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How to build Round-Robin Lead Assignment in Account Engagement

Did you know that in the early days of Pardot (Account Engagement) that you actually had a choice of more than one CRM it would connect to? Wild, right? It was also possible to just use it on it's own as a sort of CRM unto itself. Those days are long gone, of course, but there are still vestigial features of this past lurking in the system. Often overlooked, but still useful. This post is about one of them: Groups.

Groups are essentially just a list of Account Engagement users that performs a very special trick. What I'm going to show you is how to use the group feature to create Round-Robin assignment completely inside of Account Engagement. No flows and no Salesforce auto assignment rules needed. The issue of Round Robin lead assignment often stymies operations teams because the standard assignment rules in Salesforce don't support it, leaving you to believe you need an Appexchange package or a custom flow to make it work. If you have Account Engagement and you want to pass out leads evenly to a single "round" of users, this solution is for you.

You create a Group in the User Management section of Account Engagement Settings, right below users in the left menu. The groups are also listed right below the user list if you scroll down the page.

There's not much to creating a group, you just give it a name and tag if you want, and that's it.

For the purposes of our example, I'm going to create 2 groups for the east and the west sales regions. Now that we have groups, we need to put some people in them.

All you need to to there is go to the users list view, select some people, and add them to a group from from the menu at the bottom.

You can also add people to groups from the gear menu on the user's list too. Notice that you can add the same person to as many groups as you like.

Ok, so now we have some groups, now what can we do?

Once you start thinking about groups you'll start to notice that you assign a prospect to a groups in various places, such as in an automation rule:

In an Engagement Studio:

Or in a conditional completion action on a Form or Form Handler:

What happens when we assign to a group by one of these actions?

Account Engagement Evenly Round-Robins the Record Assignments Automatically!

That is, as long as the prospect is unassigned. If it's already assigned nothing happens, since Account Engagement cannot reassign a record that is already assigned.

If you have a very simple use case of a single group of sales people and all leads just get parceled out evenly, this is super easy and takes only one group.

Here are some other ways you could deploy this concept:

  • Create a group by product line and use a form related to that product to distributes new leads among that product sales team.

  • An Engagement Studio that sorts leads according to conditions like industry, company size, geography or other firmographic data, and assigns to an appropriate group at each branch.

  • Use an engagement studio to send some leads to individuals and some leads to groups.

  • Import new leads to Account Engagement and use an automation rule to round-robin the new leads in random fashion.

Here are a few things that groups cannot do, before you ask 😁.

  • You can't see "who's next" in a group to get a lead.

  • There's no reporting (you'd have to do that in Salesforce)

  • You can't "weight" assignment so some people get more.

Maybe you've seen the Groups feature or option in a list before and wondered what it was. Perhaps you knew about this from long ago and I've jogged your memory. Maybe you'd never heard about it before now. Whatever the case, groups are for Round-Robin. Now you know.



*As of April 2022, Pardot has been renamed Marketing Cloud Account Engagement, as part of Salesforce's effort to organize all the marketing products under the same platform umbrella. "MCAE" is simply the same Pardot we know and love under a new name. The product is temporarily being referred to as "Marketing Cloud Account Engagement powered by Pardot."   

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