Lead Generation with Salesforce

In my opinion, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and PPC (Pay-per-click) or paid website traffic (banner ads or other listings) both have their place in a marketing budget. You need to do both if the Internet is part of lead generation or revenue strategy. Make no mistake, SEO is not free. It needs to be actively managed just like your paid advertising campaigns. It takes time and resources, and though you can achieve a lot with smart web design, I do give credit to those who specialize in white-hat (above board) practices to increase website traffic. Like anything, it’s hard to be the best at everything. I might be a whiz at general business consulting and configuring and optimizing Salesforce.com, but I don’t have the bandwidth to keep up with what Google is doing to rank a website.  Hire a professional, but only when your setup to track the results of your efforts.  In the world of the websites, it comes down to two key words: visits and conversion.

Salesforce.com is not going to provide you any help understanding your website visitors. Use a tool like Google Analytics (it’s free!) for that, but once that visitor transacts or submits information (Web-to-Lead), then you need Salesforce to tell you if that was a profitable customer.

You can also create a dashboard to track your entry page traffic. This can also tell you if any of your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) efforts are paying off.  Most of your traffic will probably come from your home page if you have a strong brand, but if you’re focused on SEO, you should start seeing new traffic

Once you have this information in a cookie you need to have your webmaster dump the information into a hidden field so it can be passed to Salesforce.com through the normal Web-to-Lead process.

Create two new fields “Referring URL” and “Website Entry Page” – using these two pieces of information you’ll know where your traffic is coming from and if the traffic was paid or organic. If for some reason the information doesn’t come across (the user’s browser blocks cookies), you might still have a back-up with the native Lead Source field in Salesforce.

Also don’t forget that if the Lead Source field is “Web Direct,” then you are not going to have a referring URL because the visitor typed your web address into the URL field on their browser.

After you have the Lead, your sales process is going to take over. Just remember that if you’re tracking ROI, then Salesforce.com will want you to create an Opportunity.  You also might want to use the native Campaign feature.

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