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7 Lead Conversion Metrics You Should Be Tracking (But Probably Aren’t)

7 Lead Conversion Metrics You Should Be Tracking (But Probably Aren’t)

This blog post explains the Lead conversion metrics you should be tracking in Salesforce.

Why are these Lead conversion metrics important?

They’re crucial because your business puts a lot of effort into generating converted Leads.

However, you probably don’t know if these Leads are worth their salt.

For example, do the converted Leads passed from Marketing to Sales and contribute much revenue?

In most businesses, it is only possible to answer these questions using anecdotal evidence.

Indeed often, I find businesses are poor at tracking Lead conversion metrics. Sometimes they know how many Leads convert to opportunities, but that’s pretty much it.

Unfortunately, the lack of Lead conversion metrics in some companies means they are unable to figure out how to optimize revenue from converted Leads. In short, they don’t know what is working and what is not.

It also means they do not realize when marketing and sales time waste time on non-productive Leads.

However, to do this analysis, you need to monitor more than just the number of converted Leads.

Fortunately, the Lead conversion metrics I explain are easy to implement. And these metrics give you deep insights into how well converted Leads are performing.

You might be wondering:

What’s the easiest way to build Lead conversion metrics in Salesforce?

Install the free GSP Lead Conversion Metrics Dashboard from the AppExchange. It includes all the charts and conversion metrics I describe in this post.

Lead Conversion Process

The metrics assume you have a valid Lead conversion process in place.

This process includes an effective hand-off process from marketing to sales that ensures Leads do not fall between the cracks.

Use this blog post for advice on implementing a robust Lead conversion process in Salesforce.

What is a Converted Lead?

Let us be clear about the definition of a converted Lead.

Lead conversion occurs when one person (usually in Marketing or Sales) ‘converts’ an existing Lead into an Account, Contact, and Opportunity.

The Sales team pick up the opportunity and drive it through the sales process.

In many businesses, converted leads are the source of most opportunities for new customers (compared to opportunities for existing customers).

For example, a potential customer downloads an eBook. The prospect receives emails over time containing useful material that educates the buyer. The relationship deepens.

The prospect eventually receives a qualification call. If the Lead is ‘qualified,’ then it converts. The resulting opportunity passes to a salesperson.

Contrast this with opportunities for existing customers. In these cases, the salesperson often creates an Opportunity directly on the Account record.

No lead is involved. The opportunity links to an existing customer or prospect Account.

Of course, the number of opportunities resulting from converted Leads compared to the number of opportunities created on existing Accounts is one metric we want to track. We also want to monitor the win rate on both sets of opportunities.

For information on opportunity conversion rates, see this blog post:

How To Measure Opportunity Conversion Rates And Increase Sales

Lead Conversion Metrics

Here are the seven converted Lead metrics I recommend. Measure them all using Salesforce reports and dashboard charts.

1 – Revenue Contribution of Converted Leads.
2 – Opportunity Win Rates from Converted Leads.
3 – Average Opportunity Size from Converted Leads.
4 – Win Rates by Opportunity Owner.
5 – Opportunity Win Rates by Lead Owner.
6 – Opportunity Win Rates by Lead Source.
7 – Opportunity Win Rates by Campaign.

Here’s how each Lead conversion metric delivers insight that helps to increase revenue.

1 – Revenue Contribution of Converted Leads

The Revenue Contribution of Converted Leads metric measures the dollar contribution of converted leads.

It measures the $ value of opportunities from converted Leads. The metric compares this with opportunities that did not come from converted Leads.

The green column in the dashboard chart shows the $ revenue contribution of opportunities created from converted Leads.

The blue column is the revenue from opportunities created directly on existing Accounts.

As we can see, converted Leads contribute around one-third of revenue, although this varies month to month.

Here’s the essential thing about this Lead conversion report and chart: it gives you context for the other Lead conversion metrics that follow.

For example, whether the figure of one-third is good or bad depends upon the context of your business.

If you are a new start-up company, you might expect the contribution from converted leads to be high.

In a well-established, mature company with lots of existing customers, the figure may be lower. That’s because a significant proportion of revenue comes from repeat business.

Remember, like all the charts, you can adjust the report to analyze the numbers further. For example, there may be significant variations by geographical territory or industry.

Use the Revenue Contribution of Converted Leads report and dashboard chart to identify the ratio in your business. Think about whether the percentage and $ contribution figures are right, given the sales growth strategy in your company.

Use the following Lead conversion metrics to investigate further.

2 – Opportunity Win Rates from Converted Leads

In this metric, we are comparing the win rate of opportunities that came from converted Leads versus those opportunities created on existing Accounts.

Remember, a converted Lead will usually result in a new Account.

An existing customer and some prospects will already exist as Accounts.

The report compares opportunities that started life as a Lead, with those opportunities that the salesperson linked to an existing customer or prospect Account.

The win rate is the ratio of opportunities won versus opportunities lost in a given period. In this case, it’s the current Financial Year.

We have two Lead conversion metrics here.

Win Rate by Count. Compares the number of deals won and lost.

Win Rate by Amount. Compares the value of deals won and lost.

The chart shows that on both metrics, the win rate for converted Leads is lower than the win rate for direct opportunities.

That probably makes sense.

In most businesses, it’s easier to win deals with existing customers than it is with new prospects.

However, to grow the company, you can’t just rely on existing clients. You also need new customers. And often, those new customers come from converted Leads.

The chart also shows that for converted Leads, the win rate by Amount is higher than the win rate by Count. Consequently, successful opportunities had a higher than average deal value.

The reverse is true for opportunities created directly on Accounts. These opportunities did not come from converted Leads.

For these opportunities, the opportunities successfully won had a lower than average value. We can see this because the win rate by Count is larger than the win rate by Amount.

We might expect this in many businesses.

Many deals with existing customers may be for add-ons, repeat purchases, or other regular orders that have a lower value than first-time opportunities.

On the other hand, does a low win rate on opportunities from converted Leads indicate that leads are not adequately qualified? Alternatively, are salespeople focusing too much on existing customers, where we naturally expect the win rate to be higher?

Think about the questions this lead conversion metrics prompts you to ask in the context of your business.

3 – Average Opportunity Size from Converted Leads

The previous Lead conversion metric tells us about the win rate of opportunities from converted Leads versus opportunities created directly on an Account.

The Lead metric of Average Opportunity Size compares the average value of deals that came from converted Leads with deals created directly on the Account.

On the chart, “Yes” means the opportunity came from a converted Lead. “No” indicates it did not; it was created directly on the Account.

In this example, the average deal size from opportunities created on an Account is higher than for converted leads.

Should you expect this is your business? Or is the position reversed?

Sometimes we expect the average deal size of opportunities from converted Leads to be higher. That’s true when a significant proportion of opportunities on existing Accounts are smaller, repeat business deals.

Alternatively, in other businesses, the reverse applies.

For example, if your approach is ‘land-and-expand,’ then new customer deals may be smaller. Or they may be trials and prototypes.

Again, it’s essential to interpret the numbers in the context of your business. If appropriate, customize the report to examine this Lead conversion metric by the sales team or territory.

GSP Lead Conversion Dashboard

Download the FREE Dashboard from the AppExchange today

4 – Win Rates by Opportunity Owner

The Lead conversion metric compares the win rate for different salespeople. In other words, by opportunity owner.

Again, we are comparing the win rate by number (record count) and value ($ Amount).

In our example, Nick has a significantly higher win rate on converted Leads compared to opportunities created directly on an Account.

We can see this because the green bar (converted Leads) is bigger than the blue bar (opportunities not from converted Leads).

In contrast, Shaun is more successful at winning deals that did not come from converted Leads.

How do we explain this?

Does Nick follow up more proactively on converted Leads? Is he receiving higher quality converted Leads? Is Shaun farming his existing customer base more successfully for new revenue?

Like other Lead conversion metrics, the numbers tell us what questions to ask rather than giving us the answer.

It’s the answer to our questions that enables us to decide the right action.

For extra reading on win rates follow the recommendations in this blog:

How To Measure Opportunity Conversion Rates And Increase Sales

5 – Opportunity Win Rates by Lead Owner

The previous lead conversion metrics show the win rate for converted Lead and direct opportunities by opportunity owner.

Let’s look from a different perspective.

Many businesses have an inside sales team or SDR team responsible for making qualification calls to Leads.

These teams aim to create meetings for the sales rep, whether internally or field-based.

Therefore, we need to understand how capable different inside sales reps are at creating high-quality opportunities.

This metric examines opportunity win rates by Lead owner. In other words, the person that converted the Lead.

In our example, we can see that a higher proportion of the opportunities that came from Leads owned by Dave successfully closed. The win rate is much higher than the opportunity win rate for Leads owned by Bruce, for example.

Does this mean Dave is doing a better job of warming-up these Leads as part of the qualification process? Is Bruce converting too many low-quality Leads? Alternatively, is Dave handing his Leads to salespeople that respond more quickly?

Alternatively, can Dave increase sales by lowering his ‘qualification threshold’ and increasing the number of leads he converts?

Again, we do not explicitly know the answer. However, we do now know the questions to ask.

6 – Opportunity Win Rates by Lead Source

Assessing win rates by Lead Source (lead conversion metric #6) and Campaign (metric #7) are the final two measures.

A recap on Lead Source.

The Lead Source is a standard picklist field that records the originating source or channel of the Lead.

Examples of Lead Source picklist values are Web, Trade Show, Purchased List, Phone Enquiry, and so on.

When a Lead converts, the Lead Source carries through to the equivalent field on the opportunity. Consequently, we can analyze opportunity outcomes by Lead Source.

Remember, the chart and report are not showing the number of Leads created by the Lead source. Instead, they show the outcome of opportunities from converted Leads by each Lead source.

In our example, some Leads sources perform better. For example, Leads that came from a Partner Referral have a higher conversion rate, at least, as measured by the number of Leads.

However, these leads are smaller in terms of opportunity size. We know that because the win rate by amount is lower than the win rate by record count.

The information means we can examine the effort that goes into generating Leads from different sources and review that in the context of the number of converted Leads generated and the opportunity win rate.

7 – Converted Leads by Campaign

The previous Lead conversion metric tracks the outcome of converted Leads by Lead source.

We can get another perspective by measuring the outcome of converted Leads by Campaign.

This Lead conversion metric provides valuable insight into the value for money of different campaigns.

In our example, Leads from the Tech Meeting perform significantly higher than other Campaigns. All other things being equal, running more of these campaigns is a worthwhile investment in time and money.

For help on using Campaigns, review this blog, The Best Advice You Can Get on Salesforce Campaigns.

And don’t forget, you can get all the Lead conversion metrics and reports described in this blog post by installing free the Lead Conversion Dashboard From GSP from the AppExchange.

Conclusions

Assessing any aspect of sales and marketing performance means coming at the situation from multiple angles.

Understanding the contribution of converted Leads is no exception.

The Lead conversion metrics described in this blog post give you the tools to do that.

Start by quantifying the contribution of converted Leads to revenue. That gives you a starting point and context.

Then review each Lead conversion metric. Ask questions about each metric.

And use the answers to drive revenue.

Lead Conversion Metrics Webinar Recording

Watch this video with myself and Dan Bailey to see the Lead conversion metrics in action. Dan and I also discuss best practices for converting Leads and methods for getting feedback from sales to improve alignment with marketing.

GSP Lead Conversion Dashboard

To implement the dashboard charts and underlying reports described in this video and the webinar recording, install the free Lead Conversion Dashboard from the AppExchange.

There are some simple actions to activate the dashboard after you have installed it. Follow the step-by-step instructions in one of these videos to get this powerful dashboard working for you in your business:

Getting Started with Lightning Setup.

Getting Started with Classic Setup.

And, of course, if you have any questions or need advice, then Get In Touch. We’ll help you out.

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10 Powerful Closed Won Opportunity Reports For 2020

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It is surprising how little effort often goes into measuring closed won deals.

I guess that after all, what’s happened has happened.

In most businesses, much more focus, energy and effort is directed towards the sales pipeline compared to won deals.

But wait a moment.

We can learn from the past.

In other words, we can get insights from historic sales performance that helps turn more deals in the current pipeline into closed won opportunities.

It’s just a question of looking in the right places for those insights. That’s what this blog post is about.

So, here are 10 dashboard charts and reports that analyse closed won opportunities. They give you information on past sales performance that you can apply today to increase revenue.

  1. Closed Won by Month and Territory (or salesperson).
  2. Closed Won Opportunities by Customer Type.
  3. Closed Won Deals by Account.
  4. Won Deals by Product (or Product Family).
  5. Average Size of Closed Won Opportunities.
  6. Opportunity Conversion Rates.
  7. Closed Won Deals by Campaign.
  8. Sales Stage Metrics on Won Deals.
  9. Stage Movement Report for Won Opportunities.
  10. Sales Stage Velocity on Won Opportunities.

In this blog post I’ll show you exactly what I mean by each of these 10 won opportunity reports and how to use the information to drive sales performance.

Before we start:

What exactly do we mean by a closed won opportunity?

A closed won opportunity is a sales deal that has reached the final Stage in your sales cycle. There is a firm commitment to purchase by the customer and the opportunity has reached a probability of 100%. Some sales organisations use terms other than closed won (e.g. booked); either way, no further sales effort needs to take place on this opportunity or deal.

Let’s examine the reports that measure these closed won deals.

1. Closed Won by Month and Territory / Salesperson

This is the place to begin for analyzing closed won opportunities and deals. It’s Chart #1 on our list of 12 Must-Have Salesforce Dashboard Charts.

In this first example, we show closed won opportunities for the current financial year. The chart and underlying report give immediate feedback on sales achieved for each territory.

All other things being equal, the chart tells us that we need to identify ways to increase revenue in the West Territory.

Those with large sales teams should have a dashboard for each territory that then summarizes the information at an individual level. A good way to do this to use a dashboard filter.

Businesses with smaller sales teams – and territory managers – will want to display the information by individual salesperson on the dashboard chart.

We can use the chart to identify potential areas for improvement.

For example, in the individual salesperson chart, Dave Apthorp is the top performer.

Can Dave’s experience and know-how be shared across the team? Can he help Shaun increase his sales performance? Are there other coaching, training and support activities that will boost Shaun’s figures?

Before starting that process however, there are other dashboard charts and sales metrics we can use to analyse closed won opportunities.

This additional information will help us be more specific and targeted in delivering coaching and other sales enablement activities that will increase revenue.

2. Closed Won Report by Customer Type

Generally, it’s quicker and cheaper to sell to existing customers.

However, in order to grow, every business needs to sell to a combination of both existing and new customers.

So, we need to understand whether we have the right mix in our business. That’s based on our companies’ growth strategy, of course.

The Closed Won by Customer Type dashboard chart tells us the mix of sales revenue between new and existing customers.

The chart shows that we have a strong weighting towards existing customers.

Is this a good thing?

Only the growth strategy relating to our business can tell us that. However, having this information about closed won deals means that we can make judgements that will inform our future sales and marketing approach.

Pro Tip: Create a workflow rule in salesforce that updates the Account from Prospect to Customer the first time an opportunity is won.

3. Closed Won by Account

In many businesses there is one customer that contributes a disproportionate amount of revenue. In other companies, sales revenue spreads more evenly.

In either case, knowing your largest 10 customers by closed won deals is essential to implementing your key account management strategy in salesforce.

This dashboard table provides that information.

The same table can be used to show the top 10 customers for each Territory or salesperson. This is a great input in defining the key account strategy at a local level.

In our example the University of Arizona contributes nearly twice as much revenue as the next customer. Probably everyone already knows that is the number one customer.

But it’s likely that there will be less consensus on the other top customers. The closed won by Account dashboard table gives us the hard facts. Use this information to drive account management at the company, territory and salesperson levels.

Awesome Pipeline and Sales Performance Visibility

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4. Closed Won Report by Product

This dashboard chart shows how our closed won revenue splits by product family or product category.

Pro Tip: Most business that use Salesforce should use Products on Opportunities. This blog post gives you more detail on why that is: Bring Your Opportunities To Life With Products.

The chart shows that Generators dominate closed won revenue in our business.

Can revenue be increased for other product categories? It’s likely we want to drill down to the underlying report and see the closed won product information by salesperson, territory and customer.

Then we can initiate specific, targeted management interventions to boost revenue for other products.

We might also want to get further insight by looking at the average deal size. Let’s look at that next.

5. Average Closed Won Deal Size

Analyzing closed won sales by average deal size gives insight for identifying salesperson development needs.

This is especially the case if we add additional information to the dashboard chart that digs below the initial surface.

For example, let’s say that the number of supplementary or add-on products sold alongside the main products influences average deal size.

In this case we have grouped all products into two categories: Core and Optional.

Doing this means we can easily see that the three salespeople have similar average deal sizes in when it comes to core products.

But Dave is selling significantly more Optional products.

This means his overall average deal size is nearly 50% bigger than the next person. This is likely to have a big positive impact on Dave’s total sales for the year.

For full advice on the average deal size metric and how to apply it to increase revenue, read Why You Need To Measure Average Deal Size.

6. Opportunity Conversion / Win Rate Report

Opportunity conversion rates (or win rates) compare the ratio of closed won to closed lost deals for a given time period.

Tracking win rates by company, salesperson, customer type and marketing campaign gives great insights that can help drive revenue.

I recommend tracking opportunity win rates in two ways: by Count and by Value.

That’s what the example chart below shows. It’s the company level win rate by the number and value of opportunities.

In the first two months, the win rate by Amount was higher than the win rate by Count. This means we successfully closed a higher proportion of larger opportunities.

In September the position reverses. The win rate by Count is higher. This means we closed a higher proportion of lower value opportunities.

Are the September figures due to a short-term change in pricing strategy? Did we experiment with changes in remuneration and commission structures? Is the trend attributable to marketplace dynamics?

Of course, drilling down to customer type, territory and salesperson level will give us further insight.

The key thing is that now we are aware of this trend through the dashboard chart. This means we can investigate further and take action to influence the future sales approach and strategy.

For complete guidance on using Conversion / Win Rates in salesforce review How To Use Opportunity Conversion Rates For Superior Results.

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7. Closed Won by Campaign

A key purpose of many marketing campaigns is to produce sales-ready opportunities.

Those opportunities need to convert successfully into closed won revenue. So, we naturally want to know the effectiveness of each Campaign in generating new business.

The Closed Won by Campaign chart tells us this. It shows the revenue arising from each marketing Campaign.

The Spring Trade Show and User Conferences were the two marketing campaigns that yielded the most closed won revenue.

This means the chart is an important tool for gathering the information that will influence future marketing and business development strategy. It gives great insight into the campaigns that we should continue, expand or stop.

Remember that the lead management and conversion process is critical here. If Leads convert without creating an Opportunity, then potentially the data for this valuable metric is lost.

Review this blog post for advice on lead management and conversion steps including downloadable process diagrams.

8. Key Sales Metrics for Closed Won Deals

Here are two powerful metrics that we can use to compare won opportunities with deals still in the funnel.

They give us insight on the quality of the pipeline and help identify deals that have a high risk of slipping from one month to the next.

The two metrics are:

  • Number of Close Date month extensions.
  • Age of the opportunity.

An example:

Let’s say that on average, won deals had slipped from one month to another 1.5 times whilst they were still in the pipeline.

And let’s also say our metrics show that the average sales cycle on won deals is 90 days.

Here’s an example of this information in a chart.

For example, it shows that the average sales life cycle for closed won deals is 90 to 100 days (left axis). The average number of times a closed won deal moved from one month to the next is around 1.5 (the line on the chart).

However, knowing these metrics on won deals means we can apply more scrutiny to the sales pipeline.

For example, let’s say we have a pipeline deal that has been open 150 days and the close date has moved from one month to another 3 times.

This means it’s way above the average on these two metrics.

Are we confident it is still a viable deal?

We only know that by having a closer look at the opportunity. However, using these metrics means we can more easily and quickly identify deal in the funnel that may be unreliable.

For much more on using these key metrics (including instructions on exactly how to get them into your own Salesforce environment, use this blog post:

3 Killer Pipeline Metrics That Highlight When To Be Sceptical

9. Stage Movement for Closed Won deals

The opportunity stage movement report and dashboard chart give valuable information on how our deals arrive at the Closed Won opportunity Stage.

The chart shows the ‘From’ and ‘To’ opportunity Stage movement. In this case, the ‘To’ is filtered to include only the Closed Won stage.

This is real-life data taken from a customer example.

The chart shows that 5 opportunities moved directly from Prospecting to Closed Won. 11 deals moved from Negotiation to Closed Won.

The first value, the one with no ‘From’ Stage, means that 3 deals entered Salesforce directly at the Closed Won Stage.

What can we infer from these numbers?

A disproportionate number of deals jumping from early Stages to Closed Won may mean that salespeople are not maintaining the accuracy of their pipeline opportunities.

It may also mean that deals are deliberately held back until the salesperson is confident of a successful outcome. Sandbagging, in other words.

This means sales managers are missing out on valuable pipeline visibility.

We might also want to know why some deals avoided all pipeline stages. There entered the system immediately as won opportunities. Was the deal done in a single phone call? If not, we again had no sight of the deals whilst they were in the pipeline.

Either way, the dashboard chart is giving us useful insight into the transition of opportunities into Closed Won revenue. Further analysis, at the territory or salesperson level may identify specific trends that will help to boost sales revenue and pipeline visibility in the future.

Incidentally, you can also get great insight into Closed Lost opportunities using a version of this report. In other words, the report shows where deals are leaking from the sales funnel. More information on that report here:

How To Plug A Leaking Funnel In The Right Place

10. Sales Stage Velocity on Won Opportunities

All the reports we’ve looked at can be created as standard in Salesforce. Many are already included in our free GSP Sales Dashboard.

However, here we’re talking about something different: Sales Stage Velocity.

In other words, information about how long both won and lost deals spend in each Opportunity Stage before closing out.

Here’s an example from a customer:

Let’s be clear:

This information is only gathered by using a coded solution. Get in touch to talk to use about this.

What is the chart showing?

The sales cycle for Closed Lost deals is longer than for Closed Won. In part, that’s probably because won deals have more urgency. Plus, of course, we all hang onto lost deals longer than we should in the hope that something might happen soon.

It’s only in the Negotiating Stage that the sales cycle is shorter. That’s probably because we get kicked out of the deal quickly when it gets to that stage!

Now let’s take an example of two salespeople. Peter and Jenny.

Peter has a win rate of 23%. Jenny’s opportunity win rate is 37%.

Look at their sales stage velocity:

Sales Stage Velocity detailed report on Won Opportunities

Peter is rattling through the early stages of the sales cycle. His boss may be pleased to see that he gets his proposals out quickly. But Jenny takes her time.

That pays off in a superior win rate and more speed in the later stages.

As I say, get in touch if you’d like this type of analysis in your own business.

Over To You

The past is the past.

But students of history know there’s much that can be learned from the past.

Begin using these 10 closed won opportunity reports to examine your successful deals today for insights that will increase sales tomorrow.

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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.

Awesome Pipeline and Sales Performance Visibility

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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:

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.

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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.

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