The Dragons of Sercante: A Brief Field Guide

As you may know, our mascot is a dragon.

A question our team frequently gets on this:

“What’s the backstory here?”

The real story is… there is no backstory about the dragon. We could probably make one up.  But the truth is, we just like them.

Mike Creuzer was going to submit a topic to Southeast Dreamin’ 2019 called “Slaying Your Data Dragons with Pardot,” and we talked about creating a dragon mascot specifically for that session.  Or creating the session for the mascot?  Anyway — the session didn’t happen, because somehow we managed to miss the submission deadline.

Still, we needed something soft and adorable to bring to THE marquee Salesforce conference of the Southeast. So we ran an internal poll because, democracy:

The dragons had a solid lead, but the real deal sealer was this video from the Creuzer clan:

It was just too cute.

And so, a mascot was born.

The Sercante dragons are not all identical, however.  You may encounter FIVE variations of Sercante dragons in the wild, at any given point in time.

Lil’ Handful

Lil’ Handful is the smallest, cutest member of the Sercante thunder (thunder is, in fact, the correct term for a herd of dragons.)  Lil’ Handful got its name from the catalog we ordered it from, also from the fact that it just makes you want to scoop it up its cuteness in your hands.

It is also very popular among cats.  Exhibit A:

Lil’ Handful with a Sailor Hat On

This is exactly what it sounds like — a dragon with a penchant for boating.

Lil’ Handful with a Sailor Hat On was made specifically for Dreamforce 2020 for our nautical themed B2B Marketing Bash, “Into the Blue.”  We had Yacht Rock, edible bubbles, and our beloved mascot with a jaunty hat.

I do understand that it is slightly confusing to people why a dragon would wear a sailor hat outside of the context of that party, but I would invite you to just roll with it. 🙂


Blitz is similarly colored, but bigger and mightier than Lil’ Handful.  She stands about 10 inches tall.  Don’t call her cute — she’s FIERCE.

Blitz is named for her role model, Adam Blitzer, the founder of Pardot.


Beni is the biggest of the Sercante dragons.  She’s seriously massive… she’s challenging to even fit in a backpack.

Only people who are serious about swag appreciate Beni.  And by “serious about swag” I mean “pack an extra suitcase to carry home plushies from Dreamforce” level serious.  She is large and in charge.

Beni gets her name from her celebrity hero, Marc Benioff.  Who I suspect is also challenging to fit in a backpack.


Goldie was also created as a “special edition” for Dreamforce 2019.  She got her name from… you guessed it, her color, along with our dwindling taxonomic creativity by dragon #5.

Goldie is also the world traveling star of the #WheresParDragon series counting down the days to ParDreamin’ 2020.

So there you have it!  These are the 5 plush Dragons of Sercante.  If you see one in the wild, please remember that they bite unless you take a picture and post it to Twitter.

PS — If you want one of your very own, be sure to sign up for ParDreamin’.  We will be raffling one of each 5 varieties at the event!

By |2020-11-24T20:13:37+00:00November 24th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

Cheers to 3 Years! Sercante Marks 3rd Birthday

I don’t usually celebrate birthdays.  Mostly because mine is January 2nd — the day when the entire globe goes on a diet and sets New Year’s resolutions (lame).

But when it comes to Sercante?  Now that’s a birthday I’ll gladly celebrate.  Even the one in the dumpster fire that is 2020.

It’s been a strange year filled with strange headlines.  We’ve battled a super virus and murder hornets. We saw communities come together to speak up and say that yes, Black Lives Matter. We navigated a historic U.S. election and mourned the loss of political and cultural icons.

2020 has been anything but boring.  Yet looking past the headlines… it seems to me that we are surrounded by silver linings, including:

  • Opportunities to spend more time with family and loved ones
  • Businesses doubling down on digital transformation
  • Marketing taking a more strategic role as a revenue driver
  • A heightened awareness of the role that small businesses play in the economy
  • Virtual work becoming the rule, not the exception
  • Greater appreciation for physical health and mental wellbeing
  • An opportunity to re-imagine industry events and make learning more accessible across the globe
  • Delta extending Medallion Status for another year (whew, close one)

The challenges posed by 2020 have also made me so incredibly proud of my team and the way they’ve rallied to support each other, our clients, and the Pardot community.  A few highlights from the past year, if I can brag on the Sercante crew for just a moment:

If I had to pick one word to describe how I feel about 2020, it would be “grateful.”

Words can’t describe how much I appreciate the individuals that have chosen to give their time and talents to Sercante, the amazing clients that continue to push this limits of the platform, the team at Salesforce who cultivate a strong ecosystem… and last, but definitely not least, the Pardot community who constantly cheers each other on and has each other’s backs (I’m looking at you @ifeellikemacmac, @JenTalkTech2Me, @jennamolby, @theashleyanger, and too many other awesome people to count).

Can’t wait to see what the next year will bring.

P.S. — sign up for ParDreamin‘.

P.P.S — we’re hiring. 🙂

By |2020-11-18T02:56:11+00:00November 18th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

Pardot API and Getting Ready with Salesforce SSO Users

Back in June, Salesforce announced that the way we work with the Pardot API will be changing and that, beginning in early 2021, all Pardot users will be required to use Salesforce single sign-on. In preparation for this change, some services have started rolling out their updates, but how do you as a Pardot admin actually get ready? 

This blog post will provide step-by-step instructions on how to prepare, where to gather all the critical information you need, and a quick guide on testing that you are prepared for these changes.

Before we dive in, there is something you might need to consider: You have the option of having a single Salesforce User with multiple Connected Apps (one for each integration).You also have the option of a single Connected App with multiple Salesforce Users (one for each integration) as well as any combination of the two options.

Our recommendation is to have a single Connected App and multiple Salesforce Users (with CRM identity licenses from the bundle provided by Pardot). This option creates a direct connection between the Pardot user and the app and allows Pardot admins to easily identify which API connection made changes to Pardot if an issue ever arises. 

If you don’t have the available license count to make this work, try to segment your integrations into something that makes sense. Just make sure that the combination of Connected App and User is different for each integration (especially if 3rd party).

Ok, let’s dive in. Here are the steps to set up Pardot users with Salesforce single sign-on. 

Step 1: Set up a Salesforce User

  1. In Salesforce Setup, search for Users and click New User
  2. For this user, try to keep it integration specific. If you have 5 integrations, plan to create 5 users. Use a unique username which indicates the purpose of this integration, and be sure to select the Identity User License. (If you pick another license by mistake, you can’t downgrade the license to Identity, so be careful!)
  3. Save the new user, and then activate the account from the email that Salesforce sent out (I usually do this in a new Private Browser / Incognito Mode).
  4. As part of activating the account, pick a new, very strong password.
  5. Now that you are in, you will need to generate a security token. Click on your user at the top right, and then go to My Settings.
  6. Go to Reset My Security Token, then click the button.
  7. You should get a token in your email. Keep this, you will need it later. You can now close your private/incognito browser, as the rest of the steps will be done with your main accounts.

Step 2: Setup Pardot User

Now that our Salesforce User has been set up, we need to create a Pardot User that it will be synced with.

  1. In Salesforce, launch the Pardot app, go to Pardot Settings, Users and Add User
  2. Provide the name and email address you used for the Salesforce User
  3. Optional, but recommended: note the time zone, or maybe adjust it to match the time zone that the Integration is running in. If these don’t match, you might get some really weird results later when you use the API because of the differences in day boundaries if you use datetime based queries.
  4. Pick the CRM Username that you just created in Salesforce (you will likely need to refresh the list of users). Also, pick the Role. Sales Manager will give you access to Prospect data, and not much for Pardot assets, Marketing will likely give you what most Pardot API integrations need for access, but if you need to create custom fields, you will need to grant the Admin role. Custom roles for API access control is also supported and recommended if you have access to them.
  5. Optional, but recommended: Disable all emails that will be sent to the integration user’s mailbox.
  6. Click Create User
  7. Click the Enable Salesforce single sign-on link to complete this process.

Step 3: Create Salesforce Connected App

If you have been following along, you will note that almost all the previous steps were pretty standard for any SSO user, and you are right! Besides the Security Token this stuff is pretty straightforward.

The next bit is where the Pardot Authentication docs don’t really give much guidance, but we got ya.

  1. Switch to Salesforce Classic Experience
  2. In Setup, go to Build, Create, Apps
  3. The Apps page has a few sections. Scroll to the bottom to Connected Apps, and click New
  4. Fill in the Basic information, Enable OAuth Settings, specify the Callback URL and select the Access Pardot services OAuth Scope.
  5. You do not need to put anything in for the other sections (Web App Settings, Custom Connected App Handler, Mobile App Settings, Canvas App Settings). Click Save
  6. You may get a prompt to wait for a while before using this app. Click Continue
  7. Almost Done! You just need to copy the Consumer Key and the Consumer Secret.

Step 4: Get the Pardot Business Unit

One last piece of information needed, the Pardot Business Unit Id that you will be using the API with. You need to do this step even if you are not using the “Multiple Business Units” feature. The steps are the same for a single Pardot account, just follow along.

  1. Switch back to Lightning Experience, launch Setup
  2. Search for Pardot Setup Home, click Assign Admin to get to the list of Business Units
  3. Grab your Business Unit ID.

Step 5: Testing it all

Ok great, now that we have all the information, let’s test it out. Our favorite tool for testing APIs is Postman, and we have created a Postman Collection for Pardot that should help you get started.

  1. Install Postman and Import our collection.
  2. Click the Environment Setup button so that you can provide the information we built in all the previous steps.
  3. Click Pardot API – Salesforce SSO to configure that environment
  4. Provide all the relevant information, click the Reset All link, then scroll down to click Update

    1. If you are using the Pardot feature “Allow Multiple Prospects with Same Email Address” you need to specify api_version 4.
    2. If you are using a demo instance of Pardot, you need to change the pardot_domain to
    3. If you prefer / need XML as output instead of JSON, replace the value for output_format to “xml”
  5. Close out of Manage Environments, then make sure that Postman is using it
  6. In the Pardot API – Salesforce SSO collection, expand Getting Started and click the Login Request. Click Send.
  7. Optional: Check out the Body of the request to see how the information is being passed to Salesforce to complete the login request. Note how the Password is actually a concatenation of the Salesforce Password with the Salesforce Security Token
  8. With a successful login, you should get a response that has an Access Token. This is 1 of the 2 pieces that Pardot needs.
  9. Now that you have an access token, you can start experimenting with other Pardot API requests. If you check out the other requests in the Getting Started section, you can start to see how things are tied together. Note the Headers for any of the requests, they all have the Authorization and Pardot-Business-Unit-Id headers.

Getting Ready for Salesforce Winter ‘21 Release

Hopefully, by following the steps above, you feel more prepared for the API and single sign-on updates coming early next year. What are you doing to prepare for upcoming Pardot and Salesforce releases? Let us know in the comments.  Want some help getting ahead of the curve? Give us a shout and we’ll hook you up.

The post Pardot API and Getting Ready with Salesforce SSO Users appeared first on The Spot For Pardot.

By |2021-01-06T14:33:36+00:00September 23rd, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

What Successful Marketers Know About Salesforce Auto-Association


What you don’t know about auto-association could be completely ruining your campaign influence reports in Salesforce.

Let that sink in.

Now that I have your attention, let’s talk about this auto-association thing. 

I spent many years in marketing and, I have to be honest, the term “auto-association” was never uttered at my company. As a marketer, I was relying on our Salesforce Admin to ensure that Salesforce magically spit out the correct information on all my campaign influence reports. But were they accurate?

Auto-association is key to ensuring that your campaign influence reports are attributing opportunities to the campaigns that truly had influence. It does this by limiting the time that a campaign has influence and/or by applying auto-association rules.

Auto-Association for Campaign Influence Set Up

Let’s break this down a bit.

Campaign Influence Eligibility Limits

Setting up timeframe limits for Campaign Influence in Salesforce allows you to specify the maximum number of days that a campaign is considered to be influential. This is determined by comparing the date that a contact was first associated with the campaign and the date that the opportunity was created. The general rule of thumb is to use two-to-three times your sales cycle to set these limits.

Let’s see this in action.

If your Campaign Influence Time Frame is not defined, all campaigns will be included in your campaign influence reports. Yep – All campaigns.  If a contact was associated with a campaign 5 years ago, another last week, and then had an opportunity created, the credit would be equally divided between both campaigns. It seems hardly fair that the old campaign is receiving equal credit for the efforts of your hard-working, new campaign!

If your settings look like the image below, in other words, and your Campaign Influence Time Frame is blank, then this is exactly what’s happening.

Let’s look at that same scenario – with one small change.

If your Campaign Influence Time Frame is set to 60 days, only campaigns with opportunities created within this 60-day window will be included in your campaign influence reports. If a contact was associated with a campaign 5 years ago, another last week, and then had an opportunity created, the last campaign would receive 100% of the credit. The old campaign would not receive any credit because the time between campaign association and opportunity creation is greater than the 60 day limit. Now that’s more like it!

Here’s an example of how a 60 day campaign influence time frame looks in Salesforce setup.

Now that we’ve covered Campaign Influence Time Frame, you may be wondering, what’s the deal with auto-association rules?

Glad you asked!

Auto-Association Rules

Setting auto-association rules in Salesforce allows you to apply criteria to limit campaigns that are considered to be influential. They are not required, but are highly recommended.

Consider this scenario.

You have an Engagement Studio Program set up in Pardot with the action to add all prospects to your “Follow-up” Salesforce campaign with the campaign member status of Sent and another action to update the status to Clicked (if an email was clicked). One of the members of this campaign also attended a webinar three weeks ago and is also included in your “Webinars” campaign with a campaign member status of attended. How would you apply campaign influence if a new opportunity was created and…

  • A prospect did not click any of the emails in the Engagement Studio Program
  • Versus a prospect who clicked an email included in the Engagement Studio Program

In my eyes, the act of being sent an email should have zero impact on campaign influence and should not be considered in your influence reports. However, the story changes if that email is clicked. This is where auto-association rules come into play.

The rule below ensures that only the Click campaign member status is included in your campaign influence association reports and excludes the Sent status. Pretty cool!

You can accomplish the same thing by creating a rule that looks for Responded status equals True (or combining both with an OR statement).

Keep in mind, this rule is looking at the Responded designation only, not the Member Status. If you go this route, you need to ensure that all your campaigns have Responded selected for at least one member status. If you don’t, that campaign will not be included in your campaign influence reports.

Use Salesforce Know-How to Step Up Your Marketing

Auto-association is just one aspect of Salesforce that can seriously impact marketing. As Salesforce and Pardot continue to move closer to a single platform, Salesforce knowledge is becoming a requirement for successful digital marketers and Pardot Admins.

Sound intimidating? Fear not – we’ve got you covered with our new Salesforce Basics for Pardot Admins training course. Check it out to learn more tips to improve your digital marketing effectiveness by working smarter in Salesforce.

The post What Successful Marketers Know About Salesforce Auto-Association appeared first on The Spot For Pardot.

By |2020-07-22T22:54:59+00:00July 15th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

There’s A Badge For That! Ideas for Leveraging Trailhead For Team Learning

For many organizations, especially our friends at nonprofits, non-governmental organizations, and even start-ups, making time to learn can be difficult. Would you be interested in a flexible, easy to digest, free tool to learn about Salesforce or Pardot prior to purchase, post-purchase or simply at will to skill up in specific features in 30 minutes or less?

Well, let me introduce you to Trailhead!

What is Trailhead?

As described by Salesforce –

“Trailhead is a learning experience platform—a library of educational content that you can access whenever you like.”

And guess what? It is absolutely free.

How can Trailhead benefit you?

Trailhead provides you with resources to prepare you for the start of a new career in the Salesforce ecosystem (or supplement your evolving journey with your current employer). In a way, Trailhead acts as your virtual Salesforce career support hub. You can also download the Trailhead app on your iPhone (sorry fellow Android users – our time will come…soon I hope).


To help, Trailhead outlines a few general roles in the Salesforce family and gives you statistics around them, these include: Administrator, Marketer, Business Analyst, Developers, Consultant, Services, Sales and System Architecture.


Taking it a step further, you can even sign up to become a mentee or a mentor to others who are starting to explore a career change or simply learning Sales Cloud/Pardot for their current role. You might get lucky and get paired up with someone from team Sercante (I have signed up to be a mentor twice!).

You can also set up a profile (like the one below) so you can use it as your Salesforce portfolio with your own URL. Then attach it to your different social media profiles.

What Type of learning resources are available on Trailhead?

With Trailhead you can customize your learning to tailor it exactly for you (or your team’s needs) and, similar to an online course, complete on your own time.

Some of the resources available once you create a free Trailhead account include:

  • Modules: Modules are snippets of learning material around a specific topic. (e.g. Email Templates)
  • Trails: Trails are a short chain of modules that explore specific features or use-cases (e.g. Email Marketing)
  • Trailmixes: A Trailmix is a series of custom trails, in other words you mix modules from different trails into a new learning set.
  • Projects: Like the name implies, projects are hands-on exercises with “recipes” you can follow to accomplish specific tasks. 
  • Superbages: Superbadges are like projects in that they assign specific tasks, but unlike projects, superbadges do not provide you with step-by-step directions to solve specific challenges. They’re great for applying what you have learned to common situations you’d encounter as a real admin. 
  • Supersets: These are a compilation of superbadges, which help you grow in proficiency in the skills required for specific industry roles. 
  • Quests: These act as incentives to gamify Trailhead and provide users with prizes; 


The more of these resources you complete, the more badges you earn and the higher your point count/rank will be within the Trailhead universe. In fact, some universities are starting to give college credit for these trailmixes in specific programs.

How long does it take to get through a trail or trailmix?

The real answer is, it depends. However you can always tell by the duration time at the beginning of each module. This allows you to use 15-30 minutes during lunch to tackle a part of the module and come back later or after you put the kids to sleep for the night.

Does Trailhead update their content regularly?

In short, yes. Most of the content on Trailhead is relevant to any role in the Salesforce ecosystem.


For those trailblazers trying to stay ahead of the curve, I recommend checking out:

  • Trailblazer Radio – Provides you with access to podcasts like: The Admin Podcast, the Developers Podcast and The Trailblazer’s Guide To Careers that can provide you quick knowledge snippets that are easy to digest during your downtime
  • Trailhead Live – Need fresh content? Trailhead live provides you with a series of new content webinars and virtual seminars around different topics directly from Salesforce Evangelists.

There are also several additional community components (pictured below) that you can explore to build a community both online and IRL. 

How can I use Trailhead at my company?

Trailhead can be leveraged at the individual and team level. However, Trailhead has limited content and isn’t very flexible when it comes to adding 3rd party content. For that purpose, many companies use myTrailhead to onboard their teams or develop new courses around their Salesforce use cases. You can embed videos, text, images, 3rd party links and even quiz your participants. By using myTrailhead you can even recommend modules for your team to review throughout Salesforce.

Not ready to dive into myTrailhead? Another way you can track your team’s progress is by using the Trail Tracker App. With this app, you can incentivize your team to manage their own learning by making monthly or quarterly badge challenges and also provide everyone (or management) with the visibility necessary to have impactful conversations around career development.

We just got Pardot. How do I use Trailhead to get up to speed quickly?

Trailhead is a great tool to leverage in-house expertise. If this doesn’t exist in your organization around Pardot, then I would encourage you to seek support from a knowledgeable Partner who has experience in your industry. Implementations can be tricky to do. It may seem like another cost but the amount of technical debt you can build from a partial or incorrect configuration could prevent you and your team from leveraging Pardot to the maximum.

We lost our Pardot Admin (or I’m the Pardot Admin now…), what do I do now? Can Trailhead help?

In short, yes. However, similar to Salesforce Administrators everyone has a style of doing things and if you don’t have experience working in the tool, even Trailhead can be hard to digest. I would recommend you reach out to a Partner for a system audit to help you create a roadmap of how to pinpoint any deficiencies and help you find solutions that fit your business. This would Once you have a base understanding of the system and ideas for how you want to use it, you can pinpoint which areas of Pardot you can learn from Trailhead.


For training, I would recommend signing up for a virtual course like our Pardot Admin Bootcamp, especially if your timeline is tight and you need to get up to speed quickly.

Additionally, these three Trailmixes can provide you with an excellent starting point to prepare you for your first taste of Pardot:

  • Getting Started With Pardot: For Training – This trailmix is tailored for those who want a more in-depth look at Pardot or are pursuing certification and would like to supplement their learning. Get Started > >
  • Getting Started With Pardot: For Operations – This trailmix is tailored for the day-to-day operations to get up and running as soon as possible. Get Started > >
  • Power User Topics: Pardot Technical Setup, Reports, and B2B MA – This trailmix combines a series of additional topics for Pardot power users. Get Started > >

Take Control of Your Career with Trailhead

You can take control of your career by leveraging Trailhead to learn about roles in the Salesforce universe and also become trained on them fairly quickly. Although Trailhead on its own is not a substitute for real-world experience, using this tool and actively engaging with it can help you prepare for your first junior role as a Salesforce or Pardot Admin.

For leaders exploring how to engage their teams further while they’re remote, Trailhead can become a good way to gamify the process of self and team learning with its point system, quests, and community dashboards.

By |2020-07-09T21:06:38+00:00July 8th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

5 Fab Functions of Salesforce Formulas

What comes to your mind when you hear the word “formula”? If you are anything like my 13-year old daughter, the quadratic formula and other dreaded mathematical functions come to mind. While formulas in Salesforce can be used to do calculations, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Below are five cool things that you can do with formulas.

Keep Data Clean

Is poor data derailing your marketing efforts and making your reporting impossible?

Hey – I’ve been there and feel your pain. Fortunately, formulas in validation rules can save the day!

Here’s a good example. Let’s say that you are in charge of marketing a product to individuals in the USA and Canada and that state or province is needed for your marketing segmentation. Your organization also does some business in other parts of the world, so state is not required when entering leads into Salesforce. Formulas to the rescue!

The simple formula below checks the country of leads upon entry and will not let the record be saved if the country is USA or Canada and the state field is blank.

Nothing too fancy, but effective. When users try to save the record with missing data, they are greeted with a friendly reminder at the top of the page.

Build Picklist Dependencies

One of my favorite Pardot form functions is dependent fields. This feature allows you to shorten forms and only show select fields based on the response to a dependent field. You can build very similar dependencies in Salesforce using formulas.

Let’s put our marketing hat back on for a moment and consider the situation below. As the marketing leader of an organization, you know the personas of your customers quite well and have determined that job function is one of the most critical factors in identifying future buyers. Based on customer analysis, you have created picklists in Salesforce to capture this information in a consistent manner when leads are entered (nice job!). You also had the foresight to include “other” as an option in your picklist to capture titles that may not be in your list or may be associated with future product releases. 

After creating “Job Function” as a required field (with picklist values) and creating a non-required “Other Job Function” field, the formula below can be added as a validation rule. This rule will require that the “Other Job Function” field be completed prior to records being saved if the “Other” option is selected in in the picklist.

Here’s the error message that users will see if “Other” is selected and the “Other Job Title” field is not populated.

Add Images

If your Salesforce org is any like the ones that I work in, there is a lot of data on your lead and contact page layouts. While the data is needed and serves a purpose, finding key information can often be a challenge. We’ve all heard the expression “a picture is with a thousand words” – you can leverage this concept by adding images with formulas. 

The example below is used to apply visual indicators based on lead rating. If the lead is Hot, five stars are displayed. If the lead is Cold, only one star is displayed.

Simplify Complexity

One of our core values at Secante is to “simplify complexity” and formulas can help us do that too. Sometimes we don’t need all the data presented on a page layout. The information needed can be conveyed through the humble checkbox.

Let’s say that your organization has a list of target accounts that are treated differently than other accounts. Asking the sales team to memorize a list of accounts that may be in a state of perpetual change, is just not scalable. However, the addition of a simple checkbox on the contact page layout to serve a visual indicator would easily address the need.

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Simplify Other Formulas

We’ve started off with some pretty simple formulas, but the reality is that formulas in the real world tend to get much more complex. In this example from the Advanced Admin Trail, a text formula named Case_Category _ _c was created to color code cases based on the length of time that they have been open.

While technically accurate, this formula has a lot of redundant components. Sticking with the “simplify complexity” theme that we mentioned earlier, a helper formula can be used to make this formula a bit more efficient.

In this case, the logic for calculating the case’s age can be defined in another formula called Case_Age_In_Days_ _c. We can then insert this formula field into our original formula and eliminate the need to do the age calculations within the “IF” statements. The result is a streamlined formula that’s much easier to read and understand.

Learn More

Check out these great resources from Salesforce to build and expand your formula skills.

By |2020-05-02T17:45:03+00:00May 2nd, 2020|Categories: CRM, Salesforce, Uncategorized|

How Pardot Admins Can FINALLY Bury the Hatchet with Sales


The relationship between sales and marketing departments is not always the stuff dreams are made of.

In fact, sometimes it can be a real nightmare with both sides pointing fingers at each other and a total lack of collaboration and alignment.

During my career, I’ve experienced both extremes of this relationship. This post is going to focus on the positive experience and some tips for strengthening your relationship.

First, Develop a Relationship

You don’t have to be best friends, but take the time to get to know your counterpart and understand what makes him or her tick. I’ve been in some situations where sales leadership had an immediate disdain for marketing (and I felt the same way about them) and these preconceived notions set the stage for failure.

My last role was quite the opposite, and it made all the difference in the world. We took the time to get to know each other as people first and then as sales and marketing professionals. We took the time at the beginning of each meeting to chat about our kids and maybe the score of last night’s game.

While this may seem unnecessary, I would argue quite the opposite. Because we genuinely like each other, we wanted to help the other succeed. We also had a strong enough relationship to disagree and offer constructive criticism.

The relationship between sales and marketing leaders is key – take the time to invest in it. While we no longer work together, Jonathan (the sales leader referenced above) and I still remain friends today and speak regularly.

Implement Lead Scoring and Grading ASAP

First, a truth for my friends in marketing.

Not every lead you generate is qualified and worth a phone call.

That guy who bent your ear for 20 minutes at the trade show booth is not a buyer. He simply enjoyed the free drinks a little too much and REALLY wants that t-shirt that you are giving away. He has no idea what your company even does at this point.

This is why lead scoring and grading is so important. Our friend from the trade show may be an ideal candidate for your services based on his job title (which would equate to his grade), but he has not shown any buying signals at this point and should not be sent to your sales team. Instead, take the time to nurture him until he engages with your marketing and shows buying signals (and meets a qualifying score). Only then should he be sent to your sales team.

Building an scoring and grading system that’s mutually agreed to and rooted in reality will go a long way towards building trust with your sales team and increasing the effectiveness of sales calls.

Collaborate and Share Knowledge

I work primarily with marketing teams in my current role, but I ALWAYS encourage collaboration with sales when it comes to the previously mentioned Scoring and Grading.

The truth is that marketing may THINK that they know what the perfect prospect looks like and engagement with which asset shows the strongest buying signal, but they don’t. The only way to know this information is through direct interaction with the customers – and that is something that sales has.

When doing scoring and grading, conduct a workshop with sales leaders and a few of the top sales representatives. Work collaboratively to prioritize marketing assets, engagements and scoring/grading thresholds. Both teams need to have skin in the game and agree to service level agreements to make the process work.

This collaboration should not just be limited to scoring and grading, however — it should extend to other areas of the business too. Just think of all the great reports and metrics that both teams have. Are they being shared?

Using Opportunities: Help Me Help You

Senior leadership looks to marketing to provide key ROI metrics and report on the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. While it’s true that Salesforce and Pardot can provide outstanding reporting on campaign influence, all these capabilities are negated if opportunities are not used properly by the organization and sales.

One of the most common issues that I see is contact roles not being associated with opportunities in Salesforce. Since marketing relies on campaigns to track attribution and there is no direct correlation to opportunities, sales MUST add contact roles to create the linkage. Without contact roles, there will be holes and inaccuracies in all your ROI reports.

(Side note: Realizing that the life a sales person is a busy one and associating contact roles may not the #1 priority, the team at Sercante Lab has developed the Automated Opportunity Contact Roles app to give your sales team a hand.

Help your sales team and yourself by checking it out today.)

Be Realistic with Tasks & Alerts

The automation tools in Pardot give marketing teams the power to create tasks and update notes fields in Salesforce using completion actions. Use this power wisely!

I’ll be the first to admit that I fell into the trap of:

“Not going to call my leads? I’ll create tasks for you – and send you reminders on top of it!”

The big danger here is that you could easily clutter the tasks assigned to your sales team and distract them from calling the hottest leads and contacts based on your agreed upon scoring and grading rules. You could actually hurt the number of opportunities being closed if you use this power with reckless abandon.

My advice is to again, talk to your friends in sales before creating tasks for them. Agree to what actions warrant a task and commit to a follow-up SLA.

By working together, tasks and alerts can be an excellent tool in getting the right people to sales – at the right time.

Celebrate the Wins – Together!

Sales routinely celebrates success in the form of SPIFFs, parties and sales awards, but it’s also important to recognize the contributions from the marketing team.

Like it or not, sales and marketing are related and can’t succeed without the efforts of the other. Sales needs the demand generation, brand awareness and lead qualification from marketing. In turn, marketing needs sales to close the business to demonstrate ROI and justify their budget.

Some of the best interactions that I’ve experienced are when sales and marketing come together to celebrate wins collectively. It can be something as simple as team lunch at the office or drinks after work.

Simply getting your sales and marketing teams together in a positive environment will help them come together as a team and provide motivation to better support one another.

There’s No Time Like the Present: Make the Effort for Better Marketing & Sales Alignment

There is no downside to better aligning your sales and marketing teams. A trusting relationship takes time to build, so why not start today?

Pick an item or two from this list and go to work – it’s sure to help.

Along the way, you are also going to develop your own set of alignment strategies and we would love to hear them. Share your successes in the comments below.

By |2020-04-13T19:40:46+00:00March 27th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

Introducing the Automated Opportunity Contact Roles App

Marketers want to show what campaigns drive revenue.  Sounds simple, right?

But not always as easy as it seems.


The Problem: Missing Data Ruins the Ability to Run ROI & Campaign Influence Reporting

If you’re a marketer, maybe you can relate to this scenario:

You’ve asked politely.  You’ve put together training guides. You’ve sent it up the chain of command.

But still… your sales people aren’t adding freaking Contact Roles to their Opportunities. This ruins your ability to link revenue with your marketing Campaigns using standard Campaign Influence and marketing attribution reports/dashboards.


The Solution: Automated Opportunity Contact Roles, Now Available on the AppExchange

We’ve seen the above scenario scenario play out time and time again.  So we built an app to address this issue and add Contact Roles automatically to opportunities.

Rather than waiting for sales to add contact roles (spoiler alert: they won’t), our app allows you to automate the process by creating business logic for when to automatically add Contact Roles to Opportunities.

You can set intelligent criteria for when to link targeted Contacts, ensuring your Campaigns finally get the sourced and influenced revenue credit they deserve.

No manual data entry for sales, no fuss, and you get the data you need for better reporting.


How the App for Automated Opportunity Contact Roles Works

Our Automated Opportunity Contact Roles app is extremely simple to install and use.  The highlights:

  • Choose top contacts to link to an Opportunity — based on Salesforce Last Activity Date, Salesforce Last Modified Date, or Pardot Last Activity Date.
  • Get granular: Apply your rules across all Opportunities and Accounts, or limit it to certain Opportunity owners and/or types of Contacts (with clicks, not code!)
  • Buy licenses for all of your sales reps, or just the ones that are extra bad at updating data busy
  • To take it to the NEXT LEVEL, you can even call our app’s functionality from Flows and Process Builder!

Here’s a video walk through to show you how it works:


How the Get the App 

Visit the AppExchange to learn more about the app or download to your org.  License pricing starts at $5 per user per month — a small price compared to all of the time you’ll save with manual data entry and missed opportunities to optimize your marketing campaigns without the data you need for ROI reporting.

Questions?  Reach out to [email protected], or give us a shout in the comments!

By |2020-02-05T18:50:45+00:00February 5th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

Sercante Completes Salesforce Accelerate Build Incubator Program

Last week marked the end of the Accelerate Build program, and looking back it has been quite the journey. We not only learned a bunch about building apps with Salesforce, we also learned a lot about how to work with various teams in Salesforce.  We’re really grateful to Salesforce and the AppExchange team (particularly Mike Kreaden, Emilie Jessula, and Hana Mandapat) for the opportunity to participate in this program and look forward to sharing more about our app soon.

A bit more about the Accelerate Build program

The Salesforce Accelerate Build program is an incubator that supports companies from idea to app, fast-tracking their journey to AppExchange.  Sercante participated in Cohort 7 for North America, along with these other amazing companies:

Starting in October, we had monthly workshops in San Francisco where all 10 companies in the program got together to  do hands on exercises as well as learn from speakers from both within Salesforce and partners in the AppExchange community. In between the monthly workshops, each week there were 2 webinars covering both business and technical topics.

Overall, there was a ton of information and it did feel like it was like drinking from a fire hose (in the best possible way). Luckily all the content was recorded so that we can revisit as needed.

A new product was born

We came into the Accelerate Build program with a product idea in mind, and 50% of the build complete.  In our November workshop, we had a lightbulb moment around a second product idea related to the reporting challenges Marketers face for ROI calculations.  After discussing and evaluating with some of the tools we were introduced to in the program, we decided to make this the first product to pursue.  We submitted the app for Security Review over the winter holidays and we hope to get word on it fairly soon.

A sneak peek at the product: Automated Opportunity Contact Roles

Rather than waiting for sales to add contact roles (spoiler alert: they won’t), our app allows you to automate the process by creating business logic for when to automatically add Contact Roles to Opportunities.

You can set intelligent criteria for when to link targeted Contacts, ensuring your Campaigns finally get the sourced and influenced revenue credit they deserve. No manual data entry for sales, no fuss, and you get the data you need for better reporting.

More to come on this soon…

Want to learn more about Accelerate? 

The Accelerate program is currently recruiting for its next cohort.  Learn more about the program on the FAQs page.

Update: As of February 3, 2020, our first product is live on the AppExchange!  Read more about it here.



By |2020-02-11T12:22:52+00:00January 27th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

Sercante Achieves Education & Nonprofit Cloud Certified Navigator Status

Sercante is proud to share that we’ve been recognized as a Certified Navigator for customers using Nonprofit Cloud and Education Cloud. 

We are excited by this recognition and look forward to opportunities to continue helping Nonprofits and Higher Education institutions be successful on the Salesforce platform. 

What has Sercante done to grow its Nonprofit & Higher Ed team?

 After hiring several new team members with deep experience in the ecosystem, we tuned our focus to upskilling our team.  7 team members have dug in, hit Trailhead, and earned the Nonprofit Cloud and Education Cloud Consultant certifications.

Our team also took on 5x more clients in 2019 compared to previous year (and helped those clients see amazing results!).

What is the Salesforce Navigator Program?

The Navigator statuses help customers find the right partner for them based on a partner’s proven expertise in a Salesforce product. Based on expertise, product knowledge, and customer success, a partner can earn a status of Certified, Specialist, and Master Navigator. 

You can find Sercante’s Navigator statuses in Pardot, Sales Cloud, and products on their AppExchange listing here

What’s next for Sercante with

Our team plans to double-down on our passion for the community in 2020. We’ll be working hard to bring top-notch Pardot support to our customers and the Power of Us community. 

We’ll be focusing on growing our team, digging deeper with our values, and leading the way for exceptional customer service. We have some exciting tools, upcoming Nonprofit and Higher Education success stories, and new Pardot-focused classes coming down the pipeline. 

Want to hear more about our work with customers?

We’d love to chat about your needs and how we can help. Reach out to us at any time through our Contact Us form or in our Qualified chatbot on our website.

By |2020-02-05T16:57:54+00:00January 15th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|