How to Add Lead Source and Attribute Marketing Revenue in Salesforce

Katie Holmes
25th November 2021

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.

Leads will often use several traffic sources to learn more about your business before getting in touch.

In fact, 73% of all customers will use multiple channels throughout their entire customer journey. With so many touchpoints to track, makes understanding where your leads originate from, even more difficult.

As a result, many marketers are finding the process of capturing lead source in Salesforce more and more of a challenge.

To help you overcome this common obstacle, we’re going to show how to track and enrich your leads in Salesforce with marketing source data and validate the impact to your campaigns. 

What you’ll learn:

Without further ado, let’s get started.

Want an easier way to track lead source in Salesforce? 

Learn how to match data captured from lead generation such as web forms, phone calls and live chat with revenue data in Salesforce and gain end to end visibility of your customer journeys.

Download the eBook on how to track lead source revenue in Salesforce

What is lead source in Salesforce?

Lead source is the primary source through which a potential buyer found your business and allows marketers to record and track where their leads originated.

Related: What is lead source and tips on how to track it

Salesforce lets you track the source of each lead and opportunity using a built-in “Source” field. By default, Salesforce lets you to track and assign the following lead sources:

Though very handy to have, the default options available in Salesforce don’t tell you much about the effectiveness of your marketing. 

For example, Salesforce will typically combine all digital activity under the category “Web”. 

Leads are created and assigned with the lead source “Web”, but no one actually knows where they came from.  

This is where things start to break down between marketing and sales.

Related: A complete guide to sales and marketing alignment

Marketing loses sight of their online leads in Salesforce as they’re lumped into one broad data set, “Web”. And sales are left in the dark as they have no idea what marketing content leads have engaged with or how they found your business in the first place.

What are the challenges associated with Salesforce lead source tracking?

Lead source in Salesforce is a useful feature as it allows businesses to identify which marketing campaigns are contributing real value, but it’s not perfect. 

Each lead can only have one lead source value

Each lead in Salesforce can only have one lead source value. 

This is a challenge for marketers who use online and offline channels to convert leads into revenue.

For example, let’s say you own a legal firm and decide to run a no win, no fee campaign in your local area. 

A user clicks on one of your ads, lands on your website and calls the number on your landing page. 

They hand over their details and eventually convert into a client. 

It’s fair to say that both the Facebook Ad and the offline event both played a part in that customer journey.

However, most CRMs would only attribute this lead to one source.

The question is, what lead source would you attribute the client to?

The client wouldn’t have converted if it wasn’t for the sales rep. 

But, they would never have visited the website if it wasn’t for the Facebook ad.

Salesforce provides a lack of multi-channel reporting

Combining Salesforce activity with multi-channel attribution data provides you with a better understanding of your sales cycle and can help you prioritise marketing spend in the right areas. 

Unfortunately, Salesforce is geared towards supporting sales teams and doesn’t have access to this level of information.

Out of the box, Salesforce doesn’t support multi-channel data.

Salesforce does have “attribution” of Campaign within Opportunities and can support first and last-click touch. 

Related: Marketer’s guide to Salesforce Influence and marketing attribution

That said, the default setup only allows a single “Primary Campaign” to be attributed to an opportunity. 

This creates a lot of complications for businesses that experience drawn out sales cycles and convert most leads offline.

Automatically add lead source data to Salesforce with Ruler

Tracking marketing sources in Salesforce is tough, but it’s not impossible.

To successfully overcome the limitations of lead source tracking in Salesforce, you need to invest in a marketing attribution solution like Ruler to gain end-to-end visibility of your customer journeys.

Related: How to view full customer journeys with Ruler

Ruler is a closed-loop marketing attribution tool that aligns revenue from the CRM with your marketing leads, allowing you to effectively demonstrate your impact on revenue generation.

Ruler helps Salesforce users connect marketing and sales activity by automatically enriching lead data with information previously locked in marketing tools, such as:

That’s not all. 

Ruler can then send enquiries to Salesforce by either creating a new lead or updating an existing one, while at the same time adding the marketing source to appropriate Salesforce fields.

This helps provide a single source of truth of marketing’s impact in growing the opportunity pipeline.

Salesforce lead source - ruler analytics buying cycle -

Here’s how it works:

1. Anonymous users engage with your marketing campaigns and land on your website. Ruler tracks each anonymous visitor individually, and records how that user found your site and tracks any subsequent visits to, or interactions with, other marketing channels and campaigns.

2. When a visitor provides information about themselves, whether they fill out a form, make a telephone call, subscribe to your newsletter, or request a demo, Ruler will update the data on that user to create a journey map for what is now known as a lead.

3. Next, Ruler will pass all the marketing and conversion data it’s collected to your Salesforce CRM. Sales can now see what specific products, services, or features each lead was interested in.

4. At this point, your leads will move through the pipeline. Ruler allows you to send opportunity data from Salesforce back to its opportunity report. This allows you to analyse the effectiveness of campaigns at every stage of the buyer’s journey and track any potential leaks in the sales funnel. 

5. Whenever your lead converts into a sale, whether that be tomorrow or next year, Ruler will utilise a pre-built integration to pass real conversion and revenue data back to your reporting tools such as Google Analytics and Google Ads. This allows your marketing teams to see revenue and conversion data throughout the tools they use every day.

Related: How Ruler attributes revenue to your marketing

6. Ruler can also integrate with your payment processing system to track repeat sales and renewals, which is extremely useful for marketers that track and report on metrics like marketing-generated monthly recurring revenue and customer lifetime value.

The results are that your leads are populated in Salesforce with the appropriate marketing source, allowing you to attribute value and measure the ROI and effectiveness of your marketing campaigns when a lead is closed.

Why add marketing source data to Salesforce?

Lead source tracking in Salesforce provides a holistic view of each and every lead, but what other benefits does it offer?

Need help connecting your marketing source data with Salesforce?

With Ruler, sales and marketing have a single source of truth of where a lead was generated and its impact on the bottom line.

By combining marketing source and sales data, you can take a collaborative approach to understand what constitutes a quality lead, how marketing affects the sales cycle and optimise processes to generate revenue quicker.

Want to learn more? Book a demo of Ruler to bring your Salesforce and marketing data closer together.

book demo - revenue attribution -

Salesforce lead source FAQs

Creating a new lead source in Salesforce can be achieved in just a few minutes. In Salesforce Classic: Click 'Setup' > 'Customise' > 'Leads' > 'Fields' > 'Lead Source' > Click on 'New under Account/Lead Source Picklist Values' > add the 'New Lead Source option' and click 'Save'. For the Lightning Experience: Click the 'Gear Icon' > 'Setup' > 'Object Manager' > 'Lead' > 'Fields & Relationships' > 'Lead Source' > Select 'New under Account/Lead Source Picklist Values' > choose your 'New Lead Source option' and hit 'Save'.
To edit a lead in Salesforce, use the following steps. In Salesforce Classic, Go to 'Setup' > 'Customise' > 'Leads'. In Lightning Experience, click the 'gear icon' > 'Setup' > 'Object Manager' > 'Leads'. The following steps apply to both Salesforce Classic and Lightning Experience. Under 'Record Types', select one record type. Find lead source under 'Picklists Available for Editing' > click 'Edit'. Here you can add or remove values as preferred. Once you're happy with your selection, hit 'Save'.
There are various ways to update and populate lead sources in Salesforce. You can either do it manually or import leads and their source via an excel sheet. A more reliable method is to use a third-party tools like Ruler Analytics to pass lead and source data to your Salesforce CRM. Ruler is a marketing attribution tool that tracks data on a visitor level, allowing you to successfully attribute revenue to your most valuable marketing sources directly in Salesforce.
Campaign source in Salesforce allows marketers to identify how many opportunities a campaign has influenced and reveals which marketing efforts are most effective in driving revenue. Salesforce only allows for one primary campaign source. This is challenging for marketers who use multiple channels to drive leads. However, with 3rd party tools like Ruler Analytics, you can track individual leads across multiple touchpoints, integrate with Salesforce and attribute revenue back to the marketing campaigns that influence the highest value leads.
To turn on source tracking in sandboxes, use the following steps. Log in to your production org. In the 'Quick Find box, enter 'Dev Hub' and select 'Dev Hub'. Select 'Enable Source Tracking in Developer and Developer Pro Sandboxes'. If you don't see Dev Hub in the Setup menu, chances are you're org doesn't support it. Dev Hub is only available in Enterprise, Performance, and Unlimited Editions.