Analyzing sales data is essential for refining your sales processes and predicting future revenue. The Ascent describes Pipedrive’s reporting features and how they can benefit your small business.
Motivating a sales team involved as much fear as intimidation in the style of David Mamet’s real estate sales “competition”. Glengarry Glen Ross: First place gets a Cadillac Eldorado and second place gets a set of steak knives. Third place? You are fired.
The development of customer relationship management (CRM) software, however, has led to a data-driven approach to the sales process. We no longer rely on old canards like some sellers have and some don’t. Instead, one of the many benefits of CRM is the ability to closely examine each stage of your sales pipeline to identify areas of concern and capitalize on your strengths.
While it’s easy to get lost in the weeds with CRM sales reports with multiple data points, The Ascent’s Pipedrive review found it to be the easiest CRM software to use, and this usability extends to its account management reporting features.
3 types of reports offered by Pipedrive
Pipedrive CRM reports provide actionable insights for your entire sales process, from qualifying leads to closing deals. Pipedrive generates pre-formatted reports or lets you create your own. In detail, they detail what your sales team has done to better inform future sales strategies.
Pipedrive has three categories of reports: Activity Effort, Pipedrive Performance, and Sales Performance. We will take a close look at each.
1. Activities Effort
Activity effort reports provide insight into your sales team’s baseline productivity when adding and completing “activities”. Pipedrive has six predefined activities:
- To eat lunch
Basic activity effort reports include activities added, activities completed, emails sent, and emails received. Generate reports for your entire sales team or filter by individual to find out who is best at generating leads or who is best at nurturing leads.
2. Pipedrive Performance
Activity tracking alone doesn’t tell the whole sales story, because tangible results are separate from busy work that leads nowhere. Track the status and resolution of your deals with Pipedrive’s four performance reporting categories:
- The offers have started: Number of offers initiated, status of each and associated products
- Transaction progress: Deals in your sales pipeline broken down by stage or assigned user
- Transaction speed: Average time from creation of a trade to its designation as lost or won
- Chord Conversion: Percentage of deals lost or won at different stages of the sales pipeline
Filter these reports by users, users over time, deal stage, or deal stage over time for individual and sales team performance. Enable Pipedrive’s Products feature to track which products are most frequently associated with deals and track how each product has performed over time in terms of won deals.
3. Commercial performance
Like the Randy Newman song “It’s the Money That Matters”, Pipedrive understands that your sales efforts come down to one key metric: the bottom line. Its sales performance reports drill down into the hows and whys of lost and won business and project your future revenue, including breakdowns of:
- Offers won: Total number of deals won, deals per user, and value
- Lost deals: Number of deals lost per user, stage and reason
- Revenue forecast: Forecast inbound revenue based on won, lost and pending transactions
Sales performance reports are about pattern recognition. Do sales vary at certain times of the year? Are deals being lost at specific points in your pipeline? This information allows you to reorganize and refine your sales processes to maximize revenue generation.
How to customize and leverage your reports in Pipedrive
A maxim in computing is “garbage in, garbage out” (GIGO). The quality of the output depends on the quality of the input. The same goes for your custom Pipedrive reports: you need to carefully configure your sales pipelines and associated key performance indicators (KPIs) for the best data analysis.
1. Create your sales pipelines
First, define your sales pipelines from start to finish. I say “pipelines” because you likely have multiple sales processes, such as inside and outside sales, online sales, or product-specific sales funnels.
Pipedrive’s default sales pipeline has five stages:
- Contact established
- Demo planned
- Proposal made
- Negotiations have started
Use the Pipeline drop-down menu to create new sales pipelines. The edit icon on the right lets you edit the current pipeline, including rearranging, renaming, and/or adding new stages.
Be strict but flexible when customizing a sales pipeline: identify important milestones and stages without getting too granular or prescriptive. A 30-step pipeline takes too much time to manage, to the detriment of actual sales activities. A good rule of thumb is to have five to seven step sales processes.
2. Customize activities
Pipedrive includes six predefined activities, but you can also create custom activities specific to your company or industry. Those listed in the right column in the screenshot below include Brainstorming, Presentations, and Reservations.
When I was a textbook publisher, for example, the majority of our sales came from college teaching departments that adopted our books. Key selling activities were identifying the faculty member who was the point person for a potential adoption, contacting them regularly, and scheduling a department-wide presentation of a text and its ancillary materials.
3. Increase sales pipeline efficiency
Business-to-business (B2B) sales typically have a longer lead time than business-to-business (B2C) sales. It is therefore essential to track the average speed of transactions, i.e. the total duration of your sales cycle, broken down by stage. Identifying when deals are won or lost by stage also helps troubleshoot to improve your deal conversion rates.
InEvent develops event management software, and inside sales manager Carlos Pacheco said, “It was a mess before we started using Pipedrive.” With Pipedrive, InEvent consolidated their sales and customer information into a single CRM database.
The result? Thanks to Pipedrive’s workflow automation, InEvent’s marketing department sent only qualified leads from its prospecting efforts to sales reps, which increased conversion rates.
4. Categorize reasons for lost business
Winning business is great, but the reasons why business is lost can be more instructive for your future endeavors because failure is the production of unexpected knowledge. Pipedrive allows users to write their own responses as to why a deal was lost, but account admins can create predefined reasons to better categorize this information.
Is a particular salesperson having trouble at a specific stage of the sales pipeline? Is a competitor underestimating your prices at the last hour? Identify your areas of greatest vulnerability for remediation.
I spent about 10 years as a college English teacher before moving into textbook publishing. When I was teaching, I shunned the additional resources for instructors—test banks, chapter outlines, and student writing or discussion prompts—included in textbooks because I had an unwavering belief: no one says so. me how to teach.
However, after losing several adoptions of our first semester college skills manual, I realized it was because we didn’t offer additional online resources comparable to those of our competitors. Of course, teachers don’t want to be told how to do their job, but neither do they want to reinvent the wheel with a new adoption. We began to grow our resources of instructors and students, which made this title more marketable.
5. Revenue forecasts
Another useful automated Pipedrive report is the revenue forecast based on your won, lost, and pending deals. Knowing when you will – and won’t – have cash on hand helps you make key decisions about tax payments, capital expenditures, and operating costs.
Typically, about two-thirds of textbook publishers’ annual revenue comes in September and October, when payments for fall semester orders arrive.
Spring orders make up another quarter of sales and summer school sales make up the rest. Knowing this is helpful, but Pipedrive’s more specific revenue forecasts, especially as they incorporate the likelihood of pending deals, allow for better high-level budget planning.
Maximize your sales with Pipedrive reports
Whether you’re new to the in-depth analysis of CRM sales reports or you’re a regular, Pipedrive reports allow you to help your sales team instead of punishingly shouting things like “Coffee is for sales people only!” ” Still, if you want to learn more about the dark side of inside sales, plan a movie night with your sales team to watch Glengarry Glen Rossso everyone can breathe a sigh of relief when it’s over.