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Hi John Crumpton,
I think this is a huge topic and something that will be hard to answer in a forum post. Firstly you need to work with sales to establish exactly what a Marketing Qualified Lead is and what a Sales Qualified Lead is. If someone downloads a piece of content are they really at the stage of contact from a sales rep, (they might be in the research phase still, top of the funnel). Do you have nurture campaigns set up that feed people content until they reach a certain score? Do you have a scoring system in place? I would advise The Definitive Guide to Lead Scoring as a good resource to start.
I would also consider creating extra fields in your Marketo database and mySQL database. Examples would be "first content downloaded", "most recent content downloaded". Every time someone downloads content (fills in a content form) I would populate those fields in the Marketo flow steps with the name of the content. In Marketo you can block updates to the field "first content downloaded" if it already had a value (person had previously downloaded content). This set up would at least let you see what the first and last pieces of content was they downloaded and keep it attached to one record.
You could also try setting up alerts in your programs so that sales would receive an email with the lead details and the latest thing they did.
I think the issues you are having are to do with how your database schema and how your company is storing information on a lead/contact. It sounds like the MQL/SQL definition field is stored on the same table as the lead details. They should really live in a separate table along with a date and time etc and just share a primary key. That way a single lead could have multiple definitions.
I hope that gave you something to go on.
Gerard asks some great questions above. In addition to those, I would want to know why you have that definition of unique leads. Is this because your sales teams are aligned to products, and therefore you are assigning different sales reps to those unique leads due to the different products? Also, I would want to know more about how your system assigns these leads to sales. Is it like SFDC where you have a sales owner per record? Or is ownership expressed through a series of tasks and/or activities?
These are some questions that would need to be answered in order to devise a solution.
Thank you, Gerald and Drew, for your responses. Do either of you know any Marketo consultants who can help us with this? Our organization has been using Marketo for almost a year and our Marketing Automation person recently left for greener pastures. Also for a small organization, our sales and marketing process is somewhat complex. Any suggestions on someone who could provide a few hours of expertise would be greatly appreciated.