Opportunity is Updated v. Added to Opportunity

Marketo Employee
Marketo Employee

I recently worked with a B2C client on a campaign where they were targeting leads when they reached a specific mid-stage of the sales cycle with some SMS and email messaging. In their smart list,  they were triggering on Opportunity is Updated  with additional constraints around opportunity stage and the brand.

In reviewing their leads, they found that some leads at the appropriate opportunity stage didn't qualify for the campaign after it was turned on. As it happens, these leads had been converted to opportunities and immediately placed in the qualifying stage versus earlier stages.  Therefore, their opportunities were not UPDATED; they were in fact, Added to Opportunity. By bringing in an additional trigger (Added to Opportunity) with the appropriate constraints on stage and brand,  the two triggers - which, remember, work as "OR" statements - captured all leads once reaching the right opportunity stage.

I wanted to do a quick blog post on this for two reasons:

This is not an uncommon issue: Users sometimes forget that Opportunity is Updated excludes leads whose opportunities are first created (Added). You similarly see this with Data Value Changes - when a lead is created and their field values are populated, this first writing of data to fields doesn't count in Marketo as a "change." So I thought it useful to call this out as a reminder.

Perhaps more importantly, this situation highlighted how important it is to understand your sales teams' processes.  When salespeople create opportunities, do they "skip" stages (i.e., bring someone in "midway" through) and if so, why? Is this something that makes sense for your sales process and therefore should be accommodated in your Marketo build, or is this an opportunity to help sales improve their processes?

So when you see something like this occur in Marketo, focus not just on correcting your smart lists but also using it as an opportunity to examine your related sales and marketing processes and make sure they are working as planned.