7 Things Every Pardot Admin Must Know About Their Connected Salesforce Org

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Pardot is a powerful marketing tool, that’s for sure, but there’s a lot more customisation available on the Salesforce side. This makes it unpredictable how your Pardot account will behave with your Salesforce org vs anyone else’s.

That’s why knowing these 7 things about your customised Salesforce org will power-up your use of Pardot and prevent headaches down the line.

Take this as the ‘cliff notes’ of Salesforce Administration. What you need to know to be an effective Pardot Admin without the information overload.

‘People’ Objects

The default Salesforce setup looks like this:
Lead → converts to → Contact & Account

This structure fits nicely to a B2B sales business model, Salesforce’s original target market back in the day. When Salesforce decided to strive into selling licenses to B2C sales organsiations, they bought out ‘Person Accounts’.

Person Accounts merge the Contact and Account object – in short, your Person Account records have the characteristics of both Contacts and Accounts.

Sadly, Pardot Prospects don’t sync with Person Accounts naturally (out-of-the-box). Check if your Salesforce org uses Person Accounts, otherwise you could walk into a dangerous assumption.

Contact Roles

On the subject of ‘people’ objects, have you ever heard of Contact Roles?

Personally, I love to hate Contact Roles – but they are a necessary object that we Pardot Admins would be lost without.

Contact Roles is an object that forges a direct relationship between an opportunity and a contact. The Contact Role record also defines their participation/level of influence in the opportunity eg. Decision maker.

It’s best practice to enforce Contact Roles being added to opportunities, but if this is not the case, users typically forget to add them.

Why should you care? Missing Contact Roles on opportunities can mess with your Pardot segmentation and automation. The Pardot rule criteria ‘Prospect Opportunity | Related with properties’ will only pull in contacts associated to opportunities via Contact Roles. Get clued up on Opportunity Contact Roles to avoid missing Prospects in your Pardot automations.

Record Types

Record Types “let you offer different business processes, picklist values, and page layouts to different users” – in practice, you may have two contact record types for ‘Private’ and ‘Corporate’ clients, because the sales process and data collected for them is different.

Record Types are something else that can affect the data available in your Pardot org. For more information on why this happens, take a read of ‘Pardot sees what the Connector User sees’ in this post.

Connected Campaigns

For years, Salesforce and Pardot campaigns were independent of each other, which haunted admins on both sides. This made setting up campaigns and organising prospect data a chore.

Salesforce decided to put a stop to this campaign mismatch, and released ‘Connected Campaigns’ this year.

With Connected Campaigns, the ability to manage these campaigns has been taken away from the Pardot side, you should turn your attention to Salesforce. Find out how Salesforce Campaigns are structured in your org (the campaign hierarchy), and how often they are maintained. You will need to input what campaigns you need to appear in Pardot, and when.

Campaign Influence

Talking of campaigns – do you know about Campaign Influence? There’s a potential for marketers to get really savvy with Campaign Influence. However, at the very basic level, a Prospect’s first Salesforce Campaign touchpoint will become the ‘Primary Campaign Influence’ when an opportunity is created. Is this creating misleading reporting without your knowledge?

Image source: Pardot

Syncing Profiles

Earlier this year, Pardot released ‘Salesforce User Sync’, taking user administration all into Salesforce. Pro – Pardot Admins no longer have to tediously update user records in line with Salesforce user changes; Con – Pardot user records become read-only, and Salesforce takes control over which user roles to assign Pardot users.

You need to be aware of which Salesforce Profiles your Pardot users have, and which Salesforce Profiles are syncing with Pardot User Roles.

Let’s break that down…

  • Every user in Salesforce has a Profile. This defines what a user can do in Salesforce – their permissions.
  • Profiles are typically grouped by business function eg. Agent User.
  • To view syncing profiles for your org, go to your Salesforce Connector settings in Pardot.

Under the ‘Salesforce User Sync’ collapsable section, you will see the Salesforce Profile to Pardot User Role mapping:

Remember that Salesforce now dictates which Pardot User Role, and therefore what permissions users have in Pardot – so take note!

Validation Rules

Validation rules prevent Salesforce records being saved if the data entered does not meet validation. This helps keep data clean and complete.

Validation rules on leads & contacts can cause trouble from the Pardot side, if Prospect data is considered dirty by your Salesforce org’s point of view! These Prospect records won’t sync, and end up sitting the Connector Sync Error queue. However, if this is causing you grief and you need to get the Prospect data into Salesforce no matter what, Jess shares a great trick to bypass validation rules and reduce sync errors.

Ps. if you haven’t been to your sync error queue yet, it could expose a multitude of things you didn’t know about your Salesforce org, and how your Pardot is not optimised for syncing – good luck!


The post has covered 7 things you need to know to be an effective Pardot Admin and work in harmony with you connected Salesforce org. Not only will this knowledge power-up your use of Pardot, these are tips that will prevent headaches down the line.

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