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Zak Pines | May 8, 2019

Marketo Sales Insights (Bi-Directional CRM Sync) for NetSuite, Zoho, Sugar, Pipedrive & more

Since Bedrock Data is a solution for syncing data between Marketo & various CRMs, we are often asked the question “Do you provide Marketo Sales Insights (MSI) for SugarCRM?” or “How does Marketo Sales Insights work for Zoho CRM”, those types of questions.

The answer is that while Marketo Sales Insights started as a Salesforce-specific application (later expanded to Microsoft Dynamics) by Marketo -- Bedrock helps customers achieve the same objectives of Marketo Sales Insight by using native CRM functionality (custom fields, tasks) across a wide range of CRMs.

Bedrock Sync starts with a bi-directional sync of leads & contacts between Marketo and CRMs such as NetSuite, Sugar, Zoho, Pipedrive and others, also with the ability to sync interesting moments to these CRMs, and bring account and opportunity data back to Marketo.

The key objectives for our Marketo sync to these CRMs are to 1) ensure sales & marketing teams are working with consistent data across Marketo & CRM; 2) Giving CRM users visibility to critical Marketo data, including prioritization if there is a lead score/rating model in place; 3) Ensuring Marketo is receiving back CRM data for segmentation (and, if using opportunities for Marketo reporting), connecting to opportunity results and 4) Feeding data back to Marketo for use in nurture streams.

It’s important to note that all of this is managed via the Marketo Data sync interface (e.g. mappings screen below) which is typically used by a Marketing Ops user to both setup & evolve the sync over time. So as fields or rules change, they can be adjusted without requiring programming or complex changes.

Field Mappings

Here specifically is how this is achieved: 

#1 - Bi-Directional Sync of Leads/Contacts to/from Marketo

Bedrock syncs leads & contacts bi-directionally, both for creating & updating records. This is a powerful feature to ensure a duplicate-free, consistent database between Marketo & CRM.

There are a number of controls Bedrock admin users have to drive the behavior of the bi-directional sync:

  • Field mappings, including custom fields are managed by the Bedrock interface.
  • You can control the trigger for when records initially sync from one system to the other. So for example, the entire marketing database does not need to sync over to CRM, it can be based on when leads reach a certain stage in Marketo such as “Lead Revenue Stage = Marketing Qualified Lead”. And same for syncing from the CRM to Marketo - it doesn’t need to be all records, it can be based on specific rules based on any fields on the lead or contact in CRM.
  • As records sync across, they will match to existing records using the de-dupe key, which is typically email address. Email address is good to use, as it allows for records to be created & matched when syncing in either direction. If the email address is found in the other system when syncing, it will match to that existing record and not create duplicates.
  • Once records are in both systems, they will remain in sync bi-directionally. Each field that is mapped can update back and forth; and there is also an option to set a system of record for each field mapping. If Marketo or the CRM were set as the system of record for a specific field mapping, then it would be authoritative for that field and not be allowed to be overwritten by the other system for updates.

#2 - Syncing account & opportunity data for use in Marketo

Bedrock also syncs account & opportunity data back to Marketo, along with the relationships to the contact record. This data can then be used in Marketo for segmentation - e.g. pulling smart lists based on field on accounts. And opportunity data will be relevant to you if you are using any Marketo features which use opportunity data such as tracking programs through to opportunity results.  That data will populate in Marketo on the Account & Opportunity tabs for each contact (see screenshot below) & be segmentable via Marketo smart lists.

Marketo Info


#3 - Syncing fields, including custom fields to CRM lead/contact record for visibility

When your salespeople, the CRM users, receive leads from Marketo - they want to have the context for those leads - and that context will help them be most successful with following them up and converting them to opportunities.

You can map custom fields from Marketo to your CRM lead/contact layouts, to provide that visibility. “Out of the box” fields in Marketo include lead score & lead rating & lead source & acquisition program. In addition, customers often customize Marketo and use Marketo smart campaigns to tag additional custom fields for data that will be relevant to sales - such as a field for “most recent form converted”.

Here’s an example of Marketo data synced to custom fields in NetSuite:


And here’s an example of Marketo data synced to custom fields in Zoho:


The nice thing for the CRM user - is this data is presented in snapshot fashion - right on the contact or lead record they are working with everyday. No new interface to learn, or extra click to find the info they need.

#4 - Option to sync interesting moments to the CRM (as tasks/notes)

Another Marketo concept created to give sales visibility to key marketing insights is interesting moments. Marketers can ‘tag’ specific activities as ‘interesting moments’ using Marketo triggers - and name them for example “Visits Product Webpage”, “Registers for Free Trial”, or “Signs up for Educational Webinars”.

Bedrock syncs these interesting moments to the CRM to a relevant section - for example Zoho tasks or Sugar notes, as depicted below.

These are Marketo interesting moments synced to Zoho CRM as tasks:

Marketo interesting moments as Zoho tasks-1

These are Marketo interesting moments synced to SugarCRM as notes:

Marketo interesting moments added as Sugar notes-2

Note that this use case requires you to have access to tag Interesting Moments through your Marketo smart campaigns, and the Bedrock activity sync add-on.

#5 - Bringing back updates from CRM to trigger Marketo nurture streams

Another question we get is how a sales person can put a CRM contact into a specific nurture stream. To do that, we recommend mapping one or more CRM fields to be used for this purpose, and syncing via Bedrock back to Marketo.

It could be as literal as a drop-down field with options for the nurture streams. Bedrock will sync that field back to Marketo, and on the Marketo side use that as the trigger/enrollment criteria for the smart campaign driving those nurture streams. Then, as a salesperson selects those values (or even changes them), it will feed the data for those nurture streams. You also can sync that ‘owner’ data back to Marketo such that the emails can be personalized from those individual reps.

Here’s a screenshot of a drop down, in this case from SugarCRM but can be applied to any CRM synced to Marketo via Bedrock:

Drop down for nurture streams


Contact us to talk more and also here’s more on specific Marketo integrations:

And, register for our Marketer’s Mega Guide to Marketo Integrations, featuring tips & tricks from Power Users:

how to integrate marketo

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