6 Reasons You Need Web Tracking and Analytics Data in Salesforce

If you are doing online marketing and using Salesforce, chances are there is some important information missing from your Salesforce organization. Hopefully you are tracking your web site lead sources into Salesforce (if not, get on it here or read this now). But what about understanding your web site traffic, visitors, etc. directly inside Salesforce? Here are 6 things that you might be missing out on, or at least need to think about.

 

1. You Need to See the Big Picture

Web site traffic and visitors are the top of your inbound marketing funnel. For many marketers, and especially those of you spending a significant portion of your budget on Google Adwords and other online advertising, this is where most prospects first engage with your brand.

 conversion-funnel2

So how many people are on your web site, and where did they come from? You want to be able to see total web site traffic, and the breakdown of the different types of visitors by Campaign, Referral Source, right where all your other marketing and sales data lives — Salesforce. This is the top of your “funnel”, people on your web site, and understanding this big picture and up / down trends will keep you much more on top of how your marketing is performing. Many of us track our leads, but how many keep on top of the big picture and can see those who did not submit a form as well?

Seeing the top of the funnel in Salesforce not only makes this data more front and center, but also gives you the advantage of being able to compare it to trends in the rest of the funnel — how many leads are generated via web forms, how many of those leads convert, etc.

 

2. Your Conversion Rate Does Not Matter

This isn’t 100% true, it mainly makes a good heading. Target conversion rate matters somewhat, and we can all agree that achieving a 10% conversion rate is better than 5%. But there are some Internet businesses where 0.1% conversion is considered a job well done. Hence the dreaded question from the CEO or other executive, “What should our conversion rate be?”

As marketers, we know we should be measuring conversion rates at multiple points in our funnel. And the main way we are likely to be successful in “moving the needle” of sales and revenue is by making incremental improvements in these conversion rates at multiple places in that funnel (though we may still secretly hope for that one breakout campaign that just buries the Sales department in qualified leads). So the trend in the conversion rate is really more important to understand on a daily basis than the target (though less sexy).

ConversionRateDiagram

By having web analytics data in Salesforce to better model various conversion points (Web site vistor > Lead, Lead > Converted Lead, Converted Lead > Opportunity, Opportunity > Closed Won and all the Sales process stages in between that are specific to your company or industry), you get one more critical conversion point that is typically missing from Salesforce. And since positive or negative trends in conversion rates are generally more important to doing your daily job as a marketer, having trendlines of web site visitors alongside the leads in your dashboards can be very useful to monitor.

 

3. Your Web Site is Broken

And I don’t mean those javascript error alerts that no one understands, or Internet Explorer display issues the web developers refuse to fix out of religious protest. Even on the simplest web sites, downtime caused by hosting problems, issues created by new content, or some cutting edge new templating language that looks cool but won’t load properly for half your visitors can be hard to know about quickly enough.

You can get all of this data by logging into Google Analytics, but how many of us do that daily? If the data is in Salesforce, and nicely displayed in dashboards where trends are easier to see, you can be on top of the really big screwups that much faster and save yourself heartache and lost revenue. Even if your overall visitors don’t change too noticeably, seeing the bounce rate suddenly spike or page views per visitor fall precipitously could alert you to a potential problem.

 JSTrackingError

One side benefit, for those of us engaged in lots of online advertising, is that you can (hopefully) spot problems with tracking much quicker as well. When that new landing page goes live, and somehow the template got changed to not include your tracking code, having real-time visibility in Salesforce should let you catch it early (versus running a report at the end of the month and noticing something amiss then, when it is too late to get that tracking data back). 

 

4. Your Lead Data is Dirty

Really, whose isn’t? But this isn’t so much about duplicate leads and other garbage that has plagued almost every Salesforce instance in history ever (and CRM systems in general for decades before Salesforce.com came into existence, but those were harder to get data into generally). It is more about cleaning up your reporting to more accurately reflect the relationship between the top of your funnel (web site visitors) and leads.

 Salesforce Find Duplicates

Ideally, you want those spikes in web site traffic to parallel spikes in leads, both nicely tracking each other in Salesforce (though they don’t always, as discussed in #5 below). But when there is more divergence than normal, having the complete picture of the top of your funnel can prompt you to dig deeper.

Maybe your inbound lead reporting shouldn’t have those 1500 tradeshow leads that were just imported in the same graph. Or that new Sales Manger hire got clever and somehow imported his “rolodex” via CSV file. Time to set some filters in the reporting and keep the funnel and conversion rates accurately reflecting your online marketing efforts. 

 

5. Your Quantity is Increasing Over Quality

Sometimes you can’t blame that new Sales Manager or scanner-happy tradeshow booth staff for declines in data. As you ramp up online marketing efforts, the quality of your web site visitors (and possibly leads, though hopefully not) is bound to change.

 Salesforce Sales Funnel

Yet another reason why it is better to focus on the trend rather than an absolute number for conversion rates (see #2 above) — your conversion rates are bound to get worse when you pour on the gas with advertising, especially if your previous efforts were more organic such as blog posts and customer referrals. Conversion rates, bounce rates, pages/visitor all get worse when you start bringing in lots more people, since by definition you will need to widen the net.

So this means you need to keep careful track of both data on individual leads, as well as overall trends in traffic and conversion. Having all the top of the funnel data there in Salesforce alongside your lead tracking will help you do that. 

 

6. Your Boss Wants Pretty Reports

Finally, there is showing the boss what you are up to (also known as proving that your efforts are paying off, justifying your job, etc.). If your web site traffic and lead volume are spectacularly up and to the right, having all that data in Salesforce makes it easy to schedule a weekly or monthly email of the dashboard to people in your organization.

Or if an executive simply wants to see your web site traffic, it isn’t possible to have a nicely formatted email with graphs generated by Google Analytics, but if you have all the data in Salesforce that last step is pretty straightforward. Instead of a zipped CSV file from Google, or an Excel spreadsheet that you have to update by hand, they can receive a dashboard emailed from Salesforce, complete with all the graphs and charts, right in their inbox.

CampaignTrackerforGoogleAnalytics-Dashboard1-small

How to get a detailed Email about every new lead in Salesforce

Many online marketers and demand generation professionals want to track their leads in Salesforce, and understand the performance and ROI of their efforts in as near real-time as possible. This post is a step by step tutorial on how to receive a detailed email with all of the lead contact information and tracking details, each time a lead is created in Salesforce via the Salesforce web-to-lead forms on your website.

Your Salesforce administrator (or marketing / sales manager with the appropriate permissions) can assign new leads manually. But if you use assignment rules to automatically assign Salesforce leads to a user or queue, you can specify an email template for the notification in the matching entry. This allows you to receive an immediate, custom email with any information you want, every time a lead from your web site is created in Salesforce.

Default-Lead-Assignment-Email

Step 1: Turn off the Notify checkbox in Setup > Lead > Settings

You may have done this already, as it can be annoying if you get a high volume of inquiries and get the standard notification email (above), which provides very little information.


Salesforce-Lead-Settings-Page

Step 2: Create a Queue

If you don’t already have a Queue set up in Salesforce, I like to create one called “Inbound Web Leads” where everyone or selected people in marketing and sales can be members of the queue so they receive the notification emails.

Queues in Salesforce help teams manage leads, cases and more because records are placed in a queue, instead of being owned by a particular user. And the records remain there until they are assigned to a user or Accepted by a queue member. Any member of that queue or users above them in the role hierarchy can claim ownership of records in a queue.

Creating-Queue-in-Salesforce

You don’t technically need to create a queue, you can just assign all the leads to a single user with the same assignment rules we will use below. But a queue will give you far more flexibility now and allow you to easily scale for future growth as well.

  1. Setup > Manage Users > Queues

  2. Enter a Name for the Queue, Select the Object you want for the Queue (Lead)

  3. Leave “Queue Email” blank unless you have a single person or email list you want notified

  4. Add users as Members of the Queue

 

Step 3: Create an Email notification template

There is a standard email template called “Leads: New assignment notification (SAMPLE)” that comes with Salesforce and is usually stored in the “Unfiled Public Email Templates” folder. For CloudAmp’s Campaign Tracker application, designed to track lead sources into Salesforce, we created a custom email template and included it in our app.

  1. Setup > Email > My Templates

  2. Select the correct folder and template

  3. Customize the template, or create your own

CloudAmp-Email-Templates-FolderThis custom email template, located in the “CloudAmp Email Templates” folder, has a large number of merge fields (the field names in { } brackets) which pull in contact data and all of the Campaign Tracker data into the email notification automatically. This way you can see right away when a new lead comes in how complete their contact information and tracking data is, without having to log into Salesforce.

You can of course clone and edit, or just edit this provided email template to reduce the number of fields in the email notification, or add in other fields from your Salesforce implementation that you think are important (custom fields or otherwise). In addition, if you are not using our Campaign Tracker application (why not?), you can create your own Email template and follow the rest of the instructions in the post.

CloudAmp-Campaign-Tracker-Lead-Notification

Step 4: Create assignment rules

Assignment rules automatically assign new web-generated leads that meet certain criteria. Without any lead assignment rules, Salesforce assigns all new web-generated leads to the Default Lead Owner defined on the Lead Settings page.

When you create or edit a lead manually, you can also check a box to assign the lead automatically using your active lead assignment rule, but that is a different process that we won’t cover here.

Salesforce-Lead-Assignment-Rule

For each rule entry in an assignment rule that is evaluated, an email is automatically sent to the new owner if the rule causes the lead to be reassigned, and you specified an email template. This is where the magic happens, since you can have the assignment rule assign a lead to a queue, and all queue members will receive the email.

  1. Setup > Customize > Leads > Lead Assignment

  2. Create a New Lead Assignment Rule (and make it active)

  3. Create one or more Rule Entries in the assignment rule.

  4. Choose the Email template from step 3

  5. Run some tests with your web-to-lead forms

Salesforce-Lead-Assigment-Rule-EntryIn the screenshot above, we have just created a single rule entry with blank values, so it should capture any web-generated leads. However, in most cases where different types of leads would need to go to different people, you can create multiple Rule Entries and order them so leads fitting various different criteria get assigned differently (and can have different Email notification templates too).

Assignment Rules (combined with Auto-Response Rules) are a great way of managing different types of leads, even leads from completely different web sites in a single Salesforce org. Just use a hidden field in your web-to-lead forms to set a custom value and you can trigger both lead assignment and email auto-responses that are customized with great granularity. But that is a post for another time.

There are other ways of triggering emails when the owner of a lead changes (such as Workflow rules if you have Salesforce Enterprise Edition or above), but this is the most common configuration.

Salesforce-Lead-Notification-Email-Example

So there you have it. Just follow these steps in Salesforce, and you will be receiving complete and instant Email notifications any time a new web-generated lead is created in Salesforce (just like the one above).


Any questions or feedback, please leave them in the comments below and I will respond. Thanks!

April 10 Salesforce Integration & Analytics Meetup

We had two fantastic demos at the Salesforce Integration & Analytics Meetup in early April. It has been busy since then, just getting around to posting the videos now.

Meetup04-10-13

Thank you to AppBuddy for sponsoring and providing the food and drinks, and giving us a live demo of their well-known AppExchange application, GridBuddy. GridBuddy looks like one that any Salesforce administrator who needs to save time should check out — “editable reporting” doesn’t even begin to do it justice.

We also had a demo from Synata, which won the best Enterprise startup at the LAUNCH conference earlier this month. Very interesting new service which allows you to search across all your clouds —  Salesforce, Zendesk, Google Apps, and more.

Thanks to Rackspace as usual for allowing us to use their Racker Rally Room at the San Francisco office, much appreciated.

The videos below are by Aline. For all your video blog needs contact her at 415 377 0245

Marc Aubin, AppBuddy 

Marc Aubin is Co-Founder of AppBuddy, creators of Salesforce apps that help increase Salesforce productivity, user adoption and data quality.  He has been developing on the Force.com platform since 2007 through consulting companies such as Model Metrics, Appirio and Bluewolf, and is a former Force.com developer for Salesforce.com on their own “org 62” instance.  He is a serial entrepreneur in the data management space and lover of working at start-ups, which means he is experienced at doing everything from sales and marketing to project management to operations to making a great cup of coffee.

Marc gave us a demo of GridBuddy, a Salesforce app that introduces the concept of editable reporting.  GridBuddy provides the ability to create multi-object views with cross-object filters, and users can act on the data directly inline and within the context of a particular business process.  The app was released on the AppExchange in November 2010.

Patrick White, Synata

Patrick is a developer and product manager by training, but an entrepreneur at heart. He has worked at numerous startups, and founded several himself. Most notably, he was a Group Product Manager for Fortify Software, and was responsible for products that won such awards as the SCMag Reader’s Trust Award, the Jolt Product Excellence Award, and the Tester’s Choice Award. Patrick is currently the CEO of Synata, the world’s first enterprise cloud search engine, and holds a BS in Computer Engineering from the University of Southern California.

Synata is the world’s first Enterprise Cloud Search Engine – in under 60 seconds, you can sign up, connect your cloud services, and have an extremely powerful search engine running across Salesforce, Zendesk, Google Apps, and many other cloud services. We’re currently looking for Salesforce users to test the service and give feedback.

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