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How to Measure Opportunity Win Rates Across Sales Teams

How to Measure Opportunity Win Rates Across Sales Teams

Increasing your opportunity win rate is the single most powerful way to increase revenue.

Building more pipeline increases sales. So does shortening your sales cycle. And increasing your average deal size definitely helps.

But nothing has such a dramatic impact as increasing your opportunity win rates. (Here’s where you can do the math for your business).

Effective sales managers compare win rates across sales teams, territories and products.

All other things being equal, if your opportunity win rate is improving then your sales are increasing. We’ll show you how to build an opportunity win rate report in this blog and the accompanying video.

So measuring win rate is a critical sales metrics. But here’s what else you can do with an opportunity conversion rate report. You can:

  • Identify individual rep training requirements.
  • Measure the impact of business development initiatives.
  • Gauge the effectiveness of your sales strategy by comparing win rates across customer segments.
  • Compare partners with direct sales teams to optimise the sales mix.

But be careful. Opportunity win rate reports can be misinterpreted. And the very fact of measurement can drive unwanted behaviour. Read on to learn how to measure opportunity win rates and avoid these pitfalls.

Opportunity win rate metrics

Like most things, there’s more than one way to measure opportunity win rates.

Some people argue that the total open pipeline should be factored in. This means that the value of closed won opportunities is calculated as a proportion of the total open pipeline.

In our view this distorts the win rate percentage.

Let’s say your sales cycle is three months. If your team is successful this month in creating new pipeline (e.g. because of a marketing initiative) then those deals will not close for another 2 to 3 months. But if the team also did a great job of closing deals that month the win rate is distorted. It’s artificially low. New opportunities that have been created will pull down the win rate.

So keep it simple. The correct way to measure opportunity win rates is to compare the number and value of deals won in a month with the number and value of deals lost in the same month.

It’s unambiguous. There’s no debate about whether certain elements of the pipeline should be included – or not. And it avoids the risk of double counting open opportunities from one month to the next.

Opportunity Win Rate Report Example

Here’s an example of an opportunity win rate dashboard chart in salesforce.

Use a dashboard chart to compare opportunity win rates.

The chart shows two essential metrics.

  • Win Rate by Count Percentage. This is the blue column. It shows the percentage of deals that have been won in the month in terms of the number of opportunities. In other words, of the total number of deals that closed in December, 20% were won.
  • Win Rate by Value Percentage. This is the green column. It shows the percentage of deals that have been won in the month in terms of the value of opportunities.

Depending on the nature of your business, both metrics may be important.

We can see in the chart, for example, that in December the Won Amount % is higher than the Won Count %. This is good news. It means the sales team successfully closed the higher value opportunities.

February tells a different story. The Won Count is higher. Overall it was the lower value opportunities that closed successfully. Now that we have this information, we can start to investigate the reasons.

Here’s the underlying report that accompanies the dashboard chart.

salesforce report that compares opportunity win rates across individual sales reps.

This gives us significantly more detail on the opportunity win rates by sales rep and month.

Take a look at the figures for Dave Apthorp for March 2016 (highlighted). We can see that Dave has:

  • Closed £273,000 of opportunities. This combines both closed won and closed lost.
  • Won £123,000 of opportunities. This is amount of the £273K that Dave has won.
  • This means his Won Amount % is 45%.
  • The report also shows Dave’s Won Count % is 33% (calculated from the underlying opportunities that make up the report).

The report can be modified to compare opportunity win rates across sales territories, customer segments or other dimensions.

Watch the video at the end of the blog post for step by step instructions on creating this opportunity win rate report.

How to use the Opportunity Win Rate report

The dashboard chart and report gives powerful visibility of win rates across sales reps and teams.

But use the metric on conjunction with other reports to avoid driving unwanted behaviour such as ‘sandbagging’. In other words, an over-emphasis on win rates can result in sales people keeping opportunities out of salesforce until they’re confident that a deal is there to be done. This means you lose visibility of the early stages of the pipeline.

Use these reports to investigate further why win rates vary across reps, teams or competitors. Here are examples of questions managers can ask when reviewing win rate reports.

  • Does everyone have the same understanding of when it is appropriate to create an opportunity?
  • Is one team focussing more heavily on new versus existing customers?
  • Is a sales person cherry picking the best deals and ignoring others?
  • Is it tougher to win deals in a new territory compared to mature markets?
  • Are deals that are effectively lost being closed in salesforce?

This last point is critical. Open deals often live on in the eternal hope that one day they will close successful. Here’s how to identify these lame duck deals that are artificially increasing your opportunity win rates.

As The True Story of Dave Apthorp: The Best and the Worst Sales Person reveals, it’s important not to use the win rate metric in isolation.

How to report on opportunity win rates

The video shows how to create the win rate dashboard chart and report shown in this article. Scroll down for details of the Opportunity formula field referred to the video and the report formulas.

Opportunity formula field

The formula used in the Opportunity custom Amount Won field is:

IF(
IsWon = TRUE,
Amount,
0
)

No need to add the field the page layout but make sure it is visible to all relevant profiles.

% Won (Amount) report formula

Here’s the report formula that calculates the Amount Won % using the opportunity field above.

Formula in salesforce report that calculates win rate by opportunity amount.

% Won (Count) report formula

Here’s the report formula that calculates the percentage number of opportunities that have been won in the month.

This report formula calculates win rate by the number of opportunities.

Related Blog Posts

Why You Need To Compare Average Closed Won Opportunity Size

How to use opportunity conversion reports for superior results

How To Stop ‘Closed Lost’ Screwing Up Salesforce Dashboards

5 Easy Tips That Will Make Opportunity Probability Your Trusted Friend

5 Tips to Help You Create Perfect Salesforce Reports

5 Tips to Help You Create Perfect Salesforce Reports

Information allows managers to act; data doesn’t. That’s why effective salesforce reports present information in a way that is quick and easy to assimilate. They draw attention to the essential facts. They allows managers to act, not analyse. So here’s our 5 tip guide to creating effective, action-oriented salesforce reports.

  1. Draw the eye to the key information.
  2. Present information in a structured way.
  3. Remove clutter that distracts from the main message.
  4. Group data into meaningful time periods.
  5. Be consistent in the way colour is used in report charts.

We explain what each tip means and how to achieve it in salesforce. We’ve even included videos to show exactly how to apply each tip to salesforce reports.

1. Draw the eye to key information in salesforce reports

Let’s start by answering the question I’m most often asked about salesforce reports. “How do you use colour highlighting to focus attention on the key data?” Here’s an example of what we mean.

Salesforce report with conditional highlighting so that the eye catches the important information.

The report shows the pipeline opportunities for each Account. We can see the account names on the left, and the opportunity close dates across the top. It’s a report that contains a lot of zeros. The important information is any figure greater than zero. That tells us the Account has opportunities that are due to close in that month. Look at Athena Home Products in the top row. The green highlighting immediately shows that this customer has opportunities in two months – February and July.  United Oil & Gas (third row from the bottom) has open Opportunities in months February though to August. The colour shading is done using the ‘conditional highlighting’ feature. Here’s what the same report looks like without conditional highlighting.

Salesforce report without conditional highlighting makes it much more difficult to see essential information.

The viewer has to work much harder to find the important information. In contrast, conditional highlighting means managers can quickly run an eye over the report. They immediately get to see which accounts are contributing to the pipeline, and when. This video shows how easy it is to set up conditional highlighting on a salesforce report.

Incidentally, this report allows managers to challenge their existing account management and business development strategy. It’s key information for funnel reviews so we’ve created a dedicated blog post that explains how to create and apply the Accounts with Open Opportunities salesforce report.

2. Present information in a structured way

The way data is presented makes all the difference. Structure it well and managers can access the information quickly and easily. Present it badly and they’re left to dig the information out for themselves. And that means, nine times out of ten, salesforce reports should be presented in a matrix format. We’ve published many blog posts that explain how to use dashboards to gain visibility of the sales pipeline. In virtually every case, the underlying information is displayed in a Matrix Report format. The ‘Accounts with Open Opportunities’ report in the conditional highlighting tip is an example of what we mean. In this case the matrix has account names down the left, close dates across the top. The information is accessible in a way that allows managers to absorb it quickly and make decisions on how to act. But here’s an alternative way to present the very same information. This time it’s using the Summary report format.

Summary report makes it much more difficult to understand the data compared to a matrix report.

The report is showing exactly the same data. But the Summary format presents the information in a much less usable and accessible way. In fact the resulting report is so unwieldly we had to truncate the screenshot just to display it in this article. So unless there is a compelling reason to do otherwise, insist that your salesforce reports are created in Matrix, rather than Summary format. This video shows you exactly how to create a Matrix report.

3. Remove clutter that distracts from the main message

When it comes to sales performance reports, very often less really is more. For most sales managers time is short. So salesforce reports need to present the information clearly and concisely. But very often salesforce reports contain distracting clutter. And chief amongst the clutter is the Record Count. That’s the number of records in the system that make up a total dollar figure. Think about the Accounts with Open Opportunities report. Only the essential information – the value of deals due to close each month – is visible in the report. Here’s an alternative version of the same report. This time it includes the Record Count.

Including the record count in a salesforce report often adds unnecessary clutter.

Does the Record Count add compelling value to the report? Well, it tells us that for American Banking Corporation, the £136,000 that is due to close in March, is made up of two opportunities not one. But the sacrifice we have to make for this piece of information is a lot more data in the body of the report. Plus it almost doubles the overall length of the report, meaning the viewer has to scroll much further down to see the full report. It event means we have to truncate the screen shot to fit it into our blog post! So unless the Record Count adds meaningful value in your salesforce report, remove it. Here’s another example of clutter. Again the same report. But could you manage effectively using this report?

If details are shown in the salesforce report it is much harder to access management information.

What’s happened here is that the report is set to run with ‘Show Details’. In other words, when the viewer runs the report it immediately presents the full underlying information. But effective managers will look at the summary information first. If they need more detail – in this case information on the specific opportunities that make up the report – they can get it by expanding the report. But in the first case, unless a piece of data adds compelling value to the report, remove it. And that process usually begins with the Record Count and setting the report to run with Hide Details. Watch the video on matrix reports to see how to remove the Record Count and set the report to run with details hidden.

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4. Group data into meaningful time periods

Most salesforce reports that provide information on the sales pipeline or won revenue summarise the data by date.

For example, managers want to see the value of deals due to close each month. That’s what our Open Opportunities by Account report tells us.

But managers need the information in meaningful time periods. For many of our clients, the sales cycle is typically three to five months. So salesforce reports need to present the value of opportunities due to close for each calendar month.

Conversely Taylor Woodrow operate in the construction industry. There the sales cycle is often three to five years. So salesforce pipeline reports present the information in calendar quarters. For managers in Taylor Woodrow, that’s a meaningful period of time.

In either case, it’s not relevant to present the pipeline in daily segments.

But look at what happens when you first apply a date to a salesforce report. Here’s our Accounts with Open Opportunities report again.

By default salesforce groups by individual dates on reports.

The Close Dates across the top automatically group by individual dates.

That’s a severe case of not being able to see the wood for the trees.

Fortunately it’s easy to fix (we show it in the video on tip #2), it’s just not always done!

5. Be consistent in the use of colour in salesforce report charts

A picture paints a thousand words. That’s why every great salesforce report has a chart.

Everyone can assimilate information quickly from a chart. But doing it efficiently means having consistency across charts in different reports. Particularly in the use of colours.

And unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

Have a look at the two salesforce report charts below, taken from the same salesforce environment.  Both charts show the sales pipeline by close date, grouped by opportunity stage.

Use consistent colors across report charts showing the same data.

The size of the pipeline in both cases is the same. But there’s a major difference.

Different colours have been assigned to the opportunity stages in each chart. On the left hand chart, for example, opportunities in the Prospecting Stage are in blue. On the right hand chart, they’re in brown.

And that’s confusing.

Even more so if you have these two charts alongside each other on the same dashboard.

It happens because salesforce dynamically assigns colours to charts. Ask your administrator to use the feature, “Assign Fixed Colors to Picklist Values” in the configuration area.

So use these tips to increase the impact of the salesforce reports in your business. Make it easy for viewers to quickly access the information they need. Present the information effectively. Remove clutter.

The result will be information, not data. Information that drives the sales pipeline and sales performance.

Good luck.

Related Blog Posts

Why You Need To Compare Average Closed Won Opportunity Size
How to use opportunity conversion reports for superior results
How To Stop ‘Closed Lost’ Screwing Up Salesforce Dashboards
5 Easy Tips That Will Make Opportunity Probability Your Trusted Friend