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How to Survive Losing Adwords Integration with Salesforce

By Jayson DeMers | Small Business

How to Survive Losing Adwords Integration with Salesforce image salesforce penguin 300x225How to Survive Losing Adwords Integration with SalesforceGoogle Adwords is a lead generation tool for salespeople all over the world. When Salesforce.com included an application for Google Adwords, many flocked to it. Recently though, Salesforce announced they will no longer support their Adwords application, leaving many people wondering where to go next.

Salesforce and Google Adwords

It’s no wonder that Adwords has become one of the premier pay-per-click advertising tools. When combined with Salesforce, it allows users to correlate clicks from their Google advertisements with their Salesforce leads. This means they are able to track their campaigns from inside Salesforce. After collecting this data they can then analyze the different campaigns, including which keywords are converting to create the most sales.

From a given Adwords campaign, a marketer is able to send a visitor to a landing page where they fill out a web-to-lead form. Once the visitor fills out this information, it generates a lead within Salesforce. This lead is marked as coming from Adwords so it can be properly tracked. Salesforce can easily track which campaign, headline, and keyword drove that lead to your site.

Once you have your Adwords information in Salesforce, you can start honing your campaign. You can begin by eliminating all of the keywords that produce tons of clicks but don’t generate leads. You can then filter out the keywords that create leads but never convert to sales. This will save you money by improving the efficiency of your Adwords campaign.

Not all metrics are the same. If you can view revenue per keyword inside Salesforce, it can be just as helpful as having CPC or CTR metrics.  However, the value of revenue per keyword varies depending on your business. If you only have one product with a single price, it may not be important. However, if you have several price points, this will change. If you get a sale from an expensive click that drives a purchase at a large price, it’s more valuable than a cheaper click that generates a lower price.

Since Salesforce is one of the leading tools for lead tracking, it’s easy to use it to track the effectiveness of your Adwords investment. You can easily track where people are in your sales funnel and how close you are to closing a deal.

The End of an Era

As of May 1, 2013, the Google Adwords application within Salesforce is retired. Unlike all of the other applications for Salesforce, the Google Adwords application was unique in that it was the only one installed by default. This is significant, considering there are around 2,000 applications for Salesforce on the app exchange.

There is a lot of speculation as to why Salesforce decided to retire the application. Unfortunately, Salesforce.com’s press release did not shed much light on the situation:

“Unmatched pace of innovation is one of the hallmark benefits to salesforce.com customers, and in order to continue to deliver more breakthroughs around Google AdWords, we’re turning to our vibrant ecosystem of partners. We’re focusing our innovation efforts around making the Salesforce CRM you love even better which is why we have decided to retire SFGA. Our AppExchange partners will provide similar offerings with additional capabilities so you can continue to realize success with Google AdWords.”

So why did Salesforce really drop this powerful application integration? Some people say that Salesforce and Google may have had a disagreement and the Salesforce application was the real casualty. Others have said that Salesforce dropped the product because it wasn’t worth the time and money to support. The Salesforce product managers have said that only about one in 2,000 companies were using the Adwords tool. This is roughly 1% of their users.  The bottom line is, although we may not know the real reason, the Google Adwords application is no longer supported on Salesforce.

But If I Use Adwords to Track Leads, Where Will I Go Next?

If you are purchasing Salesforce today, the Adwords application will not be part of your system. However, if you are an existing customer and have been using the Adwords tool, you will have one year with limited use of this tool. Unfortunately, the Adwords data will not be available for new leads and opportunities within Salesforce. You will also no longer be able to see the Adwords dashboard from within Salesforce.

According to Salesforce, all dashboards and reports will still be available for historical data. Any lead activities will remain unaffected and no data will be removed.

Can I Do It Myself?

Some people who have grown accustomed to the tool may wonder if they can just work around the Adwords application now that it’s gone. If you’re not using the web-to-lead forms and have an alternative e-commerce or lead capture method, it might be possible. If you have developers on hand, they may be able to capture the campaign parameters from the referral URLs and put them directly into Salesforce using custom code.

While this may be possible, not many people have a developer on staff with the knowledge of Salesforce development required to do this type of work. Another option is to find a different tool you can use to integrate Google Adwords with Salesforce. One example would be Bizible.com, which will allow you to migrate your data from the Salesforce/Google Adwords application.

Conclusion

Generating leads with Google Adwords and tracking them in Salesforce.com is a powerful combination. This is especially true if you need to track more than CPC and CTR. For example, knowing which keywords are generating leads and converting to sales is extremely valuable. Since the Google Adwords application is no longer available in Salesforce, you’ll need a new way to get this information.

While some people may miss the integration included with Google Adwords and Salesforce, the wise marketer will adapt and take advantage of new the opportunities. By implementing newly available tools, you will have additional features that will give you an edge over your competition.

Photo credit: Flickr/cambodia4kidsorg

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