5 Next-Level Tips for Your Lead Nurture Program

Lead nurturing programs play a critical role in the sales process. That’s because nurtured leads have a shorter sales cycle and generate more sales-ready leads at a significantly lower cost. Luckily for you, the Marketing Cloud platform has extensive capabilities to create a sophisticated, multi-channel, automated lead nurturing program.

Here are five tips to take your lead nurture program to the next level utilizing the best of breed marketing automation capabilities in Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

Tip 1: Put lead scoring and grading to work

With Marketing Cloud, you have lots of options for lead scoring. 

This is especially true with the Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) platform. The lead scoring and grading that comes out of the box has endless capability and flexibility.

Check out this blog post for a deeper dive into lead scoring and grading in Pardot.

But we’re going to focus on lead scoring and grading in Marketing Cloud Engagement here.

Marketing Cloud Engagement (SFMC) Users

If your Marketing Cloud setup doesn’t use the Account Engagement platform, there are other third-party resources that can provide both lead and account ranking scoring.

Third-party lead scoring and grading tools

SalesWings provides an easy to install, cost effective solution to deliver real-time lead scoring based on web activity and other factors. Once installed you can visually see a predictive score of Hot, Warm or Cold based on a wide variety of criteria right in the platform.

SalesWings Sales Console

And don’t forget to consider account-based ranking as well. Utilizing platforms like Demandbase you can take the lead ranking to the next level by understanding how that account or company converts. For example, Demandbase can provide key stats like number of engaged people, sales touches all bubbling up to a tier ranking to help add additional color to your ranking system.

Demandbase dashboard

Tip 2: Use CASE function to simplify rankings

This one is for Marketing Cloud Engagement (SFMC) users. If you have multiple scoring variables like a lead and account ranking, utilize the CASE SQL function in your automation to consolidate rankings into one simple rank.

The multiple scoring variables could be generated from third-party platforms like Saleswings/Demandbase or internally through a custom lead/account scoring process.

Take this example below on how you could approach taking the two rankings and determining one combined ranking of Hot, Warm and Cold.

To execute this in Marketing Cloud Engagement Automation Studio, use the CASE function to do the IF/THEN (or in this case WHEN/THEN) to populate the “Lead_Ranking_Simple” field in the Journey data extension with the combined ranking.

If you are not comfortable with SQL check out the DESelect application where you can quickly and easily create this custom relationship without having any SQL knowledge.

 Source: DeSelect

Note: For more information on how to use the CASE statement in a variety of ways, check out Mateusz Dabrowski’s site, which goes into great detail on this function.

Tip 3: Focus on essential lead nurture journey functionality

There are three essential activities or areas of functionality in Journey Builder: 

  1. The entry event
  2. The decision split
  3. Object activity

Focusing on these areas will have the greatest impact on the overall performance and scalability of your automation solutions. 

Note: Read this blog post from Kirsten Schlau for more info about using Journey Builder.

The Entry Event

Here’s a typical lead nurture journey in Marketing Cloud Engagement where you can see these activities in action. Let’s take a closer look at the most important of these three activities, the Entry Event.

The Entry Event functionality determines the list of contacts  who will enter the Journey. It’s the start of any journey and determines the capability of all functions that follow. A poorly set up entry event will limit functionality and cause problems down the road so spend your time to ensure a proper set up.

Let’s take a look at the two most populated entry event types: 

  1. Data Extension
  2. Salesforce Data Entry Event

Data Extension Entry Event is the most commonly used version. In this variation typically a SQL query based automation is running behind the scenes pulling in leads from synchronized data extensions based on a variety of filter criteria across multiple objects.


The advantage to using a Data Extension Entry Event is the flexibility and complete customization of the subscriber segments to be pulled into the journey.


The disadvantage is you are limited by the minimum 15-minute sync timeframe of records from the Salesforce CRM environment. So the fastest you’ll be able to enter in a subscriber based on Salesforce data is once every 15 minutes. Another small disadvantage is this entry event requires your team to be comfortable with SQL and it creates a separate marketing automation asset to support.

Another popular option is the Salesforce Data Entry Event which pulls in any object that has a contact, lead or user to be used as a subscriber for sending.


Advantages of this entry event is that it’s pretty close to real time (1-2 minutes). As soon as a lead is created or updated based on the criteria designated, the subscriber will enter the journey. This option is also easier to support as it eliminates the need for the automation solution working in the background.

Disadvantages to this event is that you are limited by the filter settings in this entry event setup. If your filtering criteria involves multiple fields across multiple objects a SQL based automation fed entry event might be the better path.

Tip 4: One-to-one content personalization

Here are three ways to deliver a 1-to-1 customization of your journey content utilizing Content Builder functionality and simple ampscript and HTML coding.

First method – Personalization of subscriber values

In each email send you can populate an unlimited number of data about your subscriber in data extensions. To leverage those data points in the content simply add %% before and after the data point. 

For example to render the first name in the subject line:

Enter in %%FirstName%% right in the subject line block:

Or if you’re not sure what the exact data point is called or the exact format you can use click on the Personalization Icon in your editor toolbar.

Second Method – Dynamic Content Blocks

Utilize out-of-the-box functionality in Content Builder to vary entire sections of content in an email using Dynamic Content Blocks.

In this example, the focus of the email content changes based on the product selected by each lead indicated on the lead record. 

The end user will see custom content in the email:

Dynamic Content Block Example

In Content Builder, first create separate content blocks for each product featuring a photo and copy points. Then drag over a dynamic content block onto your email canvas.

And follow the steps to (1) select a default content to appear and (2) content variations based on the data coming from the lead object. In this case, if the “Product__c” field contains “401K” or “Credit Card Processing,” then the content will change.

Third Method – Custom links

Utilize ampscript and HTML to create custom links that add value to the recipient.

In this example, we’re creating a hot lead notification that will be sent to the owner of the lead. We’re populating this email with all the relevant data points in the data extension using the %% functionality mentioned above. We also have custom links so that when the lead owner clicks on the link it will take them right into the Salesforce CRM environment.

To execute this type of functionality utilize ampscript inside of the email content in the following approach:

  1. Set your Lead ID variable based on the field value in the send data extension.
  2. Use the CONCAT function to pull in the remaining part of the standard Salesforce lead record url.
  3. The first part of the Lead url.
  4. The variable set above.
  5. The last part of the Lead url.

And then to make the link clickable utilize a standard A Tag in HTML combined with the RedirectTo ampscript function.

Tip 5: Notify sales of hot leads in multiple ways ways

Marketing Cloud Engagement has a variety of options to creatively notify sales right in the Salesforce CRM platform through tasks and or sending highly personalized “Hot Lead” emails as mentioned above. 

Let’s walk through utilizing the Object Activity in Journey Builder to either create or update records in the Salesforce CRM environment, in this example creating custom tasks.

Select the Object Activity and select the task

(1) Select “Task” in the search and (2) select Task. You’ll want to “Create New” task.

Then (1) Fill in all required fields and utilize the data binding functionality to personalized fields where necessary.

For a higher complexity of field personalization (2) utilize what is called “data binding” in the Journey Builder UI to personalize each task and pull in the lead rank score.

To grab these “data bindings” for any variable to personalize follow these steps:

Step 1. Create your subject line defining the variables that will be brought in to personalize: “Attention!, you have a HOT Rank lead for Company: XYZ”

Step 2. In a separate document like in Notepad, create a template for the subject line identifying each of the variables needed to populate in your variable code.

Step 3. Select the Subject field in the Task.

Step 4. To create the handle bar “data binding” code for the lead score variable (1) Select the Journey Data dropdown, (2) Select the variable and (3) the handle bar code will appear in the subject.

Step 5. Copy the code and paste it into your notepad. Repeat the process for the Company and any other variable to be personalized. 

The syntax in the Notepad should look like the following:

Step 6. Copy this line of code and paste it into the Subject Line space and Save.

When you generate a task it should look something like this:

Step 7. Paste this syntax into the Subject field to populate a custom 1-to-1 subject that will help the Sales team cut through the clutter in all their tasks. 

Here’s an example of documentation on “data bindings” in this blog article from Rafal Wolsztyniak titled SFMC Tips and Tricks Challenge. You’ll need to scroll through the article as it covers a variety of tips. 

Start Nurturing Leads Like a Salesforce Pro

Hopefully this article has given you a few tips on how to take your lead nurture programs to the next level in the Salesforce Marketing Cloud Engagement platform.

There are limitless possibilities in this platform, and we’re all eager to learn and improve our programs. Please share any discoveries you find as you explore ways to build successful automation solutions for nurturing sales leads.

Original article: 5 Next-Level Tips for Your Lead Nurture Program

©2023 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post 5 Next-Level Tips for Your Lead Nurture Program appeared first on The Spot.

By |2023-02-10T21:01:10+00:00February 10th, 2023|Categories: Marketing Automations, Marketing Cloud, Pro Tips, revive, Scoring & Grading, Strategy|

Twilio SMS Messages and Pardot: A Complete Guide

We’ve previously talked about External Actions and External Activities, with some general ideas of how each can be applied separately. Where the real power comes in, is tying them together. In this blog post, let’s explore using a Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) Engagement Studio Program to send an SMS message and act on the Prospect replying to it.

Installation and Configuration for Twilio SMS Messages and Pardot

Say your company is going to attend a big conference, and you want to see if there is interest for nearby Prospects (far enough in their journey with you) to meet with your team. A quick text asking if they are interested, followed up with sales outreach and/or a “book a meeting” page is a great example of sending the right message at the right time.

There’s a lot of installing and configuration needed to pull this off: 

  1. Set up Twilio for Salesforce
  2. Set up Twilio for Pardot
  3. Create a Flow to be called by External Action
  4. Configure the Marketing App Extensions
  5. Create the Engagement Studio Program
  6. Handle SMS Responses with a Flow

Set Up Twilio for Salesforce

The first thing we are going to do is to integrate Twilio with our Salesforce org. Twilio has a really good instruction video for setting things up, we highly recommend watching it and following along.


Install instructions written out can be found here:


Setup Twilio for Pardot

Once Twilio is set up for Salesforce, there are a couple of steps to enable it to work with Pardot.

  1. Add the B2BMA Integration User as a “Twilio for Salesforce” Licensed User (enables Pardot to send the SMS)
    • In Salesforce Setup, use the Quick Find window to search “Installed Packages.”
    • Click Manage Licenses beside the Twilio package, add the B2BMA Integration User
  2. Add the “Twilio User” Permission Set to B2BMA Integration User
  3. Create a “Latest SMS Campaign” field on both the Lead & Contact (Lookup to Campaign). You do not need to sync this field with Pardot, though the B2BMA Integration User should have access to edit the field values.

4. Create a Pardot custom field named “MobilePhone.” Sync this field to the Salesforce field of the same name. The Twilio Lightning Components you added when setting up Twilio for Salesforce relies on the MobilePhone field.

For the purpose of this blog post, we are not taking into consideration whether the prospect has opted in or out of SMS messages. Though, you should consider this when putting together a solution in your environment.

Create a Flow to be called by External Action

External Actions can be powered by APEX, External Services (which make APEX behind the scenes), and Flows. Whenever possible, we recommend using a Flow, as it makes it a bit easier to test and troubleshoot later on.

  1. From Salesforce Setup, use the Quick Find window to search for “Flows.”
  2. Select Create New Flow, then choose Autolaunched Flow.
  3. We need to create a few resources (variables) that will be exposed to Pardot and provide the information we need. These should all be set to:
    • Resource Type: Variable
    • API Name: varPhoneNumber (The phone number we are sending the SMS to)
    • Data Type: Text
    • Available for input: checked
  4. Repeat step 3 for the following variables:
    • varCampaignId – The Salesforce Campaign ID we want to use for tracking
    • varCrmLeadContactId – The Salesforce ID of the Lead or Contact record
    • varMessage – The text we want to include in the SMS message
    • varCampaignStatus – the CampaignMember status you want to use when sending the SMS. This is optional, you could just hard-code the flow to use “Sent”
  5. Create a couple more variables to help simplify the flow. These will be Text, and we will not be selecting the “Available for input” checkbox (they are only used within the flow)
    • varLeadId – set only if the varCrmLeadContactId is a Lead (Decision-based on prefix starting with 00Q)
    • varContactId – set only if the varCrmLeadContactId is a Contact (Decision, prefix starting with 003)
  6. The Flow itself will be composed of a few sections
    • Send SMS via Twilio
    • Update the “Latest SMS Campaign” field on Contact/Lead records with the Campaign ID if the Prospect is synced to CRM
    • Create/Update CampaignMember record for the Contact/Lead and Campaign
    • When done, your Flow might look something like this:
  7. Save and Activate your Flow

Configure the Marketing App Extensions

Next, we need to actually expose the Flow to Pardot. This is done with Marketing App Extensions in Salesforce Setup.

  1. In Salesforce Setup, use the Quick Find window to search for “Marketing App Extensions”
  2. Create a new extension named “Twilio” (don’t create a bunch of tests, currently these cannot be removed and you have a limit of 10)
  3. In the Related Tab, for Action Types click New.
    • Type Action Name: Send SMS w Campaign, type in a good API name
    • For Invocable Action, search for your newly created Flow
    • Once selected, the Action Schema will automatically fill in. We will want to edit it
      • adjust titles, set merge for varCrmLeadContactId, varPhoneNumber. This enables the system to automatically grab the values from the Prospect record.
      • remove view components for varCrmLeadContactId and phoneNumber. Since they are being auto-populated, no need to ask for the values.
      • Set varMessage, varCampaignId as required
    • Make sure “Active in Automations” is checked.
    • Once done, it will look like this (we adjusted the line spacing to make a decent screenshot:
    • Note: because you are directly editing JSON, if mistakes are made there isn’t great feedback in terms of errors upon saving. We’ve found it best to just click Cancel and try again, being a bit more careful.
  4. Next, we will create an Activity Type. This will enable us to send information back to Pardot when a Contact/Lead replies to one of our messages (we will walk you through handling this later in the post).
    • For Activity Name & API Name, simply use “FirstReply”
    • Make sure “Active in Automations” is checked.
  5. Lastly, we will enable these Actions and Activities for our Business Unit(s). Assign this Extension to your Business Unit(s) by clicking New, and choosing the Business Unit.

Create the Engagement Studio Program

Next, we will build an Engagement Studio Program that will begin to tie this all together.

  1. In Pardot, navigate to Automations > Engagement Studio
  2. Select + Add Engagement Program
  3. Add a new Action, choose “Send SMS w Campaign” (bottom of the list)
    • SF Campaign ID: provide an 18-character Campaign Id
    • Campaign Status: provide a valid CampaignMemberStatus for the Campaign
    • Message: let your creativity shine!
    • When done, it should look something like this:
  4. Next, we want to Listen for their First Reply to our Campaign. Add a new Trigger
    • Choose External Activity 
    • Extension Name: Twilio
    • Activity Type: FirstReply
    • Value: The Campaign Id you provided in the earlier step. We want these to match
    • Specify when the Trigger should be evaluated.
    • When done, it should look something like this:
  5. Next, you can decide what happens if the Prospect does reply. In our example, we add the Prospect to a Suppression List (as ideally, they are now engaging with Sales, we don’t want to keep bugging them right?

Ok, our Engagement Studio Program is done. How will it know when someone has replied to our message?

Handling SMS Responses

With the Twilio integration, we can create a Record Triggered Flow based on the “Twilio Message” object, looking for inbound SMS messages. When a message is received, we can check to see if we should take action (based on the “Latest SMS Campaign” field still having a value).

In our example, we will use the Pardot API to send an External Activity record (with some help from a free AppExchange package) to allow our Engagement Studio Program’s trigger to work, update the Campaign Member Status for the Lead/Contact and create a Task for Sales to follow up.

To begin, we will install & configure the Flow Actions for Pardot package, which makes it easy to make Pardot API calls (since you can’t natively do this within Salesforce).

Create the Flow

Next, we will create our Flow:

  1. From Salesforce Setup, use the Quick Find window to search for “Flows”, and create a new Flow
  2. Choose a Record Triggered Flow
    • Select “Twilio Message” as the Object
    • Trigger when a Record is created
    • Entry Conditions: TwilioSF__Direction__c Equals “inbound”
    • Optimize for Actions and Related Records, and Include a Run Asynchronously path.
  3. We will need a decision based on the Twilio Message being linked to a Lead or Contact. The logic we use for both Leads and Contacts will be similar, let’s start with Leads
  4. Use a Get Records element to retrieve the Lead based on the ID matching the Twilio Message’s Lead value
  5. Check to see if we need to take action on the Lead by checking if the “Last SMS Campaign” field has a value. If it does not, we can end the flow.
  6. If “Last SMS Campaign” does have a value, create a new Element: “Pardot – External Activity Add to Prospect”
    • Activity Type: FirstReply (this is what you provided when setting up the Extension earlier in the post)
    • Extension Name: Twilio (again, this was setup earlier)
    • Prospect Email: Grab the Email value from the Get Records element in Step 4 above
    • Value: Grab the “Latest SMS Campaign” value from the Get Records element
    • When done, it should look something like this:
  7. Update Lead’s CampaignMember record, create a new Update Records element
    • Specify conditions to identify records, and set fields individually
    • Update records of object: Campaign Member
    • Update records matching the CampaignId and Lead Id from the Get Records element in Step 4 above.
    • Set the Status to what you need it to be (we chose Responded). You will really want consistency across your Campaigns to reduce complexity.
    • When done, it should look something like this:
  8. Create a Task for Sales. You can do this with either a Quick Action, or with a Create Record element, it really depends on your setup and what level of detail you want to provide.
  9. After taking all of our actions, we will want to clear the “Latest SMS Campaign” field on the Lead, so that we don’t take the same actions the next time the person replies.
  10. Repeat steps 4-9 for a Contact, being sure to select the Contact’s Get Record variable in steps 5-9
  11. When done, your Flow should look something like this:

Phew, it’s all done. Give it all a try by sending your own Prospect record through the Engagement Studio Program. It will take a while once started, but you should get your Text message. Once received, check your Lead/Contact record to make sure it was stamped correctly and that you were added to the right Campaign.  

Send a reply from your phone and check your Lead/Contact record again to make sure that your Campaign Status changed, and check Pardot to see that your External Activity record was created.


As with any “internet example,” there are a few things that we skirted around to avoid extra complexities, and there are a few things that might not be obvious.

  • This solution is best run when all Prospects (entering the ESP) are synced in Salesforce.
  • Prospects that are not synced to Salesforce, if they reply Twilio will create a Lead record and it might not be synced to Pardot fast enough to receive the External Activity resulting in a break in the process.
  • Our example handled ANY SMS response in the same way. While it is possible to add keywords and build branching logic into Flows and Engagement Studio Program, the solution will get exponentially more difficult to maintain.
  • In our example, we created the Task in the Flow instead of the Engagement Studio Program. We made this choice as it can give us more flexibility in what is provided in the Task and how it can be assigned. If you really want to keep that in the Engagement Studio Program, you certainly can!
  • Twilio does charge PER SMS, so be careful when selecting your audiences, especially during testing!
  • Working with External Activities in Pardot is still somewhat limiting, in that you can only look for “a record with a specific value.” You can’t look for External Activities created in the last X days or anything like that, so it really is a “First Response” mentality.
  • If you have multiple Twilio sending numbers, you could expose this as an input variable in your Flow and External Action, so that it can be specified when sending a message.

Happy Building! And Let Us Know If You Need Help

External Actions and External Activities are a great way to leverage other solutions with Pardot. But as you saw, there is still a lot that needs to be built to glue it all together. 

We hope this guide is helpful so you can take it on and build this solution yourself. And you can always reach out to Sercante to build this solution for you if you’re ready to hand it over to the experts. Visit our contact page here to raise your hand, and we’ll get back to you ASAP.

Original article: Twilio SMS Messages and Pardot: A Complete Guide

©2022 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post Twilio SMS Messages and Pardot: A Complete Guide appeared first on The Spot.

By |2022-12-30T18:51:09+00:00December 30th, 2022|Categories: Pardot, Pro Tips|

6 Creative Ways to Use Pardot Automation Rules

Pardot automation rules are a great way to set repeatable processes in motion and save yourself from repetitive admin tasks. Most Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) users employ automation rules to assign prospects when they are sales ready, send prospects to relevant Salesforce campaigns, assign grading profiles, etc. But there are endless ways to get creative with Pardot automation rules and really take your marketing efforts to the next level. 

Creative Uses for Pardot Automation Rules

Below are some of my favorite creative uses for automation rules, as well as some amazing use cases from the Pardot community!

Tip 1. Take action if a prospect performs a specific combination of activities

Completion actions are a great way to automate based on an activity a prospect does take, but what about automating when a prospect fills out a form but doesn’t request a demo? Or, a favorite for non-profits, visits the donate page but doesn’t make a donation? This is a great opportunity to use an automation rule to find those prospects and send them to an Engagement Studio Program so you can nurture them towards the next step in their journey!

Tip 2. Ensure only invited prospects can register for an event

Courtesy of Martin Farrell, Pardot Administrator

“We use automation rules to ensure only invited prospects are able to register for an event. In this case, if someone completes the registration landing page but is not on our invitee list, they are dropped into an uninvited list, which alerts our Events Coordinator to reach out. Since the landing page completion action added them to the registration list, the automation rule also removes these prospects from said list.”

Tip 3. Split lists for A/B testing

Courtesy of Bill Fetter, Principal and Founder of UnFettered Marketing

“I use 2 automation rules to assign random numbers to prospects based on the first letter of their last name. This gives me an approximate 50/50 split of US last names based on A-K and L-Z. This is especially useful for throttling sends and/or A/B testing.” 

Read more about how Bill accomplishes this in his blog post.

Tip 4. Use tags to customize prospect activity digests

Courtesy of Rebecca Sweetman, Snr Manager, Global Systems & Sales Operations

“We use automation to tag a prospect’s country and then use those tags to be excluded from prospect activity digests (as you can only exclude not include) so teams only have to see their own region’s activity.”

To expand on this great idea a bit, if you are not using prospect activity digests you can customize these for each of your Pardot users. Just navigate to one of your Pardot users and select Edit Preferences

Select the “Send daily prospect activity emails (for my prospects)” checkbox and then exclude prospects based on tag, as shown here:

Tip 5. Review active, “CRM Deleted” prospects

Courtesy of Bill Fetter, Principal and Founder of UnFettered Marketing

“Use an automation rule to find prospects who have taken an action within the last 1 day and are marked as “CRM deleted,” then notify someone to review the prospect for possible restoration. 

Normally, what happens here is a lead was deleted in Salesforce and was sent to the Pardot recycle bin. A form fill restores the prospect, but the prior delete action does not allow the prospect to be re-created in Salesforce. This action is normally paired with a second automation rule that uses the “allow deleted lead or contact to re-create in salesforce” action when a tag is added to a record such as “allow CRM recreate.”  

You can of course use the “allow deleted lead or contact to re-create in salesforce” action in a single automation rule, but this action will automatically create a new lead. And sometimes the reason the lead was deleted in the first place is it’s a habitual form spammer that you don’t want continuously re-creating in your org. So the 2-part action with a manual check is more conservative.”

Tip 6. Lower prospect score based on inactivity

A great use of repeating automation rules is to gradually lower the score of prospects who have been inactive for a period of time. This will keep your prospects from looking “sales ready” when they really aren’t engaging with your marketing and sales activities (or may have since left their company). I like to max out this rule at 10x in order to keep any prospects from going into the negatives. 

How do you use Pardot automation rules?

What other creative uses for automation rules do you employ in your org? Let us know in the comments!

Original article: 6 Creative Ways to Use Pardot Automation Rules

©2022 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post 6 Creative Ways to Use Pardot Automation Rules appeared first on The Spot.

By |2022-12-15T16:31:52+00:00December 15th, 2022|Categories: Marketing Automations, Pro Tips, revive|

7 Questions to Guide Your Pardot Account Audit

Pardot account audits: You know you need to do one, but somehow this daunting task keeps getting relegated to the bottom of your to-do list. With the new year on the horizon, do future-you a favor and carve out time soon to conduct an audit of your Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) instance. You’ll feel better kicking off 2023 knowing your account is in order!

So where do you start? Audits can certainly be overwhelming, with long checklists of components and settings to review. But, a bit of reflection up front can help you identify and prioritize the areas to audit with the highest need or greatest potential to benefit your business.

Key questions to consider before a Pardot account audit

Make the most of your time by asking yourself these seven questions before diving into your Pardot account audit:

1. Are the essential building blocks in place to ensure Pardot is working properly? 

This is square one — you’ll need to confirm the foundation of your account is set before moving forward. Yup, this means going through the Pardot Settings tab and checking that there are no surprises. Must-dos include your account limits, Salesforce connector, user set-up, and tracker domains.

This is also a good time to step back and think about the big picture: How is data moving in and out of Pardot and where are the weak spots? Besides checking your Salesforce sync settings, review your lead forms, import processes, opt-out processes and integrations to make sure the data is flowing as you intend and that there aren’t any issues causing downstream impacts.

2. What haven’t we checked in a while?

As much as we want to “set it and forget it,” even the best marketing automations need check-ups. Take a minute and list out the areas in Pardot you haven’t paid as much attention to recently. Common culprits could be:

  • Sync errors
  • Repeating automation rules
  • Custom fields syncing with Salesforce
  • Email footer content
  • Scoring and grading rules
  • Sales handoffs and assignment rules
  • Auto-responder email settings and content
  • Automations based on email opens
  • The black hole that is the Uncategorized folder

During your audit, run through this list to ensure everything is running as you expect, and clean up whatever you can. 

3. Where could a little work go a long way to fix something or improve efficiency? 

We’ve all been there: You build a work-around or take on a manual process in order to get something done, then poof — it’s months later and you’re still doing it! 

Now’s the time to figure out if there’s a better way that frees up your time and energy. This might mean addressing bigger issues that require multi-step solutions, but the upfront work now will pay off in the long run. 

For your audit, prioritize figuring out ways that you can leverage automations to carry some of the load. Besides Pardot’s Automation Rules, explore these other key tools:

For help with any of these automations, feel free to reach out! 

4. Does our marketing work align with best practices and industry standards? 

When it comes to marketing practices, it can be helpful to compare yourself to others (within reason of course!). For example: Comparing your email engagement metrics and deliverability practices to industry standards can highlight areas that need improvement, like your template design, segmentation practices to engaged prospects, or personalization strategies. 

Identifying the big-picture improvements needed to align with best practices will help you drill down on the specifics of what it will take to execute — and, as a result, which components in Pardot should be audited and updated to make it happen.

5. Can we showcase the ROI of our marketing efforts? 

Connecting the dots between your marketing work and sales is truly the holy grail for marketing teams, but it can be tricky to get up and running.

With Pardot and Salesforce, you can unlock the marketing attribution magic through a combination of consistent processes and technical tools. Consider these questions and add related items to your audit checklist accordingly.

  • Are you using campaigns consistently to record and organize marketing initiatives?
  • Are Connected Campaigns enabled and configured correctly in your account?
  • Is data being captured at the right times in your prospect journey to connect their engagements to sales?
  • Are your marketing reports set up in Pardot and Salesforce?
  • If you’re using Campaign Influence reporting in Salesforce, does the attribution model fit your needs?
  • If you have more robust reporting and dashboard needs, could you benefit from using additional data integrations and/or B2B Marketing Analytics

Getting a handle on where you are in the process of ROI reporting can crystalize your next steps. Making a commitment to shore up your marketing attribution once and for all in 2023 could pay dividends for you in the long run!

6. What’s coming up that will impact our Pardot system or usage?

Looking ahead, think about how new initiatives, goals or changes at your company will have trickle-down impacts on your Pardot account. What parts of your audit need to adapt accordingly?

Maybe your customer base is expanding and you’d benefit from setting up multiple Pardot Business Units. Or you’ll be creating lots of new automation programs and want to install a Pardot sandbox environment for testing. Maybe Einstein features in Pardot would alleviate some of your workload? 

Conversely, try to identify some aspects of a typical account review to deprioritize or cross off your audit checklist entirely because of upcoming changes.

You’ll also want to keep an eye on upcoming feature releases and new system updates, like the opt-out field sync behavior changes

7. What can we clean up or organize better to make things easier?

Lastly, a bit of housekeeping. Use part of your audit to tidy up your account for some quick wins: 

  • Do your folders, tags or images need organizing? 
  • Are there unused automation, lists, files, or email or form templates that you can clean up, consolidate or archive?
  • Where could you establish naming conventions to better organize assets going forward?
  • Are you identifying junk prospects and recycling them regularly?

Addressing built-up clutter in your account will help you reset and clear the way for more strategic work!

Account audits can feel intimidating, but they’re worth it 

With these considerations in mind, you’re ready to tackle an audit of your Pardot account that focuses on what matters most to your business. 

If it still feels overwhelming or you want some support, please reach out for help — the Sercante team routinely conducts account audits, looking for ways clients can better leverage both the strategic and technical aspects of marketing with Pardot. Plus, you’ll get the advantage of an impartial expert reviewing your account with fresh eyes. Contact us about audit services or fill out this form to get started!

Original article: 7 Questions to Guide Your Pardot Account Audit

©2022 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post 7 Questions to Guide Your Pardot Account Audit appeared first on The Spot.

By |2022-12-13T14:58:10+00:00December 13th, 2022|Categories: Data Management, Pro Tips, revive, Setup & Admin|

Help! I Have Errors in My Automation Studio

We’ve all been there. You’ve set up an awesome automation in Salesforce Marketing Cloud Automation Studio. But what do you do when you see errors? 

It’s time to put on your detective hat. Follow these 4 steps to get to the cause and resolve the error. Then you can get back to what you do best… marketing! 

Step 1: Understand the error

First, you need to understand the error that’s being thrown out.

Tip: Bookmark this Salesforce article. It will be your go-to resource when it comes to understanding errors.

You can find the error you’re working with by hovering over the red step icon that will appear in your automation. 

This will detail what errored and the reason. Head over to the linked Salesforce article, and search for the error. This will give you your starting point. 

Automation Studio Error Example

Error: Invalid column name ‘{{column name}}’.

Meaning: Either the Source or the Destination has a field that was renamed or deleted.

Suggested Action: Confirm that columns and fields haven’t been changed or deleted.

The big clues in this error are:

  • The what – Column name
  • The where – Source or destination
  • The why – A field has been deleted

This approach will be the same for any error you get. Use it to find the what, where, and why.

Use a table like this to take notes as you investigate your Automation Studio error.

The What The Where The Why Marketing Cloud Salesforce Connector
a field name automation source deleted field X

Step 2: Check out the what, where and why in Marketing Cloud

In the above example, our “what” was a particular field. The “where” was either the source (the thing that kicks off our automation) or the destination (where our automation goes to). And our “why” was that the field had been either deleted or renamed. 

Go to both the source and destination (the where) and see if there have been any changes to the what.

If there has been a change, you’ll need to either update the automation to reflect that change or reverse the change.

If the “what” is no longer there and you cannot re-add it in the source or destination Data Extension, go to Step 3

Some other common errors that could be solved directly in Marketing Cloud are:

  • The source or destination Data Extension name or external key has been changed
  • The source or destination Data Extension has been deleted
  • Field types and/or lengths do not match in the source and destination Data Extension 
  • File upload naming patterns do not match the configuration 

Step 3: Head over to Salesforce

If your Marketing Cloud instance is connected to Salesforce, and you don’t see anything wrong with your setup in Marketing Cloud or nothing has disappeared (such as a field), then it’s time to check out your Salesforce instance. 

You may need a Salesforce admin for this part of the investigation. Check out Celine Newsome’s blog post Why Should Marketing Admins Have Salesforce Access? for help making the case in case you don’t have access.

Using your knowledge of how the automation studio has been set up, find “the what” this could mean going to the Salesforce object and finding the field, has anything changed? Other things you may need to check in Salesforce, depending on your error

  • Has a field been deleted or renamed?
  • Have permissions changed? Remember your Marketing Cloud Connect user in Salesforce will need to be able to see everything you want to see in Marketing Cloud
  • Has field or object visibility changed?

At this point, if you find something not quite right in Salesforce, you are no longer in Marketing territory. You’ll need to work with your Salesforce admin to

  1. Understand why the change was made 
  2. Find out if it can be reversed
  3. Inform them of the impact on marketing if it can’t be reversed and put a plan in place in Marketing Cloud

We don’t want to go in and start changing things back, as there could be good reasons for the change in Salesforce. 

If you find the reason for your automation errors in Marketing Cloud is because of changes made in Salesforce, then it’s probably a good time to open up this blog post in another tab and read it after this one “Why Salesforce and Marketing Admins Work Better Together

Step 4: Check your connector 

If you’re at step 4, I’m going to assume you’ve found nothing in Marketing Cloud and nothing in Salesforce. Here I’d suggest reviewing your Salesforce connector in Marketing Cloud to make sure that’s the case.

  • You still have a Salesforce System User listed. You can find this by going to set up in Marketing Cloud > Apps > Salesforce Integration 
  • Check that the user listed above is still integrated with Salesforce. You can do this by going to users in Marketing Cloud and checking the Salesforce.com Status.
  • Make sure your connector user is still active in Salesforce and has all the permissions needed to work with Marketing Cloud.

Work together with Salesforce admins to prevent Automation Studio errors

While there are lots of different errors that can appear in your Automation Studio, a simple process of elimination can often surface why the error occurred and help you fix it. Finally, knowing your Marketing Cloud set up and working with your Salesforce admin is a great step to take to help avoid errors.

What are the common errors you see in Marketing Cloud Automation Studio? Let us know in the comments.

Original article: The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post <strong>Help! I Have Errors in My Automation Studio</strong> appeared first on The Spot.

By |2022-12-07T20:06:11+00:00December 7th, 2022|Categories: Marketing Automations, Pro Tips, revive|

Fight Email Marketing Fatigue: Pardot Recency and Frequency Dynamic Lists

With the holidays coming up, I can bet all of our inboxes are overflowing with marketing emails letting us know about can’t-miss deals, the best gifts, order before X date to get your gifts in time or you will disappoint your entire family (ok maybe not that aggressive, but you get it). 

I can also bet that you’ve received so many emails from one company in such a short time that you have just opted out or blocked them entirely. This is called marketing fatigue, and it is a great way to lose your subscribers. But with the help of Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) Recency and Frequency dynamic lists, we can target prospects that have reached their email maximum for a time period and suppress them from future sends. 

Building a Pardot Recency and Frequency Dynamic List

In Pardot:

  1. Navigate to Automations, then Segmentation Lists
  2. Select + Add List
  3. Name your list and select the Dynamic List checkbox
Note: You have to select the Dynamic List checkbox when your list is created. If you create a static list, you cannot later go back and make the list dynamic. 
  1. Select Set Rules
  2. Select Prospect has been emailed
  3. Next you can specify the number of times the prospect has been emailed (frequency) and the window of time (recency).

You can combine the “Prospect has been emailed” rule with “Prospect Time” to apply different rules to different prospects. For example, if I want to limit never active prospects to 2 emails in 10 days, and current active prospects to 4 emails in 10 days, I could use the rules below:

Once created, I can use this list as a Suppression List on any of my email sends in order to exclude prospects who have been emailed too much in one time frame. 

Can I use this in my Email Preference Center?

Yes! You can absolutely use this in your email preference center (EPC) to give Prospects the option to only receive, say, 1 email a week. First, you’ll want to create a new public list that prospects can opt into. 

Here are the steps to create a new public list:

  1. Navigate to Automations > Segmentation Lists
  2. Select + Add List
  3. Name your list (this name is internal facing only) and make sure you select the public checkbox
  4. When the public checkbox is selected, the Label and Description fields will appear. These fields are external facing and should describe what the prospect is opting into.
  1. Select Create List
    • Make sure you add this new public list to any EPCs where you want it to appear. It will be added to the default EPC as soon as it is created. 
Note: Since prospects who subscribe to this list can only receive one email per week, you’ll want to prioritize your email sends so these prospects only get the most important email in the 7 day window. To prevent these prospects from receiving less important emails, use the above list as a suppression list on those email sends. 

Next, you’ll need to create a dynamic list that looks for prospects on the list above who have already been emailed 1 time in the past 7 days. 

  1. Navigate to Automations > Segmentation Lists
  2. Select + Add List
  3. Name your list and select the dynamic list checkbox
  4. Select Set Rules
  5. Set up your first rule to look for prospects who have subscribed to the list we create above
  6. Use the recency and frequency option to set up your second rule and see who has already been emailed 1 time in the past 7 days
  1. Select Run Rules

Use this new dynamic list as a suppression list on all email sends going forward. You can also add it to your Primary Suppression List to make sure this list is not left out!

Which Email Sends Count?

The “Prospect has been emailed” dynamic list rule counts list emails and emails sent via Engagement Studio Programs. It does not count one-to-one emails, emails sent via Salesforce Engage, emails sent with an email plug-in, or emails sent by automation rules or completion actions (i.e. Autoresponders). 

What other ways are you planning on using recency and frequency dynamic lists in your org? Tell us in the comments!

Original article: Fight Email Marketing Fatigue: Pardot Recency and Frequency Dynamic Lists

©2022 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post Fight Email Marketing Fatigue: Pardot Recency and Frequency Dynamic Lists appeared first on The Spot.

By |2022-11-30T22:20:00+00:00November 30th, 2022|Categories: Emails & Forms, Pro Tips, revive, Strategy|

Pardot Marketing Data Sharing Rules: Prevent Duplicates in Salesforce

You’re a responsible marketer and adhere to the Salesforce Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) Permission-Based Marketing Policy. You’ve enabled Marketing Data Sharing (MDS) rules to ensure that prospects who have not opted-in are not syncing to Pardot. Now you get a call from your Salesforce Admin about Pardot creating duplicates in Salesforce.

In this post, we’ll discuss how you can remain compliant AND prevent unintentional dupes in Salesforce.

Let’s start at the beginning

Most sales organizations use tools like Clearbit, Lusha, or ZoomInfo to research companies, find new contacts, review intent data, or enhance data.

These are perfectly valid use cases and can be very beneficial to organizations. However, the problems start when marketing begins emailing these records through Pardot.

What’s the problem? The email addresses are valid.

Salesforce has a Marketing Cloud Account Engagement Permission-Based Marketing Policy that strictly prohibits the sending of emails to customers or prospects who have not expressly opted-in to receive them.

Our customers certify that they will not use rented, traded, or purchased lists, email append lists, or any list that contains email addresses captured in any method other than express, customer-specific opt-in when using our system to send emails.

Sending emails to acquired records is a clear violation of the permission-based marketing policy and can result in the suspension or termination of your account. I’d hate to be the person responsible for that!

What’s a marketer to do?

Verify your connector preferences

The first thing is to understand your connector settings in Pardot. Most accounts will be configured to automatically create prospects in Pardot if they are created as a Lead or Contact in Salesforce. This means that ANY lead or contact created in Salesforce from ANY source is going to end up in Pardot and could unknowingly be emailed by your marketing team.

Limit record entry with Marketing Data Sharing Rules

MDS is the safest way to make sure that data does not enter Pardot (Here’s a great post on MDS if you have questions – Pardot Marketing Data Sharing: Tips, Gotchas, and Setup). You can restrict which leads, contacts, opportunities, or custom objects sync to Pardot. The intent of MDS is to control the data that can be seen by the Pardot connector. The issue is that MDS does this job a little too well and this can result in duplicate leads being created in Salesforce.

MDS and duplicate records records

Hold up a minute! Are you telling me that by doing the right thing, I could actually create duplicates in my Salesforce org? Yep.

Here’s the rub. Before creating a lead or contact in Salesforce, Pardot undergoes a series of checks to see if the prospect is in Salesforce already. The intent is to identify matching records and not create duplicates. Since MDS limits the visibility of the connector, Pardot is not able to find prospects who might be in SFDC from a source deemed “not marketable” if they visit your site and complete a Pardot form (for example).

For reference here are the checks performed by Pardot before creating a lead or contact in Salesforce.

  • Is there a lead or contact with a matching CRM ID?
  • Is there a contact with the same email address?
  • Is there a lead with the same email address?
  • Is the prospect assigned to a user in Pardot?

Here’s how we addressed this issue for one of my clients

Don’t activate MDS

It’s important that MDS is not activated in this solution. We want the prospects to sync from Salesforce to Pardot. We’re going to use custom fields and automation rules to make sure that we remain compliant and don’t create duplicates in Salesforce.

Create custom fields

The first step involves creating several custom fields in Salesforce and Pardot. We created first touch and last touch fields to capture the needed information on leads and contacts. In this case, we used Lead Source Detail and Lead Source Detail Most Recent.

  • Lead Source Detail – This is a FIRST TOUCH field that identifies the specifics of where the lead originated (ex. ZoomInfo).
  • Lead Source Detail Most Recent – This is a LAST TOUCH field that identifies the specifics of the most recent source that drove the prospect to your site (ex. LinkedIn).

Map data to your custom fields

We’re going to stick with the ZoomInfo example here since I see this product used in a lot of organizations. When setting up your CRM Integration in ZoomInfo, you have the ability to map fields to for your Account, Contact, and Lead Objects.

In this case, we mapped Lead Source (standard field) and the two custom fields that we created. We also set fixed values for each.

Based on this configuration, any new records added from ZoomInfo into Salesforce will have the fixed values specified. This is super important.

Automation Rules

Remember the Pardot prospect mailability upgrade that took place with the Winter ‘22 release? We’re going to take advantage of it to make sure that we comply with the Marketing Cloud Account Engagement Permission-Based Marketing Policy. Don’t remember the changes? No problem – check out this post “Are You Ready for the Pardot Prospect Mailability Upgrade?” from Erin Duncan.

Automation Rule #1 – Set Do Not Email to TRUE

This automation rule will look for prospects in Pardot where Lead Source Detail and Lead Source Detail Most Recent equal “zoominfo”. This lets us know that the prospect was added into Salesforce from ZoomInfo, synced to Pardot, and that the person did not opt-in. As a result, we’ll mark the record as “Do Not Email.”

Automation Rule #2 – Set Do Not Email to FALSE

This automation rule will look for prospects in Pardot where Lead Source Detail is “zoominfo” and Lead Source Detail Most Recent is NOT “zoominfo.” This will show us that the person interacted with our marketing and is eligible to be emailed. It goes without saying that we only want to “activate” prospects who have given permission for us to email them. The Lead Source Detail Most recent field can be updated using completion actions or UTM parameters from URLs (that’s another post).

The short and sweet summary

This solution allows records added into Salesforce (that have not opted-in) to sync to Pardot. Automation rules in Pardot update the “Do Not Email” field based on Pardot interactions and opt-in status. This ensures that prospects who did not previously opt-in are updated correctly when they do opt-in and that no duplicates are created in Salesforce.

Let’s play by the rules AND not create duplicate records

Based on how your organization uses tools like Clearbit, Lusha, or ZoomInfo and the volume of records added to your Salesforce org, MDS might be the best solution for you. However, if a high volume of records are being added into Salesforce, I would recommend that you give this solution some consideration. The chances of duplicates being created in your system grows exponentially based on the number of records being added from external sources.

If you have any questions about this solution, MDS, or anything related to Marketing Cloud Account Engagement or Marketing Cloud Engagement, contact us with your questions.

Original article: Pardot Marketing Data Sharing Rules: Prevent Duplicates in Salesforce

©2022 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post Pardot Marketing Data Sharing Rules: Prevent Duplicates in Salesforce appeared first on The Spot.

By |2022-11-30T20:39:21+00:00November 30th, 2022|Categories: Data Management, Privacy & Compliance, Pro Tips, revive|

Why Salesforce and Marketing Admins Work Better Together

How often do your Salesforce and marketing platform admins talk to each other? 

  • Very little
  • Not at all
  • Only when things go wrong  

If you selected any of the above, you’re not alone. 

I’m here to tell you, no matter how awkward or challenging starting that conversation may be, it’s one that needs to happen (and continue) sooner rather than later. Having a solid bridge between Salesforce marketing and Sales Cloud admins will (I promise!) make both your lives so much easier. Here’s why…

Benefits of marketing and Salesforce admins working together 

#1 Keep your data clean in both places

Whether you’re using Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) or the OG Marketing Cloud, the way data flows between your marketing automation platform and Salesforce was probably one of the reasons you purchased the tool. So, let’s keep it flowing. 

By working together you can avoid the following pitfalls:

  • Duplicate fields
  • Data being overwritten 
  • Sync errors (Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot)): 
    • Fun fact – most common sync errors can be avoided by knowing the Salesforce set up. 
      • Field values = prevents invalid picklist errors
      • Expected data = Prevents validation  rule errors
      • Field types = Prevents invalid field format errors 

If both admins are communicating, you can ensure any updates that happen are accurately reflected in both systems.

#2 Prevent loss of access for users and systems 

When marketing and Salesforce admins stop working together, systems can stop working together. 

True story, I’ve worked with clients who have seen automations stop working and users unable to access the systems and data because of updates that the other admins were not aware of — permissions, profiles, field accessibility. When these changes are not communicated, frustrations can arise and time can be wasted looking into the cause. 

Additionally, If you’re using a sandbox environment, understanding the refresh schedule can help prevent loss of work when it’s unexpectedly refreshed. 

Include both admins in conversations around any updates in either system. The changes may not affect the opposing team but it’s good to know just in case.

#3 Experience Team and Business Benefits

The above are all technical reasons why marketing and Salesforce admins should be best friends. But, we haven’t even touched on the business and team building benefits, which are huge.

Here are a few reasons why:

  • Improve productivity. Stop looking for the cause of a problem but rather plan for the update as a team.
  • You can help advocate for each other with other decision-makers. We are both on the same team and we should both want the same thing. But when one team of admins is working on something and leaves the other out, they can be left to play catch up and try and figure out what’s going on… increasing the frustration and silo.
  • Ultimately, it comes down to $$$ –  Two sets of admins working independently = Mo $ Mo time
  • Teach each other. The great thing about being an admin is that every day is a school day, we are always learning about the latest tools, security updates and new ways of doing things. Let’s share that knowledge. Get to know what the other team does and find out how you can help each other and make each other’s lives easier.

How to build relationships between Salesforce admins

So what can you do to improve or build a relationship between marketing and Salesforce admins?

  • Documentation, documentation and yes, more documentation. Having a record of changes that have been made and how that change relates to the other system will be a huge help in marketing and Salesforce admins working together. 
Tip: Using Pardot? Create a shared spreadsheet with all the Salesforce fields and note if they are synced with a Pardot field. What’s that field for? What’s the sync behavior? What are the values? Admins can then refer to this document when field changes need to be made and ensure the other admin knows if it’s going to affect them 
  • Schedule a regular sync up and use this time as a feedback loop, planning session. This can be monthly or quarterly, depending on how often changes are made. Here are some questions you can ask during these meetings:
    • What plans do each admin have for the month ahead?
    • How will this impact the other team?
    • Consideration you hadn’t thought about
    • What does each team need to do to prepare? How long will it take to get things in order? 
    • What’s not working at the moment and what can be done? 
  • Create a joint Slack, Teams, Google Hangouts channel. Whatever your choice of instant messaging channel, use it to inform admins on both sides of any upcoming changes. Use it to post reminders, questions, updates. This will become your go to place to find answers and work with your admins. 
  • Consider an overview training session of your respective platform. Does your Salesforce admin understand the impact on Marketing cloud when field visibility is changed in Salesforce? Probably not. Work with them to help them understand the implications of such changes. They simply may not know what affects the connection between Salesforce and Marketing Cloud.

Wouldn’t it just be easier to just give Marketing admins Salesforce admin access? 

Yes and no… If you’ve read our blog on Why Should Marketing Admins Have Salesforce Access?, you would have noticed a lot of very good reasons as to why marketing admins should have salesforce access. This is great if you can hand out this access but what happens when you can’t? Should each admin go their separate ways, never to speak again? Absolutely not! 

Even if you can get Salesforce access you should still be opening up communication between yourself and other Salesforce admins.

Strengthen those relationships between marketing and Salesforce admins

Creating a harmonious relationship between both marketing and Salesforce admins starts with the basics… communication and understanding for each other’s roles. When this is followed the benefits can be huge, both personally and technically. 

What tips do you have for improving the relationship between both admins? Let us know in the comments.

Original article: Why Salesforce and Marketing Admins Work Better Together

©2022 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post Why Salesforce and Marketing Admins Work Better Together appeared first on The Spot.

By |2022-11-19T00:54:00+00:00November 19th, 2022|Categories: Analytics & Reporting, Data Management, Pro Tips, revive, Strategy|

Rethink Your Lead Lifecycle for the Age of RevOps

New technology and shifting buyer expectations are pushing B2B companies to rethink their acquisition and retention strategies. Leaders across sales, marketing, and customer success are investing in centralizing their operation teams to drive efficiency and accelerate revenue. Revenue operations, or RevOps, is an emerging function in B2B companies that leverages cutting-edge technology to achieve better team alignment and meet changing buyer expectations. 

What are revenue operations?

Revenue Operations, or RevOps, is the alignment of sales, marketing, and customer success operations across the entire customer lifecycle to drive growth through operational efficiency and keep all teams accountable to revenue. Operational efficiency is especially important given the current economic climate and teams are doubling down on their RevOps investments to fuel growth.

But perhaps the most important reason that RevOps has become such a focal point for B2B companies is that it’s become necessary for meeting customer expectations. Put simply, your prospects have grown frustrated with traditional sales cycles.

Avoid leaky lead funnels for smoother customer experiences

Shifts in B2B buyer expectations have your prospects craving a frictionless, B2C-like experience with every SaaS evaluation. If it takes longer than five minutes for someone to reach out to them after their initial inquiry, they’re significantly less likely to convert. 

Five minutes. For many businesses, that sounds like a pipedream. But when studies show that 78% of customers buy from the company that responds to them first, it may be time to rethink how you currently manage your lead lifecycle processing pipeline. 

And there’s a lot to rethink. Just take a look at all the steps in the lead lifecycle today.

With so many processes occurring across different applications, it’s easy to see how leads can fall through the cracks. Leaky lead funnels account for a 30% loss of potential revenue, leading many B2B organizations to invest in RevOps and rethink how their leads are processed. But before fixing your funnel, you must first identify the gaps.

What’s causing your leaky funnel?

The most common issues affecting your lead funnel are outdated technology, scarce dev resources, and the limited integration capabilities of your current tools.

  1. Lead data is siloed across legacy and new platforms. Teams across sales and marketing must spend an inordinate amount of time on manual processes such as uploading, cleaning, and routing leads.

    Not only does siloed data lead to slower follow-up times, but it also results in a bunch of lead management headaches such as duplicate lead lists that incorrectly inflate lead counts, routing leads at the wrong stage to the wrong destination, or accidentally continuing to contact leads that have opted out.

  2. Point-to-point solutions require resources you don’t have. Cobbling together point-to-point solutions using custom code requires dev resources, which are usually not available or very limited. On top of that, as APIs inevitably change, your team remains on the hook for updating and maintaining the integrations. Put simply, it’s not a scalable solution.
  3. Out-of-the-box integrations don’t fit your business needs. Many sales and marketing platforms offer limited connectivity to a handful of tools. It’s likely that your most important apps aren’t seamlessly integrated to the customized use cases you need for your business.

    In other words, the most important lead data stays locked up within each application. Without robust integrations, none of your individual apps can deliver important insights on the full picture of where, how, and why your leads engaged with you, or the best way to follow up with them.

Rethink your lead lifecycle with a cloud-first low-code approach to automation

RevOps is a relatively new function in organizations today. As such, RevOps professionals must leverage the most modern tools available today to help them achieve their day-to-day business tasks. 

Using a low-code, cloud-first approach to automation with a platform like Tray.io, RevOps professionals can integrate their sales, marketing, and customer support applications and completely automate the entire lead lifecycle. 

Eliminating the manual processes involved in lead capturing, cleansing, recording, monitoring, and engagement results in highly-accurate lead data rapidly flowing through your funnel. Then, you see higher conversions and increasing revenue. 

To learn how low-code automation can repair your leaky funnel, check out this Mardreamin’ session on The Age of RevOps: Reinventing Lead Lifecycle Management.

Original article: Rethink Your Lead Lifecycle for the Age of RevOps

©2022 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post Rethink Your Lead Lifecycle for the Age of RevOps appeared first on The Spot.

By |2022-10-26T20:26:11+00:00October 26th, 2022|Categories: Pro Tips, revive, Strategy|

Don’t Let Good Leads Go Bad in Salesforce Queues

Many organizations assign Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) prospects who are not yet sales ready to a “Cold” leads queue in Salesforce so data syncs and is available for reporting. The problem is that Pardot can’t reassign these leads once they “score up” and many get stuck in the cold leads queue in perpetuity.

In this post, we’ll discuss how leads can be automatically reassigned from the cold leads queue with the help of Salesforce Flow and some Apex code. This solution allows marketing teams to have full-funnel lead reporting in Salesforce without burdening sales with unqualified leads.

To Sync or Not to Sync?

The question of when to sync prospects from Pardot to Salesforce is one that comes up quite often when speaking to my clients. The answers from marketing and sales often differ. And both sides are passionate about it with compelling arguments.

The Marketing Perspective 

I need to show the full impact of my marketing activities and the leads my team is generating. If leads are only synced to Salesforce when they are sales ready, my numbers are going to be understated. That means my budget is going to be questioned — and probably slashed.

The Sales Perspective 

My time is valuable and I’m working on a commission. I don’t want to be distracted by a bunch of junk leads. I need to focus my time and energy on leads who have an interest in what we have to offer. I have a quota to hit!

I’m often pulled into these conversations and asked for my recommendation. Without hesitation, my answer is always the same — it depends. Some organizations need all prospects in Salesforce for reporting purposes and some only want sales ready leads added into Salesforce. Both approaches have merit and are correct based on the needs of the organization.

However, you can have your cake and eat it too! Enter — the cold leads queue.

The Salesforce Cold Leads Queue

My favorite solution to satisfy the needs of my friends in marketing and sales is the introduction of a cold leads queue.

The cold leads queue is the best of both worlds solution. It allows all the Pardot prospects to sync immediately to Salesforce — which allows for accurate lead reporting for marketing while not burdening sales with leads that are not yet ready. The cold leads queue is also a great place for sales teams to find additional leads to call in the event they are running low on MQLs to call.

So What’s the Catch?

Like all good things, there is a catch to using a cold leads queue. By design (and for good reason), Pardot can only assign prospects if they are currently unassigned. Once the prospect is assigned and synced to Salesforce, Pardot can’t change the assignment.

I’m sure you see where I’m going with this. In our case, we would assign a lead that does not meet our MQL criteria to the colds leads queue (in Pardot), so it will sync to Salesforce. This is perfect as the lead is in Salesforce for reporting purposes and is not cluttering the lists views of our sales teams.

But what happens when that prospect interacts with our marketing campaign and “scores up” to meet our MQL criteria? Houston, we have a problem!

Reassigning MQLs from the Salesforce Cold Leads Queue

I’ve seen this many times. Leads get stuck in the cold leads queue and are not reassigned once they hit the MQL threshold.

Why does this happen? Well, there are a few reasons.

  1. People forget that Pardot can’t reassign previously assigned leads and assume that their automation rule is doing the trick!
  2. Since reassignment has to be done in Salesforce, the marketing team does not have the proper permissions to do the job.
  3. Manual reassignment of leads is not a fun or glamorous job that Salesforce Admins look forward to doing.
  4. People just plain forget about leads once they hit the cold leads queue.

So what’s the solution to this issue? I’m glad you asked.

The solution is to use a Salesforce flow and Apex combined to automate it.

Let’s Start With Some Definitions


Apex is a strongly typed, object-oriented programming language that allows developers to execute flow and transaction control statements on Salesforce servers in conjunction with calls to the API. Using syntax that looks like Java and acts like database stored procedures, Apex enables developers to add business logic to most system events, including button clicks, related record updates, and Visualforce pages. Apex code can be initiated by Web service requests and from triggers on objects.


A flow is an application that can execute logic, interact with the Salesforce database, call Apex classes, and collect data from users. You can build flows by using Flow Builder.

*Definitiations from the Salesforce Glossary

The Big Reveal

I know I talked about having your cake and eating too at the beginning of this post. Well, it’s time for cake! The trick to using cold lead queues effectively is automating the process of “promoting” leads from the queue and into the hands of your sales team — and here’s how you do it.

  • Step 1 – Determine the criteria that should trigger the reassignment of leads that are in the cold leads queue. This could be a Pardot score crossing a threshold or the change in a custom field value.
  • Step 2 – Review your Lead Assignment Rules (Salesforce) for accuracy and make and needed updates.
  • Step 3 – Create an Apex class to call your lead assignment rules from Salesforce — in sandbox. This is an invocable process and can be called by flow. Below is an example of how this code could look.

  • Step 4 – Create a test class to ensure code coverage. You’ll need to have 75% code coverage in sandbox before your code can be pushed to production.
  • Step 5 – Create a record triggered-flow based on your MQL criteria. As an example, your flow could be triggered when a lead us updated and their Pardot score exceeds 150 points.

When creating your flow, it’s important that you include an asynchronous path. This will ensure that the flow runs after the changes to the lead record (that triggered the flow) are complete.

The rest of the flow is pretty basic and will look something like this.

  • Step 6 – Test and validate. Test your flow first using Debug to make sure it’s being triggered when your lead score is changed to exceed the target score. Once verified, activate the flow in sandbox and test on some actual leads.
  • Step 7 – After validating your flow in sandbox, create your outbound changeset. In production, validate your inbound change set (since this change set does include Apex code,  be sure to run all local tests). Deploy once validated.
  • Step 8 – Activate your flow and relax — knowing that no good leads are going to go bad in your cold lead queue!

Get Those Lead to Sales!

This post provided a high-level overview of how to automate the reassignment of leads from your cold leads queue. This is a common problem and addressing it is a great way to get some great leads into the hands of your sales team immediately.

If you need a hand setting up the actual process, contact us with your questions.

Original article: Don’t Let Good Leads Go Bad in Salesforce Queues

©2022 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post Don’t Let Good Leads Go Bad in Salesforce Queues appeared first on The Spot.

By |2022-11-01T17:49:38+00:00October 25th, 2022|Categories: Marketing Automations, Pro Tips, revive, Strategy|