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How to Update Salesforce Picklists & Keep In Sync with Pardot

How to Update Salesforce Picklists & Keep In Sync with Pardot

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A question I come across a lot in the Pardot and Salesforce Success Community is how to change Salesforce picklist values on a field synced with Pardot.

A recent example:

Do this wrong and you’ll see the sync errors start flooding in.

This process may sound tedious, but it’s actually not that bad. The keys to a successful field value replacement are updating both systems simultaneously and updating the field everywhere in Pardot to avoid sending over old values later.

This blog post will walk you through the steps of replacing Salesforce field values to ensure you’ve covered all your bases!

1. Confirm requirements for the picklist update

Before you get started, map out the values on the field to ensure all your stakeholders are on the same page. There is nothing worse than finishing this process and then realizing something was miscommunicated and values are missing or were mapped incorrectly.

For example, let’s say we are going to update the “Product of Interest” field. 

Your values might look something like:

Current Product of Interest
Product A
Product B
Product C
Product D
Product E

You might want to replace them with something like:

Future Product of Interest
Product 1
Product 2
Product 3
Product 4

When the team is aligned on the final set of new values, map the old values to the new ones:

Product of Interest Mapping
Product AProduct 1
Product BProduct 3
Product CProduct 1
Product DProduct 2
Product EProduct 4

2. Add the new values to the Salesforce picklist

Now that you have confirmed the new values and how the values will map, add your new values to your Salesforce field so you have both your old and new values. 

3. Replace old Salesforce values with the new ones

In Salesforce, use the “Replace” button to begin replacing the old values with the new values.

When you’re viewing the field in Setup/Object Manager, you can find this button at the top of the list of picklist values:

The replace function looks like this:

Once you have replaced all of your old values with the new values, deactivate your old values by clicking the “deactivate” link. These will then show up on a list of “inactive values”:

Alternatively, you can also delete the picklist value. If you do this, the value will be removed from all records and Salesforce will prompt you to go through the replacement exercise again.

If the picklist exists on both Leads and Contacts, make sure to update both fields in Object Manager or update the Global Picklist Value Set.

4. Use an automation rule to update any remaining prospects

After completing Step 3, your Salesforce Leads and Contacts will be ready to go. You may, however, still have Pardot prospects that have old values in the fields.

The simplest way to update this is to create automation rules to begin move over values. You may need to use “Other” and type in the value as shown below. Make sure the value you type into Pardot matches the new Salesforce value exactly.

5. Update the field in Pardot setup

Once your automation rules have run, open the field in Pardot and select the “refresh” symbol next to “Salesforce Field Name”. This will resync the field and pull in the new field values from Salesforce. 

Ensure only the new values now show up in the “Values” section.

If you want to skip this step in the future, make sure this checkbox is selected:

6. Update the field on Pardot assets

Finally, check the “Usage” tab of your field to identify any forms, automation rules, completion actions, or lists that may need to be updated to include the new values.

If you need to update the field values on any forms, go in to edit the form, and click the “Load Default Data” button next to the field. This will pull in the correct values so you don’t have to manually add them.

7. Keep an eye on the error queue

After you’ve completed steps 1-6, that’s pretty much it!

Note that if you’re using a restricted picklist in Salesforce, any picklist values that don’t match up will cause a sync error.

It’s always a good idea to check your sync error report a few days after any change like this to ensure you’ve updated the values everywhere and don’t run into any issues later. 

Questions about updating picklist fields in Pardot?

Any questions or other things you’d like to know about updating picklist fields in Pardot?

What other Salesforce and Pardot processes are you curious about?

Let’s hear it in the comments!

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  • Erin Duncan is the Account Engagement Product Director at Sercante. Erin is 8x Salesforce certified and has 12+ years of experience as a Salesforce and Account Engagement Admin. She is the leader of the Atlanta B2B Marketers User Group, the leader of the Pardashian Slack group, and a Salesforce Marketing Champion.

  • Comment (4)
    • Pardot’s Industry field is mapped to the Salesforce Industry field by default. If you update the values available in the Salesforce Industry field, Pardot will be able to use them, too. If you only want to use new values in Pardot (if you don’t need them in Salesforce), you can edit the Pardot field and add those extra values when you change the field’s Type to “Dropdown”, for example.

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