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Sales Performance Dashboard Tips

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8 Tips for Better Sales Performance Dashboards, by Evan Randall, Phil Gilles and Brett Sheppard, Tableau Software

Without data you’re just another person with an opinion. You need clearly defined data when a colleague in a meeting throws out an anecdotal comment like “You’re not calling leads fast enough”. And then you ask where the colleague obtained that data, because you have different data. It just causes conflicts that you don’t need. Change the conversation to forward-looking performance indicators that drive business growth.

Sales performance dashboards involve a lot more than technology. They are about clearly defined metrics and integration with your sales processes. Track completion of goals with analytics and self-reliant dashboards at every step of your sales process.

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Sales Performance Dashboard Tips

  1. 1. 8 Tips for BetterSales PerformanceDashboards Authors: Phil Gilles, Evan Randall, and Brett Sheppard April 2013
  2. 2. p2 Without data you’re just another person with an opinion. In this “Who’s Hot” dashboard, see which prospects or8 Tips for Better Sales Performance Dashboards You need clearly defined data when a colleague in a accounts have recently called, emailed, visited the meeting throws out an anecdotal comment like “You’re website, started a trial, or logged a support case. This not calling leads fast enough”. And then you ask where dashboard is a great way for each sales person to jump the colleague obtained that data, because you have into today’s schedule for whom to call. different data. It just causes conflicts that you don’t Use analytics and self-reliant dashboards to track need. Change the conversation to forward-looking completion of goals at every step of the sales process. performance indicators that drive business growth. Get a holistic view of your prospects, sales pipeline, Best-practice sales performance dashboards involve a accounts, and sales performance. 2 lot more than technology. They are about clearly defined metrics and integration with your sales processes. Here are eight tips you can start using today Design a simple process to get the most from your sales performance with clearly defined dashboards. owners 1 Enable self-reliant Keep it simple and have clearly defined owners. You don’t need 500 steps. The sales process needs to be dashboards simple for everyone in your sales team to adopt it. Don’t launch any process change without being able to You don’t need a corporate “report factory” to build, measure its performance. If you have an extremely customize, and publish sales dashboards. Save time complex process, it’s hard to measure the performance. and resources by connecting directly to your sales data. Avoid expensive data integration and data warehousing. There is a place for complex “state of the company” IT staff don’t need to spend hours and hours a week on dashboards where you can see a bunch of information sales reports and dashboards. Free your IT department all in one screen. But for sales performance to focus on strategic projects that drive growth. Look for management, simple can be better. a solution where sales people can create and share Have a single view of the truth so that individual sales their own self-reliant dashboards. people see the same version of the data that their manager sees. That way, managers hold their teams accountable, and you’re not wasting time by looking at 3 Know your data different numbers or different metrics. In The Complete Guide to Accelerating Sales Force Performance, Dr. Andris Zoltners and his co-authors Figure 1. Who’s Hot. define three threats to the measurability of sales Create a “Who’s Hot” dashboard by combining performance: data availability, data accuracy, and data Salesforce data with campaign leads, web tracking, timeliness. Your sales systems may not capture all emails, and support cases. Like to know how to build a transactions, or you may not be able to attribute results “Who’s Hot” dashboard for your sales team? Watch the to individual sales people in a team-selling environment. video. Sales people may be inconsistent in how they record 1 Andris A. Zoltners, Prabhakant Sinha, and Greggor A. Zoltners, “The Complete Guide to Accelerating Sales Force Performance”, American Management Association, 2001, page 285.
  3. 3. p3calls and emails. Some of your sales data may be hours, each sales person has built enough pipeline for this 8 Tips for Better Sales Performance Dashboardsdays or even weeks late, or subject to change due to week.processing errors. If it takes a while to measure Match the KPIs to each team’s sales process andsomething, you may have already misperformed for a objectives. If the inside sales team has different metricsquarter. than field sales, don’t make them use the same cannedSalesforce and give you lots of options to dashboard. Provide your entire sales force, channelbring data directly into Salesforce, but you may have team, and executives with customized views of dataleads, market sizing, sales quotas, social media, or — right in a browser or tablet, secure, and updatedother data to blend. Previously, OptumHealth had many automatically.different data sources and Excel spreadsheets. Now This should be more than just an automobile-stylethey bring it all together. They can really get a holistic dashboard with colored gauges. You and your salesview of their sales operations and address customer people need to be able to click directly on the dashboardissues as they come up. To hear Larry Mullen in his own to drill down and see the underlying details. It doesn’t dowords, watch the video. you or your sales team any good to know if you’re goingKnowing your data is particularly important with the fast or slow if you can’t immediately see the underlyingwealth of different standard and custom reason for under-performance and what you need to dotables. Appreciate and support your Salesforce to fix it. 5 administrator. In Salesforce, custom objects requirespecial treatment so that they can be covered inrelationship queries. Having a field naming convention Be rigorously selectivereally helps when it comes to the underlying table about your indicatorsnames and application programming interface (API)names. Date fields can be tricky in Salesforce. And You don’t want a dozen indicators about your salesSalesforce allots a defined number of API calls over a process. If you have too many indicators your salesrolling 24 hour period. If the client exceeds this number, people’s focus will be diluted. Focus on a handful of thethe API connection is blocked. most important indicators – less is more.4 Just having historical information is not an effective way Select real-time or near- of communicating with sales people. When you do a win-loss analysis or other post-mortem, find what’s real-time indicators actionable and set a performance indicator. You need to define what to do on a weekly or daily basis. If a metricYou don’t want to get to the end of the quarter and know is showing red for underperformance, show clearly whatthat you failed. You want to make sure that you and your to do to change it.sales team are performing every day. Show key 6 performance indicators (KPIs) in a dashboard to giveyour sales people short-term vision into what’s Have realistic goals, andhappening in real time. Drive sales people to performbetter by meeting the KPIs. know what your goals areRather than looking at something that sales people have A goal can be a threshold to be above or below or aalready done, align the processes with a goal in the number to reach. Make sure you have these defined andfuture. For example, instead of looking at all those leads portrayed in your sales team dashboard.that sales people didn’t call last week, track whether
  4. 4. p48 Tips for Better Sales Performance Dashboards “ Tableau really provided a very useful tool for our sales force to look at their sales territory, see where the key brokers and distribution partners are, and really look for opportunities.” – Larry Mullen, Director of Operational Reporting, OptumHealth
  5. 5. p5 8 Align actions with each Distinguish among sales teams targeting different8 Tips for Better Sales Performance Dashboards segments such as enterprise or small and mid-market. And enable individual members of the sales team or indicator department to see how they rank with their peers for Use sales performance dashboards to drive the actions opportunities closed and deal size. that you and your organization expect. If your pipeline 7 quality is showing red you better go clean up your Favor outward-looking pipeline. If your time-to-call metrics are showing that indicators sales people are taking too long to call when new leads come in, motivate your sales team or investigate what Select outward-looking metrics that affect performance. the holdup is. Tracking the number of sales calls may just include There you go, eight best practices you can use today for hang-ups, voicemails, or wrong numbers. Instead, sales performance management dashboards. Use consider tracking the number of new qualified leads per analytics and self-reliant custom dashboards to track week. That gives you more insight into opportunities. completion of goals at every step of the sales process, How many discovery calls has the sales person made from prospecting and lead management to pipeline today? How many live conversations have taken place coverage, pipeline quality, territory analysis, and to convert a lead to a prospect? How many forecasting. opportunities has the sales person created or won Have your own suggestions? Email us at today? New to Tableau? Download a full functioning free trial at Figure 2. Lead-to-Contact Conversion Daily Snapshot. In this sample dashboard, filter by sales department and team to see color-coded key performance indicators (KPIs) for the most important steps in the lead-to-con- tact conversion process. If your organization is paying $20, $50, or even a $100 or more per lead, you want to make sure sales people follow up in a timely way with every lead.
  6. 6. p6About Tableau 8 Tips for Better Sales Performance DashboardsTableau Software helps people see and understand data. Tableau helps anyone quickly analyze, visualize and shareinformation. More than 10,000 organizations get rapid results with Tableau in the office and on-the-go. And tens ofthousands of people use Tableau Public to share data in their blogs and websites. See how Tableau can help you bydownloading the free trial at and Tableau Software are trademarks of Tableau Software, Inc. All other company and product names maybe trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated. © Tableau Software, Inc. 2013. All rights reserved. 837 North 34th Street, Suite 400, Seattle, WA 98103 U.S.A.