This is the last in a series of posts on getting opportunities moving through the pipeline. Pipeline movement is critical to the health of a sales organization. When deals get stuck in the pipeline, revenue is delayed, close rates decrease and quotas are missed.
One of the culprits of poor pipeline movement is visibility. Too often, I see companies with little to no pipeline reporting. They have no idea what stage deals are in, how long they have been there, when they are supposed to close, the average length of time it takes for deals to close, what their win loss rate is or what their win loss percentage is.
Flying blind doesn’t help move deals forward. When we can’t see what is happening we are powerless to affect change. In today’s world of cloud CRM’s there is absolutely no excuse for not having a decent CRM with a modicum of simple, yet clear reporting tools.
There is an endless number of sales kpi’s or analytics that can be followed. To ensure the pipeline keeps moving and deals don’t get stuck there a few must haves;
- Deal age (days in pipeline)
- Stage age (days in stage)
- Average deal cycle times (the length of time it takes from contact to close)
- Win/Loss Ratio
- Deal close dates by month and quarter
- Deal close dates by stage
- Pipeline revenue by stage, by quarter, by month
Without these specific metrics a sales team is flying blind and therefore almost completely incapable of creating any pipeline velocity.
A good dashboard and reporting are at the core of pipeline velocity. Visibility is critical. Know where your deals are. Know how long they’ve been there. Know how long it takes your average deal to get across the finish line. Know where in the sales cycle deals fall out the most. The more you can learn from your analytics the healthier your pipeline will be. Healthy pipelines move much faster and are rarely clogged.
How good is your reporting and dashboards? I hope real good!
Here is the entire Pipeline Movement Series, I hope enjoyed it: