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Zak Pines | December 13, 2016

Five ways Bedrock Data provides a better Marketo-SugarCRM connector

When connecting Marketo and SugarCRM, don’t get stuck with a free, vendor-supplied connector that doesn’t deliver for your sales and marketing teams.

When customers turn to Bedrock Data for our Marketo-SugarCRM connector, we hear over and over again: “We wish we knew about this option before we started down the path with a sub-par connector that caused us a lot of headaches and delays.”

Here’s a compilation of what our customers have told us - five ways Bedrock Data provides a better Marketo-SugarCRM connector.

#1 - Don’t let the inevitable duplicate records break your integration

Duplicate records are a reality of most CRM and marketing automation instances. By duplicate record, we mean the same individual, most commonly with the same email address - appearing in multiple lead or contact records within Sugar, or across Sugar and Marketo.

Let’s start with the situation of duplicate lead/contact records in Sugar for the the initial sync of Sugar to Marketo. Bedrock Data gracefully handles this situation, while free connectors will choke on this scenario - putting your integration to a standstill and forcing you into a many weeks or many months project before you can move forward.  

Bedrock Data’s approach to handling duplicates is:

  • For the initial sync from Sugar to Marketo, if there are duplicate lead/contact records, ignore those duplicate records so that our customers can review/clean those records while allowing the rest of their databases to sync properly.
  • Provide a report to our customer of these duplicate records, so they can be reviewed/merged in Sugar
  • Then, on an ongoing basis, the Bedrock Data sync de-duplicates in both directions, for leads pushed from Marketo to Sugar, and leads pushed from Sugar to Marketo. This is key for customers who have sales reps adding leads or contacts directly into Sugar.
  • If leads already exist in Marketo, when Bedrock Data syncs a record from Sugar to Marketo, the Sugar and Marketo versions of those records will connect such that there is aligned data across the two records. Our customers control a system of record setting on a per field basis, to determine which system should ‘win’ to resolve any data conflicts.

The impact of this is ensuring duplicate records don’t slow down or break your integration. It also give you flexibility for how your sales team uses SugarCRM, while ensuring your databases avoids the plague of duplicate records.


#2 - Your sync needs to perform at the speed you need

Customers appreciate Bedrock Data's robust connector which synchronizes in both directions, every five minutes.

This speed and reliability is critical to support processes delivering marketing qualified leads to sales. In a world where 80% of business buyers expect real-time communications, immediate integration between marketing automation and CRM is critical to maximize lead conversion rates and serve the expectations of prospects and customers.

Bedrock Data takes many steps to ensure your data sync is optimized for performance including:

  • Ignoring (not choking on) duplicate Sugar records
  • Giving customers flexibility to determine which fields are mapped - any non critical fields can be ignored and don’t need to sync
  • User-controlled sync triggers - customers determine what triggers should push a marketing lead to Sugar, usually a Marketing Qualified Lead revenue stage in Marketo. Customers have the confidence to manage the marketing database separate in Marketo without the fear of duplicates, based on the bi-directional de-duplication approach from #1 above.  

#3 - Integration is more than moving data, it's creating compatibility across the connecting systems

When dealing with CRM-marketing automation integrations, it's about more than just moving data from one system to another, it's about ensuring that the data flow into the system is compatible with what customers are expecting that system to do for them. 

This is particularly important when are you looking to leverage Marketo for automated marketing campaigns based on your CRM data, and using your CRM data for closed loop opportunity reporting on marketing effectiveness in Marketo.  

One example of this is ensuring that not only do opportunities sync back from SugarCRM to Marketo (which it does, via Bedrock Data), but that the primary contact relationship on the opportunity also syncs into Marketo - as this is key for building smart lists and for Marketo’s Revenue Cycle Analytics reporting. Marketo needs that opportunity:contact relationship in order to work properly.

Marketo RCA.png

^Marketo's Revenue Cycle Analytics relies on the opportunity:contact relationship to connect opportunity results back to the originating lead/contact in Marketo^

A second of many examples is supporting the mapping of multiselect SugarCRM fields to Marketo to enable targeting via Marketo smart lists and smart campaigns.  

A Marketo oddity is that multiselect fields aren’t really multiselect fields. They are string fields, and the multiselect option is actually set on form picklists within Marketo forms. Fortunately, Bedrock Data handles this seamlessly by pairing SugarCRM multi-select fields, flowing the data values semicolon delimited into the Marketo field value, and then allowing the Marketo user to use smart lists and smart campaigns to segment on that data.

Here’s how it works:


^Multi-select field setup in SugarCRM^


^String field setup in Marketo, and mapped to that SugarCRM multi-select field using Bedrock Data’s field mapping^


^SugarCRM multi-select field values flow into Marketo (semi colon delimited)^


^Use Marketo smart lists and “contains” select to build segmented lists^

#4 - Your sales team should love the integration (or what it's doing for them)

Your sales team shouldn’t need to worry about your Marketing Automation-CRM integration, as it should be behind the scenes and just work.

But you do want them to love what it’s doing for them.

Bedrock Data’s approach to sales interacting with marketing data via integrations is for them to not have to get bogged down with plugins or new interfaces. These are extra clicks that they won’t take during their busy day.

Instead - get the key marketing insights they need, right there in SugarCRM. Through Bedrock Data, you can map custom fields in Marketo to custom fields in Sugar, to provide insight on the lead record to key marketing information from Marketo. In addition, interesting moments from Marketo can be pushed to Sugar tasks to give reps visibility to key marketing interactions such as specific web page visits or attending a webinar, driven from Marketo.


^Giving sales visibility to key marketing information directly on the lead record makes it quick for sales reps to get the info they need^

#5 - You need flexibility in your integration, now and forever

An integration is not a one-time event. It needs to be continuously managed, and evolved - as business demands change.

Bedrock Data allows marketing and ops teams to add a new mapped field to your integration, through the click of a button, at any time. This means if there is a new field you need to push from Marketo to Sugar to give visibility for your sales team, you can do that without the hassle of an IT or systems integration project.

Another example of flexibility is easily adjusting business rules. Some of our customers don’t use leads in Sugar, so their process calls for them to create contacts, not leads. No problem.

Bedrock Data allows for the Marketo-SugarCRM connector configuration to be adjusted to create contacts, instead of leads.


^Bedrock Data's object gating allows for the bypass of lead records to create contacts in Sugar^

This is one of many things you can configure using Bedrock Data around your CRM-marketing automation integration - helping to demystify the integration. All field mappings and data workflow rules between the systems are also configurable, controlling which data is mapped and when it syncs.


As a bonus, and quite possibly most important:

When Integration issues arise, they need to be swiftly rectified 

There are inevitably issues between the flow of data between systems. Most often it has to do with how the data is being handled in the connected systems, in this case Sugar and Marketo. There are often data dependencies that you don’t anticipate, and issues result.

When this happens, a trusted third party system and support team dedicated to your integration like Bedrock Data, helps you solve issues swiftly -- without cross-vendor finger pointing.

When you are reliant on a systems-specific connector, lacking expertise in the connecting system, issues will take longer to troubleshoot as back-and-forth ensues between systems and companies.

The Bedrock Data account management and support teams live, breathe and eat data connectors every day, and play an important role in ensuring customers are successful with their Marketo-SugarCRM integration -- both in that initial setup and the ongoing management.

For more information on our Marketo-SugarCRM connector, please get in touch with our team to schedule a call with one of our specialists. 

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