1 Reply Latest reply on Jul 28, 2016 5:55 AM by Dory Viscogliosi

    Recommended Database Set Up?

    Christina Zuniga

      Salesforce functions as my company's magical program / record of truth for everything - shipping, contracting, email marketing, etc. all connected into it. Pre-Marketo we uploaded contacts that were not customers (prospects) to accounts that we had identified as a best fit. These accounts had a lot of firmographic data that we wanted to capture and associate with the lead (think company size). If we hadn't pre-targeted the account or did not know the company well, the rest of these prospects were uploaded as leads. My sales team marginally used Salesforce, so they had little experience with contacts v. leads and the differences. I tied in many of the account fields (company size, etc) into scoring so that contact prospects tied to accounts had better lead score / demographic score than my lead prospects.


      Now sales is using Salesforce and they are beyond confused. I get calls asking "Why is it a lead, it's a contact!" or "I can't find lead status, ooh because it's a contact? Why is it a contact if it's a lead?" and there's internal pressure to turn this process on it's head and have 100% of prospects be leads until they are vetted by inside sales who would then convert to contacts. I see the logic behind this, but it's literally completely changing our data model and would impact the firmographic scoring model. It might also impact my BI team as they use Salesforce to run all of their reporting (and no, we don't use a data warehouse to store information that they could pull from, Salesforce functions as their data warehouse / system of truth / lynch pin of company data).


      I tried to get recommendations from Marketo on which model works best but they said it's on a case by case basis. So now I ask you, wonderful Community. How have you set up Marketo-CRM?

      Do you have a Marketo -> Lead -> Inside Sales -> Convert to Account / Opportunity -> Sales -> $$  or something else? why or why not?

        • Re: Recommended Database Set Up?
          Dory Viscogliosi

          Hey Christina, we have a similar setup to you. Basically, if there is a target account that is either identified by us as a priority account, or an account that is actively being worked, then anyone associated with it would be a contact. This is regardless of whether they're a customer or not. Similar to you, we give less value to leads because we know that the data won't be as accurate, and they aren't at a company that we've identified as one we want to do business with. Obviously, this doesn't mean we can't convert leads into contacts and create an account for them if we decide that we want to target them.


          We have set up the layouts for leads and contacts very thoughtfully so that visible fields are only those which make sense for whether they're a lead or a contact. Also, alert emails are specific to leads or contacts, so that a contact email doesn't say "lead status". I'm sure it's a little more work, but this is something that you can definitely make work.


          Also, I'm not super versed in all of the intricacies of totally flipping an existing model on its head, but I think another issue that you're going to run into if you try to change your whole process is that leads can be converted to contacts... but contacts can't go back into being leads. We have this issue when someone leaves a company, or is erroneously converted into a contact -- we have a general "holding company", but then you need to be cautious with emails that specify company name, or other company details.