Using CaliberMind Answers to Understand Funnel Flow

Most businesses organize their sales and marketing practices around the idea of a funnel. The general hope is that more leads coming into the top will lead to more customers coming out of the bottom. Monitoring and understanding the various parts of a company's funnel is an essential practice for sales and marketing professionals in order to understand what worked, what didn’t, and how things are going right now.

One of the most challenging parts of this analysis is teasing out the large-scale patterns found in the overall flow of the funnel. Developing a macro-level understanding of how potential customers flow through a funnel is typically step one to improving marketing tactics, operational practices, and overall strategy. These include getting an idea of big questions like:

  • Where do successful journeys start?
  • Where do things get stuck?
  • What characterizes my customers’ journey?
  • Are there any operational issues with my funnel setup?

With CaliberMind Answers, we aim to make it easy for you to develop a macro-view of the nature of your funnel and how it flows. 

How Do I Set This Up?

The Funnel Origin Answer within CaliberMind is designed with ease of use and flexibility in mind. With a few simple configuration steps, you can get a picture of how potential customers flow through your funnel.

Below we detail the various configuration options available to users.

Name (1)

This field allows users to give their answer a unique name in order to quickly identify them across CaliberMind.

Funnel (2)

The name of the funnel the user wants to learn about. These names are defined in the underlying Funnel configuration.

Time Period (3)

This parameter allows users to define the most appropriate time period for analyzing their funnel. Long time ranges, such as This and Last Year, are useful for understanding broad historical trends while shorter time ranges, such as Past 90 Days, are more appropriate for analyzing the impact of recent decisions.

Events of Interest (4)

Funnels within CaliberMind are built upon the concept of an event stream. This event stream is the collection of all visible, relevant interactions potential customers could have with your content, tactics, people, company, or more. Examples include interacting with your website, consuming your podcast, signing up for a demo, booking a meeting, and much, much more. CaliberMind builds an intelligence layer on top of this event stream to automatically progress funnel journeys based on your rules and configuration.Within the concept of funnel flow, we have two main classes of events that could be of interest.

  • Trigger Events: These are the events directly tied to rules configured to indicate stage change in a user’s funnel. These could be interaction-based (visited your website, downloaded a white paper, etc.) or operational (updating a status field in Salesforce, changing a timestamp on a field, etc.) in nature.
  • Converting Events: Converting events can be thought of as the “last significant event” leading up to a stage change. Significant events are typically defined as attribution-eligible inbound interactions. 

The distinction between these two event classifications can be subtle but important. Consider the following example.

A potential customer has booked a demo. The meeting was a success and it seems that this could be a real potential buyer. Following that meeting, your salesperson changes a field in the CRM to mark that as a Sales Accepted OpportunityIn this case, the trigger and converting events would be:

  • Trigger Event: The act of updating the CRM to change the status.
  • Converting Event: The last significant inbound event associated with the account. In this case that would probably be booking the demo.

In most cases, converting events represent the events of interest to marketers. In many cases, the converting and trigger events are the same. This is particularly true when users have significant visibility and automation for their top-of-funnel process. Trigger events are primarily useful in understanding the overall operational dynamics of a funnel implementation.

Include Backfills (5)

The typical conceptual view of a funnel is a linear path progressing through all stages from start to finish, checking each stage’s criteria along the way. However, this is often not the case in practice. Several factors could lead to customers starting their journeys in later stages as well as potentially skipping stages. Within the CaliberMind Funnel system, we have a concept of backfill events. These events are used for bookkeeping purposes when these peculiarities occur.

This parameter controls whether or not backfills are included in the resulting Answer. When backfills are included, users get a full picture of how things are moving through their funnel as well as which stages may have operational issues. The downside of this is that backfills increase the potential complexity of the underlying data, which some users may feel take away from their ability to understand large-scale patterns.

We recommend enabling backfills as a starting point for using this Answer.

Include Early Terminations (6)

Within a user’s funnel, the majority of journeys end prior to completion. CaliberMind automatically captures and classifies these terminal outcomes based on the user’s configuration. This parameter toggles on or off the inclusion of these early terminations in the resulting Answer. Choosing to disable these is primarily done to reduce visual complexity and enable ease of use.

Only Include Completions (6)

This parameter is used to control whether all funnel journeys over the given time period are considered or just those that successfully completed. Similar to the Early Termination and Backfill configuration, this option is selected when users want to reduce complexity and only care about understanding what characterizes successful journeys.

How Do I Use This?

Once you have set up your Answer, you will have access to a curated exploration page focused solely on your version of the question at hand. This is in addition to the generated insight that is delivered to you. This page provides both high-level and deeper insight into your data. The screenshot and breakdown below provide supplementary information about using and interpreting this information.

Answer Name and Configuration Panel (1)

This section provides the current configuration for this Answer. Often times this information is useful in differentiating use cases and providing additional context for discussion.

Answer (2)

Rather than just give users a multitude of reports to wade through, CaliberMind aims to provide a curated experience for understanding and interpreting the data at hand. This section provides a high-level answer to the core underlying question being considered. This statement is limited to 1-2 lines of concise information. This is the same value that is listed on the My Answers page for this specific question.

This specific Answer tells you the most common origin for successful funnel journeys within the time frame that was specified.

Journey Sankey Diagram (3)

This Sankey diagram represents the flow of all journeys through a given funnel over the configured time range. These diagrams are useful in visualizing large-scale patterns in flow. Some key details about this diagram are:

  • Journeys flow from left to right (top of funnel to completion)
  • The nodes are characterized by two pieces of information. First, the underlying event type for either the converting or trigger event (depending on the stage). Secondly, the stage number is appended to the event type to distinguish between things happening at different points in the funnel. 
    • Ex: Content Download_3 refers to Content Download events that led to the transition into the third stage of a given funnel.
  • When backfills are enabled, each vertical slice from left to right corresponds to only a single stage starting with Stage 1. When backfills are not enabled, vertical alignment does not hold for stage designation due to journeys being able to skip stages.
  • Nodes and paths that are colored gold mean that at least one journey passed through this route on the way to a successful completion. This helps visualize a potential “golden path” through a user’s funnel. Often the dynamics of a user’s funnel are too complex for a straightforward single best path to make sense, but this visualization still helps to understand where success flows through.  
  • The size of the links between nodes is proportional to the number of journeys that follow that path.
  • Nodes can be dragged within their vertical slice to enhance visibility.
  • Nodes can be clicked on to explore additional information about inflow and outflow. The sections below provide more detail on this information.
Node Breakdown  (4)

This table is reactive to whatever node has been selected by the user. The goal of this table is to provide an additional layer of detail about the composition of events tied to a specific node. 

The table contains the following data:

  • Event Name: The specific event name associated with the current node. Depending on the underlying event type and a user’s data configuration, a node could represent a wide array of specific events. Alternatively, a node could represent a number of common, generic events used to flag behavior.
  • # of Completed Journeys: A count of all the successful journeys that traveled through this specific event name within this node.
  • # Active: This is a count of all the current (within the context of the configured time range) journeys that have passed through this event name.
  • # Exits: This is a count of the total number of journey exits associated with this event name and node. 
  • Furthest Stage Reached: This is the name of the furthest stage reached by journeys that have moved through this combination of event name and node.
  • Furthest Stage Order: This is the order of the furthest stage reached by journeys that have moved through this combination of event name and node.
Inbound Breakdown (5)

This pie chart shows the percentage breakdown of source nodes from the previous stages that lead to the user-selected node. This widget is reactive to the user’s selection on the Journey Sankey diagram.

Outbound Breakdown (6)

This pie chart shows the percentage breakdown of destinations for journeys that pass through the user-selected node. This widget is reactive to the user’s selection on the Journey Sankey diagram.

How did we do?

Using CaliberMind Answers to Understand Account Engagement