Most of you are probably thinking this is a tough topic during a holiday season, but we are all thinking 2017 at this point, even though we are all wondering where in the world did 2016 go!
Moving on…2017, a year to make things connect. Does your Eloqua connect to a CRM? If you answered yes, great, I’ll get to you in a bit. If you said no, stay with me.
The benefits of CRM Integration:
- Faster lead to sales time
- Updated details of contacts who are looking at the marketing efforts
- Updated details from sales based on what the assigned sales person is doing
- Management of subscribe/unsubscribe/bounceback details to sales
- Campaign synchronization
- Gain knowledge into opportunities
Now these are just a few of the benefits and there are many more, but I wanted to start with the ‘day one’ benefits so that you can understand the joys of getting CRM and Eloqua connected.
The actual integration process is fairly straightforward if you have one of the more popular platforms like Salesforce.com, Oracle Sales Cloud, Oracle DRM OnDemand or Microsoft Dynamics. Now if you don’t, don’t worry, you can still get it done so keep reading and I’ll explain.
If you are using one of the listed CRMs, the connection is straightforward. Create a user in CRM, name it “Eloqua Marketing,” make sure that all the access points are administrative in settings due to the push and pull of data that this user will need to do. Have the User name and password sent to the person who is doing the integration (either internally or via a partner). The connection can be made in as little as 30 minutes! Once the connection is done, the two systems can technically talk to each other.
So the bigger conversation centers around what data is to be brought over (Inbound/CRM to Eloqua)…a couple questions that I always start with are ‘What data does marketing need to segment?’ and ‘What data does marketing need to personalize?’. Those two questions are the starting blocks, so keep it simple, it will evolve over time. Once the fields are determined for Inbound, you need to think about the data that needs to go back to CRM (Outbound/Eloqua to CRM). A couple questions I always start with are ‘What data do we collect in Marketing that sales will need to know?’ and ‘What data is collected that will assist in making a phone call?’. The Outbound data will go out in three fashions (1) Creating a Lead, (2) Updating a Lead or (3) Updating a Contact.
We know the data points that we want to get from CRM to Eloqua and then Eloqua to CRM, but how does that happen? As of right now, Program Builder is the tool of choice, however in the very near future Program Canvas will be the tool of choice.
Right now there is no way to send between the two (coming in Release 485, at least that is what Oracle has stated) and because the External Calls that are needed to execute, can only be placed in Program Builder today since the functionality doesn’t exist in Program Canvas and won’t be existing there till the new App Integration has been built for all CRMs.
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Building the flow of how Eloqua will update is twofold: (1) decide the process in which your business wants to create leads and (2) implementing that process. There are two out of the box methodologies on sending data to CRM, Point of Interest and Create Unique. There is an additional one if those don’t fit, known as Hybrid.
Point of Interest: This is where you can have a lead and a contact at the same time. It plays a role in how your sales is setup and how you assign leads to sales. If you have multiple sales departments that handle leads for different product lines this is the way.
Create Unique: Where there is only one lead or contact at the same time. There will never be a lead and a contact, the lead will be converted to a contact and then the contact will be updated and worked for further opportunities. This is best if you have a sales team that is based on territories no matter what the product.
Hybrid: Where you need to blend the previous two based on criteria that is known based on the data gathered or known.
After the decision is made as to which method of updating CRM is established, it’s time to make the pieces talk to each other. Creating the fields that don’t exist, configuring the Auto Synchs (Inbound), and editing the out of the box calls with the fields needed for the type of Outbound that was chosen all must be addressed. After that is complete, you must test to make sure that records are updated in Eloqua as well as the CRM and then turn it on.
Ok, so that is the ease of Integration from scratch.
For those that have integrations setup and running, thanks for hanging in there with me. There are things that you can do to enhance your experience. Here are a few: (1) Sales users updated in the Eloqua user table for signature rules; (2) CRM Picklist updated in Eloqua; and (3) Opportunity data for segmentation.
How to do these:
- Sales users updated in the Eloqua user table for signature rules: access to the User table in CRM is needed. Pulling over the Users from CRM to Eloqua, you will need to pull over the active field, the first and last name, email address and then set the Security Group which can be set in the Auto Synch.
- CRM Picklist updated in Eloqua: not all CRMs will allow you to do this, currently Salesforce.com and Oracle CRM OnDemand are the best at it. With the others, the functionality isn’t available.
- Opportunity data for segmentation: To store the details that are needed, and not worry about the data being overwritten, writing it to a Custom Object so that there can be a many (opportunities) to one (contacts).
To those that don’t have one of the listed known out of the box Connections, there are ways that you can make the connection. If your organization uses an ELT (extract, transform, load), the tool will be able to access the Eloqua API in order to gain access to the data for both Inbound and Outbound. The ETL tool can run logic for outbound similar to what Eloqua would, now you will still need the Program to trigger the ETL tool but it can be done!
Remember, it’s all data. What you do with it is the key to being successful.
“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.” ~ William A. Foster