From time to time, Marketo and SFDC do not always agree on the sync of particular records. For many systems, this is a minor irritation that is resolved automatically. However, you will see Notifications in the upper right corner and you may be curious about these errors. And for high volume instances or complex SFDC setups, these errors can build up over time, creating data issues.
We have compiled a list of error codes you may see along with suggested courses of action. Each SFDC-Marketo instance is a bit different, so not every suggestion will work and you will need to be an SFDC Admin or discuss some of these with your SFDC Admin.
These are all SFDC errors that block Marketo from fully syncing the data. In many cases, Marketo will try later and the data will sync. But you should investigate the Notifications and list of leads so you can fix the problems to reduce data issues.
Using Notifications in Marketo
Most users should be able to see the Notifications Log in the upper right corner. Here’s how to use it:
- Click on the button.
- Sort by CRM Sync
- Review past 7 days or so of errors. Errors before that are likely either to be repeated recently or they resolved themselves.
- Note issue in a log.
- Click on smart list “more.”
- Look at a few of the lead’s Activity Logs.
- Add a special SFDC View to your smart list: [FIELDS]
Error: Locked Row
This indicates someone else is editing this record. Marketo will resolve normally. Essentially, SFDC blocks all other users from editing a record when someone clicks “Edit” on the record. Since Marketo syncs every 5 minutes, this error resolves by itself.
However, there could be times when this repeats for the same records. If so, you will want to investigate further because the data fields will gradually be out of sync.
Error: Field Validation
In SFDC, you can set a field to have Validation Rules. This means that SFDC will only accept certain values or formats for that field. When Marketo attempts to send data values that do not conform to SFDC’s expectations, SFDC will throw an error and tell Marketo to stop. For any of these SFDC Sync Errors, you can view more information by going to the Lead’s Activity Log:
You can also see some of this data in a smart campaign by going to Smart Campaign > Results and using similar filters.
In our experience, Marketo does push the sync of all other fields, just not the field in question. It’s important to investigate the source of the bad value on Marketo’s end to fix it. Possible sources include:
- Form data
- Bad list imports
- Data management flow that’s out of date
Regardless of the Source of the error, you want to pinpoint it, stop it, and correct it. This may mean manually editing a few records.
Another consideration is whether this Validation Rule is still important. You could just turn it off.
Error: Apex CPU Limit
Something caused SFDC to use up Apex cycles (too many Apex triggers) and it can’t process the incoming data. This can happen for many reasons, but often because you sent SFDC too many records and SFDC has too many triggers to process.
You will tend to see this when your SFDC Org is older or very complex.
Notice: Change in SFDC Picklist Values
If you’ve been using Marketo for a while, you probably received an email (as an Admin) warning you that an SFDC field has a new Picklist and you should be careful to fix any workflows or Marketo Forms to be in compliance.
What the notice doesn’t explain is that, barring Validation Rules, Marketo can accept ANY value into that field and sync it to SFDC. While you won’t see that new value as a picklist option within SFDC, it will appear as the Lead’s current value.
Marketo’s picklist options when you are in a Smart List or flow will only show the values both systems have in common. Thus, it’s a good idea to maintain a separate list of accepted values and stay in touch with the CRM/SOPS team on data changes.
The ideal steps to fix this are to:
- Know the changes.
- Map the Old Values to a New Value in a sheet.
- Update the Marketo Forms to only display New Values.
- Run a data correction flow or upload to overwrite (re-map) the Old Values to New Values.
It is important to coordinate this kind of change because it is easy for such values to become out of sync across systems and cause segmentation problems or Lead Routing errors.
These are the most common Sync errors I see on a daily basis, but there are more and if you are the Marketo Admin, you should establish a regular process to log these errors and get them fixed.
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Michael Mason says
Perfect timing, Josh!
We’ve been having sync issues with Marketo not pulling in SFDC members. Marketo’s response is that the integration user doesn’t have access to see those campaign members. Our integration user has every possible permission that our CRM admin has. Next Marketo tells us that Marketo will not sync if there’s no change in the SystemModStamp, but that doesn’t seem like that makes sense.
We deleted a bunch of users in Marketo but kept them in SFDC. When those SFDC members were pulled into a campaign, Marketo didn’t “see” those leads and thus didn’t import them to Marketo. The reason we were given was the SystemModStamp hadn’t changed, but if we deleted the lead in Marketo, how does Marketo know not to import that lead based on SystemModStamp?
Josh Hill says
Assuming the Marketo User can see SFDC Campaigns and you turned on SFDC Campaign Sync in Admin, then Marketo should see Leads/Contacts become Members of a Campaign.
But you mention another wrinkle: you deleted some Leads in Marketo, but not in SFDC. So Marketo won’t try to sync those back unless the Lead is updated in some way. If becoming a Member of a Campaign doesn’t cause SysModTimeStamp change (which is field based), then why would Marketo look to pull the record over?
As for how Marketo knows, I assume it keeps a table of SFDC IDs not associated to Marketo records because it was deleted in Marketo.
What you could test is to alter one of the records in SFDC and see if Marketo sees it.
Justin Alioto says
Thanks for the write up Josh!
I’ve recently been getting the following error sent to me for 4-5 leads per campaign. Would love to hear any insights you may have around the error message as I have search the community and cannot find the answer.
Salesforce Sync Error
Why: Marketo is unable to add leads to one or more Salesforce campaigns.
Error details: NSUFFICIENT_ACCESS_ON_CROSS_REFERENCE_ENTITY: insufficient access rights on cross-reference id
Josh Hill says
This is usually related to a permissions or Apex problem. Possibly a formula field?