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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.

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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:

IsWon = TRUE,

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.

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