The Company’s new establishment of an Inside Sales Team brought a host of process changes in regard to how we pass off marketing leads from Eloqua. Namely, creating a new way to hand off MQLs to Inside Sales before passing them off to Territory Managers. We had to reshape our existing lead routing and Salesforce integration programs to support this process change and learned a few things along the way.


The Marketing Challenge

The newly minted Inside Sales Team was trained up and ready to get started working leads. The problem was that with our existing integration between Eloqua and Salesforce, if a person responded to a marketing campaign that already had a record in Salesforce, we couldn’t reassign them to Inside Sales from the Territory Manager and disrupt their existing relationship.


Proposed Solution

We came up with a creative workaround: always create a new lead regardless of if the contact exists in Salesforce or not. This would provide us the freedom to assign MQLs to Inside Sales leading to faster follow up and qualification. The implication of this change, however, is that we would configure Eloqua to purposefully create duplicate records in Salesforce, which carries a large risk of dirtying data if not monitored closely. To combat the confusion of duplicate leads, we would pass the old Salesforce contact ID to a field on the lead record that would associate the lead with the existing contact and make it easy to toggle back and forth between the contact and associated lead.


The Build

First, we updated the lead routing program to always assign to Inside Sales using a new set of data lookup tools.


Then we created new integration program where we:

  • associated contacts with new leads
  • created a new lead
  • wiped the lead ID (to create a new campaign member)
  • created a campaign member
  • created new external calls (Using inside Sales Salesforce ID)
  • updated the new Inside Salesperson lead ID


Results and Lessons Learned

Implementing this change has certainly had some challenges. Knowingly creating duplicate leads in Salesforce becomes annoying when you have contacts completing forms multiple times. The key win is that the company now has faster lead follow up and better campaign attribution. The marketers work closely with Inside Sales to track leads coming in through their different campaigns, and have a better understanding of what efforts are working and what aren’t. Taking time to carefully document the process was an important factor and will be an advantage if we decide to switch back to the old model at some point in time. I would recommend that companies struggling with a similar lead routing issue take time to explore this method to see if it would be a good fit for their business and marketing to sales hand off.