Marketo vs. Salesforce Reports? Which Can You Trust?

Stressed marketing operations team member reviewing Marketo and Salesforce reports

Why are my marketing campaign reports different from my sales reports? If you’ve ever asked this question, this blog article is for you.

In a previous post, I shared how enabling sales with the right information allows them to engage prospects in a timely and personalized way. While having info about specific leads at their fingertips is important, sales reps also want insights into how their prospects and contacts are influenced by marketing. On the other hand, sales and marketing managers would like to measure impact. This is where marketing operations steps in to provide reports and dashboards that each user needs.

Many of us in marketing operations have run into this dilemma before: the reports we see in our marketing automation platform (MAP) are different than the reports sales users see in the CRM. They show the same campaign, same campaign members, same time frame, but the numbers just don’t seem to add up. 

For example, a common report category requested by sales reps is email sends. Most sales reps probably do not have access to the MAP, in this case, we’re referring to Marketo, so they rely on the email performance reports emailed by marketing operations. And they probably compare them to CRM, specifically Salesforce, campaign reports. The mismatch in data leads to inconsistent reporting and complaints from users of your reports, who are not getting answers to who really clicked through the campaign. So what can you do to ensure your sales team has accurate data about your marketing campaigns in Salesforce?

Understand the difference between Salesforce objects 

While Marketo does not differentiate between leads and contacts, Salesforce does. If your Salesforce campaign has both leads and contacts as campaign members, make sure you use the report type Campaigns with Campaign Members to view all members. I often see existing contacts responding to campaigns meant for new leads; it would be awful to not see them in the report and potentially not give marketing appropriate credit.

Recognize progression steps matter 

Marketo lets you set the progression status steps which track the sequence people move through in your programs. This will give you insight into that program's influence on revenue. Remember, Marketo doesn’t let program members go backwards in the progression. For example, if someone has already registered for a virtual program and therefore has Registered status, you don’t want to accidentally set that person’s status back to Invited. 

Marketo progression statuses

If you have synced the Marketo program with your Salesforce campaign, the Marketo program members and Salesforce campaign members will also have bidirectional sync. So if a Salesforce user accidentally changes the campaign member status to Invited, Marketo will set it back to Registered. If the Marketo program and Salesforce campaigns are not synced, the member statuses can get out of whack and mess up your reports. 

Give insight into campaign progression 

While pre-built reports such as the Email Performance Report found in Marketo Engage are very convenient and display opens, clicks, and unsubscribes with ease, there are some limitations like click-bots giving you false click results. Instead of using the Email Performance Report, give insight into how far campaign members have progressed directly in Salesforce. This way you can define the statuses and filter out fake clicks. 

First, sync Marketo programs with your Salesforce campaigns. Make sure Marketo’s program statuses match the Salesforce campaign statuses prior to sync. Or create the Salesforce campaign directly from Marketo. Create smart campaigns that set the progression statuses in Marketo, such as Sent, Delivered, Opened, Clicked, Converted, etc. Now you can show how many people progressed to each status. If you also want to show where people fall out of campaigns, use statuses like Bounced or Unsubscribed. 

Salesforce campaign with campaign members report

Add custom statuses

If your campaigns don’t account for every status, it can cause another mismatch in reports. For example, for a virtual event, sales reps might add prospects they would like to invite. You would not want those campaign members in Sent or Invited status, since they have not been invited yet! When you create the Marketo program and Salesforce campaign, create a Queued status, and make it the default. Reps can add their VIP prospects with Queued status and watch as their progress changes to Invited, Registered, Attended, etc. Campaign reports will then show the current statuses in real-time. 

Marketo and Salesforce reports can sometimes be mismatched. Try using the ideas outlined above to help provide accurate data about your marketing campaigns. Ensure the reports show data from the right objects, give insight into campaign progression and add custom statuses where needed. It’s always a good idea to ask recipients of reports what questions they are trying to get the answers to. And if you have questions or get stuck, we’re happy to help!

About the Author

Liz Medeiros

Liz is a Martech Solutions Architect at DemandLab and a Marketo Certified Expert. She has 20 years of software, SaaS, and cloud technology industry experience and has led cross-functional and departmental groups through process and technology transformation projects that have increased efficiency, simplified processes and reduced cost.

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