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Streak Theory: Elements of a successful pipeline

Streak Theory: Elements of a successful pipeline

4
min read

Music Theory helps us understand the elements of a catchy tune (there’s a reason so many pop songs sound similar!). The best Streak pipelines also share common elements, and we’ll use this post to discuss the Streak Theory behind the ‘catchiest’ pipelines. We also built you this simple Worksheet (‘Make a copy’ from the file menu) to help you craft a pipeline built from the ground up for powerful reporting, filtering, and sorting.

One column per fact

The first Pipeline we help you create is meant to be the minimum you need to get started rather than a finished product. Before you grab your keyboard to start adding columns, take a moment to write down all of the information you want to know about each of your leads, hiring candidates, support tickets, or potential investors…

Have a few data points in mind? Great! Each of those facts deserves a dedicated column, like this:

Clear Notes, Full Columns, Can’t Lose

Notes can seem like an easy way to quickly jot down information, but they're a lot less useful when you're trying to scan your pipelines or make sense of them by filtering, sorting, or grouping your data.

That said, notes do have a time and place in your pipeline. Our best practice recommendation for using the ‘Notes’ field is to ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Is the note unique to this box (or applies to very few boxes)? For example, the number of units sold should be recorded for most every box, but a note about a recent event one of your customers had should not.
  2. Is the information in the note "evergreen"? In other words, is always going to be true?

… if your note doesn’t pass both of these tests, a new column should be considered.

There are two main reasons to be mindful before adding Notes:

1) Glance at each of the following screenshots and then try to answer the question: How did each candidate learn about and apply for the job?

2) We can create reports based on individual columns like the 2nd example (how many people found us at job fairs?). The computer cannot, however, read and report on free form text entered in the ‘Notes’ field.

Even if you’re not ready to think about team reporting yet, you’ll still want to set yourself up for success by building a database that’s ready to scale.

Structured Data = Clean Data

Help your team create standardized, easy-to-report-on information by selecting the appropriate format for each column. In the first example above, we added a dropdown column.

The most commonly used columns types are:

  • Dropdown: Select only 1 of the pre-filled options.
  • Tag: Choose 1 or more of the pre-filled options.
  • Date: Streak accepts only valid date formats.

Utilizing a dropdown column type like the one on the left:

…eliminates typos and prevents different people from using different terms to describe the same information, like in the column on the right.

Magic Columns Mean Less Data Entry

So far, we’ve only discussed the data you can add to Streak. Now is a good time to get to know our automatically updated magic columns. They help you track 50+ different data points about your boxes, interactions, and activity in your pipelines.

Magic Columns like ‘Date Last Updated’ or ‘Total Emails Sent’ are hard at work, even if your computer is off. Below you’ll see call logs and meeting notes magic columns — and this is just one section of our total list!

Final Note: Columns vs special data types

Because Streak is exceptionally flexible, at times you’ll have multiple possibilities for storing one piece of data.

While you can add and update datapoints in pipeline columns, you can also add longer-form data inside the box in the form of call logs and meeting notes, comments, tasks, and email conversations.

Whenever possible, we want to be able to use magic columns to show information about that longer-form data, like when a call took place, or when the next task is due for a certain box.

Adding a call log, for example, gives us access to all of the options shown above. Although you could manually track the last call you had in a “Date” column, you get so much more data from the Magic Columns with no effort.

The Worksheet we linked in the beginning will help you think through what which columns you’ll want to add. We can even make automatic suggestions based on your inputs! Note that the link is to a ‘view only’ copy. If you’d like fill out the sheet, make a copy you can edit: Choose ‘File’ -> “Make Copy’.

Questions about building the Perfect Pipeline? Start a chat in the bottom right corner of this page or send us an email at support@streak.com

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