Sales Funnel Report: The Key To Tracking Your Sales Efforts and Plugging Leaks
If you want to improve your sales process, you have to collect and analyze the right data points. The question is how? Simple: create a sales funnel report for your company.
In this article, I'll explain what sales funnel reports are, how they differ from marketing funnel reports, the benefits sales funnel reports present to sales managers like yourself, and how to generate a quality sales funnel report—even if you don't want to invest in software.
What is a Sales Funnel Report?
I say sales funnel reports can do these things, not will do these things, because every report is different. You'll decide what metrics to track before you create a report for your sales team.
At the end of the day, a well-designed sales funnel report will help you understand what your sales team is doing right, where it needs to improve, and what steps to take next.
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Sales Funnel Report vs. Marketing Funnel Report
Contrary to popular belief, marketing funnels and sales funnels are not the same thing.
Marketing funnels guide potential customers through the marketing process, from initial contact to the point when they're thinking about making a purchase.
The funnel might start with an SEO-optimized article, continue with a variety of content marketing efforts, and end with an email address, obtained through a web form of some kind.
Marketing funnel reports, then, help marketing teams analyze this process and improve it.
Sales funnels, on the other hand, guide qualified leads through the sales process, from interested prospects to paying customers. The funnel might start when a sales rep sends an initial email to the qualified lead, continue with a couple of phone calls between the rep and lead, and end when the lead signs their name on the dotted line of a contract.
So, the difference between sales funnel reports and marketing funnel reports boils down to the part of the customer journey that each report analyzes.
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What Are the Benefits of a Sales Funnel Report?
Now that you know what sales funnel reports are, let's talk about why they matter. Here are four reasons why your sales team should start generating these kinds of reports ASAP.
Get a Visual Representation of Your Sales Funnel
Sales metrics can be hard to understand. Visualization makes it easier.
Think about it: would you rather stare at a seemingly random pile of numbers for two hours or look at a neat and tidy pie chart for 30 seconds? You'd definitely choose the second option.
If you plan to use software to generate sales funnel reports for your sales team, you'll be able to visualize your entire sales funnel. This will make it much easier to understand what's working, what isn't, and most importantly, how to improve your sales workflow to boost results.
Accurately Track Each Stage of the Sales Journey
Sales funnel reports also allow sales teams to track every stage of the funnel, from the awareness stage to the action stage. Not familiar with these funnel steps? Let me explain:
- Awareness: This is the first stage in the funnel. New leads enter it when they hear about your products and/or services. How they hear about them doesn't matter. It could be through word of mouth, a social media ad, or 100 other marketing strategies.
- Interest: This is the second stage of the funnel. Potential customers enter it when they decide that they like the products/services you sell and want to know more, which they can usually learn by browsing your website, reading reviews, and viewing competitors.
- Decision: This is the third stage of the funnel. Potential customers enter it when they consider making a purchase. You'll know when they reach this stage because they'll view/download case studies from your website and reach out to sales reps.
- Action: This is the fourth and final stage of the funnel. Potential customers enter it when they've made a decision. Are they going to buy from you, or are they going to walk away? The work you've done before this stage will determine the answer.
Spot Leaks in Your Sales Funnel (And Plug Them!)
It doesn't matter how amazing your sales funnel is. Potential customers will drop off at different stages. They'll decide your products/services aren't a good fit for them and move on.
Don't worry about it. This is perfectly normal. You just need to make sure that all of your prospects don't do this. If you can't convert a significant portion of new leads into paying customers, your sales team won't drive enough revenue to keep the lights on.
A sales funnel report will help you spot leaks in your sales funnel—i.e. the stages of your sales process that need to be improved to close more deals.
For example, your report may indicate that your reps nurture prospects via email really well. But when they convince said prospects to pick up the phone, deals go south. This would indicate a training problem. You need to coach your reps to deliver better phone sales pitches.
Understand What's Working and What Isn't
As mentioned above, sales funnel reports will help you identify what works and what doesn't.
You can then use this information to build a better sales process in the future—one that your reps can easily follow to push your brand forward and achieve company-wide goals.
Repeatable sales processes are the bedrock of success in sales. Once you figure out what your target audience responds to, you can train your reps to give it to them. This will result in more sales, happier customers, and greater revenue numbers for your organization.
Where to Get a Sales Funnel Report
"This sounds great," you think to yourself. "But where do I actually get sales funnel reports?"
It's a fantastic question. Luckily, there's a simple answer: use one of the three methods below. Each will get you the information you need, though some will require more work than others.
Build Your Own
You don't need fancy software to build a custom funnel report. (Though, if I'm being honest, fancy software does simplify the process. Stay tuned for a few of our top picks in this category.) You can build custom reports by using the five-step system laid out below.
The first thing you need to do is input data. Which sales KPIs do you care about? Common ones include the number of people who visit your company's website, the number of product demos that your reps give, and the number of sales calls and emails that convert into closed deals.
The next thing you need to do is filter the information you just collected. Chances are, you gathered a variety of metrics from a multitude of data sources in the step above. Not all of these details will be useful to you. Better to get rid of any irrelevant data points.
Now, organize your data. That way, you can create more pointed reports that are easier to read and contain more meaningful information. For example, you might organize your data according to the product sold or the sales method used.
Now that you've collected relevant data and organized it in a logical way, you can visualize said data via pie charts, bar graphs, etc. This will make the information your sales funnel reports contain much easier to digest and, crucially, act upon in a timely manner. (Note: you can easily visualize your data using free tools like Canva and Venngage.)
The final step is all about funnel analysis. Take a look at the report you've just created, paying special attention to which lead generation channels work best, which stages of your funnel have the most leaks, and which sales strategies produce the most conversions for your team.
Use a Trusted CRM
If you read through the previous section and thought, "That sounds like a lot of work… Is there an easier way to create sales funnel reports?" I have good news for you: there is. If your sales team uses a CRM with sales funnel reporting features like the ones below, awesome reports are just a few clicks away!
Close is the CRM of choice for a variety of startups and small businesses. Why? Because it packs a serious punch without requiring a degree in rocket science to use.
Once you're set up with Close, you'll be able to supercharge your outreach efforts, score leads, and track your pipeline. You'll also be able to access our platform's top-level reporting tools. Easily track important metrics like conversion rate, time to close, and sales velocity. Then quickly understand what's keeping your sales team from improving these specific KPIs.
One of the best things about the Close reporting suite is that it works out of the box. You don't need to integrate it with any other tools. You simply fire up the software and get on with it.
To learn if Close is the right CRM and reporting tool for your sales team, try it free for 14 days, or watch our on-demand demo to see how it works:
Salesforce is an incredibly popular software service for sales, marketing, and customer success teams. So it's not surprising to learn that the platform has grade-A reporting tools.
A glance at the Salesforce analytics dashboard will tell you who your reps are competing against, what stage their deals are in, and how to close deals more consistently. You'll also get access to a sales forecasting feature, which can be used to predict future revenue.
Whether you're unhappy with Salesforce's features, pricing, or support, there are plenty of other CRM platforms to choose from. Check out this article for a roundup of popular Salesforce alternatives to consider.
Like Salesforce, HubSpot is a popular tool that a variety of professionals use to complete work. Want to create a landing page or access email marketing templates? Maybe you want to manage your sales pipeline or respond to customer complaints. HubSpot can help.
HubSpot allows users to create sales funnel reports, too. Learn how prospects move through funnel stages, how to streamline this process, and how many sales you'll make next month.
Use Marketing Software
If your CRM of choice doesn't allow you to generate sales funnel reports, maybe your favorite marketing software will. Here are three such tools you can use for reporting purposes.
With Google Analytics, users can analyze their website and/or app-based conversion funnels.
How many of your website visitors bounce right away? How many click links? Of the ones that click links, how many become paying customers? Google Analytics will give you the answers.
Unfortunately, Google Analytics can't help you analyze your entire sales process. You won't be able to learn information about your email follow-up sequences, for example. But if your sales reps use your company's website to make sales, Analytics is a useful tool.
InsightSquared is another tool you can use to analyze your sales process.
Want to know who your best-performing rep is and the tactics they use to get results? Wondering why deals keep falling through in specific funnel stages? Maybe you want a reliable way to forecast future results. That way, you can better allocate your resources.
InsightSquared can help you do all of these things. Simply pick a date range for your data, then let InsightSquared crunch the numbers and display it for you in a visually pleasing way.
Mixpanel is a great tool for SaaS companies because it helps them understand how users engage with their products and why. Take a peek at common user behaviors, monitor trends within specific cohorts, and easily compare today's data points to those collected in the past.
Mixpanel customers can create custom funnels based on user attributes and/or actions, too. They can then analyze these reports to make data-backed decisions.
Win With Sales Funnel Reports
Sales funnel reports will help you visualize your sales process, track each and every stage in the sales journey, and plug leaks that prevent your reps from closing more deals.
The good news is, sales funnel reports aren't hard to generate. You can create them using the five-step system I described above. Or, you can do yourself a favor and invest in a trusted piece of software to help you create funnel reports in the blink of an eye—literally.
CRM solutions like Close include reporting tools that you can use to track conversion rates, sales velocity, and just about every other KPI that matters to your sales department.
Start your free 14-day trial of Close today to see if it's the right tool for your sales team, or watch our on-demand demo: