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4 Ways To Measure Revenue Against Sales Targets In Salesforce

4 Ways To Measure Revenue Against Sales Targets In Salesforce

Many executives get very frustrated, trying to measure sales versus target 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 target 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 need 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 quota.

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.

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.

Historic sales targets are in the past

Was the sales revenue higher or lower than the target?

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.

These are the targets we are working to achieve right now

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.

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.

These targets are 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.

How do these three types of targets relate to Salesforce?

Simple. We need to asses how well each option helps us compare performance against historical, current and 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.

Gauge displays 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 should summarize 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.

Forecasts tab is 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.
  • Ideally, 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 must 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.

Lightning Home Page Quarterly Performance Chart

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 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.

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 October 2019.

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

The target tracker allows you to easily see 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 April pipeline deals 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 October. 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.

easily view opportunities that are linked to target records

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.

target tracker dashboard summarizes all 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.

Cons of the GSP Target Tracker

  • A license fee of $12 per user per month.

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 three 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.

Measure Sales Performance Versus Target

Download the App from the AppExchange today

Recorded webinar on Sales Targets in Salesforce

Watch Gary Smith and Nick Ambrose demonstrate the three solutions in action.

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

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GSP Target Tracker

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How to Outperform Your Sales Targets Using Commission Tracking

How to Outperform Your Sales Targets Using Commission Tracking

Motivate your sales people to exceed targets by using commission tracking in salesforce.

Commission tracking drives sales people to close deals.

It motivates them to create new pipeline. It propels them to go the extra mile to win a piece of business.

But it’s not just about the money.

Sales people are highly motivated. Commission tracking is a way of keeping the score. It’s a way of comparing sales performance with the previous month or quarter. It’s how sales people measure this quarter with their personal best. It’s how they know they are winning.

So the greater the visibility of commission earnings, both actual and potential, the greater the motivation for sales people to increase revenue.

So commission tracking is important to you (sales manager) to drive business performance – but it is paramount to the sales person.

But unfortunately there’s no out-of-the-box module for commission tracking in salesforce.

So at GSP we created one.

Here’s how it works.


Commission levels

Managers set up records in salesforce that define how much commission each person should receive for each level of sales revenue.

Set percentages for each commission level in salesforce.

For example, the screen shot above shows the commission levels for Dave Apthorp for February 2016.

Dave will earn 2% commission on £1 to 50,000 and 4% on all sales between £50,0001 and £75,000.

If he has a particularly good month, Dave will earn 6% on all revenue over £75,000 with no upper limit.

Defining the parameters at this granular level (i.e. by person, month and sales level) gives major flexibility. It means that a commission structure that will best motivate the sales team can be created.

It also means there’s the opportunity to introduce kickers for individual months by increasing the percentages for that month. In this case, for example, we might raise the commission percentages for March to make sure we end the quarter with a bang and outperform the sales target.

There’s also the option to create commission levels related to product families. This means percentages can be varied based on margin or the gross profit associated with each type of product.


Measure Sales Performance Versus Target

Interested in this app? Get in touch with us today

Commission tracking in salesforce

The screenshot below shows Dave’s commission tracking record in salesforce for February.

Commission tracking in salesforce.

The highlighted box shows his:

  • Commission Earned. This is based on the opportunities he has closed this month.
  • Pipeline Commission. The total amount Dave would earn if he closed all the deals in his February pipeline.
  • Total Potential Commission. The sum of Earned and Pipeline Commission.

Dave’s opportunities that are due to close for this month are automatically linked to this commission record. We can see these at the foot of the screenshot.

This linkage between the opportunity and the commission record is done by a trigger that runs every time an opportunity is updated. If Dave edits an opportunity, for example by moving the Close Date on a pipeline opportunity to the following month, then the relevant commission records will be updated.

The in-line chart on the left of the page shows how much Dave has earned for the month on won deals (blue bar). It also shows his potential commission (green bar) and his total potential earnings (orange bar).

The chart on the right provides more analysis of Dave’s pipeline deals. He can immediately see which of his open opportunities will yield the most commission.

For most sales people, this commission tracking in salesforce is a proven way of focussing attention. Align the commission structure with your corporate sales objectives and you’ve a built-in way of driving sales performance.


Commission reporting in salesforce

This approach means commission tracking reports can be created in salesforce for managers.

Sales managers in many of our customers use these reports to motivate and encourage individual sales reps. The automated commission tracking visibility also saves (probably you) countless hours updating and sharing spreadsheets across the team!

Commission tracking isn’t just about the money. It’s a way to keep the score. And now you can keep that score in salesforce.

If you have a question, or you’d like our help in implementing a commission tracking solution in salesforce in your business, simply get in touch.


Awesome Pipeline and Sales Performance Visibility

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How To Compare Your Sales Funnel With Quota In Salesforce

How To Compare Your Sales Funnel With Quota In Salesforce

Many managers that use salesforce are still not gaining the sales funnel insight they expected.

In particular, they want to know much more about how the sales funnel compares with their quota.

Sure, they’ve got salesforce dashboards set up. These give visibility of the sales funnel and sales performance. But its still a challenge to create a robust sales forecast.

That means they can’t use salesforce to get a definitive answer to that most fundamental of questions.

Is my sales funnel big enough to make my quota?

But it’s worse than that:

Knowing you’ve enough sales funnel to make your quota for this month is one thing.

However, what if the sales funnel only contains early-stage Opportunities? Deals that may take two or three months to close. How confident can you be then of achieving this months’ quota?

Fortunately there’s a sure-fire way to use salesforce.com to know whether you’ve enough sales funnel – of the right type – to meet your sales quota.

Not just the quota for this month.

The quarter’s sales quota too. Indeed, businesses that track the sales funnel in salesforce in the way we describe here, get a clear picture of how likely they are to achieve annual, quarterly and monthly revenue targets.

Here’s how it works. And when you’re done watch the accompanying video.

Monthly Sales Quota

First you need a new custom object and a new tab. Let’s call it Monthly Sales Target, although it doesn’t really matter how it’s named. If Monthly Sales Quota, Revenue Objective or Monthly Sales Forecast make more sense in your business, that’s fine.

The Monthly Sales Target stores the sales quota for each sales person for each month. There’s a record in salesforce for each sales person for every month of the year. If you track performance against quota on a quarterly, rather than monthly basis, that’s fine. There’s simply going to be four records per sales person per year, rather than 12.

The ‘Month’ and ‘Year’ fields on the Monthly Sales Target tell us the time period to which the quota relates.

Here’s the most important field, Sales Target. This is the target or quota for the sales person for that month. Every month may have the same Sales Target figure, or they can vary to reflect seasonal trends. It’s up to you.

Compare Sales Funnel to Monthly Sales Quota

Here’s how you know whether there’s enough sales funnel to meet the Sales Target figure.

You need some code that automatically links each Opportunity to the relevant Monthly Sales Target. You can either build the code yourself or you can purchase our pre-built target tracker app.

Here’s what the code does.

It looks at the Opportunity Owner and the Opportunity Close Date. Then it links the Opportunity to the Monthly Sales Target that matches the Owner and the From / To dates.

Link the sales funnel Opportunity to the Monthly Sales Target to compare with quota.

If the Close Date subsequently changes, then the code ‘unhooks’ the Opportunity from that particular Monthly Sales Target and links it to a new one.

Measure Sales Performance Versus Target

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Sales Funnel Metrics

Next, the code ‘rolls-up’ the value of all Opportunities to the Monthly Sales Target.

These metrics indicate whether the sales funnel is big enough to meet quota in salesforce.

Critical metrics on the Monthly Sales Target help you understand whether you’ve enough sales funnel to meet your revenue quota. These include:

  • Won Amount. The value of all Opportunities that have an Opportunity Stage of Closed Won.
  • Funnel Amount. The value of all Opportunities in the sales funnel.
  • Weighted Sales Funnel. The value of all Opportunities in the sales funnel, based on the Expected Amount (the Opportunity Amount multiplied by the Probability).
  • Expected Revenue. The value of Closed Won Opportunities plus the Weighted Sales Funnel.

In many businesses, this last one is a killer metric.

Expected Revenue

The Expected (or Weighted) Revenue figure shows whether this sales person has enough sales funnel, combined with the business they’ve already closed, to meet their sales quota.

In our example above, the month target is £30,000, but the Expected Revenue is just under £25,000. We don’t have enough! This is emphasized in the percentage figures on the right. The embedded chart also shows a shortfall in the sales funnel compared to quota.

But there’s more to it than that.

Sales Funnel Shape

Look at the chart to the right of the salesforce page. It provides more detail on the sales funnel Opportunities associated with this Monthly Sales Target record.

Look at the Monthly Sales Target for the current month. Let’s say your deals typically run through a 90-day sales cycle. That means you don’t want to see many deals forecast to close this month, in the Prospecting Stage. It’s likely these deals aren’t going to close in the current month.

On the other hand, if it’s the Monthly Sales Target for three months’ time, then look at the sales funnel shape. Lots of early-stage funnel Opportunities due to close in three months is probably a good thing.

Sales Funnel Dashboard

However, what about the company or team-level sales target?

Here’s how we find out if the sales funnel is big enough to meet these revenue targets.

The dashboard chart and underlying report give us that information. And using Expected Revenue, the reports give us a robust sales forecast. One that will stand up to detailed scrutiny.

Sales funnel compared to quota using a salesforce dashboard.

Of course, none of this replaces the need for proper sales funnel management.

The Opportunity Probability still needs to be reliable on each deal. However, it does give the sales manager the tools necessary for effective sales funnel management.

This is especially the case if the Monthly Sales Target reports are used in conjunction with other salesforce dashboards and reports that identify the poor quality deals. These are the deals that over-inflate your sales funnel. Weed out the lame ducks that give a false sense of future revenue.

And finally, get in touch today if you’d like to test drive our target tracker app for yourself.

Watch me demonstrate the salesforce funnel management solution described in this blog in this video.

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Download the FREE eBook from our website today

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GSP Target Tracker

Track targets in Salesforce including won and pipeline deals

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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.

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