How to Fix Lead Sources in Salesforce, and Track the Top of Your Funnel

  • How to guide for salesforce lead sources

If you’re like me, your eyes may start to glaze over or you get a sick feeling in your stomach when someone mentions “Salesforce cleanup” or “deduping” or “we need to clean up the dirty data in Salesforce,” or makes reference to any other necessary maintenance activities. It doesn’t have to be an overwhelming project, and can be quite invigorating to accomplish small wins with your data. Let’s cover practical, step-by-step guidelines to update Lead Sources within Salesforce, helping tighten up the tracking at the top of your funnel.

How to Update Lead Sources

I recommend organizations revisit their Lead Sources pick list every 1-2 years, or whenever your lead generation process has substantially changed. This includes adding or removing new lead generation tactics, purging unused data fields. Here is how to break this down into a simple process:

  1. To conduct an updated audit/inventory of your current Lead Sources inside of Salesforce, go to the Leads tab, and click on any lead.
  2. Go to the Lead Source field, and expand the drop down so you can see the current pick list.
  3. Create a table in Excel with a list of all Current Lead Sources in the left column of the table.
  4. Add a second column called, “Proposed Lead Sources”. This is your working document to define current and proposed lead sources. Notice how the table includes specific data mapping instructions where applicable.
Current – Lead Source Fields Proposed – Lead Source Fields
Web Keep
Other Keep.
{Company Name} removed for anonymity Delete. Map to Referral.
Referral Keep.
Tradeshow Keep. (Add Secondary: name of event)
Email Campaign Delete. No data to map.
Advertisement Keep.
Sales Prospecting Keep.
Marketing Research/Trigger Delete. Map to Sales Prospecting.
Webinar Gated Asset (Secondary: webinar, ebook, etc.)
Partnership Delete. This will be included under Association.
Inbound Phone Call Delete.
Industry Association Keep.
Paid Search Keep.
Add: Purchased List (Secondary: specific source)
  1. Pull a Lead report from SFDC showing all current leads in your database. Use this report to assess which Lead Sources are performing well. Look for Lead Source names that have few entries. These will be on your “potential delete” list. Be sure to include important fields such as:
    • Lead creation date
    • Lead source
    • Lead stage
    • Conversion date (if applicable)
  2. Once you’ve identified low usage fields, mark them for possible mapping and deletion.
  3. Discuss your recommendations with your Sales VP to ensure you have marketing and sales alignment. Depending on the size of your organization, you may need to run this process through a Salesforce governance board.
  4. Delete any data fields that are not being used. If you find fields which contain a small amount of data and you decide to delete the field, be sure to map it to a new field. You will be prompted to do this once you make the changes inside of Salesforce. Add any new fields which you plan to use going forward.

Sales and Marketing Alignment Tip

Now is a good time to reiterate to the sales and marketing organization that lead source is a one-time field, which simple reflects first touch attribution – specifically, how we acquired this lead’s email address. The lead source will not change over time, no matter how many hand raises the prospect or customer completes during his/her journey.

I often get asked, what should I use for my lead source pick list in Salesforce? My recommendation is simple: use what makes sense for your organization and your marketing funnel. This is not something you will be changing on a frequent basis, but you do have the ability to revisit it every few years to make sure the list still reflects your current marketing funnel. Here are four example lead list pick lists which will help you build the pick list that most accurately reflects your prospect and customer sources.

Examples of Common Lead Source Lists

Example #1:
  • Google AdWords
  • Google (organic)
  • Other Search Engines
  • Social Media (Facebook, Twitter etc)
  • Cold Calling/Telemarketing
  • Advertising
  • Custom Referral
  • Word of Mouth (non-customer)
  • Expo/Seminar
  • Direct Mail
  • Email Marketing
  • Unknown (default)
Example #2:
  • Web
  • Phone Inquiry
  • Partner Referral
  • Purchased List
  • Other
Example #3:
  • Web
  • Phone Inquiry
  • Trade Show
  • Webinar
  • Referral
  • Print Advertising
  • List
  • Other
Example #4:
  • List Upload
  • Purchased List
  • Partner
  • Referral
  • Phone Inquiry
  • Cold Call
  • Tradeshow
  • Webinar
  • Whitepaper
  • Website

Additional resources:

For additional resources on Lead Source tracking, I recommend the following:



Peg Miller is Co-Founder of the B2B Marketing Academy, and consults with high growth companies on their marketing, content and product strategies to achieve revenue results.

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