SALES PIPELINE MANAGEMENT
Monitoring your sales pipeline may sound like a lot of work, but it actually can be very easy. It is a simple case of knowing what you have done before, and then predicting (as best as you can) what is likely to happen in the future. This way you can pick up any potential issues, before they become issues, while you still have time to rectify them.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways that you can monitor your sales process and predict your sales pipeline, easily and effectively, using spreadsheets.
Sales Pipeline Management – Analysing Your Past, and Predicting your Future
Track each stage of each sales lead.
Monitor progression of the leads.
Collect valuable data.
Highlight individual responsibility.
First things first, you need to know what has happened before. This means entering your sales information as it happens. In the case of our example, we broke the sales process into stages. At each stage the salesperson could fill in the date, the estimated value of the sale, and the probability of the sale. This means that not only can we track the perceived changes of the sale as it progresses, but we can also warn the salesperson if they are late in completing any section, thus making sure that the sale is moving forward and has not been forgotten. This data is invaluable, not only to track what has been done, but also to predict how future leads are likely to pan out.
Salespeople and Targets
Track individual salespeople.
Set monthly targets.
Monitor individual sales.
Assign staff to sales.
If you have salespeople on board, why not list them and set them all a monthly target? This way you can easily monitor who is hitting their targets, and who is falling behind. In the example shown, we have also inputted when each person started at the company, so the spreadsheet knows when to expect them to start earning. You may not want to monitor your salespeople but, by having this option, it helps to break down each sale to a person, to make the most precise prediction possible. All salespeople have different strengths and weaknesses, so there may be person-specific trends which you wouldn’t pick up if you lumped the sales together.
Sales Stage Breakdown
Monitor stages of sales.
See where your sales are failing.
See how your sales stages compare.
See breakdown of your sales.
In this case, there is a massive advantage to breaking down the sales process into stages, as you can analyse each stage. The spreadsheet can get to work with your data, and check each stage of each lead. You easily can see where the expected price tends to drop or increase, as well as how the salespeople rate the chance of the sale throughout the process. If the probability of sales tends to drop at a certain point, it may be an idea to investigate that stage of the process. All of this data can be turned into useful information, which can help you to make the important decisions, and increase your chances of making sales. Not only that, but you can also see which stages are often taking longer than you have allocated.
Sales Breakdown & Prediction
Predict outcome for each lead.
Monitor outcome of completed leads.
See success rate of sales.
See predicted shortfall.
Your data can also be used to see what sales have been made, and to predict how the current leads will pan out (based on your track record). This will help you not only to see the sales that you have won, and that you stand to win, but possibly more importantly the sales that you have lost and stand to lose. Understanding when and why you have lost sales can help tremendously when you’re trying to improve. In this example we have a 100% success rate, but that may not be the case for you. How valuable would it be to see which sales could be lost, when you still have time to save them? Also, if you know how many sales you have made, and how many you should make, you can see at a glance how many more sales leads you need to get in. This is what spreadsheets do so well, if made correctly. They can take your raw data and show you exactly what is going on, which is invaluable to businesses of all shapes and sizes.
Monthly Sales & Forecasts
Predict monthly sales.
Forecast sales dates.
Spot lean months in advance.
See sales by month.
You now know how long your sales tend to take, as well as how probable they are. Our spreadsheet can calculate what sales you have made each month, what sales you stand to make, and compare those to the budgets set. This can be vital, as it shows you potentially lean months in advance, giving you time to put a plan in place before it is too late. In our example we used the predicated sales period and worked out the probable sales date, based on the start date of the lead. This gave us a good picture of what was due to come in, and when. The longer your sales process takes, the more this graph can tell you, as it can predict further into the future. Is this something that will be useful to your business?
Individual Sales Lead Analysis
Actual progression for each lead.
Forecast progression for each lead.
Spot potential lost leads early.
Spot weak stages in the process.
Lastly, with all of this data, you can analyse more than just totals. You can also see each individual sales lead (or the information above per salesperson). If you know how the leads have panned out in the past, our spreadsheet can predict how the existing ones will pan out in the future, including the predicted changes at each stage of the process. In our example, we show how the value of the sale (and the probability of the sale) is likely to change. This way you can investigate each lead and put steps into place to ensure that they go better than predicted (if required). Who doesn’t want things to improve? All of these useful reports are created simply by entering some information as you progress. What could your data be telling you?
Watch this short advert, and then think about how this type of spreadsheet can help your business. Is the one in the example the one that you need? If so, follow the link below to see our standard product. If you need something bespoke, that is what we specialise in, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.