This blog was written before Pardot was renamed to Marketing Cloud Account Engagement. You can read more about the name change and what it means here.
There are plenty of brilliant marketing automation platforms out there but the Salesforce CRM and Pardot integration is remarkable.
First, let’s look at some of the common problems that it sets out to solve.
Problems solved by Salesforce-Pardot integration
Problem 1: Salesperson: “Marketing is emailing my hot leads!”
Unfortunately, this is a common problem. It’s a weird situation when you have two teams striving to achieve the same goal but the reality is they can sometimes work against each other. This misalignment causes friction and if it isn’t dealt with immediately, can lead to resentment from both sides.
Solution: Allow Sales to create their own suppression lists.
Closing a deal is hard and your salespeople are the single most important part of this process, so giving them control over who receives marketing emails and who doesn’t makes a lot of sense. Give them the 1-1 templates that they need and let them decide what content the prospect receives. After all, they are the people who are directly speaking with the prospect. Follow this simple advice and the whole process becomes a lot simpler.
Technical bit: To set this up, you will need to create a list in Pardot and give it an obvious name like Suppression: Sales hot leads’. Sales can then push any hot leads from Salesforce into this list. Now any time marketing sends an email, as long as they have this list selected within the suppression list column, those hot leads won’t be interfered with. Et Voilà.
Problem 2: Salesperson: “Marketing just sent me the worst lead I’ve ever seen”
Why does this happen? Mainly because a marketing-qualified lead is completely different from a sales-qualified lead and this perception difference is what needs to be addressed. A common definition is needed.
Grading is a way of standardising lead quality. By using profiles, you’ll be able to assign a prospect a letter ranging from F all the way up to A+. As you can imagine, you can’t get better than an A+ so these leads will be the absolute holy grail for sales. And yes, this synchronises between both systems and updates whenever anything relevant changes.
Technical bit: Within Pardot, start creating your profiles. For example, if you’re a loan provider you may want to have an investor profile, borrower profile and broker profile. If we look at the borrower profile, you’ll be able to use default and custom fields to determine the grade. Things like Years in business’ or Annual turnover’ will be directly relevant to a loan provider so that needs to be part of the profiling.
Tip: Prior to setting up prospect profiles, it’s absolutely critical that sales and marketing meet up and agree what information will be used to determine the grades.
Not convinced? Read on…
Custom fields & bi-directional syncing
Pardot comes with out of the box predefined fields such as First name, Company, Postcode, Phone etc. Pretty much the standard stuff that you would expect to see but you’ll be able to add your own fields such as Most recent content download’ or Favourite location to go for coffee'. Those are just examples I made up, you can choose literally anything. Keep it simple though.
How does this relate to Salesforce? Well, once these fields have been created in Pardot, you’ll be able to map these fields to a custom field that you create in Salesforce. This gets the two systems talking to each other. Typically, Salesforce will always be the dominant of the two (ideal for sales) which means that if any information is changed in Salesforce, this will be pushed back through to Pardot. You may want to amend the settings for each field so marketing can push through some information. The best thing is, it’s incredibly easy to do.
- Sales and marketing alignment. When prospects fill in marketing forms, their details filter through to sales and when sales speak to the prospect and find out more info, this is fed back to marketing.
- Prevent crossover - You can make sure that the leads sales are talking to aren’t sent any marketing material, which often causes friction between the two departments.
“Call me back next quarter” - nurture while you wait
There will be times where a salesperson will speak to a lead and they’ll reply with call me back in a couple of months’. That’s great, but they’re probably going to forget about you.
This is where Pardot becomes your best friend. Sales will be able to send a lead into a Pardot nurture program built by marketing so that they can receive content until the time is right to give them a call. In a few clicks, the lead will go from Salesforce into a Pardot nurturing program so they stay as a hot lead until they’re ready to talk. This keeps you front of mind and is an intelligent approach to lead nurturing.
With Salesforce Engage, sales will be able to send these type of leads directly into nurture programs from their mobile, ideal for those who aren’t office-based. For those who are in a fixed location, Engage also lets you see who’s interacting with your 1-1 emails and content, in real-time.
You’ve seen scoring before, but you should also start caring about grading.
For those who aren’t familiar with scoring, it essentially indicates how interested a prospect is in your company. Prospects accrue a score for each action they take, whether they visit a key page, download content or open an email etc. Most platforms show scoring, but it isn’t always that meaningful to your salespeople because it never shows the quality of a lead. What if they’re just a student doing some research?
What is important to your team, is how interested you should be in them. Grading, which is set up in Pardot, will convey this information to Salesforce in real-time. Pardot allows you to create multiple buyer profiles which include criteria. Those that satisfy all of the criteria will be an A+ and will be the perfect lead. The best part is that any new information gathered by sales and added to Salesforce will be added to Pardot and vice versa. This provides great clarity on which leads to prioritise.
By comparing each lead’s demographic data to your ideal prospect profile, you can determine whether or not the lead will be a good fit for your product. - Jenna Hanington, Pardot
To learn more about lead scoring and grading that works, download our free handbook.