While it seems to be everyone’s favorite CRM systems these days, most of the expansion-stage technology companies that I work with still struggle with calculating conversion rates in salesforce.com.
Salesforce.com is great for measuring key activity metrics like the number of calls and conversation your reps are making, or the number of opportunities they created. It’s also pretty good at measuring bottom-of-the-funnel conversion rates such as Win Rate and Close Rate. However, when it comes to measuring conversion rates between activities and at the top of the funnel, (i.e. your sales activity funnel) salesforce.com reporting really falls short.
Measuring conversion rates from one activity to the other can be done in salesforce.com, but in a rather convoluted way, and measuring conversion rates between activities and opportunities goes well beyond the capabilities of even a well-trained admins.
As a result, most sales leaders who are savvy enough to know that they need to be measuring their conversion rates pull that data out of salesforce.com and plug it into an excel spread sheet to do those calculations on their own. If they have budget available they will go out and invest in an analytics package that can quickly give them insights into their data.
For example, here is a list of conversion rates that I would recommend measuring if you are running an outbound lead generation team:
- Call-to-conversation: Can be done in salesforce.com, but it’s not very elegant.
- Conversation-to-appointment: Again, it can be done to a basic extent.
- Appointment-to-opportunity: Probably can be done, but I haven’t figured it out.
If you’d like to take stab at calculating conversion rates in salesforce.com, here is one way to do it:
- Create a new activity report
- Set the date range on the activities
- Filter the report to only show the relevant activities that you are measuring the conversion rate on. For Call to Conversation, filter the results to show all calls and conversations.
- Summarize the report by Activity Type
- Add a Formula to the report called conversion rate that calculates each summary from the total:
- RowCount / PARENTGROUPVAL(RowCount, GRAND_SUMMARY)
The result looks like this: Not very elegant, but it does show you the the call-to-conversation conversion rate so you don’t have to plug numbers in to excel.
While there are roundabout ways to do just about anything in salesforce.com, analytics tools like InsightSquared do this kind of stuff (and a lot more) right out of the box, and with a very slick interface. Here is what it looks like with InsightSquared: And this does not require any custom formulas or configuration.
While earlier stage companies don’t always budget for tools like this, if you know what to do with them they can be incredibly valuable, insightful and well worth the investment.
Are there any other tools out there you are using to calculate conversion rates?