Integrating Google AdWords with Salesforce to Measure Your Sales Funnel

sftitle

Google AdWords has recently integrated with Salesforce so that you can import Salesforce leads and opportunities into AdWords and thus measure the performance of your Salesforce campaigns within Google AdWords.  Google of course has been tracking ecommerce data for years, but never the complexities of a B2B sale.  This will help B2B firms with products that have longer buying cycles better measure how paid search investments are generating offline value.

With AdWords Conversion Import for Salesforce®, you can automatically count AdWords conversions for any of the lead statuses and opportunity stages (called “milestones”) that you’re already tracking in Salesforce. This lets you understand how your AdWords results in the most important milestones in your B2B sales funnel. By understanding the data, you can then adjust your AdWords account to make sure you are driving the right kind of traffic.

sf1

Example

Here’s a simple scenario: You promote content or trials within AdWords ads and direct prospects to landing pages with forms. When people fill out the form, they are entered as new leads in Salesforce, and you use Salesforce to track stages in the buying process.

With typical AdWords campaigns, those who fill out form fields are “conversions,” but in reality those conversions are not worth the same.  Some may become opportunities; some become sales.  In other words, some keywords may be more valuable than others. Those proven more valuable are worth bidding higher for in order to increase those valuable conversions and this increase the ROI of your campaigns.

For ease in getting started, you might wish to import leads that become opportunities, and opportunities that become sales.  Google has a number of milestones, however, that can be imported provided they are set as conversions.  This is determined on a company-by-company basis.

AdWords can be configured to record a conversion for any or every lead status and opportunity stage you track in Salesforce. AdWords will record a conversion every time a lead or an opportunity is set to the respective status or stage. Here is a real-world example:

Your Salesforce account has the following Opportunity stages: 1. “Sales Qualified,” 2. “Needs Analysis,” 3. “Proposal,” 4. “Negotiation,” 5. “Closed Won,” and 6. “Closed Lost.”

In AdWords, you choose to record a conversion every time the following stages are reached: 3. “Proposal,” 4. “Negotiation,” and 5. “Closed Won.”

In Salesforce, a user moves the Opportunity from 1. “Sales Qualified” to 3. “Proposal,” and then later marks it as 5. “Closed Won.”

In AdWords, you’ll see conversions for “Proposal” and “Closed Won,” but not for “Negotiation” (since the user never set the opportunity to “Negotiation”).

These are milestones in AdWords that can become assigned as conversions.  As you can see below they can be easily renamed, but gives you a start. By the way 90 days is where the conversion window ends, so this may not be totally appropriate for very long buying cycles when you get to the close phase, but early buying phases within 90 days can certainly be tracked and measured as conversions.

sf2

sh7

 

And you can set a schedule to import data.

sf3

In summary, once conversions are imported, you learn that while two sample keywords are both good at driving prospect form submissions on your website or landing page, one keyword is much better than the other at driving leads that eventually result in opportunities and sales. You decide to increase your bids for the more successful keyword, and experiment with adding new keywords that are similar to the keyword that was most successful.

How it Works

When someone clicks your ad and goes to your website, your website captures a unique ID—called a “Google click ID,” or “GCLID”—and stores it in a cookie. AdWords uses this ID to determine which click on which ad gets credit for any future conversions.

When the customer submits a lead form on your website, your website will pass along the GCLID to Salesforce and store it within the corresponding lead and any future opportunities that are derived from this lead.

sf4

AdWords will regularly check your Salesforce account to see if you’ve recorded any new milestones that resulted from ads. AdWords will know if milestones came from a lead from an AdWords ad, because if it did, it will have that unique ID that your website stored and passed along to Salesforce. If so, AdWords will count that milestone as an AdWords conversion.

To make the process work, you’ll need to make some updates to your website, Salesforce account, and AdWords account.  It’s a little technical! Below from Google:

  1. Configure your Salesforce account. Create a custom GCLID field in your lead and opportunity objects. Without this ID, AdWords won’t know which click to attribute the conversion to. If someone else manages the Salesforce account for your company, you’ll need their help with this step.
  2. Edit your website to save the click ID in a cookie. AdWords will give you a piece of code to add to your website so you can collect and store the click ID. If you have a webmaster, he or she can help you with this.
  3. Adjust your Salesforce web-to-lead form. Modify the web-to-lead form on your website to upload the click ID (along with the rest of the form data) to Salesforce. Your Salesforce account administrator can help you with this step.
  4. Test that your system is working. Add the ID parameter to your website’s URL, submit a test lead, and see if the ID is passed along to Salesforce.
  5. Link your AdWords and Salesforce accounts. You’ll need to enter a username and password for your Salesforce account. If someone else is the account administrator, ask them to give you a username and password, or join you for this part of the process.
  6. Decide which Salesforce milestones you want to track as conversions, and how often AdWords should check for them.
  7. Import your conversions. You’re done setting up, and your AdWords accounts will now regularly import your conversions from Salesforce.

To make sure your AdWords conversion data reflects the offline conversions tracked in your Salesforce account, AdWords needs to regularly retrieve and store some information about your lead statuses and opportunity stages.

Once you begin this integration, AdWords needs to store certain data from your Salesforce account in order to maintain a consistent understanding of the milestones you want to treat as conversions. The data they store includes your account’s Org Name and Org ID, and copies of your account’s Lead Status and Opportunity Stage value (such as “qualified” and “deal won,” respectively).

In addition to this information, AdWords will regularly retrieve the following fields from your Sales Cloud account to identify which conversions need to be recorded in AdWords.  Note that AdWords will only pull this data for Leads and Opportunities that have a value in the GCLID field.

  • Lead: custom “GCLID” field
  • Lead: Status History
  • Opportunity: Amount
  • Opportunity: custom “GCLID” field
  • Opportunities: Stage History

This regularly downloaded information will be deleted within a few days, with the exception of your upload history logs.  These logs are available to you for 90 days, so you can see what conversions and conversion values were uploaded for which GCLIDs on which days.  After 90 days, they’re deleted.

Conversion Reporting

Once all is integrated properly we can create custom AdWords reports by setting up each Salesforce conversion as a unique column in the AdWords dashboards as shown below.

sh7

 

We’ve been learning this integration at NuSpark Marketing, since the integration was initially announced this summer so if you’d like help with this process as well as generating more quality leads let’s get in contact.

 

 

 

 

About Paul Mosenson

NuSpark Marketing Founder, Chief Lead Generation Strategist and Online Media Director An experienced B2B and B2C marketer, Paul has been helping clients generate leads and grow their businesses for over 25 years. Paul helps plan and optimize marketing and lead generation programs.