How to Track Leads in Salesforce

Laura Caveney
25th April 2021

If your sales team is using Salesforce to store their leads and customers, your marketing team needs to work out how to track leads in Salesforce. This guide will walk you through how to track your leads, their interactions and their revenue right in Salesforce.

If you’re using Salesforce as a CRM, chances are your marketing team isn’t getting much out of it. While it is a great lead management tool, it’s hard to track your leads in Salesforce.

Leads can be entered into Salesforce manually, via a list import or automatically via a web-to-lead integration.

Tracking leads in Salesforce is important because it helps marketers understand which channels, campaigns and keywords are driving not just leads, but high-quality leads. This data will help your team to optimise their marketing and their budget.

One easy way to track leads in Salesforce is with Ruler Analytics, but we’ll get onto that shortly.

This blog will share:

First, let’s discuss why your sales team tracking leads alone just isn’t enough.


The problem with Salesforce lead tracking

Unreliable data

Your sales team works hard. Let’s just get that straight. But, understanding a lead’s source is vital to marketing teams and sadly your sales team can only give you so much data.

While they might ask new leads, “how did you hear about us?”, how reliable is that?

A user might have seen a PPC ad, but registered it as “just Google”.

That’s a return on ad spend you can’t see. And that’s only part of the problem.

Your sales team wants a commission. And so, while their priority is to get more leads, their motivation is to get more commission.

Your marketing team wants more leads too. But how can they get more high-quality leads in Salesforce without understanding what’s driven previous successful leads?

It gets worse.


Missing lead source data in Salesforce

Your sales team claims a lead has come from a direct search. While they might update the lead source in Salesforce, your marketing team is left scratching their heads.

What exactly does a conversion via direct search mean?

To your marketing team, very little.

Experienced marketers will know to get a direct search, you need to have some brand awareness with that lead already. Here’s a quick guide on understanding (and minimising) direct traffic in Google Analytics.

Where has that lead heard of your business? It could have been the PPC ad you set live. Or the email campaigns you’ve been working on. The truth is, you’ll never know.


Editor’s note: Ok, you can work out your lead source. Read more on how you can automatically add your marketing lead source in Salesforce


And that brings us to our next point.


Long customer journeys

Customer journeys are getting longer and longer.

Consumers know what they want and use the wealth of data at their fingertips to research products and services.

According to Google, for low-cost products like a chocolate bar it could take as many as 20 touchpoints to convert a prospect into a customer. While high-cost products like flights could take up to 500!

With touchpoints like emails, phone calls, live chat sessions, web visits, store visits and more to consider, how do you possibly begin to track and understand how they influence your customers? Understanding the full customer journey is data you can’t find in Salesforce.


Indirect marketing impact on lead generation

Now we know more about the customer journey, we need to appreciate how marketing impacts each stage.


Editor’s note: Psst, looking to learn more about customer journey tracking? We walk you through how to track every lead and every touchpoint in our eBook guide to customer journey tracking. Download it now.


From the awareness stage to the consideration stage and finally, to the decision stage. Every stage has a vital role to play in converting website visitors into customers.

And how can you possibly begin to see how marketing indirectly impacts your lead generation, and sales, in Salesforce?

The truth is, while it’s great for your sales team, it provides very little data for marketing.

Let’s use an example.

Ella visits your site via an organic search but doesn’t convert. She is then targeted with a PPC campaign but again, doesn’t convert. Finally, she returns to your site via a direct search where she calls your business and converts into a customer.

Ella's customer journey, the problem when you want to track leads in salesforce


Your sales team would track this as a direct search. But your marketing team doesn’t know that their SEO work and their PPC campaign has actually resulted in a new customer.

It’s likely if you’re in marketing and your sales team uses Salesforce that you’re very well versed with these issues.

But no need to worry.

While there is a distinct gap in the data sales and marketing have access to, it can be resolved. Keep reading to find out how.


How to Track Leads in Salesforce

You can push leads into Salesforce by using their web-to-lead forms. But form fills likely are just one route to conversion through your marketing. These web-to-lead forms also only provide insight into the final step that encouraged the form fill. So you’re left missing data.


Lead source vs Campaigns

In Salesforce, you can add lead source data to your leads. You can also segment them by campaign.

But wait. This isn’t the solution to all your problems. In Salesforce, lead sources are broad buckets of data. While the contact will continue to carry the data assigned to it into their associated contacts and opportunities, this only gives you access to add data not obtain it.


Campaigns meanwhile allow you to add very specific data. It could be a campaign name and date.

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.

These include:

But remember, campaigns can’t be automatically tracked from your marketing platforms to your Salesforce CRM without a third-party app.


Editor’s Note: Looking to bridge the gap between your sales and marketing in your Salesforce CRM? Download our eBook where you can learn how to get more out of Salesforce or get started by booking a demo.

Salesforce eBook download banner


Adding campaign influence

First, you will need to ensure Campaign Influence is enabled in your instance. Go to Settings and search for Campaign Influence, then click on that feature. Ensure the feature is enabled and also that auto-association is enabled.

The biggest decision you need to make is how long the eligibility limit for campaign influence is. Essentially how many days after a campaign touches a contact should it be considered to have helped with the sale.

We often use 180 days, but many organizations have a much shorter (or even longer) period. Find out more about attribution and campaign influence in Salesforce


How to track ROI

Tracking your ROI is probably your main struggle. And while Salesforce loses data, it doesn’t mean there isn’t a solution.

Marketing attribution tools like Ruler Analytics will take all the heavy lifting out of tracking your leads in Salesforce.

Once it’s set up, you can sit back and relax. All you need to do is continue to create your new campaigns in Salesforce and use trackable links to ensure they’re being correctly tracked.

When tracking the ROI of campaigns, a common mistake is to give too much weight to the last-touch or first-touch attribution.

Today’s buyer is more sophisticated, as is the typical sales cycle. We now know it takes many touches to make a sale. In Salesforce, you’ll be able to track leads based on their source. But, you’ll also be able to understand full customer journeys and how marketing channels and campaigns are working together to drive leads.


Here’s how it works:

Our solution allows you to track users’ every touchpoint both before, during and after becoming a lead.

All of this data is passed from Ruler into Salesforce. You’ll be able to see, directly within Salesforce, attribution data per lead.

Meanwhile, in Ruler, you’ll be able to track and record all of your calls, form submissions and live chat sessions (and pass them over to Salesforce).

track sales leads - closed loop framework -

At the point of sale, your sales team will update a lead as closed in Salesforce. The revenue data they place against that lead will go back through Ruler, which will then fire it into Google Analytics.

We bet on a monthly basis, you find yourself asking questions like:


Read our blog on connecting your revenue data to Salesforce to learn more about how marketing attribution can upscale your marketing. Discover how easy it can be to keep your leads in Salesforce updated and accessible to your sales and marketing teams with Ruler Analytics. Or, read how Ruler works, step by step to attribute revenue back to your marketing.



Start attributing marketing revenue to leads in Salesforce

And there you have it. A complete guide on how to track leads in Salesforce. Book a demo to bridge the gap in your data so your teams can drive growth and ensure data transparency.

Book a demo Ruler Analytics