How is data synced between Intercom and Salesforce?

The attributes you map between Intercom and Salesforce are synced when they change in either system. When the change occurs in Intercom, the sync to Salesforce is triggered immediately, while Salesforce is checked every 5 minutes to determine if there are changes to sync to Intercom. See the tables below for details on how data is updated in different situations.

Important: Because data is only synced when there are changes (or new records) in Salesforce or Intercom, historical data is not always in sync. If there hasn’t been a change to trigger an update, data shown in the Salesforce inbox app may be out of date. There is no bulk update of existing historical data when using the Salesforce app.

When data is synced from Intercom to Salesforce

The following triggers in Intercom will cause data to be updated in Salesforce. The behaviour in each of these cases is different depending on whether there’s an existing match between a person (lead/user) in Intercom and a person (lead/contact) in Salesforce. This match is called an “identity mapping”.

Trigger

If identity mapping already exists

If no existing identity mapping found

Person updated in Intercom

Sync any updated attributes to Salesforce.

  • Create new identity mapping.

  • Sync any updated attributes to Salesforce.

Mapping key updated in Intercom. (For example, the email address used to match a record in Salesforce.)

  • Delete identity mapping.

  • Create new identity mapping.

  • Sync any updated attributes to Salesforce.

  • Create new identity mapping.

  • Sync any updated attributes to Salesforce.

Person created in Intercom

Not applicable.

  • Create new identity mapping.

  • Sync all mapped attributes to Salesforce.

Person deleted in Intercom

Delete identity mapping.

Not applicable.

Note: “Mapped attributes” are any attributes that you have set up to sync between Intercom and Salesforce in your settings.

Creating a person in Intercom, won't automatically create them in Salesforce.

A new identity mapping is only created for existing records in Salesforce.

New leads in Salesforce are created from Intercom in the following ways:

  1. Manually with the "Create lead" button from the Inbox.

  2. Automatically when operator qualifies a lead.

  3. Automatically when a task is created if the lead isn’t present in Salesforce.

When a lead is created in Salesforce from Intercom

The following actions occur:

  • New identity mapping created.

  • Create lead in Salesforce.

  • Create new identity mapping.

  • Sync all mapped attributes to Salesforce.

  • Sync all mapped attributes to Intercom.

When data is synced from Salesforce to Intercom

Intercom checks Salesforce for any changes (new or updated leads & contacts) every 5 minutes and when found, updates information in Intercom.

Note: “Person” in this table refers to a lead or contact in Salesforce.

Trigger

Identity mapping already exists

New identity mapping created

Person updated in Salesforce

Sync all mapped attributes to Intercom.

  • Create new identity mapping.

  • Sync all mapped attributes to Intercom.

Mapping key updated in Salesforce. (For example, the email address used to match a record in Intercom.)

  • Delete identity mapping.

  • Create new identity mapping.

  • Sync all mapped attributes to Intercom.

  • Create new identity mapping.

  • Sync all mapped attributes to Intercom.

Person created in Salesforce

Not applicable.

  • Create new identity mapping.

  • Sync all mapped attributes to Intercom.

Person deleted in Salesforce

Delete identity mapping.

Not applicable.

Lead qualified into a contact in Salesforce

  • Delete identity mapping for the lead.

  • Create new identity mapping for the contact.

  • Sync all mapped attributes to Intercom for the contact.

  • Delete identity mapping for the lead.

  • Create new identity mapping for the contact.

  • Sync all mapped attributes to Intercom for the contact.

As the Salesforce app depends on the standard out-of-the-box setup that Salesforce offers, there may be times when the integration fails to install or work as expected. If you experience an error, this troubleshooting guide should help you identify and fix the problem. 

Do you need to reconnect the Salesforce app?

If Intercom fails to connect to your Salesforce account, you'll see this banner in your app settings:

This can happen for a couple of reasons:

  • Salesforce hasn't connected to Intercom - this happens if you exit the installation process before completing all steps.

  • The OAuth token is manually removed within Salesforce - if the OAuth token for Intercom is removed from Salesforce, the integration will stop working.

  • You've used all four Salesforce OAuth tokens - Salesforce only allows a single user to connect four apps to connect using OAuth tokens. To connect more apps, a different Salesforce user will need to connect the app. Read this article for more info.

  • Your Salesforce API access is disabled - you'll require API access to connect Salesforce to Intercom.

You should check if you're experiencing these issues. Once resolved, you should be able to successfully re-authenticate the app.

Note: If you re-authenticate the Salesforce app, it will resume syncing your data as normal. It won't need to re-import your data. 

Have you checked what the issue might be in your app settings?

If something fails while creating a lead or a task, you can diagnose the issue yourself. Just visit the app store and click the Salesforce app. You'll see a list of errors there, along with the issues that are causing them.

Does your Salesforce setup include the fields Intercom requires?

The integration sends data from Intercom to specific fields in Salesforce. These are standard fields in Salesforce, but if they have been modified, hidden or removed the integration may not work. You’ll need to edit your Salesforce settings to ensure these fields are available. 

Salesforce fields we require: 

Lead object

  • Email

  • LastName

  • FirstName

  • Company

  • Phone

  • Status (aka Lead Status)

  • LeadSource

  • OwnerId

Contact object

  • Email

Account object

  • OwnerId 

Task object

  • Description (aka Comments)

  • CreatedById (aka Created By)

  • ActivityDate (aka Due Date)

  • Subject

  • Type

  • Status

  • Priority

  • OwnerId (aka Assigned to) 

Have you hit your Salesforce API limit? 

Every Salesforce account has a set rate limit, which is dependent on the plan you’re on. Intercom will use up some of this limit. If you’ve hit your Salesforce API limit, all of your Salesforce integrations will stop working, including Intercom. 

Are you missing some Salesforce data in Intercom? 

If you’ve matched an Intercom lead to one in Salesforce - but then update the email in Intercom so it matches a different Salesforce lead - it can take up to 10 minutes for custom attributes displaying Salesforce data to update.

I can't find the Salesforce picklist when mapping an Intercom list

You can map Intercom attributes with fields in Salesforce so that they stay in sync in your integration settings. You'll see the fields that are compatible, (e.g. text can match text, integers can match integers, etc).

For lists, we match each option. If there's an option in Salesforce that isn't matched in Intercom, we will add it for you in the list of options. However, we can only add options if the Salesforce picklist is NOT set to restricted.

Note: If the option isn't appearing, make sure it isn't set to Read-Only.

Why can't I create a Salesforce task in Intercom?

When you try to create a Salesforce task in Intercom, you might receive the error: 'Intercom requires these fields in the Salesforce Task object: Type':

Is your Type field visible in Salesforce?

The 'Type' field for the Task object is a standard field in Salesforce for most users, but if you have the Salesforce Professional edition, it will be set to 'hidden' by default

Our integration needs it to be visible to create tasks. You can amend this in Salesforce by going to Object Manager > Task > Fields & Relationships > Type > Set Field-Level Security and setting it to 'visible'.

Still having trouble setting up Salesforce? 

If you’re still experiencing trouble with your Salesforce integration, please get in touch with our Support team via the Messenger 😄 

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