Salesforce Forms are a critical component of data management in Salesforce. Users can create, edit, and update lead, account, and contact records through forms.
These forms can be customer-facing or internal forms used by employees to create and update records. Salesforce Web-to-Lead Forms can be integrated directly into your company website, like a contact form, ensuring that customer information is automatically added to your Salesforce database after it is entered.
Forms are a critical component of data management. The rules you set for collecting data through forms ultimately impact many of the records in your Salesforce database.
Thoughtful use of Salesforce Forms can have a huge, positive impact on your overall data quality in Salesforce CRM, limiting data management tasks for your team down the road.
Let’s take a deeper look at what Salesforce Forms are, how they are used, and how companies can harness them to improve their data management.
Salesforce Forms Examples and How They Are Used
Salesforce Forms are a flexible tool for Salesforce data entry and updates. Any time you need to create, update, or edit a record, a form gives the user a simple interface through which to input data.
Typically, there are three ways that Salesforce forms can be used:
- to collect information from customers
- to help employees enter data into your database
- to bridge disconnected systems
External Salesforce Forms
External Salesforce Forms are presented to customers, allowing them to provide data that is then automatically pushed into Salesforce. That data impacts the experience that they have with your brand.
Lead capture forms, which are known as Web-to-Lead Forms in Salesforce, are the most commonly used Salesforce form type. But forms can also be used any time a company wants to collect information about leads, contacts, or accounts.
Some of the different ways that external Salesforce Forms are used include:
- web lead capture
- post-sale information capture
- campaign enrollment
- customer re-engagement campaigns
- customer data collection campaigns
- surveys and feedback
Some of these uses require third-party tools and are unavailable through standard Salesforce Forms.
Any time you need to collect data from a prospect or customer, Salesforce Forms ensure that the data is tracked in your database.
Internal Salesforce Forms
Salesforce Forms can also be used for internal purposes. Forms can be a viable option whenever your employees need to create new records or edit existing data in your Salesforce database. For many, they provide a better user experience than manually entering the data in the default Salesforce user interface.
Additionally, forms allow you to implement validation, requiring data to take a certain format for specific fields. For example, an email field might require “@domain.extension” to be included for the form to be submitted. If the inputted data doesn’t match the validation, an error will be generated. This helps to limit the errant data and mistakes that make their way into Salesforce, improving data quality.
Some of the ways that you might use Salesforce forms internally include:
- record creation for sales teams
- capturing new customer information
- adding notes to a record
- task creation or submission
Some of these uses require third-party tools and are unavailable through standard Salesforce Forms.
Forms can provide a more convenient experience for your employees than navigating the standard Salesforce interface to update records.
Salesforce Form Types and App Options
There are three primary types of Salesforce Forms that you may use.
Salesforce Web-To-Lead Forms are the standard form created in Salesforce. These forms can be placed on your website and are automatically marked as a “web” lead source when the information is pushed into Salesforce CRM. The forms create new records once completed but cannot be used to update existing records.
Salesforce Web-to-Lead Forms can capture any writable field in your Salesforce database. You can see a full list of fields here. You simply select the fields you would like to include on the form and other settings. Then the code for the form is automatically generated and can be added directly to your website.
Web-to-Lead Forms are available for free for every Salesforce customer.
Marketing Automation Platforms
Integrated marketing automation platforms such as Pardot, HubSpot, or Marketo often offer the ability to create Salesforce Forms. They may even provide additional functionality and features not available in standard Salesforce Web-to-Lead Forms.
Marketo, for example, has an in-depth form builder feature that gives deeper access to styling and advanced features than standard Salesforce Forms do.
The level of depth is dependent on each marketing platform, and the features offered for Salesforce Forms can vary from one platform to another.
Some platforms will have a sync delay between their system and Salesforce, impacting Salesforce Flows and other automation inside the platform.
Salesforce Form Apps
There is also integrated form software that specializes in just forms. Because of the specialization, Salesforce form app integrations often offer advanced features unavailable through Salesforce Web-to-Lead Forms on marketing automation platforms. For example, many Salesforce form apps allow you to update existing records through a form, which is not available in standard Web-to-Lead forms in Salesforce.
Some of the more popular Salesforce Form apps include:
For companies that need advanced functionality for their data capture forms, Salesforce form apps may be the best choice.
Creating a Salesforce Web-to-Lead Form
Here are step-by-step instructions for creating a Salesforce Web-to-Lead Form in Salesforce Lightning Experience:1. Click the Setup button in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
2. Type “web-to-lead” into the quick find search box and then click on the “Web-to-Lead” page.
3. On the Setup page, click the “Create Web-To-Lead Form” button.
4. On the next page, you can choose the fields you want to include in the form, a return URL to which the user will be redirected to after submitting the form, and API information for captcha usage.
5. Click the Generate button. The code for your form will be generated on the next screen and can be pasted onto your website pages. You can modify this code as needed.
Forms Play a Critical Role in Data Management
Forms are the gateway to your CRM. When customers fill out forms, the data they enter populates their records in Salesforce—including all of the errors and issues that come with it—unless you have implemented strong form validation or post-submission data cleansing.
In other words, garbage in, garbage out. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are a few best practices that you can follow to ensure that the data that enters Salesforce through forms is clean and unproblematic.
Salesforce Forms Best Practices for Data Management
- Consider your required fields for the form. What data do you need to collect with this form? Which fields are optional?
- Consider the total number of form fields. The less data collected, the higher the completion rate of customer-facing forms. In short, fewer fields mean more leads captured. But a balancing act between lead quality and lead quantity must be considered.
- Implement strong validation. When all relevant fields have proper validation, you ensure that data comes into Salesforce properly formatted.
- Look into post-submission automation. For formatting issues that can’t be resolved with validation, post-submission automation with Salesforce Flow can help clean up issues in your data before the records are used in other automation and processes.
When you enter data into a Salesforce Form, the web server will check to ensure that the data is in the correct format. Salesforce makes it easy to build validation directly into forms. Salesforce also allows for validation for CRM fields, not just at the form level.
Form validation is the first line of defense against low-quality data. It ensures that the data entered into your forms and your CRM meets minimum quality standards.
However, while validation is important, it is only one tool of many to help keep your data clean. Data automation within Salesforce can help account for edge cases that would normally not be caught by standard validation rules.
Form Guidance and Suggestions
A critical piece of form creation that is often overlooked and undervalued comes in the extras included on the form: the descriptions, example answers inside of text boxes, and general guidance provided by your form headings.
These simple additions to forms play a key role in the expectations that the user has for the form and, ultimately, the data that they enter into it. The more you can guide your users toward successful submissions, the less often they will run into annoying validation errors or input errant and low-quality data.
Post-Submission Data Update Automation
While strong validation will help to keep data with many common errors from entering your database, it won’t catch everything. And data issues that make their way into your automated messages are a nightmare for any company, impacting a customer’s opinion of your brand. But you can prevent this by identifying the data issues that are sneaking through the cracks and then creating Salesforce Flows to deal with those issues.
For example, something simple like a name not being capitalized may seem like a small issue at the surface. But when that mistake proliferates across many touchpoints, it can have a real impact on perceptions about your brand. Creating a Salesforce Flow to identify names that aren’t capitalized and ensuring the first letter is properly capitalized means that the first message customers receive from your brand always addresses them appropriately.
Forms are a Key Tool for Data Management
Collecting customer data is necessary, and as a result, that data plays a critical role in the overall data quality across your CRM.
There are a few key steps you can take that will help you improve data quality over time:
- being thoughtful with the fields you collect data for
- implementing solid Salesforce Forms validations
- fixing issues with post-submission automation
- providing helpful guidance throughout the form
Even with these precautions, however, there will always be errors and issues in your Salesforce CRM data. Duplicate data, low-quality data, incomplete data, and inconsistent data are found in every customer database.
But with Insycle, you can take control of your data management by identifying even the most complex issues, fixing them, and then scheduling automation to ensure that those issues are cleaned up consistently.
How Insycle Helps You Identify Data Issues, Fix Them, and Automate Salesforce Data Management
Much of your customer data will be collected through customer-facing forms. That data will contain various errors, issues, and inconsistencies—even when you’re following best practices for web forms.
Insycle helps you identify dozens of different issues in your Salesforce database while helping with tasks throughout your complete data management strategy.
Insycle helps you deal with:
- duplicate data
- inconsistent data (standardizing and formatting)
- associating and linking leads, contacts, accounts, organizations, and opportunities
- decluttering and purging low-quality data
- importing data flexibly
- bulk-updating, deleting, and assigning records
- exploring, analyzing, and reporting on your data
- collaborating on data management
For data entered through Salesforce Forms, simple cleanups can go a long way toward making the data usable. With Insycle, you can format and clean up names, or any text field in Salesforce:
You can deduplicate leads, contacts, or accounts in advanced ways:
You can also manage links between leads, contacts, accounts, organizations, and opportunities:
And these templates can run on an automated, set schedule.
By automating your most important data management activities through Insycle, you’ll save your team's from headaches while freeing their time to focus on bigger-picture activities.
Salesforce Forms Data Management
Insycle makes a natural pairing with Salesforce. Insycle helps companies improve visibility into their Salesforce data issues, fix specific and advanced issues, and install automation and processes that improve their data quality rapidly.
But Insycle isn’t just for managing Salesforce Forms data. It’s a complete data management tool helping companies analyze, understand, identify, fix, and collaborate on data issues across their organizations.
Insycle enables operations teams to fix CRM data quality issues in bulk and automate data maintenance processes. Without Insycle, the cost of bad data is a major blind spot for marketing and sales leaders and a roadblock for execution by their teams.
Want to learn more about how Insycle can help improve the data quality of data entered into Salesforce Forms? Click here to learn more.