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Sales Pipeline Report Helps Revenue Performance

A direct sales pipeline report is an insightful way to increase the odds of success with online advertising.

What is a pipeline report? It is a detailed list of accounts that salespeople have pitched but not closed. Whether an online business is one person who does it all or a much bigger operation with a sales staff, a pipeline report is a useful tactic for increasing revenue.

Consider a scenario where such as report doesn’t exist.

An account executive makes numerous sales pitches over time. One day the manager wonders why the AE isn’t making budget.

The manager asks a few simple questions. How many proposals are in the field? How large is each proposal? What is the likelihood that they will close?

If the AE answers, “I don’t know,” then the answer says a lot about why the AE is not making budget.

In addition to providing greater insight about online direct sales, a pipeline report serves another crucial purpose. If an account executive leaves the operation, the report makes it much easier for the rest of the staff to identify and pick up those accounts.

How to Create a Pipeline Report

A basic pipeline report is doable in a spreadsheet. It might include:

  • Name of the account
  • Total amount pitched
  • Date of pitch
  • Date of followup
  • Probability of closing
  • When a final answer is expected

Details of individual prospects are helpful to management, and the totals are even more helpful.

For an operation with a sales staff, the spreadsheet can have a tab for each account executive and a total showing the totals.

The totals can include the number of proposals out in the field. It also can total up the dollars that have been proposed. If an AE has 20 proposals in the field at $10,000 apiece, the total is $200,000.

The probability of closing is stated as a percentage, such as 50 percent, 70 percent and 90 percent.

Close Ratio is Key Metric

Knowing an average close ratio is an important sales tactic. The close ratio is the percentage of pitched prospects that sign a deal over a specified period of time.

If 10 percent is an average close ratio, the AE might bring in $20,000 for the month. If the AE’s budget is $20,000, then the AE has a good reason to contune producing $200,000 in proposals at any one time.

But if the spreadsheet shows 30 proposals in the field at an average of $5,000 apiece, the total is $150,000. At a 10 percent probability of closing, the AE is likely to bring home $15,000 against that budget of $20,000.

The report reveals that the AE either has to pitch more business soon or find a way to increase the total dollars of each pitch — or both.

Tracking and Distributing

A pipeline report is not something to do now and then. It is most effective when salespeople review and update it regularly. Weekly is ideal.

Tracking is best done not only by the manager but also in a joint discussion with individual AEs. Even 15 minutes once a week is plenty of time to do the review.

In preparing for the meeting, the AE should update his or her tab and send it to the manager before meeting so the manager can ask the right questions in the least amount of time.

A pipeline report is a simple but revealing tool that takes a matter of minutes to prepare each week with input from AEs. It is an essential tool for any manager of online sales.

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