Opportunity is Updated v. Added to Opportunity

Michaela_Iery3
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.

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5 Comments
Anonymous
Not applicable

Hi Michaela,

Great post! I think it is easy to confuse Update and Added Opportunities for newbies like myself and this really cleared things up for me.

But just want to point out one thing regarding on how "Data Value Changes" works in similar way. From my personal experience, I have been using "Data Value Changes" to trigger external apps such as Typeforms ( I do this by matching the URL of the Typeform to a custom field called "Survey" using Zapier) so when it changes from "null" to the "URL of the Typeform", it fires off a Smart Campaign. So far this has been working for my setup but I want to make sure I have a proper understanding so I don't run into possible pitfalls in the future!

Michaela_Iery3
Marketo Employee

Hi, Yexi Yuan

Thank you for pointing out this clarification - I'll update my blog post. I should have clarified that when a lead is created, the fields being populated for the first time doesn't count as a data value change. If you've got an actual NULL value (empty v. blank, if you catch my meaning) for an existing lead, then it should trigger. (To be safe, you can add an additional constraint of "previous value = is empty".)

Anonymous
Not applicable

Hi Michaela,

Thank you for your clarification, that really cleared it for me! Will take of this in my future setup for new leads.

Anonymous
Not applicable

Good stuff! Our sales team sets appointments with potential customers, and we've run into the same problem with "activity was logged" and "activity was updated". Definitely something to keep an eye on if your trying to track this information.

Hchen151
Level 3

Dope!! This helped me solve a huge problem in our system. Thanks!