As the year draws to its close, I know that a lot of sales managers are looking at their numbers thinking, “I wish my team closed more revenue this year.” In fact, I’m guessing that if you’re a great sales manager, no matter how well your team did, you’re wondering where there are opportunities to do even better in 2015.
If you’re less-than-satisfied with your sales team’s end-of-year quota attainment, your first instinct might be that you need to hire better salespeople. And indeed you might. But perhaps the single most important thing that managers can do to improve their team’s performance it to get better inside sales dashboards.
The right dashboards give sales managers both a bird’s-eye-view of their team and granular insight into individual sales reps’ activities. More importantly, they enable you to associate activities with outcomes. With great sales dashboards you can always know, for example, how many calls reps are taking to create opportunities. Or what percentage of inbound calls result in meaningful conversations with qualified leads. These metrics help you assess your reps’ performance and sales process. Armed with this knowledge, you can coach your sales team to close far more deals in 2015.
I recently blogged about Bluewolf’s killer State of Salesforce Report. Another interesting stat that I read in the report was that 60% of companies using Salesforce are currently using one or more third-party apps from Appexchange that offer dashboards and reports. Not only that, the future of reporting apps is listed as “on fire.” This means that Bluewolf expects a lot more companies to invest in dashboard apps in 2015.
While the report doesn’t specifically say what percentage of these reporting apps focus on sales intelligence, it’s safe to say that you should expect your competitors to be arming themselves with better inside sales reporting apps in Salesforce over the next year (if they haven’t already).
Every sales team is different. That’s why there aren’t really one-size-fits-all dashboards. The first step on your road to getting better sales dashboards is to evaluate which metrics and KPIs truly support your business drivers. We recently released an eBook entitled 7 Essential Salesforce Dashboards for Predicting and Influencing Inside Sales Success. Inside, we not only recommend some of the dashboards our customers are using to drive more revenue, but also included a questionnaire that can help you identify which are the must-track metrics for your sales team.