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Look familar? Here’s the spreadsheet that tracked the sales pipeline in Gilbarco Veeder Root before they used salesforce. Which of course made it difficult to see the wood for the trees. So Scandinavian business unit manager Morten Raaby devised his own system.

Morten divided his office whiteboard into columns. Each column represented an Opportunity Stage with the value of each deal shown on a currency scale on the left. His team used postcards to represent each Opportunity, with the detailed numbers about each deal carefully written onto each card.

Morten used coloured magnets to attach the cards to the board. Green magnets for deals that were on track. Amber for those that needed attention. And red for deals that had become bogged down.

As deals ebbed and flowed Morten’s team religiously moved the postcards around the board. They swapped magnets and re-wrote values. At 9.00 am morning it was like a scene from battleship mission control.

And because Morten travels on a regular basis, his PA took a picture of The Board every day at 9.30 and emailed it to him. Morten spent many frustrating hours squinting at that picture on his iPhone.

That was then, this is now.

salesforce dashboard

Morten has a salesforce.com dashboard that gives him full visibility of sales performance and his sales pipeline. Would he ever go back to using his board? “You must be joking”, he says. “Now I’ve got the real-time information I need, when I need it, wherever I need it. And I’ve postponed the onset of reading spectacles!”

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