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Sales Pipeline Trend Analysis

One of the most basic requirements of a dashboard is one of the most often overlooked - trending.

In the arena of sales analytics -pipeline trends provide direct visibility into whether the pipeline is growing or shrinking over time. Using interactive drill down and filtering tools, users can get a more granular view on how that trend is playing out for each sales rep and/or product.

Not all CRM provide 'out of the box' trend capabilities - however with add-ons and additional configuration it is possible. To get full trending capability, we must have visibility to:

  • CRM Workflow - to capture key events and changes that have occurred. This includes capturing all of the relevant data attributes, and can become quite comprehensive as the system grows
  • Audit Tables - to provide data of past periods to compare with current and future periods. Visibility into the audit history is often the most expensive and time consuming to implement.
  • Trend Latency - the frequency of trending is determined by the stage of the pipeline and how long the cycle time for a particular phase is. Different products and deal sizes have different cycle times, so trending latency only needs to be appropriate to how the insight is applied, and in what timeframe any change in activity is likely to impact the outcome. In most cases, a weekly snapshot of the pipeline is sufficient. This helps to avoid the potential noise captured in day to day changes, and prevent premature perceptions, actions and decisions.

Data Attributes For Sales Pipeline Trending

Determining which columns of data related to the opportunity should be stored n the trending table is probably the most critical question to answer. Consider this in broad terms and pull in all attributes relevant today as well as those that may be relevant tomorrow.This will include: sales stage, estimated amount, deal owner, territory, country, state, city, postal code, and currency.

Store the data at the transactional level so that the trending table has one row of data for each opportunity extracted on a given date. This will allow the end users to track directly back to the record involved if there are ever questions about the validity of the data and it allows for easier pivoting and slicing of the data as users drill into reports.

Next: Dashboards for Sales Managers

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