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7 Fundamental Account Engagement Concepts for Salesforce Admins

7 Fundamental Account Engagement Concepts for Salesforce Admins

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Welcome to the marketing side of Salesforce! As a Salesforce admin, you may occasionally need to assist your marketing team in developing processes or generating reports from data in Salesforce and Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot). Understanding Account Engagement and how it affects your Salesforce org can enhance your ability to contribute to those initiatives. 

7 Account Engagement Facts Salesforce Admins Must Know

In this blog, we will review several fundamental concepts in Account Engagement and how they relate to your role as a Salesforce Administrator. This guide is designed to provide you with insights from a Salesforce perspective about Account Engagement so that you can best support marketing and other teams using the platform. While these features are available to all organizations, access to the features can vary based on your org configuration and tier.

Tip 1: We call people “prospects”

In Salesforce, you are accustomed to working with Leads and Contacts. While this does carry over, the platform labels “people-records” as Prospects. Prospects can exist solely in Account Engagement or be synced with existing Salesforce records.

Verifying Prospects are linked to Salesforce records

To verify that a Prospect is linked to a Salesforce record, you can click on an individual record and look for the Salesforce cloud icon listed on the right of their name (see above) or by the CRM ID listed at the bottom of the record. Clicking on this cloud icon will take you to the connected Salesforce record. In Salesforce, you can click the Account Engagement URL to bring you into the platform. This is particularly helpful when you are trying to diagnose data sync issues. 

Key reminders:

  • Records are matched using 18-digit IDs and email (if no matching record is found)
  • You can navigate from Salesforce to Account Engagement records and vice versa
  • Managing deleted records and duplicates may require additional effort across both platforms

Tip 2: Add visibility for sales and marketing teams in Salesforce

Enabling Account Engagement introduces several new fields, components, and features exclusive to the integration. You should review the implementation guide and work with your team to align on what information is valuable for sales and marketing to deliver on their respective functions.

The package includes fields like engagement score, fit (grading), what “object” they converted on, and a log of their latest activity in Account Engagement, to name a few. Additionally, depending on your tier, you may also find additional components you can take advantage of, such as B2B Marketing Analytics.

When mapping fields, not all Salesforce field types transfer seamlessly to Account Engagement. To avoid data loss, review your fields (including matching API names) and ensure they are mapped across objects in Salesforce before attempting to sync any data into Account Engagement.

Key reminders:

  • Field types may affect your ability to map fields into Account Engagement
  • Beware that Formula fields do not trigger sync updates in Account Engagement
  • Field level permissions and user profile access on the integration user can affect dataflow

Tip 3: Security matters but looks and works differently

Security is the #1 pillar of any Salesforce Admin role.

There are different levels of access you can give to Salesforce users via permission sets. Those levels include:

  • No access to Account Engagement data – on either platform: This is usually for operations teams who don’t need access
  • Access to Account Engagement data on a page layout in Salesforce: This is usually for sales/SDR teams
  • Access to the Account Engagement app: This is usually for marketing and creative teams

To enter the Account Engagement app, the user’s record must be mapped into Account Engagement. No user in Account Engagement, no access to it regardless of permissions in Salesforce.

Secondly. while you may be familiar with profiles and roles in Salesforce, well Account Engagement adds another layer of complexity to the mix. Account Engagement has its own “roles” and they do completely different things. These roles only apply within Account Engagement and allow you to see and do specific activities (build segments, forms, etc) on the platform. 

Default Account Engagement user roles include Administrators, Marketing, Sales Manager, and Sales. You can configure these roles under the account settings section and connect profiles to roles within the Salesforce connector section in Account Engagement.

To conclude, you can personalize the levels of access to different Users. You’ll ultimately need two “keys” to get into Account Engagement (a Salesforce permission set and an Account Engagement role assigned to a synced User). It is important to work with marketing to outline the level of access needed to perform daily tasks.

Key reminders:

  • You can create custom roles in Account Engagement (may require an add-on)
  • All the users with the same role, have the same access in Account Engagement, regardless of their permissions in Salesforce

Tip 4: The Salesforce Integration is flexible

This integration (or connector) is the key to aligning your data between two systems. Through the connector, we can sync everything from Users, objects, fields, and campaigns. You can deep dive into the individual components here.

In these settings, you can choose if you want to allow a bi-directional sync or not. This is your on/off switch. Most customers want this feature enabled. 

Additionally, you can control data flow on a field-to-field level. It is important to discuss how data will be used and by what team. 

You can allow data to be managed by:

  • Salesforce only
  • Account Engagement only
  • Whichever system makes the most recent update

As data comes circulates between the platforms we can be met with conflicts between the two systems. For most teams, these conflicts can be attributed to their use of validation rules or restricted field values and dependencies. The conflicts are called sync errors in Account Engagement

These conflicts can be found under the Salesforce connector gear icon (under Connectors) and can range from:

  • Access issues – Connector user lacks access to read/write to an object
  • Data formatting issues – Issues with field types or values
  • Process alignment issues – dependencies between fields or steps in a process

As an admin, is important to support your team in resolving these issues as quickly as possible to restore data sync on those records. These sync errors offer opportunities to improve communication between teams and for process improvements. Our team at Sercante often uses ProspectUpdater to help customers fix data formatting issues at a scale.

Key reminders:

  • Enabling a bi-directional sync of data is recommended but optional
  • Large imports can cause bottlenecks – if you notice this becoming an issue you may want to check daily processes as well

Tip 5: Account settings are the key to understanding your org

This section can help you identify important information about your account such as the Business Unit ID, when the account was enabled, admin alerts, and account limits. On the right side of the screenshot below, you will find the ability to personalize who gets alerts about these items. To ensure these alerts are taken seriously, ensure these are received by team members who are active in the org.

The most common way that admins discover this page is when they have to increase the number of prospects that can be kept in the account or run out of storage.

Key reminders:

Tip 6: Leverage Account Engagement forms

You’re probably familiar with web-to-lead forms. While these mechanisms can help do more with Salesforce they do not cookie leads or contacts upon completion. Why does that matter? Cookies help us identify prospects and avoid duplicates.

With Account Engagement you can simplify the form creation and management (say goodbye to your external tools) or form handlers (similar to webhooks) to streamline your inbound marketing and processes. The forms can be embedded as Iframes on your website, Account Engagements’ landing pages, or stand-alone.

Upon completing a form, you can set a cookie on the Prospect. You can still do notifications (email and Slack), send emails, add to segments, and so much more without complex flows or other Salesforce automation. 

Key reminders:

  • Testing forms incognito mode is strongly recommended
  • Cookie length can be adjusted under your account settings or by individual user browser settings

Tip 7: Encourage campaign collaboration

First thing is first, Account Engagement has campaigns too! However, these are exclusively used in Account Engagement for capturing the 1st touch interactions (all time). This makes it challenging to see the life of the lead across time and also makes reporting difficult.

Luckily, we can create and sync Salesforce campaigns into Account Engagement for the same purposes AND to capture the multiple touches on their journey to conversion and beyond.

By leveraging Account Engagement’s automation to add prospects to Salesforce campaigns, we avoid doing multiple imports to update the Campaign member records. This functionality also allows us to take advantage of standard Campaign reports in Salesforce that can help us see ROI and campaign influence across our initiatives. To help find the latter, we created a Campaign Influence Started Pack, go check it out. 

Key reminders:

  • When creating campaigns, leverage campaign member statuses and make sure to check the “active” checkbox to sync over into Account Engagement
  • Keep an eye on campaign members and campaign influence records, which can eat up your Salesforce storage if created in large volumes over time

Learn the essential Account Engagement concepts for Salesforce admins

While Account Engagement predominately serves marketing functions, Salesforce Admins play a crucial role in understanding and supporting its broader impact. By acting as the bridge between IT and marketing, admins can help facilitate more collaboration and more effective project rollouts on projects affecting users across the organization.

If you are struggling with any of these tasks/concepts, please reach out for assistance. Together, we can foster more seamless experiences that drive transformative outcomes!

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  • Thank you for reading Marcos' post on The Spot. Marcos has been part of the Salesforce ecosystem since 2015. Currently, Marcos calls Texas home and helps co-run the Salesforce B2B Marketing User Group in Austin, TX. When it comes to the Salesforce ecosystem, Marcos is an active participant in forums, LinkedIn, and continues to mentor junior Salesforce enthusiasts online and in-person. He was recognized by Salesforce as part of the inaugural Marketing Champions class for his community contributions in 2020. Since then, Marcos has spoken at several Salesforce and tech-focused events around the United States, including popular community-led Dreamin' events, MarDreamin', and Dreamforce (twice). At work, Marcos enjoys supporting forward-thinking companies to grow with Salesforce. His sweet spot is helping sales and marketing teams with project management, implementations, and ongoing support on Salesforce. Need help with Salesforce or marketing automation? He's your guy! Check out his other blog featured on The Spot and be sure to connect with him on LinkedIn.

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