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The sales pipeline is undoubtedly one of, if not the, most important part of a sales process. Your knowledge of everything that occurs within the pipeline directly impacts future strategies, decisions, and the revenue that your company will generate.
However, understanding a sales pipeline requires much more than just going through a bit of data and finding patterns between the metrics.
It’s an extremely grueling process and it can’t be done without the help of sales pipeline reports.
A sales pipeline report helps you track every deal that goes through the pipeline, providing you with insight into exactly what is happening within it and why.
In this guide, we are going to cover what a sales pipeline report is, what you should include in it, and how to create one that will impress all the high-ranking members of your company.
A sales pipeline report measures the value of your sales pipeline and displays how many deals are included in each of its stages.
Pipeline reports are most commonly used for tracking a deal’s status and identifying if there is a suitable deal distribution that can meet the sales targets.
To understand pipeline reports, you should know the exact definition of what a sales pipeline is. Many people often confuse a sales pipeline with the sales process. While there are some striking similarities, these two are completely different terms.
A sales pipeline is a term used for the stages through which prospects go through in their journey from lead to customer.
The main difference between a sales process and a sales pipeline is that all the actions in a sales process are categorized as separate pipeline stages.
In summary, sales pipeline reports allow you to track all of the important metrics generated in the different pipeline stages.
Related: Sales Metrics Reporting: Track These 16 Sales KPIs and Metrics to Improve the Performance of Your Sales Team
Incorporating sales pipeline reports in your company is one of the best ways to stay on top of your sales performance and optimize the overall process.
Pipeline reports provide you with numerous benefits, so let’s explain them in detail.
With the metrics and data generated in the pipeline report, you will acquire a birds-eye view of your overall sales process.
As we said, the actions that take place in a sales process are divided into pipeline stages, which means all of that data will also be going into the pipeline report.
Related: How Healthy is Your Sales Pipeline? 8 Strategies to Make It Stronger
Sales pipeline reports also make team progress monitoring a lot easier. You will have an insight into the stages that your team is excelling at and in which they are struggling.
Since each stage requires specific actions in order for the prospect to continue to the next step, you will see how well your employees are performing these actions.
Additionally, by understanding at which point points your team struggles the most, you can find a way to help them improve in that area.
To decide which goals meet the SMART criteria, sales managers need to look at sales analytics for their teams and monitor sales KPIs, for example:
Based on these metrics, and in light of other revenue-based and activity-based goals, you can identify and set desired goals for future performance, but how to get this information?
Now you can benefit from the experience of our sales experts, who have put together a great Databox template showing an overview of your sales team’s performance. It’s simple to implement and start using as a standalone dashboard or in sales reports, and best of all, it’s free!
You can easily set it up in just a few clicks – no coding required.
To set up this Sales Analytics Overview Dashboard, follow these 3 simple steps:
Step 1: Get the template
Step 2: Connect your HubSpot account with Databox.
Step 3: Watch your dashboard populate in seconds.
The metrics you generate in your pipeline report can later be used to create accurate sales forecasts. You will see how close your team is to hitting the targets and how many prospects are in the sales pipeline, which will make the calculation process much easier.
By creating accurate forecasts, you will directly stay on top of future sales declines and identify new growth opportunities.
PRO TIP: Looking for ways to visualize your sales forecast data from HubSpot CRM? Here’s how you can do it in Databox.
Naturally, each business strives to make as much profit as it can, so increasing the sales volume and revenue is always a top priority.
Sales pipeline reports can help you do just that. By having an insight into the details of pipeline stages, you will have a better idea of what needs to be improved and which stages show the best results.
Once you grasp all the significant financial metrics and optimize the pipeline stages, you will inevitably increase your company’s revenue and total sales volume.
Creating a sales pipeline report without a proper plan of what to include is extremely difficult. Even the best report creators should have a list of things they will incorporate to simplify the whole process.
Pipeline reports are typically different in each company, but there are some specific things that should be universally included.
Here are some of the most important sales KPIs and metrics you should consider adding:
The total number of opportunities in your pipeline is one of the most valuable data your sales team should have. You will know whether there are enough leads in the pipeline and if there are enough opportunities to meet the budget.
This type of information isn’t only critical to your sales team – most other departments such as marketing depend on these metrics as well.
Generating huge revenue is what companies are all about. All of the highest-ranking members and executives in your company need to know how much money the business is going to make, in order to better strategize the overall goals.
Knowing whether you will meet the goals will help them prioritize revenue generation for the next month in a timely manner. For instance, the sales team might have to make some changes to the product, while the marketing team will have to work on their campaigns.
Won revenue is a metric you should include in your pipeline report so the readers have a better idea of how many won opportunities occurred in a specific period.
Additionally, you should also specify the amount of revenue that those opportunities brought to the business.
Similar to the previous metric, this one provides more granularity since it’s focused on individual regions.
This type of data is extremely helpful for marketing teams since they will know how to direct their campaigns based on the regions that are converting leads into customers the most.
The won revenue by region metric helps you identify the region in which you have the biggest customer base and whether your marketing campaigns are focused on them.
You should include the won revenue by industry metric so you know the exact industries that your closed sales come from.
This is also helpful for your marketing team because it will help them identify which niches should be targeted through advertising.
The win rate metric displays the percentage of closed opportunities. It’s important that you include it in your report since any spikes in the win rate could suggest there is an underlying problem in one of the crucial areas.
You can calculate your win rate by using this formula:
Win rate = number of won opportunities / number of total opportunities
To have an overview of whether your sales and marketing efforts are paying off, you should use the revenue growth rate metric in your pipeline report.
You will see whether the growth rate is increasing, stagnating, or reducing. In case there is a significant decline, you should know about it as soon as possible and have your team figure it out.
Related: How to Calculate Growth Rates in SaaS: Start with These 12 Growth Metrics
In each company, there are accounts that are simply considered more important to close than others.
By identifying your biggest opportunities, you can have your sales team work on a strategy to try and close them first. This directly impacts your revenue for the better, even if you close fewer accounts in total.
Leadership from both marketing and sales departments will benefit from including this metric in your pipeline report.
Knowing how long it takes for a deal to be closed will affect the development of funnel content strategies and overall target goals.
Related: 29 Sales Tips for Improving Your Close Rate
The last metric that should be included in your pipeline report is sales reps by revenue. This section will provide you with insight into how much of an impact each individual sales representative has had on the overall won revenue.
You can even create some kind of an award system for the top performers, but also find ways to help those who are struggling to put out results.
Are you having a hard time writing a sales pipeline report that will grab the attention of your stakeholders and company executives?
Don’t worry, most people do.
Sales pipeline reporting is one of the hardest types of business reporting, so knowing some of the best practices when it comes to the creation process can be immensely helpful.
Follow these steps to create a great pipeline report.
The first thing you have to do is gather data from the sales pipeline. Out of all the sales process areas, the pipeline typically includes the most information. This is why it’s important you do it every so often and avoid it piling up.
Next, you should filter out the most important metrics that you will include in your report. As we said, some of the useful metrics that are generally included are total opportunities, won revenue, average close time, revenue growth rate, and others.
Related: 11 Ways to Use HubSpot CRM To Manage Your Sales Pipeline
Depending on who will be reading the report, your focus will shift between the metrics.
For example, if your main audience is sales management, you should focus on total opportunities, sold vs. budget, won revenue, and other metrics that will help them make sales-related decisions.
On the other hand, if the report should mainly assist the marketing department and CMO, you should include metrics such as won revenue by region, won revenue by industry, the average time to close, and more.
However, if the executives and stakeholders will be your main readers, try to keep the report revolved around only the key findings. They usually don’t have enough time to go through all the details but need the important KPIs in order to do their job and make everyday decisions.
Related: Reporting Strategy for Multiple Audiences: 6 Tips for Getting Started
Although your sales pipeline report will be filled with different numbers, they shouldn’t be the main focus. Instead, you should communicate your findings by explaining the meaning behind those numbers.
This makes the readers understand the data and grasp the message both quickly and efficiently. Also, you can even include some visualization features such as charts, graphs, or even pictures.
Related: How Grou Uses Databox To Create Client Presentations 5x Faster
Your report should include a detailed analysis of each stage of your sales pipeline. This kind of information is extremely beneficial to both you and your team since you will gain insight into which stages record the most departures.
Then, you can work on figuring out the reasons why this is happening and find ways to optimize the specific stage. Additionally, you will acquire data regarding the exact number of deals in the pipeline, average close time, percentage of deals won, and other useful metrics.
After gathering enough data about your sales pipeline and analyzing it, you will be able to make an accurate sales forecast for the following period.
This can be a valuable piece of information for your management since it will help them come up with future strategies.
Additionally, you can also include solutions to specific problems in the pipeline aside from the forecast. This proves to the readers that you have some sort of plan to deal with the issues and improve the overall process.
After spending days writing the report, it’s only natural that you want to submit it as soon as possible and cross it off your to-do list.
However, as tired as you may be, going over your report once or twice more is a step that can’t be skipped. You will want to proofread it and double-check if there are any typos or grammar mistakes that you overlooked.
If some piece of information isn’t accurate, you will want to fix it as soon as possible since it can only cause confusion among the readers.
Creating a sales pipeline report is a grueling process. However, doing it from scratch is even more complex, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience in business reporting.
In Databox, we have dozens of different free sales pipeline dashboard reports that you can use to simplify the reporting process.
Here are a few free pipeline report templates that we picked out.
This Pipeline Performance Report provides you with insight into your sales and marketing funnel performances and helps you calculate CRO effectiveness.
Some of the insights you will gain through this report are:
The key metrics included are lifecycle stages, pipeline conversion rates, landing page conversions, and CTA conversions.
For acquiring a full overview of the top and bottom of your sales funnel, you can use the Marketing and Sales Overview Report.
This report provides you with data regarding the deal flow and progresses your team is making to meet the monthly sales goals.
The metrics and KPIs included in this report are:
The key metrics you can follow are leads per day, opportunities per day, top of funnel additions, top sources of traffic, deals this month, and many more.
The HubSpot Full Funnel Analysis Report is one of the reports you can use for gaining insight into the collaboration between your marketing and sales departments.
You will be able to check where the leads are getting held up the most and then develop a strategy to unstuck them from the funnel.
Some of the key metrics you can track are sessions, new contacts, new leads, deals won, deals created, closed won amount, and others.
To quickly and efficiently measure the impact your marketing campaigns have on sales, alongside the effectiveness of the sales funnel, you can download the HubSpot Marketing & Sales Basic Report.
This report provides you with insight into:
You can track key metrics such as sessions, new contacts, new MQLS, new SQLS, deals created, deals closed won, open deals, and dozens more.
In the world of business reporting, sales pipeline reports are considered to be one of the most complex to build. This is mainly because the sales pipeline includes the most data compared to other areas in the sales process.
There are simply too many metrics to go through and analyze, which makes pipeline reporting immensely time-consuming.
This is especially the case if you do it all manually. You have to gather the data, filter it, organize it, analyze it, and then present it in an understandable way to your stakeholders.
Having a tool such as Databox at your disposal can simplify this process.
Databox allows you to quickly pull out data from your sales pipeline and gather it in a comprehensive dashboard. Once you have all of your most important metrics and KPIs in one place, the analysis process also becomes a whole lot easier.
We also provide you with visualization tools that can make your report look much more professional and understandable to the readers. With only a few clicks of a button, you will be able to transform those daunting numbers in your report into beautiful graphs and charts.
Do you want to create a sales pipeline report that will grab your stakeholder’s attention? Sign up today for a free trial and take advantage of Databox’s advanced features.
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