Custom fields – What salesforce did right & benefits

| Last Updated: June 09, 2015 |

Reading time: 3 minutes

Salesforce custom fields can make your marketing campaign more efficient in gathering important information from your leads. Custom fields help you to better understand your customer needs and maximize on sales.

When gathering leads using Salesforce, it is important to learn as much as you can about the prospects to determine how your SaaS service fits in their needs.The 4Ps of marketing (price, product, place and promotion) can help you determine the percentage possibility of a lead turning into a customer, and thus tailor your SaaS inbound marketing campaign to improve conversions.

Salesforce Custom Fields

Apart from the commonly used fields such as First Name, Last Name and Email Address, you may wish to get other information from your Salesforce forms. This is where custom fields are important. You can specify the type of data that will be accepted in each custom field based on what you are looking for. However, in as much as you can create as many fields as you wish, you have to strike a balance between information gathering and lead satisfaction. You do not want to have too many fields such that prospects will get discouraged from filling the form.

Custom Fields Salesforce

Best Practices on Using Custom Fields

a) Avoid cluttering the page with a lot of fields. Strike a balance between the number of custom fields you set up and the space available on your page. Only set up the necessary fields that will help in lead segmentation.

b) Use the right field for the right job. A text field will be able to hold dates but will be useless if you will want to do any calculations on the date. Whenever possible, use the picklists available to standardize data.

c) Use custom fields where you need them. You can use the fields to get important data such as the age, location, income levels, gender, interest/hobbies and so on. The data you request for should be guided by your service.

d) Check the data you get to see the performance of the custom fields. Find out which data fields are not getting filled by the majority of leads, are the fields really necessary? At the same time, check your competition to get ideas of which other fields you can include in your lead capture forms.

Hubspot keeps asking “ONE” question in all their lead capture forms. What is your biggest marketing challenge?

Hubspot question

Benefits of Using Custom Fields

According to Marketing Sharper 2012 Email Benchmark Report, 52% of B2B companies are thinking of improving their email databases by segmenting their leads. Your visitors are not the same and hence you should not target them with the same content. Customizing your lead custom fields to better understand the customers will help you to know which types of content to send.

Moreover, your email database is likely to be made up of contacts who are on various stages of interacting with your business. Some leads may be coming in contact with your company for the first time while others may have researched and want to shift from a competitor to you. These types of leads need different content since their needs are different. One group may need more education on your SaaS offer while another may be looking to get started with a trial immediately.

Mapping Marketing Offers


Having segmented your leads, you will have better email open rates. The more you interact with your prospects, the more they get to trust you and the closer they get to requesting for a trial or signing up. The end result will be higher closing sales.

Salesforce custom fields are a haven for SaaS companies looking to understand and qualifying their leads. This concept can be applied to any SaaS Business. For example, if you are like me you may want to track several things in your billing system. So your billing system should be able to support “Custom Fields”. It is vital that any SaaS business follows Salesforce and support Custom Field functionality.

Does your SaaS application support Custom Fields? Please share using the comments section below.

Author of the post

John Solomon

Marketing Leader / Sales Enabler. Head of India Operations for @Infrascale / @sosonlinebackup.

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