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Anyone using Contacts only in CRM (not Leads)

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Anonymous
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Anyone using Contacts only in CRM (not Leads)

We're considering exclusively using contacts in CRM, and not using Leads at all.

We use Microsoft Dynamics and Marketo supports the ability to sync records directly as a Contact so this approach seems much more feasible these days.

Does anyone do this currently, or considered this (getting rid of Leads and using Contacts only)? Any lessons learned, or important things to consider? Reasons why to do it, or why not to do it?

Thanks,

David

p.s. Here are some of the reasons we are looking to this:

- easier/better reporting out of CRM (since everything isn't split across Lead/Contact tables), 

- allows for easier maintenance of duplicates in both systems,

- easier to find records for sales (only need to search once, and not in 2 places),

- able to create activities tied to the Contact for multi-touch reporting out of CRM (logging every marketing touch). [Marketo's MT reporting is too inflexible and too much of a black box for Sales]

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Level 7 - Champion

Re: Anyone using Contacts only in CRM (not Leads)

I have had a few instances where contacts were used exclusively.  If you do that, you have to place a stronger emphasis on the use of contact status.  In many cases leads are only created by the marketing side so it is easier to understand marketing contribution separate from what sales is doing.  If you put everything in a pot, the biggest gotcha is to be able to clearly separate out what marketing is doing, sourcing, influencing, impacting, vs sales.  Now you don't have the delineation any more.  It does pose an additional challenge but nothing that can't be overcome with the right data annotation.

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Level 7 - Champion

Re: Anyone using Contacts only in CRM (not Leads)

I have had a few instances where contacts were used exclusively.  If you do that, you have to place a stronger emphasis on the use of contact status.  In many cases leads are only created by the marketing side so it is easier to understand marketing contribution separate from what sales is doing.  If you put everything in a pot, the biggest gotcha is to be able to clearly separate out what marketing is doing, sourcing, influencing, impacting, vs sales.  Now you don't have the delineation any more.  It does pose an additional challenge but nothing that can't be overcome with the right data annotation.

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Level 5

Re: Anyone using Contacts only in CRM (not Leads)

We have leads in salesforce, but our sales reps can't see leads, only contacts. When a lead become marketing qualified, it is sent to our sales operations group. The sales operations group then converts the lead to a contact and associates the contact with an account. This can occasionally cause problems with duplicates for us (with human error, contacts are sometimes not merged), particularly when people use work emails with the sales reps and personal emails with marketing collateral (we're a B2B company).

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Level 10 - Champion Alumni

Re: Anyone using Contacts only in CRM (not Leads)

We too are looking for ways to optimize and enhance our integrated Marketo/CRM environment (MS Dynamics).  The lead/contact model today required us to enable a purposeful duplicates approach. It's really snowballed into a massive issue for us now.  We are currently re-architecting an approach - which you can read here in the MS Dynamics user group (see my comment further down in this conversation thread: Re: Lead Process Updating) that will enable us to move to a "single source of truth" model:

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