Hi Jeff - to keep entry into CRM to a minimum (at the lead entity level), is it realistic to potentially prohibit the entry of leads by Sales and everything flow through Marketo? We're throwing this idea around and getting some resistance (since Marketing isn't the source of all leads as Sales runs their own "sales campaigns" without Marketing involvement). We too have a duplicates issue that we are trying to get under control. Getting creative with the custom sync filter is another area we're focusing on (and will be the basis for my Summit session in April).
This is good question. We have many customer that do exactly what you suggest: prohibiting the sales to enter leads and have them to entre only contacts as they are supposed to know enough to be able to create also an account if necessary. It really depends on the roles you assign to the sales in the lead management process, and more precisely in the prospection tasks: If the sales are supposed to do cold call prospection, then letting them entering leads so that they can start logging info from the early beginning of their prospection work will be necessary.
We spent a lot of effort getting rid of hundreds of duplicates that were in both Dynamics and Marketo when we started with Marketo, but now have it under control, although we have to monitor constantly. And some problems have remained persistent. (Old duplicates that are Inactive still interfere with sync.) We have emphasized with sales that they should look for duplicates before creating any new records.
If one is at the point of not allowing Sales to create new leads, what about the option of a customized Marketo form for Sales to enter the new leads? I haven't set this up, and can certainly think of some cons, but it could cut down on duplicates since Marketo sees the info first.
You bring up one of our key pain points that we've been experiencing - and that's "inactive" leads in CRM remaining visible to Marketo. We never delete in real-time - instead, when a lead is disqualified or qualified (contact created; or merged into existing contact), that lead is deactivated. Once Marketo records the status, it should never have access to those inactive leads again. We have a working session next week to figure out ways around this.
I'd also be interested in the strategy/tactics you used to get both of your environments under control.