Honing Your Salesforce Skills as a Pardot Admin

Why is it Important?

Running your marketing initiatives as a Pardot administrator is a very important role, but with advancements to Salesforce marketing offerings and technology, it is increasingly important to have a well-rounded knowledge-base of your true marketing potential. 

There are situations where a Pardot administrator may have little to no access to Salesforce. This is not ideal for multiple reasons. First, knowing your data and what is available to use that exists in Salesforce—whether that means keeping data integrity across platforms, syncing new Pardot data to Salesforce, or even utilizing new data available in Salesforce such as field values or objects. Second, taking advantage of incorporating tools such as B2BMA that allow you to pull first-touch/last-touch information marketing data, or Connected Campaigns that allow you to view and associate performance campaign metrics such as percent of unique opens for not just the child campaign but the parent campaign as well. Lastly, having some Salesforce knowledge allows you to more effectively prepare for future Pardot releases, such as the Spring 2021 release that requires Salesforce SSO.  

  • Streamline sales and marketing work; be on the same page and share pertinent knowledge
  • Feel empowered to take your marketing to the next level
  • The direction the platforms are heading, Pardot admins can no longer remain siloed—they must branch out into the Salesforce world if they haven’t already. 

Concepts to Know:

  1. Understand default and custom object sync behavior. It is important to understand the basic connectivity of the default lead, contact, account, and opportunity objects between the two systems. Leads and contacts have bidirectional sync, whereas accounts and opportunities are read-only within Pardot; custom objects are also read-only.
  2. Your Salesforce sales funnel. If not managed properly, the natural procession of a lead through the funnel stages may allow for communication and data gaps between Salesforce and Pardot. Salespeople may be tracking data in a field, while marketing is unaware they can use it for activities in Pardot. Alternatively, that stored information may not be in an ideal state for marketing to use it, so having some Salesforce knowledge is helpful for knowing how you could normalize or control that data and that field so that it can be used for Pardot segmentation and personalization. Having visibility into field values and dependencies while understanding existing Salesforce workflows is important for not only practical use, but also for explaining to those that may be unfamiliar with Pardot just how much more impactful that data could towards your efforts.
  1. Salesforce permissions and access. Data permissions are important for a couple of reasons: (1) understanding what permissions the Pardot connector user has to show/hide Salesforce data from Pardot; (2) being able to troubleshoot marketing user issues; (3) applying the correct permission sets to enable features for users such as viewing engagement metrics and the engagement history dashboard. Additionally, knowing how profiles and permission sets work in general as well as specific to how your org is using them will allow you to be able to perform Salesforce functions when your Salesforce admin may not be able to. Furthermore, the Selective User Sync feature offered by Pardot can only be implemented if you have a working knowledge of your orgs Salesforce profiles and how they are being utilized to set up the time-saving, automatic user creation/deletion feature. 
  1. Easy to implement Salesforce features. Yes, you are able to assign leads and contacts to sales reps from Pardot, but what happens after that? Many times sales and marketing teams are not on the same page about what a qualified lead is and what communications should follow once assigned. Sales are not always aware of the technology that can still be leveraged via Pardot even after a lead is assigned over. Features and functionality such as Engagement History, Connected Campaigns, and the use of Salesforce Engage can help to keep a sales team informed and engaged with leads, while providing marketing the opportunity to further prove the value of the tool. However, none of this would be possible if a Pardot admin was not aware of these Salesforce features which are available to add to page layouts or add on as additional features with minor setup requirement involved. 
  1. The power of B2B Marketing Analytics. In addition to the aforementioned engagement history metrics, the Salesforce integrated marketing metrics B2MA provides also enables marketing users to spin up marketing-relevant dashboards that go beyond the standard Pardot field reporting. Multi-touch attribution, account-based marketing, and marketing manager dashboards are three key reporting tools that can be enabled. Moreover, it allows for a marketing manager to not only show high and low performing marketing assets, but it also allows them to show how specific campaigns were influenced with the enablement of the Campaign Influence Object. The latest Summer 2020 release has allowed for even easier of a B2BMA setup in Salesforce than ever before!
  1. Leverage Pardot Einstein. Looking to add AI into your marketing efforts? If you have Pardot Advanced and Salesforce Enterprise or higher, you can implement Pardot Einstein for your organization. To do so requires an existing, reliable data structure to apply the AI to, the Lightning platform, Connected Campaigns, and Engagement History to already be configured. There are three main AI-marketing drivers: (1) Pardot Einstein Lead Scoring, (2) Pardot Einstein Behavior Scoring, and (3) Pardot Einstein Campaign Insights. Pardot Lead Scoring theoretically replaces the need for the manual, existing Pardot lead scoring—focusing on a leads activities and historical data to more narrowly understand how and when to communicate with leads based on their features and attributes; even better, this feature allows you to rank your hottest leads to your cold ones. Pardot Einstein Behavior Scoring accounts for a person’s likelihood (and recency) to act on an opportunity and close it—displaying patterns of previous converted contacts and opportunities that closed based on this methodology and explaining which engagement activities led to it. The combination of lead and behavior scoring can be looked at similarly to the existing Pardot grading and scoring, where the marriage of those items together can show you that a low scoring lead with a high behavior score is just as valuable as a high scoring lead with a lower behavior score—depending upon your target audiences. Lastly, Pardot Einstein Campaign Insights evaluates your campaigns at a macro and micro level—understanding and then telling you what marketing efforts and assets best drive engagement on a single-campaign level, as well as what works best across the board based on the different audiences you are targeting. 

What Can I Do to Improve?

There are many ways to continue to improve and expand upon your Salesforce knowledge in your quest to become the best Pardot Administrator you can be. 

Here are a few ways to get started:

  1. Look to your Trailblazing peers. Whether on a local or global level, the Trailblazer Community is a great way to  There is a Trailblazer group available for any Salesforce-related product you can think of. In those groups are other Salesforce customers, Salesforce employees, as well as consultants and resources such as myself. Since you are a Pardot Admin looking to gain additional Salesforce experience, I’d recommend subscribing to the Pardot B2B Marketing Automation, Sales Cloud – Best Practices, and Admin Trailblazers groups as well as seeking out local Pardot/Salesforce Community groups are additional valuable resources.
  1. Explore what Salesforce offers in addition to the Trailblazer Community. Pardot and Salesforce offer many resources to help supplement learning. They hold training sessions, webinars, office hours, etc. Salesforce has larger events such as the World Tour and Dreamforce, but honing these skills will require more individualized learning. A great example of existing training available includes this two-part series by Salesforce that helps to further explain Salesforce for Pardot Admins: 
  1. Sign up for release notifications. Keeping up with Pardot and Salesforce releases are a great way to understand what improvements are coming down the pipeline and how that impacts the systems—whether they apply to all orgs, are optional features, or only come with specific account levels. Reading previous release notes are a great place to start. As the two platforms continually improve integration, Pardot releases contain more and more Salesforce features than ever before!
  1. Pick a Salesforce certification to achieve. Studying and learning for certifications are a great way to learn the in-depth fundamentals of Salesforce that can then be applied for your use case. You may not always pass the test of the first attempt, but it is a quick way to learn the core of Salesforce to begin to apply your knowledge to it and maintain best-practice. 

5. Sign up for a Dev or Sandbox org. Depending on your existing Salesforce relationship, this may be through a form request directly to Salesforce or through your Trailhead account. Having such an environment is a great way to obtain more hands-on experience if you are unable to currently test out your skills and learn in an existing org—nor is it recommended you do that in a live Salesforce environment anyway. Creating testing scenarios in a Salesforce Sandbox account along with a Pardot Sandbox or Training Environment is a great way to develop ideas without interrupting your current Salesforce and Pardot configurations. It is also a great way to learn those little nuances that you might not otherwise learn by studying the platform basics alone.

Lori Trzcinski
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