Getting Started with Pardot – Part 16 (Delight Sales Team with Pardot’s Lead Scoring and Grading Framework)

Getting Started with Pardot – Part 16 (Delight Sales Team with Pardot’s Lead Scoring and Grading Framework)

Last Updated on September 12, 2021 by Rakesh Gupta

Finding qualifying leads has been a challenge for marketers is an understatement at best. Marketer, when implementing inbound marketing, have been primarily concerned about accumulating the high number of new leads (prospects). As a result, today’s marketing automation tools have been obliging – the tools are adding the higher number of leads, than ever before, to the sales funnel!

Impact of populating the sales funnel with an eye on quantity, as oppose to quality, has been counterproductive, to say the least. For, once you have a huge number of leads (prospects), you need to figure out who is really interested in your product and who is merely a wanderer on your site.

The process of sorting leads is one of the most time-consuming tasks for marketing departments. Furthermore, passing wrong leads to sales reps not only wastes their precious time but it may negatively impact relationships between your sales and marketing departments. Moral of the story? – despite marketing automation tools’ tendency to supersize quantity of leads, to be successful, you should focus on the quality of your leads.

This is where lead – scoring and grading – come into the picture. Lead scoring lets you assign a value (point) to each prospect based on (1) the information they share with you; and (2) how they have engaged with your website and brand across the internet. Every Pardot account comes with a default scoring model already in place.

Reference – world wide web

The lead scoring system works out-of-the-box but can be customized to meet any organization’s needs. A prospect’s score is influenced by number of downloads, pages viewed, web searches and Email click-throughs. For instance:

  • The number of downloads can be assigned 25 points – it may indicate where the prospect is in the buying cycle. Higher number of downloads garner higher number of points – Awesome, here come 25 points!
  • Similarly, the number of pages viewed, and types of pages viewed, may indicate how engaged a prospect is with your site. If so then, Good, assign 10 points to the prospect!
  • How about Website searches? Well, searches can also indicate a prospect’s interests and priorities – Good, here come 5 more points!
  • And, last but not least, what about Email click-throughs? Click-throughs capture a prospect’s interest in the content or offer embedded in the email. Great, assign 50 points to email click-throughs!

Well, you get the point!

Whereas Scores are based on implicit activities (number of downloads, email click-throughs, pages viewed, forms completed, and so on), Grades oh! don’t worry, we are not talking high school grades!  (expressed as a letter, A-F) – are based on explicit information about the prospect – (industry, title, company size, and so on). While scoring indicates how interested or engaged a prospect is with your company, grading indicates how interested or engaged your company should be with that prospect.

When using these features together, automatic lead scoring and grading can streamline your sales cycle and ensure that your leads are better qualified and properly nurtured before they ever reach the sales department.

Now that you understand what scoring and grading is, let us go ahead and discuss how to adjust prospect score in Pardot. 

Adjust prospect score

You can modify a prospect’s score in the following ways:

  • Modifying the Baseline Scoring Rules
  • Completion Actions on Forms or Form Handlers
  • Modifying Scores via Automation Rules
  • Modifying Scores during Imports
  • Changing a prospect’s score manually etc.,

Modifying the Baseline Scoring Rules

Scores are automatically assigned to prospects when they convert. Scores constantly change based on prospects activities and interactions and show how engaged your prospects are with your marketing content. Pardot provides a baseline scoring system that you can customize. 

Let us start with a business use case. David Haditsch is working as Content Marketing Manager at GurukulOnCloudAt GurukulOnCloud, they want to adjust the Form Submission baseline score to 45. 

 To customize the baseline scoring model for Form Submission in Pardot, perform the following steps: 

  1. Click on Admin | Automation Settings | Scoring Rules
  2. Then click on the Edit Scoring Rules to change any of the rules, as shown in the following screenshot: 
  3. Then from the drop-down select Form Submission and adjust the score to 45. After you adjust a rule, Pardot displays the approximate number of prospects that will be affected by the score change. 
  4. Once you are done with all the changes, click on the Save Changes button.

Please remember! these changes are retroactive (i.e., all of your prospects in the system will be re-scored). Furthermore, this will result in all of your prospects resyncing with the CRM and could affect score-based automation rules.

Completion Actions on Forms or Form Handlers

While designing the Form or Form Handler, you can adjust the score using Completion Action on Step 4 of the Form Wizard. 

Let us start with a business use case. David Haditsch is working as Content Marketing Manager at GurukulOnCloud. In part 14 he had created a Form Handler web-to-lead. Today, David received a new requirement – when prospects submit this Form Handler, adjust their score by 10. 

Performs the following steps to adjust the score of prospects when submitting a Form Handler:- 

  1. Click on Marketing | Form | Form Handlers
  2. The next step is to edit the web-to-lead Form Handler, as shown in the following screenshot:
  3. Navigate to the Completion Action Section, and then add a new completion action as shown in the following screenshot:  
  4. Once you are done with all the changes, click on the Save form handler button.

On any marketing asset, you can use completion action to adjust a prospect’s score. Remember, you always set the completion action on the asset itself, since the action is based on a prospect’s interaction with one discrete object. The following screenshot shows the scoring adjustment for file via completion action 

Things to remember: –

  • Completion actions are not retroactive. They apply only to activities that happen after the completion action is added.
  • Completion actions execute every time they are triggered. For example, if prospects downloaded a file or, submit a Form or Form Handler. 
  • Completion actions don’t execute on image file downloads.

Modifying Scores via Automation Rules

Prospects Score can also be adjusted automatically using automation rules. Automation rules can both increase or decrease prospect scores; or, it can reset a score to zero.

Let us start with a business use case. David Haditsch is working as Content Marketing Manager at GurukulOnCloud. He again received a new requirement – if the prospect has opened an email in last 5 days then add 50 bonus points to their score.

To create a new automation rule, perform the following steps:

  1. Navigate to Marketing | Automation | Automation Rules
  2. Then click on the + Add Automation Rules button
  3. Under Rules, select Match all
  4. Select +Add new rule
  5. Select Prospect emails open:: has opened any email:: in the last 5 days
  6. Select +Add new action
  7. Enter Adjust Prospect Score:: by:: 50  
  8. Once you are done with all the changes, the final step is to click on the Create automation rule button to save the rule.

If you want to learn more about Automation Rule in Pardot, then check out this article Creating your first Automation Rule.

Modifying Scores during Imports

If you have historical data that you are planning to bring into Pardot then, at the time of import it is possible to modify the score of prospects by adding a column Add To Scoreto a .csv file. 

While importing, make sure to map the fields correctly, as shown in the following screenshot:

Changing a prospect’s score manually 

It is also possible to modify the score of a prospect manually by navigating to their record. Simply edit their record and modify the score, as shown in the following screenshot:

In this blog, you have learnt what a prospect’s score is and how to adjust them. In the next article, we will review how to grade your prospects based on information they provide. After that, I am going to discuss scoring categories. Scoring Categories are very helpful when you want to score prospects on more than one product or business unit. If lead scoring still seems daunting, contact me and I will be happy to help.

Please feel free to add constructive comments and insights to the blogs.

Proofreader: - Munira Majmundar
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