I am inspired to write this post based on the following questions raised by several presales leaders: “What should I include in my presales dashboards?” The short answer is, it depends.

To help presales leaders develop the “right” dashboards that make sense to have for their business, here is a prescriptive guide.

The four pillars to create presales dashboards

First, get clarity on the who and start with your audience in mind. Who in your C-suite cares about the presales business? Is it your Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Chief Customer Officer (CCO), and/or your Chief Revenue Officer (CRO)? The objectives of these executives vary based on the current state of your business, market, and macroeconomic conditions.

Second, understand why your C-suite is looking to get particular operational dashboards on your presales business. For instance, if you are a high-growth company that just closed a hefty amount of capital from venture capitalists, your C-Suite may want dashboards that help determine the most optimal ways to scale and grow capacity above profitability. However, if you are a large-cap company that is cutting costs to optimize margin, your C-Suite may want dashboards that quantify and qualify productivity gains that are in line with cost-cutting initiatives.

Third, ask what questions your audience wants answered, For instance, here is a list of common questions your C-suite may ask:

  • CEO – What does our sales velocity look like across the whole sales funnel?
  • CFO – What is profitability across all stages of the sales funnel?
  • CRO – What is my win rate across each stage of the sales funnel?
  • CCO – What is our expansion rate across our existing install base?

To make the process manageable, ask your C-Suite what top questions they want answered about the presales business.

Finally, it’s important to assess the most optimal way you can reliably capture data, with minimal impact to the productivity of your individual contributors. Let’s face it. No presales professional says, “I love spending hours every week entering data into my CRM.” Additionally, determine the most efficient way to wrangle the right data on the presales business. Again, no presales leader says, “I love spending hours creating dashboards on Sunday for my Monday morning meetings.”

Whenever possible, look for ways to automate data capture and gain access to out-of-the-box dashboards but at the same time have the power to extract and enrich data that represents your presales business. Also, acknowledge that most of the C-suite will typically consume dashboards of your presales business in your CRM system. And, in some cases, they will look to presales leaders or Revenue Operations (RevOps) to create dashboards that can be presented in a Business Intelligence (BI) solution to answer some of the more nuanced business questions of interest,

Summary

Creating presales dashboards can get very complex very quickly. There are a lot of intellectually interesting things that can be collected, analyzed and presented. But before letting your intellect get the best of you, tap into your pragmatic side. Ask your audience why they want data on your presales business and what questions they want answered. From that you can assess how to best build those dashboards and deliver them to your target audience. Applying this rigor will ensure the best use of your time and maximize your impact with your C-suite audience.