Image showing steps to build an effective sales pipeline report
Image showing steps to build an effective sales pipeline report

A sales pipeline shows you a lead’s journey to becoming a customer, but a sales pipeline report reveals the value of your pipeline.

It quantifies what’s happening at different stages of the sales process with your customers and sales reps. With sales pipeline reporting, you can easily forecast revenue and pinpoint areas that need attention.

In this guide, we walk you through: 

  • How sales pipeline reporting can help your revenue team excel
  • What you need to do before creating a pipeline report
  • And key metrics to track for better pipeline analysis.

What is sales pipeline reporting?

A sales pipeline report quantifies the size of your sales pipeline and shows the number of deals in each stage.

Typically, your sales pipeline shows you where your leads are in the various sales stages, which is excellent information. But a sales pipeline report interprets what that data truly means for your company’s revenue.

For example, a sales pipeline report can show you how many leads you currently have and if it’s below a certain number, you can determine whether your sales team needs to ramp up prospecting.

As Will Yang, head of growth at Instrumentl, notes, “We use it to gain insight into our customer’s journey and help us recognize where there are bottlenecks or areas of improvement. This helps us develop strategies to increase conversions, optimize rep performance, and ultimately close more deals.”

If you are still uncertain, Yang adds that “the insights gained from the sales pipeline report have enabled us to reduce deal review time by 20%. And it has allowed our reps to focus on growing existing relationships.”

What are the benefits of using sales pipeline reports?

image describing 4 benefits of pipeline reporting

Pipeline reporting may seem like a lot of work, but it comes with some substantial benefits. From managing pipeline performance to boosting conversion rates, here's how implementing a solid pipeline reporting strategy can boost your revenue.

1. Manage pipeline performance

A sales pipeline report provides insights that enable you to accelerate your pipeline performance. You can predict the possibility of meeting your sales goals through reports on open or closed opportunities, lead quality, and the different sales pipeline stages.

“Sales pipeline reports have been a savior to our sales team,” adds Sayem Ibn Kashem, founder of FacileWay. “You know what they say, ‘You can't manage what you don't know.’ These reports allow us to see our pipeline and each rep's performance at one glance."

“We track and rank every deal, so we know exactly where we stand with each prospect at any given time. This has been extremely useful in managing incoming leads. We know how busy each of our sales reps is. We can properly prioritize the leads and assign them to the most appropriate rep.”

2. Optimize sales performance

Sales pipeline reports assist sales managers in optimizing the performance of their sales teams.

According to Matthew Ramirez, founder of Rephrasely, “managers can use a sales pipeline report to monitor which team members are closing the most deals and which ones are falling short.”

“This can help the manager redistribute responsibilities throughout the team to optimize productivity,” says Ramirez. “For example, if one individual is closing a lot of deals but has a higher ratio of deals that do not convert, the manager can take that into account and assign more leads to team members who have a lower close rate but a higher conversion rate.”

3. Identify opportunities for sales training

Understanding your sales team's performance allows you to identify areas where they need to improve. As a result, you can create tailored guidance to hone specific skills. 

For example, a low closer can get training or mentorship to improve their closing skills, while another team member who struggles with pipeline generation may need help developing their prospecting skills.

4. Create effective strategies to boost revenue

Derek Wang, Sales Leader at UserGems, notes that “Pipeline reports help us understand the distribution of pipeline per AE, sales acceptance conversion rates, and coverage for future months/quarters.” 

Krittin Kalra, the founder of WriteCream, agrees with him: "Sales pipeline reports allow you to analyze the data and identify the problem areas. For example, if the number of qualified opportunities is low, it tells you that it may be time to reevaluate the strategy.”

It provides better insight into what areas need to be improved to increase the company's bottom line for sales teams. As a result, they can focus on developing precise strategies for growth.

Must-have metrics in every sales pipeline report

Must-have sales metrics to include in pipeline reporting

Your sales pipeline report needs to provide key information on pipeline performance to be effective. Here are the key metrics to include in your sales pipeline report to achieve the best results.

1. Sales pipeline velocity

Sales pipeline velocity measures how quickly your leads move through the sales funnel to become customers.

According to Nick Persico, Director of Sales at Close, tracking this metric is vital because “it shows you how much money is passing through your sales pipeline every day, based on how fast leads are going through your pipeline and your average deal size. The higher that number, the better.”

2. Number of opportunities

Keeping track of the number of opportunities (opps) in your sales pipeline, and seeing how that number changes over time, can provide insight into your pipeline’s health. Here are some opps metrics to track:

  • Number of (sales accepted) opportunities: This indicates if you’re generating enough qualified leads. If it’s low, it can mean that your lead generation tactics need to change, or that the sales and marketing teams need to align on lead quality. “This is also important to project workload of reps and volume of deal flow,” says Derek Wang of UserGems.
  • Dollar value of opps by stage: Wang adds that this is “important to understand pipeline coverage and booking forecasts.” You can quickly identify what’s happening at each stage of the sales process and where your leads need more encouragement to move down the pipeline.
  • Number of lost opportunities: This represents any leads that were not successfully closed. Tracking where you lose leads and at which stage demonstrates which stage of the sales process needs to be improved. For example, if your leads keep dropping off at the outreach stage, it shows your outreach strategy needs work.

3. Conversion rate

In a sales pipeline report, the key metric to look for is the conversion rate. With this metric, you can see how many leads become customers.

Matthew Ramirez of Rephrasely, says, “It’s important to know this metric because it tells you how successful your sales team is. If the conversion rate is low, it means the sales team isn’t converting enough leads into customers. It indicates they need to improve their ability to convert leads into customers.”

4. Performance metrics

Your performance metrics provide insight into your revenue and sales rep performance. Performance metrics typically include tracking your:

  • Open pipeline per account executive: This tells you how many leads your AEs are currently working on. It can also help you measure their performance or indicate when you need to assign more leads.
  • Current quarter pipeline by stage: This shows the value of your pipeline for the quarter based on where the leads are in the sales stage. Using this metric, you can forecast revenue for the quarter and see whether you’ll meet your sales goals.
  • New pipeline created by source: This tells you the source of the leads in your pipeline, which can demonstrate which lead generation channels to pay more attention to for better pipeline ROI.

How to make a pipeline report in 5 steps

A 5 step process for creating a pipeline report

If you’re building a pipeline report, you either want to get key information on your pipeline performance or present your numbers to other stakeholders. To make sure you get the numbers you need, here’s how to get started:

1. Provide clarity to your sales team about what’s expected

Having a clear strategy and goal keeps your sales team aligned on what they need to do to meet their KPIs. 

Yang of Instrumentl recommends creating a consistent process for tracking opportunities so that you can accurately track progress. “Additionally, aligning on terminology with your reps will help ensure everyone is on the same page when discussing deals within the organization.”

2. Identify the pipeline stages

“It’s important to understand the pipeline stages for your product before you start building a report because they represent different steps in the sales process,” says Kalra of Writecream. 

From lead generation to conversion, you want your report to not just be broad but to go into detail about your buyer’s behaviors throughout different stages. This information can also be leveraged to sell better and address your customer’s needs. In addition, it helps to identify where your key metrics should be tracked.

3. Choose the metrics you want to highlight

The metrics you highlight in your report depend on who’s reading it and the information they hope to find.

Sayem Ibn Kashem of FaceileWay recommends breaking it into steps so you can categorize leads correctly and easily track the progress of your sales team. Your sales reports can be broken down by:

  • Vertical sector
  • Stage of the sales process (prospecting, qualified leads, and opps)
  • Product/service type
  • Average deal size
  • Region
  • Sales rep
  • Sales manager

4. Include an analysis of your report

Without context, a pipeline intelligence report will just look like a bunch of random numbers. 

For the benefit of your sales team or the stakeholders involved, and to understand the story behind the numbers, create an analysis of your pipeline report. 

For example, if your pipeline from a particular source suddenly improved, you need to understand why that happened. Could it be a recent campaign? Has something shifted with your messaging? Or was it simply seasonality?

The information you capture in your analysis prepares your team for how to do better and allows them to use the data to increase pipeline ROI.

5. Present it in a clean and aesthetic format

Companies like Salesforce, Databox, and other sales analysis platforms help you automatically generate reports.

You don’t have to custom-build a process if the reports they provide meet your needs. But if you do decide to make your own, your presentation should be clean, clear, and visually pleasing to keep your audience engaged.

Sales pipeline reporting templates and examples

If you’re looking for some pipeline reporting templates or examples to start with, here are some examples recommended by fellow sales professionals.

1. Generate your report in Salesforce

If you use Salesforce, you can easily generate reports of different metrics in your sales dashboard.

Go to your menu section, select reports, and customize the metrics you want to see.

2. Sales forecasting template by Close

Nick Persico, director of sales at Close, uses this template to track monthly and yearly forecasting and key funnel metrics.

Screenshot of the Close sales forecasting template.

3. Build your templates in Databox

Databox is a business tool that helps you create beautiful reports in seconds.

You can generate sales performance reports from Hubspot and other CRMs in a pre-built dashboard to make creating a well-designed presentation a breeze.

Screenshot of Databox's sales pipeline template.

4. Sales pipeline template by Pipedrive

Sayem Ibn Nash of FacileWay uses this pipeline template by Pipedrive to create his team's reporting dashboard.

Screenshot of Pipedrive's sales pipeline template.

Using pipeline reporting to optimize your B2B sales game

Sales pipeline tracking is proven way to get ahead of pipeline anxiety.

With sales pipeline analysis you can be proactive when it comes to improving your sales pipeline strategy and the performance of your sales team. 

Before you build your pipeline report, be sure to:

  • Identify the stages of your sales pipeline to know which metrics to track and gain insight into your customers’ behavior
  • Align with your team on your sales goals to enable you to build innovative sales strategies

Another effective way to improve sales pipeline performance is by following your users, customers, and prospects to their new companies. According to UserGems internal data, previous customers are 3X more likely to buy from you again. Learn more here.

Want to get more pipeline with less work?