The integration process requires careful planning, training, and action across a number of different departments. The purpose of this post is to guide you through this process with the experience of others who have done it before you. Marketo has excellent documentation on the precise steps you will follow for specific actions. We highly recommend downloading the documentation Marketo provides as well as working closely with your enablement manager for the best possible experience.
This is a general guide to preparing for your new Marketo instance, so please review this, then work with the Marketo documentation and your Marketo Engagement Consultant. If you need deeper advice, Etumos also provides Marketo Implementation consulting.
Implementation Steps Overview
Implementing Marketo is not just about the sync. For the sync to work as you want—and as Marketo advertises—it is up to you and your team to plan out the lead management system you want. There is a seven-step process to develop the lead lifecycle and then sync the two systems together.
- Lead Lifecycle Planning
- Marketo User SFDC Permissions
- SFDC Changes in Sandbox (optional, recommended)
- Marketo Sandbox Testing (optional, recommended)
- SFDC Changes in Production
- SFDC – Marketo App Installation
- SFDC – Marketo Sync
Lead Lifecycle Planning
A successful first sync starts with careful planning. For many firms, this is an opportunity to revamp your lead lifecycle systems for the new era from data cleanup to automation of reports. Work with Sales, Marketing, and Technology to update your CRM so you can take advantage of the lead lifecycle automation Marketo offers.
If you simply sync Marketo with your existing CRM instance, you will likely have a tremendous problem in 6 to 12 months when you need to adjust your system to better handle inbound marketing. Consider a few possible changes to accommodate how marketing automation can improve the lead lifecycle:
Lead lifecycle progress – How are leads flowing through now and do you want to change that? For instance, Marketo can track your lead from Anonymous to Won and back again, which might be more than you’re doing now.
Universal Lead Definition – If you have not done so already, now is also the time to develop a Universal Lead Definition. Bring sales and marketing together to agree on what constitutes a Prospect, Lead, and Qualified Lead. Having a ULD will also help you as you develop your Lead Scoring System.
Reports – Decide what you want to report on so you can determine which fields you need. Fields such as Lead Status, Source, and Email Permissions are ripe for updates.
|Leads by Source||Managers||Show best performing channels.||Marketo or SFDC|
|Leads over Time||Managers, Execs||Show progress over time.||Marketo or SFDC|
|Email Deliverability Over Time||Managers, Ops||Show ability to reach list/list quality.||Marketo and Excel|
|Leads by Buying Stage||Execs, Board||Show conversion rates through the funnel. Impact of Programs on Revenue.||Marketo, SFDC, Marketo RCA|
Lead Status and Lead Conversion Procedures: Will you need to adjust this and train Sales to change these fields at the right times? Changing this also means looking at your lead lifecycle and planning it out in advance, even if you don’t have Revenue Cycle Analytics. Statuses I like include:
- New – brand spankin’ new.
- Nurturing – sometimes this defaults if you are holding back leads.
- MQL – when you pass a lead to Sales.
- SAL/Working – some firms don’t bother with this.
- SQL – Qualified, but this should lead to Convert to Contact.
- Recycled – if a lead isn’t ready yet, Sales should send it back to you.
- Trash – not always useful because you should have Sales Recycle first or Junk should have been filtered automatically.
Permission marketing: Do you already have your subscription management fields in place? Do they make sense for the rest of the world? Some new fields I add are:
Blog Email = Yes/No/Blank
Roadshow Invitations - Yes/No/Blank
“Blank” means that the lead hasn’t yet made a choice, and I shouldn’t email them yet. This human readable language ensures that everyone understands what this means instead of the typical True/False checkboxes.
Marketo User SFDC Permissions
For Marketo (and other systems), you’ll need a user license to facilitate the sync. Make sure you have one available and that the “user” has the right permissions to see the data you wish Marketo to see. Remember, you do not need to sync every field, just the ones related to inbound marketing, demand generation, and sales.
What to Call It
|firstname.lastname@example.org||Make sure this is an account or alias someone can monitor.|
Do avoid using an SFDC System Admin account or a user linked account as that can cause confusion and security risks.
SFDC Changes in Sandbox (optional, recommended)
If you have a larger CRM and have a sandbox, use it. Test out everything before moving to production. Call Marketo Support to help you sync your sandboxes. Then take what you did in Step 1 and try it out. Make those fields changes, ensure the sync works bi-directionally, etc. Work with your SFDC Admin to refresh your Sandbox and connect it to your Marketo Sandbox.
Marketo Sandbox Testing (optional, recommended)
Ask your Marketo Sales Representative for a Marketo Sandbox instance. Ideally, you can keep it for several months. Take the time to test things like Lead Scoring, workflows, and smart lists. You could even test out things like Channel Tags. If you take the time to test out the plans you made earlier, you’ll know what works and what doesn’t. Take notes and get reading for Production!
Cleaning Up Salesforce
Take this opportunity to clean up Salesforce as much as possible before the production sync.
Deduplication and Merging
While Marketo includes automatic deduplication by Email Address, it does not do this for records prior to your first sync or records which first appear in your CRM. Marketo highly recommends deduping records before your first sync to have the cleanest and fastest possible setup. Your SFDC Admin can recommend the best method for your business and budget. We recommend DemandBase, ReachForce, and RingLead.
- Account Hierarchy
- Enhance Account data like Industry, SIC, NAICS, or other blanks.
- Enhance lead records with missing Contact or other fields.
- Delete records: old records of non-customers; bad data; non-engaged leads; Left Company records.
SFDC Changes in Production
Once you are happy with the SFDC Sandbox adjustments, you can move those to Production. It’s a good idea to wait a few days before installing Marketo so your team can point out any issues you missed. You will also need to train Sales and Marketing on those changes.
SFDC – Marketo App Installation
Ok, it’s show time. You’ll follow the Marketo SFDC Integration instructions to complete the sync. I recommend doing this procedure starting Friday night or over a long holiday. The sync may take several hours to several days depending on your database size.
Activities and Tasks
Marketo can read, write, and create Tasks or Activities.
Marketo will sync certain actions it takes on a Lead as an Activity in Salesforce that will appear to Salesforce Users. This feature is helpful if you prefer to not use Marketo Sales Insight or if you wish to definitively record certain types of items on your CRM without relying on Marketo.
If your Lead Lifecycle program includes a service level agreement with Sales or if you want to automatically assign Tasks, you can also use the Create Task flow step using Tokens to assign any task to the record owner.
Automatic Activity syncing is controlled by the Admin > Salesforce Sync settings. If you are using Sales Insight, Marketo recommends turning all of the Activity Sync off to save bandwidth and space since Sales Insight will show the same data. It’s not a bad idea, especially if you have limited SFDC space.
You may, however, want to sync some of the Activities (such as Email Sent or Form Filled Out) to SFDC as a permanent record external to Marketo. Some salespeople also prefer the Activity History in SFDC. Just remember that the more Activities you sync, the more API calls and more Data you use in the CRM.
There is a lot to consider during the integration process. This article cannot cover it all, rather it should give you things to think about, and a framework for planning your new marketing automation system.