A dashboard, such as the one in a car, is where you can quickly and easily see vital signs that affect your current task. Similarly, a dashboard for your sales platform provides important information at a glance; it keeps you aware of necessary metrics and performance standards. The majority of top salespeople rely on their sales dashboard for day-to-day operations.
Depending on your industry, type of sales (B2B or B2C), and the size of your company, as well as your role, your dashboard may not be the same as your fellow salespeople’s. And, based on current incentives, company offerings, and personal or departmental goals, some metrics may be necessary one week but not the next.
Your dashboard is an effective way to keep your sales—and your goals—organized. No matter your personal needs, there are specific metrics that are always pertinent. Just like the dashboard in a car, without these data points you won’t know the health of your sales, how quickly you’ll achieve your goals, or if you need to speed up (or slow down) your sales process.
Some sales require phone calls; others need in-person meetings. Closing a $1 million deal takes far more nurturing than smaller accounts. With that in mind, a sales manager may see “Won Deals Leader Board” on their dashboard, but perhaps “Team Metrics Based on Total Pipeline” is more relevant.
To learn what information should be in your dashboard, consider these questions:
As you do your research, ensure that your dashboard includes actionable metrics. It’s likely you already know what sales metrics need to be included in your dashboard, but be sure to take your reports into consideration. Your dashboard will most likely change over time, so make sure your platform gives you the option to adjust as necessary without getting IT involved.
Vehicles don’t have the speedometer hidden in a corner of the dashboard. Nor is the gas gauge just a simple light that comes on only when you’re on empty. The layout of your sales dashboard should be just as well planned.
Ensure that you can quickly make changes to how metrics appear on your dashboard so that the most important details stay above the fold and are most visible. This goes for both your desktop and mobile dashboards. You need to be in control, and if that’s not easily managed within your sales platform, take the time to learn how to manipulate the way that data is displayed.
Charts can include dials, leaderboards, bar graphs, historical trend graphs, pie charts, funnels, plotted points, and more. Your goal is to display relevant information in a way that’s quickly understood—and, using your CRM, making sure your dashboard is always up-to-the-minute accurate (which is especially important when a salesperson is outside the office and views their mobile dashboard).
Dashboards are most effective when they give you a big-picture overview while ensuring you know the details, too. Salespeople and sales managers have to juggle a number of facets in the big picture, including:
With that in mind (and after burying the lede), the perfect sales dashboard should have some combination of these metrics.
Gain an understanding of where your customers are coming from (e.g., conferences, website demo sign-ups, referrals). This data helps you classify which leads to contact first and focus on the most profitable sources. It also allows you to see if you need to diversify your lead sources so you’re not wholly reliant on one or two resources.
See what stage each open opportunity is in and how close they are to finalizing. Use this information to tailor your conversations based on where leads are in the purchase process, as well as know when to teach versus pitch.
The average duration or time (typically in days) it takes your team to win a deal. If you take this average and compare it to the age of each opportunity, you can see if your current opportunities are moving through the funnel as expected.
Quickly see how much revenue your sales have generated. This metric is especially important if your sales quota is based on revenue, and it can help you keep an eye on commission goals.
According to Marketing Metrics, it’s about 50 percent easier to sell to existing customers than it is to sell to new customers. In fact, some companies “use upsells to drive a much higher percentage of their new Average Contract Value (ACV) . . . In fact, companies in the $40–75MM revenue range attribute twice as much new revenue to upsells as the median company.”
As a salesperson, you need to balance new business with upsells. This metric keeps you on track.
One of your most basic metrics as a salesperson, this number is the percent of opportunities proposed or quoted that you won. Lower-than-average win rates indicate the need for research: Are leads getting stuck in your funnel at the same place? Perhaps your pitch needs to be adjusted for when you speak to lukewarm. Find out what an acceptable percentage is in your industry and work to hit it on a consistent basis.
This metric helps you see how your offerings are actually performing in sales versus how they were predicted (or idealized) to sell. When there’s a gap, more product research needs to be done to find out why—and you, as a salesperson, can lead the way.
These opportunities are your bread and butter and tie into your win/loss rate. Use this to track your leads, delegate when you have too many, and grow your pipeline when you want to increase the number of open opportunities you have.
Consider these your to-do list. Your open activities are the tasks you need to take care of to stay proactive in your sales efforts. It’s good to have open activities, but if you have too many, check your schedule to see where your time could be used more effectively.
Cases are generally opened when a customer initiates contact. These and open activities should be treated as time-sensitive. Take care to close these cases quickly, as that may help improve customer retention.
Especially for salespeople with too much on their plates (which isn’t uncommon), past due opportunities happen. Your goal is to keep this to a minimum. Again, if this metric grows faster than you’d prefer, consider delegating to others in your office. You can also monitor your funnel to learn why these opportunities haven’t closed and find a way to make it easier for leads to convert.
“The timing of a deal is just as important as its value, if not more so: Sales reps have monthly and quarterly quotas, sales VPs have company-wide revenue targets, and CEOs expect ‘hockey stick’ growth as soon as possible.” Closed dates help with forecasting and may help you find trends and gauge how long most customers take to convert.
Most salespeople will benefit from keeping an eye on the metrics listed. The key to a successful sales dashboard, however, is to look at your reports, your personal sales goals, and what your company needs from you in order to determine which metrics are most important for your current needs.
The easiest way to stay organized and proactive in this hypercompetitive industry is with a sales dashboard. Consider these metrics, investigate what data is most important for your success, then build your dashboard. As you work through your pipeline, both at your desk and on your mobile devices, your dashboard will help you close deals faster.