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How to Make Sales Fall in Love with Account Engagement

How to Make Sales Fall in Love with Account Engagement

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Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) offers the opportunity for marketers to give their sales team the information they’ll want, notifications worth paying attention to, and truly actionable insights about their prospects.

But it’s not always easy to get people excited about new software — especially when it involves learning a new process or procedure. 

When I became an accidental admin of Account Engagement in 2015, it took me a while to dig into the underutilized features that make it a great platform. But once I did, I learned how to provide sales with useful, actionable data.

In this post, I’ll share the big things that have helped to get sales teams excited about Account Engagement so they can be more productive with marketing leads.

Show all that Account Engagement goodness in Salesforce — where your sales folks can see it

Your sales and leadership teams are probably not using Account Engagement. But that’s where the marketing team is getting work done, like sending email campaigns, building engagement studio journeys, and reviewing prospect engagement.  

However, since Account Engagement is baked into the entire Salesforce ecosystem, there are a lot of ways to bridge the gap between the two systems and offer visibility into everything Account Engagement is doing. 

Add Engagement History to Contact Page Layout

If I had a dime for every client I met who didn’t have Engagement History added to their Contact page layout, I would have at least enough money for a mocha latte at Starbucks. But I cannot imagine a scenario where you wouldn’t want this information in Salesforce for everyone to see. 

Adding the Engagement History component to your Lightning record page is super-simple and will provide a log of all activities your trackable prospects are doing. For example, the component shows emails they are opening or clicking, landing pages they’re visiting, PDFs they’ve downloaded from your site and all the pages on your domain they have visited. 

Your Salesforce administrator can easily edit the Contact record page in Lightning Builder and drag the Engagement History component onto the page. 

The sales team is going to love this intelligence because it offers them insights into their prospects that they wouldn’t normally have. Furthermore, they’ll know simply by reviewing the history whether or not their prospects are opening marketing emails and what their level of engagement is. 

A couple of caveats

  • Only prospects that are cookied will show engagement history. They must be a prospect that has clicked on an email or previously filled out a Pardot form to be cookied and trackable.
  • Oftentimes emails may show opened or even clicked multiple times. Spam protection software can send a message pack to the sender (Pardot) that an email has been opened or clicked, even if it hasn’t been, which can be confusing. 

Bonus Tip! 

I love Page Actions, which allow you to designate specific pages on your website that trigger an automated action when a cookied prospect visits that page (for example, Add prospect to a list if they visit this particular product page). 

In addition, there is a checkbox on the Page Action that indicates it’s a Priority Page. By checking this box when setting up a Page Action your page will actually show up in the prospect’s Engagement History with the specific page they visited. So, for example, if you created a Page Action for your pricing page and marked it as a Priority Page, when a prospect visited that page it would be very easy for your sales folks to see that on the prospect’s history. 

Don’t forget to connect your campaigns

With the introduction of connected campaigns a few years ago, Account Engagement now syncs relevant email engagement data directly into Salesforce. 

There’s no need for leadership or other stakeholders to ask the marketing team how an email campaign or landing page is doing — that data is available right in Salesforce. 

Similar to the Engagement History component, this needs to be added to the campaign Lightning record page.

A couple of caveats

  • Users will need the Marketing permission checkbox on their profile to be checked to access Campaigns.
  • Emails and landing pages must be associated with the campaign in Account Engagement for the data to flow into the connected Salesforce Campaign.

Bonus Tip! 

Use Campaign Hierarchy to your advantage. On the dashboard you can view just the parent campaign results, or click the toggle to view the child campaigns as well. For example, you may have one main campaign for a Spring Campaign, then create and assign a child campaign to each email wave, or separate landing page.

Let’s add the Account Engagement fields, too

Not everything Account Engagement related can be added with a component. We’ll need to add some fields to the page layouts as well. 

I recommend adding a new Section to the Details area of the Contact page layout. Drag in the Account Engagement fields you wish to display.

At a bare minimum, let’s give your team:

  • Score: Your team will love the Score because it’s an implicit indicator of the level of interest a prospect has in you. It will help guide the sales folks in their prospecting efforts.
  • Grade: Not all organizations have this setup, if you don’t start here to learn about why it’s worth the time and effort.
  • Last Activity: This gives you a good idea of how long it’s been since a prospect has opened/clicked on an email or visited your website. 
  • Created Date: This is different from the contact’s create date. This is when Pardot first created the prospect record.
  • Finally, I like to include the Hard Bounce field so that the sales team is aware if they have a prospect with a bad email address. This will usually prompt them to check to see if they have the correct email on the record, or if the contact has left the company.

Salesforce reports your team will love

It’s nice to have all of the fields and components in Salesforce where your team can easily access them, but let’s talk a bit about reports too. There’s some cool stuff you can do with Salesforce reporting to keep your sales team wanting more. 

Account based marketing (ABM) reports

Instead of looking at the engagement of a single prospect, why not look at the entire account to see how engaged they are as a whole? 

Let’s create a report that will summarize our accounts and give us the Sum and Average of all of the contacts that belong to the given account.

  1. Create a new Contact & Account report. Apply any filters you need.
  2. The report layout should include the contact’s name, Account Engagement Score and whatever other fields you need.
  3. Under Group Rows, add Account Name to add a grouping by Account.
  4. On the Account Engagement Score field, click the down arrow to expand the field options in the layout
  5. Hover over Summarize and check Sum and Average.
  6. Save and Run your new report!

Recently active and highly engaged prospects report

The purpose of this report is to help sales folks identify prospects that are highly engaged and recently active. It creates a call sheet of sorts for your sales team.

To create this report, simply build a normal Contact & Account report but include the fields Account Engagement Last Activity and Score

You can then filter and/or sort the report to see the most recently active prospects with the highest engagement.  I used this type of report to keep an active list of prospects that sales people could call on when they had spare time. 

Note: Your users may already receive a similar report from Account Engagement called their daily prospect activity report. To find out, go to Account Engagement Settings > User Management > Users and click on a user. Then select Edit Preferences in the top right to see what emails they’re subscribed to.

Final thoughts

Hopefully you have found a couple of tidbits you’re ready to implement in your own org. One of the reasons I absolutely love this topic is because I know as a marketer it’s important to prove your value to the organization as a whole. I spent a large portion of my career learning to work with sales teams and leadership to provide them the insights they needed to succeed. 

It wasn’t always easy but good synergy between your sales and marketing teams is essential and will pay dividends. A good relationship includes transparency and Account Engagement offers that through excellent native integration with Salesforce. 

Looking to break down silos and build a stronger relationship between your sales and marketing teams? Contact the team at Sercante to start a conversation and learn about solutions we’ve built and the possibilities that exist.

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  • Nick has a diverse marketing background, including print and digital. For the past 15 years he has focused on database marketing, including automation, strategy and reporting. At Sercante he is focused on helping clients to achieve the full benefit of their CRM investment. When he's not working he is busy with his wife chasing their two kids around in upstate New York. He is also a youth program manager at their local church.

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