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Marketo/Salesforce Assignment Headache. Advice needed.

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Anonymous
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Marketo/Salesforce Assignment Headache. Advice needed.

Marketo/Salesforce geniuses... I'm struggling with assignment rules and could use your help.

Previously we had one SDR in the UK, one in the US and one which handled all other leads. This meant it was easy to specifically assign to the correct lead owner on sync to Salesforce. (e.g. When Lead Fills out Trial form....If country is US > Assign to Matt; If country is UK > Assign to Zach).

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We're now growing our sales teams however, and we've had to ditch the above to use SF auto-assignment rules instead. Problem is, if the lead is NOT NEW to Salesforce, but should be considered a new Sales-ready lead, it will already have a lead owner, and the auto assignment logic will mean that these leads get assigned to the existing owner rather than the appropriate SDR. We've had leads being assigned to customer success team-members, and marketing users, when they should be in the hands of the SDRs.

We're thinking of introducing a sync between our Marketing programs and SF campaigns for attribution reasons, but this will mean that people will nearly always be in SF before they are Sales-ready leads, so we'll see this problem exacerbated.

Does anyone have any experience with assigning to a 'group' of SDRs? Do any Salesforce buffs know if it's possible to assignment to group based off membership of certain campaign, rather than through coming in as a fresh new lead into SF?

Thanks in advance

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Re: Marketo/Salesforce Assignment Headache. Advice needed.

Hi Joe,

A couple of thoughts :

  1. First thing first, you can have a choice such as if SFDC Type is not empty (meaning it's not a new lead) then do nothing.
  2. You may want to use lead queues in Salesforce, which is what represent a group of sales. You will have to set up theses queues in SFDC, and then you will be able to assign leads to them from Marketo.
  3. The triggers and filters you use to determine to whom you should assign a lead are very wide and you of course can use a member of campaign, or member of program or member of SFDC campaign as a filter for a choice.
  4. Indeed if you sync programs with campaigns, leads will be pushed to SFDC early/. This is where lead queues become handy : you can create one which members are not sales but a marketing user. When the leads are immature, you can assign them to this Marketing Queue and change assignement later when the leads become sales ready.
  5. One information that is key for lead assignment is lead status. You should manage a status (with change data values where needed to set the value of this field) and then assign leads depending on the value of this field. e.g :
    1. If lead status = nurtured then lead is assigned to Marketing lead queue.
    2. If lead fills out a contact form, then status is changed to Sales ready, which in turns triggers a smart campaign that assigns the lead to a sales lead queue.
  6. If you want to push things a little further, you may want to use scoring. Lead activities (such as page visits, email clicks or filled out forms) will change the score. Then, based on score thresholds, another smart campaign will change the status, which in turn will trigger the assignment change.

-Greg

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Re: Marketo/Salesforce Assignment Headache. Advice needed.

Hi Joe,

A couple of thoughts :

  1. First thing first, you can have a choice such as if SFDC Type is not empty (meaning it's not a new lead) then do nothing.
  2. You may want to use lead queues in Salesforce, which is what represent a group of sales. You will have to set up theses queues in SFDC, and then you will be able to assign leads to them from Marketo.
  3. The triggers and filters you use to determine to whom you should assign a lead are very wide and you of course can use a member of campaign, or member of program or member of SFDC campaign as a filter for a choice.
  4. Indeed if you sync programs with campaigns, leads will be pushed to SFDC early/. This is where lead queues become handy : you can create one which members are not sales but a marketing user. When the leads are immature, you can assign them to this Marketing Queue and change assignement later when the leads become sales ready.
  5. One information that is key for lead assignment is lead status. You should manage a status (with change data values where needed to set the value of this field) and then assign leads depending on the value of this field. e.g :
    1. If lead status = nurtured then lead is assigned to Marketing lead queue.
    2. If lead fills out a contact form, then status is changed to Sales ready, which in turns triggers a smart campaign that assigns the lead to a sales lead queue.
  6. If you want to push things a little further, you may want to use scoring. Lead activities (such as page visits, email clicks or filled out forms) will change the score. Then, based on score thresholds, another smart campaign will change the status, which in turn will trigger the assignment change.

-Greg

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Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: Marketo/Salesforce Assignment Headache. Advice needed.

Thanks for taking the time out to leave a detailed response.

Based on your advice, it sounds as if it is possible to use lead queues and assignment logic ON SALESFORCE'S SIDE to trigger ownership changes based on changes in lead status. I am speaking to our SF admin about this today, but it will involve big changes to our lead processes on SF side, which is currently (much to my frustration) triggered by last-touch Lead Source.

We are currently using scoring too, as you mentioned. I've just introduced a new 3 part scoring model so each lead has an Awareness, Research and Consideration score, so that we have a better insight into their buyer behaviour. Part of this change will also mean that leads may be moved into SF before becoming sales-ready so I think my question is part of this bigger issue.

Re: Marketo/Salesforce Assignment Headache. Advice needed.

Greg, this setup you have outlined here, is exactly how we have ours setup, including leveraging the scoring to reach a sales ready threshold.  The problem lies in the fact that our programs our synced with SFDC from the onset, so the leads are assigned to a Marketing Queue right away, so when the leads reach "Sales Ready", they cannot run through the assignment rules again, called from Marketo, since they already have a lead owner.  So, unfortunately, this sort of falls apart, short of either recreating the assignment rules in SFDC OR creating an SFDC api workflow to send the lead back through the Lead Assignment Rules, once they reach the threshold of being Sales Ready or MQLd.  Is this your understanding as well?

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Re: Marketo/Salesforce Assignment Headache. Advice needed.

Hi Nancy Rosenthal‌,

Yes this is correct. If you follow the link to the Idea I sent, you will find a technical (apex based) workaround.

KR

Greg

Level 10 - Champion Alumni

Re: Marketo/Salesforce Assignment Headache. Advice needed.

Joe,

Greg has great advice up there. His #1 is the most important consideration in Marketo, because you DO want to have separate flows for New Leads/Marketo Only > SFDC Leads and existing records:

  • New Lead/Marketo Only > Sync and Assign
  • SFDC Leads > Sync (no reassignment) & Assign Task ---> remember that Marketo only changes the Lead Owner on Auto Assignment ONCE, the first time it is synced over. If the Lead or Contact is owned by someone already, then you must use Change Owner to move it. In general, I do not do this unless I am moving from a Q to a Person User.
  • SFDC Contact > Sync & Assign Task - does not get reassigned. I treat Contacts different because they often have fixed Owners who just need a notification that they should look at the Lead. Or not....remember leads already synced to SFDC are updated every 5 mins anyway. So this is just to notify a User that the Lead is requesting contact or did something important.
Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: Marketo/Salesforce Assignment Headache. Advice needed.

Hey Josh, thanks for getting back to me!

"remember that Marketo only changes the Lead Owner on Auto Assignment ONCE, the first time it is synced over. If the Lead or Contact is owned by someone already, then you must use Change Owner to move it. In general, I do not do this unless I am moving from a Q to a Person User."

This is a key part of my problem I think. The first time it is sync'd across (when not sales-ready) i'll want to Sync & Assign to Marketing User in SF. When the lead later exhibits sales-ready behaviour I need to sync to a region specific sales-team. I can't use Sync and assign/change owner, because there is more than one potential owner in each sales team, but I can't use auto assign because it's alerady been assigned to Marketing User.

Is this where lead queues come in? Forgive my ignorance on this, Salesforce is a strange beast to me.

Re: Marketo/Salesforce Assignment Headache. Advice needed.

Hi Joe,

This is a common error made on SFDC side when implementing Marketo. Mist of the time, salesforce admins rely on "lead assignment rules" to assign leads. The problem is, these rules only trigger once, as Josh said, when the lead is created. This was OK in the old days, in conjunction with salesforce Web-to-lead forms, when a lead could be assigned to sales as soon as they had entered the system. The funnel where much shorter and it was such a progress compared to calling every company in the country directory...

But quite few things with Marketo in the scope, leads tend to enter the system much earlier. Especially if you synchronize programs with SFDC campaigns.

So you will have to transition the SFDC assignment rules to SFDC workflows.

Best regards,

- Greg

Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: Marketo/Salesforce Assignment Headache. Advice needed.

Thank you Grégoire, I'll do my reading on SFDC workflows and point our SF admin in the right direction.

Re: Marketo/Salesforce Assignment Headache. Advice needed.

Just to add a 7th point :

It is much better in Marketo to separate the topics in separate, yet linked, smart campaigns. You will need 3 levels :

  1. The Marketing Campaign level, in which you operate your events, webinars, content downloads, etc... Never put any score change, status change or assignment in there, because it one of the surest way loose control of what's happening, and end up with contradictory effects (2 campaigns setting leads to a different status...)
  2. The lead scoring level, that you isolate in a scoring program and where you react to campaign outcomes (clicks, visited pages, filled out forms, attended events, ...) to update the lead score.
  3. The lead lifecycle level where you react to score changes and set statuses. You would also assign leads at this level, but I prefer (but this could be discussed) to have assignment done in SFDC with workflows reacting to status changes, mostly because then sales ops can operate the changes to assignment workflows in SFDC . You can go without scoring if you feel you are not mature enough. In this case, lead lifecycle will have to be set up to react to campaign outcomes instead of score changes.

-Greg