“Ask the Expert” Webinar Series: Pardot vs. Salesforce Marketing Cloud

With Salesforce MVP’s Ines Garcia and Jared Miller

It’s no secret Salesforce is much more than just a CRM. While it may have started out that way, over the years it’s evolved into an all-encompassing platform with the ability to have your clients, customers, and touchpoints all in one place. It’s a marketer’s dream. That is, if you properly leverage it.

In the second webinar of our newly-formed “Ask the Expert” series, 10K’s COO Jared Miller sat down with 10K Expert, agile coach, and Salesforce MVP Ines Garcia last week to take a deeper look at Salesforce’s two main marketing products: Pardot and Marketing Cloud. Drawing from Ines’ wealth of knowledge and experience with Salesforce, here are some key takeaways from the discussion.

To listen to the recorded webinar, please visit this link. 

Where to Start

With any new tech (and any project for that matter), the first thing you need to ask yourself is “what’s the objective?” As you consider whether to invest in Salesforce for your marketing efforts, start by laying out your marketing goals and understanding what your metrics of success will be. Do you want to achieve broader brand awareness or are you more concerned with high conversion rates?  Once you determine that, you can start looking at which product is the right tool for you.

Pardot vs. Marketing Cloud

While some organizations may be tempted to rely solely on Sales Cloud, which will let you email customers, it is not a digital marketing tool per se and will only take you so far. In order to acquire, nurture, and onboard new and existing customers, a tool like Pardot or Marketing Cloud is the next best step. So which one is right for you?

Both Pardot and Marketing Cloud were originally brought into the Salesforce fold through an acquisition. Pardot was originally acquired in 2012, and at its core is a marketing automation system designed to unite marketing teams and sales teams, helping them nurture the best leads, close more deals, and get the most from marketing efforts. Marketing Cloud, formerly known as ExactTarget, was acquired in 2013.

Both tools have similarities and can be used to: Send and track emails; segment lists; create web pages (either cloud or landing pages), and create journeys (e.g. nurturing a list of subscribers through a scheduled path).

However, there are some key differences. Pardot, for example, has a scoring and grading system that enables you to understand not just how interested your potential customers are, but how trusted you are with them. This helps you to prioritize where you put your efforts. It also has tracking codes so that you can track all your different campaigns and efforts in order to better understand the ROI of your marketing efforts across different channels. It is also optimized for outbound social media publishing, and is becoming increasingly more embedded in Salesforce and is more integrated with the Lightning App and Connected Campaigns

Marketing Cloud has similar functionality, but deeper in certain areas and Ines believes is more optimized for e-commerce and high volume business-to-consumer marketing. The Marketing Cloud Suite has separate applications, such as Social Studio and Advertising Studio, that will let you do some powerful, interesting things. However, they need to be integrated via a connector. 

If you still aren’t sure which tool to use, Ines suggests opting toward Pardot if you don’t plan to use push notifications or SMS because Marketing Cloud has a steeper learning curve. While Salesforce is trying to improve in this area, unless you have in-house expertise that can take on Marketing Cloud and hit the ground running, Pardot is a better answer.

Getting the Most Out of Your Investment

Salesforce itself is an investment and one you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of for your money. Regardless of which product you choose, here are some key considerations to get the most ROI:

Staffing, education, and training: You’ll want to invest the time and energy into either a part-time or full-time employee who can oversee the use of the product you choose while providing them with the proper training and education in the product’s functionality.  Make sure whoever you delegate this to possesses a good understanding of digital marketing practices. 

Set up an onboarding process: You should take advantage of the features and set up automated journeys, including simple things like onboarding for a drip education program for your new customers, or a top-of-mind piece to prepare for renewals in advance. Once you’ve set these journeys up, they won’t require much follow up effort.

Test test test: You should test not just specific functionality, but also take the time to do smaller experiments to see if something is worth a bigger and further effort.

Exclusion lists: You will want to look after your customers and the touchpoints you serve. Make sure, for instance, you aren’t emailing someone you’ve already emailed in the last seven days. 

Warming up your IP: Many email providers, like Gmail for instance, will block emails coming in from blast outs. In order to get around this (and improve your reputation), make sure that rather than sending an email to 10,000 people in one day, that you segment lists and break them up so that you are doing small chunks at a time. You don’t want to put the time, energy, and effort into an email campaign only to have it wind up unseen and unopened in a spam folder. You can leverage the graphs and analytics these products provide in order to slowly segment and build your database over time in a way that will prevent blasts from being blocked.

At the end of the day, the biggest mistake people make is trying to do too much. As tech advances and these products evolve, they’re being designed and updated to help you track and validate the data you’re gathering to better understand where you should be focusing your efforts. As Ines so eloquently summed it up, “how can we validate our efforts today so we’re smarter tomorrow?”

We hope you found this post helpful. If you’re interested in viewing the webinar in full you can do so by clicking on the video below.

A Practical Guide to Starting Up in the Salesforce Ecosystem

Have you been considering going out on your own, becoming your own boss and embracing entrepreneurship in the Salesforce ecosystem? Whether it’s as an independent contractor or building your own big company, this post is for you. 

As someone who’s been in your current position, I understand how intimidating it can be with a level of uncertainty on where to start. This is why I, along with my colleague and 10K Chief Customer Officer Mike Martin, hosted a free webinar last week with practical advice for anyone thinking about starting or expanding a business in the Salesforce ecosystem, based on our own respective experiences navigating the complexities of entrepreneurship.

This post will recap most of what we went over but if you want to view a recording, check it out here. We’ve also compiled this downloadable checklist that walks you through the areas below. 

Why am I doing this?

It’s time to get honest with yourself, and asking yourself if being an entrepreneur is the right thing for you and if now is the right time. Many people want to be an entrepreneur because of the money or flexibility they believe it will offer them. While this can happen, it’s not always (or often) the case.

There has to be a deeper “Why?” involved with your desire as there will undoubtedly be times where there isn’t money and you are working 80+ hours a week.

What’s that thing that will drive you when that happens? What’s your “Why?” What problem do you really want to solve? Why are you special and why will you be able to solve that problem better than anyone else?

When I started my entrepreneurial journey six years ago, after seven years entrenched in various roles within the Salesforce ecosystem, I saw a problem and thought I had a good solution. I recognized that it was hard for Salesforce customers to find good talent, and it still is. At the same time a lot of great consultants were going independent, which created a diverse network of top talent that was not easily accessible to customers. It’s from this “Why?” that 10K Advisors was born.

Regardless of the size of your pursuit, consider starting by building your own personal or company mission statement. Write it down. Revisit it. Rework it. And think long and introspectively about your “Why?” While you’re at it, I suggest reading a book that helped me on my own journey, called “Start With Why” by Simon Sinek.

Who are you?

Now that you’ve established why you want to do this, it’s important to look at your role in it all. When you work for a company, you have lots of roles — CEO, CFO, COO — and most likely teams that are responsible for various aspects of the business. As an entrepreneur, you get to be in charge of all of that. While this can be exciting, it can also be really daunting.

Realistically, only 50-75% of your time will be spent doing the work you thought you’d be doing.

The rest of the time will be spent planning, handling collections, invoicing, setting up systems, selling customers, creating contracts, reviewing contracts, and so much more. As you’re thinking about your business/financial plan, plan to include at least 25% of your time on overhead of other additional tasks that are not billable.

You must also be well aware of your strengths and weaknesses. Look introspectively about what you’re good at and enjoy, and on the flip side, think about where you may need some help or lack experience. If you’ve never filed taxes as an entrepreneur or business entity, that’s why the world created CPAs. If you’ve never reviewed a SOW or don’t understand indemnification clauses, it might be advisable to find an attorney. Be honest with yourself and be humble. Finding these gaps and filling them will save you down the road, streamline inefficiencies and help you ultimately avoid burnout. 

I truly believe self-awareness is one of the biggest keys to being a successful entrepreneur.

The Transition

If I haven’t scared you away by now and you’re ready to make the leap, let’s address what the transition looks like. Like all things in life, it helps (greatly) to have a support system. Which is why we recommend, if at all possible, trying to find the following types of advisors and mentors:

A general mentor: Maybe the most important, is finding someone you can check in with, run things by, and lean on throughout the entire process. Ideally, this is someone who’s been there before and knows the environment you’re entering.

A CPA: For the same reasons we’ve listed earlier. Taxes. Finances. LLC vs S Corp. This is someone who can help you navigate it all.

An insurance broker: Many customers have certain insurance requirements, and a broker can help you get the right coverage so you’re not at risk.

An attorney: Someone to review your contracts and someone you can trust is key to protecting yourself and your business. 

A banker: Having a trusted banker who can help you support your business in rough times, explain and access certain loans is always helpful.

Make it Official

Now that you have gone through the assessment process and have your mentors and support system in place, you should create a business entity. While some people will go out and start contracting as an individual, which there is nothing wrong with, there are a lot of benefits of making it official. First, it cements in your mind that this is a business. That it’s your job, not something you’re just trying out. Second, large customers will require it. Many prefer not to work with independent contractors under their own social security number as they want a business entity that has insurance and more formality. It also signals to customers that you’re serious about this long-term.

From a financial and tax perspective, your advisors can walk you through which structure is right for you. It doesn’t cost a lot of money compared to how it can protect you in the future.

Have a Contingency Plan

Any good survivalist knows: always have a plan B.

If the current state of our world and economy is any indication, it’s important to understand that sometimes things will go wrong, which is why you should be as prepared as possible. 

Finances first: Being in good financial standing should be Step 0. That’s right, not even Step 1. I typically recommend having 3-6 months worth of expenses covered as a safety net to help you weather the storm when there are ups and downs. Make sure you have financial reserves.

Be flexible: Things rarely go exactly the way you think they will so be flexible. Look back at the strengths you’ve outlined and pull from those in order to adapt to the realities you face.

Be humble: Know when to say when. Don’t get yourself into a worse situation by trying to save something that may not be worth saving. It’s ok to call it a day and it’s ok to go get a full time job. There is no shame in this and you have to do what’s right for you and your family. 

Focus on Growth

Growth should be an important focus for any entrepreneur – both business and personal. As the CEO of your own business, you can’t always be heads down delivering what you’re good at, you also have to be thinking about what’s next.

For example, say you’re a very good Sales and Service Cloud expert. Looking at CPQ or Mulesoft, or an adjacent skill to those Cloud, might open up a whole realm of opportunities. Things transition and evolve. Maybe Salesforce buys three new companies. How will you take advantage of such opportunities?

How will you grow as an individual consultant so you can add value to customers? How will you grow as an entrepreneur or a leader for employees on their own journeys? Read. Have mentors. Learn new skills. Be a sponge and take it all in as much as you can.

Expand your network

An important part of this growth is to expand your network and understand what your reach can be. Now that you’ve established yourself as a new entity, you want to make sure people know about it. You’re a new product. So get out there and market it.

There are so many great opportunities within the Salesforce ecosystem to connect with other people and support those efforts, from community groups and Salesforce-sponsored events to just being active on social media. Partners can also be a great source of business. Reach out to your existing network. People you’ve worked with in the past, from previous coworkers to any partners you’ve hired. Half of 10K’s business comes from other Salesforce partners.

Also, think about what it means to be your own brand. All of the above opportunities are places to take advantage of building your personal brand and carve out a niche for your business.

Hopefully, this post has given you some good steps to get started in your entrepreneurial journey. I am not a lawyer, or an accountant, or a professional small business advisor so this is by no means legal advice or a substitute for getting other advice. It is merely my experience.

Introducing 10K’s “Ask the Expert” Webinar Series for Salesforce Professionals

Webinars may be old school, but they can still be surprisingly helpful. 

That’s why we at 10K Advisors are creating a new educational webinar series called “Ask an Expert” to provide valuable information to our customers, partners and experts. Whether you’re a new Salesforce customer looking to get more from your investment, or a long-time Salesforce consultant looking for ways to grow your career or better serve your customers, we hope this blog series will have something for you. We promise it won’t be a sales pitch, just honest advice from actual Salesforce practitioners. 

This week we held our first webinar, “From Salesforce Admin to Entrepreneur,” providing personal and practical advice to those who are thinking about starting or expanding a business in the Salesforce ecosystem. The content, which is based on a presentation that Mike Martin and Nick Hamm gave at last year’s WITness Success event in Nashville, covers everything from finding the right advisors, to creating growth plans, to developing contingency plans in case things go sideways. You can view the recording below, or click here to download our free new business checklist that we created for session attendees.

Our next “Ask the Expert” webinar will be an interview with 10K Expert Ines Garcia on the topic of Pardot vs Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Ines is a 10K expert based in London who is an Agile Coach and a Salesforce MVP, and specializes in digital marketing. Ines has a great perspective on what organizations should or shouldn’t do when it comes to using a platform and a range of product offerings like Salesforce

Register here for the April 23, 2020 webinar at 10am ET.

Our May webinar will focus on a day in the life of a Salesforce architect, and what some of the telltale signs are that you need an architect on your project. In June we’ll hit on the hot topic of Configure Price Quote (CPQ) software. Follow us on Twitter (@10Kview) or LinkedIn (/10k-advisors) for specific dates and times of these webinars and more coming soon. 

If you’re like us and working from home, why not take the opportunity to learn from other experts out there on how to jumpstart your career or business, and improve your Salesforce execution? 

And if there are webinar topics you personally would like to see, please let us know by emailing advisors@10kview.com.

“Ask the Expert” Webinar Series: From Salesforce Admin to Entrepreneur

Our inaugural webinar, “From Salesforce Admin to Entrepreneur,” provides personal and practical advice to those who are thinking about starting or expanding a business in the Salesforce ecosystem. 10K CEO Nick Hamm, and 10K Chief Customer Officer, Mike Martin, cover everything from finding the right advisors, to creating growth plans, to developing contingency plans in case things go sideways.