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Manually sync people data in bulk using Intercom's Salesforce app
Manually sync people data in bulk using Intercom's Salesforce app

Sync leads and contacts in bulk using Intercom's Salesforce app

Colin Bentley avatar
Written by Colin Bentley
Updated over a week ago

Intercom’s Salesforce app supports two types of data attribute syncing:

  • Event-based sync - The app syncs data whenever a user or lead is updated in either system. Intercom checks Salesforce for any changes (new or updated leads & contacts) every 5 minutes and when found, updates information as defined in the mapping settings.

  • Manual Bulk sync - In the app settings, teammates can manually trigger a data sync in bulk to update all non-matching attributes between Salesforce and Intercom using the already configured attribute mappings.

Both types of sync rely on the attribute mappings configured in the app settings.

How it works

When triggered, the manual bulk sync updates all attributes on mapped leads or contacts (records) in the directions defined by the mapping configuration (either Salesforce to Intercom, or vice versa) in app settings. The event-based sync uses this same configuration.

Key notes on Manual Bulk Sync:

  • The bi-directional sync updates data attributes in either direction but not both for one attribute (same as event-based sync), as defined in the mapping configuration.

  • It's not possible to choose which records you sync (leads or contacts), this feature syncs all people objects

  • Syncs Leads and Users/Contacts records not Accounts or Cases.

  • Syncs all mapped records found (i.e. records in common) between the two systems.

  • If a lead or contact record only exists in one system, it won't create a record in the other system (same as event-based sync)

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


  1. Review your attribute mappings here to make sure attributes will sync as expected, and in the right direction. The manual bulk sync will always respect existing mappings.

  2. Confirm your API limit here

  3. Test the manual bulk sync using your test workspace and/or Salesforce Sandbox first (optional).

Starting a manual bulk sync

Once you’ve configured the attribute mappings and your API limit, click on the "Start manual bulk sync" button at the bottom of app settings.

You can monitor the progress of a sync in the app settings.

Once complete, the person who installed the app will receive an email.

Stopping a sync

You can manually stop the bulk sync at any stage before completion in app settings.

Once stopped, a bulk sync cannot be resumed. A new sync process will start the next time you click ‘Start sync’ and sync all records found in common.

If you save any setting changes while sync is in progress, the app will stop the bulk sync to save those changes. You can start another bulk sync with those changes applied.

You will see a confirmation modal before saving the changes, highlighting this impact.

Salesforce API call limit

Every Salesforce instance has limits on the API requests available in a 24-hour period and these limits are administered within Salesforce. The Salesforce app requires API requests to function successfully.

This allocation is shared across all systems integrated to the Salesforce instance, not just with Intercom. If you exceed your Salesforce API request limit for that period, all of your Salesforce integrations will stop working, including Intercom, until the next 24-hour period.

In the Salesforce app’s settings, under “Manage Salesforce API usage” you’ll see this indicator which shows you:

  • Your total Salesforce API limit over a 24 hour period (15,000 in this example).

  • How much of that limit has been used by the current Intercom workspace (2,495 in this example).

  • How much has been used by other integrations or Intercom workspaces connected to your Salesforce organisation (863 in this example).

A manual bulk sync will only ever run while there is ample API capacity available, to preserve capacity for your team’s day-to-day workflows.

As your API consumption increases throughout the day, we reduce the volume of data sync activity to ensure your teams can stay productive in Intercom.

% consumed

Salesforce app functionality available


Intercom Inbox App


Intercom Inbox App,

Event-based Sync


Intercom Inbox App,

Event-based Sync

Manual Bulk sync

What happens as you reach the API limit?

There are 3 situations. Starting from 0% consumed, all app activity will run as normal.

1. Once your Intercom workspace and associated apps consume 40% of the defined limit, any bulk sync activity will pause until the consumed capacity next lowers beneath 40% of the limit (typically in the next 24hr period).

2. When you reach 80% of your defined limit, you’ll see the following warning in the Salesforce app settings:

“This workspace will soon hit its limit of Salesforce API calls. This will pause your data sync with Salesforce. Increase the limit in the settings below to avoid this”.

Event-based sync activity will pause once you reach 80% of your defined limit, prioritising support team workflows in the Intercom Inbox for the remaining 20% available.

3. Once you reach the limit, you’ll see this warning:

“This workspace has hit its limit of Salesforce API calls. Your data sync with Salesforce is paused and the integration won’t work as expected. Increase the limit in the settings below to avoid this.”

(Note: you wont yet see mention of the manual bulk sync)

Sync Errors

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.

You can see from which sync type the error originated, more information about that specific error, and retry the sync from this section.

Sync Errors will only show errors from Intercom to Salesforce data syncing. If the sync is successful upon retry, the error will be removed from the list.

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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