CRM not a single source of truth

Salesforce Shouldn’t Be Your Single Source of Truth – Top 4 Reasons Why

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The Dreamforce 2020 keynote has come and gone. While there were some surprises, namely the Slack acquisition and an actual outdoor setting, the top-level narrative was consistent with years past.  

  • You need a single view of your customer / Customer 360 
  • You need a single source of truth (SSOT) for your customer data 
  • Salesforce can provide both

Having heard this message as a Salesforce customer, partner, and employee in a few different flavors over the past decade, I’ve learned to disagree. Here are my top 4 reasons why:

Salesforce wasn’t built to be a single source of truth

For a single source of truth to be viable, it needs to aggregate data across disparate applications and provide the appropriate controls for data authority and data lineage. Salesforce can’t do this. At its core, Salesforce is still just a CRM built on top of an increasingly complex Oracle DB.  The Hyperforce announcement shows they are serious about modernizing their infrastructure. Modernizing on the public cloud makes it even easier for customers to create a single source of truth somewhere else.

Just presenting consistent data across Salesforce Customer 360 is a struggle

If you adopt multiple Salesforce clouds, you’ll get decent data consistency across Sales Cloud and Service Cloud.  That’s about it.  Bringing together data from the rest of the portfolio requires point-to-point integration. This approach might make sense across two applications like Sales Cloud and Marketing Cloud but quickly turns into a mess when multiple apps are involved. Customer 360 Data Manager proposes to help by unifying records based on ID. Unless you can do this while controlling for accuracy, timeliness and quality, you welcome data chaos. 

Integrating Salesforce with MuleSoft + Einstein won’t solve this problem

Integration is a massive pain for almost every Salesforce customer.  And MuleSoft is excellent at integration and APIs (full disclosure: I worked at MuleSoft for 8 years). But if your vision is to create a Customer 360 in Salesforce using MuleSoft, you’re going to have a few issues. Perhaps the biggest: MuleSoft will bring together ALL of your data — the gold and the garbage.  Next up: keeping data across your apps in sync will require so many bi-directional connections with custom logic to control for data integrity that even minor schema changes become breaking changes. Finally: you’re going to need IT resources.

A single source of truth isn’t the right north star anyways

If you’re like most companies and have adopted a best of breed approach, you have non-Salesforce apps. I’d hazard a guess that almost every department uses a non-Salesforce app to interact with customer data, and a few of them might be bold enough to consider that app to be their source of truth (SOT). So, if Salesforce is your SOT for sales, Segment is your SOT for Marketing,  Netsuite is your SOT for Finance, and Gainsight is your SOT for success, how do you ensure customer data across all those SOTs stays in sync? One common approach is to dump everything into a data warehouse and drive laggy insights and reporting from Tableau.  Analysis and insights are necessary, but this approach just creates another data silo and fails to make trusted customer data available and operational for customer-facing teams in near real-time. 

Syncari helps revenue teams take back control of their data  

Syncari’s complete data automation platform empowers line of business operators to unify, visualize, clean and manage data from all your top customer applications centrally.  Syncari automatically distributes trusted data back out to the apps where people work and keeps them in sync as better data emerges. With Syncari you’ll get:  

  • Data integration and data management on a single platform built for operators
  • Distributed truth without the headache of standing up a data warehouse
  • Customer 360 everywhere, with accurate, trusted customer data

Learn more from the video below

About the Author: Aaron Landgraf is Head of Marketing at Syncari.  Prior to Syncari he spent almost a decade as an author and product marketer at MuleSoft.  Here, he helped companies turn data into a competitive advantage by focusing on the WHO and HOW of best-of-breed technology.  Before getting into Marketing, he was a software developer, product manager and track and track coach.

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