All employees should be able to demonstrate their progress and impact on the business, but perhaps none more so than the sales team. Operating in such a fast-paced, high-pressure environment, it’s vital they stay on top of every prospect and lead, ensuring every opportunity is followed up. After all, you don’t want to wait until the end of the quarter to discover that you’ve failed to meet your target.
It’s not surprising then that Business intelligence (BI) solutions such as dashboards have become a critical tool for sales teams. Sales dashboards deliver instant, at-a-glance, understanding of how the team is performing in real-time, enabling you to measure the whole sales cycle from the initial conversation with a prospect to closing a deal, and every stage in-between. This creates a culture of daily accountability and with the right data at their fingertips, your sales teams are empowered to be more proactive, making informed decisions based on real-time data.
So how can dashboards support the critical stages of your sales process? We’ve put together six key metrics your dashboard should visualise in order to empower your sales team:
1. Sales pipeline
Sales teams often become too focused on just the sales target. They forget to invest effort in each stage of the prospect pipeline, such as making regular calls, maintaining a contact with a prospect and managing appointments. With the sales pipeline indicating qualified opportunities, smart data insight can pinpoint exactly where opportunities are coming from and monitor at what stage they are at in the sales cycle.
This is critical to ensure you can gain a single view of operations on which to map performance, identify trends and help predict future opportunities or requirements. Too few leads and you’re in danger of not meeting targets, too many and you risk missing out on good opportunities because of insufficient capacity. Aligning quality checks and metrics is key to ensuring the sales teams are not simply ‘playing the game’, but truly understand the value of each opportunity. These metrics will then give you the insight to plan time and resources effectively.
2. Lead response times
It’s great to have a pipeline full of high-quality leads, but only if you have the ability to process these enquiries in good time. A qualified lead means your prospect is currently in the market for products and services like yours, but it also means they are most likely considering some of your competitors’ services too. Fast and efficient follow-up is essential to gain an edge over the competition.
Are you concerned that your lead response times too long? Drill down to look at both team and individual response times; it might highlight that an individual may need some coaching in time management, or that a process issue needs to be investigated to overcome a serious process issue. Centralising your data allows you to have one version of the truth for all your sales efforts. Everyone will then be working from the same source, and if there are any discrepancies, you’ll be able to catch them right away.
3. Number of follow-ups
It takes persistence and practice to learn the right number of interactions required to close a deal, and being able to demonstrate the communication techniques that convert your prospects into customers benefits your whole team. Do you use industry standard metrics, or would truly knowing your own metrics and success rates be better? Dashboards not only give a holistic view of current performance, but also provide the flexibility to filter data to understand customers at a more granular level. What’s the average number of follow-up calls or emails required? Does it vary by product or service? Visualisation can be powerful way to drive the point home.
4. Conversion rate
This shows the percentage of leads that convert into customers. Understanding how this number is trending over time is a powerful indicator of how effective your sales operation is overall. Dive into your sales data and examine average revenue per buyer, number of conversion events on site, new and returning customers, and more. It’s a quick way of working out which leads are working hardest for you, so you can allocate time, money and effort accordingly.
5. Percentage of target reached
This is one metric everyone in your team should be consulting regularly. It’s acts as a simple but very powerful visual nudge to keep efforts focused. The essence of any dashboard, it lends itself perfectly to gamification – the concept of applying game mechanics and design techniques to enhance the user experience. When employed correctly, gamification can demonstrate ROI linked directly to marketing activity, be used as a tool to incentivise sales, and enable much more insightful forecasting.
6. Sales achieved
Every salesperson wants to be able to see, at a glance, the amount of revenue that has been signed off already. It’s a sign of achievement, as well as a powerful incentive to greater efforts and provides insights that can inform future sales strategy and team management. By ensuring you’re tracking the right metrics, you can monitor exactly which campaigns are providing the best ROI. That way, when you’re planning your quarterly or annual budget, a quick perusal of your dashboards means past trends can be utilised for future gain.
The bottom line? Dashboards work. They give you and each sales executive real time visibility on what is going on in their pipeline, which results in increased revenue, but also understanding where training is required – and they can make your sales team work harder, too.