We all know how hard it is to track the source of every lead that comes into our CRM system. In most CRM systems you can track the source of incoming leads registering on your landing pages by customizing the URL of the registration page and capturing the campaign ID. If you are generating leads on the web using the Salesforce.com Web-to-Lead form or the Salesforce API, you can easily pass the campaign ID as a hidden value in the form so that every lead that is created from that form will have the campaign attached automatically.

(If you need more information on how to push site registrations leads into Salesforce, check out my post on campaign and web-to-lead)

If a different campaign ID is used for each marketing program (e.g: email campaign, webinar, whitepaper promo) it’s easy to track ROI for each campaign, as the lead goes from prospect to closed deal. BUT what happens when leads are referred to your site directly from outside sources that were not part of your online programs? For example: Analyst review, Blogs, Tech articles etc… In those cases you have no control over the URL that the lead is registering on, and the campaign id is the default common one you use on your website. For these leads, the campaign attached in the CRM will indicate that they registered on the website, but no information is given on how they got to your site in the first place. Marketing managers need this information to analyse the impact of the press and analyst relations as well as evaluate the performance of their Search Engine Optimizationefforts which include Link Building and other tactics.

There are excellent web analytic tools like Omniture or marketing automation Software like Eloqua that capture this information and integrate with Salesforce.com, but they can be very costly and hard to implement if you are a small company with limited technical resources.  On the other hand, Google’s web analytics tool is free and provides all lot of the information that most marketers need to review their SEO or PR performance, but unfortunately it doesn’t integrate with Salesforce.com or any other CRM systems. There are a few requests in the Salesforce.com Idea Exchange site that ask for this integration but I haven’t seen or heard about any efforts from Salesforce.com to get this done.

There is however another work around for companies using Adwords; the free integration with Salesforce actually records not only the paid traffic but also the organic traffic and the referring sites. If you’re intrested in this integration read this informative Salesforce blog as well as my next Blog  post: How Salesforce.com for Google Adwords Can Impact your Paid Search Performance

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