Boost Demand Generation with a Marketo Zoho CRM Integration

Written by Zak Pines on April 28, 2018

Posted in Workflow Automation

When D-Tools added Marketo to their sales and marketing tech stack, they wanted to find a way to integrate it with their Zoho CRM. Thanks to a Google search, they discovered Formstack Sync. The team had the expertise in both Zoho and Marketo to put D-Tools at ease when setting up the integration. D-Tools’ president Adam Stone chatted with our VP of Partnerships, Zak Pines, about why a Marketo Zoho CRM integration was so integral to their sales and marketing success.

Background on D-Tools

Zak: Can you start by giving us background on D-Tools?

Adam: D-Tools provides business management software for audio and video integration professionals. Our software facilitates comprehensive system design, documentation, and project management for their installations.

I founded D-Tools in 1998 and today I’m the President. As part of that role I work closely with our sales and marketing teams and systems, which is why I was closely involved in this project.

Zak: Can you tell us about your sales and marketing teams?

Adam: Our marketing team is run by Tim Bigoness, our CMO. Our two key lead generation channels are our free trials from our website, and many industry trade shows in which we participate.

Our sales model is primarily direct sales. We’ve tied our sales team into three sub-teams. We have prospectors who make the first touch with a lead, sales associates who manage leads, and account executives who manage and close deals. These specialized roles have allowed us to scale the team with different skills and areas of focus for each group.

Sales and Marketing Systems: Zoho CRM and Marketo

Zak: Can you take us through your key sales and marketing systems? I understand you’ve been using Zoho CRM for many years, so let’s start there.

Adam: Back in 2008, we were looking to move CRMs, and we found Zoho was a great blend of the functionality we needed at the right price. And coincidentally it turned out our CFO had previously worked for Zoho’s parent company, AdventNet.

So we’ve gone on using Zoho for many years. Our process became dumping leads into Zoho, and we had over 40,000 leads in there. It had become overwhelming for the sales team to manage, and we had no structure around it.

Zak: What happened next?

Adam: We knew we needed a separate system to manage our marketing database outside our CRM. We knew we needed to incorporate automated nurture campaigns for us to better develop the leads, score them, and then have our sales team focus on the most qualified leads. Instead of dealing with the overwhelming number of 40,000 leads in Zoho.

Tim Bigoness had worked with Marketo at a previous company, so we turned to Marketo as the marketing automation system to go along with Zoho as our CRM.

Related: 3 Reasons to Sync Your CRM and Marketing Automation Software

Creating a Unified Sales and Marketing Process Through Marketo and Zoho

Zak: As you started with Marketo, how’d you look at approaching the integration of Marketo and Zoho?

Adam: I got directly involved because I’m an automation guy at heart, and automation is a fundamental premise of our business. I absolutely hate double entry of data. That just leads to errors, slow and ineffective processes, and frustration from our teams.

I knew we needed to integrate Marketo and Zoho CRM to get the most out of both systems.

Zak: Ok, so how did you approach integrating Marketo and Zoho?

Adam: First we looked at Workato. That was more of an integration toolkit approach, so it wasn’t the right fit for us. We would have had to spend a lot of time learning tools, and then building our own integration. It was way too much for us to deal with.

We needed something much more turnkey. I have a room full of software developers here, but they are working on other important projects. I didn’t want to pull my CTO off of what he’s doing and say “Go learn this, build this, troubleshoot this.” There would be no value in that, because we’re not going to retain that knowledge, and we’re not going to want to apply the resources to managing it ongoing.

Zak: OK, so what happened next?

Adam: I started searching for “Marketo Zoho integrations” and Formstack Sync came right up. As I read about your Marketo Zoho integration, it was exactly what we wanted. We then engaged with your sales team, and it was very easy. The team walked us through the key use cases for the integration, and it was exactly what we were looking for.

The sales process was straightforward, easy to engage, nice and clean. We made a decision to move forward quickly as it was what we needed, both in terms of functionality and business engagement.

Integrating Marketo and Zoho CRM

Zak: How did the process work for integrating Marketo and Zoho?

Adam: Formstack Sync provided us both the integration platform and expertise around integrating Marketo and Zoho. That was the right combination for us.

The step we needed to take, which the Formstack Sync team guided us through, was to ensure we had consistent custom fields between Marketo and Zoho. The field types and picklist values needed to match, and then we could map and sync them using Formstack Sync.

It took just two or three hours of meetings together to get it done. Formstack Sync made me look good in front of my team, because we got it done so quickly and easily, and then it just worked.

Zak: Can you walk us through what data objects specifically you have integrated between Marketo and Zoho?

Adam: We are mapping Marketo leads which are now called people, to Zoho leads and contacts; Marketo companies to Zoho accounts; Marketo opportunities to Zoho potentials; and Marketo interesting moments to Zoho tasks.

On the lead records, we are mapping key lead data that we capture in Marketo to Zoho, and those fields are visible right there on the Zoho lead records for our sales team. That include lead source, a sub-lead source, size of company, territory and sub-territory.

We also have some account data that maps over to Marketo for our customer segmentation. This include a field called account type that tells us if a customer is outright or using our subscription model, as we communicate very differently to those two segments. And that includes updates to that field – as it changes – and when it does that information syncs seamlessly from Zoho to Marketo so that we are communicating correctly to our customers.

Related: How to Integrate Marketo and Zoho CRM Without a Single Line of Code

Maximizing Their Marketo Zoho CRM Integration

Zak: Can you walk us through the process for lead management you’ve setup between Marketo and Zoho?

Adam: Before we had the 40,000 mass of lead records in Zoho. Now we have that data in Marketo and we are running campaigns against that database. We are scoring these leads based on their demographics and behavior, and once they reach a certain lead score, we stamp them as a marketing qualified lead. Formstack Sync then automatically pushes that lead to our sales team in Zoho.

The sales team gets all of the context for the history of that lead and why they are getting it right there on the Zoho lead record. The sales team loves that because it’s all right there for them, with no extra clicks or plug ins.

Zak: You mentioned interesting moments, how do those work?

Adam: First off, I love the name – interesting moments. I now use that term in my personal life – my goal in life is to have more interesting moments.

Zak: Classic! That is a great use of the phrase. Let’s keep it to interesting moments in Marketo.

Adam: Ok, so in Marketo we can define interesting moments that we want to notify sales of a key prospect activity. They are visiting our website. Now they get notified right there when it’s happening.

It’s a hot lead. That’s gold for the sales team. So let’s say the customer is in a meeting talking about us and they go on our website – it tells our sales team that you should be calling this person right now. What a great time for a salesperson to call.

Zak: Very neat. Marketo has had interesting moments for a long time, but what’s key here is that you are using Formstack Sync to feed that into Zoho for your sales team. Very impactful. OK, last thing then on the integration: how does opportunity data factor in?

Adam: The opportunity data syncs back from Zoho Potential to Marketo Opportunities. That helps ensure we know if a given person is part of an opportunity. It allows us to communicate correctly to people. A big part of our marketing is sending the right message to the right people. We don’t want to be sending a promotional email to someone who’s already part of an active opportunity, and getting that data from Zoho to Marketo is key for this.

Zak: How does Formstack Sync work ongoing for the Marketo-Zoho integration?

Adam: It’s automatic. We don’t need to think about it. It just runs and keeps our critical systems in sync every five minutes.

I can look at our dashboard and see which leads are coming over, and that it’s all working. There is some good error reporting. It’s nice to have visibility into that stuff, as I can see it easily without having to dive into either system.

Zak: Can you recap what Formstack Sync is doing for you for the Marketo Zoho integration?

Adam: It’s helping us get the most out of Zoho and Marketo. The power is in having the two systems connected. We couldn’t have done it this quickly if the Formstack Sync team didn’t know not only their own system, but both Zoho and Marketo so well.

Our on boarding manager guided us through the process, so we got it done cleanly. We took what could have potentially been a very complex project, and got it done quickly and easily and easy. It was a real pleasure.

Tired of dealing with inconsistent data between marketing and sales teams? Formstack Sync is here to help. Discover how this bi-directional data integration tool can sync your marketing and sales data in a snap.