5 Ways to Optimize Sales Activities with Dashboards
Updated: Nov 5, 2022
By: James Dillon
Any sales leader will agree that data and insights are key if you want your reps to crush their targets and drive productivity through the roof.
One of the best ways to gather these insights in one place is by creating a sales dashboard. A sales dashboard collects key metrics and KPIs from several sources (including your CRM) and displays them in a single, visual hub.
These sales dashboards usually contain between six to ten key pieces of data in a bird’s eye view:
As a sales manager, the critical pieces of data you should track include:
A total number of deals in the pipeline: Is this number continually increasing?
Percentage of win rate: Does this stay the same over time?
Average deal amount: What’s the average amount of revenue for each new deal?
Average close time: For a deal to close, how long does it take from start to finish?
The total amount of sales revenue: Within a specific time frame, how much revenue is generated?
Sales forecasting: At this rate, what will be the expected growth in sales?
Response time to leads: Are leads being replied to fast enough?
Follow-up rate over the phone and email: Are our sales reps persistent in their follow-ups?
For each team, you’ll also have additional metrics such as:
Time spent selling vs. other sales activities: How much time does your team actually spend on selling versus their day-to-day admin tasks and meetings?
Overall sales coverage: How does this stack up against your quota?
Amount of leads generated: During a time frame, how many leads has your team produced?
On an individual level, sales reps, and account executives use sales dashboards to measure:
Sales goals: How close to the quota am I?
Future opportunities: What are the upcoming opportunities to keep an eye on?
Total sales: How do my monthly sales compare to previous monthly sales?
The KPIs you choose to visualize will depend on what your organization values the most. To guide you through the process of creating a sales dashboard unique to your organization, here are five ways you can use dashboards to optimize sales activities.
1. Choose the right sales metrics for success
As a sales leader, it’s important to praise and celebrate with your team, or individuals, when they succeed. With your sales dashboard data, you can highlight sales metrics when:
The total revenue goes up
The win rate increases
The quota is attained
The average deal size goes up
The number of sales reps hitting their quota goes up
When high-performing sales teams see how far ahead they are with their goals, it makes them push even harder past these benchmarks.
It’s also why Josh Slone from Leadfuze recommends focusing on only the metrics that contribute to real business success:
“Only use the data that matters. If cold emails are leading to booked meetings, make sure open rates are improving. If reps are closing 5% of quality phone conversations, strive for five quality conversations each day. But don’t waste time on metrics that don’t definitively send leads down the line. Taking the time to figure out the two or three most solid metrics will help you and your reps move the needle.”
By focusing on these metrics, you’re encouraging your reps to focus on the right sales activities that lead to business-critical goals.
2. Create a more competitive spirit
For that extra spark of friendly competition, leverage your sales dashboards to measure overall team performance vs. individual performance. See the Klipfolio example below, where sales metrics on rep and team performance are tracked such as new monthly recurring revenue (MRR), new accounts, demo calls, and expansion MRR:
When working in an office environment, this sales leaderboard can be displayed on TV and seen by all employees. From a creative standpoint, you can use this data to establish sales contests such as:
Weekly cash prize: A $100 weekly cash prize for the sales rep with the most demo calls. There can be smaller cash prizes for second and third place.
Random daily prizes: The top daily performers of each sales metric get raffle tickets. The more raffle tickets they get, the more chances they have to win the random daily prize.
Vote for the best pitch: Sales pitches are anonymously submitted, shared aloud, and voted on. This ends up being a great chance to hear everyone’s pitch and learn about new ways to improve existing pitches.
Sales alliances: For a time frame, split up your sales team into groups of two. Encourage them to collaborate and learn together to achieve a specific objective. Whichever team performs the best will be the winner.
These are just several ways that encourage engagement and competition between reps. For more ideas, think about what psychological triggers people are motivated by.
Tim White from People.ai shares his advice on tailoring how you spark competition based on who is competing:
“For younger sales reps, managers need to monitor more tactical behavior such as the number of calls, and the number of emails in order to monitor the quantity of activity. With a more seasoned team, a manager might want to be monitoring what types of roles are being engaged and at what stage of the sales process. Measuring your team with the appropriate metrics will not only help them accelerate deals but will also help keep them from feeling like they’re being micro-managed.”
3. Lead with data transparency
While it feels amazing to show what is working within the sales organization through dashboards, it’s equally important to show what’s not working.
Using these sales insights, you can quickly diagnose issues in your pipeline and come up with the right solutions. Some of the most common issues include:
Holes in the sales funnel
Slow response time to leads
Underperforming sales reps
Low-performing sales activities
For example, if a slow response time to leads is the issue, start an initiative to speed up lead response time. If the previous response time was an average of 20 minutes, then the new metric to hit could be a response time of five minutes.
Over time, this will become the new normal and everyone wins because of this level of transparency. The lead gets a faster response and is more likely to become a customer. The company as a whole is providing value and is, therefore, more likely to generate new recurring revenue.
Keeping an eye on these metrics is effective when looking for “leaky holes” in the sales funnel. But be careful not to get too granular too often, as Payman Taei of Visme warns:
“Dig too deep and (too often) into your data, and you’ll find yourself constantly searching through the bushes trying to figure out trends. Instead, use key indicators at the dashboard level; and find the best visual that allows you to absorb the data. This way you can detect periodical abnormalities (that may be positive or negative flags) and then dig down to the detailed level to analyze.”
4. Set new objectives based on historical data
The gut feeling doesn’t cut it for sales managers, but numbers do. That’s why sales dashboards are a sales manager’s best friend when it comes to setting new objectives based on historical data.
With historical data, you can see if there are fluctuations during certain periods and account for those ahead of time. You can also predict the likelihood of increased MRR by the performance and tweaks of specific levers.
This same approach goes with your account-based marketing efforts. Paul David from Inbox Insight shares the KPIs to monitor for success:
“By tracking your sales activity alongside any account-based marketing happening within your organization you can align your activities for maximum effectiveness. For example, if you tag certain target accounts in your CRM you can track useful stats in one place such as:
How many leads you have generated from them
The amount of sales activity on those accounts
Connection rate and account contacts
Number of contacts engaged within the DMU (decision-making unit)
Lead scoring to evaluate the effectiveness of leads and pipeline opportunities
The progression of those accounts through your pipeline
The conversion rate you have against your target accounts
The quarterly revenue generated from those accounts vs. the forecast
Predicted account revenue based on historic performance
This will help you learn what needs to happen to drive uptake in response from your most relevant prospects, and attribute a return to any investment your marketing department is making to the actual results produced by sales.”
5. Encourage sales rep autonomy
Contrary to popular belief, it is absolutely beneficial to share “management” numbers from your sales leaderboard with your salespeople. The sales reps who are the highest performers always want to improve and they don’t shy away from trying new experiments. By sharing these high-level numbers, you show them a complete picture. Trust them to use these metrics to become more effective at doing their jobs and hitting their goals.
With a customized sales dashboard crafted specifically around your organization’s goals, it will keep everyone in the loop on what’s working and what isn’t working. It will show a high-level snapshot of the most important metrics at your organization.
On a continual basis, you can use this data to proactively fix leaky funnels, improve conversions and turn around rep performance.