Identifying sales pipeline leaks

When assessing lost opportunities it’s instructive to review where in the pipeline are opportunities being lost. Put another way we want to know at what sales stages do we experience pipeline leakages.

While all sales pipelines will naturally leak (after all you can’t win every opportunity) it’s important to analyse where and why opportunities are lost. Lost deals point to problems in the sales process depending on where they leak from. These problems could include no emotional connection, information overload, undefined needs, poor on boarding, etc.

Opportunities should also not linger in the pipeline for too long. After a certain period the chances of closing an opportunity decrease dramatically and should exit the pipeline anyway.

Using standard Salesforce reports we can develop a view of where in the sales process deal are lost. To do this we will start by creating an Opportunity History Report.

  • Switch to Report Edit mode and select the Filter section
  • Update the Opportunity Close Date filter to reflect the period under review.
  • Add a To Stage filter and set it to Closed Lost as we want to analyse lost opportunities
  • Switch to the Outline section and add the From Stage and To Stage fields (in that order) under Group Rows
  • Then add a chart to the Report and select the Funnel chart type
  • For readability select the Show Values and Show Percentage chart options
  • This will render a funnel chart showing the stages where opportunities were lost as well as the number of opportunities and the percentage of lost opportunities they represent.

There you have it! You can now drill down to the underlying opportunities to assess where in the pipeline the opportunities leak.