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What Is a Sales Funnel Report and How Is It Useful?

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A sales funnel report is an indispensable tool for your sales team that can help you figure out where and how to refine your sales processes. Sales funnel reports are a crucial part of business analytics because they provide valuable insights into your sales success.

Read on to learn what a sales funnel report can tell you, the difference between a sales funnel and a marketing funnel, and how to use customer relationship management (CRM) reporting tools to optimize your funnel.

What is a sales funnel?

In a sales organization, a funnel represents the number of prospects you have in each pipeline stage, and the conversion rates of prospects through those stages. It looks something like this:

Sales Funnel Report

Sales funnels are useful because they show you the stages of your pipeline that are converting well (hooray!) and help you identify the not-so-successful parts of your pipeline where leads are getting snagged or floating away.

They’re also a big help with sales forecasting; by knowing your average conversion rates in each pipeline stage, you’ll be able to estimate how much revenue your current set of active leads will likely generate.

Related: Do you know the difference between a sales pipeline and a sales funnel?

Sales funnel stages

The stages of a sales funnel reflect your organization’s existing pipeline stages. Sales funnel stages typically look something like this:

Once again, your sales funnel measures your prospects’ conversions through these stages, which is instrumental in helping your team determine which sales tactics are working, and which need to be overhauled.

What is a sales funnel report?

A sales funnel report is an analysis of your company’s sales funnel. These reports may track a wide variety of metrics, including:

  • The volume and value of leads in your pipeline
  • A lead’s likelihood of being won at each pipeline stage
  • Where your leads are getting stuck
  • How effective your sales team is at advancing leads 
  • If your sales reps are meeting their goals 

Creating a sales funnel report involves deciding which metrics to track and gathering and synthesizing the data to reach the right conclusions. Some CRM platforms create sales funnel reports automatically, dynamically updating your conversion rates at each funnel stage over time. 

Benefits of using a sales funnel report

What are the benefits of using a sales funnel report? Take a look at some of the most common advantages a sales funnel report can bring to your company:

  • See into the health of your sales pipeline: Knowing what’s cooking in your pipeline can help you develop an action plan to turn more of those leads into customers. And a sales funnel report provides the visualization you need to understand what’s working and what isn’t.
  • Track each stage in the sales journey: Another benefit of using a sales funnel report is the ability to track every step your leads take as they move through your pipeline, from qualify to pitch to close. 
  • Gain insights into team member performance: Each member of your sales team plays an important role in your business success. With a sales funnel report, you can drill down into the areas where each rep excels and where there’s room for improvement. 
  • Optimize your sales process with funnel report insights: With the insights you’ve gained from your sales funnel report, you’ll be able to develop solutions to help you have a more effective sales process. For example, you might find that launching a targeted email drip campaign to prospects at a certain stage in your pipeline helps them convert more quickly. 

Solving issues in your sales funnel report

With a sales funnel report, you can identify the weak points in your pipeline and make targeted improvements in the right stages. There are many sales process issues your sales funnel report might help you identify. Here’s a breakdown of some of the most common, along with tips to help you resolve them:

1. Your leads aren’t converting past the qualification stage

Ask yourself, “is this really a lead?” You might want to do some adjusting to your lead-gen process, or how you qualify leads in the first place. Are you targeting the right companies? Are your expectations for buyer-fit reasonable? A little bit of analysis will go a long way to make sure you’re really filling the pipeline with sales qualified leads.

2. Your leads aren’t converting past the meeting stage

You’ve described your product and your offer, and people aren’t buying. The biggest opportunity for improvement at this stage is to refine your offer to ensure that it is focused on the buyer. Don’t creep them out by trying to insert your solution into all of their pain points, as if you’re the magical fix-all they’ve been waiting for. Get to know them and their unique set of problems before speaking about your solution. It might also be worth it to brush up on your sales pitch.

Related: 19 ways to nail your next sales presentation

3. Your leads aren’t converting past the proposal stage

You thought your sales pitch generated interest, but when you followed up with a proposal and tried to get a commitment, they went silent on you. What happened?

Does your proposal need work? Did your suggested timeline or price structure make them balk? Did the pointy-haired boss shoot you down?

There could be many reasons why you’re struggling to convert at the proposal stage. It’s important to get as much feedback from your prospects as possible and tailor your processes to make your proposal more acceptable.

Related: How to create a sales funnel with landing pages

How is a marketing funnel different than a sales funnel?

“Marketing funnel” (or “purchase funnel“) is a term commonly used by marketing teams to visually represent the buyer’s journey as a prospect learns about your offer, compares your product or service with other solutions in the market, and eventually makes a decision to purchase.

The labels TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU refer to the top of the funnel, the middle of the funnel, and the bottom of the funnel. Each stage of the marketing funnel represents a different step in the buyer’s journey based on their overall awareness of your product or solution, and is influenced by the marketing content they’ve been interacting with.

TOFU:

The top of the marketing funnel is comprised of buyers who are just becoming aware of your product. They may have just visited your website, read a piece of content, or engaged with a social media post. They’re not ready to buy yet, but they’re in the process of learning more about your company. SEO tactics and online advertising ensures that your top-of-funnel content is highly discoverable, so that more potential buyers can encounter it.

MOFU:

The middle of the marketing funnel consists of conversions from the top of the funnel. These are people who have engaged with your marketing content—perhaps by filling out a survey, attending a webinar, or downloading a piece of educational content—and are now evaluating your company against competitors. At this stage, you begin to target them with content and information that positions your product or service as the best solution to their pain points.

BOFU:

The bottom of the marketing funnel is where the magic (selling) happens. It is appropriate to target people at this stage with requests for a demo, but you don’t want to be too eager to close that you start spamming them. Valuable marketing assets in this stage include customer success stories and comparison sheets, which make the buyer totally comfortable with your solution before your sales team goes in for the close.

How to get the most out of your sales funnel report

Whether you create your own sales funnel report or use software to generate one from your sales data, there are a few things you can do to make sure it’s serving its purpose. Here are three tips for getting the most value from your sales funnel report:

  • Use high-quality data: Sales reporting and analytics is only as helpful as the data you use, so make sure it’s high-quality. Get rid of any redundant, inaccurate, or irrelevant data that could muddy the water and keep you from drawing the most accurate conclusions.
  • Use visualization: One of the best benefits of a sales funnel report is its visualization of your sales metrics. You can use a sales funnel report’s bar graph or pie chart visualization to quickly analyze your data instead of sifting through a pile of numbers.
  • Use the right tools: Gathering, filtering, and organizing all your sales data yourself can be a lot of work — and there’s an easier way to generate a sales funnel report. Find a CRM with powerful reporting tools that will generate a sales funnel report for you. Look for one that will let you drill down by sales rep, product, lead source, and more so you get exactly the information you need to make improvements.
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Optimize your sales funnel with Nutshell

A sales funnel report plays a key role in any sales strategy by helping you figure out where to re-focus your efforts in order to close the most deals. And using the right tools makes all the difference.

At Nutshell, we’ve designed our CRM to give you insight into your most important sales and marketing processes — including your sales funnel. With features like reporting and analytics, pipeline management, and sales automation, Nutshell has the tools you need to make more sales.

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