In the fast-paced world of sales and marketing, nothing is quite as valuable as having accurate, real-time data at your fingertips. This is where Salesforce and Pardot come into play, two powerhouses of the business software world that are critical to the success of marketers and sales professionals alike.
Just in case you’re new to these tools…
Salesforce is a robust customer relationship management (CRM) system that empowers businesses to manage all their customer interactions and data in one place.
It offers a comprehensive suite of tools covering areas like sales, customer service, and marketing. With Salesforce, sales professionals can keep track of leads, nurture customer relationships, and close deals more efficiently.
Pardot (aka Marketing Cloud Account Engagement or MCAE), is designed to help B2B businesses generate more leads, streamline marketing processes, and align sales and marketing efforts. From email marketing and lead nurturing to ROI reporting and CRM integration, Pardot provides marketers with the tools they need to drive successful campaigns.
While each of these platforms brings immense value on its own, their real power comes to life when they’re synced together. A seamless Salesforce-Pardot integration is not just an option—it’s a vital part of leveraging these platforms to their full potential.
When Salesforce and Pardot are synced, Sales and Marketing teams can work in harmony, as updates in one platform get reflected in the other in real-time. This fosters a collaborative environment where everyone has access to the most recent data, whether it’s about a new lead, a converted customer, or an active marketing campaign.
Syncing Salesforce with Pardot enhances marketing automation efforts and account engagement strategies. It enables marketing professionals to segment audiences, personalize content, and automate campaigns based on data stored in Salesforce.
Similarly, Sales teams can leverage insights from Pardot to better engage with prospects and customers. But, the road to successful integration can be riddled with challenges, from data formatting errors and access issues to misaligned processes and customization errors.
That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you navigate the process, avoid common pitfalls, and get the most out of your Salesforce-Pardot integration. So, let’s dive right in!
The Benefit of a Salesforce and Pardot Combo
Integrating Pardot with Salesforce provides several significant advantages, especially for Marketing and Sales teams working towards common business goals.
The integration brings together the power of a leading CRM platform (Salesforce) with a robust marketing automation tool (Pardot), resulting in a unified system that streamlines processes, improves visibility, and enhances decision-making.
Here are some key benefits of this power combo:
- Improved Lead Management: With Pardot and Salesforce working together, you can effectively manage leads throughout the entire lifecycle. Pardot helps generate and nurture leads, and once they’re ready to convert, they can be seamlessly handed over to the Sales team in Salesforce.
- Increased Sales Efficiency: Sales teams can leverage insights from Pardot to understand the behavior and interests of prospects better. This enables Sales representatives to engage with leads at the right time with the right message, enhancing the chances of conversion and boosting sales efficiency.
- Unified Data: When Salesforce and Pardot are synced, data silos are mitigated. Both Sales and Marketing teams can work with the same, up-to-date data, improving accuracy, minimizing duplication, and enabling a holistic view of each customer.
- Automated Processes: Pardot‘s marketing automation capabilities, combined with Salesforce‘s advanced CRM features, automate several Marketing and Sales processes. These can range from triggering personalized emails based on customer actions to automating follow-up tasks for Sales reps, freeing up valuable time and reducing manual effort.
- Enhanced Reporting and Analytics: The integration of Pardot and Salesforce provides powerful reporting and analytics tools. Marketing can track campaign performance, understand which tactics are driving results, and calculate true ROI. Sales, on the other hand, can gain insights into sales activities, pipeline performance, and revenue forecasts.
- Better Alignment of Sales and Marketing: Perhaps one of the biggest advantages is the improved alignment between Sales and Marketing teams—which we like to refer to as ‘smarketing’. With shared data and visibility into each other’s activities, these teams can work together more effectively, creating a seamless customer journey from first touch to closed deal and beyond.
If you’re looking for a more connected, data-driven, and customer-centric approach to business, or are trying to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of your marketing and sales operations, keep reading!
How Salesforce and Pardot Sync
Data synchronization between Salesforce and Pardot is a two-way process that ensures the data in both systems stays updated and consistent. This process is managed through a unique feature known as the Salesforce-Pardot connector.
Let’s delve into how the synchronization works:
- Data Updates: When an update is made to a record in Salesforce (like a contact or lead), it’s automatically reflected in Pardot, ensuring that the marketing team has access to the latest information. Similarly, when a change occurs in Pardot (for instance, when a prospect engages with a marketing campaign), that information gets sent to Salesforce so that Sales reps can see the activity history and take appropriate action.
- Sync Timing: By default, the sync between Pardot and Salesforce happens every 2-4 minutes, so both systems are consistently updated with the most recent information.
- Data Priority: Salesforce data takes precedence over Pardot data. If there’s a conflict between the two, the Salesforce data will override the Pardot data, ensuring data consistency and accuracy.
The Role of Your Salesforce Connector User
Now, to facilitate this synchronization, you need to have a Salesforce connector user. This is essentially a Salesforce user account that Pardot uses to log into Salesforce, read data, and make updates. The connector user plays a crucial role in the sync process:
- Permissions: The Salesforce connector user should have the necessary permissions to access data in Salesforce. It’s important to note that Pardot can only access the data that the connector user can see. If the connector user doesn’t have access to specific fields or custom objects, Pardot won’t be able to sync that data.
- Data Access: The connector user plays a significant role in determining what data is brought into Pardot. It’s this user’s security settings in Salesforce that define what leads, contacts, and opportunities Pardot can see and import.
- Writing Data: When changes happen in Pardot, it’s the connector user that writes these changes back to Salesforce. The connector user can also create new records in Salesforce given the Pardot prospect record is assigned and the connector cannot find matching record in Salesforce.
Essentially, the Salesforce connector user serves as a bridge between the two systems, enabling the bi-directional flow of data, which is vital for keeping Sales and Marketing aligned and ensuring that all teams have access to the most up-to-date and accurate data.
Preparation for Syncing
Having a well-thought-out syncing plan and a clear understanding of the sync process between Pardot and Salesforce is essential for maintaining data integrity and operational efficiency. Let’s look at the different components in more detail.
Clean, accurate data is the foundation of effective Marketing and Sales activities. Dirty data, such as duplicate Salesforce records or dummy field entries, can lead to errors, inefficiencies, and missed opportunities. That’s where deduplication and validation rules help improve data hygiene.
- Deduplication: This process involves identifying and removing duplicate records in your database. Pardot and Salesforce both have mechanisms to prevent duplicates, but it’s also important to regularly review your data for potential duplicates that might have slipped through.
- Validation Rules: These are rules set up in Salesforce to ensure the data entered into a record meets certain standards. For instance, you might have a validation rule that requires a specific format for email addresses. Understanding these rules is critical as they can impact the data syncing from Pardot to Salesforce. If Pardot tries to sync data that doesn’t meet Salesforce‘s validation rules, a sync error will occur.
Understanding Field Types
Salesforce and Pardot have different field types, such as dropdown, checkbox, and picklist fields. Each field type has specific characteristics and can be used for specific purposes. Understanding these differences and how they sync is crucial.
For example, a checkbox field in Salesforce will sync with a corresponding dropdown field in Pardot with ‘true’ and ‘false’ options. A mismatch in field types can lead to sync errors.
Field mapping is the process of aligning fields between Pardot and Salesforce so that the data can flow correctly between them. Incorrect or missing field mappings can lead to sync errors, missing data, or data ending up in the wrong place.
It’s vital to review field mappings during the initial setup and regularly thereafter, especially if changes are made to the fields in either system.
Good data management practices like these will not only save time and resources but also enhance the effectiveness of your marketing automation and account engagement efforts.
Handling Salesforce-Pardot Sync Errors
Unfortunately, data hygiene can be a stumbling block for many organizations and ultimately this leads to things like sync errors. We’ll provide a brief overview of sync errors and the most common errors you may face, but here is a an indepth guide on how to handle these sync errors.
Data Formatting Errors
These occur when the format of the data in a field in Pardot doesn’t match the format expected by the corresponding field in Salesforce. For example, if a picklist field in Salesforce requires a numerical value but receives a text value from Pardot, a data formatting error will occur.
The implication is that the prospect contact record in question won’t sync, leading to inconsistent data between the systems. To resolve this, ensure the field values in Pardot match the expected format in Salesforce before syncing.
These happen when Pardot lacks the necessary permissions to access or write to Salesforce. The result is that Pardot can’t sync data with Salesforce, disrupting marketing automation and account engagement efforts.
To fix this, verify that the Salesforce connector user has the appropriate permissions to access the necessary Salesforce objects. You may need to re-authenticate the connector user in Pardot.
Process Alignment Errors
These arise when Pardot isn’t correctly configured to sync with Salesforce. For instance, if a validation rule in Salesforce requires a specific field to be populated, but Pardot isn’t supplying that field, a process alignment error will occur.
The prospect record will fail to sync, leading to data discrepancies. To rectify this, ensure that your Salesforce validation rules align with the fields that Pardot is sending over.
These errors occur when customizations in Pardot aren’t compatible with Salesforce. For example, if a Pardot form has a field that’s not mapped to a Salesforce field, a customization error will trigger.
This prevents the successful sync of form submissions to Salesforce, potentially leading to lost leads or opportunities. To fix this, verify that your form field mappings are correctly configured in both systems.
In all cases, understanding these common sync errors and their implications is the first step towards troubleshooting and resolving them.
Regularly reviewing your sync settings, field mappings, and data integrity can help minimize these errors and ensure smooth data syncing between Pardot and Salesforce.
Best Practices for Syncing
Synchronizing Salesforce and Pardot efficiently requires some best practices to ensure seamless data flow and minimal errors. Let’s discuss some best practices to support this.
Regularly Monitor the Sync Process
Just like any other system, Pardot and Salesforce require regular check-ins. You should frequently review the sync status and errors in Pardot‘s sync queue to catch any issues early. This will ensure the data in both systems remains accurate and up-to-date, enabling your marketing and Sales teams to work efficiently.
Keep Salesforce Connector User Permissions Updated
The Salesforce connector user plays a pivotal role in the Pardot–Salesforce integration, facilitating the sync process. It’s essential to keep this user’s permissions updated, allowing it to access all necessary objects and fields in Salesforce.
Regularly review and adjust these permissions as needed, especially if there are changes in your Salesforce org‘s setup.
Handle Field Integrity Exceptions and Manage Invalid Picklist Values
Field integrity exceptions occur when the data in a Pardot field doesn’t meet the criteria or constraints of the corresponding Salesforce field. One common example is an invalid picklist value.
Regularly review the picklist values in Salesforce and ensure that the corresponding fields in Pardot have matching values. This will prevent data integrity issues and keep the sync process running smoothly.
Regularly Audit Data and Field Mappings
Over time, you may add, remove, or modify fields in either Pardot or Salesforce. It’s crucial to conduct regular audits of your data and field mappings to ensure they are still accurate and relevant.
Ensure that all fields are mapped correctly, remove or merge duplicate records, and ensure the data in both systems is consistent and clean.
By implementing these best practices, you can greatly improve the effectiveness of your Pardot–Salesforce sync, minimize errors, and ensure your teams have access to the accurate, up-to-date data they need to drive successful marketing automation and account engagement.
Exploring Advanced Pardot Features
Pardot offers several advanced features designed to boost your marketing automation and account engagement efforts. When synced with Salesforce, these features can unlock even more potential. Let’s take a look at a few of them now.
- Account Engagement App: Saleforce has made a new version of Pardot, which was renamed Marketing Cloud Account Enagement in April 2022. The app combines the power of Pardot‘s B2B marketing automation capabilities with Salesforce‘s intuitive user interface. Account Engagement enhances the user experience with a more streamlined and visually pleasing interface, and improved functionalities such as a unified view of Salesforce and Pardot data, engagement history, and Einstein-powered AI capabilities for more intelligent marketing.
- Engagement Studio: Engagement Studio is Pardot‘s lead nurturing and marketing automation feature. It allows users to create personalized, adaptive, and logic-based customer journeys. With Engagement Studio, you can map out the entire customer journey, send targeted messages based on customer behavior and interactions, and gain deep insights into campaign performance. Syncing this with Salesforce allows for even deeper integration, as you can use Salesforce data to segment and target your Pardot campaigns more effectively.
- Dynamic Lists: Dynamic lists in Pardot are automatically updated lists of prospects that match certain criteria. They allow for advanced segmentation based on virtually any prospect field and engagement metric. When a prospect no longer meets the criteria, they are automatically removed from the list, keeping your segmentation up to date. When synced with Salesforce, dynamic lists can be leveraged even further. For instance, Salesforce data can be used to segment prospects in Pardot, enabling more precise targeting for your marketing campaigns.
These features, when combined with Salesforce, enable a higher level of personalization, segmentation, and automation, thereby elevating your marketing efforts.
The Role of a Salesforce Admin in Pardot Sync
Salesforce Admins play a crucial role in maintaining the sync between Salesforce and Pardot, troubleshooting sync issues, handling Salesforce sync errors, managing API usage, and more.
Handling Salesforce Sync Errors
Salesforce Admins can often identify and troubleshoot sync issues by checking the sync status and error messages in Pardot‘s sync queue.
If a sync error occurs, admins can inspect the record causing the issue in both systems and fix discrepancies. For instance, they may correct an invalid picklist value or adjust the field type to match the data.
When sync errors occur, Salesforce Admins can dive deep into the error messages to identify their root cause. These might include issues like access errors due to insufficient permissions, data formatting errors from mismatched field types, or process alignment errors due to misconfiguration.
Admins can make necessary changes, like updating permissions, adjusting field types or values, or realigning processes, to fix these issues.
Managing API Requests
API requests are used for various processes in Pardot and Salesforce, including syncing prospects data. Salesforce Admins need to monitor API usage to ensure the system doesn’t exceed its allocated limit, which could disrupt the sync process.
If nearing the limit, Admins can strategize the API call distribution, prioritize critical tasks, or consider purchasing additional API calls if necessary.
Salesforce-Pardot Connector Management
Salesforce Admins are typically responsible for managing the Salesforce-Pardot connector. They can validate the connector user’s permissions, ensure the connector settings are correct, and make adjustments if necessary.
Field Mapping and Validation Rules
Salesforce Admins can oversee the field mappings between Salesforce and Pardot, ensuring that the custom fields are correctly mapped and data is consistently synced. They also manage automation rules for processes and validation rules used to enforce data integrity by preventing the creation of lead records that don’t meet certain standards.
Salesforce Admins are a pivotal part of managing, troubleshooting, and optimizing the Salesforce-Pardot integration. Their work ensures that data syncs and user syncs occur seamlessly between the two systems, enabling marketing and sales teams to operate effectively and efficiently.
Make Interrupt Media Your Salesforce Partner
Syncing between Salesforce and Pardot, when done correctly, can provide substantial benefits for your organization. From better data management and improved marketing automation to enhanced account engagement, the synergy between these two powerful tools has the potential to take your marketing and sales efforts to the next level.
However, managing such a sophisticated integration can be a daunting task, particularly for businesses with limited bandwidth. It requires technical knowledge, keen attention to detail, routine data housekeeping and a thorough understanding of both systems to ensure a seamless flow of data and functionality.
But you don’t have to do it alone.
Interrupt Media, a leading digital marketing and sales enablement agency, is here to assist you. With our experience help businesses plan, migrate, and optimize their sales and marketing tech stack, we can help ensure your Pardot and Salesforce integration is efficient and effective.
If you’re ready to unlock the full potential of your Pardot–Salesforce integration and elevate your marketing and sales operations to improve revenue, we invite you to reach out today.