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As long as you don't have a smart campaign with a Sync Lead to SFDC, Add to SFDC Campaign, Change Status in SFDC Campaign flow action that will act on the newly imported leads, they will not by synched to Salesforce.
It depends on how your sync is set up. If you have a bi-directional sync, than the leads will automatically be synced when they are imported. You will know if you have a bi-directional sync if you have a campaign in your instance that says 'If a lead is created, then sync to SFDC.' If you do not have a bi-directional sync, you will be able to import the leads and they will not be sycned.
If you do have a bi-directional sync you can turn it off and manually sync leads moving forward, but you will be on the hook for setting that up. If you go down that road, I would recommend creating a plan to determine which leads will be synced, when they will be sycned, and who at your organization is in charge of managing the sync.
Hope this helps!
Alicia, I did not realize that there was anything other than bi-directional sync, and that it is driven from the Marketo side by specific synch flow actions. How do you determine how the sync is set up? How do you turn it off? Is there a help article that explains this in more detail?
It sounds like "bi-directional sync" is specifically an out of the box smart campaign that syncs all leads to Salesforce.
Adding to Elliot's comment: make sure you don't import these leads into a Program that is synced to a Salesforce Campaign as this will also cause the leads to sync to Salesforce.
Steven - good catch on the program synch to SFDC!
I think our instance is set up to create a new lead if there is not one created in SF already, is there any way to check this?