How long does your deal spend in each stage?

It’s the quarter end and you are in a meeting with your GTM leadership and one of your sales Directors makes a comment:

“I think the deals are spending too much time Negotiating.”

And a debate ensues on the validity of the comment.

And then all eyes are on you – coz they all remember the bold statement in your intro mail to the company: “my data is my opinion” (aka SalesOps).

“So SalesOps Superhero/Wonder Woman, tell us if we are spending too much time in Negotiation.”

And you do tell them in numbers if the team spent too much time negotiation. If you did not know how, this is how you can on Salesforce.

Create a report on “Opportunity History” type.

Filter it on the following:

Close Date=Q1 2021

Stage Change=TRUE

To Stage=Negotiation

The report you get is pretty exhaustive and might seem unintuitive out-of-the-box for analysis. This is where your Business Analyst hat has to come into play. Highly suggest take the report for all stages and not just Negotiation. At the end of the day you wanna preempt any presumptions on one stage and look for answers before questions pop up.

Download the CSV and start grouping the report to answer for:

  1. How long did every single won deal spend in each stage?
  2. Avg. time spent in each stage by Lead Type (Are Inbound deals spending too much time in Contract?)
  3. Avg. time spent in each stage by Region (Do EMEA deals spend more than avg. in Security stage?)
  4. Avg. time spent in each stage by Company Category (Do SMB deals spend least time in Demo stage?)

The permutations you can spin on above variables will start giving you patterns to consume and revisit your Q2 and later quarters.

  • Perhaps you will realize that deals going in Negotiation spend too long there coz of your complicated internal approval processes. Find the hiccups and push parts of approval to self-approval under a pricing threshold.
  • Perhaps you will discover that while most Americas Enterprise deals that go through a PoC stage translate into a win though they might take longer time in the stage. Double down and ramp up your Sales Engineering team.
  • Perhaps you will find that for some unknown reason way too many deals spend time in your Demo stage. Only to discover that too many scheduled demos don’t happen in time and the deal lingers in that stage unbeknownst to the BDR who created it to secure a new demo date. A process problem to address the BD to Sales handshake for you to fix.

A further analysis would be to identify if your team converts inbound leads into opps or they just bypass the process and create opps directly thus giving your marketing team a nightmare.

You could analyze not just the age of the opp but if it was converted from a lead, how long did the entire lead to deal closure take. These both questions require you to build a few custom fields and automations that I will write in a subsequent post sometime in a future quarter.

If you have subsequent questions to the post, do write to me on

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