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Marketo Software Review
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Marketo Review

CRM Integration

Marketing and sales staff have different needs for the lead database. Marketing tracks both unknown and known but unqualified leads and requires more voluminous and detailed data such as click-streams, digital behaviors and response interactions—almost all of which would overwhelm sales resources with unproductive data points. For these reasons marketers must have their own lead database, and the marketing system should offer a bidirectional synchronization with the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) database.

Marketo offers packaged integration with the NetSuite and Microsoft Dynamics CRM systems, and somewhat more loosely defined integration with Oracle Siebel, Oracle CRM on Demand and SAP, however, the tight Marketo to CRM integration is with Salesforce.com. Marketo offers a well documented application programming interfaces (APIs) for integrating CRM sale opportunities into Marketo. This permits companies with other types of CRM systems, custom systems or legacy systems to integrate sales revenue data within Marketo to support segmentation, campaign management, and revenue cycle analysis.

Marketo offers a seamless and vendor specific bidirectional sync with Salesforce.com, but unfortunately not the same capabilities with other CRM systems. In fact, the marketing software can copy the Salesforce.com data structure, including custom fields, and sync the Salesforce.com CRM automatically and potentially without additional field mapping or administrative involvement. Marketo transfers data updates to Salesforce.com in real-time and receives CRM updates back in frequent periodic batches, usually every 5 to 10 minutes. Marketo's Sales Insight appends your Salesforce.com Chatter feeds with status and activity updates of leads being worked by the sales team—allowing sales pros to know which leads and prospects are active at any point in time.

The sales person display of lead activity includes Priority levels (with icons such as 'hot' and stars) and an attention-grabbing column titled "Last Interesting Moment", which highlights key events to help sales reps focus on the right leads with the right actions at the right times. A "Lead Feed" panel displays the near real-time status updates of lead activities or website visitor tracking alerts to Chatter, email or mobile devices. By clicking on the lead name, sales people can link into more detailed lead information and view click streams, the Interesting Moments history, lead scores and email results. The end result is improved timeliness, relevance and prioritization for more efficient and faster sales response. Sales reps don't have time to examine all prospect activity details so the Marketo Sales Insight view gives them a continuously refreshed dashboard of their most active leads, prioritized by activity, quality and urgency.

Marketing campaigns, lead scoring and other actions can be triggered from CRM data changes. Similarly, marketing system emails can be personalized with CRM account and sale opportunity data in order to improve targeting, increase relevance and improve read results.

Finally, Marketo permits the configuration to transfer sales-ready leads—as determined by reaching lead score thresholds—to sales reps or to queues as well as notify the sales person via email, RSS or mobile alert, and insert tasks into the sales person Sales Force Automation activity page.

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