Using Multiple Pardot Accounts: 5 Potential Conflicts to be Aware of

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Considering having multiple Pardot accounts for different business units? Read this first!

Organisations with multiple business units and/or regions would naturally consider having more than one Pardot account. The benefits are clear: controlling prospect data sharing between divisions, marketing assets available for use, and access to performance reports.

To even think about using multiple Pardot accounts, you must first have a strong business need for it. Don’t embark on this setup half-heartedly, if it’s only a ‘nice-to-have’. You will find that sticking with one Pardot account to one Salesforce org will save you many headaches down the line.

Where having multiple Pardot accounts is a non-negotiable need (ie. in larger corporations), there are 5 pesky things you should be aware of before you connect up. After reading this, you may reconsider…

1 – Assigned User / Record Owner Conflicts

When connecting Salesforce and Pardot, you will be dealing with multiple objects: ‘Leads’ & ‘Contacts’ on the Salesforce side, and ‘Prospects’ on the Pardot side. Leads/Contacts have ‘record owners’, and prospects have ‘assigned users’.

When it comes to setting the owner of these records, Salesforce is the master. Normally it’s an easy relationship, where the newly created Lead will inherit the assigned user the Prospect, from Pardot. Or, a Prospect will inherit the record owner from it’s matching Salesforce record. If and when a clash in ownership occurs, Salesforce will force a ‘reassignment’ onto the Pardot record.

What happens when you have multiple Pardot accounts?

The key thing to remember: it’s down to which Pardot account/s the user exists. If a Lead/Contact record is syncing with a Pardot prospect, which sits in a Pardot account where that user does not have access, simply the user cannot be assigned to that Prospect.

The result? The prospect is unassigned in Pardot.

Those of you that are switched on will know that is not good. The prospect is unable to sync back to Salesforce, unless it has an assigned user…

2- Score / Grade Conflicts

It’s great to give visibility into a prospect’s marketing score and grade to users on the Salesforce side, for them to use in lead qualification and prioritisation.

Lead/Contact records display their associated prospect’s score/grade, which is updated when a prospect record sync occurs.

What happens when you have multiple Pardot accounts?

If a Lead/Contact has prospects associated to it in more than 1 Pardot account, those prospects will be acting independently. If you have Prospect A in Account A, and Prospect B in Account B, they do not ‘talk’ to one another. Prospect A could be racking up a high score, and Prospect B would have no way of knowing.

Which prospect does Salesforce take as the source of truth? In other words, which score/grade will it display on the Lead/Contact?

The key thing to remember: it will use the first prospect record it synced with.

Evidently, this will cause disparities, misleading information and possibly miscommunication.

3- Field Value Conflicts

When syncing field data between Pardot and Salesforce, you can define a field’s sync behaviour. This tells the Connector which system it should consider the master when clashes happen.

There are 3 options for sync behaviour:

  • Salesforce is the master
  • Pardot is the master
  • The most recently updated record is the master

What happens when you have multiple Pardot accounts?

Field sync behaviour doesn’t count for much. When clashes happen between Salesforce and Pardot values, the Connector will default to Salesforce as the master*.

(*apart from Pardot-specific fields: score, grade, Pardot campaign, profile).

4- Prospect Activity view in Salesforce

Exactly like giving visibility into a prospect’s score and grade, having Pardot prospect activities visible in Salesforce shows the whole communication timeline for that Lead/Contact.

What happens when you have multiple Pardot accounts?

A user will only be able to see the Prospect activities from the Pardot account they have access to. Makes sense technically and in terms of security, but will mask marketing activities across other business units that use separate Pardot accounts. Could be an issue for some organisations.

5- Dealing with New Prospects

As you know, Prospects can be created either by:

  • Coming directly into Pardot (ie. inbound lead generation)
  • Syncing down from Salesforce, when a new lead or contact is created.

Prospects coming into Pardot directly is not an issue – it’s the new prospects coming from Salesforce I am going to talk about.

There’s 3 ways Prospects get created in Pardot from Salesforce:

  1. ‘Send to Pardot’ button, on Salesforce Leads and Contacts.
  2. ‘Send to Pardot list’, on Salesforce Campaigns
  3. When Salesforce Connector setting is enabled ‘Automatically create prospects in Pardot if they are created as a Lead or Contact in Salesforce’ (NB: these settings are on the Pardot side).

What happens when you have multiple Pardot accounts?

Again, it’s down to which Pardot account/s the user exists in.

1 & 2. ‘Send to Pardot’ / ‘Send to Pardot list’ button

Clicking this will create a new Prospect in the Pardot account the user has access to.

  1. ‘Automatically create prospects…’ Connector setting

This is where it gets interesting. Every time a sync between Salesforce and Pardot occurs, something is generated in the background, which holds the syncing instructions. The syncing instructions are assigned to the connector user.

In order to automatically route the prospect to the correct Pardot account, Apex or Workflow automation has to be used to assign the syncing instruction to the correct connector user for the correct Pardot account. I’m not sure on the ins and outs of this setup, but Pardot Support will be able to give you ‘high-level guidance and advice’.

Summary

This post has covered 5 things you should be aware of before you connect up – or even consider – using multiple Pardot accounts with one Salesforce org. Of course, a few of these rules/limitations/behaviours make sense technically, but they are likely to cause frustrations to system administrators and business users. Maybe this will be cleared up as the two tools come increasingly closer together, but until then, closely assess your business need for having more than one Pardot account, and don’t embark on this setup if it’s only a ‘nice-to-have’.

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