Basics of Pardot and Salesforce Integration

Basics of Pardot and Salesforce Integration

Last Updated on February 10, 2022 by Rakesh Gupta

Pardot is a marketing automation tool, owned by Inc. Marketers use this tool, primarily B2B marketers, to automate the lead generation and lead nurturing process. The website monitor uses cookies to recognize visitors or prospect and record their behavior in the Pardot database. These pages consist a few lines of code that tell Pardot when each and every visitor or prospect clicks on something. That information is recorded in the Pardot database to build a record of prospects or visitors behavior.  Pardot is comprised of a variety of automation tools including Automation rules, Completion actions, and Engagement campaigns to adjust the prospects Scoring and Grading

If an organization is using both Pardot and Salesforce CRM, then they can leverage Pardot to pass marketing qualified lead (MQL) to Salesforce CRM. Connectors allow Pardot to pass the data back and forth between the applications – for example, between Pardot and (1) Salesforce CRM system; Pardot (2) and ReadyTalk; or Pardot (3) and Wistia respectively.

In this article, I will cover the basics of Pardot and show you how it works with Salesforce CRM.  Then, I will introduce you to Salesforce connectorFinally, I will throw some light on default sync behavior, what objects can be synced and, how to set up connector between Pardot and Salesforce CRM.

Business Use case: – Donald Barnes is working as Marketing Automation Specialist at Universal Containers. They are planning to migrate to Pardot from other marketing automation tool. At Universal Containers they are using Salesforce CRM to better manage their customers. Donald Barnes doesn’t have experience with Pardot, so he wants to understand sync behavior between these two systems as well as Salesforce connector setup process. 

Solution to above business requirement

Applicable to a Pardot org where Allowing Multiple Prospects with the Same Email Address is not enabled

Currently, Pardot allows you to sync Leads, Contacts, Accounts, Opportunities, Campaigns, Email Activity and Custom objects (available as an add-on at Pro Edition and is included in Ultimate Edition) with Salesforce. Before syncing up a custom field – for example, Prospects custom field with Lead Custom field, make sure that it is mapped correctly. 

Syncing behavior from Pardot to Salesforce

For Pardot to sync prospect with a record in Salesforce, you must (i) either have an existing lead or a contact record that has a matching email address. Or, (ii) have a prospect sync to Salesforce, by assigning to a user. There are various ways in which you can assign a user to a prospect record in Pardot:

  • Automation Rule 
  • Completion Action
  • Using Salesforce Active Assignment Rule
  • Manually 
Prospect Assigned to a queue
Prospect Assigned to a queue

Pardot uses the email address as a unique identifier – to identify a prospect or a lead record.  This means, to create a prospect record in Pardot, you must have an email address of a prospect. Pardot will check to see the following:

  • Is there a contact record in Salesforce with the same email address as a prospect record? If a contact record, with same email address, is found then, Pardot will sync with the prospect record with that contact record.
  • If, on the other hand, a contact record, with the same email address is not found, then, Pardot will check to see if there is a lead record with the same email address. If a lead record, with the same email address, is found, then it will sync with that lead record.
  • If no record is found with matching email address in Salesforce then, Pardot will go ahead and create a new lead in Salesforce.

The following diagram represents the graphic view of Pardot to Salesforce sync.

Sync behavior from Pardot to Salesforce
Sync behavior from Pardot to Salesforce

–> Pardot checks for changes in Salesforce, and within Pardot, every 2 minutes. If you are updating a large volume of data at a time, then, it may take longer for all of the changes to sync.
–> You can also utilize the Automation Rule to sync prospects whose Salesforce lead or contact record was deleted.


–> Remember that, to create a new record in Salesforce, the prospect must be assigned, manually, to a user in Pardot; unless, you are using Salesforce Active Assignment Rules to assign a prospect to a user in Pardot.

–> If there are duplicate contacts, or lead, with the same email address in Salesforce, Pardot will sync, at random, with any one of the Salesforce records. 

Syncing behavior from Salesforce to Pardot

The syncing behavior from Salesforce to Pardot will depend on your connector setup. By default, new lead and contact records within Salesforce will not sync over to Pardot automatically. Following are the ways to sync a new lead or a contact record from Salesforce to Pardot

  • Manually: – Use Send to Pardot button on the lead or contact record to start the sync process. 
  • Import the lead or contact records with email address into Pardot.
  • Under Salesforce Connector setup in Pardot enable, Automatically create prospects in Pardot if they are created as a Lead or Contact in Salesforce, option. 
  • Use Pardot API to integrate these two systems programmatically. 

The following diagram represents the graphic view of Salesforce to Pardot sync.

Sync behavior from Salesforce to Pardot
Sync behavior from Salesforce to Pardot

–> If anytime someone updates the owner of a lead or a contact record, it will start the sync from Salesforce to Pardot.
–> Any activity that updates the LastModified field, will trigger a sync to Pardot for existing prospects.
–> You can only have one CRM connector at a time in Pardot. 

Installing Pardot AppExchange Package to a Salesforce org

Before setting up Salesforce connector in Pardot install an AppExchange package to get Salesforce ready to connect and sync with Pardot. The package you will download from the AppExchange automatically updates Salesforce with a custom application, custom tab, and custom fields for leads and contacts. Click here to download the Pardot AppExchange package. Once the package is installed, make sure that the user that you are going to use as a Salesforce connector user or Integration user, meets the following criteria:

  • Has Pardot Connector User permission set assigned
  • Has the standard object permissions listed on the following, screenshot for standard out-of-the-box sync behavior.
Permission for Connector User
Permission for Connector User

Next step is to add Pardot Information section to lead and contact page layouts to display Pardot specific fields, as shown in the following screenshot:

Pardot Information Section
Pardot Information Section

The best practice – (i) before installing the Pardot AppExchange package to a Salesforce production org; and (ii) connecting it with a Pardot live instance – is to install the Pardot AppExchange package to a Salesforce sandbox and connect it with your Pardot training org. Then, test the integration with the small amount of data. Once you are done with integration testing, disconnect the connector setting. Then, install the Pardot AppExchange package to a Salesforce production org and connect it to your Pardot live instance.

–> Pardot, does not have a limitation on user license. Instead, the restriction is on mailable prospects, File Storage or SEO Keyword Monitoring etc. 

Adding the Salesforce Connector to Pardot

The next step is to add Salesforce connector to your Pardot instance. In Pardot, navigate to Admin | Connectors | Add Connectors and select Salesforce

Connect to a Salesforce sandbox account
Connect to a Salesforce sandbox account

Select the option Connect to a Salesforce sandbox account, as shown in the preceding screenshot. To verify the connector, enter Connector user or Integration user Salesforce credentials. Once the connection is successfully set up, you will get few options to customize the connector, as mentioned in the following screenshot:

Customize Connector Preferences
Customize Connector Preferences

Select any of these options as per your business requirement to customize your Salesforce connector. Make sure to select Automatically create prospects in Pardot if they are created as a Lead or Contact in Salesforce checkbox. 

Testing your Salesforce Connector

Create a new prospect record in Pardot and assign the prospect to a queue/user/group, as shown in the following screenshot 

New prospect
New prospect

Check the Lead tab to see if this record is created in Salesforce.

Lead Record in Salesforce
Lead Record in Salesforce

Likewise, if you create a lead record (with an email address) in Salesforce, it will automatically get created in Pardot. 

–> You can only have one CRM connector at a time in Pardot. If you have an existing CRM connector, you will need to delete it before you can add a different connector.

–> In my next post, I will show you how to create a custom sync behavior to pass only the Marketing qualified lead (MQL) to Salesforce, instead of syncing all prospects! Getting Started with Pardot – Part 8 (Effective ways to pass Marketing Qualified Leads)

The End: I look forward to your constructive suggestions and comments.  Thank you!

Proofreader: - Munira Majmundar

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13 thoughts on “Basics of Pardot and Salesforce Integration

  1. Hi Rakesh! I have a requirement to sync Product object data from salesforce to pardot. Is this possible? If yes then Is it possible via Salesforce Connector or would it be done via Pardot API

    1. Hi Prachi,

      AFAIK, it is not possible to sync the Product object with Pardot. Instead, you can create a multi-select picklist on contact or lead (to store product-related data) and sync it with Pardot.

  2. Hi Rakesh! I am having a requirement to sync Products data from salesforce to Pardot? Is it possible? If yes, then Is it possible via Salesforce Connector or I have to use Pardot API?

  3. Hi Rakesh, i am not clear on the point under syncing behavior from Pardot to Salesforce – If no record is found with matching email address in Salesforce then, Pardot will go ahead and create a new lead in Salesforce. Why should a lead be created, will this not create an unnecessary volume of leads which are not leads in the real sense. Can these not stay as contacts in the system?

    1. Thanks for your comment. I think you missed a few paragraphs. Yes, it can create the contact, in such case you have to contact Pardot Support.

  4. Thanks a lot for this blog. This is an extremely insightful series on working with Pardot and my team and I here at Cymetrix have been keenly following it. Some of the guides have helped us gain fresh perspective on the ever evolving platform of Salesforce. Just wondering, are you planning to cover the topic of social media management with Pardot?

    1. If you are working for a Salesforce partner, then get in touch with Pardot support, to get the access of a Pardot training org.

  5. Good job! One thing I noticed…you pointed out that you must have a user assigned to a Prospect in order for it to sync. That user doesn’t have to be an actual person, it can also be a queue in Salesforce. I didn’t see you mention this, but I’m on my phone – it’s very tiny and I might have missed it!

    Create the queue in Salesforce, then on the User tab in Pardot, create the same queue. When your prospects in Pardot reach a certain score and you are ready to send them to Salesforce, use an automation rule to assign them to that queue. 😊👍🏼

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