Marketing-Börse PLUS - Fachbeiträge zu Marketing und Digitalisierung
print logo

A Quick Start Implementation Guide for Pardot and SugarCRM

Recently our first Pardot implementation with SugarCRM took place.
Aptly GmbH | 09.07.2015
In the past we had solely clients that needed help with implementing Pardot with their CRM. This implementation was a new challenge for us that also revealed that there is still room for improvement in comparison to the connector.

But let´s start at the beginning:

Which CRM connectors does Pardot support?
– Pardot continuously syncs with Professional Edition and higher levels of, giving your sales reps a full view of prospect activity from within their CRM system.

SugarCRM – Pardot’s SugarCRM connector requires SugarCRM 5.2+. With Sugar, data can be passed back and forth between the two applications allowing a user to manage many formerly disparate marketing channels from within Pardot interface.

NetSuite – This connector needs to be set up using a username/password and role number for each user that has permissions to use Web Services and create/edit contacts and customers.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM – You can set up syncing between Pardot fields with Microsoft Dynamics.

Technical Implementation

Even when you have some knowledge of HTML and CSS, I would recommend to cooperate with your IT Team:

1. Create a campaign and add the campaign’s tracking code to every page on your website. If you have multiple websites, you can create multiple campaigns with different tracking codes. This tracking code will show you all known companies visiting your site and identified prospects.
2. Delegate a vanity alias’ (for example CNAME to The vanity alias will mask the use of Pardot and be used as the URL for all landing pages, files, etc.
3. Configure SPF/Sender ID and Domain Keys/DKIM authentication for your sending E-Mail address (for example With this configuration, E-Mails sent from Pardot will not fail these authentication tools.

CRM Implementation

After completing these technical tasks, take time to integrate your CRM (customer relationship management) database with Pardot. This is where you’ll really start seeing significant value from the tool.

E-Mail Address is always the unique identifier in Pardot. Any E-Mail addresses imported or collected from forms are called Prospects in Pardot. Prospects can be added to multiple lists and lists can be further segmented.

Pardot describes in a very detailed manner what you need to do in order to verify the CRM connectors.

Here are the differences between and SugarCRM:

1. If you want to prevent future prospect auto-creation for all but certain records, here’s how that can be done:

For Salesforce:
The Pardot AppExchange package in Salesforce uses triggers (LogLeadChange and LogContactChange, plus an optional LogPersonAccountChange trigger if you use Person Accounts) to create an ObjectChangeLog record every time a creation event occurs in Salesforce. The ObjectChangeLog event is read by the Pardot connector, then deleted and a new prospect is created in Pardot based on the information from that record.

The lead/contact sharing settings restrict which users can see a record or object. But since the Pardot trigger applies globally, the ObjectChangeLog records are always created when new leads or contacts are created in Salesforce. So even if those records are hidden from the connector user, the associated ObjectChangeLog records are not.

You’d need customized sharing settings on the ObjectChangeLog records themselves to hide them from the connector user or delete them outright if the associated lead / contact records do not meet certain criteria. By setting the object to private and sharing records / assigning them to different owners, you can control auto-creation. It is not a task for the faint of heart though and isn’t something we’d be able to support if implemented – so be aware of the caveats if you wanted to go that route.

You may also need to clean up any ObjectChangeLog records with some kind of batch script to delete those that are not shared with Pardot – i.e. records that belong only in Salesforce without further input. Otherwise, the stale ObjectChangeLog records will clog up database space in Salesforce and serve no purpose.

For Sugar: You can certainly still block auto-creation of records in Sugar by defaulting the “Send to Pardot” field to unchecked, then checking that record only on specific records. From there, Pardot will detect the records that have this field checked and create prospects for them. So, unlike with Salesforce, this is pretty easy to control!

2. Sync of Prospect with Lead/Contact fields in your CRM

In After you’ve mapped the fields the dropdown lists are available in Pardot.

In SugarCRM: The ability to keep field values in sync with SugarCRM is not a feature of the integration. For each of the CRMs that Pardot natively integrates with, there is a different feature setting. Because the ability to keep field values in sync is not part of the feature set, the option is not there and the values will not automatically populate. It will be necessary to manually create those field value options in Pardot.

3. Special characters are improperly escaped in SugarCRM

When you use special characters for example for the country Österreich (Austria) you will see the following:

Referring to Pardot Support there is already an internal ticket for their development team that addresses this issue. So this will hopefully be solved soon.

Before you verify the connector and let the systems speak to each other you need to upload:

- Hardbounces
- Opt-Outs
- Prospect that you want to do Marketing with

Marketing Set-Up

Now that you have Prospects in Pardot, you will be eager to send E-Mails, direct them to Forms on Landing Pages, or special Files. But first, you have to take care of:

- E-Mail Templates
- Forms or Form Handlers (integrating your existing website forms)
- Landing Pages (including customizing Pardot’s Unsubscribe Page and E-Mail Preference Center)
- Files (for example images, whitepapers, case studies, etc.)

Sales Set-Up

Finally, you will need to work with your sales team to determine how your company will score, grade, and assign prospects. Each prospect is assigned to one Pardot user. Scoring and grading will determine which implicit action and explicit information indicates a Prospect’s stage in your sales process.

The whole article is also available here