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Pardot Marketing System Review

 

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Pardot Review—Lead Scoring & Campaign Management

Pardot's visual workflow designer permits simple to sophisticated campaign configuration. Multiple step nurture campaigns can be triggered by decision rules based on lead activities, events, data changes and time-based deprecation, and include response treatments such as score changes, email distributions, alerts or assignment and transfer to the sales team.

Campaign Insight uses a dual model of lead scoring and grading to resolve which leads are sales-ready. Based largely on company and contact explicit data, leads are assigned a grade (A through F) which aligns prospects with the company's ideal customer profile. This gauge is used to measure relevance or fit more so than intent. Lead scores are instead numeric values that upon hitting a threshold sum, automatically forward to the sales force. Lead scores are based on point accumulations whereby leads earn points for activities such as viewing website pages, completing a form, and clicking tracked links.

Lead scoring is relatively flexible and can create rules based lead activities and behaviors as well as explicit data in accounts, contacts, opportunities and campaigns. Integration to Salesforce.com's Data.com (previously JigSaw) helps supplement that explicit data, however, data is only appended lead by lead upon mouse-click intervention, as opposed to automated mass updates with conflict resolution rules.

With tight integration to several popular CRM systems, Pardot campaign workflows can leverage CRM data and process changes. For example, the Pardot system may be configured to take a sale opportunity from CRM, where the status field = Won, remove the prospect from further nurturing, and add the new win to the customer list for a different nurture program. Or in another example, simply stop nurturing a sale opportunity when the probability value reaches or exceeds 50%. These types of rules are particularly powerful in coordinating sales and marketing processes, and Pardot is comparatively strong in its ability to configure them.

Nothing shows intent like a search term and Pardot does an excellent job at integrating with the customer's website search – and capturing lead search queries, scoring them based upon particular text and displaying them in the lead activity. Pardot also permits designating certain pages as 'priority' pages and scoring based on any or all individual pages (i.e. the pricing page may be scored higher than the privacy page).

Campaigns offer shared control among marketers and sales staff. Sales staff can insert their leads and prospects into a Pardot nurture campaign, suspend marketing activity for a designated period of time, or recycle their leads to a different marketing campaign—manually, based upon a field value data change (such as a status changed to "Unqualified") or handled programmatically (e.g., Lead Status remains "Open" for 3 days after the lead has been identified as a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) and assigned to a sales rep).

Some features we'd like to see in the future include the ability to set scoring point caps by category, the ability to create multiple scores per lead and the ability to roll-up individual lead scores into a company score. For composite company lead scores, Pardot does support the construct of company accounts, so customers may be able to implement a work-around whereby they create a sum field in their CRM system account record for the average of all contact scores and then sync that field back to the marketing software system.

Pardot can transfer a lead from one nurture campaign to another based upon lead activity, inactivity or data changes within the lead management system or CRM, however is only able to transfer a lead to the initial step of a new nurture campaign, as opposed to a specific step within the campaign. Somewhat mitigating this constraint, once the lead is transferred, Pardot is able to reassign the prospect based upon that campaigns setup.

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