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Learn the Benefits of Gmail Integration



Attention, Trailblazer!

Salesforce has two different desktop user interfaces: Lightning Experience and Salesforce Classic. This module is designed for Lightning Experience; however, you can integrate Salesforce with Gmail in Salesforce Classic too.

You can learn about switching between interfaces, enabling Lightning Experience, and more in the Lightning Experience Basics module here on Trailhead.

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:
  • Summarize how your reps rely on Gmail and Salesforce to work their prospects and deals.
  • Identify with the redundancy your reps experience entering sales data in two systems.
  • Describe how integrating Salesforce with Gmail helps your reps become more productive.


This module was produced in collaboration with Gmail, which owns, supports, and maintains the Gmail products, services, and features described here. Use of Gmail products, services, and features is governed by privacy policies and service agreements maintained by Gmail.

A Way to Increase Your Sales Reps’ Productivity

Your sales reps use Gmail. And they use Salesforce. Isn’t it time reps use Gmail and Salesforce together? According to McKinsey & Company, sales reps spend up to 28% of their day in email and calendars. That’s the case with sales reps Erin Donaghue and Lance Park, who work at an emerging solar company, Ursa Major Solar, Inc. It’s important for them to bring Salesforce data to the place where they spend so much of their time.

When you integrate Gmail and Salesforce, you help your reps spend less time entering data and switching between the two systems. You also help sales teams track important email conversations relevant to Salesforce records. These perks help your reps:
  • Eliminate the time they spend on redundant data entry into two systems.
  • Access important Gmail email messages and relevant Salesforce records in one place, making it easier to craft targeted, meaningful email communications to prospects and customers.
  • Focus more on what matters most: their sales!
Erin and Lance use both Gmail and Salesforce. Let’s review how they use the two applications.

Why Sales Reps Use Gmail

Your sales reps already spend time in Gmail. Here’s what they do with it.
The Thing Reps Do Why?
Send email messages Email is an easy and effective way to engage with prospects and get relationships going.
Maintain contacts The contacts in Gmail serve as your reps’ virtual Rolodex card file.
Schedule meetings and appointments Your reps rely heavily on their calendars for planning their days and scheduling important events.

Why Reps Use Salesforce

Ursa Major purchased Salesforce because it’s a powerful sales tool. Kudos to them! Their reps use Salesforce to track information about their prospects and deals. But let’s take a closer look at what sales teams use Salesforce for.
The Thing Reps Do Why?
Maintain leads and contacts Your reps relate leads and contacts to other important Salesforce records, such as accounts and opportunities.
Schedule meetings and appointments Sales reps and their managers rely on the Salesforce calendar to get sales-related meetings and appointments on the books.

Your reps also relate these events to other important Salesforce records.

Track deals in the pipeline Sales folks track their deals using Salesforce opportunities, which your sales teams relate to (you guessed it) other important Salesforce records.
Learn about outstanding cases Not everything in sales goes smoothly. Your reps benefit from knowing about the issues that their customers log with your company. This is especially important before your reps try selling whatever it is that your reps sell!

Why Redundancy Is a Problem

Why is this important to know? Because your sales reps do some of the same things in Gmail as they do in Salesforce. Our Ursa Major sales reps Erin and Lance often use both systems to track contacts, and schedule meetings and appointments.

Redundancy between Outlook and Salesforce Venn diagram

Let’s look at some ways that redundancy causes problems for you and your sales reps.
  • Time lost during context switching and maintaining data in two places. The context switching alone pulls your reps out of their selling mode and puts them into a tools management mode.
  • Greater chances for data entry errors. When your reps enter data in both Gmail and Salesforce, the possibility of getting something wrong increases. We can see that when Erin enters a contact in Gmail and then again in Salesforce, she inadvertently introduces an error. Not good. Misspelled name between Outlook and Salesforce
Mistakes, such as Erin’s data entry errors, compromise data quality, and even your company’s reputation. What’s most important here is that Erin’s sales efforts don’t have to compete with keeping her sales data current between Gmail and Salesforce.

That’s how integrating Salesforce and Gmail help. Let’s look at how maintaining consistent data between Gmail and Salesforce helps your reps stay on top of their game.

How the Gmail Integration and Lightning Sync Help Your Sales Reps

Here’s a quick glimpse of the core features you can deliver to your sales reps.
Core Feature Why It’s Helpful
See and relate relevant Salesforce content in Gmail From Gmail, your reps get context into what’s happening with the people they sell to. And most important:
  • Reps add email that’s relevant to the sales cycle, so that colleagues in Salesforce know what’s going on.
  • You play the important role of increasing Salesforce adoption among your sales team.
Access Salesforce features in Gmail There’s no need to leave Gmail when your reps:
  • Create Salesforce records, such as leads, opportunities, accounts, contacts, and even records based on custom objects.
  • Relate email messages and nonrecurring calendar events to multiple Salesforce contacts and to any other Salesforce record that accepts tasks or email messages.
  • Search for Salesforce records, including ones based on custom objects.
Sync contacts and events Using Lightning Sync in the background, your reps don’t duplicate data entry for things such as contacts and events in both Gmail and Salesforce.
  • Contacts: Depending on the options you choose, contacts sync in either or both directions between Salesforce and Gmail.
  • Events: Nonrecurring events sync from Gmail to Salesforce. Or for sales reps who meet certain requirements, nonrecurring events can sync in both directions. Learn more about considerations for syncing events.
These are some significant wins for your sales folks. And we’re stoked to tell you more about the ways the integration with Gmail helps sales teams free up administrative time. That way, your sales team can focus on increasing their sales. When sales are good at your company, you all benefit, right?

Add Inbox to Your Gmail Integration

Want your reps to be even more productive while working in their email? Of course you do! We already know that a productive sales team is the best sales team. And you can turn your reps into deal-closing machines by adding Inbox to your Gmail integration. With an Inbox license, your reps have access to more email features, like scheduling messages, tracking opens, and more. We cover Inbox features in an upcoming unit.

Take a Tour of the Gmail Integration

Ready to see the Gmail integration in action? Watch this quick demo that shows how reps can view and work with Salesforce data directly in their inbox

Next, let’s see how to set up the Gmail integration and Lightning Sync.


Use these resources to learn more about the Gmail integration.