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Are you tracking the sources and drivers of your revenue with the lead source field in salesforce?

Leads (and Contacts sometimes) are the lifeblood to any sales prospecting program driven by your outbound team  and run through your customer relationship management (CRM) platform, including Salesforce.  Leads are literally your potential future “Customer” in customer relationship management.

The most common and useful lead sources in Salesforce are (IMO):

  1. Advertisement – money spent tied to a campaign
  2. Cold call/prospecting – pure heavy lifting on the part of sales
  3. Employee Referral – lay up
  4. Network Referral – not as easy, but still a lay up
  5. Partner Referral – you paid for it in drinks at a conference
  6. Social Selling – value added stalking at its finest
  7. Trade show – Floor scans and probably more drinks
  8. Web – because the marketing team ROCKS at forms and conversions

If you need more official definitions, please ping Jeff on LinkedIn or CONTACT US here.

To keep investing in sales and marketing programs, like trade shows, events and inbound marketing, it is critical to understand the origin of the lead source.

When adding a new contact into Salesforce you may be confused as to why it is asking you for a “Lead Source.” During my early usage of Salesforce, when I first encountered this field, there were a few questions that arose about its purpose. However, after my extensive use of Salesforce, I recognized the role the “Lead Source” field plays in the reporting of a companies best assets on both the sales and marketing sides of the funnel. Below we explain what the “Lead Source” field is and answer some of the FAQ about it.

Lead Source: Where did they come from?

The Lead Source field can be found on 4 different objects in Salesforce:

  1. Lead Object
  2. Contact Object
  3. Account Object
  4. Opportunities Object

The Lead Source Field helps answer questions like:

  • What Marketing tactic is performing the best (Web, PPC, Tradeshow, etc.)?
  • Where are the majority of our Closed Won Opportunities originating from?
  • Where are our Accounts coming from? This year compared to last year?
  • Where is a certain Sales Development Representative finding contacts?

Which Lead Source is the most important?

All are important, depending on your role in an organization. For example, Marketing is mostly concerned with the Lead Source from inbound marketing (form fills on the website) since this is one way they can track the success of their marketing initiatives.

Someone in a VP/Manager role will most likely care the most about the Lead Source on the Opportunity Page. They want to see where closed deals are coming from more so than where a contact or account is coming from.

Can the Lead Source change?

Yes, you can change it, but you shouldn’t unless you’re into wicked attribution work. Alternatively, you can change the lead source when it changes ownership.

Example: Dan had a lead with the lead source “Personal Network.” After Dan leaves the lead sits there for a year or two until Mark runs a list through “Company Z” and the list returns that same lead. When Mark converts the lead, he may change the lead source to “Cold Call/Prospecting.”

Can the Lead Source on each Object be different?

Yes. An Account may have been created years ago and have a lead source of “Tradeshow.” However, some of the contacts associated with that Account may have come from “Cold Call/Prospecting” efforts. A few months later an Opportunity may come about with a new contact from that same account through a “Personal Network” of the Business Development Manager.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or would like to know how this applies to your business.



The Sales Quant

About The Sales Quant

A champion of B2B sales and marketing alignment and brand audience development, Jeff is passionate about leveraging content, technology and data to enable challenger organizations to accelerate sales and realize extraordinary growth. As the CEO of Madison, Michigan and Market, and the Publisher of SalesQuants, Jeff is a resource to both Sales Executives and CMOs because he understands the dynamics of their relationship.