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Demystifying Your Salesforce Outlook Integration Options

By 02.22.22
Reading time: 3 minutes

There are an estimated 4 billion daily email users, sending and receiving more than 306 billion emails each day.

Your sales team is probably contributing to those high email numbers. Email is still one of the most efficient and effective ways to communicate with prospects and clients.

It also saves your team time when they integrate their Outlook with Salesforce. Salesforce’s Lightning Sync was designed to sync contacts and events simply and securely between Salesforce and your Microsoft or Google email service. Teams wouldn’t have to enter data into two separate applications and could obtain both their emails and Salesforce records in one place.

But there is one major issue: Salesforce has retired Lightning Sync. 

What happened with Lightning Sync and Salesforce?

Starting in late 2020, Salesforce decided to no longer offer Lightning Sync to new customers and had no plans for future product enhancements. This change meant that sales reps’ contacts and events could not integrate with Microsoft or Google applications and Salesforce. Salesforce for Outlook is on the same route to retirement and will be phased out entirely by June 2023.

Why did Salesforce make this major change? Because Salesforce no longer supports Microsoft Internet Explorer 11 and Salesforce relied on IE11 to display Salesforce features from Outlook.

Salesforce’s alternative to Lightning Sync and Salesforce for Outlook is Einstein Activity Capture. Salesforce sees Einstein Activity Capture as the long-term solution for syncing contacts and events between Microsoft or Google applications and Salesforce. It will continue to evolve Einstein Activity Capture and introduce improvements based on customer feedback.  

Why use Einstein Activity Capture?

Salesforce is encouraging its customers to use Einstein Activity Capture, which has the same basic features as Lightning Sync. Einstein Activity Capture will not only sync your contacts and events but also add some more productivity-boosting features to your Salesforce experience.

Some of the features and benefits that Einstein Activity Capture has and Lightning Sync lacks are:

  • Near real-time event sync from your calendar application to Salesforce
  • Fast first-time sync for new users
  • Step-by-step setup flow to walk Salesforce admins through the configuration of user settings
  • Connect to Salesforce without relying on Microsoft autodiscover service
  • Automatically see Microsoft or Google emails on the activity timeline of related accounts, contacts, leads, opportunities, contracts, and quotes
  • See Einstein Email Insights on emails to help prioritize urgent items 
  • To help build relationships with customers, see recommended connections on contacts and leads 

What are some other alternatives to Einstein Activity Capture?

There are a few emerging third parties that organizations can consider partnering with for their Salesforce integration with Microsoft or Google. These are three to check out:

  • Introhive is an AI-powered SaaS platform designed to help organizations realize the value of their underutilized data. It works collaboratively with CRM, marketing automation, and BI technologies. The AI engine ingests huge amounts of data from disparate applications to build “relationship graphs” to find sales targets and predict “winnability.” Introhive for Salesforce is available on the AppExchange.
  • DotAlign automatically and intelligently extracts relationship insights and contact information from data sources like email messages, meeting requests, contact cards, LinkedIn, and CRM, answering questions like who knows who and the most effective way to reach them. DotAlign syncs with Salesforce to maintain your Salesforce instance with clean, de-duped data right from your mailboxes.
  • Riva creates a seamless data flow of interoperability between applications like email, calendar, contacts, and tasks and CRM. It synchronizes relationship data and eliminates the need for task switching, application toggling, and data entry duplication across platforms. Riva works with Microsoft and Google email and calendar products and is available on the Salesforce AppExchange.

Transforming email into a powerful selling tool

Get a complete view of all your customer interactions by integrating Salesforce with Microsoft or Google. Stay on top of your accounts without wasting time with manual data entry and let Salesforce log and organize all your essential emails and events.

But first, you need to make the leap from Einstein Activity Capture. Silverline, a certified Salesforce partner, can help make the transition smooth and seamless so your team can get back to sending all those emails. Find out how our team can help.

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