I a previous post I hinted towards the capability in Sales Cloud to snapshot opportunity data in order to track how opportunity evolve over time. That post was all about how to enable this functionality in case you wanted to try it out, but I actually have never used it myself. Until now! For the last 6 weeks, I have experimented with opportunity snapshotting in order to better understand for myself how to benefit from historical opportunity reporting.
Why historical opportunity reporting matters
Pipeline management is all about managing the pipeline right?
Well not really. A pipeline or sales funnel just shows the actual state of the pipeline. It might look great, but maybe it has been looking great for a long time and no opportunities have progressed in their sales cycle for quite a while. The current pipeline might then still look great, the actual situation is disastrous.
A pipeline or sales funnel does not tell a complete story, it just shows what is going on right now. You also need to understand how the pipeline evolves over time.
In order to understand how the pipeline is evolving, some extra reporting is needed besides a pipeline or sales funnel report. Such reporting typically requires a datawarehouse. But in Sales Cloud, for opportunity management only, you have another option. All you need to do is to enable the opportunity snapshotting functionality. Opportunity snapshotting basically takes a snapshot each day of all open and recently closed opportunities and allows you to compare these snapshots over time.
In order to experiment with such reports, I created 9 opportunities that I updated once in a while over a period of 6 weeks, mimicking the behavior of a salesrep managing a set of opportunities.
Time to make some reports
6 weeks after I created and started updating these opportunities, I had enough data to see what reports I could generate. As you can see, all opportunity names start with ‘Snapshotted’ but that was just because I was lazy and I needed a way to easily find these opportunities amongst all other opportunities.
The report below shows how many days each of the opportunities have stayed in each sales stage while they progressed through the sales process over time.
The report below shows for each sales stage how many opportunities at any given moment were open or won in the system.
These are off course just a few examples of reports you can make based on historical opportunity reporting. I focused on the sales stage, but you could do the same on the opportunity status, win probability, opportunity revenue, close date or many more opportunity characteristics.
Have fun trying this out yourself!