If you’ve ever asked if your pipeline reporting could be improved, you fit right in. If you think you have bad or misleading sales reports, you probably do, and it’s almost always 1 or more of 6 things.
1. Your CRM doesn’t match your sales process.
CRM systems have become easy to “set up” in the last couple of years. Tools like HubSpot, Pipedrive, Nimble, etc, advertise same-day setup. This sounds great, and technically can be done. Often, the thing that isn’t thought about is the process. Do you have a consistent process, that is followed by each rep, for each type of deal? If you don’t, then no matter how you set up the CRM and no matter what system it is, your data won’t be accurate because there is no consistent logic to report off of.
2. Your sales team isn’t consistently following the sales process.
Congrats on your kick-ass sales process. You’ve spent hours tearing your process apart and building out a detailed consistent process. You’ve even trained your reps on it. However if your team doesn’t consistently follow the process, if they are skipping deal stages, or waiting too long to create a deal, or forgetting to add notes to a deal, progress it through the pipeline, or associate the right contacts and company with the deal, these things will all negatively impact the quality of your date.
3. You are trying to measure the wrong things.
Great processes and consistent use of those processes are fantastic, but you need to also make sure that you are measuring the right things, and have enough data volume to get a good baseline. If you only close 50 deals a year, deal velocity is going to be hard to get a solid read on, but you should be able to get a relatively good close rate and conversion rate from stage to stage.
4. Your reports and dashboards aren’t built properly.
Often I see reports and dashboards that aren’t built properly, a good dashboard will show you a few things. First off, it will show you actionable data. Secondly, it will either show you that you are on track to hit your business goals or show you that based on current data you will miss your goal unless you change something. Thirdly, a dashboard composed of the right reports will expose data inconsistencies and macro trends like changing average deal size, lengthening or shortening of the sales process, etc.
5. Your data set isn’t large enough.
Business owners tend to hear stories of sexy data that can give them incredible insight. The problem is, many of those stories come from enterprise organizations with 100’s of reps and 1000’s of deals. Their data sets are huge, and as such, they can tease out minute pieces of data that can have a big impact on their business. But if you have a 2-5 person sales team closing 100-300 deals a year, you have a very different data set. Your focus needs to be on getting consistent movement through the pipeline, so you can get accurate conversion rates between stages, as well as measure the velocity of the deals moving through the pipeline. If you can nail these two metrics, it will do more for your forecasting and cashflow than nearly any other data.
6. The wrong tech stack/software
Finally, sometimes organizations have the wrong tech stack or the wrong subscription to the right technology. You must have the right technology, but that shouldn’t be a decision made on sleek demo calls, or based on great marketing. Technology should be chosen based on the organization’s strategy for growing revenue, the makeup of the client-facing teams, and the information that needs to be captured, tracked, and utilized for your strategy.
If you want to discuss the tools and process your sales team is using, and look at ways to improve your data collection and reporting process, swing on over to my contact page and set up a meeting!