10. Sales performance against Target

So what’s the problem?
• Dashboards are the #1 reason why
companies buy CRM solutions such as
• But often the dashboards don’t get set up in a
way that give sales executives the insight they
need to manage effectively
• So here’s 10 charts that should be on your
salesforce.com dashboard to give full visibility
of the sales pipeline and sales performance
1. Closed Won Opportunities by Month
This is the most basic graph
and the most essential but the
trick here - as with many of the
charts - is to create the chart as
a stacked bar chart and the
underlying report as Matrix
Admittedly it's slightly easier to
create a Summary report but it's
only a small step further to create a
Matrix report. And the results are so
much more powerful.
2. Pipeline Opportunities by Close Date
This chart gives the
fundamental information
necessary to assess the
pipeline. Stacking the bar chart
by Stage gives high quality
visibility of the overall health of
the pipeline.
Now we can start to interrogate the
data. For example, assuming we're
in February 2012, is the deal that
shows in Negotiation in June really
going to take 5 months to complete?
Perhaps it is, but now we have the
information necessary to question
the situation. Similarly, the deal that
shows as Prospecting in February are we really going to close it this
month? In reality is it at a more
advanced Stage? Or does it belong
in a later month?
3. Trend in Pipeline ‘As-At’ the 1st of
each month
What about the
trend in the pipeline?
Is it increasing or
The pipeline As-At report
shows the size of the pipeline
“As-At” the 1st of each month
and thus the overall trend
in the size of the pipeline.
Formatting the graph and underlying
report by Stage gives us additional
insight on the make-up of the
4. Open Opportunities by Created Date
The size of the pipeline is a key
driver of future sales
performance. But size isn’t
everything – we also need to
measure quality. The Open
Opportunities by Created Date
chart is one important way to
do this.
If it typically takes three months to
close a deal in your organisation yet
there a number of Opportunities
opened significantly earlier than
this, are these really genuine, viable
opportunities? In the chart above
what about the opportunities
opened in February and June? Are
we confident they're legitimate
Opportunities and not being
regularly moved along in order to
maintain the size of the pipeline?
5. Opportunity Stage Movement
High quality visibility of sales
trends and sales performance
requires sales people to use
salesforce.com to manage
deals throughout the sales
process. As such we should see
the majority of Opportunities
moving successively through
each Opportunity Stage.
The Opportunity Stage Movement
Report shows, for any given time
period, what has happened to
Opportunities. For example, in the
chart and table below, we can see
that of the 335 Opportunities that
were in the Prospecting Stage, 85
have moved onto the Investigation
Stage and so on.
The chart shows that a successively
reduced number of Opportunities
move into Closed Lost as they
progress through the Opportunity
Stages – this is what we'd expect..
6. Opportunity Conversion Ratio
Small increases in the
percentage of opportunities
that convert into closed deals
has a disproportionally high
impact on overall sales
revenue. It’s one of the key
levers available to sales
This chart and report show the
percentage conversion rate on
opened Opportunities over time.
The chart and table provide valuable
information on sales performance
and potential training and
development needs. We need to
assess this information in the
context of other graphs – for
example the Opportunities Opened
by Created Date in order to ensure it
doesn't reflect sales people only
entering opportunities into the
system that they're confident are
going to close.
7. Average size of Closed Deals
In many organisations the
ability to consistently cross-sell
or up-sell is a key driver of
incremental sales revenue. This
chart gives important insight
on how well sales people are
achieving this over a given
period of time
The report identifies sales people
that are effective in cross selling or
upselling. What can we learn from
their expertise? Can other sales
people benefit from additional
training or copying the leaders'
techniques? Are those with the
lowest average deal size the sales
people that are consistently giving
away the biggest discounts?
8. Top 5 Clients and Prospects
The Top Five Clients and
Prospects table gives a clear
indication of where managers
should be spending their time
over the coming months
Displaying this information on a
dashboard table is a good way of
focussing attention. Limit the results
to the top 5, 10 or 15 in order to
prioritise the key accounts. On the
report list all the Accounts with
open opportunities.
9. Top 5 Clients and Prospects
Sales deals don’t close
themselves. Tracking the
number of completed activities
can provide valuable insight
into varying levels of
This is especially the case when
viewed in conjunction with the other
metrics outlined in this paper.
Effective use of this chart and report
requires a few small configuration
changes to Activities within
salesforce.com. Firstly, modify the
Activity Type picklist to suit your
organisation and make it mandatory.
Then make the Due Date mandatory
to ensure that Users can't leave the
date blank.
10. Sales performance against Target
There are three ways to
manage sales performance
against target in
salesforce.com, the most
simple one is Using a Gauge on
a Dashboard.
• Use the Forecasts tab and
associated functionality.
• Use a custom object to record
targets and link Opportunities to
the relevant target.
• Use a gauge on a dashboard.
The last of these is the most simple
and the one that is demonstrated
The upside of this approach is that
it's very easy and simple to
implement. The downside is that it
gives the least amount of insight of
the three solutions, but that may be
an acceptable price to pay (in the
short term at least) for ease of
implementation. There are several
additional ways to manage targets in
salesforce.com that provide
additional insight. Watch out for a
forthcoming SolX blog post on using
salesforce.com to manage targets.
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