Detailed Sales Pipeline Analytics Using AI
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Sales Pipeline Analytics
The world of sales is vast and complicated. With just about every business out there, a sales process is involved. That being said, a lot of us hold key positions in sales. And given how technology and software have expanded greatly over the years, we now have more data and analytics at our fingertips than we’ve ever had before. But although there are tons of different areas of sales analytics and data that all hold great importance, one area that we are focusing on today is sales pipeline analytics or sales pipeline analysis.
What is Sales Pipeline Analysis?
Sales pipeline analysis refers to the process of assessing information as it pertains to why your potential clients succeed or fail at becoming actual clients. Throughout the sales process, there are different sales stages to understand. The pipeline refers to the journey that the potential customer takes to becoming a client and closing the deal. In order to know where your sales team stands in terms of how successful they are at closing deals, understanding this data is extremely important.
Different Stages Mean Different Structures
Given that there is a diverse range of businesses out there with different products, services, and customers, the sales stages look very different from business to business. That being said, that creates different structures when it comes to the pipeline stages. As a sales pipeline example, say you own an ecommerce website. For this example, your pipeline will look pretty simple. But if you’re selling a B2B service that involves pitching, negotiating, and an approval process, then those pipeline stages will look far different.
Weighted Sales Pipeline
Another term we’d like to discuss is a weighted sales pipeline. Under the assumption that not every opportunity results in a sale, a weighted sales pipeline is a forecasting approach that assigns a value to every sale opportunity based on where it sits in the sales funnel. This approach can sometimes result in a more accurate and detailed analysis.
How to Build a Sales Pipeline
If you’re still confused on what we’re talking about here, we’ll now discuss more about sales pipelines and how to build them. We’ll talk about the pipeline building meaning and the necessary steps needed to build an effective sales pipeline.
Key Steps to Follow
In order to have a pipeline analysis that works, you need to know how to build a sales pipeline. There are multiple ways to do this, but we recommend using Microsoft Excel. There are various steps to follow, but it’s key to pay close attention to every single step since each phase has tons of control over the whole process. Here is how to build a sales pipeline in Excel:
Create Categories and Data
The first step is to create categories that clearly label the stage of the sale and the value that it holds.
Add Filler Sales Pipeline Formula
Next, you’ll want to enable your data to actually look like a funnel or pipeline. To do this, you’ll need to insert a column in between your A and B columns. This will push the sales data into the appropriate potions in the chart.
Create Stacked Bar Chart
Now that your data is set up to display correctly on the chart, you’ll then want to create a graph. To do this, highlight the range of your data, go to your Insert Ribbon and click on a Stacked Bar Chart from the Chart group.
Flip the Vertical Axis
If you’ve followed the steps correctly, you may now have an upside-down chart. That being said, we’ll need to flip the vertical axis so it displays the info correctly.
Change Horizontal Axis Bounds
You may notice all of the white space on the right side of the chart. To clean this up, you’ll need to make changes to the horizontal axis bounds. You’ll want to set the maximum bound to the maximum value and the minimum value to zero.
Delete Items that Aren’t Needed
You now have some elements that can be deleted. You’ll want to delete your:
- Horizontal Axis
- Vertical Axis
- Vertical Gridlines
Using a Sales Pipeline Tracker is Key!
When building a sales pipeline, understanding the data in a clear and concise way is the ultimate goal. If your approach allows your team to clearly see sales pipeline stages & probability percentages, then that’s a step in the right direction. But depending on your business needs, you may have to find other creative ways to build pipeline solutions.
Sales Pipeline Template
Especially if you’re new to sales and the process altogether, you still may be very confused about sales pipelines. And if you’re in charge of building a pipeline, then you may feel very stressed. Whether you’re new to sales pipelines or you’ve been making them for years, using a sales pipeline template can be a very beneficial approach.
For years, thousands have trusted Microsoft Excel when looking for top-notch sales pipeline templates. Here are just a few of the template solutions you can find with this program:
- Excel sales tracking template
- Sales lead tracking excel template
- Sales plan template excel
Excel is a program that many sales managers use every day. There are tons of useful tools, amazing formulas, and strategies to help you thrive as a sales expert.
Benefits of Using Templates
Many people have different views when it comes to templates. While many people love them, others never use them. Check out some of the leading benefits of utilizing templates:
Hard Work Already Done
When using templates, the hard work is already done for you. If you look at a sales pipeline example Excel provides, then you’ll probably see graphs and certain functionalities in the sheet. However, building those graphs and special tools took time, and you probably don’t have the kind of time to waste before every sales meeting. That being said, if you want to take advantage of graphs and special capabilities, then using templates is the way to go!
Many Template Options
Another benefit of templates is that there are many to choose from! Whether you want a free cold call tracking sheet or sheets to track your monthly budget, then you have many options when it comes to templates. Aside from the popular sales pipeline template xls solutions, there are many more to choose from!
Sales Pipeline Metrics
Now that you understand a little more about what sales pipelines are and how to build them, we’ll now talk about the metrics found within these charts and documents. All in all, the sole reason for building these pipelines is to see the success of your sales process, so it’s vital to understand what data these pipelines should include. Here are some common metrics:
Sales Cycle Length
One of the leading goals of sales teams is to shorten the sales cycle as much as possible. Therefore, in order to make improvements, understanding the average length of an organization’s sales cycle can help to point them in the right direction.
Deal Fallout By Stage
If a potential client decides to do business elsewhere, it’s a good idea to understand when they decided to drop out. If multiple clients keep leaving at the same stage, then you can aim your focus at that specific step in the sales process. Whether you’re dealing with a SaaS sales pipeline or one for a car dealership, this is a key metric to understand.
Of course, one of the leading sales pipeline metrics is the close ratio. All in all, you want to see the number of opportunities that actually convert to a sale, so understanding the close ratio is a top metric. In fact, the whole success of your sales pipeline status depends on how many deals you actually close.
Sales By Location
Maybe you see some sales rack up in one area, but they’re non-existent somewhere else. Depending on the type of business, this can be very common. That being said, you’ll want to track this metric closely. To learn more about how this metric looks on a pipeline document, look up sales pipeline metrics ppt examples.
Sales Pipeline Stages
Now that we’ve talked about what sales pipelines are, the data they need, and how templates are a great resource, you may now be wondering about the various stages found within these pipelines. Whether you’re dealing with CRM pipeline stages or B2B sales pipeline stages, it’s very important to understand that many businesses use different states in their sales pipeline. However, there are some general sales pipeline stages best practices to keep in mind that are beneficial to many businesses. Keep reading to learn more about the various stages that make these pipelines possible!
The first stage involves gathering leads. This is typically done through marketing campaigns that involve email, events, and content.
Once you’ve received some inquiries from potential clients, we then move to the lead nurturing phase. This is when marketing automation is used to qualify leads even more and move the best ones to sales for the follow-up process.
Sales Accepted Lead
If the lead makes it to this step, then sales will follow up with the potential client, which typically involves a phone call.
Sales Qualified Lead
If the salesperson is successful, the sale will then move to this step. This is when the final details are determined.
This is when the deal is won! This step is when a potential client turns into a real client!
Using the Right Software is Key!
No matter how good a sales process is, it can be ruined with the wrong software or provider. That being said, you must work with the right team or the right software that is best suited for your needs. To learn more about the sales pipeline topic and how experts can help, do an internet search for “sales pipeline stages template” and “sales pipeline stages marketing agency”.