Categories Articles, Sales and Marketing

We recently launched our Free Sales Funnel report by InsightSquared, available on the Salesforce.com AppExchange. We’re very excited about this new free app and to celebrate its official launch, we are presenting below the best practices for using your free Sales Funnel report. Read on to learn some helpful tips and try the free app for yourself!

Maintain your ideal sales funnel shape

Naturally, the ideal sales funnel should be funnel-shaped, designed to reflect the progressive drop-off of prospects as they travel through your various pipeline stages. Your sales funnel should be widest at the top and narrowest at the bottom, with a natural gradation all the way down. Consider the image of a staircase – too wide or too narrow a gulf between steps could result in serious injury. Your sales funnel should reflect a similarly consistent gradient between stages. If there is very little drop-off between stages, you might not have an appropriate number of stages with enough distinctions between the previous ones, providing very little meaningful insight. Sales Funnel - Funnel Shape

See real % conversions by opportunity stages

Conversion rates are the percentage of opportunities that progress from one stage to a later stage in the sales funnel. They provide insight on your performance at individual stages, as well as from the top of the funnel to the bottom. Having actionable insights into how many prospects are converting to demos, how many demos convert to trials and how many trials convert to closed-won deals can help guide more effective coaching and management decisions by sales managers. For example, if your conversion rate from your first stage to the next is very high (greater than 90%), your reps might be waiting too long to convert leads to opportunities, or they might be “sand-bagging.”

Identify the stages where you are losing the most deals

With real conversion rates by percentage available to them, sales managers can then determine at which stages they are losing the most deals. For instance, if their team of sales reps are converting 88% of prospects to demos but only a scant 23% of demos to trials, this tells the sales manager that there is a problem in the selling process. Are reps not properly qualifying prospects for demos, thus letting in a great deal of unsuitable opportunities into the funnel? Are they executing demos poorly? Having this information at their fingertips allows sales managers to craft more productive coaching sessions backed up by actionable data and insights.

Forecast accurately by % conversions to Closed-Won

The sales funnel not only provides % conversion rates between stages, but all the way from the top of the funnel to Closed-Won deals at the bottom. Having this accurate conversion figure will lead to more accurate sales forecasts, based on conversion rates and the current opportunity pipeline. If the sales funnel reveals a 25% win rate and the sum total of opportunities in the current pipeline is worth $1 million, then sales managers can confidently forecast $250,000 in revenue for this sales cycle.

 

By using the Free Sales Funnel report from InsightSquared correctly, sales managers can perform more effective pipeline management and more accurate sales forecasting, while coaching reps more effectively by bringing salient and actionable points to coaching sessions.
 

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