10 Questions to Gauge if You’re Ready for Pardot

Salesforce is good at selling Pardot.  So good, in fact, that some customers that sign on really aren’t ready to make the leap.  A year later when they’re re-upping their contract, they look at the Pardot line item and think:

“What have we even done with this?”

I’m a huge Pardot fan.  Pardot is the stuff marketing dreams are made of, really and truly – but only if you’re ready to do the work to make it work.

Here are 10 questions to gauge if you’re REALLY ready to make the leap:

1. What does success look like?

I’m a big believer in starting with the end.  What is your vision for this thing, and how will you know when you’ve “arrived”?  What does it look like when you’re firing on all cylinders, and what are the success metrics that show it’s working?

 2. Do I generate enough leads? 

“Enough” in the context of lead volume means more than your team can realistically act on alone. This is different for different businesses – but as a rule of thumb, about 100/month is when automation starts to make a lot of sense.

3. Do I have enough content?

“Enough” is subjective with content too, but I would say you should at least have something worth sending on a monthly basis, or be prepared to create this content.

4. Do I have actual processes that merit automation?

You can’t automate processes that don’t exist. Are you making up a process or testing new messaging?  Don’t automate it yet.  Test it, using the humans on your team, and see what’s effective.  When you find what works, document it, and let’s automate it.

5. What is the state of my subscriber data?

Do you have a list you can actually market to?  Have they opted in to hearing from you?  Do you need a little Sales Cloud clean-up work to make the most of your Pardot investment?

 6. Do I have the right skills on staff?

Marketing strategy, design, copywriting, data management, basic coding are a few skills you need to be successful. Which of these can you manage in house?

7. What outside resources can I leverage?

For the areas where you may want to supplement your team’s expertise and bandwidth – who can you lean on?  Would your needs best be served by a freelancer, a marketing agency, or a technology consultant?

8. Am I confident in the level of support from executive management?

“Executive buy-in” is more than just getting the budget.  Do you share a vision and have commitment to launching a successful marketing automation program? [More on this here.]

9. Can I get sales on board?

The criticality of getting support from sales leadership cannot be overstated.  Your VP of Sales or CCO’s posture toward Pardot can make you wildly successful, or completely hamstring your efforts.

10. What’s my timeline?

Standing up a Pardot environment is the first deadline.  And beyond “go live,” what are the milestones you want to hit?  What’s your ramp up timeframe, and what results do you need to demonstrate, by when?

Don’t have the answers… yet?

If you’re considering Pardot (or just signed on) and any of the above questions have you scratching your head, you’re not alone.

Feel free to drop me a line, and we can whiteboard it together!  In the meantime – what other questions are top of mind?  Share it in the comments!

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Andrea is a 12X certified Salesforce MVP and the founder of Sercante. When she's not Pardot-ing, she can be found playing with her German Shepherd Murphy, making homemade gin, or traveling with her hubby Buck.

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