By | Jun 6, 2022
CHANNEL: Digital Marketing
Marketing reporting and sales/marketing productivity are tied directly to the right decision around the right data model in your Salesforce.com system on using leads or a contact/opportunity model.
With the advent of account-based motions and platforms in the last few years, companies are again asking whether or not an organization should use Salesforce leads or a 100% Salesforce contact/opportunity model to accommodate their go-to-market motions.
There are pros and cons for both architectural models. And while there is no single right answer, it greatly depends on what your go-to-market selling motion is, what your business goals are, your investments in technology and how that technology is used and the maturity level of your business.
Let’s start with basic definitions, history, and assumptions:
Related Article: 3 Ways Marketers Can Ease Account-Based Transition for Sales
If you’ve heard, “Death to the MQL,” some in the industry are advocating using an all contact and opportunity data model in Salesforce.com (which represent ~30% of all companies using Salesforce). There are indeed cases where making this kind of change of architecture makes sense such as:
A few caveats. While there is a perception that there is a marketing reporting benefit to this all-opportunity model as all data is in one location, in our experience, that benefit is neutral at best as we’ll later describe.
Here are other implications to consider if you make this move:
Related Article: A Framework to Operationalize Your Account Based Strategy
Is there an evolutionary change that accommodates reporting for ABX, leads and partners in Salesforce without changing to an all contact/opportunity model? Absolutely yes. You can measure both a lead-based and account-based motion in Salesforce natively with some process definition and native programming (too complex to describe here but my contact is below, ask me how there). Keeping the lead model could be a good choice for the following reasons:
Marketing Qualified Leads are a leading indicator, can be valuable in certain situations yet are not something we’d suggest you measure your performance solely against.
While it will be impossible to prescribe an architectural solution to your exact situation as there are several variables, here is a helpful checklist to consider when making your decision:
The debate between leads and contacts is an ongoing one, with no right answer. It depends on your company’s goals, motion, technology investments, and maturity level.
However, the important thing to remember is that whichever model you choose, make sure you are tracking the right data in Salesforce so you can accurately measure your marketing and sales productivity.
Jon Russo is a three-time global CMO in successful public and private SaaS companies in Silicon Valley, New York City and Luxembourg for over 10 years, scaling businesses through three successful exits including an IPO as well as two acquisitions representing over $3 billion in market value. Today, he leads B2B Fusion, a sales and marketing performance firm with an expertise on Account Based Strategies and its measurement.
Tags abm, account-based marketing, customer experience, cxm, digital marketing, dxm, marketing qualified leads, salesforce
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