Stop the Leaks: How to Use CRM Data to Spot the Weak Points in Your Sales Funnel

February 15, 2019

You want to get ahead of the leaks in your sales funnel and give yourself the best chance at closing the most customers, but if you’re stuck wondering what to measure or how to look at your data to identify your pipeline’s weaknesses then you’re in the right spot.

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The natural place to look for pipeline optimization opportunities is your CRM. It holds the richest information about your customers, their behaviors, and their pain points.

Salesforce, the world’s leading CRM platform, is especially useful as it allows business analysts to create custom saved reports that can give them insights into practically any part of their sales funnel. As you’ll see, these saved reports are crucial to accessing the data you need to pinpoint growth levers.

Next let’s take a look at what reports you should be reviewing regularly and what to look for when searching for optimization opportunities.

Sales TOFU: Keeping Prospects Engaged

As you know, the top of your sales funnel is all about building value and keeping prospects interested. This means that your main priority should be looking at conversion rates and sales activities.

MQL:SQL Ratio

Your MQL:SQL conversion ratio will tell you if your marketing team is bringing you the best prospects that are properly nurtured and ready to speak with your sales team.

Where do I need to look for this information?

Tip: You can build a custom report in Salesforce with some cross-object reporting, but if you’re trying to join more than 3 object reports it can be quite difficult. A BI tool like Grow can make it much easier and doesn’t require the use of SOQL.
  • CRM
  • Marketing automation software
  • Social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter
  • Google Analytics

What to look for: MQL:SQL Ratio

Ideally, you should have a high rate of MQLs converting to SQLs across channels. However, when optimizing your funnel it’s always a good idea to step back and take a deep dive into what channels are feeding your best and worst converting SQLs.

Visualizing your funnel data can clearly show you what channels are performing, and will enable you to approach marketing and request that they take their own deep dive into messaging and conversion rates on poor performing channels, similar to how Sococo used their Marketing Inbound Funnels dashboard to identify messaging discrepancies between their channels.

Sales Activities by Rep

Like every sales leader, you know that there is some element of contacting enough prospects in order to hit your goals. That’s why monitoring your Sales Activities by Rep is an important piece to spotting leaks in your funnel.

Where do I need to look for this information?

Tip: When using Salesforce, you can find this information under your Activities report. If you are not logging your emails or calls in Salesforce however, you will need to blend your Salesforce Activities report with a report from your email or call tools.
  • CRM
  • Email and call tools

What to look for: Sales Activities by Rep

When analyzing your Sales Activities by Rep reports, be sure to look at the correlation between closed/won deals and the times your sales people contacted potential clients. This can give you insights into how to ramp up new sales people faster and give them a clear roadmap to success.

If you’d like to take it a step further, you can also look at your Sales Activities by Rep report correlated with deal size rather than just closed/won deals. You may find that some sales reps are doing less sales activities, but have larger deal sizes, indicating they are spending their time on just a few, large accounts. This can impact your sales goals in a variety of ways and you will need to determine how to handle your findings.

Sales MOFU: Building Value

The middle of the funnel is critical because it’s where you gain a customer. Every interaction at this point is influencing the final decision on the sale, which is why it’s important to pay attention to metrics that demonstrate if you’re giving customers enough value that they want to keep learning more.

Opportunities by Stage per Sales Rep

Tracking opportunities by stage per sales rep will help you understand where the biggest bottlenecks are and discover what motions or systems you need to implement in order to keep leads moving through your funnel.

Where can I find this information?

Tip: You can find this information in your Salesforce Opportunities report.
  • CRM: SF opportunities report  

What to look for: Opportunities by Stage per Sales Rep

What you’re trying to determine when measuring opportunities by stage per rep is whether or not your sales reps are moving opportunities through the funnel or letting them get stuck.

Sococo was able to track this metric on their Sales and Marketing Funnel Dashboard, using a stacked bar chart to quickly identify what sales reps were feeding each stage of the pipeline and who may need some extra training.

By monitoring these stages, Sococo ensured their sales team was performing at the top of their game and that they weren’t letting any opportunity go by the wayside, leading to more closed/won deals and growth for their entire company.

Demos Set to Demos Held Ratio

A Demos Set to Demos Held metric can inform you on whether or not you’re building enough value in your product for prospects to even want to see it in action.

Where do I need to look for this information?

Tip: Depending on how complicated your Salesforce instance is, this could be as simple as accessing your Activities report or as complicated as needing to access a custom saved report.
  • CRM

What to look for: Demos Set to Demos Held Ratio

You’ll want to look for how many of your demos are actually showing up. Typically, a B2B company will have a 70% of their scheduled demos show up. If you have less than that, it’s time to dive into why.

It could be a good idea to overlay accounts that signed up for demos and attended with the sales activities that led to that demo. This can tell you if your sales team is doing enough to provide value and show how problems are being solved prior to a demo, rather than waiting to bombard prospects with that information on a call.

Sales BOFU: Closing the Deal

At the bottom of your sales funnel is where all of your efforts culminate into either gaining a customer or losing a potential client. Here, it’s important to pay attention to your deal sizes to ensure you’re catching the kind of customers that will stick with you and your sales cycle to make sure you’re not spending too much time on folks that won’t close.

Average Deal Size

Tracking your average deal size can help you understand the health of your sales pipeline, giving you the information you need in order to calculate each stage of your sales funnel to determine exactly how many leads you’ll need in each stage to hit your revenue goals.

Where do I need to look for this information?

Tip: You can find this within your Opportunities report in Salesforce.
  • CRM

What to look for: Average Deal Size

The main thing to understand from an average deal size metric is whether or not you’re on track to hit your goals, and if not where the bottleneck was.

For instance, if your revenue target is 100K, and your average deal size is 10K, then you know you’ll need to sell 10 deals in order to reach your goal.

Now that you know you’ll need 10 deals, you can backtrack through your funnel and, based on conversion rates, determine how many SQLs, opportunities, and held demos you’ll need in order to give you the best chance at closing 10 deals.

Sococo did this exact process, mapping out each stage on their Marketing and Sales Funnel Dashboard. Visualizing their entire funnel gave them the information they needed to set clear goals and align their team to a growth path.

Length of Sales Cycle  

Every product is unique in the amount of education and nurturing a prospect needs before they make a purchase, so discovering your ideal Sales Cycle Length could be just the thing you need to understand when you should keep working with a potential customer or when they’re likely no longer interested.

Where do I look for this information?

Tip: You will need to build a custom report that includes a variety of objects in order to determine the length of your sales cycle.
  • CRM

What to look for: Length of Sales Cycle KPI

When analyzing your Length of Sales Cycle KPI you may want to not only look at the length of time between first and last touch, but break down the time spent in each stage of your funnel, and possibly including your opportunity stage analysis. This will help you identify where your sales team is taking too long to move folks through the funnel, or where they’re not spending enough time to build value with prospects.

Providing the Whole Team with Visual, Actionable Data

As you can see, much of the information you need to catch funnel weak points lives in your CRM. However, Salesforce and other CRMs have limited data visualization capability, making it difficult to share performance insights across teams in an easily digestible format.

One of the largest benefits of coupling a user-friendly BI solutions like Grow with your CRM data is the power to quickly share visually detailed reports across your organization. A sales dashboard can give you the most important information in a glance, simplifying the process of tracking your sales KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).

Don’t buy it? You can see how Sococo used their Sales and Marketing Funnel Dashboard to optimize everything from marketing’s messaging to sales’ processes to grow faster than ever.

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