Simple sales dashboard: everything you need to know

Simple sales dashboard: best practices

Margot Bonhomme
June 18, 2024 - 6 min reading

A commercial dashboard is a management tool used by companies to monitor and analyze the performance of their commercial activities. It provides a concise, visual overview of key performance indicators linked to commercial and financial objectives. It enables decision-makers to make informed decisions in real time, based on up-to-date data.

But creating effective dashboards can be time-consuming and complicated. That's why, at Sidely, we believe it's best to design simple sales dashboards, so as to optimize sales reporting and improve business management.

We'll explain how in this article.

Sales dashboard: definition

A sales dashboard is a tool for visualizing and monitoring the sales performance of a company (macro scale), or a team (micro scale). It generally presents key performance indicators (KPIs) such as new sales, sales figures or percentage of objectives achieved, providing an overall view of sales activity and the monitoring of objectives.

This "sales dashboard" takes the form of a number of easy-to-understand tables, usually accompanied by graphs. The main aim is to help decision-makers - and sometimes salespeople - make strategic decisions based on concrete data on sales activities.

The form and structure of the data may correspond to a template established by the company, which then compiles tables from different departments in a harmonized way. Sales follow-up software (CRM ) often simplifies - or even automates - the creation and completion of reporting tables.

In all cases, sales dashboards are essential tools that help align sales efforts with the company's strategic objectives, optimize individual and collective performance, and make the right decisions on the basis of concrete data. They are therefore genuine monitoring tools, which need to be updated in real time or at regular intervals to reflect the latest data.

Facilitate the follow-up of sales representatives and managers

Various people need to create sales dashboards, whether to monitor their own objectives, those of their team(s), or to report back to their +1 hierarchical level.

The most frequent users of these dashboards are sales directors, sales managers, and the salespeople themselves, whether sedentary (telemarketers) or nomadic (itinerant).

The following table shows the main objectives pursued by each of these roles.

Store features
Function Sales Management Sales management Travelling sales representatives
Main objective Strategy creation: define the company's sales strategies, evaluate overall sales performance, identify growth opportunities and adjust strategies accordingly. Team management: supervise sales teams on a day-to-day basis, assess team members' individual performance, identify coaching or training opportunities, and allocate resources effectively. Follow-up of personal objectives: monitor their own performance against the numerical targets assigned to them.
Secondary objective Target monitoring: monitor the progress made by sales teams towards achieving set targets, and intervene if necessary to ensure targets are met. Process optimization: identify bottlenecks in sales processes and work to resolve them to improve the team's overall efficiency. Quality support : to be assessed and supported on the basis of objective elements.

Elements of the sales dashboard

Here are the different elements of a sales dashboard.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

These are the essential metrics for tracking sales performance. These KPIs can vary according to the company, its industry, and above all the type of team involved: sedentary or itinerant salespeople, pre-sales or sales support teams, customer retention, and so on.

However, there are a number of key indicators that all companies need to keep an eye on. Here is a non-exhaustive list: 

  • Sales ;
  • Percentage of sales target achieved.
  • Total number of sales ;
  • Number of appointments made AND kept ; 
  • Signature rate ; 
  • Profitability of the service or business ;
  • Lead-to-customer conversion rate;
  • Customer retention rate (loyalty / renewals) ;
  • Customer acquisition cost (CAC) ;
  • Length of sales cycle (in time or number of appointments) ; 
  • Customer satisfaction (e.g. net promoter score) ; 
  • Additional sales to active customers.

There are many key indicators to track, depending on your objectives. As we'll see below, to simplify the analysis, we recommend identifying a few key indicators and focusing on what matters most.

Visualizations and Graphics

Data is often presented in graphical or tabular form for quick and easy understanding. Curve graphs, bar charts, pie charts and pivot tables are commonly used to illustrate trends and comparisons.

Objectives follow-up

Sales dashboards generally include indicators that enable performance to be compared with the past, and thus track progress towards set objectives. This helps determine whether the company is on track to meet its sales targets.

Analysis and Insights

As well as providing raw data, business dashboards often offer analysis and insights into trends and correlations between different KPIs. This helps decision-makers understand the underlying causes of performance and identify opportunities for improvement.

The salesperson or manager can provide contextual elements themselves. If you've chosen a simple dashboard format with just a few figures, your analysis can be added to the reporting email you send to your management or your recap presentation. In either case, focus on the essentials and keep it concise. Executives are used to dashboards and don't have time to read novels!

Simplify your dashboards

Presenting a large number of indicators on a report tends to make it more complicated to read and interpret.

To simplify performance analysis, you can divide results tracking by type of operation, selecting a few key indicators for each.

Here are a few examples of indicators to track for each type of assignment.

Store features
Making a telephone appointment Field sales representatives Customer satisfaction / Retention Lead generation
Number of calls per day / Number of appointments booked / Percentage of appointments seen / Signature rate on appointments booked. Sales achieved / Percentage of monthly and quarterly target / Number of appointments seen / Sales volume (sales in progress). Number of calls per day / Churn avoided / Sales saved / Success rate / Net promoter score. Number of leads generated / Sales conversion rate / Cost per qualified lead / Return on investment.

How to create a simple and effective sales dashboard

Let's take a look at a simple method for building your own sales performance tracking tool.

Step 1: Start with the main objective

Start by focusing on the company's main objectives, such as increasing sales or the number of customers, lowering the cost of acquisition, optimizing the acquisition cycle and so on.

Step 2: Identify the indicators corresponding to this objective

For example, a company wishing to shorten its sales cycle could track the following indicators: 

  • Percentage of one-shot signatures (following RV1) ;
  • Average number of pre-signing appointments ;
  • Average number of RVs per sales rep per month.

Step 3: Identify and evaluate data sources

Check the feasibility of reporting and the reliability of the data to be used. To do this, you'll need to ensure that the data is up-to-date and unbiased. Then, try to automate everything that can be automated, and if necessary, supplement with manual actions to fill in any missing information.

Step 4: Find the ideal presentation

A dashboard must provide a clear and immediate overview. That's why it's essential to keep a summary page that your management can understand and interpret in a matter of seconds. 

If required, add tabs to your table to retrieve more in-depth information, such as results by sales rep, by region, or even secondary indicators. Some companies also choose to keep a monthly history of reports, with one month per tab.

With modern CRM, it's easy enough to try out different shapes, especially when the software lets you create drag & drop dashboards!

Step 5: Set up a quality control system

A quality department can be set up. This can be aimed at ensuring that the CRM, or any other tool from which reporting data is extracted, is filled in correctly; in this case, the crm manager can be entrusted with this task. In other cases, it's the sales dashboard itself that can be checked for content and form: verification of formulas, accuracy of data, consistency of results, relevance of KPIs monitored...

Step 6: animate and board sales (or other stakeholders)

Drawing up and sending out a dashboard must be followed by consistent action: it is advisable to hold ritual sales meetings that take into account the metrics established by the reporting. These rituals may be short-lived, but they are fundamental to sales animation, as they enable salespeople to feel involved in the strategy and to take ownership of their objectives.

💡 Be careful not to mix tracking tools

To keep things simple and effective, organize your tracking tools logically and avoid confusing your rituals.

That's why it's important not to confuse the sales dashboard with two other commonly used sales tools.

Forecast

For example, the sales dashboard does not replace the declaration of the forecast. The "prévi" is a ritual that enables salespeople to tell their managers what they have in thepipeline at the beginning of the month. This short ceremony enables salespeople to remain clear and transparent about their progress to date in relation to the sales objectives for the current period, and the manager to get an idea of the starting situation. At the end of the month, comparing results with forecasts enables us to analyze what has happened over the period in question, and to implement reactive actions.

Sales prospecting dashboard

Start-up brands sometimes set up a sales prospecting dashboard in Excel or Google Sheets. These situations are temporary, as companies sooner or later realize that they need a sales CRM to facilitate - and sometimes automate - the generation of sales reports, and eliminate many of the errors associated with manual data entry.

Specific industries

Finally, take the time to identify the right performance indicators for your industry. Here, for example, are the different metrics to track for a brand present in supermarkets: 

  • Digital retention (DN) by point of sale ;
  • Numerical holding (DN) by salesperson ;
  • Digital distribution (DN) ;
  • Sales achieved (sellout / sellin) ; 
  • Cash-out and valuation ; 
  • Number of appointments made in the month ;
  • Sales visits carried out ;
  • Number of active sales outlets ;
  • Follow-up of objectives (sales, activity...) ;
  • Year-on-year sales growth ;
  • VMH Average weekly sales ;
  • Last sales activity ;
  • Etc.

Would you like to develop your sales in supermarkets and hypermarkets? Ask us for an online demo!

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