3 Tips for Setting Up Your CRM Dashboard

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3 Tips for Setting Up Your CRM Dashboard

Brian Gardner No Comment

Modern CRM systems collect large volumes of data that can be used to better manage people, products, business opportunities and more. Without the help of filters and views to make sense of these data, though, it would be overwhelming if not impossible to draw any useful conclusions from them. 

This is where customizable dashboards come in handy. Here’s how to set up your CRM dashboards for optimal utility:

  1. Make them actionable. Ask yourself what you want to manage with a given dashboard before you create it to stay focused on the metrics that matter most. As I always say, start with the end in mind. For a regional manager’s dashboard, for example, a view of outside sales reps’ touchpoints with target companies (lunch-and-learns, meetings, etc.) over the past month, filtered to show only that manager’s territory, may be ideal. As you add metrics to the dashboard, arrange them in a way that is quick to grasp, perhaps by arranging graphs for sales-pipeline metrics in the order that each one occurs, either from left to right or top to bottom on your screen. As you create each dashboard, give it an appropriate name so you can quickly access it when you need it.
  2. Include front-end metrics. Many companies aren’t focused on the front end of the sales cycle, but they should be. While it’s true that back-end KPIs such as inventory turns, monthly bookings and monthly invoices are valuable for assessing whether past goals have been reached, they should not be used exclusively. Including front-end KPIs like the number of new leads and number of sales visits on your CRM dashboard will help you determine whether you have enough new leads and opportunities in the funnel to achieve future sales goals, acting as a leading indicator for back-end metrics. (Learn how to use sales KPIs in Sales-Focused KPIs: KPIs for ROI.)
  3. Start with a bird’s-eye view. Viewing data for a single day or even a single month can quickly become overwhelming. Instead, start with a multiple-month view of your chosen metric so you can see what’s trending, helping you to identify what’s going well and what needs attention. From there, you can drill down further to see what’s causing the trend and make any needed adjustments. By viewing the volume of new leads coming in each month, for example, you can predict whether future sales are likely to increase or decrease in coming months. This provides a better leading indicator than simply adding up open-quote dollars, which may include irrelevant six-month-old quotes.

Create as many dashboards as you need to quickly access your data in terms of territory, rep, customer, product, vendor or whatever else you need, and be sure to share all relevant dashboards with other members of your team so you’re playing off the same sheet of music.

Setting up your dashboard is only the first step to using CRM to your advantage. From there, you must interpret each dashboard and decide how to leverage that information to make better business decisions. In coming months, we’ll be publishing a series of blogs to help you do just that. Sign up for our e-newsletter to receive blogs from the new series right in your inbox, or follow us on social media via the icons at right.

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