A very common request we get at Snapptraffic Consulting is the need to feed information from a web form to another object besides Leads (or Cases) which both come with built in mechanisms in Salesforce. Let's say you have a weekly webinar and you want to have a form on your website where people can sign up for that webinar, but you don't want the form submissions to come into the Salesforce.com as a new lead, but instead into a custom object you have called "Webinar Registrations". It would be incredibly helpful to be able to allow those form submissions to automatically come into salesforce.com and create a new Webinar Registration.
A typical web-form
There are a few common approaches to solving "Web Form to Anything in Salesforce.com". Pretty much all of them require a web service that can receive the data from that form, process it, connect to Salesforce.com and submit that data. One third party service that I use for my clients is FormAssembly. It does a nice job by giving you the tools to build any form you need, validate the inputs, and pass that data into Salesforce. It's cheap too - about $34 a month for unlimited forms. Their are cheaper versions of their system, but those do not include the connector to Salesforce.com.
Prefill Web Forms With Salesforce Data
Another common business requirement is the need to request information from a customer in an email and have that person click a link within that email which takes them to an online form where they can provide the information asked for in the email. Generally, you want to provide some mechanism to tie the form submission back to the salesforce record from which the email was sent.
An Example: Post Sale Survey
So lets say that a few weeks after you win an opportunity with a client, you want to ask the client for a survey. You could create a button on the opportunity that sends an email to the client (or do this automatically with a workflow rule). Included in the email is a link that takes the recipient to your online form. Imbedded in the link to the form are references to the opportunity ID and any other form fields that you want pre-filled.
FormAssembly is nice because it can parse the URL and pull from it any data that you want to pass into the form. The OpportunityID passes into a hidden field so that it will not be displayed on the form.
When the customer fills out the questions on the survey and submits their results. FormAssembly will receive those results, process them, login to Salesforce via your login and create a new record in Salesforce with the results. Obviously you need a place in Salesforce to pass those results, which in most cases would be a custom object.
Due to the fact that the opportunity ID has been passed through the email to the form, the results of the survey can be tied back to the originating opportunity. Once that form submission has been received, workflow rules can be triggered to notify someone at your company that a form has been submitted.
Setting up this process is fairly straightforward, but there are quite a few steps to getting it setup properly, but none of them are cost prohibitive or terribly technically challenging. If you want a little hand-holding though, feel free to contact us (www.snapptraffic.com).