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In SFDC, if you want a Contact as a Lead, you can send them to a Queue.
But why not just sync back a Task or Notification for Contacts?
Your issue is similar to an existing contact or lead (in SFDC) re-submitting a contact form. We wouldn't want to re-create that lead record (creating a duplicate). We do what Josh noted which is a email notification is sent to the record owner and as part of the regular sync a 'filled out form' activity is associated with the record in SFDC.
Thanks for the input thus far, Josh and Mark. But this just isn't limited to a "contact form". Let's say our sales teams are using CRM like they should - as a sales database to manage their contacts. So of course, they would enter all of their key contacts and decision makers at their accounts (and prospective accounts) as "contacts" within CRM. Marketing can then use this master contact/relationship database (vs. purchasing a list - which, as you know, is not the right approach) to market against using Marketo.
For example, let's say we hosted a customer event and wanted to invite all CIOs at our strategic accounts. Some of these CIOs have engaged with prior campaigns. Attending this event will push their lead score over the MQL threshold and trigger a "sync to CRM" flow step (defined within our lead lifecycle). Furthermore, with Sales Insight, the sales teams should be able to look at their accounts/contacts in CRM and also see the Marketo activity/history that has occured within those accounts.
Is this not the common approach/use-case of Marketo and CRM at your companies?
I have the same issue as Dan, and synching to Contact task or notification like Josh suggests does not fix the whole problem. We would like to be able to create leads in CRM even if duplicate contacts exist already, so that we can then convert the lead to an opportunity. The opportunity can be assigned to an existing contact and/or account, and we can track the source of opportunities and sales and attribute them back to marketing that way.
In other words, we don't mind, and even want duplicate leads to existing contacts; they will be either qualified and merged with a contact anyway, or disqualified and forgotten.
We use Microsoft Dynamics CRM
We're in the same boat and have implemented a solution on the SFDC side that checks to see if the lead is a Contact record in SFDC already, and if it is, it will create what we call a 'Not Net New' lead record which is hidden from Marketo. We have multiple sales teams that a single lead could potentially route to, so we need to figure out a way to do this for lead records that aren't yet Contacts in SFDC, so we're thinking of adding this same logic to the lead object. However, I'm wondering if there are any other ways to do this. It sounds like there isn't a great solution for it.
The reason we don't just send a task, is because that lead may need to go to a new sales team/queue, and our sales compensation is based off of leads being converted - so we need to be able to track that (which we can't from a task).