We are using Marketo a little differently. Instead of using Marketo to acquire leads we acquire leads through lead aggregators, import into our CRM, then use Marketo to email nurture these leads. We acquire a large volume of leads so keeping them hanging around in Marketo isn't ideal (I have Smart Campaigns set up to remove leads based on CRM status) so I have been deleting them with a triggered Smart Campaign, but I also don't want to lose reporting data.
What are the best practices once a lead has reached its goal?
1) I can mark it as a success in a Program, which is great for reporting, but not for my overall database limit.
2) I can delete it from Marketo, which is great for overall database limit, but bad for reporting.
Thanks for your help!
Why not to create a revenue model with Lead life cycle statuses, which can also trigger a Marketing suspended once they reach the goal, whatever it is?
Yes they do, I thought your problem was more of organising your database instead of license size, I don't think that deleting leads is a good idea in any case.
100% agree that deleting leads isn't a good idea. When I used Pardot or Exact Target I believe I could "archive" leads which meant they were available for reporting but didn't count against me in regards of an active lead. I wish Marketo had something similar.
As you know, you're in a bind because of the reporting angle.
Replicating both people and activities to a data warehouse is sometimes presented as an alternative, since you can then do all/most your reporting from there -- but that's obviously a humongous project whose upsides would not be felt for a long while. (You could keep your active database small, though!)
If you are willing to lose reporting but want to have a smoother offboarding process for leads themselves (so they can be reimported with all their fields later) you could flush leads to a Google Sheet before purging them, using the same method as Logging Marketo form fills to a Google Sheet.