How to setup Pardot Grading to SPOT which are the REALLY HOT PROSPECTS for your business?

What is Prospect Grading in Pardot?

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.


For example, you can use prospects location, company size, job title, and/or other factors, and use the information to tier your prospects.

Prospects grading based on the profile happens in two stages:
1. You need to assign the profile
2. You need to match a grade to a prospect based on your set criteria.

Based on the industry and/or company the criteria will vary. For example, if you are a retailer and sell clothing, your criteria might be age, gender, average purchase amount and location. Or if you are a software company, title, company size, country and annual revenue might be the sweet spot.

In the steps below I will show you exactly how to setup Grading using a Property Company example. One of my clients, luxury home property company in the UK, was looking to grade their clients (B2C) based on the following 2 criteria:
1. Customer Segment and
2. Mortgage (required or not).

We came up with the following grading scheme to grade all the Prospects.

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In the first column on the left, you can see the Profile names. We simply went for Customer Category + Mortgage Required combination to easily distinguish Prospect Profiles.

To create a new Profile in Pardot, please go to Marketing --> Segmentation --> Profiles and click "+ Add Profile" button in the top-right corner.

Please see below the example of one of our profiles.

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The second Column from the left specifies "Customer Category" and the third column from the left specifies the scores by what we want to adjust the grade. So the more valuable is the Customer Category the bigger score we add.

In my scenario, you can see that my client had 12 different prospect profiles.

After you have outlined all required profiles you will need to head to Marketing --> Automation --> Automation rules and create Automation rules to:
1. Set Prospect Profiles and
2. To Adjust their Grades.

In my case, I needed to create 24 Automation rules.
12 for setting up 12 different Profiles.
And the other 12 to adjusting Prospect Grades (based on the Customer Profile they meet.

First, let's create an Automation Rule to match a new Prospect to the correct customer Profile.

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1. Start by giving your profile a Name
2. Place your Automation Rule into a Folder. I most of the times leave it i a general Automation folder. You might want to add it into a specific folder if you are looking to use Scoring Categories feature.
3. You can assign a specific Tag to a Prospect that matches this Profile. This might be useful if you are looking to run specific Engagement Programs and Campaigns based on the prospect Grade in the future.
4. Repeat Rule feature. You can enable this if you think your prospect Grade might change in the future. This will only happen if the field values will change. For example, the annual revenue might increase, so they will become more valuable to your business. Or their title might change, so they will become more valuable to your business etc.
5. In "Match Type" you will need to select your chosen fields based on what you will be Grading your prospect. In my case, Customer Category and Morgage.
6. Action. This is where you actually change Prospects Profile based on their field values. Please note, assigning prospect a category will not go change his grade. In the steps below we will be creating another Automation rule that will actually do that. So stay with me!

Second (once you have finished creating Automation Rules to set prospect Profiles), you need to create automation rules to adjust Prospect Grade.

In Pardot you can adjust the score by 1/3 letter, 2/3 letter or 1 (3/3). You can go minus or plus. In the last column from the left side, you can also see a Title "(+) Uplift Score". This is because in Pardot the base Grade = D. This means if a customer receives a zero (0) from both - Customer Category and Mortgage, his score would be D. But my client wanted a default Score to be C. So by default I am uplifting every Profile by +1 to mean this requirement.

Let's get dirty. As in a previous Automation rule example, you will need to add:
1. Automation Rule Name
2. Folder
3. You can add Tags
4. You can allow Prospect to Match Rule more than once
5. In "Match Type" you will need to select your criteria (they will be the same as for matching a Profile)
6. Actions. This is where you will be adjusting Prospects Grade.

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When creating your Profiles, you probably noticed that Pardot only give you 3 options. Either 1/3, 2/3 or 1. It do not give you also select plus or minus (+ or -).

You will determine weather it is a (+ or -) when you will be creating this Automation Rule.

If you select "Matches", that means it is "+" or in other words you want to uplift a Score.
If you select "Does not match", that means it is "-" or in other words you want to decreas a Score.
If you select "Not known", that means you do not want to apply any adjustment to that Score.

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To better describe you the last IF statement, please see image below. You can see that for some profiles, I did not needed to adjust Score. But when I create a Profile I am obligated to select 1/3, 2/3 or 1. So to make sure the selected Score there do not influence the outcome, I simply select "Not known" and it will not gone do any change. I know this is a bit weird and I am not sure what where their intension on this, but it works. :)

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I hope this was helpful.
If you have any questions, please let me know.

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