UPDATED: 3/5/2021 – Sync Prospects Safely With Cross-Business Unit Leads and Contacts
Not long ago before business units, if you wanted to have separate Pardot databases connected to the same Salesforce org, then you would need two or more Pardot subscriptions. Now, with the release of business units, admins can setup criteria (called marketing data sharing rules) and segment their databases however they want.
There are many reasons for using business units. Maybe you have one Salesforce org, supporting multiple business or product lines. Ideally, you want to be able to separate that information in Pardot, as well as Salesforce. Another example, some companies will use business units to segment by region. The use cases are endless.
Editors Note: Having setup business units before myself, I know the intimate details involved. I’ve made the wrong moves and troubleshooted errors already… so you don’t have to. I hope this post serves as a valuable resource for admins looking to configure themselves. Worth noting that directly in the implementation guide, partner assistance is recommended.
Additionally, at the end of this post, the “Documentation” section provides links to Salesforce documentation, trailhead modules and an official Salesforce implementation guide.
What does a Business Unit consist of?
An important question if you think about it. Obviously, prospects will be separated, but what about other Pardot assets? Will partitioned units share email templates, or will they need to be created in each? More importantly, will they have their own Salesforce connector? Beyond that, each business unit has its own:
- Salesforce connector
- Marketing assets
- Segmentations and automations
- Settings and configurations
All of the above should be carefully considered before implementing business units. Think about who your connector user will be for each unit (they have to be different). What criteria will you segment Leads AND Contacts by in Salesforce? If you’re partitioning an existing Pardot org, will you need to replicate forms, landing pages, email templates and layout templates in the other units? Which automation rules, segmentation lists, and tags need to be created?
Another big “gotcha” admins come across deals with the Pardot tracking code. It’s essential to make sure the correct code is placed on the correct webpages. You start running into potential duplicate records in both systems when prospects are cookie’d and in both business units.
Remember, you will essentially have two completely separate Pardot accounts once you complete implementation.
Provisioning Business Units
Before you can even attempt to provision, you will need to make sure…
- You’re on the Pardot Advanced Edition.
- You’re on Pardot Lightning, since business units are not available on the classic interface. Specifically, new business unit admins will need Lightning permissions. That said, once provisioned you can access each account via the classic pi.pardot.com application.
- This is where you can get yourself in trouble… If you’re on the v1 Salesforce Connector (check what connector version you have), then usernames must be unique across all Pardot accounts. If you’re provisioning a new business unit from an existing account, you will either…
- need a brand new admin username, or…
- you need to delete the provisioned business unit admin username from the original Pardot account.
- If you’re on the v2 Salesforce Connector, you cannot select the same admin for more than one business unit within the setup assistant screen. However, you can go into a business unit AFTER and create a user as an admin, even if that user is already the admin for another business unit. You can use the Business Unit Switcher (more below) to switch between business units.
Keep in mind: Campaigns should only be connected to one business unit to help prevent data conflicts. By implementing Connected Campaigns you can segment by campaign record type, and control what is shown in each business unit. This can be done after provisioning.
At this point, you’ve planned out details for each business unit. You meet the necessary criteria. It’s time for a Salesforce admin to use the Pardot Setup Assistant to create business units and assign admins. The admin for each new business unit will get an email notification with setup information.
This email will direct you to add users, configure marketing data sharing rules and ultimately configure Pardot. Before you unpause the Salesforce connector for the first time, limit what syncs to each business unit to prevent duplicate records and skewed reporting. Meaning, make sure to setup Marketing Data Sharing Rules before unpausing!
Salesforce recommends connecting users as the first step after creating new business units. Connecting users allows Pardot to attribute prospect assignments to the correct Salesforce users. Either manually map users and setup SSO or use Salesforce User Sync to filter users.
As mentioned above, depending on which connector version your company is on will determine whether or not users can exist in multiple business units. Also, if you purchased Pardot before April 25, 2019, a user can exist in only one business unit at a time.
Note: If you’re using User Sync, you may need to create new Salesforce profiles to correspond with business units.
Business Unit Switcher
If you have users in multiple business units (assuming your org meets the criteria), then they will need to use the Business Unit Switcher.
When you switch between business units, Pardot components show the data and assets from only your current business unit. Pages without Pardot components, such as a campaign list view, aren’t affected when you switch business units.
Setting up Marketing Data Sharing Rules
Marketing Data Sharing Rules are arguably the most important part of setup. They allow for the correct records to be synced with the corresponding business unit. If incorrectly setup, you could potentially expose your Pardot account to data integrity issues…
You will need to create a rule segmenting Leads, Contacts, Opportunities, and any custom objects you want connected. From Salesforce:
- Each object can have only one rule. Each rule can be based on one Salesforce field and uses the equals operator.
- To prevent Pardot record updates from causing prospects to unmatch rules, rules can be based only on unmapped Salesforce fields. The field must belong to the rule’s object and be editable.
- The Default setting for an object uses the connector user’s permissions to control which records sync. When you create a rule for an object, rule, both the rule and the connector user’s permissions control which records sync.
You can use any unmapped Salesforce-only field (except formula fields) for the rule. Depending on how you want to separate prospects, it may make sense to use an existing field. If that doesn’t make sense for your use case, it’s recommended to create a net new field called “Pardot Business Unit” (or something similar) and use that. Here’s what the screen will look like for each business unit:
Listen up to this next part because it may be applicable to you. If you need to include multiple field values as criteria, then you will need to do some additional configuration on the Salesforce-end. For example:
I want to include Leads with the field product type “Blue” and “Green” in Business Unit A. All other product types can go in Business Unit B.
Since you can’t use a formula field AND you have to use an equals operator, it makes grouping values together tricky. There is a work-around though, and it’s not explicitly documented anywhere by Salesforce. Here’s what you need to do:
- If you haven’t already created a Lead, Contact and Opportunity field called “Pardot Business Unit” do so now. A text field that is visible to the Salesforce – Pardot connector users will be sufficient.
- Create a Workflow Rule for each object, similar to the example below. The evaluation criteria should be set to, “created, and any time it’s edited to subsequently meet criteria” in an effort to keep the most-up-to-date value synced.
- Select the Pardot Business Unit field you created in step 1 and enter in the value your Marketing Data Sharing Rule will reference.
- Make sure to activate all the workflow rules you just created.
- Retroactively trigger workflow on current records.
- Run a Salesforce report to insure that all existing Lead, Contact and Opportunity records have an updated value in the fields you just created.
- Update the Marketing Data Sharing Criteria screen to include the updated “Pardot Business Unit” fields.
Now, anytime a new Lead, Contact or Opportunity in Salesforce is created, assuming they have a value in the fields we used to update the “Pardot Business Unit”, it will get synced with the correct business unit.
Sync Prospects Safely With Cross-Business Unit Leads and Contacts
With the Pardot Spring ’21 Release, business units got a much needed repair. The update allows for a single lead or contact to live across multiple business units.
Interacting with assets like forms or tracking codes from separate business units creates a new prospect for each business unit in Pardot. In turn, a duplicate record would potentially be created in Salesforce. This is necessary because the same Salesforce record can’t store a value for two separate Pardot prospects (ex. Pardot Score is different, which value would you use?). Not an ideal situation for many reasons, which is why this update is so crucial.
After you make the necessary updates, you’ll be able to view data from each business unit on the same Salesforce record. A new custom object called Marketing Profiles will store Pardot data for each business unit:
As of the update date, the only documentation provided by Salesforce on configuration can be found outlined in their release notes:
How: On the Salesforce-Pardot connector settings, select the checkbox to stop syncing Pardot package fields. Next, reconfigure Marketing Data Sharing rules so lead and contact records sync to more than one business unit. Then, create a custom object to use for lead or contact marketing information and use the Pardot Export API to sync prospect field values from different business units.
It’s recommended to work with a partner to make the update. As more information about setup becomes available, it’ll be posted here.
You can read about the update in the Spring ’21 Release Notes. Additionally, if you check out the release readiness webinar, Rob Phillips, Senior Product Manager at Pardot shares a great demo. To hear the relevant clip, find the 12th video in the playlist, then scrub to 6:00 in.
Leads and Contacts across Business Units (if cross business unit sync is not enabled)
This is another important distinction to understand, specifically if you haven’t enabled cross business unit syncing. If a prospect’s associated lead record no longer matches the marketing data sharing criteria, it will stop syncing with that business unit and the prospect will be automatically archived. If the record re-matches, then the corresponding Pardot record would be removed from the Recycle Bin and active again. And to be explicitly clear, here is what Salesforce says:
A lead or contact syncs to a prospect in a single business unit because they have a one-to-one relationship. Connecting a lead or contact to prospects in multiple business units creates data conflicts that impact your overall sync performance. If you must sync leads or contacts to multiple business units, maintain a one-to-one relationship by creating a duplicate lead or contact for each business unit. Records related to leads or contacts, such as accounts, opportunities, and custom objects, can exist in more than one business unit.
TIP: If you import prospects via the Pardot uploader tool, make sure they match the Marketing Data Sharing rules. Otherwise they will be automatically archived and sent to the recycle bin.
Similar to users and records, Salesforce campaigns should be associated with a single business unit. Basically, you need to setup Connected Campaigns, which filters based on record type. You will need to choose a different record type for each business unit.
Audit all Business Units for Accuracy
Before unpausing the Salesforce connector it’s a good idea to audit what you’ve configured. Check that users are mapped to the correct business unit. Run a few reports to see what records have values in the relevant marketing data sharing fields. If you’ve already connected campaigns that those are showing as well.
After the connector has been activated for each business unit, you will want to spot check that prospects line up in Salesforce and the correct Pardot unit. The new business unit(s) should have the same amount of prospects in each business unit that have matching values for the Pardot Business Unit field in Salesforce.
Additionally, look at the visitor report to see if the correct webpages are tracking in each unit. Remember, you still need to setup each Pardot business unit as you would if you were implementing a new account. Automation rules and segmentation lists need to be created. Tracking codes need to be placed. There are a number of steps that need to be completed, even after provisioning.