How to Segment Pardot Data Using Opportunity Fields

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One reason why Pardot is the go-to choice for marketing automation among Salesforce customers, is the ability to segment prospects using opportunity data. Other marketing automation platforms won’t be able to utilise Salesforce opportunity fields for automation and segmentation like Pardot can.

Pardot is the Salesforce marketing tool that’s best suited for organisations where a ‘considered purchased’ is involved. Wherever a sales team qualifies a lead, or the sales cycle is not instant – think ‘pipeline’, and the opposite of ’transactional’. That’s why Pardot’s tie to opportunity data is key.

“Conga”

In this post, I will cover the benefits of segmenting prospects using opportunity data, some common use cases, and finally, important data considerations before you put prospect opportunity segmentation into action.

Why Segment Prospects Using Opportunity Data?

From my experience, relatively few marketing teams tie their Pardot segmentation (such as dynamic lists) to opportunity data. This means that automated email campaigns are not tightly aligned with the overall customer journey.

Instead, automation clusters around account or contact moments, eg. when the account goes from ‘prospect’ to ‘customer’.

It’s a missed opportunity to do some cool marketing automation that could put your marketing efforts front and centre with the business’ won revenue, and overall, boost your collaboration and reputation with the sales team. Not to mention, it’s indispensable for strategies like ABM (account-based marketing)!

How to Segment Prospects Using Opportunity Data

Opportunity fields can be used as criteria in automation rules and dynamic lists.

Note that opportunities in Pardot are read-only. This means that they can be used as criteria, eg. if opportunity stage is ‘Prospecting’, then do this, but not as actions, eg. if this, then change opportunity stage to ‘Qualification’.

There are 3 options for criteria:

Prospect opportunity status

This is the most basic option, if an opportunity is ‘won’, ‘lost’ or ‘created’.

Prospect opportunity default field

More options appear here, especially useful time-based fields:

  • Closed more than/less than X days ago
  • Created more than/less than X days ago
  • Opportunity name is, contains, begins with etc.
  • Probability
  • Stage
  • Type
  • Updated in CRM more than/less than X days ago
  • Value is, greater/less than, in between.

Prospect opportunity

This is where segmentation sophistication steps up! First up, you need to select on of the following

  • ‘Related’: is the prospect related to the opportunity as an opportunity contact role (don’t worry, we will come back to this later in more detail).
  • ’Not related’: the opposite to above.
  • ’Related with properties’: this opens up a rule group to add more than one criteria to further narrow down which opportunities you would like to include. Using ‘match all’ you can specify you want opportunities that must match every criteria you add, whereas using ‘match any’ an opportunity only needs to apply to one of the criteria in order to be included. Note that this is where you can leverage custom opportunity fields too!

Use Case 1: Won Opportunities in the Last 2 Years

“I want to make a dynamic list of Contacts linked to Accounts that have had a Closed Won Opportunity in the last 2 years.”

When you go to create the dynamic list, first add this criteria:

  • Prospect opportunity — ’related with properties’ — to Opportunity

Then, when the rule group opens up:

  • Prospect opportunity status — opportunity won
  • Prospect opportunity default field — closed — less than — 730 days (you have to convert the year into days)

Later, I will come back to this example and explain why it’s structured the way it is.

Use Case 2: by Stage or Probability

“How can I create a dynamic list in Pardot of all contacts attached to an opportunity in Salesforce that are in the Discovery stage (30-40% probability) or Solution stage (40-70% probability)”

There are two way to do this (the second is best if your lists are being edited by multiple users that may not be familiar with which probabilities relate to which opportunity stages):

1. Prospect opportunity default field — probability — is between — 30 and 70%

2. Or, like this

  • Prospect opportunity default field — stage — is — Discovery
  • Prospect opportunity default field — stage — is — Solution

(notice how I switch to ‘match any’)

Use Case 3: Recently Lost Valuable Opportunities in a Specific Industry

“I want to run an opportunity recycling campaign for high value ($100,000+) opportunities for manufacturing prospect accounts that were recently lost, in the last month”

Time to bulk out our list!

When you go to create the dynamic list, add the following criteria:

Step 1: Prospect opportunity — ’related with properties’ — to Opportunity

Then:

  • Prospect opportunity default field — closed — less than — 30 days ago
  • Prospect opportunity status — Opportunity lost
  • Prospect opportunity default field — value — is greater than — 99999

Step 2: Prospect default field — industry — is manufacturing

This is because fields like ‘industry’ are stored at the prospect level, not the opportunity level.

Opportunity Segmentation Traps

Be aware of these two traps that can skew what data is included in your dynamic lists/automation rules.

Opportunity Contact Roles

Contact Roles are a standard Salesforce object that define the role or level of influence that a contact has in relation to a sales opportunity.

An opportunity will only sync with Pardot if it has at least 1 contact role, which must be a contact record syncing with a prospect record.

Naturally, only prospects who are related to opportunities via contact roles will be processed in your automation rule, or added to your dynamic list.

As it’s not only a challenge for accurate opportunity data segmentation, one vendor has created an app to ensure contact roles are added to opportunities at the correct time, and exactly what Einstein Attribution aims to solve, too.

Multiple Opportunities per Prospect

As a contact in Salesforce can be related to multiple opportunities, you may end up pulling in unwanted opportunities. If your criteria is not structured properly, it will be too loose – it’s best explained with an example.

Let’s take use case 1 (won opportunities in the last 2 years) and show how it could have gone wrong.

You will remember I began the dynamic list with the option: Prospect opportunity — ’related with properties’ — to Opportunity.

If I hadn’t (and instead added criteria like shown below), then I would face unintended consequences. See the difference between:

  • Any prospects related to a won opportunity, and related to an opportunity closed in the past two years.
  • any prospects related to a won opportunity and closed in the past two years.

Re-read those two statements, they are different. The first one could pull in prospects that could have two opportunities, eg. 1 opportunity closed won more than 2 years ago, and 1 opportunity Closed lost less than 2 years ago.

Just to make it clear, this is how the wrong way would look:

  • Prospect opportunity status — opportunity won
  • Prospect opportunity default field — closed — less than — 730 days (you have to convert the year into days)

This can cause a mess, so always think twice when adding multiple criteria for one-to-many object relationships, like opportunities or custom objects.

Summary

By using opportunity data in Pardot dynamic lists and automation rules, email campaigns run out of Pardot are better aligned with the overall customer journey.

Don’t miss this opportunity to do some cool marketing automation that could put your marketing efforts front and centre with the won pipeline – not to mention, it’s indispensable for strategies like ABM (account-based marketing)!

Be aware of the two traps that can skew your data if not thought through or implemented properly.

Finally, I hope you found the 3 examples useful, and that you can adapt these to suit your own needs.

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