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Modernis is a capital equipment manufacturer. Everyone in Modernis knows Dave Athorp is the best sales person in the company. The league table at the top left of the dashboard shows it’s true. But the chart alongside it show’s he’s the worst. Fortunately the third dashboard chart explains why Dave is simultaneously the best and the worst salesman. Dave’s family have never seen a salesforce dashboard but they also know he’s the best. That’s because later this year they’ll be going on a luxury holiday to Mexico paid for by Modernis as a reward for Dave’s efforts. Last year Modernis paid for them to go on safari in Africa. Before that it was Egypt.

But hold on. The chart in the middle of the top row of the dashboard shows that Dave Apthorp is the worst sales person in Modernis. It measures Opportunity Win Rate. The percentage of deals that each person has won. Dave is ranked last. He converts fewer deals than anyone else.

best worst sales person dashboard

How can this be the case? The chart to the right explains it. It shows average deal size. Dave isn’t just top of that league he’s top by a country mile. Dave doesn’t convert that many deals, but when he does, you can be sure it’s going to be a big one. This is enough to consistently make him the top sales person.

Sales Director Jim Peters explains. “When you drill into some of the other charts on the dashboard you can see that all of Dave’s activities are focussed on a small number of major Opportunities. He puts all his efforts into the three or four biggest deals each quarter. He virtually ignores everything else.

“That’s OK. He enjoys working on these deals and he’s good at it! So now, we’re giving Dave’s smaller deals to some of the other guys to work on. Dave can carry on doing his stuff but this way we’ll generate incremental revenue from those small deals that would otherwise be left untouched”.

What’s the moral of this story?

Managing a sales team isn’t just about one metric. The value of Closed deals or the size of the pipeline for example. It’s about having a number of charts and graphs that give information on a variety of measures. The ones that are important to your business.

By having around 10 graphs on his salesforce.com dashboard Jim is able to get the visibility he needs to take effective management action that results in an overall increase in sales.

What happened next?

Jim Peters made those changes at the end of 2012. Dave again landed some big deals during 2013. That put him in his usual place at the top of the Average Deal Size league table. For the first time ever he’s also top of the Conversion Rate chart. But – and this is the first time that anyone can remember – he’s only third on the Won Deals Revenue leader board. And Jim Peters is ahead of his target.

There’s 6 weeks left in the year. Dave Apthorp has told his family he’ll be taking them to the Far East. We’ll update you in January on whether Dave will be paying for it himself.

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