4 Ways To Measure Sales Targets In Salesforce

Many executives get very frustrated, trying to measure sales targets in Salesforce.

Perhaps you’re one of them.

Like others, you may even have searched in vain for the Targets tab. (If you’re still looking, stop now; it doesn’t exist).

Fortunately, if you want to know how to measure sales versus quota in Salesforce, then you’re in precisely the right place.

That’s because I’ll show you how to answer two essential questions when it comes to quota management in Salesforce:

  • First, how do historical sales performance stack up against target? You likely want to know this for individual reps, by teams and for the overall company.
  • Second, is the funnel big enough to meet the target this month, next month, or next quarter? In other words, is there enough pipeline coverage?

Quite simply, without this information, you’re flying blind. In that case, it’s challenging to know which controls need adjusting to be sure of hitting your sales target.

By the way, do you prefer to watch a video rather than read? If so, take a look at this recent webinar. I cover all the essential points and demo the GSP Target Tracker.

If not, skip the webinar recording, and jump to the next section

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What do we mean by Sales Target?

I mainly use the word ‘target’ in this article.

In your business, perhaps you prefer ‘quota.’ Or, maybe everyone refers to the ‘budget.’

Possibly, you talk about ‘hitting the number.’

Here, I assume they are all the same thing. A sales target is a dollar revenue goal over a period.

It doesn’t need to be dollars, of course.

The target may be in Sterling, Euros or any other currency. You may even have sales goals in multiple different currencies in your business.

You get the idea.


Three Types of Sales Target

We usually want to measure sales versus target at salesperson, team, territory or company.

However, in most businesses, we want to measure sales against three types of targets.


1. Historic sales targets

Historical sales targets are in the past. For example, last month, last quarter, last year.

We only need to know one thing about historic sales targets. Was the sales revenue higher or lower than the target?

Next, we need to know about current-period targets.


2. Current sales targets

These are the targets we are working to achieve right now. For example, this month, this quarter, this year.

However, we need to compare the target with two metrics.

Firstly, the sales revenue already won.

Second, the size of the pipeline due to complete in the period.

In other words, pipeline coverage is an essential factor in calculating whether we will achieve quota for targets in the current period.


3. Future sales targets

These targets are in the future. For example, next month, next quarter, next year.

With these targets, there’s no won revenue because a deal can’t close successfully in the future.

In other words, pipeline coverage is king. We need to know whether the pipeline is big enough for us to meet future targets.

With that in mind, let’s look at the four ways to measure sales versus target in Salesforce.


How To Measure Sales Targets In Salesforce

There are four options for tracking performance against sales targets in Salesforce.

  1. Dashboard gauge.
  2. Forecasts tab.
  3. Lightning Home Page Performance Chart.
  4. GSP Target Tracker.

Collectively, the options provide salespeople and managers with different levels of information and target tracking experience.

We explain how each one works, its pros and cons, and when each is the best quota management option.


Bottom line:

If you want to cut to the chase, we believe the GSP Target Tracker is, by far, the best way to measure sales versus target in Salesforce.


Option 1 – Dashboard Gauge

This option uses a Salesforce dashboard gauge to display overall sales against the target.

The arrow indicator shows sales won. In the gauge, use the red, amber and green segments to define relevant breakpoints. For example, use amber to represent 80% sales target achievement and green for 100% sales target achievement.

The gauge relies upon an underlying sales report. The report summarizes the value of deals won over the relevant period.


Pros of the dashboard gauge

  • The report and dashboard gauge are simple and straightforward to set up.
  • The gauge is an easy way to understand quota performance visually.
  • It’s a quick and simple high-level summary of sales performance against target.


Cons of the gauge approach

  • The gauge is a simplistic target metric. For example, when measuring performance at the company level, there’s no visibility of individual rep or sales team sales versus target.
  • Breakpoint values need to be manually re-set for each target period. For example, if month-on-month targets are different, the breakpoints need to be changed each time.
  • There’s no visibility of pipeline deals. Unfortunately, this means we don’t know if there’s enough pipeline coverage to meet the sales target for next month. There’s nothing to tell us, for example, if winning 30% of pipeline deals means we’ll exceed the budget.


It’s the right choice if

  • You need to set up a target metric very quickly. If you need a target-tracking solution in the next five minutes, use this option.
  • You only need to measure top-level performance against sales targets. Alternatively, it’s an acceptable choice if you are prepared to invest the time to set up and maintain similar gauges for individual salespeople and each team.
  • Sales targets are the same for each period. In other words, it is not necessary to modify breakpoints each month.


A dashboard gauge is a viable option for a simple, straightforward measurement of sales targets.

Remember, use the gauge in conjunction with other dashboard charts and reports to get full visibility of sales performance and pipeline.

Incidentally, the free GSP Sales Dashboard includes the target gauge and report. You can download the dashboard from the AppExchange here.


Option 2 – Salesforce Forecasts Tab

The Forecasts tab is the standard function in Salesforce for target measurement.

It’s an advanced method of comparing sales versus quota.

You can view Closed Won opportunities that contribute to sales targets in the Forecasts tab.

Pipeline deals also show up. Consequently, managers have valuable information on the strength of the funnel and the likelihood of achieving sales goals.

Managers can override the forecasts made by their direct reports. For example, they can change the overall estimate to balance excessive optimism or pessimism of salespeople.

However, there is a downside.

Many salespeople and managers find the Forecasts tab highly involved. The functionality is challenging to use.

As such, significant training and coaching is needed to use the Forecasts tab successfully for tracking performance against sales targets.


Pros of the Forecasts Tab

  • Set sales targets at individual, team, company and product family level.
  • Tracks performance against quota based on the opportunity forecast category (won, committed, pipeline and best-case).
  • Managers can override forecasts submitted by their direct reports. Doing this modifies the expected performance against current and future team targets.
  • Reviewable history to learn from the accuracy of forecasts submitted in the past.


Cons of the Forecasts Tab

  • The Forecasts tab is hard to maintain and use compared to other areas of Salesforce functionality.
  • As such, it needs detailed training for sales reps and their managers.
  • Salespeople manually update their forecasts to make the overall sales projection more reliable. That means a high level of commitment across the team is essential to get the full benefits from the Forecasts tab.


It’s the right choice if

  • You have complex target measurement requirements.
  • In your business, managers often override the forecasts submitted by their salespeople.
  • The sales team is mature and the company has a high level of Salesforce user adoption.
  • Appropriate training for salespeople and managers is available.

The Salesforce Forecasts Tab provides robust target tracking and forecasting capabilities. However, successful roll-out and ongoing adoption need proper planning and preparation.


Option 3 – Lightning Home Page Quarterly Performance Chart

You’ve probably seen the quarterly performance chart on the Salesforce Lightning Home page.

Here’s an example.

The green line is the sales goal. The orange line shows the value of closed-won opportunities. 

The blue line shows Closed-won and opportunities over 70% probability.

However, it’s far from my favorite method of tracking sales versus target. 


Pros of the Lightning Quarterly Performance Chart

  • It’s free to use as a standard Salesforce Lightning feature.


Cons of the Lightning Quarterly Performance Chart

  • Only the quarterly sales goal appears. There’s no monthly breakdown.
  • No drill-down to see the underlying opportunities.
  • Sales managers cannot see the Lightning Quarterly Performance Chart of their team members.
  • There’s no way to adjust the 70% setting. For example, it’s not possible to include opportunities of over 50%.


It’s the right choice if

  • You don’t like any of the other four options.

For these reasons, I don’t believe many companies use the quarterly performance goal as their main method of measuring sales quotas.


Option 4 – GSP Target Tracker

Many of our customers use the GSP Target Tracker to measure performance against sales targets.

Keep reading or click play to see how the GSP Target Tracker measures sales performance against sales targets in Salesforce.


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The Target Tracker is a managed package. As such, it is plug-and-play with any Salesforce environment.

Salespeople and managers need little training to use the Target Tracker app. The Tracker also takes away the need to adjust forecasts manually.

Closed won and pipeline deals automatically link to relevant sales targets. Consequently, it’s easy to compare sales goals with a combination of won deals and an outstanding pipeline.

In other words, everyone has full visibility of pipeline coverage.

Look at the example below. It’s the sales target for Dave Apthorp, for a single month.

We can quickly see Dave’s sales performance this month versus target:

The first on-page chart on the right shows Dave’s target in blue; his Closed Won deals in green and the Expected Revenue of his pipeline deals due to close this month are in orange. In other words, we can see the pipeline coverage versus target.

The purple bar shows that, based on these numbers, Dave has a shortfall against his target.

The second chart analyses the pipeline for the month. Consequently, both Dave and his manager are clear on the likelihood of hitting the target based on the pipeline deals. (Are we sure those deals in Qualification will be complete by the end of the month?).

The lower section of the screen shows the Opportunities automatically linked to this target record. The Target Tracker does this by looking at the Close Date of the Opportunity and the Opportunity Owner.

However, if the Close Date or the Opportunity Owner change, the Opportunity is automatically unhooked and linked to the newly relevant target record.


Target Tracker Dashboard

Dashboard charts within the GSP Target Tracker summarize company and team information.

The dashboard shows over / under-performance against sales targets at the company, team and individual level.

Drill down to the underlying report to view the sales rep target. These reports compare the sales target with the value of Closed Won deals, Expected Revenue from the pipeline.


Pros of the GSP Target Tracker

  • It’s easy for sales reps to use. Opportunities automatically link to relevant targets.
  • There’s highly visual information on performance against target.
  • Powerful reports and dashboard charts provide information on sales goal performance at company, team and individual rep levels.
  • The quality of the pipeline and and pipeline coverage are very clear.
  • Very easy to set up. Install direct from the AppExchange.
  • Company-specific customizations are also available.


Cons of the GSP Target Tracker

  • A per company per license fee (unlimited users).


It’s the right choice if

  • Your need is for a straightforward solution that gives powerful insight into target attainment and pipeline coverage.


So, that’s our detailed explanation of the four ways to measure sales versus target or quota in Salesforce.

Of course, get in touch to talk about how to use them in your business. Or, follow the link below and test drive the GSP Target Tracker today.

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Got a question? Contact Us to find out more about tracking sales versus target in Salesforce in your business.

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