When Native Marketo/Salesforce Integrations Fail

Why Are There Marketo/Salesforce Integration Issues?

Salesforce and Marketo are robust apps built by different companies. Their objective is to help users drive more sales and leads. At some point, organizations decide to integrate them to get the best features from both applied to their database. But, if they do so using a native procedure, they may face common Marketo/Salesforce integration issues, mostly sync errors.

The desired result of integrating Salesforce and Marketo is that your company has better control over your contacts and can see a complete picture of the customer for more successful targeting. The sales and marketing teams can work in harmony, and your marketing strategists’ job can become simpler. 

An ideal scenario would be to have the best of both worlds: A powerful CRM and a marketing automation platform working together seamlessly to allow your sales and marketing teams to identify and reach customers more precisely and efficiently. However, this is not always the case with native integrations.

Although both companies are working to reduce the number of integration issues, users continue to face them. The consequence is not having accurate or complete information available to make decisions.

What do Marketo and Salesforce do Individually?

At this point, it may be helpful to recap what each platform does on its own:

  • Marketo or Marketo Engage “is Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)-based marketing automation software owned by Adobe and built to help organizations automate and measure marketing engagement, tasks, and workflows.” Some highlighted features include lead nurturing and management, account-based experiences, personalization, integrated sales applications, and cross-channel engagement.
  • Salesforce, on the other hand, “is the world’s #1 customer relationship management (CRM) platform”  that helps your marketing, sales, commerce, service, and IT teams “work as one from anywhere — so you can keep your customers happy everywhere.” Capabilities include marketing, sales, commerce, customer service, and app building.

Although they may seem similar, many of their functions are actually different and compliment each other. This is why it is common to see companies using both at the same time. Accelerated business growth, improving data maintenance, and other factors drive users to decide on integrating Marketo and Salesforce, and they initially take the native route. 

Syncing Marketo and Salesforce is only bidirectional for leads, contacts, and Salesforce campaigns. You will be able to see your changes in both Salesforce and Marketo in these cases. All other syncs take place only from Salesforce to Marketo. 

Overall, Marketo and Salesforce sync your leads, contacts, accounts, users, opportunities, Salesforce campaigns, custom objects, and activity.

Related: Marketing Metrics: Impact versus Attribution

Frequent Marketo/Salesforce integration issues

Sync errors are the most common form of Marketo/Salesforce integration issue. Whether caused by Marketo user permissions or failed validation rules, you may often see error notifications showing you at least one of the affected leads. Depending on the displayed error, you may be able to troubleshoot on your own.

Marketo’s help library suggests the following question guide quoted below, so you can try and solve the sync problem yourself:

  • Has the Salesforce Admin changed a user or field permission on the Marketo user profile?
  • Has the Salesforce Admin added any new field validation rules?
  • Are there any look-up or master detail fields on the object in question? 
  • If these types of fields are being updated, are you sure the Marketo user has access to the object?
  • Do you use record types? If so, are you sure the Marketo user has access to all required record types?
  • Do you use Apex? If so, check if you have a trigger that fires on the update of a record, and make sure the Marketo user has profile access to the relevant Apex classes.
  • Make sure “Convert Leads” is turned on within Salesforce. If it is not, you will get an error message when trying to merge existing leads within Marketo and Salesforce.

Other integration issues include:

  • After your first sync took place, your information didn’t sync for a few hours.
  • The “Sync lead with Sales” functionality doesn’t work.
  • You checked activity history items or Salesforce Tasks, but you noticed they aren’t being sent to Salesforce.

Troubleshooting may require you to check if Salesforce sync is enabled. If the Salesforce account is active, revise Salesforce permissions, verify if your company has IP address restrictions on your Salesforce account, and view if you had login hours set for the sync user’s profile.

There is also a series of best practices to determine which Salesforce fields to sync with Marketo to avoid some frequent integration issues, among them:

  • The field label and API names should match, so they are automatically mapped together when they are created in Marketo. 
  • Make fields read-only if you need to protect the data integrity. 
  • Enable Salesforce history tracking to see data value changes.
  • Remember to name all new Salesforce fields so it is easy to understand the purpose of the field. 
  • Sync as few fields as possible to reduce confusion and decrease the chance of using the incorrect field. 
  • Never rename a Salesforce field in Salesforce or Marketo since you can’t edit the API’s name.
  • Create a field data dictionary to document which Salesforce and Marketo fields you will be syncing.

Although there are extensive help sections on both Salesforce and Marketo websites, following all of these troubleshooting and maintenance procedures is not only time-consuming but exhausting, as they include repetitive tasks only an IT person can manage. 

With fast-growing and more complex databases, as well as more ways to capture new leads, solving Marketo/Salesforce native integration issues can become a nightmare. This is particularly true for any sales or marketing professional who needs to invest their time in more important functions.

Related: Elevate Your Revenue Impact with Marketo

Integrating Marketo and Salesforce Seamlessly

Is there a way to overcome this challenge and truly leverage the power of both platforms, even if you aren’t able to do any coding or don’t have available IT support?

The answer is yes. Robust solutions can help enterprise-level companies configure their integrations to do what they want them to do without technical expertise or IT involvement. Integrations like these will offer standardized customer data in one place, allowing you to view the entire customer relationship and experience journey. 

As a result, you will no longer create reports using different apps. By focusing on what’s truly important, you will notice an immediate increase in your sales and marketing teams’ productivity, effectiveness, and revenue generation.

A top provider will offer you a comprehensive integration platform that goes beyond native integration capabilities:

  • Easy no-code deployment without the need for technical users or specialized IT staff
  • Straightforward usability, designed with marketing and revenue teams in mind
  • Gradual implementation, by first connecting your CRM and Marketing Automation platforms before moving on to additional connections (revenue apps, sales enablement,  and eCommerce platforms, for example)
  • Easy data mapping and moving in real time between revenue apps
  • Extra layers of data hygiene with automated cleansing and enrichment
  • Scalable pricing strategies to grow with your business needs
  • Error management fixes and tutorials

With Verify’s RevConnect, your company can close deals 60%+ faster by bi-directionally connecting data across CRM & Marketing Automation platforms, such as Salesforce and Marketo. Ready to see everything Vertify can do for you? Request a demo now.

Author: Wayne Lopez | CPO | Vertify