How to Automate Sales Pipeline Reviews and Updates

by Brian Hintz

Managing sales pipeline is critical for sales teams, and for the business as a whole. Your sales pipeline will help you project where your sales will end up this quarter, and help you see if you’ll make your numbers this year. Tight pipeline management is a hallmark of successful sales teams.

Pipeline reviews can be time consuming for sales managers. According to research by Vantage Point and the Sales Management Association, 72% of organizations expect sales managers to meet with their reps to discuss sales pipelines more than once a month, with over half meeting on a weekly basis. On average, pipeline review meetings take 53 minutes. And that doesn’t take into account the time that goes into preparing for those meetings.

Time Consuming Manual Exports for Pipeline Reviews

While any successful sales manager would tell you that managing pipeline is important and worthy of their time, many sales managers find that managing their teams’ opportunities involves time-consuming, manual processes. Before pipeline review meetings, these sales managers run and export sales pipeline reports into .CSV files. Then, in their team meetings, managers either open their .CSV files in Excel or hand out printouts so they can review with their teams, make notes, recommend changes, and track updates from their teams.

After the pipeline review, each team member goes back to Salesforce to make the discussed changes. Not only do these administrative tasks add up quickly, at the expense of selling time, but they also introduce the opportunity for human error and discrepancies. The time required to perform these bulk updates accurately can quickly balloon.

Pipeline Review Revisited

Sales managers and their teams can cut out the manual steps of exporting pipeline reports, making notes on updates, and then going back to their desks and manually updating their pipelines in Salesforce. With Smartsheet for Salesforce, Smartsheet and Salesforce data are synchronized across both systems, so information on the sales pipeline or a specific opportunity only needs to be entered in once, and it will appear in both systems.

This integration also enables teams to work in the system that best suits their needs at the time. Whether that’s using Grid View to see each opportunity viewed as a row grouped by sales rep, or switching to Card View to view and review opportunities by stage, or assist quick drag-and-drop updates, the Smartsheet for Salesforce integration removes manual steps for sales managers and their teams. Here’s a quick look at how it works:

1. With Smartsheet for Salesforce, you can set up your sales pipeline forecasts to automatically populate a sheet in real-time. No need to export details prior to team meetings, deal info will be pulled into the sheet automatically. Each opportunity in Salesforce maps to a row in the Pipeline Review sheet and includes details such as deal amount, close date, stage, and other key information related to the opportunity.

Sales Pipeline Review and Forecast

2. Teams can update details like close dates, transaction amount, and stage directly in the sheet.

Sales pipeline review and forecast sheet

3. Sales teams can use Card View to drag and drop opportunities between stages, Calendar View to see when deals are closing, and Gantt View to review deal cycle times.

Sales pipeline card view

4.       Any changes the team makes made in one view are reflected in all Smartsheet views and in Salesforce.

5.       Sales managers can also provide sales leaders a high-level dashboard of their pipeline with Sights.

Sales Pipeline Review and Forecast Sight

Save Sales’ Time with Quick Updates

Smartsheet for Salesforce makes it easy to update your data, save significant time across your team, and gain valuable new insights into your sales process, without requiring your team to change the way they manage pipeline reviews. You’ll save your sales teams hours of work each week and give them valuable time back to sell.

To learn more about how the Smartsheet for Salesforce integration can help your teams, watch our two minute video.