Google Calendar Sync with Salesforce

I’ve written about Cirrus Insights many time on this site and on other sites around the web. It is the single best tool available to combine and sync your work between Google Apps and Salesforce. They are, in my opinion, the two best apps on the market for nonprofit workflow, and Cirrus Insight is THE BEST app to combine them. In this post, I’m going to show you some new features available inside Cirrus Insights relating to syncing your Google Apps Calendar and your Salesforce Calendar, all from within your Google app window using Cirrus.

If you are a Salesforce user, you know that navigating the relatively sparse user interface there can be interesting. It’s not hard to use, but the graphics cues are minimal and navigation can be cumbersome. Editing events on a Salesforce Calendar involved an unfriendly settings screen, numerous check boxes, and the need to click editing buttons to change certain information. But now, with Cirrus sync for Google Calendar, you can create, edit, and modify all your events in the Google Apps window AND attach or link those events to custom objects and fields in Salesforce. No more fumbling through Salesforce screens to create relations. It’s all done inside Google and Cirrus and linking over to related objects in Salesforce is not just one click away.

It’s amazing how much time this tool saves us at OrgSpring. It’s such an integral part of our workflow and productivity. I’d estimate it saves each one of us at least 15 minutes per day on moving back and forth between apps – not having to do double entry or work in systems. That’s more than an hour a week, and by year’s end – we’ve saved more than a week’s worth of time – 50+ hours. That’s nearly 3% of our entire working year.

If you could use an application that would make you instantly more efficient without adding a huge cost and without requiring a PhD in computer science to implement – what would that be worth to you? Think about that for a moment.

We’ve created a video showing you around the new Cirrus Insight Google and Salesforce Calendar Sync, including how to use it, how to create events, link them to contacts or accounts or even custom objects and then how to view them in Salesforce. The video is approximately 15 minutes long, shot in HD.  Below the video you’ll find some text information that follows along with images and screenshots from the various apps, walking you through the same process.

 

Syncing Google Apps and Salesforce Calendars

If you’re familiar with Cirrus Insights you know the panel it opens to the right side of your Google Apps email application window.

Sync Google Calendar with Salesforce

Click to View full size image in new tab/window

If you’re not yet familiar with Cirrus Insights, I recommend you read our two previous posts about integrating Google and Salesforce:

  1. Integrating Google Apps and Gmail
  2. Integrating Google and Salesforce – One App to Rule Them All

At the bottom of both of those articles, and at the bottom of this article you’ll see a form that will allow you to get a discount on the Cirrus platform – saving you 50% forever. You must be a nonprofit to take advantage of the discount offered by Cirrus. We validate your nonprofit EIN number directly in that form using the IRS tax-exempt list. If your EIN is present on that current list it will validate and give you your coupon code immediately, and a link to get a free trial and discount with Cirrus. If your EIN number is not valid or not on the list or you experience errors, please contact us and we’ll guide you there directly – send an email to info@orgspring.com or fill out our contact form here: OrgSpring Contact Page.

Adding an Event

When viewing an email from a contact inside Salesforce, Cirrus shows you the contact information for that person inside the Cirrus Insight window. To create an event for that person click the calendar icon show in the image above in red. That will open event specific field to fill out.  When you’ve filled in the required fields you can open the event in Salesforce by clicking the cloud icon in cirrus window for that event.

The event editing screen in Salesforce looks like the image shown below. You’ll notice the person’s name / contact is now related to the event. This is done automatically, because Cirrus has matched the person’s email address automatically. You don’t have to go fishing for it, or use the Salesforce event edit screen to hook that up. This alone cuts some time off your workflow.

Click image to view full size in new window / tab

Click image to view full size in new window / tab

However, you’ll notice that nothing appears in the top right box, Related To. This is because for this particular contact we did not include her Account or company name. Had that information been inside Salesforce or Cirrus it would attach automatically too.

In this case, we did this on purpose to illustrate another cool feature of the new cirrus calendar integration – the ability to link the event to other objects in Salesforce. We do that by editing the event directly in Google Calendar event edit screen using the new Cirrus Salesforce tab.

 

Editing the Event in Google Calendar

Now, Cirrus gives you the ability to edit the event directly using the Salesforce Tab in the Google Calendar event edit screen. You can see in the image below Cirrus adds a new tab to your event edit screen that allows us to add custom fields and object relationships to the events in our Google Calendar and then sync them directly with Salesforce automatically. By default, it will allow you to add an opportunity or account relationship and a contact or lead relationship in those respective drop downs.

Click image to view full size in new window / tab

Click image to view full size in new window / tab

But you’ll also notice that you’re not restricted to those fields/objects alone. Clicking in those drop downs offers you the ability to link the event to any custom object. In our case, I chose to link my new event to a Campaign, so that I could track events related to that campaign in Salesforce and therefore have an easier time moving people through the campaign process into actual results inside my CRM.

You’ll also notice now that inside the event view of Salesforce, a related field has been added above the related contact – pointing to the campaign we just linked – Volunteers Winter 2014.

Click image to view full size in new window / tab

Click image to view full size in new window / tab

If we view the campaign screen in Salesforce, you’ll find that the event has been added and is an active activity related to that campaign. That is located at the bottom of the image shown below. If after the event I determine this person should be added to the campaign list or her record modified in some way, I can do that directly inside the campaign screen and update my workflow there. This makes sure my campaigns are always up to date with the latest information and opportunities.

Click image to view full size in new window / tab

Click image to view full size in new window / tab

This all gives you the ability to edit in Google apps or Google Calendar as opposed to Salesforce, where editing these fields is slightly more cumbersome.

Again, it’s not just for standard Salesforce objects like campaigns, contacts, and accounts. I’ve used Cirrus sync to link events to tasks, projects, support cases, and more. It’s an amazingly versatile tool that has made me and my team more productive.

I give Cirrus Insight the highest marks and recommend you check them out today.  Take a free trial of the software, and if you’re a nonprofit, you can even get 50% off your cost – forever. It’s Cirrus’ way of making the product more affordable for nonprofits, and in keeping with Salesforce’s commitment to give back to nonprofits.

Fill out the form below to get your code or contact OrgSpring for more info.

If you have any questions or comments, please send leave a comment here or on the YouTube video.

 

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Craig Grella

Founder and Executive Director at OrgSpring
Craig is the founder and executive director or OrgSpring, a nonprofit dedicated to helping other nonprofits achieve their missions online. Through tips and tutorials, Craig's goal is show nonprofits how to use technology to become more efficient, grow their list of supporters, and increase online donations.