11 Salesforce Features Pardot Admins Need to Know About

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By: Christopher Bayerle | 10.15.20

You’ve heard it before and you’ll probably hear it again: Pardot is becoming more closely integrated with Sales Cloud every day.

Have you started using the Pardot Lightning App in Salesforce? If you have, you know what I’m talking about. Not only does it provide a greater integration of Pardot assets with Salesforce objects and functions, but many new Pardot features are only available for Pardot Lightning App users.

If you primarily work as a marketer within Pardot, I recommend getting comfortable with Salesforce. Being able to navigate both systems could help you more easily accomplish your goals and will take your career as a marketer to the next level.

And don’t worry Salesforce admins — we’re not coming for your jobs. The idea here is that Pardot admins should know a little bit about how Salesforce works so that Pardot admins and Salesforce admins can work more closely together.

1. Profiles and Permission Sets

Security is one of the most difficult topics to master for a Salesforce admin. There are organization-wide sharing rules; profiles; permission sets; and role hierarchy. It’s definitely more complex on the Salesforce platform than it is in Pardot.

It’s best that you learn a little bit about Salesforce profiles and permission sets. If you’re setting up Pardot for the first time, changing the Pardot connector, or setting up B2B Marketing Analytics, you need to know a little bit about Salesforce profiles and permission sets. These areas should be firmly in control of your organization’s Salesforce administrator, and Pardot admins may never need to create or edit profiles and permission sets themselves. But in the interest of building a shared language between Pardot and Salesforce admins, you should have a good foundation in understanding how these features operate and work together.

2. Data Modeling and Conversion Mapping

Your Salesforce org probably has dozens of objects, especially if you’re using the Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP). I’m not suggesting that Pardot admins need to memorize every object in their org. Not even most Salesforce admins would do this!

But Pardot admins should know how objects relate to each other. That means knowing what the main Salesforce objects are (lead, contact, account, and opportunity records). It also means understanding the difference between a parent-child relationship and a lookup relationship. This will help you understand how all objects, including custom objects, relate to each other so you can report on that data.

Pardot admins who work with NPSP need to understand how Pardot prospects connect to Salesforce records, and how the data in contact, account, and opportunity data flows back to Pardot.

At orgs that use lead records, Pardot admins also need to understand lead conversion mapping and how data from the lead record maps to account, contact, and opportunity records.

Both these last points are important for two reasons: you need to know where the data is for automation inside Pardot but also for reporting within Salesforce.

3. Page Layouts

If you set up Pardot for your organization, you know that one of the implementation steps includes adding Pardot fields, like Pardot Score and Pardot Grade, to the Lead and Contact page layouts.

As you connect custom Pardot fields to custom fields in Salesforce, you may need to check that fields appear on the page layout in an appropriate place.

It’s also helpful to know that even if a field doesn’t appear on the page layout, it can still be filled through automation and can be reported on.

4. Salesforce Reporting and Dashboards

Pardot reports are slick looking. The first time I saw the Prospect Lifecycle report, I was like, oh this is cool.

But Pardot reporting is a little rigid. It doesn’t matter though because (especially if you’re using the Pardot Lightning App) all the power of Salesforce reporting is right there at your fingertips. Kind of.

If data is connected and flowing between Salesforce and Pardot, you can report on that data from within Salesforce.

You can’t use Salesforce to report on unassigned prospect records that only exist in Pardot yet. But if your marketing goals for the year focus on how your marketing campaigns are affecting leads, contacts, and opportunities, you’re going to want to leverage Salesforce.

5. Connected Campaigns

And to do that you should probably turn on Connected Campaigns if you haven’t already. Do it today!

Connected Campaigns is one of the best Salesforce-Pardot features to have come out in recent years. Tired of managing two sets of campaign records: one in Salesforce, one in Pardot? Well, stop! Connected Campaigns connects Salesforce campaigns to Pardot, meaning just one set of records is controlled completely from within Salesforce.

That means you’ll have to start using Salesforce to create campaign records. And that also means you’ll have more control over different types of campaign records, campaign hierarchy, and controlling the fields available on campaign records. Make these your own — don’t just settle for what comes out of the box.

6. List Views

This is such a tiny, easy feature in Salesforce, but how many times have Salesforce admins groaned when users say, what’s a list view — how do you make that?

In my experience, if you’re a marketer working with sales, you might find yourself pulling a report of leads, contacts, or accounts that a sales team member needs to regularly check and update. However, you can’t easily edit a record from a report, and that’s where list views help. Users can edit records directly from a list view without navigating to the record itself.

Here’s a list view I recently created for our business development team: Leads to Contact. It shows new leads that have come through our contact us form, qualified leads with a high Pardot score, and leads with a high Pardot grade. Our business development team can quickly work through this list, fill in more information to further qualify leads, and prioritize the leads we want to pursue.

7. Lightning Email Templates

Most of the time, you need to be a great writer to be a great marketer. But that’s not true for team members of other departments. You’ve probably already created one-to-one Pardot email templates for your development team, but sometimes if you really want people to use the templates you create, you’ve got to take them to the place where they’re easiest to access and edit. And sometimes that means creating Lightning Email Templates instead, which users can send directly from Salesforce records.

You need to know how to create Lightning Templates and be empowered to keep them organized. You should also be familiar with the record fields in your Salesforce instance so you can take advantage of merge fields. And it helps to have Handlebars Merge Language set up in Pardot so that there’s parity across systems.

(You’ll notice I’m ignoring Classic Email Templates here, and there is still a place for those on the platform, but let’s be Lightning first! It’s time to transition!)

8. Navigate Setup

Even if you’re not the Salesforce admin, you should know how to navigate setup. And listen, here’s an admin secret you should know: being a great admin doesn’t mean memorizing every available option to you in the setup menu. But admins know generally what’s available and how to search for it. Even if you don’t have the power of an admin, get comfortable with the setup menu. Don’t let it intimidate you!

9. Campaign Influence

This is a big topic but probably one of the most important things you can learn about right now. Campaign influence ties in with Connected Campaigns — use these features together to reach a higher level of reporting on your marketing assets and efforts.

I’m not going to go over everything here, but I definitely recommend making time for this topic. Read our previous blog post about Campaign Influence if you need help setting it up.

Here’s what you need to know: when you enable Campaign Influence from the Salesforce Setup, Salesforce can start making connections between Opportunities and Campaigns in new ways. When Contacts with a Contact Role on the Opportunity record are associated with a Campaign through your Pardot efforts, a Campaign Influence record is created.

With this, you can take your marketing reporting to the next level. You can report on how many new Campaign connections you’ve made with Leads and Contacts every week. You can report on which Opportunities are influenced by marketing. And you can begin reporting on the average number of campaigns that influence an Opportunity before it closes.

This is a Pardot feature that exists fully in Sales Cloud. You should definitely work with your Salesforce admin to implement it, but you’ll most successfully leverage this feature if you’re comfortable with the data model, with the Setup menu, and with Reports and Dashboards.

10. Salesforce Automation

There’s a quote sometimes attributed to Bill Gates: “I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.” This is why I love Salesforce automation. Why do it the hard way? I don’t even have to code!

The same goes for Pardot automation. It’s easy to use, and there are a lot of different types of automation to accomplish different tasks. But there’s a time and place for everything. Sometimes to get my Pardot automation to work, I need data to be populated and automated in Salesforce. That means understanding fields and datatypes in Salesforce, and also knowing what automation is available in that system and which objects it can touch.

I’m not saying you need your Platform App Builder certification to be a Pardot admin. It just helps to know what’s available so that when you log a request with your Salesforce admin for some change, you know in advance what’s possible and how someone might achieve it.

Here’s a great example: I recently logged a request for a new sort of automation with the Salesforce administrator here at Idealist Consulting. I clearly stated what I was looking for and made a suggestion for accomplishing the task. She immediately understood exactly what I was looking to achieve and replied with an even more elegant solution.

11. Get Yourself a Sandbox

Above where the oracle resided at the Temple of Apollo at Delphi was written an aphorism that is translated to English as “Know thyself”. Why do I mention this? Because to really know your Salesforce org, particularly if you didn’t build it yourself, you need a sandbox. As Pardot cozies further inside Sales Cloud, as you spend more time in the Pardot Lightning App, and as Salesforce adds more features like Campaign Influence, you’re going to want to know how to work Salesforce.

A sandbox will let you explore how your org is set up without upsetting anything in production. Ask your admin for one, or at least sign up for a free dev org.

Want to learn more about what we discussed here? We’ve put together a Trailhead Trailmix for you.

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