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If your business utilizes the Salesforce lead object, it’s likely being modified by both marketing and sales users every single day. And with a bunch of cooks in the kitchen, it’s easy for data to get messy— fast!

But as the admin, you’re the head chef and this is your kitchen! Ensuring that there is alignment between these teams on field definitions and requirements, understanding of critical process flows, and automations built to make their lives easier is critical to the success of both you and your GTM teams.

After all, you’ve built or adopted these processes meant to help convert more leads and drive revenue for your company. In fact, businesses with strong alignment drive 208% more revenue!

If you’re responsible for managing your Salesforce Org, we’re going to help you better understand the Salesforce lead object and why it’s important for aligning your GTM teams and ensuring your professional success!

3 Ways The Salesforce Lead Object Supports Your GTM Teams

The Salesforce lead object is a property that is created when your organization receives new contact information in its database. 

The reason the Salesforce lead object is so important for admins to fully understand is because it’s a great way to separate your unqualified contacts from qualified leads further along within your sales funnel. This separation provides several benefits for supporting your sales and marketing teams:

1. Accountability

Sales and marketing alignment is far from a new topic– and even though organizations understand how important it is, less than half of marketers with mature lead management processes have sales teams that follow up on more than 75% of their marketing qualified leads (MQLs). 

With the average MQL costing organizations $200-$300 each, this is a lot of money left on the table. 

Having lead objects can help RevOps teams add lead status properties and custom properties that ensure that sales is held accountable for working MQLs. 

2. Database Segmentation 

Sure, deep down we all want to believe every lead that comes into our pipeline will become a qualified opportunity or better yet a customer. But the truth is for most GTM teams, only 10-15% of their leads will turn into deals. 

The Salesforce lead object is critical for keeping your unqualified leads organized and separated from your qualified opportunities and active customers. 

For one, this separation allows your GTM team to have a pool of unqualified data to nurture and continue conducting outreach too. Secondly, it allows your marketing team to segment their communications with more personalization, sending non customers enticing offers and active customers upsell opportunities and relevant company updates.

3. Tracking Department ROI

Forecasting is the name of the game for RevOps. And Salesforce lead objects makes it possible. This property gives you full visibility into your pipeline with the ability to create conversion reports. 

Conversion reporting shows the volume of leads converted over a period of time. This not only helps with sales performance but also for marketing lead quality reporting. 

For example, if your marketing team runs a new advertising campaign, conversion reports will allow you to see if that particular campaign generated not only a good amount of leads, but a reasonable amount of qualified leads. This will help the marketing team understand the ROI and whether that marketing channel is worth continuing. 

Lead Object Best Practices 

Now that you understand the benefits of optimizing your strategy for using the Salesforce lead object, you may be anxious to dive into setting it up. But before you get carried away, there are some best practices to keep in mind.

1. Document & standardize your lead processes

Companies with strong sales and marketing alignment achieve a 20% annual growth rate. Yet, only 8% of organizations can honestly say they have strong alignment. That’s a lot of money to be leaving on the table. 

Alignment starts with documentation and standardization. First, you want to document the lead management process with sales flow and interpretable qualification definitions and picklist values. 

This will ensure both your marketing and sales departments understand the definition of a lead. For every organization this definition can be different, so ensure everyone has a clear understanding of how to categorize leads.

Then, bring the teams together to map out each step of the lead process. Some things to consider include:

  • When does a lead convert?
  • Who is responsible for qualifying the leads? 
  • What are the characteristics that make up qualified leads? Are they different for marketing and sales?
  • What’s an MQL vs SQL and how will they be tracked in Salesforce?
  • What actions does the lead owner need to take to convert leads to opportunities? 

Having this alignment won’t only enhance processes, reporting and ultimately revenue. But it will make your life much more simple in terms of having a holistic and clear view of your pipeline.   

2. Ensure field integrity 

Another area where admins can focus is ensuring the integrity of the lead object. To achieve this, it’s important to think about the end users within your GTM team and how they can most effectively track where leads are within the funnel and set pick lists for them to choose from. Some things to consider include:

  • What fields are critical in your process? Streamline your GTM flow by limiting the “noise” on your page layouts.
  • What fields should be required to support normalization in regard to data entry. 
  • What data are you collecting from your sales team to help communicate success of leads to marketing? 
  • What fields are required to effectively track and segment recycled leads in order to build relevant nurture campaigns?

On both the admin and end user sides of the Salesforce equation, field integrity is critical when managing your prospect lead object.

  • For admins- even the slightest adjustments to field naming, value sets, and formulas can create unintentional breaks down stream. We’ve all done it. You make a field adjustment and suddenly an automation rule is paused or a critical business report is compromised. And this can be a nightmare if you don’t have the right tools in place to help you avoid breaks. So maintaining field integrity is critical. 
  • For the end sales user- it’s all about emphasizing the importance of quality data and dispositioning. By providing normalized and easy to use options for prospect firmographic fields as well as clear lead disposition values, your marketing team will be set up for successful nurture or retargeting campaigns.

3. Keep data clean

Keeping your Salesforce data clean is pivotal to your success as a RevOps leader or admin. Bad data can lead to declined system performance, tech debt, inaccurate reporting and poor customer experiences with your brand– none of which your organization wants. A few tips for keeping your data in pristine condition include:

  • Avoiding duplicates and removing irrelevant data
  • Segmenting disqualified and lost leads for future sales and marketing opportunities 
  • Using the Appexchange to find tools that can reduce manual cleaning efforts 
  • Ensuring marketing and sales are working from clean data and providing the best possible customer experience
  • Running regularly scheduled Salesforce data cleanups

4. Automate as much as possible

Your organization likely has numerous channels in which prospects can reach out. Website forms, social media, landing page and event tools– the list goes on and on. Streamline your efforts by integrating all your tools to Salesforce. This won’t only save your marketing and sales teams time and money, but it will also avoid errors that come with human data entry– reducing the headache that comes with regular Salesforce maintenance. 

In addition to integrations, native Salesforce functionalities can streamline your lead object management process and reduce manual entry. Some of these functionalities include:

  • Web-to-lead forms
  • Auto-responses 
  • Assignment leads
  • Lead queues 

5. Develop effective reporting 

Standardized and automated reporting is at the heartbeat of all your RevOps team does to keep your GTM leads successful.  This makes it critical to develop effective and lead object reporting that shows:

  • Lead conversion rate
  • At which stage leads are dropping from the funnel
  • Time to conversion
  • Lead sources and which produce the most leads
  • The revenue generated by leads
  • Which reps are converting the most leads 
  • Marketing’s contribution to lead generation 

Conclusion: Keep Track of All Your Custom Fields & Properties 

By utilizing standard Salesforce objects, you can create extremely effective processes for your sales and marketing teams. Of course, not all standard objects are ideal for your organization, and custom fields need to be created. But, the more customization, the more easily you can lose track of how your fields are mapped and the workflows they connect too. 

This is where Sonar becomes a must-have tool for every admins tech stack. Sonar gives you a clear view into your Salesforce or so you can simplify complex changes and never break critical processes again. Check it out for free today.