Coming off a strong Q4 2010, Pardot today announced that its marketing automation suite has been certified Platform Ready for integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011.
The certification denotes that Microsoft recognizes a product as tested, approved and compatible with their offerings. Pardot debuted its Microsoft Dynamics CRM integration at the 2010 Microsoft Convergence event in Atlanta. The Pardot team will return to Microsoft Convergence this May to showcase the new and improved Dynamics CRM integration.
“In order to get the most accurate information on your prospects and truly track ROI throughout the sales cycle, it’s essential that your CRM and your marketing automation tool are always talking to each other,” said Adam Blitzer, COO and Co-Founder of Pardot. “That’s why we jumped on board early to be sure we were compatible with the upcoming release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. We know our clients are looking forward to taking advantage of all of the new features the platform will offer, and we’ll be right there to support them with the marketing tools they need.” Pardot is also integrated with Salesforce.com, SugarCRM and NetSuite.
The Microsoft integration is similar to other CRM systems, focused on leads and contact primarily. Users can leverage various features for lead management, including Pardot Score and Pardot Grade, as well as activity and URL tracking, which can be tied to drip marketing programs within Pardot. Both Marketing and Sales teams are equipped with information to effectively manage leads and prospects through the bi-directional synced tool. Pardot, which has always been integrated with Microsoft Outlook 2007, recently launched an integration with Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2003. Blitzer said about 25-30% of Pardot’s Microsoft Outlook users still use the 2003 version, so Pardot will support that.
The Microsoft certification comes amid continued success for Pardot. Blitzer said Pardot closed 75 new deals in Q4 and is on pace to add up to 90 more customers in Q1, as the company continues to expand with new offices in Stockholm and London. Currently, more than 40 Pardot clients use the Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform for lead management, including several Pardot users that are running Dynamics CRM 2011 in Beta.
In October 2010, Pardot announced its partnership with GoodData, which gives users access to intuitive reporting. Blitzer said the tool has been rolled out to about 30 clients so far and will be made available to the entire client base in the near future. The service will be available in a free or paid version.
Blitzer estimated about 50% of Pardot’s customers use Salesforce.com for CRM, while around 10% of customers are using Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and he sees that number quickly climbing to about 20%. Blitzer noted the shifting interest in automation technology, as more marketers are realizing what marketing automation can do for their organizations. “The conversations [around automation] have evolved and they’re much further along, and so without us doing too many things differently, we’re really seeing things accelerate — that tide pushing all the boats up,” Blitzer said. “December was our best sales month and then we beat that in January.” Blitzer said he expects automation adoption rates to at least double across the board in 2011.