Salesforce tip: Getting an accurate lead source in your opportunities

Managing salespeople can kinda be like herding cats. The only way to get them to do what you want, is to change their environment and tools.

They have to WANT to do something, you can’t simply demand it.

How then, do you ensure that you get accurate data out of your Salesforce opportunities? Especially when it’s up to the sale rep to enter the lead source into the opportunity.

This is something that we struggled with when setting up our Salesforce installation. We were getting some sales reps simply enter a generic lead source because it was faster than taking the time to check the real lead source from the contact.

Yes, you can map the lead source from the lead to the contact objects, but this still won’t translate the data all the way to the opportunity.

Luckily, with a couple of formulas, you can get the lead source from the lead object to stay the same all the way to the opportunity.

Here’s how:

1. Create a new custom field on your contact that automatically picks up the lead source from the lead object

From the setup menu, under App Setup go to Customize -> Contacts -> Fields

contact fields

Create a new custom field

Choose formula as the field type

formula field

Choose Text as the field output type and name the field

field type

From the formula step, click the button Insert Field

Choose the Lead > object, and then the Lead Source field and click Insert

insert formula

That should insert Lead__r.LeadSource into the formula box

Now you need to convert the Lead Source field from a picklist type to a Text type. To do this, add the function Text()

Your formula should now look like this: Text(Lead__r.LeadSource)

Click Next, add the field to any layouts that you would like, and finalize the new field.

This step creates a new field on your Contacts that will always have the Lead Source that was assigned to the original Lead object.

2. Create a custom Opportunity field that links to the new Contact field

Repeat step #1 for your Opportunity field. When you get to the formula section, you can choose the field like this:

insert formula 2

Where “Campaign Name” is the the name of the custom field you created in step #1

3. Change your reports

All you have to do now is simply customize your sales reports in Salesforce to pull from the custom lead source field on your opportunities. This customization will ensure that you always see the most accurate lead source that came directly from either the Lead or the Contact objects.

I hope this helps! Keep on hacking.


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3 Responses to “Salesforce tip: Getting an accurate lead source in your opportunities”

  1. Ricky

    Many of our reps create the Opportunity from the Account object as opposed to Contact Object. Presumably this means this information will not pulled? What would happen if a contact with Lead Source was then later added as a Contact Role?

    • Eric

      Hi Ricky,

      You can actually use this same technique to get information from your account objects to your opps as well. You would just need to change where the formula pulls from.

      This is also dependent on where your leads are coming from, and how they are generated. But assuming the lead details are in your Account objects, then you should be able to get it to come across.

      If you want to talk in more detail about it, reach out via my contact page:



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