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Sales Pipeline Report Helps Revenue Performance

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

Whether an online operation is one person who does it all or a much bigger operation with an entire sales staff, a pipeline report is one of the ways a smartly managed site can achieve better revenue numbers.

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

An account executive who makes numerous 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 pick up the slack.

How to Create a Pipeline Report

A basic pipeline report can be done 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.

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 shot at making the revenue budget.

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.”

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 be done now and then. It is most effective when it is reviewed and updated 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 better than nothing.

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 be prepared to 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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