As businesses grow and scale, we want changes to the process, teams, and infrastructure to be supported by data. It’s essential teams are able to build reports that clearly articulate performance, not just around the core metrics and KPIs for the business, but in ways that can help illuminate where there is space to improve or where any current roadblocks might be hiding. The funnel report does both. One simple report can help guide the decision-making around things like sales process, channel promotion, and team performance. 

 
They can give you conversion rates between those stages and can help both marketers and salespeople alike better understand what is working well and where there might be places to improve. For the contacts funnel report, we use the contact property Lifecycle Stage to see how they're moving (eg. lead > marketing qualified lead > customer). For deals, it looks at how the deal moves through each stage in the sales pipeline (eg/ demo > negotiation > closed won). 
 
You can view your funnel reports in 2 ways:
  • All Stages: a report on contacts or deals that have ever moved through the stages you've selected within the specified date range. Select this option if you want to include conversion rates between each stage. It requires the deals to have gone through the selected stages in that order within that timeframe. This means if they skip a stage, or go in anything but the selected order, they’ll drop out of the count at the point they deviated. Within this version you can view the data in two formats:
    • Next Step Conversion: the percentage of contacts/deals moving from that stage to the next.
    • Cumulative Conversion: the percentage of contacts/deals moving from the first stage to the next
 
Funnel - all stages as described in-text
  • Any Stages: a report on contacts or deals that have ever gone through any of the stages you've selected within the specified date range. This report does not require the deals to go through the selected stages sequentially. Rather, it will just count how many deals have been in each stage within that timeframe. 

Funnel - Any Stages as described in-text

Now that we're clear on what a funnel report is, let's jump in to have a look at how we can leverage them for the business:

  1. Understand the win probability of your deal stages
  2. Audit your deal pipeline for any stages that are not being used
  3. Identify top-performers for closing deals (at an individual or team level)
  4. Understand the overall impact of your lead nurturing program
  5. Identify your top performing marketing channels based on conversion

1. Understand the win probability of your deal stages

Whether you’re setting up a new pipeline, or doing a review of the existing ones, one of the core features that impacts forecasting is the win probability. In HubSpot, each deal stage has a space for win probability that reflects the percentage of chance deals in that stage have of actually closing. Then, when it comes to forecasting, the tool only forecasts that percentage of revenue in the pipeline. This is to prevent forecasts being blown into bigger numbers than they should be based on deals that are still very early in their sales process. For example, if I have five stages in my pipeline, we set it so that when I have a consultation completed, it’s a 40% chance of closing. If I have 4 deals in that stage of the pipeline, all worth $100,000, then there is a total of $400,000 in that stage of the pipeline. However, instead of forecasting that we can expect $400,000 for that month they’re set to close, the tool will only forecast 20% of that: $160,000.
 
Deal Forecast Report as described in-text
So how do we leverage the funnel report here?
 
We can customize the funnel report to show only the single deal stage you’re reviewing, along with the closed won stage. This will give you the conversion percentage for that stage so you can cross-check that the currently set win probability is correct.
  1. In your HubSpot account, navigate to Reports > Reports 
  2. In the upper right, click Report library
  3. Search 'deal stage funnel' and click 'edit in builder' on the report named 'Deal stage funnel with deal totals and conversion rates'
  4. In the top left, under filters, select the timeframe you’re looking at (I often recommend 12 months for something like this to get a nice range of data). Then select 'hide filters'
    Timeframe filters - reports-1 as described in-text
  5. Ensure you have 'all stages' selected
    Select all stages on the funnel report as described in-text
  6. Remove 'all created deals' and add in the stage you're looking to review, along with ‘closed won’ 
  7. See the conversion percentage on the right
    Win probability report as described in-text
Then you can go to your deal settings (Settings Cog > CRM > Deals) and select the pipeline to review what is currently set as the win probability for that stage.

Rinse and repeat for other stages you’re looking to review.

2. Audit your deal pipeline for any stages that are not being used.

When you look at your funnel report overall, sometimes it can seem like a certain stage is a bottleneck and that no deals are getting past there. When you see this, you might also feel like that’s not very accurate because you know you do have deals that are closing each month. Stages currently sitting in your sales pipeline may not be aligned with the sales process your reps are going through. To see if this is the case, cross-reference with any stage funnel report. This will show deals that have been through any of the selected stages regardless of which order so if there is a stage that isn’t being leveraged as regularly as the others, the data will show it. 
  1. In your HubSpot account, navigate to Reports > Reports 
  2. In the upper right, click Report library
  3. Search 'deal stage funnel' and click 'edit in builder' on the report named 'Deal stage funnel with deal totals and conversion rates'
  4. In the top left, under filters, select the timeframe you’re looking at (I often recommend 12 months for something like this to get a nice range of data). Then select 'hide filters'
    Timeframe filters - reports-1 as described in-text
  5. Ensure you have 'any stages' selected
    Selecting 'any stages' as described in-text
  6. Add in all stages for your deals pipeline from the first stage you have > closed won (don't add closed lost)
You will see if there is a stage in the middle that has significantly fewer deals in it. tIf there is, that is a stage people are potentially skipping over on their way through the pipeline. 
Deal Audit Funnel Report as described in-text
 
What can you do to understand why they’re not using that stage? Often, what we see is that people create deal stages that are not consistently part of the sales process. Examples I’ve seen recently are for things like "prospect on hold," "needs more time," or "disqualified." Every deal stage in the pipeline should be:
  • An action that is taken for every deal (demo scheduled, demo completed, blueprints approved, negotiation)
  • Indicative of an increase in commitment from the prospect
For this reason, things like "email sent" or "disqualified" are not great deal stages because they don’t happen at every deal, or if they do, there is no reason to increase the win probability. For tasks that need to happen (like a follow up email), we can actually create tasks which will make rep management much easier. By using the tasks tool, reps can have all their to-dos in a single location.

3. Identify top-performers for closing deals (at an individual or team level)

When it comes to sales teams growing in both skill and size, one of the great things we see people wanting to do is identify their top performers. Sometimes it can be at an individual level, sometimes it can be a team level to understand their processes for things like knowledge-sharing. Either way, you can build a funnel report in HubSpot to help you break this down. We can do this in a couple of ways:
Option 1: Create a dashboard that has funnel reports for each of the various individuals or teams you’re looking to compare:
  1. Go Reports > Dashboards > Create Dashboard and name it (Sales Conversion Comparison for example)
  2. Click 'Add Report'
  3. Search 'deal stage funnel' and click 'edit in builder' on the report named 'Deal stage funnel with deal totals and conversion rates'
  4. Under filters, select:
    - the timeframe you’re reviewing
    - Add a filter for either deal owner, or for HubSpot team and select the individual or team you would like
    IC Funnel as described in-text
  5. Ensure you have 'all stages' selected and add in the stages ‘all created’ and ‘closed won’ 
    Funnel report for reviewing teams as described in-text
  6. Name the report with the team or individual and click ‘save’ (you want to save it to that dashboard you’ve just created
  7. Then you can clone that report and edit it for the other teams or individuals you want to compare (you can have up to 20 reports on a dashboard)
    Clone reports to edit for a variation as described in-text

Now you have a dashboard you can consistently review for your top performers (or to identify anyone who might be struggling and need extra help or coaching). You can also add a filter on the dashboard for timeframe, to change up the period you’re reviewing.

Filter reports at a dashboard level as described in-text

Option 2: Have a single dashboard with various reports on it and change the filter

You can also have an overall reporting dashboard for salespeople/teams that is more than just a funnel report. Include things like their deals closed won each month by the original source (Google/social/etc), reports around their activity outputs, and more. Check out dashboards created for this purpose like the Sales Manager Dashboard Template.

Sales Manager Dashboard - a default dash in HubSpot and other examples of different dashboards available

As long as you follow all steps for the previous option and have a funnel report on that dashboard, you can then use the filters at a dashboard level to set which team or individual you’re looking to review.

4. Understand the overall impact of your lead nurturing program

When we're looking at contacts, it's important to understand how they're progressing. You can use a funnel report for contacts to understand lead nurturing impact, channel performance, and quality of marketing generated contacts. Let's take the example of evaluating your overall lead nurturing. Many customers have lead nurturing in place to take people from being a standard lead to a marketing qualified lead (typically something that is triggered by actions like requesting a demo, a quote, a trial or a consultation or other sales-ready actions). To understand the impact, create a funnel report specifically for lead>MQL conversion. To do this:

  1. In your HubSpot account, navigate to Reports > Reports 
  2. In the upper right, click Report library
  3. Search 'lifecycle' and click 'edit in builder' on the report named 'Lifecycle funnel with deal totals and conversion rates'
  4. In the top left, under filters - select the timeframe you’re looking at (I often recommend 12 months for something like this to get a nice range of data). Then select 'hide filters'
    Timeframe filters - reports-1 as described in-text
  5. Ensure you have 'all stages' selected and select which stages you want to measure - lead and marketing qualified lead 
    Lead > MQL funnel conversion as described in-text
  6. Name the report appropriately and click ‘save’ (you can add it to a dashboard or you can just save to your broader reports library)

5. Identify your top performing marketing channels based on conversion

From more of a marketing standpoint, a funnel report can be a great way of understanding which of your contacts are most likely to turn into a customer. You can then use this information to target which channels you leverage going forward. When it comes to creating a standard lifecycle stage funnel, it's pretty much identical to building a deal stage funnel.

  1. In your HubSpot account, navigate to Reports > Reports 
  2. In the upper right, click Report library
  3. Search 'lifecycle' and click 'edit in builder' on the report named 'Lifecycle funnel with deal totals and conversion rates'
  4. Under filters, select the timeframe you’re looking at and this is also where you can add any other filters like:
    • Only seeing your contacts generated by marketing (contact property 'original source' is not 'offline sources')
    • Which of your buyer personas are converting most effectively (contact property 'persona' is 'insert value for persona you want to review)
    • Reviewing your paid channels (contact property 'original source' is 'paid search', 'paid social')
  5. Ensure you have 'all stages' selected
  6. Select which stages you want to measure, could be lead > MQL > customer, could just be contacts created > MQL
  7. Name the report appropriately and click ‘save’ (you can add it to a dashboard or you can just save to your broader reports library).

Let's wrap it up

Each of these five reports works as a different way of understanding what is happening with your prospects and opportunities. Once you're confident with setting filters, timeframes, and choosing between the any/all stage option, you can go on to filter by almost any contact or deal property you have to get very specific insights on channels and segments. See what's working for you as you move prospects and opportunities towards being happy, long-term customers.

Have you got other ideas for using a funnel report, or a way that is proving really valuable for you? Let us know!

Originally published Sep 15, 2020 9:00:00 AM, updated September 15 2020