Technology has the power to make marketing more effective than ever before. However, the flip side is marketing becoming increasingly complex, with a plethora of dashboards, databases, email editors, analytics, and other applications confounding the marketer. The real value of technology lies in not just using such myriad tools and applications, but in integration, or combining such tools and applications to develop platforms that offer value greater than the mere sum of their parts. The integration of customer relationship management (CRM) with marketing automation, such as the integration between Salesforce CRM and Pardot is an excellent example of such synergy at work.
Salesforce, among the most widely used CRM suites, and Pardot, an extremely popular marketing automation platform, are powerful tools on their own. However, their optimal value realizes when integrated. The combination of these tools enhances sales and marketing alignment, offers greater insights into campaign performance, gives a fillip to lead generation efforts, and impacts ROI in a positive way.
Salesforce CRM helps marketers track sales activities through the pipeline, collect information and data on customers, manage tasks and organize sales opportunities across every single touch point and stage of the buyer lifecycle. Marketers who use Salesforce get an overview of in-progress deals, track individual sales rep performance, and determine the ROI of individual sales campaign easily, among other things.
Pardot allow sales and marketing teams to create, deploy and manage all campaigns, and manage all interactions with prospects through a single centralized platform. It automates much of these tasks to improve efficiency and increase sales greatly.
Why Integrate the Two?
Integrating Salesforce and Pardot brings in synergy in many ways.
- Agility and Speed: Integration of Pardot with Salesforce makes it possible to automate tasks in CRM, and duplicate marketing initiatives on a large scale. It increases bandwidth by automating repetitive tasks, streamlining processes, and ensuring a smooth and seamless interface between marketing and sales operations.
- Improved Lead Qualification: Pardot’s automation capabilities make it easy to nurture leads through the sales cycle, with minimal investment of time or resources. The automation extends to several essential and critical tasks, including lead grading, prospect activity tracking, collecting lead information from landing pages, tracking campaign ROI and cost per opportunity, and more. For instance, it eliminates manual lead qualification, speeding up things considerably and improving accuracy. It allows marketers to “drip” valuable content to the right leads automatically, without having to waste time on leads not yet ready to make the purchase.
- Better Revenue Attribution: Integration allows marketers to track ROI in a much more in depth way, helping them understand the cost-effectiveness of any specific effort or the viability of any prospect. Bi-directional syncing between Salesforce and Pardot, to ensure that campaigns created in Pardot map back to the CRM, makes it possible to tie closed deals back to the campaigns that created them, and thereby attribute revenue to the same and measure ROI accurately.
- Improved Analytics: While Salesforce offers detailed activity tracking, integrating Pardot makes it possible to glean in depth insights into prospect behavior in real-time, with alerts over desktops and mobile. These rich insights consist of the 5 W’s—who, what, when, where, why—related to the prospect. The insights extend beyond demographic information to include pages that the prospects are visiting, the types of content they show interest in, their stage in the buying cycle, a log of all their touch points, the list of files they downloaded, and much more. These allow marketers to develop highly customized and dynamic content, and engage prospects in an informed way.
- Targeted messaging: The real-time alerts on prospect activities allow marketers to follow up in near real-time, and after an interaction, send timely and relevant remainders. An improved and comprehensive set of tools makes it easier to send the right message at the right time, based on action or inaction, and without being encumbered by distortions caused by historic information. For instance, the marketer, on getting an alert that the prospect has logged into the site could immediately catch up with him and fulfill his requirements. Such a system enables marketers to prepare themselves better, have better conversations and improve customer service considerably.
All these take productivity to a whole new level, and simplify things considerably for companies with complex sales cycles.
Integration works. A case study by Achieveit on the effectiveness of Salesforce and Pardot integration by reveals that integrating the two resulted in 824% increase in qualified leads within six months, 394% increase in sales opportunities, 44% increase in web traffic and 94% increase in email open rates.
How to Integrate Salesforce and Pardot?
Pardot offers excellent integration with Salesforce leads, contacts and campaigns.
Many a times, pure vanilla integration is easy, but the task flounders when customization comes into the mix. This is when most companies using CRM over the years would have customized it highly to suit their needs. With Salesforce, it is still possible to integrate Pardot easily with the support of some minor code. With integration, any new contact created in Salesforce automatically goes to Pardot, as does any other specific existing account or contract, as desired.
The process is relatively simple and straightforward.
- Set up and verify the Salesforce Connector from within Pardot. Decide which information to sync between the two systems and set rules for what happens when information is updated on one system but not on another. For maximum effectiveness, use advanced field mapping to maximize efficiency and remove fields not relevant to sales and marketing.
- Install the necessary apps that share information between Salesforce and Pardot, source values from associated Salesforce objects, and consolidate fields shared across Salesforce objects. The most common inclusions are custom tabs, custom fields and LeadDeck application.
- Once the above steps are done, check whether leads in Pardot match contact records in Salesforce, whether single sign on is possible between the two systems, and whether default and custom fields map between the two systems. If these are on, the systems stand integrated. If not, there could be some troubleshooting required.
A successful integration is only the start of the journey rather than an end in itself. Make sure that users understand the full capability of the integrated system and how to use it.