Metrics, Reports and My Evolution into a Sales Leader

This post was written by Jason Coville, InsightSquared’s VP of Sales.

Looking back on my career, as an individual contributor, my view of sales metrics was very limited to my own personal sales world. The questions I was interested in solving each month were:

  • How many calls do I make each day/week?
  • How do I get to my goals?

As I moved into managing enterprise accounts the questions I needed to answer started to change.

  • What are the buying trends of my larger customers?
  • Year over year, what are my customers’ technology investment plans?

Then I got promoted to being a manager. As a first line manager, I faced a new set of higher level questions to be asked about how to drive an efficient sales process. Here is where Salesforce.com dashboards and exports to Excel started to happen on a daily basis. Not every first line manager has the time or skill set to manage multiple spreadsheet and diving into Salesforce dashboards to monitor the business. At this point, there are many new questions which need to be answered, that I’d never faced before:

  • How is my sales team pipeline trending?
  • Where are my opportunities getting stuck in the sales funnel?
  • How do I work better with marketing to drive better leads?

All of these questions cannot be answered with one excel spreadsheet or a series of Salesforce.com dashboards.

Coming to InsightSquared I realized I had been very inefficient in getting the answers I needed. I was exporting one large Salesforce report into one Excel file. Within this Excel file I had built over 50 pivot tables trying to address all of the questions I need to answer. This solution was good for me because I built a big messy file. It was my own personal set of reports that I had created myself. But I realize now that these reports, which I slaved over, didn’t serve their purpose. When I needed to communicate to the executive team the performance of the sales team:

  1. No one read them when I sent over email. They were overwhelming.
  2. Reports were too clunky to print to give a simple view into the metrics. Reading pivot tables in Excel on the screen is hard. On paper is darn near impossible.
  3. As a result of #1 and #2. The reports required me to provide a step-by-step walk-through. I spent more time walking the team through the data and our discussion of the strategy (the key reason we were discussing the reports) was short-changed.

Now that I have adopted InsightSquared for Salesforce, I have my team and executives all on the same page as it relates to metrics. I can focus on analyzing the reports and creating changes and adjustments for our business. We talk about sales execution and business strategy. I’m not a data visualization expert and I’m not a data processing expert. I leave those to our product, and I focus on the ways I can best help our business. It’s a far more efficient approach.

Want easy reporting on your sales teams’ performance?

Learn More About InsightSquared for Salesforce »

Image courtesy of Tkgd2007 from wikimedia.commons.org.

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