How to use Pardot API to automatically grade your prospect database? (Part-1) - Marketing Automation Montreal - Pardot Consulting Canada
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How to use Pardot API to automatically grade your prospect database? (Part-1)

How to use Pardot API to automatically grade your prospect database? (Part-1)

When implementing Pardot, Scoring generally receives a lot of attention, while Grading is set aside.

To quickly distinguish between Pardot Scoring and Pardot Grading, we gathered the definitions from the original Salesforce help pages:

Pardot Scoring

“Prospects are scored when they convert, and their scores change based on their behavior. Pardot provides a scoring system that you can customize”.

In other words, Scoring is a way of measuring a prospect’s cumulated interest over time – taking into consideration his actions (email click-throughs, navigated webpages, content downloads, webinar participation, etc.).
Pardot has an out-of-the-box scoring model which assigns a score (positive or negative) to each activity.

Pardot Scoring flaws

One drawback to Scoring worth mentionning, is that scores cumulate over time.
This means that scoring doesn’t take into account the time intervals between each action.
An action (e.g. catalog download) which happened a year ago counts exactly the same as today’s action. This in turn could miss the important dimension of intention or momentum.

To address this, Salesforce implemented Einstein AI Automated Scoring which uses a time decay model to give greater weight to recent prospect actions.

Pardot Grading

From Salesforce Help:

“Prospects are graded based on profiles. Profiles use criteria that you choose to determine how good of a fit the prospect is for your company. The more criteria that a prospect matches, the better the grade.”

With Pardot grading (a letter from A+ to F), the default profile includes five criteria which reflects a prospect’s business information:

Company size—(2/3 letter grade)
Industry—(2/3 letter grade)
Location—(2/3 letter grade)
Job title—(2/3 letter grade)
Department—(2/3 letter grade)

You can use automation rules to match and unmatch criteria based on prospect field values. The inital grade for a prospect is set to D and each match/unmatch will result in an increase/decrease of the grade.

A company would set up the Grading criteria to match its ideal client profile to fit the specific business.

You can also add criteria or create a new profiles to match against, for example, for each line of products.

In this case, Grading complements Scoring by helping a company prioritize prospects that should be reached-out to first, since they match the company’s buyer’s profile.

That’s how Pardot combines Interest and Intention measures, (Scoring) with the correct buyer’s profile – to form and report a qualified lead in real-time.


Now that we understand the dynamics between Scoring and Grading, the question still remains: How do we get business information to be graded in Pardot without manually grading each prospect?

In part 2 I’ll show you how to use Pardot-API and automations to achieve this.


Image credit: Salesforce