We believe that the biggest benefit of Pipedrive is that it helps you focus. We hope you’ll agree it gives you an overview of ongoing deals and helps to pick the ones that need your attention today. And today we’re introducing another useful dimension to keep you focused – time period.
In sales, it’s bloody difficult to look ahead all the time
There’s a challenge in sales that almost everyone has faced to a larger or smaller extent. We spend most of the time trying to close deals that seem most likely to close. We’re handling calls, meetings, objections and the outrageous things competitors promise. And so we sometimes lose sight of the bigger picture: who should I be talking to hit my monthly quota, and what can wait until later. The result can be painful: missed goals for yourself or the team, and smaller pay checks.
Another issue that many sales people face is clinging on to the Really Big Deals at the expense of business-as-usual. Sure, closing a big one would make a big impact on the bottom line of the company and your bonus, but often the attention the big deals receive is at the expense of smaller, but much more probable deals. Only a few things are (professionally speaking) worse than realizing your Big Deal is lost or postponed to the next quarter, and that none of the smaller deals is ready to close either.
Thirdly, there’s the fact that sales people are “reset” at the end of each month (or quarter) – closed deals contribute to your salary, and the new month promises a $0 paycheck. Back when I was active in sales, this zero always affected my emotional state, turning me into a very different sales person at the beginning of each month. Not looking ahead can cripple your emotional state at the beginning of each month or quarter.
All in all, there are two important dates for every salesman. One is today – to do list, emails that come, calls you make and receive. And the other is the last day the month or quarter. (Same is true in life in a way). Being focused on today’s activities or the big picture only is a good start, this is more than most people can be bothered. But you really want to keep an eye on both because this is how you can achieve exceptionally good results. And now you can do this with Pipedrive.
The timeline view is like a crystal ball that lets you look into the future (and see what action to take)
Timeline view arranges all open deals by expected close date. It shows the sales you’ve already made this month, and all the open sales which you may be able to close this month. This gives you a very good idea of the likely sales result at the end of the month or quarter. If you’re not happy with the results so far, find a suitable open deal you can close next, or work on adding more open deals to your pipeline and enjoy a stronger next period.
The effect of using timeline view makes every salesperson a bit more like a sales manager. If you use both our pipeline view and the new timeline view, you can anticipate and answer almost any question a manager would have, and more importantly, you’d have the data to back your answers.
Managers can use timeline view as their main view in case they want to spare themselves from digging in too deep into individual or combined pipelines. Timeline view is perfect for leading regular meetings with the team and discussing when certain deals will close, what needs to be done to close them, or to close them faster, and identifying forecasts that are too optimistic.
This means you’ll always have a great idea what the sales results will be. This also means you can correct course before it’s too late. All in all, it helps to make sure your commission is what you’re planning it to be.
See Timeline View in action:
When to use Pipeline view and when to use Timeline view
The Pipeline View most of you know well is great for tracking daily activities and more “tactical” planning. The new Timeline View is great looking ahead a couple of times a week to cover your “strategic” planning. Then again, it’s built in a way that if you like one more than the other, you can have either as your main working view.
In Pipeline View, a drag and drop of a deal helps you advance it to the next stage of your pipeline, in Timeline View a drag and drop moves the close date of a deal to next month or quarter.
What do I need to do to use the Timeline View?
* Start using the “expected close” date field
* Customize. Each business is different. It may be that you can invoice your customers only after you’ve delivered or implemented your service or product. In other words, you may want to see your won deals arranged by ‘delivery’ or ‘implementation’ date. Feel free, Pipedrive enables you to change the date field the deals are arranged by.
In addition, some of you like to track your results and operate in quarters, and some in months – you can choose your preference. Similarly, it’s a matter of taste to place either won or open deals on top.