Many companies struggle to combine sales and marketing data into a single report. They guess at how leads move through the buying process from white-paper downloads to prospecting calls from the sales team.
Using standard functionality in Salesforce and a marketing automation system like Pardot, we can build nurturing content and workflows to automate much of the beginning phases of the customer journey. Revenue funnel reporting combines data from the CRM and marketing automation systems to track the performance of each stage in the sales and marketing process. These reports will help us answer questions like: How long does it take most leads to become paying customers? Where are leads dropping off or getting stuck in my process? Which marketing channels have the highest velocity (the rate at which leads move through the pipeline)?
Accessing the data to answer these questions can unlock a wealth of insights, supporting managers in both short-term and long-term planning.
The Benefits of Funnel Reporting
At Nuvem, we encourage clients to adopt a standard sales process—a series of steps that leads will go through as they learn about your products and services. After leads receive a downloadable white paper, the next step could be a one-to-one email from a sales rep, providing links to additional product information. The third step could be a follow-up email asking to schedule a call. If these steps remain consistent for every lead, we’ve built the first stages of a customer journey.
To analyze the whole customer journey, from the first touch point to the closing sale, many CRMs offer a few standard reporting options. In Salesforce, a funnel report can be generated to show the number of leads or potential deals at each individual stage. This allows sales managers to monitor the state of their pipeline throughout the quarter. They can see how many potential deals are in the quoting phase and how many have been closed.
These reports are limited to data generated at a fixed point in time. If you would like to track how much time it takes for leads to move from one stage to the next or the percentage that fail to convert at a stage, manual calculation is often required.
For historical analysis, Salesforce users can access snapshots of the funnel on specific dates in the past. By comparing multiple snapshots, it is possible to calculate the percentage of leads that moved from one stage to the next.
This process is more manageable for companies with short sales processes with only a few stages. However, for those with upwards of five stages and maybe differing customer journeys for various verticals, this manual calculation can grow cumbersome and time consuming.
An additional software, like FunnelWise, can automate this reporting while accommodating more complex funnels.
Combining Sales & Marketing Data with FunnelWise
FunnelWise is a reporting tool that combines CRM and marketing automation data. Each step in the sales and marketing process becomes a stage in your revenue funnel within FunnelWise reports. FunnelWise generates key metrics like velocity (the average time it takes records to move through the funnel), conversions (the number of leads that progress at each stage) and age (how long a record has remained at a stage).
For Salesforce users, FunnelWise offers cross-object reporting. Your funnel can incorporate Salesforce objects outside of Leads and Opportunities (e.x. Campaigns, Contacts, Accounts and custom objects). This expanded functionality brings more Salesforce data into the revenue funnel.
Tracking Quarterly Goals with Funnel Reporting
Funnel metrics serve as a powerful tool for tracking quarterly goals. Historical movement through the funnel can indicate the marketing/sales efforts necessary to meet future revenue goals.
FunnelWise offers two approaches to goal forecasting: the top-down and the bottom-up. Through the top-down approach, users enter the number of leads they expect marketing will generate in the quarter. Then, FunnelWise applies historical data to forecast the number of successful conversions at each pipeline stage down to the overall revenue. As the quarter progresses, the actual data will be tracked alongside the targets, helping managers prioritize low-performing areas of the funnel.
The bottom-up approach begins with the revenue goal. Then, the system calculates the amount of records required at each stage to meet that goal. The forecasting continues up to the number of leads marketing should generate.
Putting the Data to Use
With the reporting tools available, managers can consider the performance of each individual stage. We can begin to spot the weaker stages in our funnel where leads lose momentum and where conversion percentages falter.
As more leads move through the funnel, we can get a better sense for the strategies work and those that fall short. FunnelWise also reports on sales and marketing activities (e.x. a logged sales call or an email sent through the marketing automation system). This helps us understand each engagements’ impact on leads.
Using sub-funnels, data can be segmented by several criteria including industry, product or marketing channel. Increasing conversion percentages or promising velocity metrics (avg. length of time for leads to move through the pipeline) can indicate areas with strong growth potential.
In the short-term, decision makers can tweak steps in the nurturing process, maybe altering some content pieces or having sales reps reach out earlier. In the long-term, the data can be leveraged to guide strategy sessions focused on allocating marketing resources or identifying new growth areas for the company.
To learn more about revenue-funnel reporting, you can watch this webinar put on by Stephanie Gaughen, Senior Consultant at Nuvem, and Mollie Bodensteiner, Vice President of Marketing at FunnelWise.