Improve Your Sales Conversion Rate With Our Free CRM Template

As a small to mid-size business, implementing a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is the best way to rapidly grow your sales. A CRM allows you and your sales team to work smarter by creating a single source of truth for all your sales leads, their contact information, their stage of the buying journey, and more! This enables more accurate communication among leads with the right information to close the sale and help you prevent new business from slipping through the cracks.

If your business isn’t quite ready to graduate to a full CRM, our Google Sheets CRM template is a perfect way to get familiar with your sales processes and build a more mature sales department. (Future you will thank you!) Our handy CRM template will help you manage your sales pipeline. The best part? It’s totally free—and works with Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets!

Download your free template today and grow your sales with our handy guides below to help you:


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Manage opportunities with a sales pipeline

You'll learn best practices for developing a CRM-focused contact strategy, how to create a sales pipeline, tips for using automations to manage opportunities, and sales data that will help you understand the results of your efforts.

Table of Contents

Managing sales pipeline

How to Manage Your Sales Process with an Excel & Google Sheets CRM Template

crm template
If this is how you organize your data, it’s only a matter of time until important info is lost. That’s why 91% of businesses with more than 11 employees use a CRM tool.

Define your sales pipeline

How do you keep track of your sales opportunities? If you rely on emails or scribbled notes to track business contacts and potential leads, it gets more and more difficult to remember who you’ve talked to. Without a sales process in place, you risk:

  • Losing a lead’s contact information
  • Giving customers a poor sales experience
  • Missing sales opportunities
  • Complicating your sales process
  • Being unable to effectively market your business
  • Being unable to predict revenue
  • Not hitting your sales targets

Before you dive into this template, it’s important to outline your sales pipeline. These are the steps you take to turn a potential customer into a paying customer and give you an overview of how your contacts will move through your sales pipeline. This allows you to configure the template to your business needs without any hiccups. Ask yourself these questions to define your sales pipeline: 

1. What do you want to track? This should only be information about your deals and contacts that is key to closing deals.

2. How will leads move through the sales process? Leads are the potential sales opportunities you are working to close into deals. The easy-to-edit sales process steps are found under “Lead Status” in the CRM template and include:

    1. Not started
    2. In Progress
    3. Need to Reply
    4. Awaiting Reply
    5. Done
    6. Upsell

3. What are your pipeline stages? Pipeline stages are the steps in your sales process that move a lead from initial discovery to a closed deal. The pre-built stages in our free CRM template that you can easily change to fit your own business process better include:

      1. Qualifying
      2. Contact
      3. Meeting
      4. Proposal
      5. Closing
      6. Retention

4. Where do your leads come from? Use your CRM template to keep track of where your leads come from so you can provide better customer service and decide where to focus your future marketing efforts. The downloadable CRM template includes fields such as:

    1. Website
    2. Referral
    3. Email
    4. Ads
    5. Social

Creating a sales pipeline gives you increased accountability, which makes it easy to see opportunities for improvement. You can learn even more about how to build a sales pipeline in this article.

Customize the CRM template for your business

Now that you have an outline of your sales pipeline, start customizing and importing your contacts into the CRM template. First, import your contacts; the easiest method is via a .csv file. You can export your contacts in this format from your current spreadsheet or even platforms such as Mailchimp, Microsoft Outlook, or Constant Contact.

Once your contacts are imported to the template, you’re ready to create and manage a healthy sales pipeline. Here are 9 proven tips to help you along your journey:

  1. Invest time and resources: According to the Harvard Business Review, companies that spent at least 3 hours per month managing their sales pipeline saw 11% greater revenue growth than those that spent fewer than 3 hours per month. Meet with your team regularly to discuss:
    1. Leads currently moving through the pipeline
    2. Leads that were disqualified in a later sales stage. Why were they lost?
    3. Leads that were won. What made them decide to buy?
  2. Train your team: Sales teams that train their sales managers in sales pipeline management report 23% greater revenue growth than those that don’t.
  3. Follow up with leads: The majority of salespeople give up after 2 calls—when it takes 8 calls on average to close. And get this: 27% of sales leads are never followed up at all. That’s a lot of leads that could’ve become customers.
  4. Keep it short: Review your sales pipeline and find areas to cut or shorten. The longer your sales process, the more chances your potential customer has to change their mind or find a different product to solve their problem. Sales pipelines are only as effective as they are efficient.
  5. Optimize for referrals: People are 90% more likely to buy from a business after a word-of-mouth recommendation. Try offering an incentive to your current customers to send you referrals. If done right, this can be a great upward spiral to rapid revenue growth and increased brand awareness. 
  6. Collaborate with marketing: Align your sales and marketing language because when sales and marketing are collaborative, people qualify themselves. 80% of marketers and 70% of sales reps rank “strong alignment between sales and marketing” as important to their company’s success.
  7. Practice pipeline hygiene: If you do not regularly clean your sales pipeline, it can start to get downright disheveled—which will make it inefficient. Check your sales pipeline deals for:
    1. Leads who have gone radio silent
    2. Deals that have been stuck in a sales stage longer than average
    3. Details and notes on each lead that are out of date
  8. Partner up: Partnerships are a cost-effective way to expand your presence and generate new leads. They can also improve existing customer loyalty by providing access to new benefits and products.
  9. Be open to change: Constantly ask “why?” when it comes to your sales pipeline. Focus on your goals. Test every stage for its impact and urgency. Questioning your stages leads to new ideas and innovations that will directly impact how you do business.

Hungry for more tips? We have several in-depth articles with ways to manage your sales pipeline better:

  1. How To Keep Track Of Clients’ Information
  2. How To Keep Your Sales Organized

Stay informed of the important metrics

As the saying goes, “You can’t improve what you don’t measure.” This is extremely true when it comes to business growth. Regularly reviewing your metrics ensures you have a healthy pipeline and there are no roadblocks to conversion. The 5 important metrics that you should keep track of within your CRM are:

  • Number of leads: How many leads have been qualified?
  • Average deal size: How much money does your average sale bring in?
  • Sales cycle length: How long does it take to close a deal?
  • Close ratio: What percentage of leads convert to actual sales?
  • Average deal lifetime: How long is a deal in your pipeline before they’re won or lost?

Pipeline velocity helps forecast revenue. Armed with your sales pipeline metrics, you can determine your pipeline’s velocity, i.e., the speed at which leads move through your pipeline. 

The formula for pipeline velocity is:

(Number of leads in your pipeline x overall win rate % x average deal size)


(days in sales cycle)

The changes in your pipeline velocity metric over time are often more important than the actual number. If you multiply your daily rate by the number of days in the month, your monthly revenue forecast will be more accurate.

Evaluate your options and graduate to a CRM at the right time

In a few months or year(s), you might be ready to graduate to a feature-filled CRM as your business needs more advanced features like lead routing and sales automation. If you can answer yes to at least 2 of the following 4 statements, it might be the right time to graduate to a full CRM. 

  1. You have a large contact list. You have more than 50 leads (or 5 ongoing deals at a time).
  2. You’re getting more leads, and your team has trouble keeping up with manually entering them into your Google Sheets CRM spreadsheet.
  3. Manual errors happen repeatedly as new info is added, so your data isn’t accurate.
  4. You have the resources to move to a CRM software system.

As you evaluate your CRM options, make sure the tool you’re considering can fulfill the following important needs for a growing business like yours:

  • Make your sales process crystal clear. Intuitive organization and a simple interface mean you spend less time trying to find the data you need (and more time winning deals).
  • Always know who your best leads are. Quickly see which leads in your pipeline you should focus on next by tracking which deals are most likely to close.
  • Work smarter with sales automation. Automate time-intensive tasks like daily reminders, data entry, and tracking leads. Focus on growing your business instead.
  • Build a better customer experience. Automation lets you connect your sales and marketing data, so you can personalize your customer relationships with ease.

Give yourself 14 days to evaluate the ActiveCampaign CRM with our free trial here. During your trial, these are just a few of the many features available to you and how they can help with business growth: 

  • Sales reporting: Track the performance of individual members of your team and your sales funnel.
  • Automated deal updates: Automatically update deal owners, deal stage, deals won or lost, and deal value.
  • Win probability: See how likely you are to close each deal, so you can focus your time where it makes a difference.
  • Notification emails: Notify your sales team when it’s time to follow up. Add notifications from within sales automations and nurture campaigns.
  • Note creation: Take notes directly within each deal and contact record so that your whole sales team is on the same page.
  • Task assignment: Assign tasks to individual salespeople, either manually or within automations.
  • Connect your email: Connect with Gmail, Outlook, or any other email provider.
  • Lead scoring: Find leads most engaged with your business and content. Add scores to overall deals and individual contacts.

deals in activecampaign

Get a birds-eye-view of your sales pipeline with all your deals and their individual stages within your ActiveCampaign account.

Let’s take a look at the story of an ActiveCampaign’s CRM customer—Airtame. 

Airtame creates software that lets you share your screen from any device. They use ActiveCampaign’s lead scoring feature to optimize their sales pipeline. Automations allow the sales team to focus on the most qualified leads and nurtures the rest until they are ready. Airtame tracks two separate lead scores to improve their conversion rate:

  1. Customer fit score: What’s the lead’s profile, and how close is it to Airtame’s ideal customer?
  2. Engagement score: How often is the lead interacting with Airtame’s emails and other marketing?

Both of these lead scores are regularly updated based on the lead’s needs and their engagement with Airtame’s content. The two lead scores are added together. If the combined score is high enough, the sales team gets tagged in to help. You can update a lead score based on almost any lead’s attribute that you track in ActiveCampaign, and Airtame chose these criteria because they found that contacts who have a high score in these two areas are more likely to become happy customers.

gif of deal in activecampaign

Less time spent digging through emails and business cards means you have more time to focus on what matters, like closing deals. When you’re ready to graduate, try out ActiveCampaign’s CRM for free. If you’re not ready yet, download our free CRM template for Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets and get organized today!

Automate your CRM for free today

Start a 14-day free trial. No credit card, no setup, no hassle.