Many sales managers are deeply frustrated when it comes to Salesforce dashboards.
After all, dashboards are often the most compelling reason the company invested in Salesforce in the first place.
Executives expected the dashboards to give full visibility of the sales pipeline; they assumed inaccurate forecasts would be a thing of the past; and detailed metrics would highlight when and where to manage, coach, and develop the sales team.
Unfortunately, that’s not how it always works out.
Often, managers still do not have useful information on the size, quality, and trend in the sales pipeline. Consequently, their ability to manage and coach effectively is restricted.
Likewise, they cannot look back at historical sales metrics to gain insight that guides improvement in future sales performance.
Here’s another thing:
In many performance reviews and sales team meetings, more time is still spent arguing about the numbers than discussing how to increase revenue.
However, if you’re looking for practical advice on Salesforce dashboards, then you’ll love this blog post.
We’ve also recorded a webinar where we covered the same topic. You can find that webinar recording just below.
Recorded Webinar | 12 Must-Have Sales Dashboard Charts In 2019
Salesforce Dashboard Template
This article has examples of the 12 charts that should be on every sales manager’s Salesforce dashboard. It’s a dashboard-lovers template for success.
These dashboard charts (together with their underlying reports) deliver tremendous visibility into the sales pipeline and sales performance.
Moreover, I give examples of how to use the information in a practical way to drive sales improvement.
Not only that:
For each dashboard chart, I also point you to a dedicated blog post I’ve written.
Each of these supporting posts gives additional in-depth information and a video demonstration.
By the way, in the interests of brevity, I’ve ignored variants of these charts.
These variations can provide extra insight for your business by analyzing sales performance by product, campaign, territory, and customer type.
In other words, these twelve recommended charts are a Salesforce dashboard template. Use this template as a building block to create your organization-specific dashboard and reports.
With that, here are the 12 must-have Salesforce Dashboard charts I recommend:
12 Recommended Salesforce Dashboard Charts
1. Closed Won Opportunities by Month.
2. Pipeline Deals by Close Date and Opportunity Stage.
3. Traditional Funnel Chart.
4. Top 10 Pipeline Customers and Prospects.
5. Long-term Pipeline Trend.
6. Open Opportunities by Created Date.
7. Pipeline Quality Metrics.
8. Opportunity Conversion Rates / Win Rates.
9. Average Size of Closed Won Deals.
10. Completed Activities per Salesperson.
11. Leaking Funnel Report.
12. Sales Performance versus Target.
Awesome Pipeline and Sales Performance Visibility
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1) Closed Won Opportunities by Month
We all want to know the figure for sales revenue won in the year.
That’s what the Closed Won Opportunities by Month dashboard chart tells us. It shows how much sales revenue the company achieved during the financial year.
In this example, the dashboard chart and underlying report summarize the information by each salesperson. If you have a larger sales organization, then group the chart by team, country, or territory.
The dashboard chart and report deliver essential insight into sales performance.
In our example, Dave Apthorp is consistently the top performer. Sarah has improved her performance after a poor start to the year. Peter, in particular, needs help to boost his performance.
Combine this information with your knowledge of each team or individual. Do this to get a quick overview of sales performance across the company.
Then use the rest of the dashboard template (for example, conversion rates, average deal size) to determine specific coaching and management actions.
Watch this video for a demonstration of the Closed Won Opportunities Dashboard Chart in action
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.
Of course, the Closed Won Opportunities by Month dashboard chart doesn’t tell us anything about future revenue performance. That’s where the next pipeline chart I recommend comes into play.
Here it is:
2) Pipeline Deals by Close Date and Opportunity Stage
That’s how useful it is.
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 opportunity stage gives visibility of the overall size and health of the funnel.
The Pipeline Opportunities By Close Date and Opportunity Stage dashboard chart delivers vital 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. Consequently, managers and salespeople have an early warning that highlights when remedial action is necessary.
For example, let’s assume we are in January right now.
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 three months, are we confident these deals will close in January? Are they at the right Opportunity Stage? Should these opportunities be scheduled to complete in a later month?
Also, what about the deals in April that are in the Negotiation Stage? Is it going to take four months to close these opportunities? Maybe. Alternatively, are there steps we can take to bring these deals forward?
Pipeline By Owner
Here’s an incredibly useful variant of this dashboard chart: Pipeline Opportunities by Close Date and Owner.
You can use this chart to zone-in on the opportunity owners with most deals due to close this month.
Whatsmore, use the summary by opportunity owner to identify teams and salespeople that have a pipeline shortfall in the medium and longer-term.
I explain how to use this chart and report in this video:
Also, here are not one, but two blog posts with much extra information.
If You Only Create One Dashboard Chart Make It This One gives many examples of how to use this essential chart and report.
Some readers will also need this post:
Don’t Let The Best Sales Dashboard Chart Look Like A Bedraggled Washing Line. It explains the steps to take when out-of-date pipeline opportunities make it impossible to get accurate funnel visibility.
Now, what do you think about the traditional funnel chart?
3) Sales Funnel Chart
Therefore it should be on your dashboard. However, here’s the thing about this chart:
The shape never changes.
That makes it hard to interpret.
It doesn’t matter how big or how small your pipeline is. The outline funnel will always be the same size and shape on your Salesforce dashboard.
So why bother with it?
Well, the answer is because of the value of the information the segments within the funnel give you.
Perfect Funnel Shape
If the sales funnel is in perfect shape, the value of the pipeline in each segment gets progressively smaller.
However, that’s not always the case.
Many Sales Funnel Shapes
Look at the example below. The $ value of deals in the Investigation stage is less than the $ amount of opportunities in Proposal Made. In other words, the later opportunity stage has more pipeline than the earlier stage.
Look also at the Prospecting Stage. Should it be larger? Is the funnel lacking early-stage opportunities?
In other words, the chart is warning that our pipeline may be out of kilter.
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 to move deals more effectively through the sales cycle.
Is the shape of the sales funnel chart in your business a cause for concern? If it is, there’s probably no immediate quick-fix. You need to take steps that require thought, preparation, and planning.
That’s why it’s imperative to look at the traditional funnel dashboard chart once a week.
Want to learn more? Use this blog post to review four power charts that focus on dashboard size.
Next up: which customers and prospects should we prioritize?
This information helps managers and salespeople prioritize their time and attention. It means salesperson effort, time and other resources are focused on areas where they are likely to have the most significant impact.
Displaying the information on a dashboard table is an excellent 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, High Hill Estates has the highest value of sales pipeline. Indeed, it has twice as much funnel as the next nearest Account.
Are we proactively managing the relationship with this critical customer? For example, is there a robust account management plan in place? Do we understand their buying process? Have relationships been established at multiple levels?
Indeed, if the CEO has time to visit only one prospect, let’s make it this one.
The underlying report shows the constituent Opportunities for each Account. Can a single, large-scale deal be done if the report reveals the total figure for High Hill Estates consists of multiple, separate opportunities?
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.
Top Accounts At Each Level
like any other dashboard chart you can replicate the table for each territory, team and individual salesperson. Therefore, the report is a practical tool for focussing attention on critical customers and prospects throughout the company.
After you have reviewed the dashboard table in your company, take a look at these two blog posts:
How To Build Key Account Plans In Salesforce. Step-by-step advice on delivering a structured approach to account management in Salesforce.
Stop Guessing, Start Measuring Key Accounts. Reports and salesforce dashboard charts that measure account performance.
Now, let’s look at something different:
5) Long-Term Pipeline Trend
The Salesforce Dashboard pipeline charts we’ve looked so far describe the funnel as it stands right now.
However, what about the trend in the size of the sales funnel over time? Is the pipeline getting bigger or smaller?
The Sales Pipeline As-At dashboard chart gives us the answer.
It measures the size of the pipeline on the 1st of each month. As such, it shows the long-term trend in the size of the sales pipeline.
Grouping the information by the Historical Stage gives additional insight into the make-up of the sales pipeline. It allows us to understand the overall trend by Opportunity Stage.
In our example, the pipeline has been growing over recent months. This trend is mainly due to a significant increase in deals in the Prospecting Stage.
That’s good news.
However, do we understand why it has happened?
We should also 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 Long-Term pipeline chart and report give the big picture. In other words, they tell us whether efforts to grow the pipeline in the long-run are successful.
For more examples of how to measure the trend in the sales pipeline over the long and short-term, use this blog post:
However, we all know that size isn’t everything. Quality matters too.
That’s why this next dashboard chart is essential.
6) Open Opportunities by Created Date
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 displays the information by Created Month and Opportunity Owner.
The chart tells us two things. First, how much pipeline was created each month. That’s important because all other things being equal, more pipeline means increased future revenue.
Secondly, the dashboard chart is a pipeline-quality reality check.
For example, let’s say it typically takes three months to close a deal in your business. If there are a significant number of opportunities open much longer than this, then are these genuine, viable deals?
In other words, 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 it is January 2019 and that our sales cycle is typically three months.
Those deals opened in February, March and April 2018 – are we confident they are still legitimate opportunities?
Have the Close Dates regularly shifted on these opportunities to maintain the size of the pipeline? If not, what action can we take to bring these deals to fruition?
Building New Funnel
Reviewing the pipeline by Created Date is an easy but effective way of identifying potentially dormant deals in your pipeline.
However, at the same time, it also gives valuable information on how successful we are at building the pipeline.
For example, look again at our chart.
Less pipeline was created over the last three months of the year. Should we be concerned about this? Perhaps it’s due to the sales team focussing on closing existing deals before the end of the year.
On the other hand, it may be an early warning that we do not have enough pipeline to meet our sales targets in Q1 2020.
Either way, we may need to commence marketing and business development initiatives to correct the trend.
Here’s the blog post you need to discover more about using the Opportunities by Created Date 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.
Now it’s time to dig deeper into pipeline quality.
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7) Pipeline Quality Metrics Table
Whatever the weather is like today, forecast that is how it will be tomorrow.
It’s the same with sales deals.
Deals that are stuck today will probably be stuck tomorrow. Opportunities that slipped last month are the ones most likely to move this month.
Here are three pipeline quality metrics that are a barometer for managers and salespeople.
1. Close Date Month extensions. Counts the number of times the Close Date on each opportunity has shifted from one month to another.
2. Days Since The Last Stage Change. Tracks days since the opportunity stage was last updated.
3. Days Open. Counts the days the opportunity has been open. Stops counting when the deal is Won or Lost.
Display the information in a dashboard table. In our example, we show the metrics for the top 10 deals due to close this month, ranked by the number of days they have been open.
Using The Pipeline Quality Metrics
There’s high impact information in this table.
That’s because the dashboard table is a powerful way to rapidly identify deals due to close this month that need scrutinizing.
Are we relying on deals that have already shifted several times to hit our sales quota this month? How confident are we that each opportunity will not slip to another month again?
Likewise, for those deals not updated for a long time – will the sales cycle complete successfully before the end of the month? In many cases, that will be unlikely.
Use the table to improve the accuracy of sales forecasts. The three pipeline quality metrics do not state that a deal will not close this month. However, they give you a strong hint towards deals you cannot rely on in your sales forecast.
This blog post gives more examples of how to use these three pipeline quality metrics to identify deals that might let you down in your forecast:
Now, let’s talk win rates.
8) Opportunity Conversion Ratios / Win Rates
A small increase in Opportunity conversion rates has a disproportionately high impact on overall sales revenue.
That’s why measuring opportunity conversion ratios (or win rates) is critical.
(Report continues with later months in the chart)
The Opportunity Conversion Ratio / Win Rate chart measures the percentage win rate over time. However, it does this in two ways:
· Win Rate by Amount.
· Win Rate by Count.
Measuring the win rate in both ways means we understand whether salespeople are more effective at successfully closing higher value or lower value deals.
In our example, the win rate by $ Amount is higher in most months. In other words, we successfully closed a higher proportion of large value deals compared to smaller opportunities.
In September and October, the situation reversed. The sales team successfully closed a higher proportion of lower value deals.
Did the sales team lose focus on the higher value deals? Did we discount more heavily during these months? Perhaps we had new joiners that had less experience with large transactions?
Opportunity Conversion Rate Report
The underlying report details win rates at the individual salesperson level. This report provides crucial information for identifying coaching, training and support needs.
Nevertheless, be careful.
An over-emphasis on win rates can have unwanted consequences. You don’t want salespeople leaving opportunities out of the pipeline until they are confident a deal is on the table. Don’t encourage sandbagging, in other words.
On the other hand, don’t discourage salespeople from setting opportunities that no longer have legs to Closed Lost. 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:
Now it’s time for:
9) Average size of Closed Won Deals
Research with one of our customers shows a 65% variation in average deal size between salespeople in one team.
That is a vast range.
All salespeople work in comparable territories. They’re 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, changes in the average number of products sold per opportunity and different levels of discounting by sales teams.
These are challenges our customers address successfully through training, coaching and personal development.
Nevertheless, unless you quantify this essential metric, you will lack the information needed at the salesperson level to identify the right course of action to boost revenue.
This blog post explains more about measuring the average deal size in Salesforce dashboards:
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.
12 Must-Have Charts For Your Salesforce Dashboard
Download the FREE eBook from our website today
However, we can also see that there are variations in the number of Activities completed by each salesperson. Shaun and Peter have recorded much lower levels of activity compared to Sarah and Dave.
I recommend you measure Activity levels by salespeople in several different ways. For example, compare activity with new customers versus existing customers. Doing this shows whether the activities undertaken by salespeople are consistent with the overall sales strategy.
However, you can improve the value of this dashboard chart by making two small changes in salesforce.
Due Date and Activity Type fields
First, modify the Activity Type picklist to values that suit your business. I also recommend making this field mandatory. This way, you get additional insight into the type of activities that salespeople are completing.
Second, make the Due Date mandatory. The result is that activities will always be associated with a date. Doing this is essential for producing dashboard charts that accurately count the number of activities completed each month.
This blog post explains how to use Activity Reports and dashboard charts to identify key accounts that need a renewed focus.
How To Spot Key Accounts You Should Be Focusing On. Now, every sales funnel leaks. That’s the nature of the game. However, you might be wondering, what’s the best way to measure pipeline leakage?
11) Leaking Funnel Report
The Leading Funnel report helps sales managers answer two critical questions:
First, is the funnel leaking excessively?
Second, is it leaking in the right place?
The Leaking Funnel report tells you both of these things.
The dashboard chart describes the ‘From’ and ‘To’ opportunity stage movement.
In our chart, it does this for deals set to Closed Lost in the last 120 days. In other words, it shows how often opportunities have moved to Closed Lost from each prior opportunity stage.
For example, the dashboard chart shows that eight opportunities have moved from Prospecting, directly to Closed Lost.
All other things being equal, it is good that the first opportunity stage has the highest number of opportunities that move to Closed Lost.
It 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.
In other words, if you’re going to lose, you might as well lose early.
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 not good news.
It means we invested time and effort in moving the deal through the sales cycle, only to lose the opportunity at the last moment.
Of course, we need further investigation.
Is the shift from Negotiation to Closed Lost attributable to new versus existing customers? How does the data compare between salespeople? Does it apply only to opportunities with certain product groups?
Here’s the blog post that tells you more about taking the right action:
Which leads us onto the last of our 12 must-have dashboard charts.
12) Sales Performance versus Target
Where’s the Target tab in Salesforce?
Well, there isn’t one. That’s unfortunate because measuring sales performance against targets is a fundamental aspect of managing a sales team.
So how do you measure sales versus target or quota? There are three ways to do this in Salesforce:
· Use a gauge on a dashboard. This is included in our free GSP Sales Dashboard.
· Use the Forecasts tab.
· Use the GSP target tracker solution.
Here’s an example of the first of those options.
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 is that it provides no insight into whether there is sufficient pipeline to meet the sales target next month or this quarter.
Also, separate gauges are needed to track performance versus target for each salesperson and sales team for each month.
So it’s an easy but simplistic and high-maintenance option.
The Forecasts Tab is the standard Salesforce feature for target tracking. It includes the ability for managers to override their team members’ targets. Unfortunately, the Forecasts function is complex; salespeople and managers need significant training to use it effectively.
The GSP Target Tracker App is the most intuitive but most effective option. It contains easy-to-understand charts and metrics to measure sales versus target. Most importantly, it avoids the need for salespeople to create or update manual sales forecasts.
The App also allows sales managers and salespeople to quickly see whether there is enough pipeline to meet the target for this month and future months.
Want to know more about the three options: Here’s the blog post you need:
Also, this post describes how to measure your pipeline versus quota:
Measure Sales Performance Versus Target
Interested in this app? Get in touch with us today
What to do now
Here are the three things I recommend you do now:
1. Install the GSP Sales Dashboard. It’s free and it contains all the charts described in this blog post. You can customize each dashboard chart and report to fine-tune them to your business.
2. Download the eBook. After you’ve installed the dashboard go through each chart using the eBook as a guide.
3. Take a trial of the GSP Target Tracker. Measuring revenue and pipeline versus quota is critical. We make it super-easy and practical with this App.
You’ve read the blog, now watch the movie:
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 explain the contribution each makes to sales performance improvement and pipeline management.
Related Blog Posts
GSP Target Tracker
Track targets in Salesforce including won and pipeline deals
Download The 12 Must-Have Dashboard Charts
This fully-illustrated 27 page ebook shows you the 12 Killer Sales Charts for your Dashboard and explains How to Read Them and When to Use Them.