The ROI that your Salesforce Account Executive showed you was no doubt one of the incentives that led you to purchase Pardot. While Pardot will help cut costs in the long run and improve your marketing automation efficiency, it requires an adequate investment of time and resources to implement and manage. You will most likely achieve Pardot success by working with a Pardot partner or dedicated Pardot consultant who can help accelerate your return on investment. So who should you hire?
When it comes to Pardot support, customers have a few options
- Pardot Partner
A Pardot partner, like Invado, works as an extension of your team. Partners are an experienced group of consultants who can help you achieve the most efficient and productive Pardot environment. The level of expertise varies by partner, and it’s a good idea to look for experience in services in addition to Pardot consulting that will help strengthen your long-term success. Salesforce and Marketing Cloud support, as well as demand generation strategy, are a few great complementary services to look for in the perfect Pardot partner. Pardot partners can usually provide flexible contract options for projects and ongoing support. Partners are a great way to solve complex Pardot challenges, get work done more quickly, and support an over-extended Salesforce/Pardot admin. At Invado we frequently work hand-in-hand with existing teams including in-house Pardot admins, and marketing, sales, and operations departments.
- Freelance Pardot Consultant
A freelance Pardot consultant can be a good budget-friendly option if you need occasional or minimal Pardot-only support. They typically work on a project or time and materials basis, and their cost, skills, and expertise vary widely. As with any type of freelance relationship, you need to know what you’re looking for and be able to provide adequate instruction for your freelancer to be successful.
- Full-time In-house Pardot Administrator
Depending on their experience, a full-time Pardot administrator’s annual salary in Texas is around $50,000-$75,000, not including benefits, training, and equipment costs. You might be tempted to find an admin who can cover all your Salesforce and Pardot needs (or pile your new Pardot needs onto your existing Salesforce admin), but those unicorns are hard to come by – you will probably need to hire two separate admins. And it’s not realistic to assume you’ll find a Salesforce/Pardot admin who has all the technical expertise you need plus the “nice to haves” like marketing automation knowledge and development skills. In other words, even if you hire an amazing Pardot admin it’s smart to budget for external help from time to time.
Questions to ask when hiring Pardot support
Choosing a Pardot resource that is reliable and trustworthy is important. Choosing the wrong option could mean you invest time recruiting the wrong resource, or worse – invest budget on the wrong person or team.
Here are some of the key questions to ask when searching for Pardot support:
- Do you have the experience that I need?
This may seem like an obvious question, but think a little deeper and make sure you don’t miss the details you’re really looking for. Once you have an idea of what exactly is needed, of course, you want to find out if they have the skills and capabilities to accomplish your goals. Also, try to understand their experience in a more broad sense. Right now you might only need Pardot support, yes, but it’s easy for Pardot-only needs to bleed into Salesforce, operations, and marketing. Does this person/partner have broad Pardot experience that could lead you to more holistic success?
- What failures have you experienced and how did you deal with them?
Sure, you want to know about their project successes – it’s important to know that your new resource will succeed in supporting your Pardot campaign needs. But failures are sometimes a necessary part of risk-taking. You want a Pardot resource who will push the limits and find unique solutions, which does involve a level of risk. What you need to find out is if they make good choices on when to take risks, and how quickly they recover from failure.
- How do you help manage change within an organization?
Change is hard! And when you implement new technology or make changes to engrained processes within an organization, you will experience pushback. Look for a Pardot resource who knows how to manage change in a way that helps smooth the transition and encourage adoption. A good Pardot consultant or partner will think about employee participation, documentation, testing, and training in their process to implement a change.
- What certifications do you have?
There are currently two Pardot certifications, and while holding these certifications is certainly not everything, it can show experience and dedication. Because there is a cost associated with getting Salesforce certified, many experienced independent consultants have not invested their own dollars into getting the titles. If you are considering a Pardot partner, expect them to have several employees with multiple certifications, depending on the size of their organization. More certifications don’t always mean better, but the right certifications in the Salesforce products you need them to support are what you’re looking for.
- What else do you think I need?
When trying to solve a Pardot need, you might not think about everything else. Ask your potential Pardot consultant or partner if from your initial conversations they can see any needs you might be neglecting. If they are experienced, they will know about other areas to suggest more attention.
As a Pardot partner, our top priority is helping you find the best solutions and ultimate success for your business. To learn more about how Invado can help with your next Pardot campaign, check out our Pardot Consulting Services or contact us today.