Sales Manager Dashboards
In a previous page, we looked at how
sales analytics are defined for use with sales analytics tools.
We now take the KPI measures and data defined at this phase and
configure them into an
effective sales managemend dashboard.
Sales performance management seems simple enough to define on the
surface, but once we start attempting to display a complete view
on a single Sales Managemen Dashboard, things get more complex pretty
quickly. The dashboard acts as the pinnacle for a whole performance
framework underneath, that cannot be defined in this one page. For
this reason I have recommened three key guides in The Logical Organization
MIS series that provide you with all the information you need to
ensure that your dashboard is more meaningful and effective.
There are key best practices for the design of sales management
dashboards that have a significant impact on their usability and
effectiveness. For the ultimate guide in defining and using sales
data to improve performance I recommend two key books:
More And Have Your Customers Love You For It - details
how to use BI tools and sales performance tools to improve the
return on investment in the sales pipeline
Dashboard Design - the secrets behind design just
a visual version of your reports, or a dashboard that provides
actionable insight into improving productivity and profit
Considerations for Sales Dashboards
Dashboards are single view displays of dense, related information
that support a single role or purpose. Their effectiveness is largely
- Selection of KPI - and the supporting data
- Selection of the right graph type per KPI
- Overall design - use of colors, layout, juxtaposition of KPI,
- Relevance to the user
As displays of dense information, dashboards should focus on delivering
as much relevant, related information as needed that enables the
user to make the decisions they need to make, faster and with more
confidence. Nothing less, nothing more.
All information should be readable in a single view - one screen
view - so that relationships between metrics are clearly seen, and
a complete picture of performance in provided.
Avoid any information that does not contribute real value - it
is better to have more white space, than black clutter.
The selection of KPI is highly unique to the current strategy and
to the user of the dashboard. Do not be tempted to adopt a generic
set of KPI. The KPI on your dashboard must relate to your current
sales goals that support higher strategic objectives. If you do
not have a clear line of sight in how sales metrics connect to strategic
KPI, I recommend the book Leading
with SPI. This will provide you with a fast to implement,
simple framework to ensure the right activity is being done, and
In selecting KPI, we must consider the availability and accuracy
of the data feeding that KPI. We must also ensure that all metrics
are consistent in their definition and the calculations used to
compile the value reported.
When considering charts for a dashboard we must remember that their
purpose is to provide rapid insight - not look sexy in a powerpoint
presentation. What you may thinks looks better, most likely takes
longer to decipher than something that appears rather basic.
The design of the dashboard includes both the framework, the layout,
the colors and the formatting of both the dashboard template and
chart areas. It also includes any interactivity on the dashboard
- such as links to other dashboards and drill down tools.
Dashboard design is not intuitive - most dashboards are badly
designed in terms of their overall effectiveness at providing rapid
insight to specific users. A core test of any dashboard is how well
the user interacts with the dashboard without guidance - using pure
The technical aspects of design consider access and security to
the dashboard, and how well it displays across multiple devices
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