This is a guest post by JotForm.

In simplest terms, a lead source is where a lead comes from. This source can differ from the actual method someone uses to contact your business.

For example, say a prospect saw one of your Facebook posts. Then, they read a few blog posts on your website, and then filled out your contact form to schedule a demo. The initial lead source would be Facebook.

A lead source is a crucial piece of information you can use to gauge the value of your marketing campaigns. If you don’t track this information, you’re missing out on data that can point you toward better prospecting opportunities and help you reduce marketing costs.

Here are five reasons you should track your lead sources, and some tips about how you can use this information to optimize sales and marketing efforts.

#1 To determine how they initially heard about you   

Identifying the lead source can get complex when the potential customer encounters multiple touchpoints before contacting your company or a sales representative. In these situations, it’s best to track both the initial touchpoint as well as the last-click interaction (i.e. what led to the sale).

For instance, say that the customer first engaged with your company through a Facebook marketing campaign. From there, they went to a local event sponsored by your company and filled out a contact form. After being sent an email as a follow up from the contact form, they went to your website and used the live chat function to ask additional questions.

In this scenario, Facebook, the local marketing event, and live chat were all part of the process. However, Facebook was the initial touchpoint and live-chat was what led to the sale. If you aren’t tracking lead sources, you may only see that last stage in the process, so you wouldn’t know about the impact the Facebook post had. Also, this helps you determine conversion rates, click-through rates, and other marketing metrics.

#2 To discover which marketing campaigns are most effective   

Most companies are running multiple campaigns at any given time. It can be difficult to track the effectiveness of one campaign as a lead source against many others.

For example, say you ran two different Facebook ad campaigns, Campaign A and Campaign B. Campaign A ran over the course of the entire 1st quarter and generated 15,000 impressions, resulting in 25 quality leads. Campaign B lasted for a week and only generated 1,000 impressions, but also resulted in 25 quality leads. Campaign B was likely more successful, but the two campaigns resulted in the same number of leads.

#3 To determine the average time it takes to close a lead   

Once you track a lead source, you should also pay attention to how many leads end up turning into sales, the average time it takes to close a sale, and the percentage that are disqualified for one reason or another.

#4 To find the value of each lead source  

Not all leads are created equal. Different lead sources will have various odds of success for your company. Knowing the value of each lead source will allow you to place the right amount of effort and marketing funds into each.

For example, you may find that leads from speaking events typically turn into higher-value customers than those that you get from Facebook ads. Knowing this, you could prioritize speaking events and use more of your marketing resources at these events instead of Facebook ad campaigns.

#5 To analyze your sales and marketing efforts   

Sales tracking should go beyond knowing the lead source to provide you with valuable and actionable insights.

Consider pairing the following metrics with your lead source information to see how leads interact and the value of each:

  • Sales per lead source

  • Sales during a specific time frame

  • Sales per sales representative

  • Sales per customer

  • Sales per customer demographic

  • Sales for new vs. recurring customers

  • Average time to close the sale

These metrics will help you further optimize your marketing efforts. For instance, knowing the average time to close the sale will help you determine how long it will take for your lead to become a paying customer. Knowing this, you can set attainable goals for your salespeople.

If you know that the average lead takes six months to convert, you won’t expect the sale to close in two months. You can even help make plans for appropriate follow up times during the sales funnel.

Understand where your leads are coming from using Zoho CRM

As your business grows, it can become increasingly difficult to track your leads by hand. An old-fashioned spreadsheet just doesn’t cut it when you’re dealing with hundreds of data points. This is where good sales CRM software comes in.

With a sales CRM like Zoho CRM, you can automate the lead tracking process by setting specific categories for your data, such as different lead sources. You can also automatically sync lead details from sign-up forms in JotForm directly to Zoho CRM.

Try JotForm for Zoho CRM

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