What are sales dashboards and what are their benefits?

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 8 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Organisations increasingly rely on metrics and data to make business decisions and inform strategy and objectives. Sales data is important for sales specialists to analyse their performance or the performance of team members and make key decisions. A sales dashboard can help you to view and understand various sales metrics and use them to support your work. In this article, we look at sales dashboards in more detail and discuss their benefits.

What are sales dashboards?

Sales dashboards are visual representations of real-time sales data. The dashboard's purpose is to provide an overview of the organisation's key performance indicators that are easy to read, analyse and understand. This means that employees and managers can check on progress towards targets and sales goals.

They're also a useful way to evaluate performance and identify areas for improvement. Managers can also use these metrics to change compensation and incentives and award bonuses. Sales dashboards are typically customisable depending on organisational needs. There is a wide range of metrics that a sales dashboard can display and organisations can choose the insights that are most valuable for them. This means they can be a useful tool for a wide range of different businesses.

Related: How to write a strong sales executive CV: tips and templates

How to use a sales dashboard

You can easily create and use a sales dashboard by following a few straightforward steps. These steps help you to create a functional sales dashboard that shows the metrics you're most interested in. They also help you to use the sales dashboard metrics effectively to influence your business decisions. Here are five steps to using a sales dashboard:

1. Decide which metrics to track

The first step is deciding which metrics you want to track. This is likely to depend on the nature of your organisation and its priorities. It's worth considering the metrics you frequently report on already to understand what's important for the business, plus your current sales goals. Knowing your key performance indicators is another way to identify important metrics to monitor.

2. Identify how you want to use the dashboard

Knowing how you want to use the dashboard can help you choose one that meets your requirements. It's worth thinking about who is going to use the dashboard, what they're using it for and what information they want to see. Considering all the different audiences who use the dashboard is also useful. For teams who work in the field, the capacity to view information from any device might be an important feature to consider.

Related: How much does a sales manager make (and ways to earn more)?

3. Choose a sales dashboard provider

Once you understand your needs, you can choose a sales dashboard provider that meets these requirements. If you're already using a customer relationship management system, there might be a feature for you to create dashboards. Otherwise, there is a wide range of providers available. It's worthwhile to do some research and find a suitable option. It's also wise to check that a provider offers all the insights and features you need before committing.

4. Pull sales data into the dashboard

After picking a provider, you can pull your data into the dashboard. Dashboards that are part of your customer relationship management system are likely to synchronise data. In some cases, you might want to manually add some data or upload existing records.

5. Build reports

You can then build reports to represent your sales data. There are a wide variety of charts and graphs you can use to visualise the data. It's helpful to choose options that are clear and easy to read. Once the relevant reports are ready, you can share the dashboard with others. You have the option to change the reports if you find that other metrics are more useful.

Benefits of using a sales performance dashboard

There are various benefits to using sales dashboard software. Having easy access to accurate insights can increase efficiency and help you get genuine insights into your own or your team members' sales performance. These are some of the main benefits of using sales dashboards:

Accessing information easier

A sales dashboard gives you more convenient access to sales insights. This means you can generate reports and make decisions more efficiently. Many sales dashboard providers give access to your dashboard across a range of different platforms and devices. This makes it more convenient for sales managers and team members to check up-to-date sales data at any time and from anywhere.

Improving sales performance

Using a sales dashboard can also help you improve individual and team sales performance. The dashboard makes it possible to view and track various metrics, which can help you identify the cause of issues and areas for improvement. This helps you to set useful targets for improvement for teams and individuals that can boost overall performance.

Motivating sales teams

A sales dashboard can also be a motivational tool for team members. Being able to see and compare sales performance and rewards can encourage sales reps to work more productively. This is another way to boost individual and team performance.

Related: What is motivation? (And how to apply it to your career)

Providing a clear overview of activities

Your sales dashboard provides you with a clear overview of sales activities and progress. This can help with making decisions and streamlining processes. It can also help to alert you to sudden changes or causes for concern.

Identifying growth opportunities

Using a sales dashboard can also help you to identify opportunities for growth. Your dashboard can give you insights into who your most loyal customers are, what your challenges are and what changes might be necessary. This can help you to make appropriate decisions, increase sales and forecast your future revenue.

Increasing accountability

Sales dashboards provide transparent information about progress and performance. This encourages team members and managers to be accountable. It also makes it easier to hold the team accountable to deadlines. This can also be beneficial for motivating team members.

Sales metrics to include on a dashboard

There is a vast range of metrics that you can include on a sales dashboard. Various factors influence which metrics are most appropriate for your sales team. You can customise your dashboard to meet your requirements, but there are some sales metrics that are valuable for the majority of teams. Whilst the most useful reports vary between different teams, these are some sales metrics you might want to include in your dashboard:

Leads by source

Leads by source indicate where your potential customers are coming from, for example, referrals, website sign-ups or industry events. This can help you decide which sources are most valuable. It can also indicate if you're relying on a small number of sources and might benefit from diversifying.

Related: What are metrics in business? (Plus examples and formula)

Open cases

Open cases typically refer to the customer initiating contact. These cases are often time-sensitive. Including them on the dashboard can help you to follow up quickly and ensure that every open case gets a response. This can help to improve customer retention rates.

Open activities

Open activities are a to-do list of individual tasks, for example, visits, calls and demonstrations. Including these on the dashboard can help you to assess how busy the team is and how to use time effectively. It can also be helpful for managing a large number of open activities across the team.

Open opportunities

Open opportunities are your current leads. You can use this metric to track the progress of each lead and delegate responsibilities where necessary. It can also help you determine whether to increase the number of leads you have and identify strategies for doing this, such as diversifying customer sources.

Closed opportunities

Closed opportunities are completed sales. This metric helps you to identify and report on the amount of revenue that sales have generated. This can be particularly important for teams that base their quotas on revenue. Closed opportunities can also help you to monitor commission, sales bonuses and rewards.

Sales cycle

Sales cycle metrics indicate how long it takes a salesperson to complete a sale. This is usually measured in days. This metric helps you to identify whether sales are progressing as you expect them to and understand the efficiency of your team.

Pipeline

Pipeline metrics indicate the stage a lead is at in the sales process and how close the sale is to completion. This can help team members to adapt how they communicate depending on the stage the lead is at. If there needs to be a change at a certain stage in the process, the pipeline also reveals this.

Win/loss rate

The win/loss rates show the percentage of potential sales completed. You can view this for individual team members plus the team as a whole. If the percentage is lower than expected, you can look at other metrics to identify what the cause might be and what you can do to mitigate it.

New business and up-sell ratio

The new business and up-sell ratio shows how many sales are to existing customers compared to new customers. It's often more efficient and cost-effective to sell to existing customers. This metric can help your team to achieve an appropriate balance between new and existing customers.

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