How to Track Leads in Salesforce and View Your Original Source

Laura Caveney
16th November 2021

Do you use Salesforce to manage your leads and customers? We walk you through how to track your leads in Salesforce so you can accurately attribute leads to your marketing. 

Salesforce is a great CRM. And while you’re able to view your leads post-conversion, you’re likely struggling to work out how to track leads in Salesforce and the interactions they had with your business, prior to converting. Keep reading to learn how to track your leads, their interactions and their revenue right in Salesforce.

Entering leads into your Salesforce CRM isn’t hard. You can add them manually, via a list import or automatically through a web-to-lead integration. 

But inputting new leads into Salesforce is just the first step. To get true visibility into how your marketing is driving new leads and closing sales, you need to be able to track key lead data in Salesforce. 

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.

🚀 Pro Tip 

You can easily track marketing leads in Salesforce using Ruler Analytics. This attribution tool allows you to connect anonymous website visits to leads in Salesforce.

Download the guide to getting more from Salesforce here. 

Keep reading to learn: 

Lead tracking in Salesforce 

Salesforce does offer ways to track leads on its own. 

The issue is, it’s not enough. 

While Salesforce is a fantastic tool for managing and nurturing leads, it leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to accurately tracking where leads are coming from. 

There are a few ways you can link more accurate lead data to Salesforce. 

Tracking lead source in Salesforce

In Salesforce, you can add lead source data to your leads. 

These are broad buckets of data. Using web-to-lead forms, you’ll be able to see if Google Paid drove a new lead, but that’s on a last-click basis.

What’s wrong with this? 

Well, it’s simple. We know that users don’t land on your website the first time and convert. Often, it takes long, complex customer journeys to drive users to leads and customers. 

With Salesforce’s lead source, you’re completely omitting the rest of the user journey. Plus, the lead source is easily editable. 

It means you could be relying on sales teams to find out from customers themselves how they found you. While this gives some indication, it’s not exactly accurate. 

Related: 6 ways to track your marketing leads 

Tracking leads in Salesforce using Campaigns

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 organisations, 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.

Note ✏️

If you want to link campaigns across your marketing channels then you need to invest in a tool like Ruler Analytics. You’ll be able to connect the dots between every data point and touchpoint. 

Find out more about how Ruler connects your revenue to your marketing

Adding campaign influence

Campaign influence is a handy tool for marketers using Salesforce. 

To get started, you will first need to ensure Campaign Influence is enabled. 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. Read our full guide to attribution and campaign influence in Salesforce

The problem with Salesforce lead tracking

Don’t get us wrong, Salesforce is great at capturing data. But it doesn’t give you the whole picture. And it’s hardly surprising. 

While Salesforce can connect your website to your CRM using web-to-lead forms, it can’t connect to anonymous website visits. That means all of the touchpoints users take before converting into a lead get lost in the cloud. 

But the data is out there. It’s just disconnected. 

And that’s not all. Here are some other key issues when it comes to lead tracking in Salesforce. 

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?

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.

Related: Complete guide to 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.

🚀 Pro Tip

You can get your true lead source in Salesforce. Read how you can automatically add your marketing lead source in Salesforce if you’re struggling to connect the dots. 

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.

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.

Note ✏️

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.

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 accurately track leads in Salesforce

So we know that Salesforce does have some capability when it comes to tracking leads. But it only takes you part way. 

While their web-to-lead forms will pull the last referrer for a new lead, what is that telling you? Very little when you consider the full customer journey. 

And it completely omits conversions like phone calls and live chat. Those inbound leads will be left with no lead source data at all. 

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.

🚀 Pro Tip

Don’t believe Ruler is a viable tool for your business? Here’s what some of our current clients had to say about us and how we help them improve ROI.

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.

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.

book demo - revenue attribution -

Lead tracking in Salesforce FAQs

Importing your leads into Salesforce is easy. Here's the complete guide.
Add marketing lead source in Salesforce to unlock crucial insights that will allow you to measure and track the true value of your marketing activities. Read the complete guide.
Merging leads in Salesforce is easy. Select your lead and then choose 'Find Duplicates'. Here, you'll be able to search for any duplicate leads and merge them together.
You can manually add new leads into Salesforce. Or, you can set up some automations to pull through new leads including pulling through new leads via form submissions.