Why Pardot Sourced Leads Have Company [[Unknown]]

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Do you have Lead records appearing in Salesforce with [[unknown]] in the company field? Isn’t Pardot (Account Engagement) meant to work that out for you?

Conversion rates plummet with the more fields you include on lead capture forms. It could be a smart decision to keep only the essential fields: first name, last name, and email address. A little experimentation will give you the answers to what works for your specific audience.

Email address: The golden key. You can derive a lot of information from an email address. The email domain (e.g. @salesforceben.com) tells you which company this prospect belongs to. So, marketers leave off company from the form to reduce the fields to fill out.

Luckily, as a Pardot (Account Engagement) user, you have the luxury of built-in data scraping capabilities that enrich prospect record data on your behalf. There are three fields that support each other when trying to figure out where a prospect works:

  • Email
  • Company
  • Website

Without a value in the company field, the Salesforce Lead conversion process will be cumbersome; the company field assists users by finding matching existing Accounts to associate the converted Lead to. Without the field populated, there will be extra clicks for users, or worse – duplicate Account records created.

Before we move on, there are two Salesforce features I’d like to highlight on the Lead to Contact/Account relationship:

READ MORE: 6 Duplicate Rules You Need to Activate Right Now
READ MORE: Salesforce Matched Leads Component: Assign Leads to an Account

Why Do You See Company [[unknown]]?

When a prospect is created in Pardot (Account Engagement) and has no value in the company field, Pardot will display the company’s website in the company field. Pardot has scraped this from the domain of the prospect’s email address.

Great, so we have something to go on, then? Wait – if the company field has been automatically populated with a website URL in Pardot (Account Engagement) when it syncs to Salesforce, this URL won’t be picked up on the Lead record.

Essentially, the Lead record company field remains blank – however, instead of showing a blank company, the Salesforce-Pardot Connector populates this field with [[unknown]]:

Fix [[Unknown]] Using Data Import

Want to avoid company [[unknown]]? Let’s be honest, it looks spammy. If you were a sales rep, would you like to “work” that Lead?

With a periodic data import, you can improve the overall quality of Lead data in Salesforce.

  1. Create a Lead report in Salesforce, with the minimum columns: Company, Website, Lead ID. Filter for “company | equals | [[unknown]]” and “converted | equals | false”.
  2. Export the report into Excel/CSV.
  3. Use the “split to text” function to remove the ‘www.’ and ‘.com’ (and any additional suffixes).
  4. Reimport the file, using ‘Lead ID’ as the match criteria.

How frequently company [[unknown]] records crop up will vary from one organization to the next. While this isn’t the most ideal solution, at least you have a way to identify and clean up these mystery records. Surely, it’s a good trade-off from asking prospects to fill out many form fields? That’s for you to decide 😁

18 thoughts on “Why Pardot Sourced Leads Have Company [[Unknown]]

    1. Hi Cem, the easiest option is to create a Pardot automation rule to populate this field with a value – so it will work like: when a new prospect is created with a blank company/prospect account, ask Pardot to fill this with the website URL. Or, you could create a Salesforce Workflow rule that can strip out the ‘www.’ and ‘.com…’ of the website when copying the value into the company field. Workflow rules have more flexibility on the SF side.

  1. Hi Lucy, thank you for the reply. So I created an automation rule to catch all newly created prospects with blank Company field, and to change the default field value to %%website%% which turned the Company value to “%%website%%” rather than the prospect’s website URL. What am I missing?

    1. Hi Cem, ok apologies, I overlooked the capabilities of Pardot automation will filling in data dynamically. I recommend moving to a Salesforce automation, where there’s two ways (Workflow Rule / Process Builder). I’ve updated the post to use a Salesforce WFR to update the [[unknown]] company, that will strip out ‘www.’ from the website. Let me know if you need any help/guidance sorting out the data, more than happy to do so… sorry again!

      1. Hello

        That is great but I get UNKNOWN for the contact name also but the contact name is in Pardot, anyone come across this and a solution?

        1. Hi Jason, normally I see this on leads when there is first name and last name put into one field, leaving one blank. Maybe the prospect and contact record hasn’t synced?

          1. Thanks. We have first name, last name and email field as mandatory in Pardot forms and still get UNKNOWN in name and company when through into Pardot and also then into same in SF. We only use contacts not leads.

          2. Hi Jason, right I see, so you are struggling with the ‘orphaned contacts’ problem. I have a post coming out in 2-3 weeks that will explain this and how to solve – stay tuned 🙂

  2. Hi Lucy,

    Thanks for your work on this! Apologies may I clarify my understanding for the above “When a prospect is created in Pardot, and has no company/account field, Pardot will display the company’s website in the company field.”
    I have set company, first and last names on Pardot form as “Required”. Why is it that the Prospect is able to submit the form and still be “unknown” in these fields? Thanks!

    1. Hi Rina,

      Sorry for the delay in getting back to you here! It’s because the website wasn’t picked up from the prospect’s email address domain. So what Pardot does is:
      1. looks at the email domain
      2. turns the email domain into a website
      3. uses that website where the prospect doesn’t have an account name.

      Hope that resolves the confusion 🙂

  3. Hi Everyone,

    I am trying to make Pardot not populate this Company field at all. I don`t need the domain and I don`t need the Unknown text,
    because we then convert all those leads into Person Accounts and in order to convert into a Person Account you need the Company field absolutely empty. Any thoughts?

    1. Hmm, tricky one! I’m not sure, sorry – I will ask this to the Trailblazer Community and see what people say.

    2. Hi Yana,

      Here is a response I got:

      “You should be able to convert a Lead to a Person Account, even with that value. Person Accounts don’t have a Company field in Salesforce.

      When converting a Lead to a Person Account, you generally have to select a pre-existing Person Account record or create a new one.

      In this instance, the Person Account name replaces the default Lead field of Company.”

      Hope that helps…

  4. Hello, Why the formula not work MID(Website, FIND(‘www.’, Website, 1)+4, (LEN(Website) – FIND(‘www.’, Website, 1)+4))
    syntx error, please

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