00 Pardot Sync Another Day

Be the marketing agent who defeats Salesforce’s Dr. Know…

There is a secret world of marketing intrigue and delayed data. On the surface you see Pardot and Salesforce passing data back and forth, but it takes a keen eye to know that something is right. Some activities in Pardot doesn’t trigger a sync to Salesforce. Looking through help guides stashed in the Salesforce secret safe (and on the disorganized help website), you find the following information:

These activities don’t trigger a sync from Pardot to Salesforce

  • Receiving or opening an email, unless the action is set to adjust prospect score
  • Page views, unless the action is set to adjust prospect score
  • Visitor sessions
  • Prospect account changes
  • Creating or mapping new custom fields
  • Changes to formula fields in Salesforce
  • Undeleting a prospect

You quickly inform your boss “M” that something isn’t right. You ask for a ticket to the Bahamas to investigate this further. M says she will fly you coach to Detroit, but you quickly decline. Instead you do some fast finger research on your tablet and discover another detail:

Only these activities cause a prospect to sync from Salesforce to Pardot

  • Updating the assigned user (owner) for the lead or contact record
  • Making field changes to a lead or contact record
  • Updating a related account record in Salesforce for a lead or contact who is associated to a Pardot prospect.
  • Activities that update the Last Modified timestamp triggers a sync to Pardot for existing prospects
  • Updating a lead or contact email address

You are now certain there must be someone at Salesforce trying to stop Pardot from working. You check to see if Marc Benioff hasn’t been kidnapped and now is in Baja. You ask your friend Langley at Marketing Cloud, but he doesn’t know anything about it. He is too busy figuring out Connector v2.0. You even call IT support line, but they don’t know anything about it and create a support ticket for you. You conclude without any doubt there must be a double-agent at Salesforce. There must be a “Doctor Know” who can get Pardot and Salesforce to sync.

To save time, we are going to skip forward a few days after you have some boring brawls with henchmen, an escape from a dungeon using cheerwine and a roll of certs, and car chase in a Pontiac 6000 station wagon on Mount Rushmore. A few days later you finally reach Doctor Know. Without using any witty one-liners, you get him to tell you how to make Pardot and Salesforce sync on demand…

Step 1: Create a custom field in Salesforce

Your solution will add a custom checkbox to the lead object (you can also create a custom field on the contact object later). You hidden camera took a screenshot of the custom field below:

Step 2: Create a custom field in Pardot

To make the sync work, we create a custom field in Pardot that is connected to this Salesforce field. Again, that hidden camera was able to capture what you did in Pardot below:

Step 3: You can create workflows in Salesforce. Your boss “M” reminds you that workflows are outdated (and comments on your wardrobe as being not cool). She suggests you switch to Flows instead. However, you decide to go with workflows for now (and you think your skinny jeans look great).

We start by creating a workflow rule. Because you want to save time, you decide to use the Pardot holiday special suppression solution to determine when Salesforce and Pardot will be forced to sync. So you set the criteria field IsHoliday equals one (which means today is a holiday).

Then you set the immediate workflow action to update your custom checkbox to be checked.

Now this works great, but what happens if it is not a holiday? You need one more workflow to check to see if it’s not a holiday and uncheck the checkbox.

So you create another workflow as shown below:

..and then set immediate workflow action to update your custom checkbox to be unchecked.

With the workflows in place, you now have a system that will modify the lead record when it is a holiday (and syncs again the day which isn’t a holiday)….

So why would this force Pardot and Salesforce to sync?

Remember, Salesforce will sync to Pardot when the Last Modified timestamp is changed. So by changing the checkbox, you are modifying the lead record and updating the Last Modified timestamp.

Could we do something like this from Pardot?

Yes. You could create repeat automation rules that could update the checkbox once a day which would force a sync between Pardot and Salesforce.

Is there anything that would stop a sync?

Yes. If there is no email address on the lead or contact in Salesforce, those records would not sync to Pardot. If there is no one assigned to the prospect in Pardot, those prospects would not sync to Salesforce. Additionally, any records not visible to the Pardot/Salesforce connector would not sync.


So after getting the details from Doctor Know, you empowered the rest of M’s team of how to make Pardot and Salesforce work together. M was so pleased she gives you more assignments to solve out how to make Pardot use Hubspot forms. Doctor Know would later leave his position to manage a Baskin Robbins in Omaha, Nebraska.