Pay-per-click, organic search, social media, trade shows, purchased lists. Lead channels are countless and complex, and a company’s budgeting decisions can be difficult and divisive. Effective data collection can help a company determine which channels result in the greatest revenue per dollar spent.
Lead source data is essential for data-driven companies who want to optimize their channel ROI. However, SalesForce’s Lead Source field is often misunderstood and misused. Review these best practices to ensure that you’re using this field properly.
Best Practice #1: Set it and forget it
Lead Source is meant to track the initial source (i.e. origin) of leads. It should never be changed or updated. It’s a good practice to protect the integrity of lead source data by creating a validation rule to prevent unauthorized users from changing this field once it’s set. It’s also important to always retain the oldest lead source when merging records.
Note: You’ll want to look into using campaigns if you’re interested in tracking customer touchpoints beyond the initial lead source.
Best Practice #2: Keep it simple
Many companies have picklists containing dozens of lead sources. This often results in users choosing the first value in the list out of frustration. It’s best to limit the lead source picklist to 5-10 values. Any more than that and you’ll likely begin to see user adoption decrease.
Here’s an example of some common picklist values:
Best Practice #3: Add a lead source details field
If you’re having trouble limiting your lead source picklist to 10 values, it may be that you’re trying to include specific events, affiliates, or mediums (e.g. Google AdWords) in your lead source picklists. The best practice here is to create a custom field to track these specifics. This field is often titled Lead Source Details. This field can be a text field or a dependent picklist. Here’s an example of what this might look like:
Note: This data should also be tracked in campaigns. The same goes for any other details you may wish to record regarding the lead source (e.g. landing page, keyword, IP address, etc.). These additional details can be tracked as custom fields on the campaign member page layout.
Best Practice #4: Check your data
You’re likely familiar with the saying “garbage in, garbage out.” Make sure you dedicate the time to cleanse your lead source data—especially for your customer records. One effective approach is to assign someone in marketing to audit lead sources for new customers on a monthly basis. Often the activity history provides the best source of information when confirming lead sources. When in doubt ask the sales reps. Adding a custom checkbox field titled “Audited” that’s only visible to Marketing can help you keep track of which records have been reviewed.
Although these best practices may seem like simple solutions, they are critical for accurately measuring the ROI of your lead channels.