Lens 3

Tool 13.

Analysis of gender gaps in the sales process

The objective of this tool is to explain how to make a sales funnel and analyze the importance of including disaggregation by sex and age in the process of selling a product or service.

It has a medium level of complexity and requires a basic knowledge of Power BI Desktop. It is intended to be used by a company’s management staff, sales analyst team, or business planning team.


In tool 12, data analytics for my company, from lens 3, it is presented how to get started in Power BI.


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Tool 13.

Analysis of gender gaps in the sales process

This guide explains what the sales funnel is and why it should be considered gender-sensitive. It also explains how to design a sales funnel with Power BI with an example based on a fintech (a company that provides financial services based on a web platform).

Every company that sells a product or service to end consumers or to other companies has a process that begins with a contact and ends successfully with the sale. In the middle of the process there are several steps that are usually filters to be able to make the sale. For organizations, it is key to know the evolution of their customers in the sales process and to know in which steps the greatest losses of customers tend to occur. Likewise, it is interesting to know if the evolution in the sales process is different depending on the characteristics of the clientele, such as sex, age, geographical location. The sales funnel is a tool that allows you to visualize this in a simple way.

Tool benefits

Assuming that the evolution in the sales process is indistinct from the characteristics of the clientele can lead companies to lose sales or not be able to boost them. By incorporating a gender analysis with disaggregated information and comparing different sales processes in light of the gender variable, you can boost your arrival in a broader market.

From the point of view of the businesses that offer these products and services, it is key to be able to analyze whether the purchase has distinctions in terms of the sex of the people: is my product or service accessible to men and women equally? Are there gender gaps among my potential clientele? Is the sales process inclusive or does it have a gender focus? How is the disaggregation by sex of my potential clients throughout the sales process? By answering these questions, companies have the opportunity to reach more consumers and ensure the accessibility of their products and services.

In the event that the product or service has been planned to be directed to a particular sex, it is necessary to ensure that this differentiation is essential and is not based on socially assigned roles and stereotypes about what is feminine and what is male.

When segmenting the market, it is advisable to think about the functionality of the product and the need to be satisfied through its use, not about preconceived ideas about behaviors and attitudes that are culturally considered appropriate for women and men, and that may be reproducing gender stereotypes.

What is a sales funnel?

It is a marketing tool that visualizes how the potential clientele of a company goes through the different phases of prospecting until they become clients. A sales funnel, which is also called a marketing funnel or conversion funnel, represents the idea that all sales start with a large number of potential customers and end with a much smaller number of people who end up buying the product. or service.

It is called a funnel because it is usually shaped like this, since of all the people who enter the funnel as potential consumers, only a few end up becoming customers.

The following graphic shows conceptually how different contacts arrive at the sales process by marketing actions and they are filtered as they go through the stages of the process. 

Gráfico 1. Diagrama conceptual del embudo de ventas

Source: Own elaboration based on information from Wikipedia (2021). Sales funnel. Available at: https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embudo_de_ventas

The sales funnel is visualized using a funnel chart that can be developed in data analytics tools. This implies that a company can design and automate its sales funnel in such a way that it can monitor what the bottlenecks are and / or what are its conversion rates of its sales actions. Likewise, the analysis of the sales funnel can be improved by delving into the characteristics of the people who go through the different phases, for example, gender or age. In this way, the funnel allows us to see if there are bottlenecks and also if those who do not advance in the process or phase have common characteristics. Analyzing these behaviors allows us to correct processes so that they are more inclusive or reach all the people we intend to reach with our services or products.  

When is it used?

Beyond tracking sales, funnel charts are a great option when your data is sequential and moving through at least four phases. For example, we may want to show the phases in a production process to be able to detect bottlenecks in a linear process. Likewise, these types of graphs are widely used to track the workflow of a shopping cart and to track the progress and success of marketing and advertising campaigns with click-through.

Tool application example

In order to explain how to calculate a sales funnel, we use an example of a company that offers online financial services, a fintech. The financial product sales process is in 9 stages from the first contact. The funnel aims to show how many of the people who are interested in the product in stage one become customers in stage 9.

Of the following graphs, the one on the left shows the evolution in the sales process of companies that apply for credit and are led by women. It can be seen that, out of 491 applicants, 8 reach the end of the process (they go through the 9 stages). While the graph on the right shows the evolution in the sales process of organizations that apply for credit and are led by men. Of 394 companies that start the process, none go beyond stage 7 (the process is up to stage 9).

Graph 2: Sales funnel based on the gender of the person who runs the company.

Source: Own elaboration based on the information on the study case.

The sales funnel allows us to see that there is a bottleneck (an important filter between those who start in stage 0 and those who continue the process) for women in stage 1, while for men the bottleneck occurs mainly in stage 5. In terms of the gender approach, it is important for this company to understand why these filters are so marked in the process and to answer questions such as the following:

      • What happens in stage 1 so that the proportion of women who advance in the process is lower than among men?
      • How is the sales process being managed at this stage?
      • What sales communication messages are used to offer the product to women? Is it adequate in terms of the realities of the women to whom it is offered?
      • What changes can be made at this stage of the process to increase the proportion of women who move on to the next?
      • What characterizes stage 5 so that few men (in proportion to women) can advance from this stage? 

Steps to create a sales funnel in Power BI

Step One
      • Prepare the data sources

    Ideally, you should have two data sources: first, the main database, which will contain information per person / company on the following variables: stage in the sales process, rejection / non-rejection status, sex ( if it is a company, the gender of the person who runs it or the gender of the person who manages the sale within the organization), the stage at which it was rejected, any other variable that is considered relevant to later filter the funnel.

    The second base (base of stages) should contain a complete list of the stages of the sales process. It is important that all the stages are present, even if no one is in any of them. In addition, this database must have an index column that numbers the stages.

    Step Two
        • Connect data osources to the model in Power BI

      When connecting the data sources, a relationship of the two bases must be created using the stage name field of the staging database and the reject stage field of the main database. This relationship must be one-to-many. Additionally, the stage name column of the stage base must be sorted by the index column of the same base.

      Step Three
          • Create calculation index for the “Values” field

        This index must have the following structure:

        Index = CALCULATE(COUNTA(Base principal[ID contacto]), FILTER(ALL(Base etapas), Base etapas[Columna índice] >= MIN(Base etapas[Columna índice])))

        Step Four
            • Create the funnel

          The sales funnel uses the funnel chart type, which comes within the default visualization package in Power BI. To create it, it is necessary to have at least two fields: the “Group” field, which will be fed by the stage name variable from the stage base; and the “Values” field, which will be fed by the measure created in the previous step.

          Step Five
              • Required filter

            To complete our funnel, it is necessary to open the filters tab and in the stage name field, select all the values except “blank”. This is based on the fact that we are taking only rejected people / companies, so the column of reject stage (or similar) will be blank for all those that have not yet been rejected, and will distort the graph.

            Step Six
                • Add filter card

              In order to give it a gender focus, another object must be added to accompany the funnel: a filter card using the sex field of the main base. This will help to analyze if there are differences by sex in the stages in which people / companies are rejected. In statistics, the sex variable takes the categories: woman / man.

              In the following video you can see a tutorial that explains the steps to create a sales funnel with Power BI:

              Did you know?

              You can turn on subtitles on a Youtube video in a different language! Just click the CC button at the bottom of the video, then click the gear icon to chose your translation language.

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              This toolbox is made possible by the support of the American People through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the terms of Contract No. AID OAA-C-17-00090. The contents of this toolkit are the sole responsibility of Deetken Impact and Pro Mujer and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.