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Salesforce Pardot Connector

The integration with Salesforce CRM is the number one reason thousands of marketing professionals have chosen Pardot as their marketing automation software. The Salesforce-Pardot connector allows Pardot to securely sync prospects, contacts, leads, and opportunities with the world’s #1 CRM, Salesforce.

In this guide, you will learn why setting up the Salesforce Pardot connector is significant to your marketing automation tool, what it does, and most importantly, how to set it up.

The guide will be broken into the following sections:

  • Why integrate SFDC with Pardot
  • How does the connector work
  • How to set up the Salesforce Pardot Connector
  • Steps to Follow After Pardot is Connected to Salesforce

Why integrate SFDC with Pardot?

The main reason for integrating Salesforce CRM with Pardot is to align your sales and marketing. Connecting your marketing automation software with your sales software closes the gaps in the sales funnel, thus making the process from leads to opportunities and closed won more efficient.

Fill the gaps in your sales funnel

You most likely use Salesforce to manage the bottom of your sales funnel. This is where you qualify leads as sales-ready and close deals to acquire them as customers.

But what about the top and middle of your sales funnel?

  1. Top of funnel – attract leads
  2. Middle of funnel – nurture leads
  3. Bottom of funnel – qualify leads and close deals

There are only so many hours in the day for your sales team to nurture and close on opportunities. Sending an unqualified lead to your sales team will take time away that they could have used to close another deal.

In order to quickly close high-value deals, you need to have an effective way of attracting leads (top of funnel), engaging and nurturing those leads (middle of funnel), then ultimately qualifying them as sales-ready and closing deals (bottom of funnel).

Although each step of the funnel requires different actions and tasks, they should all seamlessly align with each other and dynamically coexist. With Pardot marketing automation, each step of the funnel is connected and bridges any gaps that you may have missed. In a way, it operates as a middle man, allowing marketers to track prospects as they convert from a visitor to a prospect.

Here’s an example breakdown of how a visitor converts to a prospect in Pardot then gets pushed into Salesforce CRM:

#1 Visitor converts via form submission

#2 Prospect is nurtured with email nurturing programs

#3 Prospect is qualified by using lead scoring and grading

#4 Prospect is moved to the sales team for closing

In sum, Pardot fills the gaps in your sales funnel, allowing you to establish a recipe for higher quality leads, and optimizes your sales cycle.

Improve Visibility and Scalability

Aligning your sales and marketing and building a recipe for success is the most important aspect of the SFDC-Pardot connector, however, there are also some added benefits such as gaining more insight on campaign performance as well as improving the scalability of your business.

As prospects are nurtured, any newly gained information on them is updated in Pardot. With the SFDC connector, that same prospect record will also be automatically updated in Salesforce, and vice versa.

By the time a lead is moved to the sales team, there will be a record of the prospect’s activity, score, grade, and any other custom and default fields you have synced with Salesforce.

With the connector linking your sales and marketing activities, it allows for your sales rep to gain visibility into how a prospect interacted with your marketing collateral and better understand a prospect’s interests before making a sales call.

How does the Salesforce Pardot Connector work?

Before you begin setting up your Salesforce Connector, there are a few things to mention so that you and your team are well-informed on how the connector works.

Establish a uniform process for data entry of leads/prospects so your data can sync properly between the two tools. The Salesforce connector allows Pardot to sync prospects, contacts, leads and opportunities with Salesforce CRM.

Additionally, the connector allows emails sent in Pardot to sync as Salesforce activities. Salesforce is constantly searching for any changes to prospect records. It will automatically update any changes to a prospect with the same email or ID number in Salesforce every 2-4 minutes.

Syncing Fields

Salesforce updates to prospect fields can trigger automation rules in Pardot if a rule is set up in association with those fields.

Syncing Prospects

Pardot syncs on the individual level, not the company level and syncs according to the CRM ID. If the CRM ID in Salesforce and Pardot do not match, it will look for a prospect with the same email.

If there is not a match with the email or ID, then a new lead record is created in Salesforce to sync with. Lastly, assuming that there are multiple records with the same email as the prospect, Salesforce will sync with the first record it finds.

Syncing Prospect Activity and Email

All Pardot activities can be viewed in the prospect record in Salesforce; however, only emails are created as a CRM activity or task. These need to be configured by a Salesforce Admin on your page layout section by dragging the Pardot “pills” into the lead or contact layout.

How to Set Up the Salesforce Pardot Connector

*Note* there is a PDF version available for download.

Now that you understand how the integration works, it’s time to set up the connector.

Our guide is broken up into two parts:

  • The three steps you must do to connect the two tools
  • Steps to take after the tools are connected – to get the most out of the integration

Connecting Salesforce and Pardot is a three-step process.

  1. Install the Pardot AppExchange Application
  2. Assign the Pardot Connector User Permission Set
  3. Add the Salesforce-Pardot Connector

Install the Pardot AppExchange Application

The first step in setting up the Salesforce Pardot Connector is installing the Pardot App Exchange package. This package updates your Salesforce account to include a custom application, tab, and custom fields under leads/contacts in order to support Pardot data.

  1. Select the installation link
  2. Click Install
  3. Select grant access to admins only in step 2 of the install wizard

Assign the Pardot Connector User Permission Set

This step is meant to grant the Pardot Connector User permission to connect the two tools.

  1. From your Salesforce Setup dashboard, select users
  2. Select the user who is setting up the connector from the list
  3. Navigate to Permission Set Assignments and select Edit Assignments
  4. In the selected Permission Set Box, click Pardot Connector User, then click the Add arrow button.
  5. Press save

Now you should be ready to go back into Pardot and connect the two tools.

Adding the Salesforce Pardot Connector

1. Login to Pardot if you have not already

2. Navigate to Admin and select Connectors from the dropdown menu

3. Select the Add Connector button on the top right portion of the dashboard.

4. Navigate to the CRM connectors section, select the Create Connector button, and login with your Salesforce credentials. We do not recommend connecting to a sandbox account because it creates duplicate content

5. Here is where you can alter the default connector settings. We recommend leaving the default connector settings as is, for now, you can always come back and alter them at a later time.

6. Click finish and after a few minutes, your connector should be verified.

Now that Salesforce and Pardot are connected, it is best practice to enable certain permission sets so Pardot data is visible in Salesforce. Follow the steps below if you want to get the most out of your connector.

Steps to Follow After Pardot is Connected to Salesforce

  1. Map Salesforce custom fields to Pardot
  2. Setup Lead/Contact Views
  3. Add Custom Pardot Buttons to Page Layouts
  4. Create the Add to Pardot List Button and add to Page Layouts
  5. Add Scoring Category Scores to Page Layouts
  6. Give Users Access to Pardot Data in Salesforce
  7. Connect Pardot and Salesforce Users
  8. Test the Salesforce Pardot Connector
  9. Trigger the Initial Prospect Sync

Map Custom Fields to Salesforce CRM

1. In Pardot, navigate to Prospect Fields

2. Select and edit the custom field you want mapped over to Salesforce

3. From the “Salesforce Field Name” dropdown, choose the field you want to map

4. To sync field setting changes from Salesforce to Pardot, you can check the box Keep this field’s type and possible values (for dropdowns, radio buttons, checkboxes) in sync with the CRM.

Repeat these steps for each custom field you want to sync with Salesforce, including account or opportunity fields.

Configure Lead and Contact Page Layouts

Setting up lead views makes Pardot data visible in Salesforce. This connector is all about aligning sales and marketing. So, it’s important that the salesperson is able to view all the marketing data collected on a prospect in the Salesforce lead record before they call them up.

1. Open Salesforce and navigate to your lead or contact page layout to edit it

2. Add the custom Pardot sections to the page layout. To do this:

a.) Add a section to the layout

b.) Name section

c.) Select column 2 and click OK

d.) Go back to the Fields section of the drag-and-drop editor, and scroll right to locate the Pardot custom fields

e.) Drag all the Pardot fields to the new section

f.) Drag the Google Analytics fields to the section (optional)

3. Add Pardot activities and list membership to your layout

a.)Add a section to the layout

b.) Name the section

c.) Select 1-Column, and click OK

d.) In the editor, scroll to the Visualforce Pages section

e.) Drag Pardot Activities, Pardot List Membership, and Pardot Social Data to the new section

4. Save your layout when finished

Repeat these steps for lead and contacts layouts.

Add Custom Pardot Buttons to Page Layouts

Custom Pardot buttons such as Send to Pardot button makes it easy to add Salesforce leads or contacts to Pardot. In the case of a corresponding record in Pardot exists, the button syncs the records instead of creating a prospect. The Send Pardot Email button allows Salesforce users to send a Pardot-tracked email from Salesforce.

  1. Access your lead or contact page layout for editing.
  2. Scroll to the buttons category (Classic) or to Mobile & Lightning Actions (lightning Experience)
  3. Select the Send to Pardot and Send Pardot Email buttons, and drag them to either the Custom Buttons box (Classic) or the Salesforce Mobile and Lightning Experience Actions section.
  4. Save when finished and repeat these steps for lead and contact page layouts

Give Users Access to Pardot Data in Salesforce

Any user who needs access or will use Pardot data in Salesforce needs this permission applied.

  1. Select Permission Sets from the Salesforce setup dashboard
  2. Select Pardot
  3. Select Manage Assignments
  4. Pick which users you want access to view Pardot data in Salesforce
  5. Click Add Assignments to save the changes

Connect Pardot and Salesforce Users

Connecting your Pardot and Salesforce users will map them across both softwares so they are recognized as the same user. Do this if employees need access to both Salesforce and Pardot, or if some users need the capability of being attributed an action or assignment in Pardot and have it sync to Salesforce.

You can also enable SSO(Single Sign On) for Salesforce users which allow them to sign in to Pardot using their Salesforce credentials.

Test the Salesforce Pardot Connector

Once you finish setting up the Salesforce-Pardot connector, be sure to test if the connector is syncing correctly.

There are two methods to test the connector depending on the way you use your account.

  1. Accounts that do not allow multiple prospects to have the same email address
  2. Accounts that allow multiple prospects to have the same email address

Accounts that do not allow multiple prospects to have the same email address

  1. Create a prospect record in Pardot that already exists in your Salesforce CRM. Select Sync with CRM, and see if the connector initiates a sync.
  2. Create a prospect record in Pardot with an email address that does not exist in Salesforce. Add a record in Salesforce with the same email, click Sync with CRM and see if the connecter syncs.
  3. Create a prospect in Pardot with an email address that does not exist in Salesforce, assign the prospect a user, and check to see if a record is created in Salesforce.
  4. If your account is set up to create prospects in Pardot when a record is created in Salesforce, then test to see if creating a record in Salesforce with a new email address will create the same new record in Pardot.

Accounts that allow multiple prospects to have the same email address

  1. Create a prospect in Pardot, assign them a user, and check to see if the record is created in Salesforce
  2. Create a record in Salesforce, click Send to Pardot, and check to see if the record was created in Pardot.

Trigger the Initial Prospect Sync via Import

After you have set up the Salesforce Pardot connector and tested it, it’s time to trigger the initial prospect sync. The connector does not retroactively create your prospect database from existing Salesforce leads and contacts.

For this reason, you want to import your leads and contacts into Pardot and it will sync the prospect record with the existing Salesforce lead or contact.

Please note that you don’t need to include all your custom and default fields from your leads and contacts. As long as you have the email and your Lead or Contact ID mapped during import, the rest of the fields will populate during sync.

Conclusion

Once you integrate Salesforce and Pardot, you will be able to recognize the benefits of aligned sales and marketing, and your team will thank you for it in the end.

To ensure that you get the most out of your marketing automation tool, stay diligent in updating your records and utilizing Pardot’s automation tools.

If you want to dive deeper into the realm of Pardot, read our Beginner’s Guide to Pardot to explore use-cases and see how to further improve your sales funnel.

Download the Salesforce Pardot Connector PDF

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Nelson Eisenmann
Nelson is a Pardot guru and Salesforce enthusiast.

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