Skip to main content
The Trailblazer Community will be unavailable from 12/09/2023 6:00AM PST to 12/09/2023 11:00AM PST. Please plan your activities accordingly.

Use Grading in Pardot Lightning App

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Explain grading.
  • Describe the default profile.
  • Create a custom profile.
  • Apply a profile with automation rules.

Grading: Making the Team

Scoring is great, but it’s only half of the lead qualification equation. Just because a prospect is active and interested in you doesn’t mean they’re a good fit for your business. You also want to check your prospects for how well they match your ideal customer profile. 

Grades indicate how interested a company should be in their prospects. A Pardot grade is a rating based on how well a prospect's profile matches your ideal customer profile. The prospect rating is expressed as a letter grade that ranges from F (worst) to A+ (best). Pardot assigns an initial grade of D to all prospects. Grades are based on explicit factors and information prospects supply about themselves. Most importantly, grades are a useful tool to align sales and marketing on lead quality.

All prospects begin with a default letter of "D."

Grading Scale

How Letter Grade Weighting Works

Before altering grading profiles or setting up grading automations, it’s important to understand how letter grade weighting aligns to Pardot prospects. 

Grades can be adjusted positively or negatively by (⅓, ⅔, 1). The weights help determine how strong an indicator each criteria is in determining lead quality. 

Grade Weight
Impact on new Prospect (match)
Weak Indicator
D to D+
Moderate Indicator
D to C-
1 or 3/3
Strong Indicator
D to C

Note, it takes ten ⅓ adjustments to move a prospect from D to A+. To make the math easier, 1 full letter grade can be considered 3/3. This way you can add the top part of the fraction to better understand the impact of criteria matching when you’re testing prospect impacts.

Customize grading profiles to tell Pardot how important a criteria is.

Default Profile in Pardot

All Pardot accounts come with a default profile set to measure prospects against five criteria. 

  • 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)

All prospects are assigned the default profile upon creation. Since the default profile is already applied to every prospect, it’s often a good idea to simply edit the default profile to match your ideal prospect profile. Keep in mind, while there are default values set for grading, individual automation rules need to be configured to determine if the profile matches or does not match for positive and negative grading. 

Remember that Leung and Alan researched and developed the following top customer profile: 

  • Typically had more than 50 employees but less than 1,000
  • They were primarily technology companies with a few in Financial Services and Health Care
  • Most were located in city centers on the East and West Coasts of the United States.
  • The primary executive decision maker was usually the CEO or CTO
  • The primary product champion and influencers had Manager or Director titles and were either in IT or aligned directly by the product they were purchasing services for. e.g. the Director of Sales was buying Sales Cloud.

To align this to grading, Leung and Alan need to define how these data points will impact the grading profile and the letter grade weighting. 

Customizing the Default Profile in Pardot

Grading Categories
Get Cloudy Definition
Ideal Buyers
Strength of Intent
Company Size
Number of employees
51-999 - Medium Sized Businesses
Salesforce's 13 industry verticals and Business Types
Financial Services, Healthcare and Lifesciences, Startups
Top North American Cities
San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Toronto, New York, Boston, Seattle
Job Title
While there are many job titles, there were 5 most common decision maker and influencer titles
Manager, Director, Vice President or President, and Chief
Similarly, they organize department into a few functional areas
Sales, Service, Marketing, IT, or Operations
Account Type
Has Get Cloudy worked with this account in the past?
Current Customer or Past Customers (not net new)


Let’s adjust the default profile to make sure that all of their criteria is represented. 

  1. Navigate to Prospects | Segmentation | Profiles.
  2. Select the gear iconicon for the default profile.
  3. Click Edit.
  4. Adjust the grade weights (⅓, ⅔, 1) in the default profile to reflect the following:
    • Keep the  Company Size weight and Location at 2/3 letter.
    • Change Job Title weight to 1.
    • Change  Department weight to .
    • Change Industry weight to 1.
    • Add “Account Type” and set the weight to 1.
  5. Select Save profile.

Test before you automate!

It's a good idea to test how the grade weighting will impact prospects before automations are configured. This ensures there’s enough contrast between ideal and poor prospects, so that the Sales team can more quickly determine lead quality. Leung begins by selecting a few prospects who’s criteria matches across all criteria (perfect fit), does not match (poor fit), and a mix of both (moderate fit) across all grading criteria. Adjustments to the grading profile will be needed if it is not possible to achieve an A+ grade. 

Leung’s final step before automating is taking note of any missing information required to grade prospects and to update forms to collect the criteria needed.

Automate profile criteria matching

Now that Leung has saved the Default profile she will need to create individual automation rules to adjust the prospect’s grade. After a prospect is assigned a profile, the prospect must match or unmatch the criteria. You can match criteria manually or with an automation rule, changing the profile criteria has the following impacts: 

Increases Grade
Does Not Match
Decreases Grade
Not Known
No Grade Adjustment


Note: a single automation rule should not be used to assign a profile and match criteria. The profile rule might not apply changes in time for the rule to fire on the criteria change. Separate automation rules must be used.

Knowing this, Leung will set-up the automation rule to Grade based off of company size first. 

Navigate to Automations | Automation Rules.

  1. Click +Add Automation Rules.
  2. Enter Name: Grading – Company Size.
  3. Under Rules, select Match all.
  4. Click +Add new rule.
  5. Enter Prospect default field :: Employees :: is between :: 50 :: and :: 1000.
  6. Click +Add new action.
  7. Enter Change profile criteria :: Default :: Company Size :: Matches.
  8. Click Create automation rules.

After configuring this automation rule, Leung will create individual automation rules for positive and negative matching for all the remaining Grading Criteria (Industry, Location, Job Title, Department, and Account Type). It’s important that the grading rules are created as individual automations to ensure that the profiles are increasing and decreasing prospect grades across each criteria.

Create a Custom Profile

Get Cloudy has been seeing success with the applying the default profile to prospects interested in purchasing consulting services, but Leung’s now decided she’d like to build a custom profile to target Get Cloudy’s  Appexchange products and grade them separately on different metrics. She does this because companies interested in purchasing services are very different buyers than those their Appexchange products target. After meeting with Alan and hearing from the Get Cloudy sales team, Leung is ready to build the Get Cloudy custom product profile. 

The most important part of the custom product is which existing Salesforce products they use. Right now, Get Cloudy is focused on promoting the apps they have available in the Appexchange.

  1. Navigate to Prospects | Segmentation | Profiles.
  2. Click +Add Profile.
  3. Enter Appexchange Product Profile as the name.
  4. Enter Salesforce Appexchange in the criteria field.
  5. Select a grade adjustment of 1.
  6. +Add New Criteria and enter Company Size.
  7. Select a grade adjustment of .
  8. +Add New Criteria and enterSalesforce Edition.
  9. Select a grade adjustment of 1.
  10. +Add New Criteria and enter Location.
  11. Select a grade adjustment of 1.
  12. Click Create Profile.

Great! The custom  Appexchange Product profile is now ready. Next, Leung creates an automation rule that searches for people she’d like to add to the  Appexchange Product profile. Remember that every prospect in Pardot is automatically assigned to the default profile. Leung needs to move matching prospects from the default profile over to her new Appexchange Product profile with an automation rule. 

  1. Navigate to Automations | Automation Rules.
  2. Click +Add Automation Rules.
  3. Enter  Appexchange Profile Match as the name.
  4. Under Rules, select Match all.
  5. Click +Add new rule.
  6. Enter Prospect custom field :: Salesforce Cloud Experience :: is ::Appexchange.
  7. Click +Add new action.
  8. Enter Change prospect profile ::  Appexchange Product Profile.
  9. Click Create automation rules.
  10. Then, Leung creates a series of automation rules to check all prospect field values for Salesforce Cloud Experience, to make sure each criteria has the correct positive and negative matches for grading prospects, in the same way she did for the Get Cloudy default profile.

Awesome! Leung’s now ready to grade her prospect database against both their services and their Appexchange products  to better determine if interested prospects would be a good fit as a Get Cloudy partner or Appexchange solution. 


Keep learning for
Sign up for an account to continue.
What’s in it for you?
  • Get personalized recommendations for your career goals
  • Practice your skills with hands-on challenges and quizzes
  • Track and share your progress with employers
  • Connect to mentorship and career opportunities