It was hard to write the subject line for this discussion. I'll do my best to outline the situation:
1) We have a long form that allows clients to being the sign up process for our business - during which they tell us whether or not they were referred by a partner. If they were referred by a partner, we require they tell us which of the partners reps they worked with. Each partner has >50 reps and we really want to allow them to type the name into an empty text field.
2) We would like to push that lead into SFDC, and include the 'partner rep name' - which is stored in an SFDC lookup field, which obviously is made up of all ID's - so we need to somehow associate that text name to an SFDC ID. That's where we're stuck to start.
All of the reps are in Marketo because we have them in SFDC as contacts. So what I'm trying to figure out - is there a way to take a name ( i.e. Bob Dobalina) that is stored on a field like 'rep name' and then go find that person record and write their SFDC ID to a field on another record? Or am I thinking of this wrong to begin with?
This is tricky because you're assuming prospects will type the correct and full name every time. I haven't tried this before, but without using some type of external processing tool or SFDC, you can try to create a smart campaign that does this lookup. Here's how I would try to do it: Create one partner field that you use on forms that's free text. Then in the lookup campaign, trigger this campaign to run based on the form field changing and in the flow, have one change data value flow with multiple choices. This is where this idea becomes extremely tedious, you'd have to map out all the mappings between the free text field and the lookup field. Example of what it would look like below:
This is much easier to do in SFDC, but if you need to have it done in Marketo, I would try this.
I agree with Kyle that expecting the person to type the full name of the partner exactly as you have it in your db is... very optimistic.
More reasonable would be getting a regular dump of the partners & reps, storing it in a token as a JSON array, then use that array to power type-ahead feature on the text field.
Type ahead by rep's name might raise some people's concerns about privacy.
Though your main concern would probably be what would you do when two reps at the same partner have the same name?
I just wanted to thank everybody for your responses. The proposed solutions make sense. We are likely to keep part of this process manual for the time being - and will be bookmarking this thread to consider once we have more time and resources to throw at the issue. Thanks a ton!