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What is a Sales Pipeline Report? What Should it Include?

The sales pipeline report is one of the chief components of executive dashboards. It helps monitor the effectiveness of the B2B sales process and forecast future revenues. Generating strategic insights from the sales pipeline report requires a careful analysis of its key performance indicators (KPIs) over time. Below is a note explaining the contents, KPIs, and insights offered by the sales pipeline report.

What is a Sales Pipeline Report?

A sales pipeline report is a visual representation of the number and value of all deals at each stage of the B2B sales process at any given moment. For example, typical sales pipeline milestones may be as follows:
• Lead identified
• Initial contact made
• Opportunity qualified
• Proposal sent
• Evaluation completed
• Negotiation done
• Purchase contract signed

These stages may differ for different businesses, depending on the nature of the sales process.

At any given moment, the sales pipeline report should display,
• The number of opportunities at each of the above stages
• The total monetary value of the deals at each stage
• The weighted value of the deals at each stage – based on the probability of conversion assigned to each stage

In most B2B sales processes, the probability of conversion increases substantially as the lead enters the last couple of stages in the sales pipeline. Accordingly, opportunities in these stages represent a higher weighted value in the sales pipeline report.

What Does a Pipeline Report Show?

To derive actionable insights from the sales pipeline reports, you need to track its key performance indicators (KPIs). These KPIs represent the health of the sales pipeline and indicate any corrective actions you need to take.

Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs)

These are leads generated through marketing efforts that have also been contacted and qualified by the sales team as genuine and worth following up on.

Average Win Rate

It represents the conversion rate from lead to purchase. It signifies the effectiveness of the overall sales process. You can also track the conversion rate at each stage of the pipeline. It is known as the average advancement rate for a particular stage.

Average Time to Win

It represents the length of the sales cycle. It states the number of days it takes for a lead to traverse through all the sales pipeline stages and convert into a purchase.

Sales Pipeline Velocity

Enterprises track this KPI for a monthly period. It states the total monetary value of the sales moving across the pipeline in a month. The higher the sales velocity, the better the health of the sales pipeline.

How to Use the Sales Pipeline Report KPIs?

You can drill down each of the above KPIs by filtering data about specific opportunities, sales reps or teams, or products for a more granular view.

Allocating marketing budgets

You can determine the most effective marketing touchpoints by tracking the average win rate for each SQL source. Higher marketing budgets should be allocated to channels generating SQLs that end up converting to purchases consistently. It helps maintain a healthy sales pipeline.

Monitoring Sales Rep Performance

You can track the KPIs filtered for each sales rep or the sales team in your organization. It gives a clear picture of the conversion efficiency for each sales unit. For example, if a particular sales rep takes more time than expected at the proposal stage or a specific sales team has a low overall win rate, the management can step in and offer the necessary support.

Making Sales Forecasts

The sales pipeline velocity can help you predict the expected sales value for the month or even beyond that. Forecasts also help sales reps understand if they are on track to meet their monthly targets and take early corrective action.

Enhancing Sales Techniques

The sales pipeline view can help identify bottlenecks in the sales process. Reviewing the average advancement rate at each stage can help you understand which parts of the sales process need to be more efficient. For example, if sales deals are getting stuck at the negotiation stage irrespective of the sales team involved, it might be due to a manual and lengthy approval process.

Sales Pipeline Reporting Tools

Sales pipeline report templates with auto-calculated KPIs are available with AI-powered B2B sales automation tools. These tools integrate seamlessly with your marketing pipeline and CRM platforms to gather marketing qualified leads (MQLs). Your sales reps must update the status of each opportunity as it progresses through the pipeline. You can configure customized pipeline stages aligning with your sales process. In-built visual dashboards offer a real-time view of the sales pipeline and related KPIs for effective pipeline management.