2020 has been a year of change, and as 2021 approaches Pardot is planning to introduce one more change you should be ready for. Following Salesforce’s Spring ‘21 release Pardot’s user authentication system will be discontinued and users will be required to log in through Salesforce single sign-on (SSO). This means that you will no longer be able to login to Pardot until you are a connected Salesforce user.


How Does This Affect You?

Although Salesforce Sales Cloud and Service Cloud license are an additional fee, they will not be required in order to use SSO to log into Pardot. In fact, 100 Salesforce Identity licenses have already been added to your Salesforce account at no extra charge. So even if the way you login to Pardot will change, Pardot is not changing to a seat-based model.

This new log in style will be available whether you’re using the pi.pardot app or Pardot Lightning, and shouldn’t change how you’re interacting with any of the Pardot features overall.

Pro-Tip: Although this change won’t force you to enable User Sync it is a great time to look at it again as it can allow for an easier transition process overall.


When is This Change Rolling Out?

This change will officially be occurring on February 15, 2021, in wake of the Salesforce Spring 21’ release. Meaning you have until then to get ready and accustomed to SSO.


The Security of SSO

Salesforce prides itself in being at the front line when it comes to security, which can be especially important if you're dealing with outside agencies who have your login. SSO offers additional security measures like multi-factor authentication system, login hours, and login IP restrictions.

If you're a Business Unit customer, another exciting update is having access to an in-app dropdown menu for switching between BUs. No more multiple logins! Just straightforward access to everything you need exactly where you need it.


The Benefit To SS Vs. Pardot Only Users

With this new rollout you might be wondering what other benefits SSO provides besides added security. One big plus is access to the Pardot Lighting App which is a must-have when working within Pardot. Previously, since Pardot only users have not had access to Salesforce, they haven't had access to the Pardot Lighting App which is a major handicap.

Access to the Pardot Lightning App helps bring Pardot & Salesforce closer together; which gets more and more important as more of the Sales Cloud features are made with Pardot integration in mind.


How to Know Which Users This Will Affect

The change is occurring in February 2021, so it is highly encouraged to get ahead of this change now before it is enforced to ensure a smooth transition for all of your Pardot users. When checking on which of your users will need to have SSO enabled you will want to go to the users screen in Pardot and filter by Pardot only users.

Every one of the users that shows up through that filter will need to be linked to a Salesforce enabled user. Otherwise, in February they won't be able to log into Pardot.


How to Connect Pardot And Salesforce Users

To set up users as SSO enabled you have two options. You can map users manually, or utilize Salesforce User Sync. To map users manually, you will associate CRM usernames with Pardot users which enables SSO. To utilize User Sync you will just need to enable the function through Salesforce, then all your users will be managed in Salesforce without needed to switch back & forth to and from Pardot. This will automatically set up users for SSO.

Learn more about connecting Pardot & Salesforce users by visiting the document from the trailblazer community here.


How To Be Prepared

Being prepared for this new rollout means auditing your Pardot users to figure out who can be archived and who needs to have SSO enabled. You will also want to check in on your plugins and integrations to determine if any of them need to be updated with this change.

Another fact to keep in mind is that Pardot roles are not going away with this update. You will still be choosing to assign a role like sales, marketing, or administrator when creating new roles in Pardot.

Pro-Tip: If you’re using the WordPress plugin make sure to update before February 2021 as it will need to be updated to accommodate for SSO.


This rollout for Spring 21’ aims to make things more secure and easier to navigate when logging into Pardot. Change might be scary but once you’re prepared for the rollout you’ll be free to embrace this new Salesforce update!

Questions about Pardot’s login changing? Fill out the form and an expert will be in touch to help.

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