A question I often hear from companies considering implementing Pardot:
“Should I buy Premier Support, or work with a consultant instead?”
This is a false dichotomy.
There are pros to having both resources — so ideally, you could have both.
If you’re under budget constraints (like many of us residents of the real world are) and can only choose one, then which direction you should go depends where you need the most help.
Things a Salesforce or marketing consultant is good for
Consultants ride shotgun with you while you ramp on the platform. They can be hands-on, understand your business, and then help you execute on your sales & marketing plan.
Key ways they can help:
- Shepherding you through an implementation
- Making strategic recommendations on your tech stack outside of Salesforce & Pardot
- Working with you to build campaign strategy
- Adding to the content creation and graphic design chops of your team
- Actually executing sends/building programs for you
- Individualized training
If you anticipate needing a consistent, ongoing partner to support your team — someone who can make sure the trains run on time and hold you accountable to the goals you set when implementing Pardot — a consultant is the way to go.
Things Pardot Premier Support is good for
Premier Support is like having a cadre of Pardot and Salesforce wizes on speed dial. It’s a great resource to have in your back pocket when you have an urgent need or a specific ask in mind.
Premier Support is super valuable for:
- Responding to 3 AM batcalls
- Doing technical things backendy things your consultant can’t — like fixing the incorrect link you just mass emailed to 50K people
- Administering focused topical training called “Accelerators”
- Giving you advice on the best way to build a program (although they can’t actually execute it for you)
If you need technical backup and short bursts of training/education if and when your team needs it — Premier Support has your back.
Deciding which you need for your business
The most common complaint I hear about Premier Support is:
“I forgot I had it and never used it.”
…but that’s not really a fair critique, is it?
The best resource for your business depends on what you’re looking for, and is the one that you will actually use to help you leverage Pardot to its fullest potential.
If you do decide to purchase Premier Support, USE IT. Schedule those Accelerators (my clients love those) and use them as a first line of defense for one-off questions.
Similarly, if you work with a consultant, USE THEM. Understand how they will complement your team — whether that’s with strategy, content, design, execution, reporting, or something else — and put them to work where they can have the greatest impact on your business. Pick a proactive partner who will push you and make sure you get the value you were looking for from Pardot.
And with either option — make sure you’re using external resources to grow your in-house capabilities and learn.
Pardot Premier Support vs. a Salesforce consultant
What have you experienced when working with Pardot Premier Support and with a Consultant? What do you see as the pros and cons of each?
Let’s hear it in the comments!
A really good read. As someone who’s had premier support as well as a consultant I lean twords consultant. When you have a problem you have to overly explain the details to Pardot support. They don’t know your business (even in my case at a multi billion dollar company) they generally still had no clue what we did, how our programs worked or who I was.
So when I called my dedicated line, I wasn’t sure who I was going to have pickup on the other line. I got to know several people on the support desk. One in Particular was a rockstar (Sunny). But Sunny didn’t always pickup…. I remember one time I had to literally explain to someone how tracker URLs worked so they could update it. I was told (“oh, we can’t do that”). This is really the only reason I ever used the line.
All this to not bash support – they saved my $#*% more than a few times. But selecting someone I know vs someone I don’t know is more important to me.
I want to know the person who picks up the phone knows me, my business, and my name.
Ah, yes! Sunny! I’ve had a few questions fielded by Sunny as well. One of the support team rockstars. I’ve asked the team questions that have taken days for them to get back to me on, but they where tenacious and got it sorted out.
There are things that Premier support can do that consultants can’t. But consultants can gain a level of familiarity with a business that the Pardot team cannot scale to. Being told how to do something, and then the suggestion that isn’t really what you want and to do something else is the true value of somebody that knows your business I think.