alternative methods of integration
There are a handful ways you can capture leads from a WordPress form and add them to a SuiteCRM or SugarCRM deployment.
method 1 – email a form
This is the fastest and easiest method. It’s also the least desirable since it’s a very loose method of integration and bypasses all the benefits the CRM’s structured data and automation.
- Compatible with just about every WordPress form plugin because they generally support emailing.
- Easy to setup.
- Form data ends up in the CRM as unstructured data in a Case rather than as a Lead.
- Someone needs to manually create a Lead from the Case data.
- Difficult to take advantage of the CRMs workflow and automation features.
method 2 – use the SugarCRM or SuiteCRM create web form feature
This method is the most complex and requires web development skills to implement on a website. It also provides for a tight level of WordPress to CRM integration.
- Full control over HTML and form layout.
- Integratable into any website or CMS, not just WordPress.
- High level of SugarCRM / SuiteCRM integration.
- Dropdown lists populated from SugarCRM/SuiteCRM lists.
- Requires web development skills to embed the lead form into a website.
- If you are embedding more than one Lead Capture form, it becomes a tedious process.
method 3 – use a WordPress plugin
This method *should* be the best. At least in theory. My WordPress plugin search resulted in 5 SugarCRM/SuiteCRM Lead Capture plugins. I tried them all, including a sixth plugin that added integration facilities to numerous generic forms. The results were disappointing. Of the 6 plugins tested, I could only get one to work! When I evaluate a plugin, I expect it to be simple and obvious to use, otherwise I move on. My focus here is the one plugin that actually worked for me – the WordPress to SugarCRM Lead plugin (free version – plugin page). I contacted the developer for a pro version but never heard back. Which unfortunately makes me a bit edgy on using the plugin for clients.
- Import’s Lead fields from your CRM.
- Easy to setup.
- Not too sure about the future of the plugin. It uses Sugar’s deprecated 4.1 REST API.
- Developer uncontactable, therefore could not upgrade to Pro version of the plugin.
method 4 – Gravity Forms hook
If you are using Gravity Forms or a similar form plugin that provides logic hooks, then you can integrate to Sugar or Suite using a submit logic hook and the CRM’s REST API, or Leads endpoint.
- Full flexibility with CRM Integrations to any module, not just Leads.
- Tight WordPress integration in that it naturally adopts the theme’s look and feel.
- Web developer / PHP skills are required to create the integration.
- For SugarCRM via REST, you need user credentials which should be secured appropriately. This will use up a user license.
Your best integration choice will depend on several factors such as the skill sets you have available and the level of integration that is required. At the time of writing, I have found the Gravity Forms method to be best. It leverages the power and easy of Gravity Forms drag’n drop form builder, plus you can also take advantage of its conditional display logic and field validation features. From the CRM perspective you can integrate to any CRM module (not just Leads), and perform WordPress-side field concatenation or manipulation if required.