RevOps / Sales

3 Ways to Improve Sales Pipeline Visibility in Salesforce

By Boris Mustapic

Salesforce is a powerful tool for driving revenue – only if you use it properly. However, if you’re like many sales teams, you might struggle to gain full visibility into your sales pipeline. Dealing with incomplete, inaccurate, or duplicate CRM data means you might not be taking full advantage of the platform.

On top of that, decision-makers and your own sales reps can switch jobs, taking any acquired knowledge about deals or existing relationships with them. What’s not in your CRM is then lost, slowing your team’s progress or putting you at risk of losing the deal altogether.

All of these factors can lead to subpar pipeline visibility and, thus, lost revenue. So what can you do about it? Let’s take a closer look at three ways you can clear up your sales pipeline!

1. Conduct Regular Pipeline Reviews

The first thing you should do to improve visibility into your sales pipeline is schedule regular pipeline reviews – here’s why.

Regular pipeline reviews give managers a chance to look more closely at each rep’s deals and current pipeline. In the short term, that can make a huge difference in understanding how your pipeline looks day-to-day. In the long term, you’re creating accountability and benchmarks so that reps always know what’s expected of them and where their deals stand.

Talking through deals can also illuminate where reps might be spending too much time (including on deals that leaders aren’t aware of). Ongoing reviews can help you see where reps are over or under-reporting on their pipeline.

Finally, if you hold team reviews instead of 1-on-1s (which has its own benefits), reps can learn from one another to see what’s working and what could be improved in their own processes.

So where can you start? First, make an agenda that focuses on key metrics. This creates consistency for reviews so that your reps always know what information to have ready.

These metrics include:

  • Number of deals currently in the pipeline
  • Average deal size
  • Sales velocity
  • Average win rate
READ MORE: RevOps Metrics to Measure Sales and Marketing Growth

Staying on task and avoiding drawn-out conversations is key. Salesforce even recommends cutting out the chit-chat and jumping straight into problem leads for efficient pipeline reviews.

To keep things hyper-focused, you can ask these three questions:

  • What are your wins from the past week?
  • What’s the current state of the pipeline?
  • Any roadblocks?

A streamlined, recurring pipeline review can improve collaboration and knowledge-sharing while giving you better visibility into where each rep stands.

READ MORE: 5 Salesforce Pipeline Reports You Need Today

2. Improve Salesforce Data Hygiene

As we alluded to earlier, a lot can go wrong when you’re making decisions based on inaccurate, duplicate, missing, and incomplete data.

READ MORE: Salesforce Data Quality: 5 Steps to Maintain Your Org

Let’s say that one of your reps has accidentally overestimated how many deals will close this month due to inaccurate CRM records. They might be spending time on prospects that aren’t as close to buying, while the ones who are aren’t getting the attention they need at this stage.

As the end of the month approaches, maybe even the last month of the quarter, quotas might seem within reach – until it’s too late. Inaccurate forecasts, missed opportunities, and lost revenue are all real possibilities when making decisions based on inaccurate or incomplete data. To avoid situations like this, implement data hygiene best practices that can improve sales rep productivity and help you close more deals.

Sales productivity tools, such as Cloudingo, can help you clean up your Salesforce data. With the ability to automatically deduplicate contacts and update records, Cloudingo can help you reduce wasted time and effort.

To ensure Salesforce records are accurate and up-to-date moving forward, you can use a sales workspace tool (like Weflow) to automate rep activity tracking and email logging, update Salesforce records in bulk, and give you multiple views to ensure you’re fully aware of the health of your sales pipeline.

READ MORE: Will Sales Users Live Inside or Outside of Salesforce?

By taking these time-consuming, error-prone tasks off your reps’ plates, they’ll be freed up to focus more on prospects and closing deals. Additionally, you’ll be able to ensure your team is working with the best data possible.

3. Form a Deal Desk

One powerful way to increase sales pipeline visibility is to create a deal desk – often used to support high-value, complex, or larger-than-usual opportunities. A deal desk is essentially a cross-functional team that comes together to manage and negotiate deals collaboratively.

It usually includes team members from sales, accounting, and legal departments so that you can remove bottlenecks and close deals faster.

Because you have different teams coming together, the information-sharing is built in. This means you’ll gain visibility into your pipeline because the deal desk is looped in and updated regularly.

When you need to move fast or come up with bespoke pricing or solutions, deal desks are a great tool. Just make sure that you:

  • Clearly define the responsibilities of each member of a deal desk.
  • Empower team members to make decisions on price and contract terms with approval from the legal team.
  • Provide your deal desk with the right tools so that they’re not held up by manual or time-consuming processes.

Ensure Better Salesforce Pipeline Visibility in 2023

Working from bad data can cloud your pipeline visibility and lead to lost revenue. However, by setting up regular pipeline reviews, being proactive about data hygiene, and utilizing deal desks to share information more freely between teams – you can better understand what’s in the pipeline and where you might need to spend more time and effort.

Because Salesforce is both crucial to sales team success and complex to navigate, there are dedicated tools that can help you with data hygiene. Trying out these tools can lead to time savings, greater data accuracy – and, most importantly, efficient, effective sales teams.

The Author

Boris Mustapic

Boris Mustapic is the Head of Content at Weflow, a company dedicated to helping revenue teams use Salesforce more effectively.

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