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Salesforce and Account Engagement Practical Application: Texas Dreamin’ 2023

Pardot and I go waaaaaaay back. Working in marketing for 15+ years, I’ve been an end-user in Account Engagement (formerly Pardot) since roughly 2008 and have used it in almost every organization I’ve worked in. 

Although I’ve used the tools for years, I’ve never attended a Salesforce community-led conference so Texas Dreamin’, May 18-19, 2023 was my entré into the Salesforce ecosystem. The event is driven by smart, kind, and giving thought leaders who share their knowledge, enthusiasm, and passion with attendees. 

As an end-user turned consultant, I approached the conference from two angles, what will help my professional development in my new role as a Marketing Consultant at Cloudtegic and what best practices can I bring back to the clients I serve. 

Below are my highlights and main takeaways, hopefully you have a chance to attend a community-led event and meet some of the delightful presenters at future events. 

Discovery as a Dialogue - Jodi Hrbek

I didn’t know what “Discovery” was until March 2023, so I knew this was going to be helpful. Jodi discussed some of the hard and soft skills needed to finding the problem and providing a solution.

  • Thanking your client. They are sharing problems and issues and filling you in on the nitty-gritty details of their organization. This open and honest dialogue can be vulnerable not only person-to-person but organization-to-organization acknowledging their input and guidance goes a long way. 
  • Share your experience. Although I am new to consulting, I have worked in industries ranging from a diagnostic lab to print, and with that comes experience that can be applicable and helpful to a client.
  • Options aren’t promises. Discussing ideas and concepts does not equate to a commitment to build or deliver anything. This one is hard for me as I’m used to being the person doing the work. And while we can brainstorm the “art of the possible” there is a SOW that guides us, and that’s okay and much needed.

How to SMS with Account Engagement - Erin Duncan

A highly valuable, practical-application session where Erin covered utilizing Salesforce Flows and the Twilio connecter in Account Engagement for SMS outreach in areas like event invites/reminders, free trial expiration, discounts, order updates, and more. You can find her instructions here.

#Pardot Like a Rockstar - Becka Miller, Lara Black

This session was a nice refresher and a chance to hear from consultants on the multitude of ways Account Engagement (Pardot) can be leveraged.

  • Don’t forget your historical Opt Outs when switching to a new solution. If a client is transitioning off another platform, ensure they’re honoring unsubscribes by importing them into Account Engagement. 
  • IP warming is important, even with established clients. Seeing a dip in deliverability? May be time to slow down the cadence and focus on the most engaged Prospects.
  • Snippets are more helpful than you may realize! Create a snippet for footer content or for other standard content that may need updating across a variety of assets. No more manual updates on hundreds of templates. They can be generated in the Lightning App and used in the classic builder.
  • Share from your experience. Although I am new to consulting, I have worked in industries ranging a diagnostic lab to print, and with that comes the experience that can be applicable and helpful to a client.

Foster a Junk-Free Org: 6 Data Maintenance Tips - Jacob Catalano, Julian Janssen

Everyone gets super excited about implementing new orgs but the maintenance element should also be considered so you’re not skewing conversion metrics or using inflated numbers in reporting.

  • Utilize dynamic lists that look for “junk” data, i.e. test, 1234, abcd, asdf, Mickey Mouse, etc. Determine what is “junk” for your org (can also include competitors) so you can regularly move to the Recycle Bin to keep you mailable Prospects in check. 
  • Check the Salesforce Connector Sync Errors. There may be Prospects getting caught in the Connector that Sales can work, let’s make sure they’re getting there. 
  • Put data cleanliness on a scheduled cadence that makes sense in your organization. Once/quarter? Annually? Depending on the amount of data entering into your system. 
  • Don’t just clean Account Engagement. Bad data can start in Salesforce! Fix there and then export to import into Account Engagement to update.

Deep Dive into Dashboards Components - David Carnes

Dashboards can really highlight what is and isn’t working so ensuring they’re helping and not hurting you, David outlined a couple “gotchas” to look out for. 

  • Resize your components. If you have to scroll, you’re only showing a part of the picture. 
  • Donut charts default to “Combine small groups with others” disable that selection! You might unintentionally be combining elements that shouldn’t be combined because they don’t have a lot of data. 
  • Subscribe to the Lightning Table reports to keep the data fresh, otherwise they only stay active for 7 days. 
  • Take advantage of 2-level sorting!

Common Salesforce Implementation Mistakes that are COMPLETELY Avoidable - Seth Hornbuckle

Seth weaved client stories into his presentation to highlights the pitfalls and triumphs of implementation.

  • Ensure proper formatting and alignment before importing. “’Perfectly’ configured systems are rendered borderline unusable if the data is a tire fire.” 
  • Do not cut corners on training and communication with end users. Over-communicating is generally the safer approach. 
  • Ensure there is alignment on goals between key stakeholders or business unit owners because the decision maker isn’t always representative of the stakeholders.

Successful Change and Adoption: 3 Key Actions to Take - Terri Sinclair

Terri took us back to basics with the essentials to change management.

  • Get SMART goals. Ensuring that your goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound and in a dashboard will make goals easier to track. 
  • Don’t forget the WIFM. “What’s In it for me?” is the question that most stakeholders will be asking themselves, be clear with action items and needs from each layer on the team.

Raising Salesforce - Cherrice Browne

Implementing Salesforce is like raising children and in this session Cherrice outlined the phases of maturation based on utilization of the platform.

  • Each Cloud is their own “child”, they all behave differently and the “birth order” can impact adoption and utilization
  • The phases of maturation of the platform are not linear, Automations and Flows may happen before or after Einstein.
  • It takes a village. Product managers/owners/Architects along with Executives/Sponsors/Stakeholders all need to be involved and committed to raising Salesforce.

Texas Dreamin’ 2023 was a game-changer for me as an end-user turned consultant in the B2B marketing space. Attending this community-led event provided me with valuable insights and practical applications that will enhance my professional development as a Marketing Consultant at Cloudtegic. I learned the importance of fostering open and honest dialogues with clients, leveraging my diverse industry experience, and understanding that discussing ideas does not always equate to a commitment to build or deliver.

I encourage everyone to attend community-led events and tap into the expertise of thought leaders who generously share their knowledge and passion, ultimately benefiting both personal and professional growth in the B2B marketing landscape.

I’ll be heading to Chicago for Connections 2023 for my second event and hope to see you there! Reach out to us on social if you’ll be attending. 

Stephanie Marzuola

Stephanie Marzuola

Stephanie is a Marketing Consultant at Cloudtegic. She is a certified Pardot Specialist and has been working in marketing since 2008 using marketing automation to streamline processes and solve problems.

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