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Salesforce dashboards to increase visibility of the sales pipeline and improve forecasting accuracy.
There’s no doubt about it.
That’s the number one reason businesses invest in salesforce licenses.
Yet many sales managers are frustrated.
They still do not have the salesforce dashboard charts that give visibility into the size, quality and trend in the sales pipeline needed to forecast accurately. They also can’t look back at historic results to gain the insight that will drive improvement in future sales performance.
But that problem can be fixed.
Here are examples of the 12 must-have salesforce dashboard charts that every sales manager needs.
These salesforce dashboard charts, and the underlying reports, give tremendous visibility into the sales pipeline and sales performance. For each dashboard chart, we also point you to a dedicated blog post and other resources for even more in-depth information.
In the interests of brevity we’ve ignored variations of these charts. These variations can provide additional insight for your business by analyzing sales performance by product, campaign, territory, customer type and so on. Use the charts examples recommended in this blog post as the core building blocks to create your organization-specific salesforce dashboard and reports.
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1) Closed Won Opportunities by Month
The chart shows how much sales revenue the company has achieved during the financial year.
In this example, the dashboard chart and underlying report summarize the information by individual sales person. If you have a larger sales organization, then group the chart by team, country or territory.
The dashboard chart and report give top-level insight into sales performance. In our example, Dave Apthorp is consistently the top performer. Sarah has improved her performance significantly after a poor start to the year. Peter, in particular, can benefit from coaching and training to improve his performance.
Combine this information with your personal knowledge of each team or individual to get an immediate overview of sales performance across the company. Use the other dashboard charts that analyze historic performance (for example conversion rates, average deal size) to determine the specific support and actions each person needs to take in order to increase their sales results.
Incidentally, the trick here – as with many salesforce dashboard charts – is to create the graph as a stacked bar chart and the underlying report as a Matrix report. Yes, it’s slightly easier to create a Summary report. However it’s only a small step further to create a Matrix report. And the results are so much more powerful.
Of course, the Closed Won Opportunities by Month dashboard chart doesn’t tell us anything about future revenue performance. That’s where the other pipeline charts we recommend come into play.
More blog posts related to the Closed Won salesforce dashboard chart:
10 Illuminating Ways To Measure Closed Won Deals. Examples of other ways to analyze historic sales performance.
When Is A Report Not A Report. Demonstrates why Matrix Reports are nearly always better than Summary Reports.
2) Pipeline Deals by Close Date and Opportunity Stage
The chart shows the value of Opportunities that are due to close each month. Within each month, we can see the deals in terms of the Opportunity Stage. Stacking the chart by Stage gives visibility of the overall health of the funnel.
The Pipeline Opportunities By Close Date and Opportunity Stage dashboard chart delivers the fundamental information needed to manage the sales funnel. Sales managers and executives can use this chart to assess the size of the pipeline and to begin forecasting future revenue.
This dashboard chart also tells us whether the pipeline is sufficiently mature this month and next month to achieve revenue targets. This means managers and salespeople have an early warning that tells them when remedial action is necessary
For example, let’s assume we are in January.
There’s a substantial amount of pipeline due to close this month that is still in Prospecting and Investigation. If, for example, our typical sales cycle is 3 months, are we confident these deals will close in January? Are they at the right Opportunity Stage? Should these opportunities be scheduled to close in a later month?
What about the deals in April that are in the Negotiation Stage? Is it really going to take 4 months to close these opportunities? Maybe. Or are there steps we can take to bring these deals forward?
A key variant of this dashboard chart is the Pipeline Opportunities by Close Date and Owner.
Use the summary by Owner to identify which teams or salespeople have the most pipeline due to close both this month and in the longer term.
More blog posts related to the Pipeline by Month and Stage salesforce dashboard chart:
If You Only Create One Dashboard Chart Make It This One. This blog posts gives more examples of how to use this dashboard chart and includes a video by Gary demonstrating the chart in action.
Don’t Let The Best Sales Dashboard Chart Look Like A Bedraggled Washing Line. Explains what to do if too many opportunities with Close Dates in the past make your beautiful chart look like a washing line!
3) Sales Funnel Chart
It doesn’t matter how big or how small your pipeline is. The outline funnel shape will always be the same size and shape on your dashboard.
So why bother with it?
Well, the answer is because of the value of the information the segments within the funnel give you.
If the sales funnel was in perfect shape, the value of the pipeline in each segment would get progressively smaller.
But that’s not always the case. In fact, if you look at our example, the value of deals in Investigation is less than the value in Customer Evaluating. In other words, the later Stage has more pipeline than the preceding Opportunity Stage.
Look also at the Prospecting Stage. A significant number of deals may be qualified out at this initial stage. So, should the Prospecting Stage be larger?
In other words, the chart is warning that your pipeline may be out of shape. Potentially we need to initiate marketing campaigns to boost the size of the early-stage funnel. We may also need to examine our qualification and investigation processes in order to move deals more effectively through the sales cycle.
Is the shape of the sales funnel chart in your business a cause for concern? Only you know the answer to that question within the context of your sales team.
But that’s why it’s a good chart to look at once a week.
More blog posts related to the sales funnel dashboard chart:
Big is Beautiful: 4 Easy Charts To Measure Pipeline Size. Demonstrates the sales funnel and other dashboard charts that measure pipeline size.
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4) Top 10 Pipeline Accounts
But what about the top 5? Or the top 10?
The Top Pipeline Accounts table shows customers and prospects ranked by total pipeline. This helps managers and salespeople in prioritize their time. It means salesperson effort, time and other resources is focused on areas where it is likely to have the greatest impact.
Displaying the information on a dashboard table is a good way of focusing attention on the top Accounts. Limit the dashboard table results to the top 5, 10 or 15. Then on the underlying report, list all Accounts with Open Opportunities.
In our example, we can see that High Hill Estates has the greatest amount of pipeline. In fact, it has twice as much sales pipeline as the next nearest Account.
Are we proactively managing the relationship with this Account? Is a robust key account management plan in place? Do we understanding their buying process? Have relationships been established at multiple levels? Has a clear close plan been established and validated with the customer for each opportunity?
The underlying report shows the constituent Opportunities for each Account. Can a large, single deal be done if the report reveals the total figure for High Hill Estates comprises multiple, separate opportunities? Indeed, if the CEO has time to visit only one Account, let’s make it this one.
In short, the Top 10 Pipeline Accounts dashboard table and report provide the essential information that helps executives prioritize the companies’ sales, account management and business development activities.
And don’t forget, like any other dashboard chart, replicate the table at territory, team and individual salesperson level to prioritize activity at all levels in your sales organization.
More blog posts related to the Top 10 Accounts salesforce dashboard chart:
How To Build Key Account Plans In Salesforce. Demonstrates examples of key account planning within salesforce.
Stop Guessing, Start Measuring Key Accounts. Reports and salesforce dashboard charts that measure key account performance.
5) Long-Term Pipeline Trend
But what about the trend in the size of the sales funnel over time? Is the pipeline increasing or decreasing in size?
The Sales Pipeline As-At chart gives us the answer. It measures the size of the pipeline ‘As-At’ the 1st of each month. As such, it shows the long-term trend in the size of the sales pipeline.
In our example, the pipeline has been growing over recent months. This is largely due to a significant increase in deals in the Prospecting Stage. That’s good news. Do we understand why it has happened?
We may also want to investigate why the size of the pipeline in the Customer Evaluating and Negotiation Stages has declined. Are the sales team having trouble moving deals through the sales process? Was the pipeline created over the last few months of the right quality?
The As-At Pipeline chart has a little sister. It’s called Opportunities with Historical Trending. This chart measures the short-term trend in the pipeline. For example, the trend in the size of the pipeline over the last 4 weeks.
Use the dashboard charts in tandem to understand the trend in the size of the pipeline. The As-At report gives the big picture – it tells whether efforts to grow the pipeline in the long-run are effective. The Historical Trending chart demonstrates whether short-term initiatives to boost funnel size are successful.
More blog posts related to the Pipeline Trend salesforce dashboard charts:
Measure The Trend In Your Sales Pipeline. Demonstrates the Long-Term Pipeline Trend and Short-Term Pipeline Trend salesforce dashboard charts in action.
6) Open Opportunities by Created Date
Here’s a simple but effective way to assess pipeline quality. It’s the Open Opportunities by Created Date dashboard chart.The chart shows the existing funnel, summarized by Created Month and current Stage. You may also want to create a similar report and dashboard chart that summarizes the information by Created Month and Opportunity Owner.
Let’s say it typically takes three months to close a deal in your business. If there are significant number of opportunities open much longer than this, then are these genuine, viable deals?
As such, the chart and underlying report give executives the information they need to start the process of validating the sales pipeline.
In our example, let’s assume we are in January 2017 and that our sales cycle is typically 3 months. What about the opportunities opened in February, March and April 2016? Are we confident they are legitimate opportunities? Did the Close Dates shift regularly simply to maintain the size of the pipeline? What action should we take to bring these deals to fruition?
Reviewing the pipeline by Created Date is a simple, but effective way of identifying potentially dormant deals in your pipeline. But it also gives valuable information on how much pipeline is being created month-on-month.
Look again at our example chart. Progressively less pipeline was created over the last 3 months of the year. Should we be concerned about this? Perhaps it’s due to a strong focus by the sales team on closing existing deals before the end of the year. On the other hand, is it an early warning that we may have insufficient pipeline to meet our sales targets in Q1 2017?
Either way, we may need to implement marketing and business development initiatives to correct the trend.
More blog posts related to the Opportunities by Created Date salesforce dashboard chart:
How To Tell If Your Sales Funnel Is Emitting Warning Signals. salesforce dashboard charts that indicate the pipeline may contain ageing deals of low quality.
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7) Pipeline Quality Metrics Table
Sales deals are similar.
Deals that are stuck today will probably be stuck tomorrow. Opportunities that slipped last month are more likely to slip this month.
Here are three pipeline quality metrics that act as a barometer for managers and salespeople.
1. Number of Close Date Month extensions. This counts the number of times the Opportunity Close Date has shifted from one month to another.
2. Number of Days Since The Last Stage Change. This is the number of days since the Opportunity Stage was last updated.
3. Number of Days Open. This is the number of days the Opportunity has been open. The clock stops counting when the deal is Won or Lost.
Display the information in a dashboard table. In our example, we are showing the metrics for the top 10 deals due to close this month, ranked by the number of days they have been open.
This is high impact stuff. The table is a powerful way to draw the eye to deals due to close this month that need to be scrutinized.
Are we relying on these deals to hit our sales quota this month? How confident can we be that each opportunity will not slip to another month? Will the sales cycle complete satisfactorily on those deals not updated for a significant period? That may be unlikely.
Use the table to improve the accuracy of sales forecasts. The three pipeline quality metrics do not give the answer in themselves. But they do give a heavy hint on which deals should be reviewed and need an urgent action plan.
More blog posts related to the Pipeline Quality Metrics dashboard table:
3 Killer Pipeline Metrics That Highlight When To Be Sceptical. Explains how to use the three metrics to identify deals that might slip from your sales forecast for this month.
8) Opportunity Conversion Ratios / Win Rates
That’s why measuring opportunity conversion ratios / win rates is critical.
The Opportunity Conversion Ratio / Win Rate chart shows the percentage win rate over time. It does this in two ways:
- Win Rate by Amount.
- Win Rate by Count.
Measuring the win rate in both ways means we can understand whether salespeople are more effective at closing higher value or lower value deals.
In our example, the win rate by Amount is higher in most months. This means we successfully closed a greater proportion of large value deals compared to smaller opportunities.
In September and October, the situation reversed. The team successfully closed a greater proportion of lower value deals.
Did the sales team lose focus on the higher value deals? Did we discount more heavily during these months? Or did we have new joiners that had less experience with larger deals?
The underlying report gives detail about win rates at the individual salesperson level. This is crucial information for identifying coaching, training and support needs.
Nevertheless, be careful. An over-emphasis on win rates can have unwanted consequences. Do not risk encouraging sales people to leave opportunities out of the pipeline until a deal is on the table (i.e. sandbagging).
Conversely, don’t discourage salespeople from setting deals to Closed Lost when opportunities no longer have legs. You need an accurate pipeline, not one full of dormant deals that salespeople are afraid to close-out.
More blog posts related to the Conversion Rate salesforce dashboard chart:
How To Use Opportunity Conversion Rates For Superior Results. More in-depth examples of how to use conversion rates and opportunity win rates for effective sales performance management.
How To Measure Opportunity Win Rates Across Teams. Examples of dashboard charts that compare team and pan-company conversion rates.
9) Average size of Closed Won Deals
That is a huge range.
All salespeople are working comparable territories. And selling the same products to similar customers.
Increasing the average deal size for salespeople at the lower end of the scale was a business development priority for this company. Addressing this issue resulted in increased sales revenue without any increase in the number of deals in the pipeline.
Many things explain variations in average deal size. These include differences in experience between salespeople, variations in the average number of products sold per opportunity and different levels of discounting by sales teams.
These are challenges that our customer addressed through training, coaching, personal development and adjustments to sales process and pricing strategy.
Nevertheless, unless you quantify this essential metric you will lack the information needed at salesperson level to identify the right course of action to boost revenue.
More blog posts related to the Average Deal Size salesforce dashboard chart:
Why You Need To Compare Average Closed Won Opportunity Size. Additional information on using average deal size metrics to identify potential improvements in sales performance. Includes examples of how Opportunity Products can be analyzed to understand which salespeople need to add more optional or non-core products to their deals.
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10) Completed Activities per Salesperson
Tracking the number of completed sales Activities can provide valuable insight to explain varying levels of sales performance. Review Activity reports in conjunction with the other dashboard charts outlined in this eBook to analyse trends and variations in sales performance.
In our example, there is an upward trend in the number of Activities completed by the sales team. That’s a positive sign. Indeed, the increase in Activity volume by Sarah may be a strong contributory factor in the improvement in her sales performance over the year that we saw on other charts.
However, we can also see that there are variations in the number of Activities completed by each salesperson. Shaun and Peter have recorded significantly lower levels of Activity compared to Sarah and Dave.
Consider tracking Activity levels by salespeople in several different ways. For example, compare activity with new customers versus existing customers. This will show whether the activities undertaken by salespeople are consistent with the overall sales strategy.
Improve the effectiveness of this dashboard chart by making two small configuration changes in salesforce.
First, modify the Activity Type picklist to values that suit your business. Make the field mandatory, This will provide additional insight on the type of activities that salespeople are completing.
Second, make the Due Date mandatory. This means activities will always be associated with a date. This is essential for producing dashboard charts that accurately count the number of activities completed each month.
More blog posts related to the Activities salesforce dashboard chart:
How To Spot Key Accounts You Should Be Focusing On. Explains how to use Activity Reports and dashboard charts to identify key accounts that need a renewed focus.
11) Leaking Funnel Report
But there’s two things that sales managers need to know about funnel leakage. Is the funnel leaking excessively? And is it leaking in the right place? The Leaking Funnel report tells you both of these things.This dashboard chart measures the number of times Opportunities have moved to Closed Lost from each preceding Opportunity Stage. In our chart, it does this for deals that have been set to Closed Lost in the last 120 days.
For example, the dashboard chart shows that 8 Opportunities have moved from Prospecting, directly to Closed Lost.
All other things being equal, it is good that the first Opportunity Stage has the largest number of Opportunities that move to Closed Lost.
This implies we are qualifying-out deals we are unlikely to win. It means salespeople are not wasting time, effort and resources chasing deals when there is no clear competitive advantage.
However, look at the Negotiation Stage. Five Opportunities went directly from Negotiation to Closed Lost.
Again – all other things being equal – that movement in Opportunity Stage is bad news. It means we invested a considerable amount of time and effort moving the deal through the sales cycle, only to lose the opportunity at the last moment.
Of course, we need further investigation on the movement from Negotiation to Closed Lost before deciding on the right course of action. Is the trend attributable to one particular salesperson? How does the data compare for existing versus new customers? Does it apply only to opportunities with certain product groups?
More blog posts related to the Leaking Funnel salesforce dashboard chart:
3 Steps To Plug A Leaking Sales Funnel In The Right Place. How to measure where and when the sales funnel is leaking in order to take the right action.
12) Sales Performance versus Target
However, there is no Target tab in salesforce.
So how do you measure sales versus target or quota? Well, there are three ways to do this in salesforce.
- Use a gauge on a dashboard.
- Use the Forecasts tab.
- Use the GSP target tracker solution.
It’s the first of those options we illustrate here.The dashboard gauge runs from a report that measures Closed Won opportunities. Manually calibrate the red, amber and green settings within the dashboard chart settings.
The dashboard gauge option is quick and easy to implement. The downside, compared to the other two options, is that it provides no insight on whether there is sufficient pipeline to meet the sales target next month or this quarter.
Separate gauges need to be used to track performance versus target for each individual salesperson and sales team.
The Forecasts Tab provides advanced functionality for target tracking, including the ability of managers to override their subordinates targets. It is, however, relatively complex to operate and salespeople and managers need significant training to use it effectively.
The GSP Target Tracker App provides easy-to-understand charts and additional metrics to measure sales versus target. It also automates the forecasting process and avoids the need for sales people to create or update manual sales forecasts. The App also allows sales managers and salespeople to determine whether there is sufficient pipeline to meet target for this month and future months.
More blog posts related to the Target Gauge salesforce dashboard chart:
3 Ways To Measure Sales Versus Target in Salesforce. Explains the options for measuring sales performance against target in salesforce – dashboard gauge, Forecasts tab and the Target Tracker.
Is Your Sales Funnel Big Enough To Make Your Revenue Target. Using a custom solution such as the Target Tracker to measure expected revenue against target.
Track Sales Performance And Pipeline Versus Target
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Recorded Webinar | 12 Must-Have Salesforce Dashboard Charts
Join Gary Smith, CEO of The Gary Smith Partnership and Senior Consultant Dan Bailey. Gary and Dan demonstrate the 12 charts in action and the contribution each makes to performance improvement and pipeline management.