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March 11, 2022

A sales pipeline report is an essential tool for sales managers. By tracking the progress of potential sales opportunities, you can get a bird’s-eye view of bottlenecks and problems early on in the process and take corrective action. A well-generated sales pipeline report can help you make better decisions about your business strategy and improve your overall sale conversion rates.

The #1 Pipeline Report That You Should Use This Year

A dashboard chart and pipeline report that provides complete visibility to the funnel is more valuable than any other tool available for a sales manager.

This article will give you all the information that you need about Salesforce dashboard charts, and the best reports on the sales pipeline.

The report and chart provide you with the visibility you need for pipeline reviews and forecasting revenue.

I’ll show how to use them all. I’ll also show how to quickly and easily import both items into Salesforce.

The Best Pipeline Report and Dashboard Chart

The Pipeline by Month and Opportunity Stage reports are excellent tools for forecasting and sales management. It shows the monthly value of all opportunities that are due to close. It divides the amount by each Opportunity Sales Stage.

This report provides essential information to accurately forecast, manage and track sales against target.

Here’s how it looks in a Salesforce Lightning dashboard diagram.

For example, $60,000 of the pipeline’s closing date will be October. $11,000 is currently in Negotiation Stage.

You can drill down from this chart to see the exact numbers.

The Salesforce Classic interface will display your pipeline chart in a similar manner.

Lightning and Classic Salesforce reports are different. The Classic pipeline report may look something like the following:

Classic therefore has the months on the horizontal. Lightning prefers them vertical.

Although reports may look different they still provide the same information: robust pipeline visibility and accurate revenue forecasts.

How do you use Pipeline Reports for the Current Month

Let’s assume it’s October middle right here. Let’s also assume our average sales cycle lasts for three months.

What can the report and charts tell us?

We can see that $60,000 worth of Opportunities will close in October.

This value can also be divided by the various Opportunity Stages. You can hover over each stage to learn more.

As a sales manager, it is important to know how strong the October pipeline.

Here are some ideas. Expand the report to display the owners and names for individual opportunities. To open the report, click Edit. Next, click Detail Rows.

Take into account the deals at each stage.

Deals in Prospecting, for example

Our average sales cycle lasts three months. You can be certain that those deals will close this month.

Do you believe these opportunities should be at an earlier stage? Do you think the close dates should be moved to another month. Are these close dates being moved from one month into the next?

This is because if the answer to any of these questions is yes, it means you don’t have a solid pipeline management system or a reliable forecast for this month.

The same applies to the Investigation and Proposal Made stages. Do we have plans to close these opportunities this month? If so, it could be a sign that our October pipeline may be significantly under-inflated.

This is common with deals that are due for close in the current calendar year. They can slip from one month to the next.

This is not a guideline on how to solve the problem.

It may be a good idea for you to bookmark it for future reference.

You can also view this video on pipeline quality metrics.

The key point is:

Take a look at the deals that are due for closing in the next month. You need to ensure that they are at the right stage and that the closing dates are realistic.

December pipeline strength

Let’s take another look at December, another month on the sales pipeline chart.

What about the Negotiation Stage Deals?

Are they at the right stage of their development? If so, how long does it take to close these deals. Is there anything we can do to help them move forward?

Here’s what I see from the December pipeline report.

There are many funnels that will close at their end.

These deals are happening in December as many customers’ financial years end in December. If that is true, can we reasonably expect many deals in the lead up to Christmas?

Also, take a look to the December closings. Are they still in the works?

Did sales reps feel pressured to increase their pipeline size earlier in the year. Sales reps might have chosen December to close the deal if they felt pressure to do so. This is because they assume that the opportunity will close at some point in the year.

If this is true, it would indicate that the December pipeline may not be as reliable as we would prefer. Let’s take a hard look at this situation.

Tip: This blog post will explain how to get pipeline metrics. These metrics indicate how long the deal has been open and how many days it has been since the last opportunity stage change. These metrics can be used for identifying opportunities that have a higher chance to fall to another month.

January pipeline strength

The sales pipeline chart shows a decrease of the funnel’s size in January.

This could be due seasonal variations. It could also be due to seasonal variations.

Do we need to be concerned? We might need to organize marketing campaigns now to boost the pipeline.

12 Must-Have Dashboard Charts

Deals due to close in earlier months

Let’s say we are in the middle of October. How are these deals performing on the sales pipeline chart These deals will close in September.

These deals will not close in September unless there is a time-turner.

This is something that we see all the times. This means that many opportunities are still available that have been closed in the past. These deals might have closed, and the opportunity stage may not be current. As the opportunities are still available, the closing date must be changed.

 

Both of these circumstances mean that the pipeline forecast is inaccurate.

This is a case in point:

Colin Parish, Moderna’s Vice President of Sales, downloaded the GSP Sales Dashboard via the AppExchange. However, Colin’s pipeline report wasn’t as beautiful as ours.

Because Colin’s funnel was full opportunities with close dates in past. It’s a very common problem, so we named it The Bedraggled Washing Line Pipeline Report.

You see what I mean?

If your best pipeline report looks like a bedraggled washing machine, there are five things that you can legally do.

  1. Take a look at each opportunity and make sure to update them.
  2. Encourage sales reps to update their offers.
  3. All the Closed Won and Closed Lost opportunities should be updated.
  4. All opportunities that have close dates in the past are mass updated to a future date.
  5. Put the problem behind you.

 

Do ‘t let your best pipeline chart look like a bedraggled washing line.

Don’t hog it — make sure your team uses the best pipeline report

Sales managers have complete visibility into the sales funnel with the underlying report and sales pipeline chart. It does this in a valuable and meaningful way.

It doesn’t have to be visible to all managers, however, just like any other pipeline report.

This same pipeline chart can be used by sales reps to manage their pipeline. Filter the report to show “My Team’s Opportunities”. This means that the pipeline report includes the opportunities belonging each member of the team.

Pro Tip – To ensure My Team reports include accurate sales pipeline data, make sure you check your Role Hierarchy. Salesforce uses this feature for defining what My Team means to each of my sales reps.

Each team member can now take responsibility for their pipeline.

Best Sales Pipeline Report Video

This video will show you how to use the dashboard charts and the sales pipeline data.

 

Create the Opportunity by Close Date and Stage Report

You can download the GSP Sales Dashboard via the AppExchange. This is the fastest way to access the Pipeline by Closed Date and Stage report, dashboard chart, and pipeline report. You’ll also get all the pipeline reports we recommend.

Related Sales Pipeline Blog Articles

Want even more pipeline visibility? These blog posts will help you get more pipeline visibility

  • Three Ways to Measure Salesforce Performance Against Target
  • How to Plug a Leaking Funnel in The Right Place
  • Three Killer Pipeline Quality Metrics Show When To Be Skeptical

Conclusion

Sales managers need to have a sales pipeline report. You can track the progress of potential sales opportunities and identify bottlenecks early on to take corrective action. A well-drafted sales pipeline report can help to make better business decisions and increase your chances of closing a sale.

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