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6 Ways to Manage Lead Assignment in Pardot

6 Ways to Manage Lead Assignment in Pardot

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Pardot lead assignment routing can trip up even the most experienced sales and marketing teams. 

There are so many different ways to assign your prospects within Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot). Whether you want to manually assign prospects or utilize automation rules or completion actions to assign prospects based on their activity or information, the options can seem overwhelming.  

In this post, I’ll dive into 6 different ways to manage lead assignment in Pardot and how to determine what the best option is for you. After all, cultivating interest, inspiring action, and responding to people who raise their hands is why we’re here, right?

Six Pardot Lead Routing Methods

Choosing the right lead management strategy and tools to automate the process is challenging, but it’s super important. Read on to understand what you should know to make the right choice for your organization.

 There are multiple ways to assign new leads in Pardot ranging from manual assignments to complex and automated assignments based on lead criteria or activity. 

  1. Assign to User
  2. Assign Prospect Via Salesforce Active Assignment Rule
  3. Assign to Group
  4. Assign to Queue in Salesforce
  5. Assignment via Prospect list actions
  6. Assign via advanced lead assignment rules in Salesforce
  1. Assign to User

Assigns a prospect to the specified user when the requirements of the rule are fulfilled.

How to use it

Completion Action:

Assign to user can be set up as a completion action for your forms, form handlers, files, custom redirects, emails and page actions, by selecting “Assign to user” and selecting the user’s name from the dropdown

Automation Rule:

Assign prospect to user can be set up as an action within an Automation Rule. This is a great way to assign leads if you have criteria the lead needs to meet before assigning the prospect to Sales. 

For example, if you want to only assign leads to sales that meet a certain scoring threshold, use an automation rule.

Engagement Studio Program:

Assign to user can also be set up as an action with an Engagement Studio Program, by selecting add element > action > assign to user.

Why this is a good methodThings to consider
Great if you don’t have many usersCan be used without the Salesforce integrationAssignment actions don’t reassign prospects who have an ownerDifficult to manage if you have many usersDifficult to figure out where the “assign to user” action is being used within your Pardot assets

 

  1. Assign Prospect via Salesforce Active Assignment Rule

Pushes a prospect to your Salesforce active assignment rule when the rule’s criteria are met (see more information on this process below). The prospect syncs to Salesforce without an owner. 

The assigned user is synced to Pardot when the active assignment rule determines who to assign it to.

To get started, review this Pardot help article: Assigning Prospects

How to use it

First, you will need an active lead assignment rule setup in Salesforce. This should include all the criteria for your lead assignment as well as a default user to assign the lead to if the lead does not meet any of the criteria.

Completion Action:

Assign via active Salesforce assignment rules can be set up as a completion action for your forms, form handlers, files, custom redirects, emails and page actions, by selecting “Assign prospect via Salesforce active assignment rule”.

Automation Rule:

Assign prospect via the Salesforce active assignment rule can be set up as an action within an Automation Rule.

Engagement Studio Program

Assign prospect via Salesforce active assignment rule can also be set up as an action with an Engagement Program, by selecting add element > action > assign prospect via Salesforce active assignment rule.

Why this is a good methodThings to consider
All lead assignment is set up in one placeNo need to update completion actions or automation rules in Pardot if you have an assignment update actionAssignment can be based off complex criteria and based on any lead field within SalesforceGreat if you have many Sales reps who should receive leadsYou must have the Salesforce integration set upAny users assigned to a lead in Salesforce need to have a corresponding Pardot user to track ownership correctly in PardotRequires the “View Setup and Configuration” permission in Salesforce in order to make assignment updates

 

  1. Assign to Group

Assigns a prospect to a user in a specific group (round robin lead assignment) when the requirements of the rule are met.

How to use it

First, create a group in Pardot (Admin > User Management > Groups > Add User Group).

Navigate to the user you should belong to the group (Admin > User Management > Users) and click Edit Groups. Select the group to add the user.

Completion Action:

Assign to user can be set up as a completion action for your forms, form handlers, files, custom redirects, emails and page actions, by selecting “Assign to group” and selecting the user’s name from the dropdown

Automation Rule:

Assign prospect to user in group can be set up as an action within an Automation Rule.

Engagement Studio Program:

Assign to group can also be set up as an action with an Engagement Program, by selecting add element > action > assign prospect to group.

Why this is a good methodThings to consider
Allows for round-robin lead assignmentCan be used without the Salesforce integrationGreat if you don’t have many users to assign prospects toDifficult to manage if you have many usersDifficult to figure out where the “assign to user” action is being used within your Pardot assetsProspects must be assigned via round-robin, unless you create groups with only one user
  1.  Assign to Queue in Salesforce

Assigns a prospect to the Sales Cloud lead queue when the rule’s criteria are met. Prospects assigned to a queue are considered assigned to an owner and aren’t reassigned. You can assign only leads to Sales Cloud lead queues.

How to use it

First, you must have a lead queue set up in Salesforce.

Automation Rule:

Assign to queue can be set up as an action within an Automation Rule.

Engagement Studio Program:

Assign to a queue can also be set up as an action with an Engagement Program, by selecting add element > action > assign to Salesforce queue.

Why this is a good methodThings to consider
Queue members can jump in to take ownership of any record in a queueEasy to prioritize, distribute, and assign records to teams who share workloadsThis action can not be used if your connector is set up for Pardot to syncs to contacts instead of leadsYou can assign only leads to Salesforce lead queuesDoes not assign prospects to specific owners
  1. Assignment via Prospect list actions

Prospects can be assigned to a User or Group via prospect list actions.

How to use it

Navigate to the prospect table, select the prospects you want to assign and select one of the options from the drop down menu.

Why this is a good methodThings to consider
Good for one-off lead assignmentWill re-assign prospects who are already assignedNot automated, has to be updated manually
  1.  Assign via advanced lead assignment rules in Salesforce

If you have more complex business rules, assigning leads via an app on the Salesforce AppExchange might be a good option. Most apps offer a visual way to view lead assignment rules and some advanced functionality, including auto-merging duplicate leads and lead to account matching. 

Traction Complete is a good option we’ve used before.

Why this is a good methodThings to consider
Great if you have many users and complex assignment rulesVisual view of lead assignment rulesAbility to assign leads via round robinCan automatically match leads to accountsCan filter records by advanced criteria (using fields from the leads or matched account)Automatically can convert leads from a matched account into a contactAuto-merge duplicate leadsMost apps on the AppExchange come at an additional costIt is another application to manageNot ideal if you have a small sales team or straightforward assignment rules.

Lead routing in Salesforce

Here are some additional ways Sales Cloud handles lead routing.


Lead assignment rules

In Sales Cloud, you can set up lead assignment rules to automate the assignment of new leads to your sales team or queues based on the specified rule criteria. 

The rules will execute and evaluate in the numbered order as leads enter Sales Cloud. Each lead assignment rule consists of multiple rule entries that specify exactly how the leads or cases are assigned. When a lead matches the rule, it will be assigned to the correct person or queue. Only one lead assignment rule can be active at a time.

To get started, review this Salesforce help article: Set Up Assignment Rules

Round-robin lead assignment

The round-robin lead assignment rule in Sales Cloud helps you automate the assignment of new leads in an even way to your sales team or queues.

Here’s how the repeating round robin assignment looks if your sales team for lead assignment has 3 members:

  • Lead 1 is assigned to sales person 1
  • Lead 2 is assigned to sales person 2
  • Lead 3 is assigned to sales person 3
  • Lead 4 is assigned to sales person 1
  • Lead 5 is assigned to sales person 2
  • Lead 6 is assigned to sales person 3

To get started, review this Salesforce help article: Create a Round-Robin Lead Assignment Rule

Still not sure what lead assignment method is best? Run through this flow chart to see what the recommended option is for you.

Additional Resources

Complex lead routing with third-party tools

Third-party tools enable you to create complex lead routing rules that go beyond out-of-the-box Salesforce and Pardot lead routing features. Different tools serve specific purposes that may be the right fit depending on what you’re trying to accomplish.

Here are the most common ones.

LeanData

LeanData is a native Salesforce lead matching and routing platform that is easy to use and customize with their visual drag-and-drop interface functionality and complex rule building.

Hot Tip: You can read our full guide to implementing LeanData in this blog post.

RingLead

RingLead is a native Salesforce lead routing, data normalization, enrichment, and duplicate managing platform.

Validity

DemandTools from Validity is a data management platform to help with importing, assigning, standardizing, manipulating, and the deduplication of your Salesforce data quickly.

Feel the Relief of Knowing Your Leads Are In Good Hands

Think you’re a Pardot lead routing pro now? Still have no idea where to start? Either way, tell us about it in the comments! And reach out to Sercante when you need Pardot consultant expertise for extra help and customization.

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  • Jenna is a Marketing Operations leader with over 10 years of experience working with both enterprise organizations and start-ups. She started her career as a consultant, helping B2B and B2C clients get the most out of Marketo, Pardot, Marketing Cloud and Salesforce. She then moved in-house, working with B2B SaaS companies, helping them build their sales and marketing technology stacks and processes from scratch.

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