If you’re making a thousand-mile journey, it’s important to always know where you are.
Otherwise, it’s like you’re a boat adrift at sea.
Your sales funnel is the same way.
Ideally, you must be able to visualize (in a simple format) how your funnel works.
This includes tracking how much traffic you’re getting, how much of that traffic is converting to subscribers, and how many subscribers are becoming paying customers.
In this post, I’m going to teach you exactly how to set up your own tracking dashboard in a spreadsheet using a few simple tools. This way, you can see a visual breakdown week-to-week of your own sales funnel.
My team and I use the same process to track our growth week to week.
This process is easy enough to adapt even if you’re not using the same technology stack we are.
If you’re a business selling a service, this will work especially well for you.
Service businesses make sales over the phone and in person. That may mean you neglect tracking your marketing funnel top-to-bottom simply because you aren’t directly selling online.
That’s all about to change, though.
WHAT IS AN ANALYTICS SALES FUNNEL?
Before we discuss revenue tracking with your analytics sales funnel, it helps to understand what an analytics sales funnel is.
Here is my definition: An analytics sales funnel is one centralized place that shows how your online sales funnel is performing from top to bottom.
When it comes to tracking our own sales funnel and that of our clients, we call this a tracking dashboard.
The dashboard is a simple spreadsheet that includes the three major layers of measurement, from traffic, email subscribers (or “soft” leads), and sales (pre-qualified leads if you sell a service) at the bottom of your funnel.
The dashboard data is also arranged like the funnel—top to bottom—to make the data more visually accessible.
THREE STEPS FOR TRACKING REVENUE IN YOUR ANALYTICS SALES FUNNEL
Step #1: Tools (Google Sheets, Google Analytics Goals, CallRail, Stripe, ActiveCampaign)
Here’s how we use each of these tools for our analytics sales funnel.
First, we use Google Sheets to create a spreadsheet. This tool is free to use, so start by signing up.
Google Analytics Goals
If you want to do deeper tracking via Google Analytics (specifically the Goals feature), you will have to pay for that service.
To start tracking goals, head to your Google Analytics account. Then go to admin > goals > add new goal. You can then create your own goal.
Your goals, for example, may be tracking the number of people who are opting into your email list or filling out contact forms.
CallRail is perfect for tracking how many people are calling your 800 number. This is especially important for generating new leads.
Those leads come in directly over the phone. This is often an issue because businesses don’t always track this. They think of this as a different interface.
With CallRail, you have a trackable phone number that’s also affordable. You’ll be able to see analytics on who’s calling, how long the call was, where they’re calling from, and what page they called from.
This helps you understand how you’re monetizing your website, especially as a service business.
Then there’s Stripe, which is what we use as our payment processor here at AutoGrow. Your payment processor may be different, but you should use Stripe regardless as a data source for incoming revenue.
It’s easy to set up an account on Stripe, and you’ll get approved instantly. You can also plug in Stripe with other tools like Zapier, which we’ll talk about later. That automates some of this process.
Step #2: Set Up the Spreadsheet (Top, Middle, and Bottom) and Goal Tracking
Next, you need to set up the formatting for your spreadsheet. Refer to my example above in Step 1 to see our spreadsheet.
This is also a very similar format to what we use for our clients’ businesses here at AutoGrow. I encourage everyone to copy this format.
Each column represents a different week. We start with Thursday, but you can start with whatever day you want.
Every week, we’re looking at traffic and the number of unique visits. This is the top of the funnel.
Then we have stats for the middle of the funnel, like email count. This is how big our email list is.
You should track new leads as well as email opt-ins at the middle of your funnel. Remember to arrange this in a visual format. This way, as you move from top to bottom, the spreadsheet is a literal representation of your funnel.
As you get to the bottom, this is where revenue comes in. With revenue, you’re looking at your bank account and payment processor to see how many sales you made.
For example, if you’re selling an info product like we are, we track the number of orders for our course. We’re able to correlate that to actual traffic by looking at the conversion rate and seeing how many visits/email opt-ins/etc., equals one sale for our course.
As a service business, (or if you’re like us and sell both), you want to distinguish between your products and your services.
The last part of our spreadsheet is what I call personal energy stats. This is where I actually have my assistant (who is really amazing at what she does) update all the above. Then I’ll fill in the personal energy stats myself.
WD means how much work I got done during the week. It’s a productivity rating on a scale of one to 10. M stands for meaning, or how meaningful or engaging the work felt to me. E is for enjoyment. Am I enjoying the work? How much?
You may have your own personal energy stats based on your goals for your company, but feel free to borrow mine.
Step #3: Update Once a Week (Consider Automating with Zapier)
Once you’ve got the formatting down on your spreadsheet, you should update your spreadsheet at least weekly.
If you have a personal assistant who can help you to do this, that’s excellent. If you need a tool to remind you to update your spreadsheet, use Zapier.
This plugs in with Google Analytics and Stripe, making it quite handy. Zapier puts all your data into one email, which then arrives in your inbox. You can then import that data into the spreadsheet.
You want to look at your stats and study them. Notice growth trends. After all, what gets tracked gets done.
Here are some questions to ask yourself at the end of each week.
Question #1: What Is the Lifetime Value (LTV) of One New Client or Customer in Dollars?
To estimate the lifetime value of one new client, I recommend keeping in mind their short-term value, too. If a client’s lifetime value is $10,000, for example, but you’re spending $1,000 each month on advertising, this could hurt your cash flow long-term. You could even end up out of business.
While LTV is an important metric, it’s also important to know the average amount your customers are paying upfront. That will help you stay in business and have a healthy, positive cash flow.
Question#2: What Is the Average Conversion Rate from Call to Client or Contact Form to Client?
Don’t think too hard about this question. Just put out a number. Is it 50%, 75%? More?
For example, we’re working with a local tax company. The founder of the firm told us their conversion rate from phone call-to-client is 75%.
In the case of AutoGrow, our rate is about 50%. That’s because sometimes people don’t watch our demo video or see our pricing page. Others might get on the phone and ask some questions and then later buy from us.
Question #3: As You’re Tracking Actual Revenue, Leads, and Client Count from Week to Week — Does It Match Up with Your Estimate?
As you’re tracking each week, ask yourself: was the average conversion rate estimate correct? Does that gel with the expected revenue?
This helps you measure your own expectations against reality, whether these expectations are higher or lower.
These are all very important questions to ask. You want to have the first two questions in mind upfront as you begin the analytics sales funnel process. Then, as the process is underway, consider the last question.
REVENUE TRACKING CASE STUDIES THE USE OF AN ANALYTICS SALES FUNNEL
Using CallRail, Canadian Broadband Service Provider Xplornet Increases Customer LTV by $2.3 Million
ISP and broadband service provider Xplornet Communications Inc. already has a huge customer base. As of this writing, over 300,000 Canadian customers use the service.
That said, Xplornet decided to dig deeper for more sales. In an effort to learn more about the relationship between customer phone calls and increased sales, Xplornet started using CallRail.
The company made different phone numbers for tracking direct traffic and organic traffic via CallRail’s dynamic number swapping script.
So what happened?
Xplornet discovered that just 25% of calls were direct calls. The rest (75%) were organic. The company decided to work more on getting direct calls.
PBS Gets 30% More Site Visits and Conversions After Tracking with Google Analytics
Since 1969, the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) has been a leading private non-profit broadcaster.
The organization wanted to determine if the shows on its stations were driving traffic to PBSKids.org and PBS.org.
PBS ran Google Analytics on both websites. By learning the behavior of the site visitors, PBS had a 30% traffic uptick. They also had 30% more conversions after changing their registration process based on sales funnel data.
KEEN Footwear Enjoys 213% Spike in Social Media Traffic with Web Analytics
Outdoor shoe manufacturer KEEN Footwear has experienced healthy growth in recent years, but the company wanted to make more of a splash on social media.
For the best success, the company paired up with a web analytics consultant. Said consultant discovered key performance metrics, or KPIs, that could improve KEEN Footwear’s social media presence.
Here’s what happened after implementing those KPIs.
As I said before, what gets tracked gets done. That may be a cliché, but it’s true.
By tracking your analytics sales funnel, you’re going to stimulate positive discomfort, which will help you move your business forward. You’ll be forced to ask yourself what you can do to stimulate change.
An analytics sales funnel lets you discover where your funnel is performing best and where the leaks are biggest. You can then focus on those areas.
- An analytics sales funnel is a visual representation, often in spreadsheet form, of your sales funnel from top to bottom.
- Google Sheets is a great (and free) service to use to make your analytics sales funnel spreadsheets.
- Remember to include energy stats. As important as it is to make money as a service business, the work has to be personally fulfilling as well. Energy stats track that personal fulfillment.
- Arrange your sheets from top to bottom of the funnel.
- Track LTV and conversion rates weekly. Remember to keep your expectations in check to move your business forward.
Have you ever made an analytics sales funnel spreadsheet before? If so, how did it go? If not, do you plan to now? Let me know in the comments below.
Keep Hustlin’, Stay Focused
This article was originally published at Autogrow.co, by author Matt Ackerson.