Top 5 Lead Source Best Practices

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Posted: April 24, 2011 | Demand Generation

Lead source is a critical piece of data you need in order to assess the value of your marketing campaigns and part of proper lead management.  By putting in place best practices, you will be sure you can measure the value of your marketing campaign efforts while also communicating with sales the important information about a lead.

  1. Avoid lead source clutter. When you first implement Salesforce.com, your default lead sources are Web, Phone Inquiry, Partner Referral, Purchased List and Other.  While these may not perfectly describe your lead sources, try to keep the number of lead sources to a minimum when customizing.  If you want more descriptive lead sources add a second field that gives more specific information.
  2. Keep the lead source constant. Lead source should never change, even if the lead responds to a new campaign.  The lead source simply states the source the lead originates from and should not change once captured.  Always keep the original lead source and use the campaign functionality to capture campaign activity.  Then use campaign influence reporting to see these results of your campaigns instead of changing lead source.
  3. Periodically audit the lead source of closed opportunities. Every quarter-end review, take a sample of closed opportunities to ensure the correct lead sources are populated.  This is easily checked by reviewing the activity history and should be done to ensure that no changes are being made to the lead sources.  If changes are made, review the purpose of lead source with sales to ensure accuracy of this important field.
  4. Do not list the campaign as the lead source. I often see companies use the campaign name as a lead source.  This becomes troublesome as time passes because the increased number of campaigns will make it difficult to report on lead source success.
  5. Know the value of a lead source. For many companies, each lead has a different likelihood of success based on the lead source.  For example, a lead from your website may be more likely to turn into a sale then one from a list purchase. Because of this, consider implementing lead scoring based on lead source if certain sources produce higher quality leads. Calculate this by running the Opportunity Sources report and viewing by won opportunities.

Remember, following these tips will help ensure you can measure marketing ROI, proving the success from all your hard work.

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  • Jason Kort

    Great post. Creating a second lead source field is the key to reducing clutter. Field dependencies can be created so that if first Lead Source is ‘Web’ you can map to more specific sources.

    Another good reminder to people is to not change the lead source or use campaign as the lead source. These are 2 very common errors.

  • http://ericandersonsinternetmarketingblog.blogspot.com/ John Kelly

    This article should help me better assess and organize my leads.

  • http://blog.reachforce.com Drew Sollberger

    Great post, Maria. I’m still trying to get my mind around the lead source clutter that exists in our database. On the one hand, I like the trackability, but on the other hand, it gets tougher and tougher to report. The second field is an idea I hadn’t thought about that makes a lot of sense.
    I’ve re-shared this post with our readers as well at http://blog.reachforce.com/marketing-tips/weekly-wrap-up/friday-wrap-up-this-week-in-b2b-marketing-tips-9/

  • Erin

    We are just working through this right now. We have way too many lead sources!

  • Pingback: 32 Salesforce Guides That You Shouldn't Miss | Ecquire

  • Tat Y Yuen

    Campaign names are very useful. You just need to have the campaign fall under a broader category of lead source

Maria specializes in Inbound Marketing for Marketo, leading efforts in adoption of social media channels for brand awareness and demand generation. She has worked in marketing for over ten years, and specifically in online marketing including social media, search marketing, and lead generation and nurturing for the past six.

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Top 5 Lead Source Best Practices

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