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In an email, you may have a telephone number that you want to be linked so that when someone clicks on it on a mobile device, it automatically pops up in their phone so they can make the call.


The standard approach is to hyperlink the number with tel: in the link: <a href="tel:[PHONE-NUMBER]">[PHONE-NUMBER]</a>


If you leave this link just like this, where it is trackable and encoded by Marketo, the click to call functionality won’t work. You need to set the link to class mktNoTok in order for that functionality to work without sacrificing the ability to track clicks on the links.


Many thanks to Sanford Whiteman for the suggestion on how to make this work!

If you create a multi-select field in Salesforce, it will come over as a String field in Marketo. If multiple values have been selected in Salesforce, they will be separated by a semicolon, e.g. Water;Fire;Wind. Let’s say I then put this String field on a form, and change the Field Type to Select, and allow for multiple selections. If that lead subsequently fills out the form and chooses Earth and Wind, this will overwrite the existing values in the field and the field will now say Earth; Wind. These will resolve correctly in the Salesforce multi-select field.

Now, usually we don’t want to overwrite existing data. So for this reason, we create a separate field in Marketo that we can use on forms. Let’s say I call this “Product for Web Forms” and I use this on the form instead of the original multi-select field from CRM.


Then I create a campaign in Marketo along the lines of this:

Now, if I fill out the form and choose Earth and Wind on the form, the Product for Web Forms field will say Earth; Wind and the Product field will say Water;Fire;Wind;Earth;Wind. Even though it has the same value twice in the Marketo list, this will resolve to the correct four values in the multi-select list in Salesforce.


This blog is the third and final part in a series on ways of tracking lead acquisition and program success when you are embedding global forms on a non-Marketo landing page or website. The first part can be found here and the second part can be found here.


The first option we covered was dependent on having a generic/tokenized thank you landing page that can be used for anyone who filled out the form. The second approach was modified to allow for separate thank you landing pages. The third and final approach uses the Form 2.0 API with loadForm and onSuccess handlers so that you can control the follow up page activity from the website, rather than from within the form settings. This also has the benefit of not requiring people to remember URL parameters in their email links.


  1. Create a global content form in Design Studio.
  2. Embed the global content form on your website on each landing page.
  3. Create follow up/thank you landing page(s) as desired.
  4. On the webpage that hosts the form, add a customized version of this code, so that when the form is loaded, you add a hidden field (highlighted in green) and pass a value into it to indicate which piece of content was retrieved (highlighted in yellow). Be sure to customize the code with your pod (highlighted in red), your account string (highlighted in purple) and the form ID (highlighted in blue).

  5. On the webpage that hosts the form, add a customized version of this code, so that when the form is submitted, it redirects to the URL highlighted in yellow. Be sure to customize the code with your pod (highlighted in red), your account string (highlighted in purple) and the form ID (highlighted in blue).
  6. Create a Web Content program for White Paper A with a success campaign that triggers off the form fill.
    1. In the smart list, use the “Fills Out Form” trigger and add a filter for that specific ContentName. This is where you should populate the value you’re entering in the URL Parameter
    2. Then in the flow, send out the follow up email, change the program status, and set acquisition as normal.

This post was co-written with Kristen Carmean and John Mattos.


The winds of change were in the air for the client. Their team thought the march to account-based scoring was destined to happen. So they arranged a call to talk to their marketing platform provider to see what could be done to take advantage of account-based scoring in the platform.


This is the challenge the company faced:

  • Target companies had many individuals involved in the buying process. This means that activity associated with that opportunity was split across many leads/contacts.
  • Even when the company as a whole should have had enough activity to be worth sending to sales, the individual leads were not scoring up to sales.
  • The result was missed opportunities and delays in reaching out to leads. This cost the client revenue, since 35-50% of sales goes to the vendor that responds first.** (


Account-based marketing is how to solve this challenge. And there are different ways to execute account-based scoring. This post will explain 2 variations on account-based scoring so you can make an informed decision:

  • “MA Domain-based approach” utilizing your marketing automation platform
  • “CRM Account-roll-up approach” utilizing your CRM


What is “MA domain-based scoring”?

Typically with marketing automation, marketing teams can score individuals for their potential to purchase. This functionality is called lead scoring. Lead scoring typically allows you to score for any demographic or behavioral trait – but lead scoring usually on a single lead or contact basis.


In a nutshell domain-based scoring allows you to score at a company level as well.


So for example say your score threshold is 50 which means at a score of 50 you will pass leads to inside sales. What if you have lots of leads at a score of 50?


Domain-based scoring allows you to have one more data point – a score for a particular company.


So now in addition to looking at lead scores you can also look at the score for that company as well. In this example you would have access to a lead score and in addition you could have a company score.


This way your sales team can prioritize individual leads and can also prioritize companies.


Another example would be if several leads have not reached a lead score of 50 but if you considered all their actions together, their company should be at sales.


What about “CRM account-based scoring”?

An alternative is to perform account-based scoring in your CRM for this. Typically this would entail taking all the contacts in your CRM and rolling up the scores to the account level.

There are pros and cons to the CRM account roll-up approach.


The first thing to be aware of is that roll-up in CRM will rely on your contact / account hierarchy in the CRM. A score value can only be rolled-up to an account if a contact is associated to the account.


If your team is primarily working with CRM contacts then the CRM approach is a possibility. If you are working with leads in the CRM the CRM roll-up approach will be an issue because the leads are not associated with accounts so for leads a CRM account-roll-up is not possible.


The second thing to be aware of with the CRM account-roll-up approach is that the work will need to happen in the CRM. This is fine except for marketing teams that may not have access to changes in the CRM in a timely fashion.


How does “MA domain-based scoring” work at a high-level?

Domain-based scoring on a high level is taking any leads and contacts with the same domain name and scoring across that domain. Here is a simple visual showing how 2 leads score without any account-based scoring:

image before account scoring.png

In the above example 2 different people in the same company both got scored and neither one hit the score threshold. They are treated as individuals and there is no account-based scoring.


In the below example these 2 people both get scored for the others actions based on having the same domain:

image after account scoring.png

Since both these leads have domains of, they both get scored for the activity of the other so they both have a score of 30. Nice!


There are gotchas and the next section will answer the main ones.


Can I fine-tune the MA domain-based approach?

Yes you can.


For example let’s say a company is too large and you don’t want to lump all leads with the same domain into the same bucket. You can absolutely add other criteria such as location. So for example you might score any leads/contacts with the same domain ONLY if they are in the same country.


So in addition to domain, you can flexibly add criteria that you need to add. This exact criteria tends to vary by client and this makes the domain-based approach very flexible. The CRM account-based approach by comparison would aggregate across defined accounts in the CRM.


What are the benefits?

If you are looking to make a decision on this here are some pro’s and con’s of domain-based scoring to consider:

pros and cons image.png

How does MA domain-based scoring work technically?

This depends on your marketing automation platform. This is how it works with Marketo. Other platforms may offer this differently or not at all.

If you have Marketo, the REST API will be used to perform the domain matching outside the platform. Here is a visual on this:

process image.png

Once the API is set-up the rest will happen in Marketo. Marketo will just score all the matches using “Marketo Smart Campaigns” (in other words Marketo workflows).

So the play-by-play scenario here looks like this:

  1. Different leads are scored in the Marketing Automation Platform
  2. Several meet the domain criteria and are matched using the API, and are placed on a list in the CRM
  3. The CRM now knows they are all with the same company and scores them all according to the defined rules in the MA platform

  If you would like to get into more detail on how this works, let us know and we’ll get you the information you need.


Who can benefit from this?

If your target audience routinely consists of more than one person involved in a buying decision you can benefit from account-based scoring.


Imagine that you have a universe of target companies. With regular scoring you can see when someone is active or meets your criteria. Using one of these approaches you now can have “company” early warning that will tell you if a company or a certain part of a company seems to be exhibiting buying behavior. When we presented this to one of my clients recently they were excited and these were some of their comments:

“This is like an early warning system”

“This will be of interest to sales”

“Interesting that even leads activity are being linked to accounts”

“This would allow us to prioritize leads with the same score”

“This would give us a lot of intelligence at the lead level”


Need Assistance?

I am sure this all varies by vendor, but from my perspective your vendor should provide options:

  • Some may be able to do this entirely on your own
  • If you would like to build this out yourself with guidance, the marketing platform vendor should have a services package that includes guidance
  • And if you want the vendor to build it out for you, the marketing platform vendor should offer that as well

I hope you find this useful!

Marketing automation is one of the new buzzwords making the rounds in sales and marketing circles, but what exactly is it? If you've ever received emails and viewed coordinated social media posts about an upcoming promotion or purchased a product and subsequently received information about after sale support in your inbox, then you've been a target of a marketing automation campaign.


In simple terms, marketing automation is a series of technologies and software platforms that enable businesses to "automate" repetitive marketing tasks across multiple channels, such as email, social media and web. Companies such as Marketo provide the platform, support and consultants to assist in making these decisions based on industry best practices.


In the past, actions such as emailing prospective customers, publishing social media posts and posting new content online had to be manually executed one at a time. Those activities can now be coordinated ahead of time and scheduled to occur automatically through marketing automation technologies. Many B2B and B2C companies utilize these tools to streamline and target their marketing efforts.


How can marketing automation help your business?


Prior to the rise of the internet and ecommerce, anyone wanting to learn more about a product or service had to visit a store or reach out directly to a sales rep for that information. Over the past 15 years, prospects have increasingly done more and more of their research online prior to engaging a company directly for additional information.  Since this research can be done largely anonymously, by the time a sales lead reaches the sales team, the prospect is likely very close to making a purchasing decision. This trend indicates two things:


1) The majority of the sales cycle is now occurring prior to the customer engaging the sales team.


2) Older methods of distributing mass amounts of general, impersonal information to prospects have become outdated as prospects actively seek more detailed and specific information relevant to their needs.


Marketing automation allows companies to personalize their communications and nurture prospective customers along the buying continuum. You can now send prospects a series of emails customized to their specific interests and linking to relevant content online. Prospects are more likely to read and take action when communications are personalized and relevant. Automating these tasks allows your team to focus more on the quality of the communications rather than the actual distribution thereof.


For many companies, a marketing automation campaign does not end with a successful sale. They continue to engage with customers after the sale to make sure they are satisfied with their purchase and inquire if they need any after sale support in hopes of building loyalty and fostering future sales.


Marketing departments are no longer getting a free pass when measuring their stewardship of marketing budgets. They must demonstrate a strong return on investment for their marketing dollars. Because of the integrated nature of marketing automation campaigns, they allow for accurate tracking of customers from identification to quote to sale and beyond, providing an unprecedented level of data.  This information often proves invaluable when evaluating campaigns and developing future strategies. 


What are its limitations?


Like any computer program, it will only work as well as it has been programmed to do so. A flawed campaign will not magically right itself. Because so many tasks are programmed to occur automatically, errors in the flow of data or routing of prospects may go undetected unless your team constantly monitors the campaign. In short, the campaign will run exactly as programmed, for better or worse.


You will need a sufficient quantity of prospects and customers in order to justify the cost and time involved in running an automated campaign. Without a sufficient flow of prospects and customers, you will end up doing more work and spending more money executing an automated campaign than you would running a manual one.  Sufficient volume will vary based on your business type.


What else should you know?


Make sure you have something of value to say. Communicating simply because you can is never a good idea. Without targeted and engaging content, your communications will come across as impersonal and intrusive.


Give yourself plenty of lead time to plan, set-up and test before you launch your program. Marketing automation can greatly extend the reach of your team; however, it will require continuous maintenance and optimization in order to run effectively.


  Possessing an understanding of processes, strengths and limitations can help you decide how to most effectively utilize marketing automation for your business. When used correctly, these programs streamline workflows, increase efficiency and expand revenues. Consider the best solution for your business.

With the Sync filter for the Marketo-Dynamics CRM sync, it is possible to restrict which records flow into Marketo. This can be applied to all entities. For each of the entities, the filter needs to be set up separately.

Install Lead Management Plug-in

Make sure you have the latest version of the plug-in installed ( or later).

Create Custom Field: new_synctomkto

Users must add a custom field new_synctomkto to Lead, Account, Contact, Opportunity and any custom entities they want to sync with Marketo.. This field determines whether the lead, account, or contact will be synced with Marketo. It must be of "Two Options" (boolean) type  – “Yes” (TRUE) and “No” (FALSE).

Although this is a Boolean field, there are 4 possible states for this field's value from our plugin's point of view:

  1. Field does not exist: If the user does not want to use this filter, they won't have this custom field. This is interpreted as TRUE.
  2. Field is NULL: All new entities that are created after this custom field is defined will get the default value. But all existing entities created prior to this field will get NULL value. This is also interpreted as TRUE.
  3. Field is TRUE
  4. Field is FALSE

Important: if user wants to use the filter, then they must select this field to be synced with MLM. This is done in Admin > Microsoft Dynamics.

In this screen, scroll down to the field ‘new_synctomkto’ and check it. The label may be different; many customers name it “Sync to Marketo”. The name of this field must be "new_synctomkto" , however the display name can be whatever the user wants.

Set up CRM Automated Workflow

User can set new_synktomkto to either True or False if they have fairly static records that they want to filter for sync. However, user can also create a workflow in Dynamics that will automatically set syncToMkto field based on their filter criteria (e.g State = California, or Division = Web Services). This should be a background job that will be triggered when a record is created, or updated. To optimize, the user is advised to make this workflow asynchronous so actual create or update operation time is not impacted. In addition, the workflow trigger must be fine-tuned so that it fires only when relevant field changes for the update operation. This workflow must be run manually once so that all existing record will get their proper value.



Note: Everything in this solution needs to be implemented in Dynamics. Nothing needs to be configured in Marketo.

Typically, when you use Marketo forms, you create two landing pages – one to place the form on and one to redirect to after the form is completed. However, in some cases, you may not want to have two separate but very similar landing pages to maintain. You can actually use the same landing page for the form and for the thank you message using the Forms 2.0 JavaScript API.


To do this, first create your registration landing page and form and place the form on the landing page as you would normally. Then, add an HTML element to the page. In this element, we will add some code that activates at the moment the form is submitted. It will then hide the form and reveal a hidden <div> that contains the thank you message.


Your JavaScript should look like this:


<script src="//<host>/js/forms2/js/forms2.js"></script>


MktoForms2.whenReady(function (form){

//Add an onSuccess handler

  form.onSuccess(function(values, followUpUrl){

   //get the form's jQuery element and hide it


   document.getElementById('confirmform').style.visibility = 'visible';

   //return false to prevent the submission handler from taking the lead to the follow up url.

   return false;




<div id="confirmform" style="visibility:hidden;"><p><strong>Thank you. Check your email for details on your request.</strong.</p></div>


You will want to edit the two highlighted sections. The first should reference your Marketo instance (e.g. “//”) and the second should contain the thank you text that you want to display once the form is completed.


The text will display on the landing page in the exact position where you place the HTML element, so be sure you edit that in the property sheet. You should also make sure the layer of your HTML element is smaller than the layer for your form. By default, both will be put at Layer 15, so you will be safe if you make your HTML element Layer 14. If you don’t do this, you won’t be able to type in any form field boxes that overlap with the thank you message.



It is not necessary to change the follow-up type on the form or on the landing page, as the JavaScript will overwrite those settings.

You may be using Workspaces and Lead Partitions in Marketo, but here's a twist. If you are separating both Marketo Assets with Workspaces and Marketo Leads using Lead Partitions, you may also have a deduplicate rule in place (which we'll deal with in a separate blog) to allow fully separate leads with the same email address to exist in the different partitions. You might, for example have a line of business that targets individuals, and one that targets enterprises, and you want people to be able to exist in both.


In this case, you can have support alter the custom duplicate rule to be Email Address + Lead Partition so you can target the partitions with the API and with list uploads, but the question may come up about whether you need to apply this duplicate rule to form submissions.. after all, its not as if you want to have the partition ID in every form as a hidden field right?


Here's the scenario:

If you have a lead in Partition A with a particular email address, and then that same lead fills out Form B, which only exists in Workspace B, which only has access to Partition B, what happens is curious. Even though the form is in another partition, the lead in Partition A will be updated, which is no good. If however you simply apply the custom dedupe rule to forms, marketo knows enough to also submit the partition ID, and a duplicate lead is added to Partition B.


So, in short, in this situation you don't need to supply the partition ID in every form, but you do need to set the custom deduplicate rule to apply to forms.

We Marketo users rely very heavily on smart lists. The faster they run, the more efficient we are in the system. The way you build your smart lists can have a dramatic impact on how well they perform. Sometimes you can accomplish the same thing significantly faster simply by changing the order of the items in your list. I’m going to share some tips with you on how to build smarter smart lists.


First, the basic principles of smart list performance, which should be relatively self-explanatory:

  • Simpler filters run faster.
  • Fewer filters run faster.
  • Fewer choices within filters run faster.


When selecting filters, be aware that certain filters take longer to process. For example, activity filters (like Filled Out Form), Member of Smart List and Member of List require more processing power, so you want to be smart about how you use them.


The operators you use in your filters also matter. Logically, Boolean fields and operators like “Is empty” and “Is” are faster to process, because they are looking for a very specific value or one of just a limited number of options.



Not as Fast

Boolean field (true/false)

Is not

Is empty/is not empty

Starts with/not starts with

Is X with just one value for X

Contains/not contains


The number of values you use with these operators also impacts performance. Something with just one value:

will run faster than something with more than one value:

For “Contains” and “Not contains” in particular, we generally recommend keeping the lists under 100 values whenever possible.



One final tip: If you find yourself repeatedly using the same set of filters in smart lists, you may want to consider storing these repeated queries in a Boolean field (or potentially a segmentation). One of my favorite examples is our list of email exclusions. We don’t like to include people who can’t get email in our smart lists because it inflates our counts unnecessarily. But who wants to keep dragging these five filters into every email’s smart list?

Instead, run a batch campaign every day to populate an Emailable field and use this one field in all your smart lists for non-operational emails.

If anyone has any other tips for maximizing smart lists, please feel free to share in the comments!

This blog is the second in a series on ways of tracking lead acquisition and program success when you are embedding global forms on a non-Marketo landing page or website. The first part can be found here.


The first option we covered is dependent on having a generic/tokenized thank you landing page that can be used for anyone who filled out the form. However, there are reasons why you might want to have separate thank you pages (such as having unique layouts or follow up CTAs that you can’t tokenize). This second approach is slightly modified to allow for separate thank you landing pages.


  1. Create a global content form in Design Studio. Include a hidden field on the form to capture the name of the content populated via a URL parameter.
  2. Embed the global content form on your website on each landing page (with a unique URL).
  3. Create follow up/thank you landing page(s) as desired.
  4. Inside the form settings, use the advanced options to Add Choice and determine the follow up page based on the values that could be populated in that hidden field.
  5. Create a Web Content program for White Paper A with a success campaign that triggers off the form fill.
    1. In the smart list, use the “Fills Out Form” trigger and add a filter for that specific ContentName. This is where you should populate the value you’re entering in the URL Parameter
    2. Then in the flow, send out the follow up email, change the program status, and set acquisition as normal.

When you give someone the link to the website landing page, ensure you use a version of the URL that includes the URL parameters, e.g. Then when they fill out the form, it will capture the white paper in a field, redirect to the right thank you page, and make them a member of the correct program.

In some cases you may not want to cookie all anonymous users to your website. You might have 100s of millions of anonymous website visits on a daily basis, few of whom ever convert. In that case, you could choose to only place the munchkin code on key pages, or you could choose to place the munchkin on most pages, but only track users once they convert.


To change the Munchkin code so that it will not drop a cookie or track for anonymous users, but will continue tracking known users, add "cookieAnon" as shown below.


<script type="text/javascript">

(function() {

  function initMunchkin() {

    Munchkin.init('XXX-XXX-XXX',  {cookieAnon: false});


  var s = document.createElement('script');

  s.type = 'text/javascript';

  s.async = true;

  s.src = document.location.protocol + '//';

  s.onreadystatechange = function() {

    if (this.readyState == 'complete' || this.readyState == 'loaded') {




  s.onload = initMunchkin;




Businesses must develop a dynamic sales strategy that can adapt to diverse customer needs. The ability to tailor a sales strategy to unique scenarios can help businesses convey how an offering can add value to customers with complex needs. Businesses should develop a flexible sales framework that can accommodate need variation across several dimensions of buyer behavior. The factors that should be accounted for in an adaptive sales strategy are detailed below.


Buying Objective


Customers can vary significantly in the objectives that they want to accomplish by making a purchase. Some businesses may plan to utilize an offering to earn a competitive advantage over a rival firm. Other purchases can be made in hopes of attracting a new market segment or a major buyer. Certain customers have well-defined buying objectives while other customers may be uncertain about what their true needs are. Businesses should be prepared to demonstrate how their offerings can add value to customers who might have a wide range of buying objectives.


Value Chain Involvement


The value chain is important for all enterprises, but customers who function as intermediaries or suppliers for other businesses are likely to prioritize the impact of the value chain when making a purchasing decision. Business-to-business (B2B) customers often involve their key suppliers and customers in a purchasing decision to ensure that a proposal can add value. A sales strategy should account for the disparate needs of individual value chain participants who might be impacted by the new purchase. Involving other members of the value chain can also lead to opportunities for cross-selling additional products. Involving key partners of the value chain in the purchasing decision, therefore, should be perceived as an opportunity for sales growth.


People Involved


Many sales strategies are fundamentally flawed because they focus on companies, rather than the people who make the decisions. Companies are not lifeless entities, but people working together for a common purpose. Therefore, sales strategies should account for the human factors that influence every purchasing decision. Key influencers who advise a decision maker should be offered personal meetings and opportunities to voice their concerns. Sales agents should nurture a strong interpersonal relationship with stakeholders who are involved in the purchasing team. Accounting for the people involved in the purchasing decision can lead to more sales in the real world.


Organizational Characteristics


B2B customers that market products at different stages in their lifecycles can exhibit distinct buying behaviors. Small and medium-sized businesses often emphasize cost and close relationships as their primary buying motives. Large corporate buyers may have tomes of organizational rules that must be abided by when making a purchase. Startups tend to be more willing to take significant risks while established businesses often seek to avoid risk unless their market dominance is threatened. Sales strategies should be capable of adapting to the organizational characteristics of a customer's business to explain how a proposed offering can add value.


Risk Environment


The risk tolerance of prospective buyers should be inferred before making a final proposal. Customers who demonstrate limited risk tolerance should be presented with a plan that will minimize initial resource commitments and account for potential losses. Entrepreneurial buyers should be shown the potential payoff that risk exposure could entail. Sales strategies should also mitigate personal career risks that leading decision makers could face by accepting a proposal. The most effective way for sales strategies to manage the risk environment is to be candid about the risks and potential rewards associated with the proposed offer.


Adapting to Each Situation


Earning a sale requires businesses to demonstrate how an offering could add value for the specific problems that a customer is experiencing. Businesses should adapt their sales strategies to account for the unique situation of each customer. The people involved in the purchasing decision should be the focus of sales efforts. Influencers and the individual motives of a decision maker must be satisfied before businesses will agree to make a purchase. Sales strategies that adapt to the unique situation of each customer can lead to enhanced sales performance and long-term sustainability.


The Role Marketing Automation Plays


When done properly marketing automation connects your sales team to your marketing department. Investing the proper amount of time and resources into your marketing automation platform will greatly decrease the guess work involved with determining buyer behaviors. Technology continues to change the way buyers consume information and lead nurturing has become a vital part of any successful marketing strategy. This is especially true when it comes to building relationships with potential buyers across multiple channels, even if they are not currently looking to purchase a product or service at that exact moment. If you’re in need of a more thorough explanation of lead nurturing I’d suggest downloading Marketo’s Definitive Guide to Lead Nurturing.

When you create a calendar token and place it in your emails, it creates a text link like this:

Sometimes people want something a little bit showier so they try to make an image that links to the .ics file. This doesn’t work; Marketo will replace the image with the text. Instead, you get stuck with the workaround of creating a calendar file manually and uploading it to Images and Files so you can hyperlink to it directly. That works, but who wants to have to do all that extra work to create your own calendar file? Not me. (Secretly I’m very lazy. Or, as I prefer to call it, efficient.)


So here’s a little trick I discovered:

  • Create the calendar file as a local program token as you would normally.
  • In your email, add the image you want to hyperlink to the calendar file and hyperlink it to the calendar token. We know that this won't actually work correctly, but it will allow you to find the URL of the .ics file.
  • Send yourself a test email. When you get the test email, hover over the image and identify the URL of the .ics. In this screenshot, the URL is “”.
  • Take this URL to your email and replace the hyperlink to your calendar token with the direct URL.
  • Now send yourself another test email. This time, you’ll see your image, which will have a tracked hyperlink. When you click on that hyperlink, bam – calendar file!

(Hopefully if you use this, you'll spend the time to create better names and images than I did for mine.)

You’ve just integrated Marketo with your CRM system. Now you’ve got a big decision to make: when do you send all of those great new leads you are generating into CRM?


You have two primary options:

  • Sync all leads to CRM almost immediately, generally upon lead creation
  • Sync leads to CRM based on rules, generally upon marketing qualification


As with most things, there are pros and cons to each approach.


Sync Leads to CRM Immediately



You don’t need to create and manage sync rules.

Sales will need to be trained to recognize which leads are qualified and which are not yet ready for follow-up.

The sales team has visibility into all leads right away, so they are less likely to create duplicates.

Some junk or invalid leads will end up in CRM.


Leads may not yet have all of the information necessary to decide on lead assignment or follow-up.


Sync Leads to CRM Based on Rules



You can keep most of your invalid or junk leads out of CRM.

Sales might create new leads or contacts in CRM for people you already have in Marketo, thus creating duplicates and splitting activity history across multiple records.

Sales will not see unqualified leads.

Someone has to create and manage the sync rules.


Which option makes the most sense for you depends on a number of questions, such as:

  • How complex are your assignment rules for new leads?
  • How much information is required to complete or route a new record?
  • How many new records does the sales team create?
  • What tools or processes do you have in place for dealing with duplicates?
  • What marketing resources do you have available for monitoring sync rules and failures?
  • How much time does the sales team spend prospecting as opposed to qualifying MQLs?


This decision can be impacted based on your CRM system. One major reason for the difference is that Salesforce customers generally rely on territory assignment rules for lead routing from Marketo. Dynamics customers instead usually assign leads to specific owners. Another reason is that you can sync leads to Dynamics without having all required fields populated (it just enforces that they be populated next time you open and try to save the record in CRM). For this reason, we are not reliant on having particular information populated at the moment we sync to CRM. We can simply assign leads directly to a marketing user in CRM until they are qualified and ready to be reassigned to sales.


One common approach for a Dynamics CRM client would be:

  • Upon lead creation:
    • Sync lead to CRM, assigned to a marketing (or telesales) user.
    • Assign the lead a “Not Sales Ready” status.
  • Upon qualification:
    • Assign the leads an “Open” status.
    • In CRM, set up a workflow to assign to the appropriate sales (or telesales) user.


In Dynamics CRM, we would then edit the default views, such as “My Active Leads” and “All Active Leads” that sales uses so that leads in a “Not Sales Ready” status do not show up in the views. This ensures that a sales user only sees the leads that are new or already being worked on by them. However, if they search in the database for a particular record, they will still be able to find those leads that are not sales ready and see all their relevant email, web, score, and Interesting Moment activity. This helps minimize the creation of duplicates (assuming you have duplicate detection on). Meanwhile, marketing can view all of the leads in any status from a customized view that includes the “Not Sales Ready” leads.


This approach can be particularly successful if the sales team is not accustomed to marketing’s involvement in the qualification process. Knowing that the rest of the leads are in CRM for searching, reports, and lists if they really need them can make sales feel more comfortable with the change. It can also allow the more proactive reps to compare the qualified and unqualified leads and give you regular feedback on the accuracy of your scoring model for continued refinement.