Salesforce Pardot Reveals Intelligent Engagement Studio, Sales Cloud Engage

Salesforce Pardot today announced enhancements to its business-to-business Sales Cloud that will focus on helping sales reps cultivate better leads. "With the next [generation] of B2B marketing automation at Salesforce, our whole goal is to empower sales and marketing teams to sell smarter, and to do so by using actionable intelligence," Adam Blitzer, senior vice president and general manager at Salesforce Pardot, says.

The Intelligent Engagement Studio is "the nerve center, the IQ, the brain behind the marketing automation platform in Sales Cloud," Blitzer says. Due out in the second half of this year, it will offer "adaptive nurture campaigns" and "visualized campaign testing and reporting," according to a statement. The campaigns portion will rely on 100 triggers to identify and determine, based on behavior, how prospects would prefer to be interacted with during a buying cycle. The visual testing and reporting feature will provide detailed views of a campaign's performance, and suggest solutions for improvement based on the results and data it finds. If, for example, not enough people are opening an email, the program will recommend shortening the subject line, or sending out less frequent emails. It will also be color-coded and easy to read, Blitzer says.

Coming at the end of this month, Sales Cloud Engage will give salespeople access to in-depth prospect engagement profiles, and allow them to send marketing materials from their phones. It will sync with the Salesforce1 mobile app, and up-to-date engagement activity will be visible both to reps and marketers via notifications sent directly to their phones.

For Salesforce Pardot, this is one step closer to its goal of creating predictive, visual tools that allow companies to handle leads in a changing buying cycle, wherein companies engage less with salespeople than ever before. Blitzer claims that companies still struggle to turn the clues they get from prospects into information they can act on in time to make an impact on a campaign. He traces these tribulations to three reasons. Companies don't have a good understanding of a prospect's behavior, they are too slow to react to the information they get, and the tools they are given are too hard to use effectively. The new solution aims to alleviate some of those problems.

It's no secret that predictive tools are becoming more important to salespeople, as more B2B purchasing power is in buyers' hands. Michael Fauscette, group vice president of Software Business Solutions at IDC, holds that it is vital that salespeople are given the appropriate help to allow for relevant and consistent conversations with prospects. In a statement, he said that companies who find "new ways to extend marketing into the sales process will be more successful at creating lifelong customers."

Companies who have tested the solutions "really shine in four areas," Blitzer reports. These are: sales revenue, marketing productivity, marketing campaign effectiveness, and prospect engagement.

Founded in 2007, Pardot was acquired by cloud-based digital marketing platform ExactTarget in 2012, and became a part of Salesforce when ExactTarget was bought out by the larger company the following year.

Pricing for Salesforce Pardot starts at $1,000 for up to 10,000 contacts a month. Sales Cloud Engage will cost $50 per seat a month.

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