A sales dashboard is a real-time visual representation of sales, behavior, or process metrics. A report is one or several of those visual representations in specified time frame.
In order to constantly improve their sales pipeline, both managers and team members need to constantly keep a pulse on what's working and what isn't. While some problems are obvious right away—such as a drop in win:lose ratio on a given day—others only surface by carefully monitoring data over the long term—such as a drop in a sales team's performance in Q1 of every year. For this reason, most data-driven sales teams create several dashboards they can keep an eye on daily.
Dashboards typically include a collection of line graphs, bar graphs, pie charts, or even a simple scatter plot. The most important thing is that the visuals are simple enough to understand at a glance while still providing valuable information.
There are three different types of dashboards that are necessary for every type of sales pipeline:
- Sales success which shows managers how the team is performing as a whole. The dashboard shows insights such as how well they're meeting quarterly targets and how revenue numbers are growing over time.
- Individual performance which shows managers the strengths and weaknesses of each rep. This dashboard shows insights such as the number of sales activities, win/loss rates, and close rates.
- Process momentum which shows managers bottlenecks or inaccuracies in the pipeline. This dashboard shows insights such as how filled the pipeline is, how long a lead is in any individual stage, and what percent of qualified leads convert.
Focus each dashboard around one singular purpose. Is it to see how much sales reps are improving every month, or is it to compare sales reps performance across teams? Then add only the data that's absolutely critical for achieving that purpose in an appropriate time frame. In general, the larger the time frame, the more accurate insights your dashboard will provide for you.
Perspectives on Sales Dashboards and Reporting
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