How to track ROI on your campaigns if you are bypassing Leads and use only contacts in salesforce.

If you are an organization who uses salesforce and does not use leads and uses only contacts for capturing prospects and customers, it is always a challenge to track campaigns, avoid using leads even though web to leads feature would populate your leads. Even though from the best practice is to use leads, organizations may have scenarios where they have only limited prospects and do more repeat sales from their account or it can be universities who might want to capture their students as accounts/contacts and differentiate them between prospective and registered students using fields. So the question would be is how to still work with leads in a minimal way , avoid duplicate leads and contacts and still track your campaign effectiveness?

The solution is a three part strategy.

a. convert your leads automatically after creation if leads are created.

If you are using web to leads or importing new campaign members, salesforce would insert leads. So the solution would be to create a lead trigger which would automatically check for duplicates on accounts and contacts and if the record exist would insert a new account and contact automatically. We can also create a contact after insert trigger which would convert the lead automatically . This can be done by associating the contact with the lead using a lookup field. We also need to have a strategy to auto archive converted leads to save space.

b. Dedupe your contacts and differentiate between prospects and customers.

Contacts should be designed to capture all the lead fields  and should have a way to differentiate between prospective and current customers using fields. This can be automated using formula fields or opportunity stages of closed won which would automatically update the flag on the contact.

c. Manage your campaigns using contacts and ensure opportunities are created with appropriate campaigns automatically.

When we deal with campaign, it is safe to always better to perform update members with contact id fields if you do mass import of contact members or always perform the contact search for adding members. The lead trigger solution outlined in step1 would always take care of accidentally inserting members which would be stored as leads which in turn would end up as account and contact for new records or added as campaign member for existing contacts.

d, Tracking campaigns for ROI

Whenever new opportunities are created, the opportunity source should be updated automatically with the corresponding marketing code if the opportunities are imported by a file for B2C business scenarios. If the opportunities are created manually, our solution would be able to associate the right campaign based on the marketing source automatically using opportunity trigger. This would ensure the revenue amount is tracked on the right campaigns for the opportunity.

Using this 4 step strategy, companies can easily leverage contacts and can ignore leads completely and will be able to track ROI on campaigns efffectively. We have an automated solution to track campaigns, convert leads and manage contacts without any duplicates. Feel free to email me at for any questions and please feel free to post your replys to this post.

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Author: buyan47

Hi there! My name is Buyan Thyagarajan. I am a Salesforce consultant specializing in Higher Education, Manufacturing and Marketing Automation. My blogs will help you to maximize your Salesforce CRM investments, prevent problems beforehand and make the right decisions. If you need to talk to me right away, you can email me at or call me at 302-438-4097

2 thoughts on “How to track ROI on your campaigns if you are bypassing Leads and use only contacts in salesforce.

  1. Great article, Buyan. One consideration for companies that choose marketing automation over web to lead forms in SFDC – most of step 1 can be largely bypassed (beyond the archiving in SFDC) based on logic set in marketing automation on update rules. We find about 30% of enterprises bypass the leads object in SFDC altogether.

    1. Hi Jon,
      Thanks for your comment and great point on the web to lead forms suggestion used by marketing companies.

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