Closing The Loop: The Top 4 Tips For Ensuring That Campaigns Get Hitched To Opportunities

The clever term "Campaigns to Cash" is thrown around to describe the closed loop tracking of marketing efforts from execution through a closed sale.  It's catchy, and it sums up in a nutshell the reason for tracking Campaigns in Salesforce, but it is only a reality if there is a connection between campaigns and opportunities - or in other words, a connection between marketing and sales.

An easy way to make this connection is simply by adding the Primary Campaign Source field to the Opportunity page layout. This is so effective, that I even recommend taking it one step further: make it required.

"Whoa," I can hear you saying, "I can barely get the Sales team to fill in the existing required fields in Salesforce!"  As we all know, one more required field on a sales input screen is not ideal.  Here are a few quick tips to make sure the connection happens: 

  1. Create an internal process to automatically create opportunities upon lead conversion.  If your process follows this flow, the primary campaign source will be auto-populated, and your Sales team won't need to fill it in.
  2. Make sure your Sales team understands why it's important to capture the Campaign. Determining the influence and effectiveness of Campaigns directly affect the Sales team because it optimizes the way Marketing money gets spent. I often explain to Sales groups that this is how the Marketing team justifies the budget for next year's trade show/partner event/ad spend/etc. and they typically ease up about the newly required field because they know that those Campaigns help them to sell.
  3. Create a few miscellaneous Campaigns to catch opportunities that Sales can't easily categorize.  If you have Campaigns set-up for all of your marketing tactics, including your inbound web forms, then it's relatively easy for Sales to select a Primary Source Campaign.  Depending on your specific sales processes you may need to create some miscellaneous campaigns to account for sources such as "referrals".
  4. Regularly inactivate your old or inactive campaigns, to keep your picklist from overwhelming the Sales team when they try to select the right Primary Campaign Source.  If you have hundreds of campaigns in the picklist, this look-up view can quickly get muddy and decrease adoption by your Sales team, so stay on top of your active flags.  A general rule of thumb is to create an audit report or view that pulls all campaigns with an end date greater than 90 days in the past for inactivation. 

While I recognize that these tips might not work for all companies' sales processes, I would encourage you to trust in a simple rule of thumb.  If you believe 80% of your opportunities are the result of a campaign effort, do not be afraid to make the Primary Campaign Source field required and train your Sales team to fill it in. It will page huge dividends when it comes time to measure your Marketing efforts.