Jamie Kirmess

You Need to Mirror Salesforce and Marketo Databases: Here’s Why

Jamie Kirmess / November 11, 2016 / 0 Comments

Why Does This Blog Exist?

One of the most common hurdles we face with our clients is convincing them that they should mirror Salesforce and Marketo databases. That means that any lead or contact that exists in Salesforce should also exist in Marketo and vice versa.

The most common objection we hear from marketers is: “We don’t want sales to follow up with leads that are not ready yet.”

Another concern is: “Our Marketo database lead limit is lower than the number of records inside of Salesforce. We don’t have the budget to increase our Marketo database size, so we have to be picky about who we bring over.”

The first reason is baloney. There are ways we can sync leads to Salesforce without making them visible to sales. We recommend using queues, but that’s a whole other conversation. The second reason is one we’re more sensitive to; however, the risks of not having a 1:1 sync could outweigh the cost of increasing your Marketo database size.

Five Reasons to Mirror SFDC and Marketo

1. Prevent Duplicates

How can we expect sales to be great at keeping their data up-to-date when they can’t even see all of their leads? Sequestering leads in Marketo or Salesforce is one of the primary reasons duplicate records happen.

Let’s look at a real-world example. Let’s say you and sales go to a tradeshow. You collect a
lead, Harry Smart, via your badge scanner. The badge scanner automatically syncs the lead to Marketo, but you do not sync that lead to Salesforce because you want to further qualify the lead.

Your sales rep, Jim Bob, also talks to Harry Smart at the tradeshow. Jim Bob gets Harry’s business card. A couple days after the tradeshow, Jim Bob enters Harry’s basic information into Salesforce because he sees that Harry Smart does not exist as a record. The lead comes from Salesforce to Marketo and, even though the Harry Smart that Jim Bob entered into Salesforce has the same email address as the Harry Smart we collected via our badge scan, Marketo treats this as a new record because it has a Salesforce ID.

Now you’ve got duplicate records for Harry Smart.

2. Improve Marketing Communication

Let’s keep going with our Harry Smart example. Jim Bob calls up Harry and learns that Harry fits our BANT criteria. Jim Bob opens up a $100k opportunity with Harry. They set up a meeting with other stakeholders to demo your company’s product. Things are looking great for Jim Bob.

Meanwhile, your marketing team has put a strategy in place around how you’re are going to communicate with the leads you collected from the tradeshow. You decide to send an email that looks like it is coming from a sales rep. Since Jim Bob went to the tradeshow, you put Jim Bob’s name on it. You send an email to leads asking them if they want to set up an intro meeting. Now Harry is getting emails from Jim Bob asking to set up a meeting when they’ve already gone through that step.

Talk about confusing!

3. Increase Accuracy in Marketing Attribution

About a month later, Jim Bob wins the opportunity with Harry. Great for Jim Bob, not so great for marketing. Unfortunately, Jim Bob didn’t put a lead source in when he entered Harry’s information, so he was marked as “sales generated.” Marketing – despite being the brains behind the tradeshow – will not be able to join in the celebration, because the data doesn’t let them know the true source. Had you synced the lead right away, Jim Bob never would have entered a duplicate in the first place and you’d have $100k in first touch attribution to show for your tradeshow efforts.

4. Streamline Lead Routing

If you do not have a consistent way to sync leads to Salesforce immediately, you’re probably inadvertently creating leads through implied Marketo flow steps.

The following Marketo flow steps will create a new lead if one does not already exist:

  • Add to SFDC Campaign
  • Change Status in SFDC Campaign
  • Change Owner
  • Convert Lead
  • Create Task

Using these flow steps will sync people over in a manner that you do not want, probably accidentally.

Let’s say that in your follow-up email from the tradeshow, you change Harry’s status to “delivered” once your email successfully reaches Harry’s inbox. You accomplish this via the “Change SFDC Campaign Status” flow step. If a lead does not already exist, Marketo will first create a lead and then change the SFDC Campaign Status.

What you forgot is that you have auto-assignment rules set up. Plus, you send alerts to your sales reps whenever a new lead is created. That simple flow step of changing the lead’s status has now created a bunch of leads in Salesforce and also fired off hundreds of alerts.

How’s that for helping your sales team prioritize their leads?

5. Display Timely Campaign Data

Let’s pretend that Jim Bob never met Harry and no duplicate records exist. Marketing captured Harry’s contact information at the tradeshow and is nurturing him to be ready for sales.

The week after the tradeshow, Harry opened a few emails and had a surge in web activity. It was almost enough to push him over our scoring threshold, but not quite. Two months later, he starts engaging with our brand again. So much so, that he is deemed “marketing qualified” and is pushed to Salesforce.

Jim Bob looks at his new lead’s web activity, but because we didn’t sync it in real time, it looks like all of the activity happened at once, rather than over two months. A page visit looks like it occurred today, but really it was two months ago. Jim Bob prioritizes Harry over other leads who are expressing active buying behavior and even mentions that he saw Harry was inquiring about pricing. Harry likely doesn’t remember visiting the pricing page and now Jim Bob looks like an out of touch sales rep.

By the way, when you mirror Salesforce and Marketo, it allows you to use the SFDC campaign to Marketo program sync as well, which has a lot of advantages, which we cover here: Marketo Programs Meet Salesforce Campaigns

Remember, Simple is Always Better

At LeadMD, we like to think about the relationship between Salesforce and Marketo as one big integrated system. It’s not “Marketo and Salesforce” it’s your lead to revenue management system.

Not having a 1:1 sync adds complexity to this system that ultimately hurts your entire process. Just like in a relationship between people, open lines of communication are always best.


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