FormAssembly + Redpath Interview: “How to do more with FormAssembly”
Our partner Redpath Consulting Group featured FormAssembly’s (former) Channel Solutions Engineer Peter Bernardi in their Redcast video series. The video, titled “How to do more with FormAssembly,” featured a variety of interesting FormAssembly features and use cases. Here’s the whole video of the interview between Eric Lehnen of Redpath Consulting Group and Peter. Scroll down further to read the video transcript. You can learn more about the Salesforce-FormAssembly integration that Peter refers to in this video in our free ebook on using FormAssembly with Salesforce.
Eric Lehnen: Hi everyone, my name is Eric Lehnen and I’m a marketing consultant and lead over at Redpath. Today, I have Peter Bernardi on Skype with me to talk a little bit about FormAssembly. Go ahead and introduce yourself, sir.
Peter Bernardi: Thanks, Eric. Hey everyone, this is Peter Bernardi. I’m a Channel Solutions Engineer at FormAssembly. I run our Partner Program, deal with a lot of consultants, almost exclusively in the Salesforce area, and like to talk a lot about technical use cases, of which we have plenty to talk about today.
Eric: So last week we talked about account management, specifically around account based marketing. So if you want to go see that video you can head over to YouTube or iTunes or Sticher to listen to that via the audio portion or YouTube for the video portion.
So, Peter, I want to talk to you about what is FormAssembly and how would you describe it to someone who’s never heard about it before?
Peter: Sure. So, FormAssembly at a high level is a drag-and-drop web form building tool, very easy to use, very functional, that connects to Salesforce and many other services. So, if you think of webforms, traditionally web-to-lead, web-to-case are the more generic ones out of Salesforce, but the tool is fully customizable both on the front end and the back end integration to Salesforce.
Eric: So, I know a little bit about FormAssembly, but for the folks that are in the marketing world, how does someone like a marketer, marketing strategist or content marketer, how would they use FormAssembly to help with some of their specific use cases.
Peter: Definitely. So on the marketing side, we’re going to see two specific use cases. The first is going to be all of your outbound campaigns, being web-to-lead. Whether that’s through the email channel, through SEO efforts, direct social media encounters, blog posts, much like the one we’re doing, you can use a FormAssembly form to intelligently capture that data and bring it into your Salesforce org. So, what we can do is have our Salesforce connector setup to not only just create leads, in the more simplistic manner, but also look them up, update existing records, check first for a lead or a contact and really dedupe your data as it comes in. So, your lists are a lot cleaner, your campaigns are much more knowledgeable, and you build all that information. On the flip side of that, we have the Stay-in-Contact forms. Of course, that’s going to be going away this year in Salesforce, but for a recapture or drip-type campaign, all of those Stay-in-Contacts can be used with our prefill connector to pull information from Salesforce into a web form and have them one click to submit their information.
Eric: Cool. So, from the marketing side of things, I’m a marketing consultant and I consult on Pardot. So, how would FormAssembly work for people who are using FormAssembly for other purposes or with use cases like Pardot or other marketing automation tools.
Peter: For sure. So, whether you’re on Marketing Cloud or Pardot specifically, FormAssembly works seamlessly with that. We can push data to the Pardot Form Handlers. That’s a use case we use internally all the time. We use Pardot ourselves for all of our email deliverability and marketing drip campaigns. We will have an official Pardot connector coming up soon, but right now, you can use the HTTP connector to push to those Pardot Form Handlers, updating everything from campaign to score, pushing them to different drip campaigns within Pardot, so all that information that you normally would work with a Pardot form or a Salesforce form you can use FormAssembly and the Pardot Form Handler to accomplish that same goal.
Eric: Very cool. So let’s move over from marketing to sales now. So, as a sales manager or VP of sales or even just some of your sales executives, how could some of those roles use FormAssembly?
Peter: For sure. Something we do internally, again to use our own examples, all of our SDRs put notes on their calls with a form that’s built right into Salesforce. So we have a button that’s built into the lead layout in Salesforce that’s just SDR notes or call notes, however you want to structure that. What that will do is, again with the prefill, pull in information like Salesforce ID, first name, last name, phone number, their role, the company, even last activity, so they can compare that and reference that in a call. So they can open up this notes page before they make a call, dial in, reference the previous activity they’ve had with this prospect and then also upload new notes from that call, logging the actual call and activity, logging those additional notes, changing them over from a lead to a contact, updating an opportunity. So you have lots of different ways to interact with multiple objects in the Salesforce connection, which has really become a core tenet of our connection to Salesforce, is using all of those custom and standard objects in multiple fashions on every type of submission.
Eric: Really cool. So what about nonprofits? We do have a lot of our own nonprofit customers using FormAssembly for various uses. What are some of the use cases that you’ve come up with for various nonprofits using FormAssembly?
Peter: Yeah, we have tons of nonprofit customers, and really the driver behind those sales are going to be two things: a donation form and event registration. Because every nonprofit out there of course has to have fundraising campaigns, other types of awareness campaigns, a little more in the marketing space. And in addition to Salesforce, we also connect to a number of different payment processors: Stripe, Authorize.net, Chargent, CyberSource, iATS, all the major players in the space, we can connect to. So, you can not only prefill information into a form, have one of your donors go in, confirm that’s their information, set a gift amount, set a recurring gift if you want, update all that information to Salesforce and process that payment. So really powerful stuff on the donation side, and then coupling that with event registration, you could have both of them even together. Registering for an event, updating a campaign member on a campaign, setting their status to attending and having a check-in form at the actual event, updating that same object and sending payment for registration as well.
Eric: It sounds like a lot of people have mapped out almost the whole process with FormAssembly, so they don’t really need to go to other apps. It’s all on one platform now.
Peter: Definitely. And that’s something that our customers have found. The more you use FormAssembly and the more you buy into it, a lot more value is going to be derived from that one license cost, versus having a forms product, an event management product, and email deliverability platform, it’s much more bifurcated in that way, but simplifying your stack brings a lot more value.
Eric: So, I want to dig a little bit deeper and see what are some of the other cool use cases. You touched on some ones that I think a lot of companies and organizations are looking at as far as event management, some payment processing, but what are some of the other cool things that other organizations could do with FormAssembly?
Peter: To stay on the topic of your actual Salesforce stack, since we can push to any custom object, that also includes AppExchange apps, so whether you’re pushing to TaskRay, VisitOps, some of our more established connections, or literally any AppExchange app, all that information is exposed in the FormAssembly connector, so for example, TaskRay, you can have a form set up in front of a TaskRay project to then feed information right into that application. Since it lives in Salesforce, we can push that data, hardcode in all sorts of values or triggers into the connector, and then for example, if you’re running at IT service desk and are using that task management platform, all of your ticketing requests can come into a FormAssembly form, pushed into a TaskRay project and then automatically assigned to one of your technicians.
Eric: That’s a pretty slick process.
Peter: WIth that process, also, whether you’re going to be in-office or out in the field, another kind of new use case I’ve seen with field workers is having 4G-enabled mobile devices, whether that’s a phone or a tablet, going out and making house calls. They can prefill that form when they get to their job site, maybe out of a map anything type of product, go in, take notes, add products to an opportunity, close out that opportunity, bill the customer, and have the customer sign for it right on the spot. So you can close out that entire sale and that entire visit and get a payment at the same time, all in one step, instead of having to go and take notes manually, type it into Salesforce later, send an invoice, worry about collecting. All that process happens immediately.
Eric: Cool, well I think I just learned a new idea for one of our clients.
Peter: There you go.
Eric: So, we talked a little bit about the Salesforce stack and how FormAssembly can work with a lot of the whole Salesforce ecosystem, whether it be some of the standard Salesforce objects or custom objects you’ve built, or even some of the AppExchange apps. Now let’s take a step back outside of Salesforce. What does that look like for FormAssembly and how other clients could use it.
Peter: Definitely. The biggest one I’ve seen is probably going to be a Marketo type. So you have an email deliverability platform outside of Salesforce that you’re still going to be using and dedicated to. Our HTTP connector is great for that. That’s kind of our catch-all connector to really any web service, whether that’s a Marketo with an exposed API, something you’ve built in-house that you just have an end point to push to. The HTTP connector will allow you to connect many different systems. Of course, outside of that, we have lots of connectors outside of Salesforce, as mentioned before, like the payment connectors. ANd we have new connectors coming out every quarter. So, there’s lots of ways you can integrate it, but that HTTP connector is going to be the strongest to connect to a thing like Marketo, that I mentioned, an EventBrite, if you wanted to have a true platform, so you could connect to your other stacks outside of Salesforce, still to FormAssembly, and the beauty of it is that it’s all in the same form. You don’t have to have dedicated Salesforce forms and dedicated external forms. One form can push to Salesforce and a Stripe connector and an HTTP process, so no matter what products you’re using and how you’ve established that stack, all that information gets to the right place.
Eric: Nice. So now I want to talk about the platform. So, my favorite features that I’ve used with some other forms are some of the dynamic prefill, so depending on who’s filling out that form, how does that work? Or dependencies, so building out logic within that. So if you fill out this form it brings you to another form, if you click this field you have a set of dependent other fields that would go inside of that to then go and push additional data into that form.
Peter: Yeah, so we have lots of different ways to manage that type of data interaction. First, as you mentioned, prefilling out of Salesforce, we are really powerful. We do that with URL parameters, so if you can imagine pushing a contact ID through a form dynamically out of an email campaign is probably the most straightforward one. That will allow you to just as you push information to Salesforce, pull information out of objects and fields and put that into the form fields themselves. Those can still be edited if you want and updated, doing a bit more of that progressive profiling has become very popular lately, especially within Pardot. So that type of interaction is one that’s really powerful with prefilling and then all the dynamics and dependences that are built in happen in two different places. So, one, you can have dependencies and dynamic content within a specific form. If I answer question one in a certain way, question two is going to show a different option for me. You can also string forms together in a bit of a workflow, so say I have two forms that go together, one is going to be taking basic information like contact information and availability. I’m going to them push that to Salesforce, turn some processes, get back some information and then prefill a specific second form, whether that’s form two, three, or four in the process with all of those results and that resulting data, allowing me to build out a more dynamic workflow. So, form to form, as well as working with those field dependencies within a specific form.
Eric: Cool. So really, you’re bringing in a lot of automation into this form so it’s not so reliant on a lot of the automation out of Salesforce, you can keep them a little more separated so that you know that all of the automation that’s happening within FormAssembly is going to be within the FormAssembly platform, and all the automations related to Salesforce are happening within Salesforce. So, I think it’s pretty valuable to point out that you can have a delineation between those two systems so you don’t have a lot of mix of automations. Because with a lot of orgs we’ve worked with, you have a lot of moving parts and it’s hard to keep track of all those different pieces and what touches what data or what touches what object so I think it’s helpful to point out that there’s a clear line in the sand of where you can do a lot of this stuff within FormAssembly or other apps and what can remain in Salesforce to do a lot of the backend processing.
Peter: Definitely. And a lot of the times that I’ve seen customers come back with the overwhelming positive reviews, it’s because they don’t think of Formassembly as a forms product. I mean of course, given the name, we still build forms, but it’s much more of a business process automator, like you said. Getting those flows in, getting your business processes lined up, so that we know what work we’re doing outside of Salesforce, and then we can simplify our Salesforce org. Because as we’ve all seen, lots of triggers and all these other notions of automation within Salesforce, can sometimes get really complicated and really expensive. But using a drag and drop WYSIWYG product outside of Salesforce has a lot of benefit for those business users that don’t necessarily have to use more technical resources to get it done in Salesforce, they can do it themselves in a product like FormAssembly
Eric: Cool, well I think this was a good overview for everyone who’s trying to learn a little bit about FormAssembly and I really appreciate your time today. Is there anything else that you’d like to talk about at all?
Peter: Yeah, I’d just like to mention we’re on AppExchange as well so we do have single sign-on into Salesforce should you want to build within the Salesforce platform, lots of different discount opportunities for nonprofits, working with partners. But really, my one takeaway and challenge is to think of forms as more than forms, as I alluded to before. Look at which processes you can bring online, whether that’s an application process, a registration process. Cut down on that paper and time from employees and get to a true automated state where all the data flows properly.
Eric: Awesome, well again, thank you sir. Appreciate your time and thank you guys for tuning in for this week’s Redcast. We hope to catch you again next time.