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Salesforce integration troubleshooting and F.A.Q.
Salesforce integration troubleshooting and F.A.Q.

Troubleshooting guide to Salesforce app authentication, field mapping and data syncing.

Beth-Ann Sher avatar
Written by Beth-Ann Sher
Updated over a week ago

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 If there hasn’t been a change to trigger an update, data shown in the Salesforce inbox app may be out of date.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 is data 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”.


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.

When is data 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.


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.

Important: The relationship between Lead/User and Company in Intercom, and the relationship between Leads/Contact and Accounts in Salesforce does not sync. This relationship needs to be managed on the respective platforms separately.

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.

What happens when a Lead from Intercom is created in Salesforce?

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.

Important: Creating a Contact in Intercom will not automatically result in them being created 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:

Does Intercom retain historical data or logs on the settings and mapped attributes setup within my Salesforce App?

We do not retain any historical data or logs on past settings or mapped attributes that have previously been setup within the Salesforce App.

If it is necessary to uninstall and reinstall the App we strongly encourage you to take screenshots or a clear record of your settings prior to actioning any 'uninstall' process so they can be easily replicated after reinstalling. Settings will not be retained or recovered after reinstalling the App.

What to do if you think something is wrong with the sync process

The “Sync Errors” tab in the Salesforce app settings will show you any errors that occur when syncing data between Intercom and Salesforce. We display when the error occurred and what caused it. Hover over a row and click the “Details” button to learn more about these issues.

Sync Errors will only show errors from Intercom to Salesforce data syncing.

You can also retry the sync. If Intercom is successful in the sync, the error will be removed from the list:

Note: The tab will inform you if it evaluates that you might not have attribute sync configured correctly like so. This help banner is for Account Sync only.

I can't create cases and FIELD_FILTER_VALIDATION_EXCEPTION error is flagged. What can I do?

The "FIELD_FILTER_VALIDATION_EXCEPTION: this field must contain a value" error is commonly shown if Salesforce requires a specific field for cases that is not showing in the case-creator sidebar in Intercom.

To resolve this, please follow the steps outlined outlined below:

1. Go into Salesforce and check your settings for Cases. All fields in the Case object that are required need to be added to the case-creator in Intercom.

2. Once you've found any missing fields, head over to Intercom's App Store.

3. Navigate all the way through to the Case setting by going Intercom App Store > Salesforce >Settings >Set up Cases, then click the "Add Fields" button.

4. You'll receive a menu with different fields to choose from:

Salesforce___App_Store___Magnus_Private_Workspace___Intercom (1)

5. Click on the required field to add it to the sidebar and repeat this process until you've added all the fields you need.

Note: If you don't see the Add Fields button, it has to do with your permissions in Salesforce. In that case, it will be best to talk to your IT Team or whoever owns your Salesforce account.

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.

What happens to my settings if I uninstall/reinstall the Salesforce app?

If you uninstall the Salesforce app, your mappings will be cleared, so it would be a good idea to take a screenshot of the mappings for your leads and contacts before uninstalling.

No data will be affected on either the Intercom or Salesforce side when you uninstall the app. When the app is reinstalled, another sync will be triggered.

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'.

I got an email "Problem with your Salesforce integration with Intercom", why?

We have rolled out a new Salesforce healthcheck for all workspaces that have the Salesforce app installed. This check ensures that:

  1. The app is correctly installed

  2. We can authenticate with the Salesforce API

  3. Salesforce is set up in such a way that we can work with it

We are running this healthcheck every hour. Affected workspaces will move into the new unhealthy state gradually in the first 24 hours after enabling this check.

We will email either the teammate who installed the integration or in cases where this teammate is not a member of the workspace anymore, the first active human teammate who has been a part of the workspace for the longest period of time. This check will take place at 7 am UTC.

Head over to your Salesforce app settings and you will see some errors flagged in the UI.

The potential messages shown here are:

  • Intercom cannot authenticate to Salesforce <error details>

  • Intercom requires these fields to be filterable in the Salesforce <object name> object: <list of fields>

  • Intercom requires these fields in the Salesforce <object name> object: <list of fields>

  • These fields are required in the <object name> object on Salesforce (but are not used by Intercom): <list of fields>

There's an "Installation wasn't completed.." notification in the Settings tab but the integration has previously been installed and syncing without issue?

This will happen if the teammate who most recently installed the Salesforce App has been removed as a teammate from your workspace. Evidence of this being the issue can be seen if there is no teammate name next to the "Installed by ..." button:

If this has occurred you'll need to uninstall and reinstall the Salesforce app while logged into Salesforce with an account with full admin level permissions. Intercom is able to sync changes to Salesforce using the Salesforce account of the person installing the app, which is why it requires full admin permissions.

Is it possible to sync granular subscription data from Intercom to Salesforce?

Currently, our Salesforce App doesn't support syncing granular subscription data from Intercom to Salesforce. You can only sync the "Unsubscribed from emails" attribute, which applies to all emails, but not specific email lists.

However, as a workaround, you could create a custom integration which uses our Subscription Webhook topics and an API request to update Salesforce whenever someone unsubscribes from an email list in Intercom, as an example. The granular.unsubscribe webhook topic could be used to notify you whenever someone unsubscribed from a message subscription type in Intercom. After receiving the webhook, you could then make an API request to Salesforce to update the relevant person.

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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