Tracking sales pipelines with Screenful and Trello

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While the terminology we use revolves around agile software development, we’ve always wanted to keep our product generic in a sense that it doesn’t dictate how your team works, or even what type of work you do. After all, the concept of tasks, boards, and workflow are quite universal and apply to all kinds of activities. Just look at this Inspiration page by Trello. 

You can track your Scrum process with Screenful, but there’s no reason why you couldn’t use it for tracking any type of workflow - like your sales pipeline.

Here’s how to do it.

First you need to create a workflow for your sales team. If you don't have a board ready,  a good way to get started is to pick the example sales pipeline board. It has the following workflow states (lists in Trello terminology):

  • Contacted us
  • Ideas
  • Contacted
  • Leads
  • Meeting arranged
  • Pitch / Demo
  • Won
  • Contact again later
  • Lost

You’re not limited to these lists, you can add or remove lists to make it suit your specific workflow. Go ahead and tailor it to fit your needs. When creating the Screenful dashboard, you’ll be asked to map those workflow states to Not started, In progress, and Done. That’s the trick that allows Screenful to understand what all those lists on your Trello board mean.

I’ve made the mapping so that cards on the lists Contacted us and Ideas contain leads that are waiting in line for someone to start pursuing them. Those two lists are mapped to Not started. Once someone starts working on a lead, it goes through the states from Contacted to Pitch / Demo. Those lists are mapped to In progress. Finally the lead ends up in either Won or Lost, or Contact again later. I’ve mapped only ‘Won’ to Done since this time I’m just interested in tracking leads that were successfully closed.

Now we’ve done the setup and we’re ready to start working. The only manual task is that whenever a lead moves from one state to another, the card on the Trello board needs to be moved accordingly. Based on these card movements Screenful generates the dashboard to help you track your process.


Visualising your sales pipeline

The first screen on your dashboard is Team Status. It shows which leads are currently being pursued and which ones were closed recently. Along each lead, you see the profile picture of the sales person who was assigned to it. 

You might want to set this up on a big monitor at your office just to keep everyone on track of how things are progressing on the sales front. 

In the Open Tasks chart you can see how the leads are moving in your pipeline. In the top left overlay you can see the status of your pipeline right now. The chart on the background allows you to see longer term trends - are you moving more leads to the demo state than a month ago?

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Measuring your pipeline velocity

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Wanna see how many leads you’ve closed? The Completed Tasks chart will show just that. It allows you to measure your pipeline velocity and see trends over time. If you’ve labeled the leads you can see a breakdown by label. In this example, the labels show from which countries the leads were. You could also label them by industry, or by company size for example.

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You can also group this data by sales person, which shows how many leads have been closed by each individual. Sales teams like to have a bit of competition going on, right ;)


Tracking cycle time of your sales pipeline

Cycle time is the total time that elapses from the moment when the work is started on a lead until it's closed. Understanding the cycle time of your sales process is critical as it helps you understand which leads are likely to be quick to close and which are likely to take longer. You can get even more specific by looking at the cycle times of each step in your process separately. Do you know which step is taking the longest time? 

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You can dig even deeper by filtering this data by label. For example, if you're labeled your leads by company size, you can easily see how much company size affects the cycle time. Alternatively you might want to know whether leads in certain industries are quicker to close than the average. Playing around with the data can reveal new insights that help you prioritise which leads to pursue first. 


Summary

Trello is great tool for tracking all kinds of work, from holiday trip planning to coordinating your house renovation. Why not then use it for tracking your sales pipeline? One thing that sales people don’t like to do is to spend a lot of time updating a clunky old CRM system. But Trello is a different breed. People learn it immediately, and dragging cards to the done list is very satisfying. 

However, If you’re working with a ton of leads and closing them in masses (which I hope you do!), you’ll start losing visibility. That’s when you need to add a bit of analytics to the mix.

By measuring your sales pipeline, you can see how well you’re doing. But more importantly, it helps you to find insights that improve your sales process.

Let us know at hello@screenful.com if you have questions or feedback. To stay on the loop, read our blog, or follow us on twitter


BY SAMI LINNANVUO

Sami is the founder & CEO of Screenful, the company that turns data into visual stories. You can find him on Twitter @sl1nna