Using Conditional Syncing between Marketo and Salesforce.com

Using Conditional Syncing between Marketo and Salesforce.com

Using Conditional Syncing between Marketo and Salesforce.com

Here’s something that we are asked all the time by our clients: “our Marketo license is only for X leads, but we’re about 20% over that. Is there a way that we reduce the size of the Marketo database by only syncing some, but not all, of the leads that we have in Saleforce.com?”

In fact, there are three ways that we have used to setup conditional syncing between Marketo and Salesforce.com, but we recommend not using them. Here’s why you should consider not using conditional syncing:

  1. The sync software was designed as a bi-directional sync that keeps Marketo and Salesforce.com records up-to-date on both sides of the fence. Any conditional sync is just a work-around to circumvent the original intent.
  2. None of these sync methods are flawless. They all introduce problems over time. In fact, the amount of time required to manage them may exceed the perceived savings of having a lower license limit.
  3. If marketing and sales are doing their jobs, and more leads translate to more revenue, then why throttle the activities of these groups by imposing a budget-enforced limit.

At this point some of you will say, “OK, I get it, but I still need to use a conditional sync to keep my database size under the limit”. This article discusses three methods of conditional sync that you might deploy, and the pros and cons of using each.

Conditional Sync #1: Use a Salesforce.com Queue

Scenario: Leads are placed in a SFDC queue that the Marketo sync user does not have access to, which blocks the sync of these leads.

Pros:

  • Easy to setup

Cons:

  • Orphaned leads in Marketo when lead is assigned to queue (lead is no longer tied to its SFDC counterpart). It is still in Marketo, but the sync can no longer take place.
  • If Orphaned leads are deleted in Marketo, all their lead history is deleted and cannot be retrieved.
  • Causes a scenario in which duplicate leads can enter the system via SFDC. This occurs when leads are entered via SFDC, which will not de-dupe records.

Conditional Sync #2: Use Salesforce.com Record Types

Scenario: Salesforce uses a record type that the Marketo sync user does not have access to.

Pros:

  • Easy to setup

Cons:

  • Orphaned leads in Marketo when lead is assigned to a non-Marketo record type (lead is no longer tied to its SFDC counterpart). It is still in Marketo, but the sync can no longer take place.
  • If Orphaned leads are deleted in Marketo, all their lead history is deleted and cannot be retrieved.
  • Causes a scenario in which duplicate leads can enter the system via SFDC. This occurs when leads are entered via SFDC, which will not de-dupe records.

Conditional Sync #3: Use Marketo’s “Sync to Marketo” functionality

Scenario: Salesforce Support activates functionality that looks for a Boolean field called “Sync to Marketo” being set to TRUE. This field will block SFDC from syncing a lead back to Marketo when the flag=FALSE.

Pros:

  • Easy to setup

Cons:

  • If the flag is set from TRUE to FALSE in Marketo, the sync will occur one time last time, then the flag becomes set to FALSE on the SFDC record. This means that the record still exists in Marketo, but will no longer be synced and will be out-of-date compared to the SFDC record.
  • Leads will become orphaned in Marketo when the flag is set to FALSE (lead is no longer tied to its SFDC counterpart). It is still in Marketo, but the sync can no longer take place.
  • If Orphaned leads are deleted in Marketo, all their lead history is deleted and cannot be retrieved.
  • Causes a scenario in which duplicate leads can enter the system via SFDC. This occurs when leads are entered via SFDC, which will not de-dupe records.

Bottom Line

Using a conditional sync method will cause problems, including orphaned records, data out-of-sync, duplicate records, loss of lead history, and other related issues. Managing these issues will cost time and money, and may outweigh the savings expected from a lower Marketo database license level.

Also, the Marketo license includes “unsubscribed” records. For example, if you have a 50K database size limit, and you have 20K unsubscribed records, then your database can accept no more than 30K marketable records without going over the license limit. If unsubscribed records are deleted, then there is no history in Marketo for those unsubscribed leads.

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bob@digitalpi.com

Over the last 20 years, Bob has built, managed, and advised marketing teams of technology companies, including Arbortext (PTC), Brocade, CA Technologies, LLamasoft, GXS, HAHT Commerce, Intuit, QAD, Sybase, and WorkForce Software. Bob thrives on solving business problems with marketing technologies and will not quit until a suitable solution is found.

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