salesforce using an Application Program Interface (API), an integrator is built 100% INSIDE of Salesforce. A native integrator means that there’s no need to integrate with Salesforce, because the native integrator sits entirely within your Salesforce CRM system. 

Why Integrate your Pricing Software Using a Native Salesforce Integrator?

If most or all of your company’s data exists within your Salesforce CRM, your type of business will benefit most from an integration performed with a Native Salesforce Integrator. 

As with most integrations, opening the ‘virtual doorway’ between your data sitting in Salesforce and in the pricing software will assist in embedding intelligence into the data to make informed pricing decisions. With the power of your data from your own in-house Salesforce integrated with your pricing software it can usually be used in any part of the pricing process including rebate management, quotation or even price optimization. 

Who is a Native Salesforce Integration For? 

Any company that holds 100% of their data (or close to that mark) might want to consider a Native Salesforce Integrator. Native Integrators are built specifically for use within the Salesforce CRM platform. 

A certain confusion occurs in the pricing industry as many integrations market themselves as ‘Native Salesforce’ but are not and are built outside of Salesforce. If it’s a Native Salesforce Integrator you’re after, all certified Native Salesforce Integrators have a “Native App” icon listed in their product information 

Who is a Native Salesforce Integration NOT For? 

If you’re a company that holds an array of different data points or sources in addition to your Salesforce CRM that you require to pull into your pricing software system, it is highly recommended to use a different form of integration other than a Native Salesforce Integrator. 

If you have data across different systems being integrated into your pricing software Pricefx I-Frame Integrator, using a Native Salesforce Integrator may potentially create issues of data corruption. This can be because you may have information entered into one system and different information in the corresponding data fields in Salesforce. If you have multiple data points in addition to your Salesforce CRM data, better ways exist to integrate it into your pricing software. 

What is an API (Application Program Interface) Integration?

An API is defined as “a software intermediary that allows two applications to talk to each other.” What does this mean? Let’s use booking an airline ticket as an example. 

When you ask a travel app for a list of available flights to New York City on specific travel dates, the app needs to find that information. It does this by using APIs. Behind the scenes, your travel app asks each airline’s website to provide specific flights for your requested travel dates. The APIs built into each travel website then provide the information. APIs then take that information and feed it back in a list of available flights for you – all in a matter of seconds. 

In other words, an API is the middleman between Salesforce and your pricing software requesting data, just like a waiter is the middleman between the kitchen and returning your food to your table in a restaurant. 

API_integration_pricing software

Why Integrate your Pricing Software with Salesforce Using an API? 

The primary value of an API to integrate your pricing software with your Salesforce CRM is that it allows your company to access information without the fear of data corruption from other multiple data sources, thereby creating greater value without an additional investment of time, money, and resources. 

What that means is that APIs allow any pricing software vendor to transmit and translate data cleanly between Salesforce and the pricing software. 

The range of capabilities that APIs create can allow your company to consider all kinds of factors in its pricing, such as:  

  • Real time functionality  
  • Tracking particular ‘events’ becomes possible, such as triggering a price increase on warm, waterproof boots increase during a blizzard at your stores in Detroit, for example. 
  • Standardized method to communicate between all types of ERPs and CRMs (not only Salesforce) and any pricing software solution.  
  • An API can communicate data from shared between your ERP, your Salesforce CRM, and your pricing software system. That goes beyond price lists, product data, and transactional data. The data provided can enable sales guidance data, prospect opportunity data, quotes being won or lost etc. 

Who is an API Integration with Salesforce For? 

Any company that has data points and sources in addition to their Salesforce CRM that it needs to pull into its pricing software should potentially consider API integration. If you’ve only got data stored in your Salesforce CRM, then it’s perhaps better to stick with a Native Salesforce Integrator. 

If your company has a range of other data points (such as SAP, Oracle, JD Edwards etc.), an API should provide a more efficient and ‘cleaner’ integration. What means there is less chance of data corruption and your integration should go smoother and you’ll be powering your data to make customized and accurate pricing decisions sooner rather than later.  

Salesforce even have a range of pre-built APIs ready for the convenience of customers.

Who is an API Integration with Salesforce NOT For? 

Any business that holds the entirety of its data in its Salesforce CRM may well be better off with a Native Salesforce Integration than integrating with an API. For those types of businesses, the data set will be cleaner and potentially deliver better and more accurate pricing decisions with the use of the native integration model. 

Additionally, those companies without the IT expertise, available staff or programming knowledge required in setting up and maintaining an API should look at another integration option. 

What is the Pricefx Integration Method with Salesforce? –  I-Frame ‘Mashup’ Integration 

Pricefx pricing software is integrated into Salesforce using an I-Frame System or ‘Mashup’ Integrator. What that means is that the Pricefx pricing software solution can be embedded into Salesforce (and a range of other CRM systems for that matter) and allows users to remain logged in to the Salesforce system that they are familiar with.  

How Does it Work?

 

Users are simply logged into their usual Salesforce home screen they are accustomed to and continue to be logged-in under their usual Salesforce account, while simultaneously using Pricefx pricing software to deliver their desired pricing outcomes.

To integrate pricing software solutions while logged-in to Salesforce (and other CRM systems), Pricefx has developed plugins (called “Applications”) across those systems. Those plugins allow for the embedding of Pricefx core applications into Salesforce and the other CRM systems.  

By meshing directly into the screens of the Salesforce, the Pricefx integration method delivers the full power of its price optimization solution to any of the Salesforce CRM processes such as quoting or opportunity and service management. The unique purpose-built integration approach allows any business to determine and deliver the optimal price faster than ever before and provide price guidance for any opportunity, quote or deal to maximize revenue, profitability and customer retention. 

Why Integrate Pricefx Pricing Software with Salesforce Using an I-Frame ‘Mashup’ Integrator?

System Integration-Gers-and-Wheels-Interlocking-Cogs

By incorporating Pricefx pricing software directly into the screens of Salesforce and other CRM solutions, the powerful and specific capabilities of the Pricefx price solution mentioned above such as quoting, pricing opportunity and/or service management are available in-screen with Salesforce without logging out. 

Check out the screen shot below of the Pricefx Quote Configurator (the Pricefx CPQ system) live in the Salesforce CRM.

Pricefx-Salesforce-Quote-Configurator-Screen-Shot

Who is a Pricefx ‘Mashup’ Integration with Salesforce For?  

Any company that is looking for all the pricing functionality that an API integration with Salesforce provides in addition to the ease of use of accessing their pricing software direct in-screen while still logged into Salesforce should consider a Pricefx I-Frame System Integration with Salesforce.  

Who is a Pricefx ‘Mashup’ Integration with Salesforce NOT For? 

Again, any organization that has its data entirely locked up in its Salesforce CRM would potentially be better off sticking with a Native Salesforce Integrator. 

However, any business that has a range of data points and sources and/or operates across a range of regions might want to consider the Pricefx I-Frame System Integrator model with Salesforce. 

Additionally, some level of prior IT experience and support in overseeing integrations would be preferable. If not, your company may go through a long and complicated integration process. 

However, it is important to note that the Pricefx integration plug-ins require installation and expert configuration by its staff. We’re currently working on plans for self-help integration tools. 

What Form of Salesforce Integration Should I Choose? (In a Table Nutshell)

Table-What-Form-Of-Salesforce-Integration-Should-I-Choose

How to Prepare for Salesforce Integration with Pricing Software (By Any Method) 

Regardless of whichever integration method you choose to integrate Salesforce with your pricing software, here are some preparation tips to follow:  

  • Know what your business objectives are out of your Salesforce/Pricing Software integration – plot a course based on your organization’s requirements.
  • Check you have the IT infrastructure and technical expertise required to integrate your pricing software with Salesforce.
  • Identify your single source of ‘data truth’ in your organization. Have your data clean and ready for a smooth integration. Many integrations suffer delays or sometimes even fail completely due to lack of data readiness. 
  • An experienced IT Solutions Architect to lead the IT Team will be essential for you, and from experience, we have learnt that having an Executive Level Sponsor to push the integration process through any possible roadblocks in your organization is also critical. 

That’s Great – But Is There More to Know About Integration and Implementation? 

Now you know three great ways to integrate your Salesforce CRM with your chosen pricing software and put your company’s unique pricing strategies to work more efficiently. Of course, the main takeaway is that the type of integration best for you will depend on what you want from the pricing project and the type and number of data sources your business has. 

After reading this, we are pretty sure you’ve already imagined kissing goodbye to those frustrating manual price updates in Excel and running your pricing smoothly and strategically.  

With more than a decade of experience of integrating all types of ERPs and CRMs for our clients with our pricing software, the team at Pricefx can work directly with your business to integrate Salesforce quickly and easily.   

Still want to know more about integration and implementations with pricing software? Check out our Ultimate Pricing Software Implementation eBook here for all you’ll need to know:  

CTA-Button-The-Ultimate-Pricing-Software-Implementation-eBook