How to Create Salesforce Dashboards + A Better Way to Get Visibility

What is a Salesforce Dashboard?

A Salesforce dashboard is a visual representation of key data and metrics from Salesforce reports that provide a real-time snapshot of an organization's performance and KPIs. 

It mainly allows sales managers and sales leaders to monitor critical information, track progress, and make informed decisions based on a collection of data in a single, customizable interface.

Why are Salesforce Dashboards Important?

Salesforce dashboards are crucial for sales leaders because they provide a clear visual of their team’s performance metrics like open pipeline, closed-revenue, and much more depending on the information your sales organization needs to track. 

This helps leaders make quick decisions and adapt to changes as needed. It also fosters teamwork and productivity by keeping everyone on the same page with shared goals. For example, a sales manager may create a Salesforce dashboard that they share with their team so everyone can see how many calls each rep is making, how many deals each rep has closed that month or quarter, or how many opportunities have progressed to new stages. This level of transparency makes it easier for everyone to be on the same page, understand the team’s goals, and have a better idea in terms of what actions need to be taken.

Dashboards are meant to give leaders a quick snapshot of their team’s performance to date. Whether it’s a VP of Sales looking at the organization’s performance at various points throughout a quarter or an SDR (Sales Development Representative) manager getting a picture of how well their SDRs are executing their productivity metrics, dashboards are a great way to get a high-level overview of how well your team is executing.

What Does a Salesforce Dashboard Consist of?

What goes into dashboards can vary based on your company, department, team, or even your industry. However, some of the most common pieces of information included in a dashboard are:

  • Total number of opportunities
  • Total value of open opportunities
  • Closed-won revenue
  • Closed-lost revenue
  • Revenue amount by deal stage or forecast category
  • Revenue by rep or team

As mentioned above, this is highly dependent on the team, company, or industry. For example, some SDRs might be more focused on productivity metrics since they are typically focused on generating new pipeline and not responsible for closed revenue. 

Step-By-Step Guide to Creating Salesforce Dashboards

Dashboards are made up of different Salesforce reports so first, it’s important to create and ensure that all of your reports are up-to-date and accurate. If you need help creating Salesforce reports, please see this article for a helpful step-by-step on how to get this done. This can be challenging to verify, but we’ll get into that later.

  • Click New Dashboard and select which folder you’d like it to live in.
  • Select which reports you’d like to populate your dashboard with and then how you’d like those reports to be visualized with a variety of charts and graphs to choose from.

Salesforce Dashboards are highly customizable based on the reports you have available. In the example above, the Opp Trends ‘24 report has the option to view your opportunities in a funnel visual as opposed to a simple spreadsheet format like the New Opportunities - Q4 ‘24 report on the right.

After you’ve added several reports with different visualization options, it may look something like this:

5 Limitations of Salesforce Dashboards

Despite being an incredibly helpful tool for sales leaders and even sales reps, Salesforce dashboards do have limitations that can prevent the highest levels of visibility, simplicity, and performance in a sales organization.

  1. Salesforce reports are not always up-to-date or accurate because reps don’t consistently update the CRM
  2. Salesforce reports are a manual, time-consuming process.
  3. Dashboards cause leaders to be reactive instead of proactive because the data is not always “real time” even if they think it is.
  4. You aren’t able to make edits directly in a dashboard
  5. You aren’t able to quickly and easily understand changes in a dashboard. You’re only able to see that there was a change, but it might not be obvious and it’s hard to drill down into specific deals or details.

An Alternative to Salesforce Dashboards: Scratchpad

Fortunately, there are alternatives to Salesforce dashboards that can provide sales leaders and reps and better, more collaborative experience when it comes to visualizing and analyzing open pipeline and team performance.

Scratchpad is the fastest and easiest way for sales reps and leaders to get the visibility and collaborative tools they need to execute at the highest levels.

Here are some reasons why:

Scratchpad Forecasting gives sales leaders the ability to view their team’s performance and open pipeline at a glance the same way they can with Salesforce dashboards, but this time, they’re also able to dive deeper into the specifics without having to open a new tab in Salesforce, a separate spreadsheet, or a business intelligence tool to understand what’s going on.

Waterfall Analytics

Waterfall Analytics shows sales leaders what is changing in their forecast and why. 

Pipeline dropped unexpectedly? Commit looks lower than expected? Best case surprised you? See how each component of your forecast changes over time with a simple visual of how all of your deals are moving through the pipeline. 

Easily click into what’s moved in (new deals), moved out (closed), date pushed or pulled (changes to the expected close date), or increased or decreased in value across your entire team’s pipeline.

Sales Trends Analytics

Another great visualization of team performance in Scratchpad is Sales Trends Analytics which automates daily tracking across reps, teams, and activities to provide a historical record of pipeline changes. 

This enables you to monitor the progress of deals over time and increases confidence in meeting sales targets. 

You can easily compare Commits to Best Case, for example, over the quarter and quickly understand why your pipeline has suddenly dropped or increased.

And as you can see in the image above, by hovering over the graph, you’re able to see daily snapshots of your team’s performance to get an even deeper understanding.

In Trends Analytics, you’re able to sort by forecast category like ‘Best Case’ or ‘Commit,’ but also by sales stages like ‘Stage 1, ‘Stage 2,’ etc. or ‘Qualifying,’ ‘Negotiation,’ etc. to make visualizing your sales team performance fit your needs and goals. 

Better Visibility Means Better Sales Coaching & Forecasting

Visibility is one of the most critical foundations of success for a sales leader, but many struggle to achieve it. Mastering the art of Salesforce dashboards can help you gain a snapshot of your team’s performance and pipeline at a given time, but it doesn’t give sales leaders everything they need. There are still many complexities and limitations to working in Salesforce that make it hard to inspect deals, trust that information is accurate and up-to-date, and collaborate with your team.

If you want the highest levels of visibility possible, try Scratchpad for free and discover how simple and intuitive deal inspection and forecasting can be.