Salesforce is a great tool for sales driven companies. However, there are some limitations with visualizing your deal flow.
Christoph Janz, a successful Angel VC, spoke about this in a recent post.
When I see sales pipeline charts, I often find it hard to quickly wrap my head around the data and draw meaningful conclusions. Sometimes, important numbers are missing altogether. In other cases, they are there but are shown on another page or in another report.
He goes on to propose visualizing the _transitions_ between pipeline stages (as opposed to static monthly totals):
Transition rates, since they’re normalized as percentages, give you a snapshot of an entire system in one view. They’re what mortgage modelers use to compare the risk of vast and unrelated pools of mortgages.
I took his thoughts a few steps further and built a better means to visualize deal flow in Salesforce pipeline. This post details a template I built that’ll let you visualize live pipeline data from Salesforce.
A summary table and chart allows you to view overall transition rates by month, and spot high-level trends of how deals are moving through your pipeline.
My personal favorite is the pipeline transition chart, which opportunity volumes moving from each stage into one of four buckets: kept in the same stage, moved to next stage, lost or won.
This helps you quickly spot where deals or getting stuck, or at what stage you’re losing deals.
Right off the bat, I see the power in Christoph’s approach to pipeline analysis – you can see based on the colors in each stage if things are headed in the right direction.
I could see this being most useful for benchmarking one pipeline against another (ie one company against another, or salesperson against another, etc.) – since it provides a normalized view of sales efficiency.
This template pulls in historical changes to your Salesforce opportunities, meaning any change you’ve made to a deal throughout its history, for all of your deals.
Opportunities data is then aggregated up into a monthly pipeline, with transitions modeled based on changes to deals (including value updates).
This happens under the hood in a few aggregation tabs – all you have to do to get set up is:
These instructions are also contained on the ‘Setup’ tab of the template, which will walk you through the process to pull live Salesforce data.
Interested in taking it for a spin?
Grab the workbook through the link below.
I’m not asking for your email address because I know that’s annoying. But if you do get value from this post, I’m hoping you will check out my YouTube Channel where I have even better tutorials.
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