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In a data-driven culture you are held accountable for the results you produce. For a VP of Sales this means guiding your team to the monthly quota. Leads are important for building up your team’s sales funnel, but opportunities in the closing stages become the priority at the end of the month.

In 3 steps we will outline building your own opportunities dashboard in Excel. There is also a simple alternative to prioritizing your opportunities with Salesforce.com data, but we will save that for last.

This dashboard helps you assess and build a game plan based on when opportunities are expected to close and the value they should bring in the door.

What you’ll need:

  • A Salesforce.com login
  • Excel know-how
  • Accurate date entry from sales reps
  • An acute knack for identifying data quality errors in spreadsheets
  • A lot of patience (seriously)

Step 1. Identify opportunities by their stage.

Right off the bat, you need to break out how many opportunities currently sit in each stage of your pipeline. You can use this aggregate number for estimating the value in your pipeline. To create your opportunities dashboard, export individual opportunities by stage with details that include the person’s name, current opportunity stage, assigned rep, estimated deal value, and expected close date.

Step 2. Estimate the value of the each opportunity.

Accurately creating this graph depends on your rep’s ability to ask the right questions on the phone to accurately estimate a deal’s value. One off orders are easy to estimate. But if you work at a SaaS company, you have the option of calculating a deal in terms of monthly subscription or the life time value of the customer. The important thing is to remain consistent across all sales reps.

Valuable opportunities will naturally bubble to the top on your dashboard because the y-axis is measured by the value of each opportunity. Your reps should spend more of your time working with these potential customers.

Step 3. Bring your dashboard.

You have the two metrics you need. You know the

  • Range of expected closing dates for opportunities
  • Estimated value of each deal

Now create a scatter plot in Excel with the x-axis as future dates and the y-axis as estimated close value for each opportunity. This new chart prioritizes your opportunities so you can focus on closing deals before the end of the month with the highest value.

Here is an example of an opportunities dashboard in Excel.

This dashboard is useful for prioritizing effort on a daily basis, but this graph is invaluable when you near the end of the month and are in danger of missing your quota. If you are searching for quick deals, draw a vertical line on deadline date and target all opportunities to the left of the line. But if you need a couple big deals, skim the top of the graph for outlier opportunities higher than the others and accelerate these people through the pipeline.

Ready for your bonus dashboard? Organize your opportunities by sales rep. Once you have the data organized, simply create the scatter plots specific to each rep like the one above. You now instantly have a future-facing perspective of each person’s pipeline. This is a great talking point to take into one-on-one meetings.

And remember…

Building your own opportunities dashboard is a good place to start for a VP of Sales hoping to identify and prioritize the most valuable opportunities in the sales funnel.

But if you are serious about actively monitoring your opportunity landscape with automatic updates from you CRM data and even track the momentum of a deal, InsightSquared is for you. InsightSquared for Salesforce.com dynamically updates based on momentum and changes in an opportunity’s stage. The dashboard also uses historical data so your decisions are based on even more accurate information.

Stay up to date on your opportunities dashboard every day, so you don’t lose sight of potential deals that will drive your revenue.

Seem complex? You can get this report with your Salesforce.com data within 24 hours of signing up for InsightSquared trial.

Learn More »

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