Are you happy with your Pardot implementation or do you feel like you are drowning?

Are you happy with your Pardot implementation or do you feel like you are drowning?

Keywords: Pardot, MCAE, Salesforce, Lead Flow, Marketing Automation

This article mentions Pardot, which is now referred to as Salesforce Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (MCAE).

Have you ever felt like the term “just staying afloat” was way too relatable when it comes to your daily use of Pardot? Possibly even drowning in either daily tasks, annoyance, or isolation? 

 

Let me back up a bit. I am a Pardot (now called Account Engagement) consultant. I love my job and working in this space. I think technology can do some really cool things for us and hopefully make our lives a little easier in some ways. I really love getting to work with clients and learn new ways to better utilize these tools. But I also want to be honest about the places we end up with technology, especially marketing automation tools, if we don’t get ahead and do things right as a daily habit. 

 

Something that our team sees too often is a frustrated customer ready to give up on ______ (insert almost any product in here) tool. We hear things like…”It is just not working, it is not answering the initial need, it is hard to use, it is not widely adopted, it is out of date”…etc. Spoiler alert: what if that means the tool itself isn’t being properly utilized or is not fully understood, and that a little bit of time with a consulting partner could alleviate some of these pain points. 

 

With our Agency73 office being right on the beach, we tend to see things in a water-based way and all we can think at this point is, let us throw you our life preserver! We don’t want you to drown! We are here to help! 

 

Here is a quick guide with specific questions to see if you are possibly Pardot drowning and what we can do about the rescue.

How are you feeling?

First, let’s do just a quick temperature check. When you log in to Salesforce in the morning, and navigate to Pardot, are you excited? Filled with dread? Somewhere in the middle? If you are feeling anything even remotely on the sad side of the emotional scale, there is probably a good chance Pardot itself could be to blame, and more specifically all of the factors around using and understanding the tool.

What are you seeing in your Salesforce org?

Now, let’s actually look at your instance of Salesforce and Pardot and see how things are looking there. Here is a quick list of questions to consider, with a few ideas as well. 

  • How are the leads looking coming in from Pardot?
  • Are the leads qualified? 
  • Are your leads stagnant? 
  • Are you able to track where the leads are coming from through to dollars earned? 
  • Is your opt-out and opt-in process fully set up and working in both Salesforce and Pardot? 
  • Are you using automating processes in Pardot that the sales team is doing frequently and manually? 
  • How are your campaign reports looking? What about email reports? B2BMA? 
  • Are you displaying Pardot information on lead, contact, campaign, and account page layouts? 

 

Some of these questions could lead to updating your use of Pardot and the processes around marketing and sales. For example, you could automate an email that the sales team is manually sending by using Engagement Studio instead. Nurture emails in Pardot can look completely personalized and tasks can be created based on engagement with a series of emails. Another example is setting up a different scoring threshold and only notifying your sales team of highly qualified leads. 

What are you seeing in Pardot?

Now let’s take a look at Pardot. Sometimes Pardot can be installed and implemented, and seems to be working fine, but in fact many administrative setup items are missing or incorrect. This can lead to errant issues that are hard to track down. Here is a list of items in Pardot to keep an eye on, as they may indicate larger problems down the line if not addressed or configured properly. 

  • Do you have a large number of sync errors?
  • Are you seeing a decline in email deliverability? 
  • Are you experiencing slow processing time with automation?  
  • Are you aware of all of the latest Pardot updates or newly rolled-out features (like the drag-and-drop builder)? Do you know how to implement these? 
  • Is the connector version between Pardot and Salesforce current? 
  • Are your fields working as expected in terms of sync behavior and data updates? 
  • Are your email templates outdated? 
  • Have you incorporated tactics to align with data privacy policy best practices? 
  • Are you seeing a high number of bot form submissions? 
  • Do you have a database cleanup process in place or a scoring degradation rule setup? 
  • Are you using custom fields to create highly segmented lists? 
  • Are you generally comfortable and satisfied with Pardot? 

 

This list may initially seem overwhelming, but don’t fret! We have confidence in you! And if you need it, we are here to help. We’ll tread water with you. We want you to feel prepared, knowledgeable, and satisfied with Pardot. We want Pardot to meet your organization’s needs. We hope Pardot makes things a little more efficient by way of process improvement and incorporating automation. 

 

A possible fix to one of the above issues could be an updated lead scoring setup, adding additional security to your forms, or even a full database audit including a detailed look at every field being used.

Sync Errors in Pardot Screenshot

Above: Screenshot of Pardot sync errors, here there are very few but you may see hundred or thousands. 

Which processes are missing?

Are there major processes missing from your overall Salesforce and Pardot integration? Do you feel the disconnect of your team possibly adds to the disconnect of Pardot? While we have discussed looking at actual Pardot setup and feature utilization, there are two very important aspects of Pardot that often means working closely with teams in your broader organization. These two aspects are sales processes and marketing reporting. 

 

Sales processes: There is an inevitable discussion that needs to occur between marketing and sales with the adoption of Pardot. These discussions should determine how to handle new leads, how to best stay in touch with current leads, how to check back in on old clients, and how to send relevant information along every step of the customer journey. In practice, that could look like either a personalized sales email to a hot lead or a content-driven marketing based email providing value and a touchpoint to inactive clients. Pardot is also able to create Salesforce tasks based on the way that a prospect engages with a Pardot asset. This may seem like a very small feature, but for a task driven sales rep, automating tasks could lead to more time doing high-value sales activities. 

 

Marketing reporting: There will be a large amount of interesting and informative data that comes from integrating Pardot into your Salesforce org. A good place to start with marketing reporting is to identify a few key personas, identify each personas’ KPIs, then create reports and dashboards to address these KPIs. Pardot data can be reported on in Salesforce as well as B2BMA. Most of the time, I find myself building Salesforce reports on lead source, campaign performance, asset-level performance, and campaign influence. Not every single data point from Pardot is able to be reported on Salesforce, however. Depending on the reporting specs, B2BMA may be a better option. Whatever reporting platform you use, hopefully the results of aligning marketing efforts more closely with sales initiatives will yield helpful reporting insights. 

What now?

There is a lot to process here. Let’s just take a deep, safe breath together. We’ve got this. 

 

In order to get things back on track, let’s prioritize and organize. A lot of frustration with a product implementation, in this case Pardot, is a result of hastily working through the planning and strategy phase and instead assuming that installing a new product will immediately answer a business need or multiple business needs. Almost every business need requires discussion, planning, resourcing, communication, collaboration, obtaining knowledge, creating a feedback loop, THEN utilizing Pardot to make it happen. 

 

One big takeaway I want to leave you with: don’t forget the people and planning elements of new product adoption. The tools are only as good as the users or in this case, the rescue is only as good as the lifeguard 🙂.

 

Ashley Sodaro

Ashley is a Salesforce consultant who co-leads Agency73’s Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) Practice and specializes in implementations, training, automation, and marketing reporting.

Contact Ashley to start having some fun with Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot), or check her out on LinkedIn.