Your company has revenue goals to hit. Each person on your sales team has a quota to hit. There are a lot of moving parts to keep track of. If you’re still manually tracking sales activity, you’re probably investing a large amount of your time and generating sub-par visibility.
The small and mid-sized companies I work with all have one thing in common. They need help developing and implementing an insightful sales dashboard. Maybe you’ll find this real-world story relatable if this area hasn’t hit the top of your list yet?
We encountered a leadership team that didn’t have visibility into impactful sales activities that drive business decisions. This lack of data meant there was poor insight into guiding forecasting, buying decisions, and business planning in general. They were forced to rely on gut instinct to assess how well the company was tracking to its annual revenue goals.
Once we implemented a right-sized CRM solution with a custom sales dashboard, the leadership team began forming swift, informed decisions. The sales leader became empowered with a real-time scorecard that pinpointed areas needing correction. As soon as the sales reps could see how their peers were performing, there was a near-instant increase in competition to outperform each other, naturally raising the bar on sales accountability.
A key reason for this powerful and successful outcome was that we stayed focused on keeping the tracking approach simple. Trying to track too many metrics can leave people feeling overwhelmed and dilute focus on what matters most.
Why You Need a Sales Dashboard
If you find yourself overwhelmed with the volume of data you’re tracking and you lack clear visibility on sales performance until a new deal is closed, you will benefit from a sales dashboard.
An effective sales dashboard, commonly referred to as a sales scorecard, monitors the sales pipeline, including key conversion points in your sales process. These are things that have the tendency to get held up such as new introduction meetings that turn into proposals.
Knowing where and when things are stuck in the sales process alerts the sales leader with real-time visibility on where sellers need help navigating a deal before it’s too late. It also pinpoints areas where sellers would benefit from additional training.
Tracking the stats and performance of your sales team naturally creates a high-performance sales culture. This is one of those invisible superpowers that top sales organizations always embody.
My clients have seen incredible success after they’ve developed, implemented, and embraced the sales dashboards we created together. To help you quantify the value that comes from focusing in this area, here are the top 4 benefits my clients tend to enjoy the most.
- Objective Conversations – The dashboard is made up of straight facts and numbers, not how sellers may feel they are doing. This opens the door to ultra-productive conversations in your 1:1 sales meetings because ‘facts are facts’. Use the dashboard to coach your salespeople on moving deals through the pipeline more swiftly, keeping focus on securing new customer meetings, and achieving productive meeting-to-opportunity conversation rates.
- Team Benchmarking – When your dashboard is designed to provide comparative data across team members, best practice sharing becomes a staple function in your sales meetings. Your dashboard also allows you to isolate seller strengths that can be studied and replicated, such as heightened close rates, volume of new versus current account deal flow, strong ratio of high-profit products and services, or strongest lead source across the team.
- Self-Directed Motivation – By providing your salespeople with visibility into their personal scorecard, it enables them to monitor their own performance. It creates natural self-motivation when they understand how much more effort it will take to achieve the next gate on their comp plan or how they are performing versus their peers, or even how they are measuring up to their own historic activity trends that led to previous success. Creating a method for your salespeople to be self-directed creates the empowerment that breads high performance.
Avoid Making These Mistakes
I’d be remised not to key in on some of the culprits that can kill a sales dashboard’s effectiveness. These are some of the most common:
- Lack of Communication – Don’t implement a sales dashboard before getting feedback from your team. Communicate the goals you have, listen to any concerns or questions they ask, and train your people on the benefits of this new tool. Pave the way by involving your team so your scorecard is embraced when it goes live.
- Overcomplicated – Keep the dashboard simple. Let the dashboard tell you what work needs to be done with the sales team but don’t clutter it with every single piece of data you can find. Identify the right things to track to create an easy-to-understand guide for your team to use.
- Difficult Tracking – Make it a priority at launch that the dashboard will be updated on a regular basis, ideally real-time through use of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Don’t create metrics that cannot be easily tracked such as gross margin. When you have a multitude of products where costs tend to vary on a daily basis, your gross margin is a constantly moving target. Metrics need to be readily accessible to the salesperson and sales leader in order to serve as a real-time, automated guide.While a sales dashboard is a great tool for tracking your successes and failures, it is not the sole solution for fixing an underperforming sales department. It’s a component within a best practices sales infrastructure that will help you determine where you should apply your focus and energy.
While a sales dashboard is a great tool for tracking your successes and failures, it is not the sole solution for fixing an underperforming sales department. It’s a component within a best practices sales infrastructure that will help you determine where you should apply your focus and energy.
I have decades of experience building winning, results-driven sales organizations and would enjoy sharing that value with you. If you are looking to improve or expedite your results, contact me at 773.203.7086 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I also invite you to follow me on LinkedIn to gain exposure to future article posts that will offer more valuable selling insights.
Another helpful resource I offer is a custom report you will receive after investing 2-minutes taking my SALES AGILITY ASSESSMENT. It’s filled with tips on how to optimize your sales environment based on your unique responses, making the report individualized and insightful!
I am part of a national group of Senior Sales Leaders who collaborate to share insights like the examples shown in this article. We formed because of our shared passion to help business leaders exponentially grow their revenue.