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5 Reasons Why Lead Source Is Critical for Salesforce

blog lead source reporting Feb 17, 2022

As a B2B marketer, you need clean data to maximize your marketing potential.

However, B2B marketing reporting can get tricky if you start on the wrong foot or don't look at the right data points. Missing CRM relationships and data quality issues get in the way of accurate B2B reporting and, thus, longer sales cycles.

Proving the success of your marketing efforts is crucial to adding value as a B2B marketer, so lead source data is an aspect to pay close attention to. Generating leads won't be enough. 

You only have vanity metrics unless you can track lead sources and build buying groups. 

With B2B marketing attribution getting harder as the number of marketing channels and touchpoints between a company and a potential customer increases, how can you avoid orphaned opportunities?

Understanding Lead Source in Salesforce boosts your sales and marketing pipeline performance—and allows you to take full advantage of the customer relationship management platform.

Here are five reasons why:

  1. Track where your leads come from
  2. Uncover the most effective lead generation channel
  3. Determine the ROI of your marketing campaigns
  4. Close deals faster by improving your sales funnel
  5. Improve your sales and marketing strategies



1. Lead Source helps you track where your leads come from


A lead source is how a lead finds out about your business and enters your marketing database. Leads can come from very different channels. Whether you have offline lead sources or/and online advertising ones, you level up your Salesforce game when you capture lead source data properly.


Most leads come from:

  • Offline sources, like word-of-mouth referrals and events
  • Traditional media
  • Social media channels
  • Organic search (SERPs: Search engine results pages)
  • Paid search (PPC advertising)
  • Website visitors
  • Email marketing


Accurate lead source data gives you key insights to uncover your audience members' methods to find your company.


Ideally, a full lead source data set should include these five aspects:

  1. How your audience members are requesting contact from your sales team
  2. Those selling points that get you results
  3. The exact keywords that are offering the best lead generation
  4. The marketing channels that are reaching your target audience most effectively
  5. The marketing efforts that turn an audience member into a sales lead


Lead tracking tools: CRMs and more 

Apart from using a Customer Relationship Management platform like Salesforce, you can choose to track lead source data with other tools and technologies:

  • Call tracking: It associates the phone number with their website visitor's activity.
  • Website analytics: Google Analytics helps you track web activity metrics, such as bounce rate and web pages per session.
  • Conversion tracking: Both Facebook Ads and Google Ads can track where users go after seeing your paid ads.



2. Lead Source allows you to understand which channels are the most effective to drive your lead generation efforts there


As a B2B marketer, pinpointing with confidence where the most qualified leads are coming from helps you optimize the marketing budget. 


Let’s analyze Salesforce Lead Source in detail.


How to populate lead sources in Salesforce

The Lead Source field is a picklist field that tracks your different lead sources.

Also, it shows which channels produced the highest numbers of leads and identifies the best leads according to the ones that brought the most revenue.

And there's more. 

As a lead progresses through your marketing funnel, Salesforce analyzes the value of that lead in other objects: Contacts, Accounts, and Opportunities.

Reporting on these allows you to make smarter decisions about your future marketing budgets.


Lead Source in Salesforce is made up, by default, of eleven values:

  • Web
  • Phone inquiry
  • Partner referral
  • External referral
  • Partner 
  • Public Relations
  • Trade show
  • Word of mouth 
  • Employee referral 
  • Purchased list
  • Other


There are four ways to populate Lead Source:

  • Manual: It’s advisable to ensure each and every value is filled in
  • Import: Adding a header for Lead Source in your import file 
  • Webforms: The typical lead capturing that uses a form on a website
  • Pardot: If you’re a Pardot customer, you get access to advance source tracking

 The method of your choice will depend on how streamlined your lead gen and data collection processes are. 

The clearer you populate Lead Source in Salesforce, the more quality data you'll have to reshape your lead generation strategy.



3. Lead Source helps you determine the ROI of your marketing campaigns


As a marketer, you always think about new ways to get more ROI from your leads. With Salesforce, measuring the ROI of your different marketing campaigns is doable, especially if you combine the CRM with plugins and APIs.

Once you have created your campaign in Salesforce and added your prospects together with their status value, it's time to run a campaign ROI analysis report.


How Salesforce Measures ROI

You'll find ROI in Salesforce measured as the net gain divided by the actual cost. The net gain is the total value of won opportunities minus the actual cost.

You have to be sure that you're working to attract the best prospects to raise this number. That's when lead scoring enters the picture.


The Importance of Lead Scoring to Increase ROI

According to Salesforce, lead scoring stands for “Automatically scoring inbound leads with a numerical value to indicate how interested they are in your product or service. By assigning points to the prospect’s actions you deem the most valuable, like visiting the pricing page or requesting a demo, you can create a score for your leads that will show how active they have been and how high their interest level is.”

Lead scoring ensures that only a qualified lead passes from the marketing to the sales team.



4. By tracking lead sources, you can improve your sales funnel and close more deals


When analyzing the sales funnel, it's advisable to stop thinking about it linearly because today, a sales funnel looks more like a highway. 


Leads don’t convert linearly—that’s why it’s so important to understand where they’re coming from by tracking lead sources.


Prospects don't always enter the funnel at the top; they skip stages, and they can go back and forth. Or they stay in one single step for a considerable amount of time. 

That doesn't mean they won't buy your product or service one day.

Consumers are more informed than ever, so a longer sales cycle can sometimes be the right answer. Focusing on offering relevant content to educate your leads and building trust are effective ways to get to know them better and close more deals. Even though that hand-holding takes time.

Sales automation is the solution to save some time when performing repetitive and unimportant tasks. However, that time saved should be used in a valuable way: Focusing on lead nurturing efforts.



5. With Lead Source, you can improve your sales and marketing strategies


 When reshaping the marketing mix and coming up with more relevant content to offer to your target audience, it’s useful to ask yourself these questions as a marketing team, based on your Lead Source data:

  1. Which marketing tactic is working best? (Events, referrals, PPC, etc.)
  2. Where are most of your Closed Won Opportunities coming from?
  3. Where do your Accounts come from?
  4. Where are Sales Development Reps finding contacts?

On the other hand, the sales team can benefit from Lead Source because it helps them sort and organize sales leads and warm older leads and automatize more steps of the lead nurturing process.

In fact, according to Salesforce itself, one of the biggest mistakes companies make is ignoring cold leads. Another common misconception is thinking that you constantly need new leads.


You don't always need more leads. However, what you surely need is to nurture existing leads.


So, after analyzing lead sources, the sales team can go through their buyer personas, analytics, and sales enablement materials to improve how they approach qualified leads and engage with them to transition from a SQL to a won opportunity. 

Revising the IQL strategy in tandem with the lead magnets employed and the drop-offs are more straightforward with accurate lead source data at hand.


Salesforce reporting for marketers made simple

Understanding Lead Source is crucial to proving your value as a marketer or sales rep. However, it's easy to get lost in the b2b marketing reporting arena with so many data points and channels to analyze. 

Effective reporting is unattainable without prioritizing data quality issues and addressing them first. 

Kudoz is a native Salesforce solution that identifies data quality issues and automatically suggests personalized fixes so you can:

  • Simplify your reporting and prove your value
  • Always know where a lead is coming from
  • Build a buying group to customize the buying experience to the max



This way, marketing, sales, and services can add more value to the essential service they provide.

Kudoz, the Opportunity Analyzer App:

  • Fixes data quality issues quickly
  • Accelerates monthly and quarterly reporting
  • Enables marketers to prove their success with revenue and pipeline reporting features
  • Allows your team to claim missing Salesforce credit


Check out Kudoz the Opportunity Analyzer App on the AppExchange, and connect with me on the Trailblazer Community.


The Salesforce App allows marketers to deal with missing values in data as soon as they occur and generate reliable monthly and quarterly reports that you can use to demonstrate the ROI of your marketing efforts. 

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