Don’t get me wrong—when I hear Microsoft Dynamics (DCRM) marketers express a bit of jealousy over marketers who are using Salesforce with their Marketo instances, I completely understand. I mean, a quick look at the flow steps available in a Marketo/DCRM environment versus a Marketo/Salesforce environment gives even a non-technical marketer a good idea of which integration may offer more immediate flexibility and ease of use.
However, DCRM offers a number of benefits and advantages to the businesses and enterprises that use it. With 40,000 companies and 4.4 million users across the globe, it’s here to stay—and so our advice to marketers who are working in a DCRM environment would be to embrace using it and become adept at working with its nuances. With that in mind, here are three tips on how marketers can more effectively use DCRM and Marketo to achieve success.
1. Bypass import blunders by building a Marketo list import engine
It’s no secret that importing leads into DCRM is laborious on a good day and agonizing on others—and this is only exacerbated by the fact that any existing Dynamics records that fail during the import also lose their field updates, meaning you’ll need to go back, record-by-record and manually update each one with the correct information. Joy!
But don’t start pulling out your hair just yet. Remember, Marketo can automatically dedupe based on email addresses, updating existing records with new information you’re importing. Aha! That means that you can effectively use Marketo to get new records into DCRM and update existing records. You can accomplish this in one of two ways:
- Standalone import program: You can create a standalone import program, then simply clone it so that you can track each specific individual import list, or
- Master import engine: You can create a master import engine to use every time you need to import records into DCRM via Marketo.
2. Tweak the connector to change lead owners in DCRM (with a little help)
Working with Marketo, we’ve all gotten used to how quick and easy it tackles everyday activities like assigning tasks and changing owner records. However, making these tweaks in DCRM isn’t something that you can do right out of the box—you’ve got to enlist the help of your resident DCRM administrator to make a few simple changes to the way your system is set up.
For example, if you want to have the ability to change the record owner once it’s been synced with DCRM, asking your DCRM admin to do the following will let you tweak the record owner in Dynamics and Marketo:
- Request that your admin set a custom option set field called “New Owner” Along with your sales reps’ names, you’ll be able to sync that field to Marketo using this field in a “Change Data Value” flow step to set the new owner value.
- Create a DCRM workflow that monitors for changes in the “New Owner” field, assigning a new owner based Marketo’s changed data value.
3. Don’t stress the native connector
Literally, and figuratively, that is. The more volume you place on the native connector, the slower you will find your instance. If you feel that your instance is operating at a slower rate than normal, check the Campaign Queue in Marketo, and also check the Sync Status in Dynamics (Admin permissions required) to see the number of inserts and updates and the direction they are running in. Make it a habit to check these numbers regularly to ensure the sync between the two systems is running smoothly.
A spike in the numbers usually indicates that something out of the ordinary is happening. For example, if you have a smart campaign running and are syncing records to Dynamics from Marketo, make sure that you are only syncing records with email addresses. The system will retry syncing records that fail, and if an email address is not present (or any of the other fields required for the sync, for that matter), you’ll slow down your system. A large volume of records appearing in the Sync Status section will cause a delay in new records being created, as well as a delay in record updates.
Put your org on the proper path
Ready to set your business up for success? By avoiding lead import pitfalls, working with your Dynamics admin to build in a little more flexibility and keeping tabs on your sync status, you’ll be moving your marketing and your business in the right direction.
These tips are based on a post authored for Perkutoby one of our former Solutions Architects, Paul Wilson. Thanks, Paul!