Everything your sales reps do, from first contact to closing a deal, generates data. How you compile and disseminate that data plays a major role in the current and future success of your team. With the right tools, you can use the data gleaned from day-to-day operations to improve the sales productivity of your team, from top to bottom. Your sales dashboard can be the most valuable tool in the office, if it's used effectively.
The key to success is cutting out the fluff, and presenting actionable information in a way that your whole team can grasp. With a powerful sales dashboard, you don't need a degree in statistics to parse the reams of data your team generates each day. Your dashboard allows you to analyze team performance, spot high performers, track progress with prospects in real time, and keep your finger on the pulse of your office. It just happens to work most effectively when you follow a few basic best practices.
Your sales dashboard can be the most effective tool in the office, if it's used effectively. Click to Tweet
Identify the Most Important Metrics, and Leave Out the Rest
Big data can be overwhelming, even for the statistically inclined. When you're presented with too many numbers at once, it's often difficult to separate the value from the noise. Unlocking the power of your sales dashboard requires an honest look at which metrics are most important to the success of your team, and how you measure sales productivity.
Each metric you include adds complexity and demands time from the people using your dashboard, so choose carefully. What you leave out is just as important as what you include. Give your team the numbers they can handle and include the most important KPIs, but avoid the temptation to include added metrics just for the sake of it.
Juice Analytics nicely identifies the three questions a sales dashboard should answer:
- "What is the value of the pipeline?"
- "Where is it performing efficiently? Where is it failing?"
- "How are things likely to change in the next month?"
Context is King
Every successful sales team has a focused plan of action. Use your sales dashboard to compare your team's actual performance to the goals of your planning. If an element of your plan is under-performing or beating expectations, your dashboard will help you identify the cause.
It's also important to put current performance in context, based on how your team has performed in the past. Over time, the data collected by your dashboard will give you a strong point of comparison for current performance. If you have archived KPI data from before you began using a dashboard, all the better.
Make It Accessible for Everyone
Ultimately, your sales dashboard is only valuable if people use it. Make sure that your dashboard is accessible for everyone in your office who needs it. That includes everyone from the C-Suite to sales management and your sales reps. Part of this is just common sense – you can't expect people to use something if it's not easily available. Accessibility is also important for the pipeline management aspect of your dashboard, so your reps all have access to vital sales cycle data about prospects.
Ensuring maximum access also offers a more subtle benefit. Sales reps, as a group, are fairly familiar with regular performance evaluation. The industry basically requires it. Still, such a thorough evaluation can be intimidating. By giving everyone access, you demystify the process for your reps, so they understand exactly how they are being evaluated, and what they can do to improve.
Use Winning Tools
Integrating and utilizing your sales dashboard may seem a big job, but there's plenty of help available in your efforts to boost sales productivity. If yours is like most modern sales operations, your data comes from a wide variety of sources. Your dashboard should integrate those sources seamlessly.
GeckoBoard, Insight Squared, Domo, and Tableau are a few of the most popular choices, each with its own advantages. As you sift through the options, be sure to pay special attention to customer support. You want a company that stands by its software, and helps you address key needs as they arise. Outside of that, it's all about which package of features works best for your business.
As with any other tool, the value of a sales dashboard is largely a function of its usability. According to Salesforce, "A great dashboard is one that your sales and marketing people live inside." We agree wholeheartedly. To keep your sales team on track, build a powerfull dashboard that focuses everyone on the ultimate goal - hitting your sales number.
"A great dashboard is one that your sales and marketing people live inside."- Salesforce Click to Tweet
Resources to Create Powerful Dashboards
Designing and Building Great Dashboards - 6 Golden Rules to Successful Dashboard Design - Geckoboard