Using the Lead Source Field

Have you ever inherited or walked into a Salesforce Org that was a mess?  You might see a Lead Source field with over 100 values (I’ve seen it!).  Or, maybe you’re adding a new department into your Org and they’re interested in adding some values to the Lead Source.  It is easy to say yes to adding one or two values, but those values can compound over time and your list becomes a complete mess!  This can hurt your ability to have good analytics. In this post we’ll go over some options for how you can work with your stakeholders to add in their different values, but still keep that Lead Source concise.



Dependent Fields

You can create a dependent field and call it Lead Source Detail (you could also create a separate picklist for each ‘sub-group’).  With this dependent field you’re now able to dynamically require additional data to be filled out based on the value of your Lead Source.



Non-Dependent Fields (Lookups & Texts)

The one that jumps out first on this would be the use of Campaigns.  Not as values, like in the first picture, but to use Campaign Source.  In Objects without one you can easily create your own.  The benefits would be:

  • You won’t have to have a Dropdown value for each Campaign, but just 1 Campaign value
  • Campaigns are scalable. You can track history of multiple Campaigns, and with this you can track the first Campaign source easily.
  • Campaigns are what other programs expect that you’re using
    • Pardot
    • HubSpot
    • Eventbrite

How do you require that the Primary Campaign is selected?  With a Validation Rule!  This is how you can make any non-dependent field conditionally required.

What if you’ve already got 100 values in your Lead Source?

The easiest thing for you to do is to make the changes in Excel and then Update Salesforce with the new values for that record.  You’ll need to map them to their new Lead Source value and then update any sub-Lead Source detail field(s) that might apply.

More maintenance

You now have more to maintain, as opposed to simply having one Picklist that you updated and it worked for Leads, Accounts, and Opportunities.  Now, you’ve got more overhead.  Keep in mind you’ll need to make sure that you’ve got everything mapped correctly on your Lead Conversion.  If you run into any issues with the mapping, remember that Process Builder can also do your Lead Conversion mapping for you.

Recap: Lead Source is a field that can easily over time grow from 10 values to 100.  If you don’t put a plan in place on how you’ll deal with the Lead Source field you can easily find yourself in a reporting and data nightmare.  It isn’t too late to change, as you’ve already have the data in your Lead.

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