Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Big is beautiful. At least when it comes to pipeline size.
That’s all other things being equal, of course. Bigger is better, assuming the sales pipeline only contains deals of the right quality. To make sure this is the case, there are a number of dashboard charts and reports that accurately measure sales pipeline quality.
So, here are the four salesforce dashboard charts and underlying reports that accurately measure the size of the sales pipeline.
1. Pipeline size by Close Date and Stage
If you only create one pipeline size dashboard chart then make it this one. It’s the starting point for any funnel review focused on pipeline size.
The dashboard chart shows the size of the pipeline by Close Date. The individual segments group the pipeline size by Opportunity Stage.
Why this chart is useful
Use this chart to assess the size and strength of the pipeline, both near term and into the future.
Here are three examples of the insights this chart gives.
- Pipeline size this month. The dashboard chart in our example shows the pipeline for September is £2.5M. Let’s assume the typical sales cycle is 3 months. In which case, we need to confirm how many of those deals in the Prospecting Stage can be relied upon to successfully close this month.
- Negotiation Pipeline. October and November both have deals at the Negotiation Stage. Is it really going to take several months to conclude these opportunities? Maybe. But it is also probably worth investigating whether these deals can be brought forward to boost this months’ revenue.
- End of year pipeline. December shows an upturn in the size of the pipeline. We need to know if this is realistic. Is there a compelling reason why more deals will close this month? Sometimes December 31st is entered into opportunities on the basis of, “well, it’s bound to close sometime this year”. If so, then the December pipeline size is overstated.
If you like the sound of this dashboard chart that measures pipeline size then read “If You Only Create One Chart Make It This One” (video included).
Incidentally if you have the same problem as Colin Parish – lots of opportunities with close dates in the past – here’s what to do about it.
2. Standard funnel size dashboard chart
This chart shows the pipeline size in the form of a traditional sales funnel.
It’s often the first chart that gets created on the dashboard because it’s the one that resembles a traditional funnel.
Why this chart is useful
Actually, we have mixed views about this chart.
The funnel chart is a good way to check whether the pipeline is in proportion.
In the chart above, for example, the value of deals in the Investigating Stage and Customer Evaluating Stage is almost identical. This suggests a shortage of pipeline in the earlier Investigating Stage. It’s highlighting that the funnel is out of kilter.
Here’s another example. Look at the funnel size chart below.
The total pipeline is exactly the same. But the pipeline is short of deals at the first Opportunity Stage, Prospecting. Again, it’s highlighting a sales revenue problem down the road.
But there’s several things to watch out for with this chart.
First, there’s not time context with this chart. It shows the total size of the pipeline, irrespective of when those deals are likely to close.
Second, the shape of the dashboard chart doesn’t vary with the amount of pipeline at each Stage. What does vary is the height of the slices and the numbers within them.
So be careful. This pipeline size dashboard chart is a good one to eyeball every week. It describes whether the total pipeline is in proportion. And that’s a good reason to have it on your dashboard.
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3. Pipeline size dashboard metrics
When is a dashboard chart not a chart? When it’s a dashboard Metric.
Here’s an example of what we mean.
A salesforce dashboard metric gives a single total figure that it pulls from the underlying report.
So, to easily view the total size of the pipeline, use a metric.
Here are two other examples. First, the total value of open opportunities due to close this month.
And second, the size of the pipeline due to close next month.
What it’s good for
Dashboard metrics give an immediate understanding of the overall size of the pipeline.
In the example above, if you know your sales target for next month £0.5M, then all other things being equal, you’re probably in good shape. If the target is £1.5M you’ve got a problem. But least you know there’s a problem, and that gives you chance to do something about it.
4. Trend in the size of the pipeline
This chart measures the trend in the size of the pipeline. It’s called the As-At Historical Pipeline Trend report and dashboard chart.
The chart shows the size of the pipeline As-At the first day of each month. We can see here that the month-on-month trend is positive. The pipeline is getting bigger.
What it’s good for
Effective sales managers know the size of the pipeline at any point in time.
But they also know the trend in the size of the pipeline. The trend tells them whether they are doing the right things. Moving in the right direction. Making headway.
This dashboard chart also comes with a little sister that measures the trend in pipeline size on a daily and weekly basis. Read this blog post to find out more about pipeline size trend dashboard charts.
Pipeline size salesforce dashboard
Here’s what a salesforce dashboard might look like with these four charts that measure sales pipeline size.
The dashboard charts give sales executives the essential information on pipeline size. And the bigger the size of the pipeline, the more you are likely to sell.
All other things being equal.
But size is no good without high quality. It’s important to identify which deals need to be questioned in terms of close dates. That’s why we’ve also published blog posts that demonstrate specific dashboard charts to measure the quality of deals in the sales funnel. Combine with the pipeline quality charts with pipeline size charts to get the complete management picture.
For help with all things dashboards, of course, don’t hesitate to get in touch.