Dashboards, that is manager panels, are unique tools provided by Salesforce Sales Cloud. In the previous article about dashboards, we explained why it is worth using them and what possibilities they offer, especially from the sales department’s point of view. Now – as announced before – we present you specific solutions in this area.

The out-of-the-box offer on the Salesforce platform contaings the Sales Cloud module – a ready-made solution, designed for the specifics of sales people work. Among many useful functionalities, the module users have, for example, pre-defined dashboard templates at their disposal The main three are as follows: sales person, manager, and sales director dashboards.

At first sight, they seem similar. And in fact, they are. The common feature of these dashboards is that they present KPI typical for sales, such as sales pipeline or finalized transactions. Panels differ in the scope of visible data, which is linked to the role that the user of the chosen dashboard plays in the sales department. The higher the position, the higher is the information detail level on the dashboard and the broader view at the work of the whole department the user has.

 

Sales person dashboard

How does it look in practice? Let’s start with a sales person: first of all, on the dashboard, he/she will see the summary of their wallet share. The view consists of eight reports including:

  • finalized transactions
  • sales pipeline
  • sales forecast
  • current activities
  • leads
  • open leads
  • major customers
  • sales team performance results

The sales person can estimate his/her sales opportunities and processes on an ongoing basis (even at the qualification stage, with the transaction assigned value), and then compare them with the results from the previous periods, both his/her and the entire team. He/she can also check detailed information from every report mentioned above.

 

Manager dashboard

A sales person panel includes his/her part of the sales cake only. If we move to the manager dashboard, we will see a much broader view: a summary of the sales team work, taking into account the individual results of every sales person. Out of the several reports which the view of this dashboard is comprised of, the following are the most important ones:

  • finalized transactions
  • sales pipeline
  • activity of each sales person
  • sales pipeline of each sales person
  • sales team performance results
  • crucial business opportunities
  • average value of opportunities
  • sales growth year on year
  • sales forecast
  • key competitors

The manager dashboard gives a picture of the entire team’s sales potential. Just a glance and a few clicks – that is all it takes to check if everything proceeds as planned, and if not, it is easy to verify which area needs more attention and where to intervene quickly. The value of contracts at various stages of negotiations, sales people activity, sales in individual segments, major contracts, change in the value of sales opportunities, margin amount – each of these indicators is at hand, at any time.

 

Sales Director dashboard

The dashboard of the sales director offers even broader view. It is not only an insight into the work of the team and the condition of the whole company, but mostly into the work of marketing, sales, and customer service departments. Key indicators for each of the departments are presented in separate reports. These are:

  • For marketing — marketing pipeline, income, and ROI from campaigns with breakdown per marketing channels.
  • For sales — finalized transactions, sales pipeline, sales growth, the most prominent business opportunities.
  • For customer service — customer service satisfaction, reports with breakdown per service channels, conformity with standards of service, cost of customer service.

Due to the broad range of data, this dashboard is a perfect tool not only for the sales director but also for the CEO.

 

Forecasting – how does it work?

Forecasting is an extremely useful feature available in dashboards. It is based on assessing sales opportunities. Each one of them has an assigned financial value and percentage of its completion (that is, what are the chances of closing the deal). On this basis, the system forecasts sales volume for the period concerned: next month, or quarter. Hence, the sales person or the manager can assess if he/she got enough potential clients to rest easy, or if he/she should intensively look for leads because there is a risk that not everything will go as planned.

Forecasting is valuable for business, however, it should be used wisely and, most importantly, the forecasts should be adapted to the peculiarities of a given industry, because they will not always be equally accurate. At IT companies such as Craftware, forecasting entails significant risk and uncertainty – it is challenging. Working on a project basis means that sales is not just a one-time transaction. Moreover, projects are completed over time, and the due amount of the project does not land on the account right away

 

My tailored dashboard

I use the manager dashboard everyday. But this is not my only work tool. Salesforce allows creating tailored solutions — including reports and dashboards. So I have designed my own toolkit customized to my needs, with the KPIs that are the most important for me. The main dashboard displays the following:

  • income from projects for the whole team and each of sales people — during a month, a quarter and a year
  • income from sold subscriptions, also on a monthly, quarterly and yearly basis
  • the biggest closed and opened sales opportunities with breakdown per implementation services and subscriptions
  • leads in the sales pipeline
  • employees activity: personal meetings, teleconferences, and phone records — collected automatically by the system thanks to the mobile app and calendar integration

The last two reports are particularly important because they give me insight into the current actions of my team, what do they work on, and what are the chances of achieving established quarterly or yearly goals. I see leads and sales processes of each sales person, and have up-to-date information about them. Therefore, I can follow their status and potential, and also check in what marketing campaigns they participated in.

I can easily watch if every new lead is taken care of within a maximum of two working days. Aside from the lead’s status change, I also have information whether the assigned sales person contacted the lead. Additionally, the system presents me with precise information such as contact attempts on our side (this means unanswered calls). And this helps to seal the sales pipeline.

It is worth remembering that if ready Salesforce templates are not sufficient, we can create our own. Many CRM systems have limited reporting options, and Salesforce is unique in this regard: it only depends on our vision and data availability what dashboard we design.

 

Work with dashboard and data team

Working with your team on a dashboard and data Dashboards are handy, not only in individual work. Part of reports and panels is shared with the team so that they can control sales target completion and current pipeline. The sales team can easily filter data and see just their own statistics. It allows keeping full transparency and appropriate work pace. I also use dashboards during meetings with the team when we discuss fullfillment of plans and action statuses. These panels are very important, and in a certain sense, they are a kind of motivation to work with the CRM: to keep data up to date and enter it to individual dashboards regularly. “Trash in, trash out” – what we put into the CRM is what we will take out later. We need to take care of the system together, to make sure it works properly and fulfills its functions. Everyone will benefit from this.

In my opinion, every sales person should start their day form reviewing the dashboard to check the fullfillment of plans, sales value, and assigned tasks. It is a good practice, and I encourage others to do so, since I apply this rule by myself. For sales people who are just taking the first steps in using dashboards (and Salesforce in general), I recommend setting the start screen at the beginning, so that they have pipeline, recently visited records, tasks and meetings for today, news, chatter gathered in one place. In a way, it is still a dashboard thanks to which you can get used to the operation of panels and the whole CRM.

Author

  • Piotr Lempkowski
  • Sales Manager | Salesforce for Business
  • A SaaS (Software as a Service) sales and business development expert working on the Polish and international markets. At the beginning of his career, his work was related to GRC (Governance, Risk Management, Compliance) systems, and then HR systems — eRecruiter (Pracuj Group). He has been working with Salesforce CRM for two years. Currently, he is leading the Craftware sales team. He is responsible for acquiring new clients, implementing Salesforce solutions at large corporations, and developing cooperation focused on customer success. He is a Salesforce Accredited Sales Professional.

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