2022 Salesforce Partner Innovation Award Winner: Sercante & The Home Depot

Sometimes the answers busy sales teams need already exist within their tech stacks. The Home Depot Retail Media+ team knew selling ad space on The Home Depot website had great potential, but the revenue stream wasn’t flowing as freely as they knew it could.

That’s when the team looked to Sercante for guidance. They wanted to understand how to increase ad revenue from the company’s retail sales website using Salesforce CRM features that were already available to them.

Here’s how Sercante and The Home Depot partnered to significantly increase ad revenue from HomeDepot.com while simultaneously increasing the CRM database and enabling sales forecasting that wasn’t possible before. The collaborative solution earned a 2022 Salesforce Partner Innovation Award in the Retail category.

Challenge Accepted: Untapping Existing Salesforce CRM Resources

The teams at Sercante and The Home Depot had clear goals in mind when they partnered with one another to fully utilize the resources available to them. 

The primary goal was to tap into the underutilized ad revenue stream from the company retail sales website at HomeDepot.com. However, the teams had several challenges to overcome before they could reach that goal.

Although other divisions of the company were already longtime Salesforce customers, the Retail Media+ team was newer to the platform and, as a result, many standard Salesforce features weren’t being utilized. Additionally, the first round of org customizations supported disconnected sales processes that weren’t adaptable to their quickly-evolving systems and growing team. 

 

The Solution: Coordinating Existing Features to Unify the Sales Process

Sercante and The Home Depot Retail Media+ team partnered to create a flexible and scalable solution that supported a unified sales process while making better use of the technology tools available.

Bringing the team together in a single, unified sales process was crucial for ensuring efficiency, transparency, and accuracy. And a key element to achieving this was ensuring that the right team members got the right tasks at the right time for both Account management and to keep an Opportunity moving forward from stage to stage. 

The two teams brought about this solution by implementing powerful, but sometimes overlooked, Sales Cloud features. These included:

  • Customizing the Opportunity Path to reflect every step in a Retail Media+ Opportunity from New to Closed and then, to ensure that end users know the purpose of each stage and what info and tasks are needed within each, they called out the most important data points using Key Fields and provided explainer text in the Guidance for Success sections.
  • Implementing the use of Activity Management for end users, which creates a single source of truth for tracking the many tasks needed to support the Retail Media+ sales cycle.
  • Setting up Account Teams to automate record visibility and to further solidify and add transparency to users’ roles and responsibilities across the rapidly growing CRM database and team.
  • Creating Flow automations that are powered by Opportunity Path settings and Account Teams to automate task assignments, improve the visibility of key data, and loop in the right person at the right time so deals progress without a hitch.

Improving Documentation Processes

While implementing the upgrades outlined above, Sercante’s Salesforce consulting team also spent a significant amount of time establishing a standardized documentation process for The Home Depot Retail Media+ team, which was essential for two reasons. First, simply put, it’s best practice to document every customization and change made inside a Sales Cloud org and even more crucial when an org is evolving quickly. Second, the Retail Media+ team projected a significant amount of team growth in the near future and needed to be able to quickly onboard new end users.

 

Results: Increasing Revenue, Growing the CRM, and More

Overall, the project included several moving parts and required careful planning from multiple teams. And these results not only confirmed it was energy well-spent, but also far exceeded everyone’s expectations:

  • The Home Depot Retail Media+ team saw a revenue increase of 44% YoY.
  • The team enabled sales forecasting that wasn’t previously possible.
  • They increased the CRM database by 400% YoY.
  • They’re able to set up Salesforce Accounts for suppliers before or within a week of activation.
  • They enabled improvement on revenue that was previously swept to margin YoY.

2022 Salesforce Partner Innovation Award Winner: Retail Category

The collaboration between the Sercante team and The Home Depot Retail Media+ team in this story was so powerful that it became an award-winning solution. The teams were selected to share a 2022 Salesforce Partner Innovation Award in the Retail category. 

The 2022 Salesforce Partner Innovation Award recipients were honored by Salesforce at an award reception that took place during Dreamforce 2022 in San Francisco, CA. 

Check out all of the 2022 Partner Innovation Award Winners here.

Replicate These Solutions in Your Salesforce Org 

When looking to make Salesforce a single source of truth about your customer, it’s critical to track the right data, at the right time, and make it visible to the right people. 

The opportunity management solutions we implemented lean on best-practice functionality. That includes features like Account Teams, Activity Management, Flow, Opportunity Path and Key Fields that companies large or small can learn from to better manage their pipeline. 

With easy setup for the admins and end users, their use of opportunity management is sustainable and scalable and showcases Salesforce standard functionality at its best. 

Ready to implement solutions like these in your own Salesforce org? We know you can do it! And we’re always here if you need help along the way. Drop us a line to get in contact with us.

By |2022-11-28T19:55:27+00:00November 28th, 2022|Categories: Uncategorized|

Gratitude: Celebrating 5 Years of Sercante

Every year, two things in November invite reflection: Thanksgiving and Sercante’s anniversary.

This month marks 5 years since Sercante opened its doors, and I couldn’t be more proud of and grateful for this team.

Major Events In The Sercante Company Journey

Our 5 years have been marked with all kinds of “unprecedented times” that have made for a crazy, sometimes messy, but always interesting journey.

A few inflection points that stand out from the journey:

  • This thing called covid, of course (you might have heard of it.) A Great Resignation and a monumental shift in the way people think about work.
  • A renaissance for remote work.
  • A Sercante baby boom with almost 15% of our small team taking parental leave in a single year (my own little human being a part of that wave!)
  • Whispers of the next recession, layoffs in certain sectors, and changes in the way many organizations are staffing/resources their marketing teams.
  • A return to events and in-person gatherings, with Dreamforce 2022 being the first big gathering in a long while.
  • The retirement of the name “Pardot” (well… kind of.)
  • Investment like never before from Salesforce in the future of Marketing Cloud, specifically, platform unification and extensibility.
  • Salesforce CDP picking up major steam, most recently with the launch for Genie at Dreamforce.

Always Embracing Generosity

Amidst all of these changing tides in the world and in the products we support, one thing has stayed constant for Sercante at every step of the way.

The one constant thing is the way our team embraces our values and shows up hard to help marketers impact their businesses and their careers leveraging the Salesforce platform.

I don’t think you’re really “supposed to” have a favorite core value, but my favorite out of the 5 that Sercante holds dear is Generosity. And that’s because it’s most readily apparent when I look at my team and how they show up in the ecosystem.

We are a group of givers. We have 5 user group leaders and 7 Marketing Champions in our ranks. We’re involved in both the Salesforce community and the communities in which we live and work, giving back through causes like:

Sharing Knowledge So We Can Grow Together

We love sharing knowledge and creating opportunities for others to shine (even our “competitors”!) through vehicles like:

We’re connectors. We aim to give just a little bit more than what’s expected in every interaction. And we believe creating abundance starts by believing in it and acting accordingly.

I’m excited about what the future holds, and I can’t think of a group of people I’d rather be doing it with.

A Few Special Thank Yous

  • To the 25 new team members who have come on board in 2022 – thank you for making the decision to invest your time and talent here. I will work my you-know-what off to make sure that was the right call and to make Sercante a place where you can thrive.
  • To the 40 team members who have been with us since 2021 or earlier – thank you for continuing to be a part of this hypergrowth rocketship and for being a part of the solution as we design processes, refine collaboration norms, and build an organizational structure to get us ready for the next chapter, whatever that looks like. I’m committed to making Sercante a place where you can grow, try new things on for size, and build your next chapter too.
  • To the first ever MarDreamin’ Advisory Board — Jen Kazin, Jenna Molby, Vicki Moritz-Henry, and Chris Zullo — thank you for helping us pick the best topics and stand-out speakers. You help us keep our edge and highlight the best of the best!
  • To our MarDreamin’ Social Ambassadors — Brittany Rhyme, Olliea Linn, Genna Matson, Ashley Anger, Rob Walter, Connor Ebbs, and Burak Sezgin — thank you for spreading the good word and for A+++ memes.
  • To Brian Brames and Stacy Jacobs – thank you for the opportunity to serve on the Marketing Cloud Partner Advisory Board with some of the best minds in the ecosystem. It’s an honor to be a part of that group.
  • To Brock Hubbard (aka Brother Brock) and the Salesforce Professional Services Team – thank you for truly walking the walk of “Better Together” and for your collaboration to make our shared customers incredibly successful on the platform.
  • To Minea Moore and the Partner Equality team – thank you for opening my eyes to totally new avenues for business growth and for the change that you’re driving in the ecosystem.
  • To Alan Schulman and Adam Lavelle – thank you for being advisors and a fantastic sounding board over the last year. I really value your perspective and experience climbing similar mountains to the ones our team is now traversing.
  • To the Pardot & Marketing Cloud PMM and Product leadership team (particularly Neha Shah, Guilda Hilare, Ruth Bolster, Prasanna Vijayakumar, Nathan Maphet, Landon Calannio, Eric Zenz, and Jay Wilder) – thank you for your continued partnership and collaboration. You’re a lot of fun to work with, and we’ve accomplished some really impressive things together.
  • To Kirk Johnson – thank you for being our PAM and for keeping us connected to all things at the mothership.
  • To Andy Lin, Cezar Wislocki-Wasecki, Ke’ili Deal, and the Managed Services Partner Advisory Board – thank you for the work that you’re doing to advance the visibility of a really important part of the services landscape, and for giving Sercante a seat at the table when ideating on what that change could look like.
  • To Paul Drews and Laura Rowson from Salesforce Ventures – thank you for believing in Sercante and investing in our future growth. It’s been great working with you both. I appreciate your vantage point on the ecosystem and how willing you always are to help and connect.
  • To the following folks for partnering with MarDreamin’ and on shared initiatives to make our mutual customers’ lives easier:
  • And of course, to our amazing clients – you’re the reason we exist and the reason why we get out of bed in the morning. Thank you for inviting us to be a part of what you’re building and for putting your trust in our team.

Wishing you all a blessed and joyful holiday season. Cheers to another great year, and to whatever next year holds.

By |2022-11-23T19:42:30+00:00November 23rd, 2022|Categories: Community, Uncategorized|

Find Sercante at These Dreamforce ‘22 Sessions and Events

Dreamforce is back in full force this year and we couldn’t be happier. The 20th edition of the world’s largest software conference is gathering Salesforce admins, analysts, developers, customers, and everyone in between for three action-packed days in San Francisco and online. So what’s a tech-savvy marketer to do?

Since this is THE Salesforce conference for everyone who has anything to do with Salesforce, it can seem overwhelming to sort through all of the experiences available to you. But fear not! We have you covered.

Join us in person at any of the events listed in this post. Or sign up here and tell us you’re joining virtually when you complete the form. We have a few activities planned for virtual attendees including live streams, contests, and digital swag.

Here are all the places where you’ll find the dragons of Sercante presenting, hosting, and hanging out at Dreamforce.

 

Dreamforce Sessions for Marketers

You can catch the Sercante team presenting on a few marketing- and content- focused topics at Dreamforce 2022. 

Discover How CDP Unifies All Customer Data in One Place

Bookmark
TUESDAY, SEP 20 | 2:30 PM – 2:50 PM PDT

Building a single-source-of-truth customer profile that unifies data wasn’t easy — until now. Learn how Customer Data Platform (CDP) is a game changer for marketers who use the Salesforce Platform.

Role: Marketing, Data Analyst
Industry: Communications, Technology
Product: Marketing Cloud, Customer Data Platform
Session Type: Theater
Room Location Details: Moscone West, Level 1, Trailblazer Forest

Speakers

Andrea Tarrell
CEO, Sercante
Kirsten Schlau
Director, Marketing Cloud Practice, Sercante

Turn Marketing into a Recession-Proof Competitive Advantage

Bookmark
WEDNESDAY, SEP 21 | 10:30 AM – 11:10 AM PDT

Get five marketing strategies to work smarter and rise above your competitors — even during economic downturns. We’ll equip you to execute ABM, nail nurture campaigns, and prove your worth.

Role: Marketing
Product: Marketing Cloud
Session Type: Breakout
Room Location Details: Moscone South, Level 3, Room 306

Speakers

Angelica Cabral
CRM & Marketing Automation Strategist, Sercante

Marcos Duran
CRM and Marketing Automation Strategist, Sercante

Richard Feist
CRM & Marketing Automation Strategist, Sercante

 

Blog About Salesforce 

Bookmark
WEDNESDAY, SEP 21 | 12:30 – 12:50 PM PDT

Propel your career and build your network by learning six strategies non-writers can use to start blogging about Salesforce. Blaze a trail from zero to content rockstar.

 

Dreamforce Circle of Success Sessions 

Circle of Success is a small group, discussion-based clinic led by Salesforce experts. These rountables include Salesforce customers, employees, and consultants. They’ll gather for 60-90 minute interactive sessions focused on adoption-related topics. 

The Sercante team will be facilitating several Circles of Success Sessions during Dreamforce ‘22. Learn more about each session below. 

 

Automate Your Business Processes 

Join this small group discussion on leveraging powerful process automation features like triggers, Process Builder, and Flow. Learn best practices on identifying and developing the proper automation.

Role: Administrator, Developer
Product: Salesforce Platform
Session Type: Circles of Success
Multiple dates/times | View all and bookmark here

 

Boost Productivity with Pardot

Join this small group discussion on enriching the customer experience with data-driven marketing and Pardot’s automation tools. Learn best practices on segmentation, automation, and personalization.

Role: Marketing
Industry: Technology
Product: Marketing Cloud
Session Type: Circles of Success
Multiple dates/times | View all and bookmark here

 

Drive Lead Gen with Campaigns

Join this small group discussion on leveraging campaigns to help you maximize prospect engagement. Learn best practices on planning, building, and reporting on campaigns.

Role: Sales
Product: Sales Cloud
Session Type: Circles of Success
Multiple dates/times | View all and bookmark here

 

Improve Customer Service with Reports

Join this small group discussion on leveraging analytics to tackle service and support challenges. Learn best practices on using reports and dashboards to improve customer service.

Role: Service
Industry: Professional Services
Product: Service Cloud
Session Type: Circles of Success
Multiple dates/times | View all and bookmark here

 

Marketing Made Easy with Automation Studio 

Join this small group discussion on how Automation Studio and journey-led transformations deliver impact across key business metrics: time saved, more revenue, and happier customers.

Role: Marketing
Industry: Communications
Product: Marketing Cloud
Session Type: Circles of Success
Multiple dates/times | View all and bookmark here

 

Plan Marketing Cloud Journey Strategies 

Join this small group discussion on how to feel more empowered when approaching your first journey. Learn best practices and skills necessary to create your journey strategies.

Role: Marketing
Industry: Communications
Product: Marketing Cloud
Session Type: Circles of Success
Multiple dates/times | View all and bookmark here

 

Sales Metrics that Matter

Join this small group discussion on creating reliable reports and dashboards using metrics to fit your business needs. Learn best practices for identifying, creating, managing, and assigning metrics.

Role: Sales
Product: Sales Cloud
Session Type: Circles of Success
Multiple dates/times | View all and bookmark here

 

Sercante Dreamforce ‘22 Events

Come take a break and join us at The Home for Marketers or meet fellow marketers during one our five Meetup sessions!  Discover Meetup group topics or platform focuses below. 

home for marketers at dreamforce

The Home for Marketers: Where marketers meet at Dreamforce

Where: Pink Elephant Alibi | 142 Minna Street, San Francisco, CA 94105
When: September 19-22 | 4-8 pm PDT
Register Here

The Home for Marketers is where marketers on the Salesforce platform can go to find their people. It’s the perfect spot to take a break, network, refuel with amazing food and drinks, and get resources to level-up their MOPs.

Located just steps away from Moscone, you’ll find free food, drinks, entertainment, and like-minded marketing pros who love to talk shop. The best part — it’s there for you the whole week of Dreamforce.

Come find us anytime during the week to chill with your favorite marketers and fill up on things you need. Remember to check the schedule so you can catch the crew during special gatherings and off-the-rails parties. Register to get access to all the events and special activities all week long.

A Night Of Enchantment: Magical Dreamforce Party For The Ages

WHEN: Tuesday, September 20 | 7 -11 pm PDT
WHERE: Temple Nightclub | 540 Howard St, San Francisco, CA 94105
Register Here

Everyone’s going to be talking about this enchanted Dreamforce party, so register and get it in your calendar now.

The epic bash is taking place at Temple Nightclub. It includes a live DJ, mouth-watering hors d’oeuvres, memorable activities and prizes, and exclusive VIP experiences. Regardless of your vibe, there’s something for you — a dance floor to go a little crazy, a quiet art bar to network and have a glass of wine, and mesmerizing rooftop views to zone out under the stars.

Financial Services Meetup 

September 21 | 10:00 – 11 AM PDT
Register Here

Meet up with fellow Financial Services Industry marketers to network, connect, and grab some fuel (coffee, refreshments, and snacks) before grabbing a front-row seat at the Salesforce Financial Services Keynote at 11:30 AM. 

HowToSFMC Meetup

September 20 | 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM PDT
Register Here

Meet with members of HowToSFMC at Dreamforce! HowToSFMC is a helpful community for Salesforce Marketing Cloud users. This is a great networking opportunity to meet your fellow practitioners and talk tips and tricks for the SFMC platform.

Drinks and lunch will be served, but registration is limited. Make sure you secure your spot!

Pardashian Meetup

September 20 | 8-9 AM PDT
Register Here

Join the largest gathering of Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) users at Dreamforce! This is a great networking opportunity to meet your fellow Pardashians and share your tips and tricks for the account Engagement platform. We’ll be serving a hearty breakfast with drinks to power you through the day. 

Merivis Meetup

September 22 | 12:30-1:30 PM PDT
Register Here

Merivis supports veterans preparing for their next mission through training, mentorship and job placement for Salesforce cloud technology careers. Join us to connect with military veterans and milspouses who are at all stages of their journeys into the Salesforce ecosystem.

Learn from others and share your story so we can all grow together. We’ll be serving lunch and drinks, so bring your appetite.

Diverse Founders Meetup 

September 22 | 4 – 6 PM PDT
Register Here 

Close out the week of Dreamforce by networking with fellow diverse partners and founders in the ecosystem. This happy hour is open to founders and CEOs of businesses who identify as Black, Latinx, AAPI, LGBTQ+ or women owned / led / founded — along with the allies who support them! Join us for drinks, delicious food, and a chance to unwind and debrief from the week.

 

See you at Dreamforce

So, why are we doing all of these things for marketers at Dreamforce? Because we know how marketers are so often the behind-the-scenes masters of these events. And they are often forgotten in favor of people with shinier roles and areas of expertise. 

We want to show love to all the marketers so we can connect, grow, and do cool things together. Join us!

By |2022-09-15T14:35:08+00:00September 14th, 2022|Categories: Uncategorized|

Nonprofit Serving African-American Communities Gets Tech Boost from Salesforce and Sercante

Like many African-American men and boys from Rancho Cordova, California, OK (Our Kids) Program alumnus Marlow Rockwell had limited opportunities for personal success and growth. 

Lacking resources and positive role models, Rockwell fell into a life of crime during his teen years. That’s when the OK Program helped him to turn things around.


Image Credit: OK Program

“I was at the point where I was tired of running the streets and engaging in some of the crimes we had done. It just wasn’t me anymore,” Rockwell said, referring to a time when his participation in the OK Program made him rethink his path in life.

OK Program founder Donald Northcross, who started the OK Program while working as a Deputy Sheriff in Sacramento County, connected with Rockwell through the program. 


Image Credit: OK Program

Northcross saw African-American males entering the criminal justice system and becoming the victims of homicides at alarming rates. So, he created the OK Program in hopes that it would bridge the gap between law enforcement and African-American men and boys.

Since its inception in 1990, the program has connected at-risk community members with volunteer mentors with a single focus in mind. That focus is to “reduce the homicides and incarcerations of black males through a mentoring program that develops their leadership capacity, critical thinking skills, and promotes academic excellence,” according to OK Program.

 

OK Program nationwide expansion

More than 30 years after Northcross originally laid the groundwork for the OK Program, the organization now spans five cities. The OK Program is working to strategically expand into communities with high populations of at-risk African-American men and boys.

These strategic nationwide expansion plans led to the 100,000 Strong National African-American Male Mentor Initiative. 100,000 Strong is an initiative OK Program is spearheading to enlist new mentors in communities where they can make the greatest impact on the populations they serve.

While the OK Program has seen great success leading to the ambitious initiative and other special programs, the organization faces operational challenges that make it difficult to achieve ambitious goals.

Video Credit: OK Program

 

Preparing the OK Program for growth

Like many nonprofit organizations, the OK Program relies on a small team of dedicated individuals. They have limited access to the technology they need to reach more people and build long-term relationships, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult for volunteers to find time for administrative tasks.

“Basically, officers were spending too much time in spreadsheets and not enough time with the kids,” said OK Program Executive Director Sergeant Robert L. Smith.

In late 2021, Salesforce swooped in to help the program by providing CRM tools that moved operations at their Oakland chapter into a cloud-based system that organizational administrators and volunteers can access through mobile devices.

Smith said since implementing Salesforce Sales Cloud at the organization, their volunteers are able to enter data in real time onsite rather than spend a day each week entering organizational tracking data into paper spreadsheets.

They now use the Salesforce CRM to digitally track relationships and performance metrics as well as automate communication with stakeholders. Specifically, Sales Cloud tracks relationships between law enforcement officers and the schools the OK Program serves.

In 2022, Salesforce provided the OK Program with a $20,000 grant, which the organization is using to purchase iPads for the program members. The Salesforce team also awarded the OK Program with a license for Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) as the cherry on top.

Moving operations out of paper binders and into digital systems, the OK Program is poised to continue working toward their expansion goals.

 

Future-proofing marketing operations with Salesforce

After experiencing success from their Salesforce Sales Cloud implementation in Oakland, they are ready to implement the same system at the organization’s other four locations in Little Rock, AR, Kansas City, KS, Topeka, KS, and Miami, FL. In addition, the OK Program is now diving into the marketing side with a sparkling new Pardot instance. 

Pardot is part of the Salesforce platform. That means the organization can share data between both systems as they grow their footprint and add chapters to new cities. 

The Pardot implementation is providing much-needed scalable marketing automation capabilities to set them up for success now and as they grow. They’ll use it to communicate digitally and build relationships with the people who support and benefit from the organization.

 

Sercante steps in to provide pro-bono Pardot implementation support

With a history of providing pro-bono support to organizations in need, the Sercante team rose to the challenge and started work right away by pledging more than $15,000 in pro-bono support. 

“I 100% believe in the mission of the OK Program, so of course I said ‘yes’ when Kevin asked me about it. I’m honored to have team Sercante support their mission in any way we can,” said Sercante Founder and CEO Andrea Tarrell

Tackling the project in tandem with volunteers from the Salesforce team, Sercante is supporting the organization’s migration from a paper-based system and Mailchimp to Salesforce Sales Cloud and Pardot. 

The Sercante team will help OK Program us Pardot to complete nurture campaigns for the different personas they serve. They’ll use digital marketing tactics like email templates, Engagement Studio Programs, and landing pages to deliver consistent messaging to the right audiences. And the team will use Salesforce to track results to inform marketing and operational strategies.

The Ok Program tech stack is ready for the future

The greater team will work to get these digital systems up and running so it’s easier to build relationships with the people the OK Program serves. And in the future, the organization will have better reporting capabilities to show the impact of their work as they build better communities from within.

Moving to Salesforce is allowing the organization to connect through a unified platform anyone can access through their mobile devices. And they can continue to grow and tap into that platform by connecting other tools as the organization launches into the future.

Ready to get your nonprofit organization out of paper spreadsheets and into digital systems? Drop us a line!

By |2022-07-06T13:25:54+00:00June 30th, 2022|Categories: Uncategorized|

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

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

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

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 pi.demo.pardot.com
    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

BY MIKE MORRIS

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).

Trailhead-benefits

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.

Trailhead-mentorship-opportunities

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; 

Trailhead-badges

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.

time-to-take-trailhead

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.
MyTrailhead

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.

Trailhead-Pardot-training

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|