5 Things You Need to Know Before Using Salesforce Leads

As someone who has been helping companies implement Salesforce for the past 2 years, I have had many conversations about how to best define and use Leads, Accounts, Contacts and Opportunities within Salesforce. People tend to use these terms interchangeably in general business discussions, which is usually not an issue, but these terms have a different connotation when used within Salesforce. This post helps you what is leads in Salesforce, some best practices for using Leads, Accounts, Contacts, and Opportunities within Salesforce.

How to track qualified leads in Salesforce

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Salesforce is similar to Google Analytics and other tracking programs in that it has the concept of a “Source” and a “Campaign.” Unlike those platforms, it does not have the concept of a “Medium” (although that could be added as a custom field). Salesforce also differs from Google Analytics and marketing automation platforms like Marketo, Eloqua, Pardot and Marketing Cloud, in that it isn’t generally isn’t the primary entry point of data from the website.

While it’s possible (using Web to Lead) to push leads into Salesforce with some tracking data, this is a simplistic method. Most sophisticated organizations take things a second step, and pull source and Campaign data into something like a marketing automation platform and pass that data into Salesforce via their integration.

Lead Source vs Campaigns

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Your Lead Sources in Salesforce should be broad buckets. Think, tradeshow, customer referral, online advertising, or social media. Salesforce comes with a default picklist, but you should update that list with Lead Sources specific to your business. When developing your list, think about Lead Source in terms of what your staff might update as they input new leads by hand. Also keep in mind that as Leads convert, they will carry that Lead Source information into their associated Contacts and Opportunities (although not Accounts, but that can be done with a little development work).

Campaigns, on the other hand, are very narrow. They can be as narrow as, Ad Words Re targeting October 2016. As you set up Campaigns you need to think about what your bucket types of Campaigns will be. For most organizations the defaults in Salesforce are a good place to start. Those are:

Direct Mail
Banner Ads
Public Relations
Referral Program

In today’s world, it likely makes sense to delete some Mail and add others. In particular, consider replacing advertising with something more like digital advertising. Hope you get a answer for what is leads in Salesforce.

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