Producing Effective SalesForce Charts

You love Salesforce, naturally. As CRM has become such a central process and framework, and Salesforce has taken the concept and absolutely overpowered it, it’s inevitable that you’d develop an appreciation of this software. But, surprisingly, considering Salesforce is so well-loved for its endless features, many out of the box features have been overlooked and underused. One of these is Salesforce Charts. Well, it’s obvious what it does, visualizing statistics and ratios through pies, graphs and bars. The usefulness of charts in general shouldn’t really be hard to come to terms with. So, maybe you wonder if there are best practices for how to successfully produce Salesforce charts. Well, not really. So, in stead, what I’m going to do is give you six charts to consider using with your Salesforce. These metrics are useful and all the easier to make use of with the visualization power of charts. #1 – Closed Won Opportunities per Month This one is obvious in why it’s so important, I’d think. Just like churn is a problem for service-based businesses, this is basically the offset of gained customers. Of course, you have to track this data anyhow, so why not use the charts to make this data more digestible? #2 – Open Opportunities by Date This is a good tracking model for when different campaigns brought in which customers. Along with this, it also shows you average lifecycle lengths for various campaigns by the opportunity creation date, and the month in which it was closed as won. #3 – Movement of Stage Report This one is a good look at the different activities in progress. You can see opportunities open, leads be generated, won opportunities closed, campaign lifecycles, customer lifecycles and a whole lot more over time snapshots or individual timelines with this. #4 – Conversion Ratios This one tracks the amount of conversions from one set of states to another. This basically gives you a good line graph view of the way your campaigns and leads are going. It’s highly useful to visually demonstrate how good or how bad your marketing is going. #5 – Average Scope of Deals This basically shows you how big of a success a closed won deal is, over a period of time with many units. It’s another look at the scope of success rate or failure rate. It’s quite helpful. #6 – Top Clients and Prospects This is a good prioritization graph of your most important campaigns and customer acquisition targets as well as who your most valued loyal customers are at any given time. This is incredibly important, and visualizing this data at any given time is a good way to emphasize the priority to stakeholders and staff alike. There are plenty of other Salesforce charts that are just as useful as these, but it’d take me an eternity to point them all out, or discuss their benefits. Think creatively, because with the exposed data that Salesforce provides, and the easy to control customizability of its charting system, you have a powerful way to graph darn near any data or data relationships that cross your CRM framework from now to infinity. Don’t continue to undervalue this powerful feature, it’s just plain silly.  
Amanda is the Lead Author & Editor of Rainforce Blog. Amanda established the Rainforce blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Salesforce usage.