By Danielle Langenderfer

Marketo and Salesforce are powerful programs that can drive more leads and higher sales. But what if you want to access the best features from both programs in a single system? 

It’s time to sync your Salesforce account with Marketo. By integrating Salesforce in Marketo, you gain more control over your contacts, align your sales and marketing teams, and simplify the jobs of marketing strategists. 

Wondering how to integrate these two platforms? In this article, I lay out the simple steps to integrating your Salesforce program with Marketo.

Lay the Groundwork: How to Integrate Salesforce in Marketo

Ready to start integrating your Salesforce and Marketo platforms? The first step is making sure you’ve checked the boxes on two key prerequisites. Before integrating your programs, double check that you’ve completed the following:

  • Salesforce API permissions: Before you start syncing data, you’ll need access to Salesforce APIs.
  • Full admin access: You’ll need administrator access in both Marketo and Salesforce in order to complete your Salesforce-Marketo integration. 

Once you’ve completed those two preliminary steps, you’re ready to start integrating.

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Step 1: Add Marketo Fields to Salesforce

The first step in integrating your Salesforce programs in Marketo is setting up fields in your Salesforce platform. Technically, they aren’t absolutely necessary in order to sync contacts, but it’s best practice to create a few custom fields in your Salesforce system. At a minimum, create these three fields on your lead and contacts objects:

  • Score
  • Acquisition Program
  • Acquisition Date

Once you've created the desired Marketo fields, you’ll want to map them between your contacts and leads. That way, when a conversion happens in your Salesforce system, their status will stay updated in Marketo. Score, Acquisition Program, and Acquisition Date are the basic fields that Salesforce recommends starting with, but you can always add extra fields if you want. 

Even if you choose to add optional fields, such as Inferred City, Inferred Company, or Original Referrer, it’s a good idea to include Score, Acquisition Program, and Acquisition Date as a foundation.

Step 2: Create a Salesforce User for Marketo

Next, you need to get into your Salesforce account, set permissions, and build an account specifically for your Marketo-Salesforce integration. It’s important to note that you can only complete this step if you are a Salesforce administrator. Once you’ve double-checked your permissions, you can complete this step in four phases: 

  • Create your profile: To set up your Salesforce-Marketo integration account, create a new profile in Salesforce. Be sure to name your new profile “Salesforce-Marketo Sync” and save. 
  • Set up the appropriate permissions: In your new profile, select “edit” to set up permissions for the account. 
  • Lock in field permissions: The field permissions you set up will depend on your marketing strategy, so make sure you discuss what fields you want to focus on with your team. To adjust permissions, enter the Field-Level Security section and select “View.” From there, you’ll be able to edit the fields you want to work with. 
  • Finalize your Marketo-Salesforce integration account: You can finalize your Marketo-Salesforce Integration account in four steps: 

1) In the navigation search bar, enter “Manage Users.” 

2) Click on “New User.”

3) Complete the profile information. 

4) Click “Save.”

Step 3: Connect Marketo and Salesforce 

Once you’ve nailed down all the right user and control setups, you need to connect Marketo to Salesforce. Here’s how:

  • Access your Sync User security token: Start by using your Marketo Sync User account to log in. Select the user’s name, and go to My Settings. From there, search “Reset” and select “Reset My Security Token.”
  • Create your Sync User credentials: To designate your Sync User credentials, go to your Marketo account. Click the “Admin” button, choose “CRM,” and select “Sync with Salesforce.com.” Next, type in your Salesforce Sync User info and choose “Sync Fields.”
  • Start your sync: Select “Start Salesforce Sync” and your system will start syncing Marketo and Salesforce. 
    • The very first sync may take hours or even days because Marketo is copying the entire database from Salesforce. Do not be alarmed. Give yourself a pat on the back, and enjoy your Marketo-Salesforce integration.

Final Tips for Your Salesforce and Marketo Integration

No matter how smooth your integration goes, there are a few helpful tips to keep in mind as you’re updating your systems. Here are two critical things that could save you hours of time and data messes as you use your new integration:

  • Deleting leads: When you delete a lead in Salesforce, they won’t be deleted in Marketo automatically. If you want to update leads in Marketo, you’ll need to create a data management campaign first.  
  • Syncing leads: Your leads will automatically sync from Salesforce to Marketo. If you don’t want your databases to match, you’ll need to build a boolean field to manage syncs to Marketo. After this new field has been created, you will need to work with Marketo Support to turn on the functionality to prevent those from syncing from SFDC. 

With that, your team will be ready to pull in more leads and land more sales—but there’s a good chance you still could be getting even more out of your Marketo software. Want to see how? Use our Marketo Audit Tool to see what your Marketo plan is missing and learn how to get even more out of Marketo.

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Danielle Langenderfer

About the author

Danielle Langenderfer Based in Cleveland, OH, Dani brings about 10 years of digital marketing experience, with the last 5+ years dedicated to email marketing and marketing automation. Dani provides Marketo expertise and support in everything from implementation through to strategy and execution. Outside of work, you can find Dani playing with her daughter, crafting, or cooking/baking. Read more articles by Danielle Langenderfer.

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