CRM dashboards: the best way to get most out of your data

Best Practices | Product News

Customer relationship management (CRM) technology plays a central role in critical business functions like managing sales workflows, powering marketing campaigns, tracking customer interactions, and more. As a result, the CRM database houses an incredible amount of information related to your business and its customers.

Your CRM can also serve as a powerful analytical tool to help you identify what’s working—and what’s not—across the entire customer lifecycle. But leveraging the data in your CRM to uncover meaningful insights can be tricky. That’s where CRM dashboards come in.

Dashboards are among the most important tools in a robust CRM platform. In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into CRM dashboards and how they can benefit your business.

What is a CRM dashboard?

CRM dashboards provide a real-time snapshot of your sales activity, performance metrics, progress toward goals, and other KPIs in one central location. Using visual elements like charts, graphs, tables, and gauges, a CRM dashboard can turn your customer data into a reliable, accessible resource for smart decision-making.

Need to know who your top sellers are? Looking for a comparison of actual versus projected revenue? Want to create visualizations of average deal size, win rate, or opportunity status? Need performance results from the latest marketing campaign? CRM dashboards can put all this information at your fingertips for instant analysis and deep, granular insights. 

7 roles that rely on CRM dashboards

Picture of executives who use CRM dashbaords.

CRM dashboards are incredibly useful for planning and decision-making across a variety of functional teams. Roles that can benefit from using a CRM dashboard include:

  1. Sales reps. CRM dashboards can help salespeople track their pipeline and progress toward individual goals, as well as managing tasks and prioritizing deals appropriately.
  2. Sales leaders. With the right dashboards, sales managers can see how the team is functioning as a whole and assess the health of the sales pipeline. They can also evaluate individual sales rep performance and identify opportunities for coaching and feedback.
  3. Marketing teams. Marketers can set up CRM dashboards to track campaign performance and measure the quality of marketing-generated leads.
  4.  Account managers. Teams that are focused on building and maintaining client relationships can leverage dashboard insights to prioritize projects and uncover trends.
  5. Customer service and support teams. CRM dashboards allow customer-facing teams to examine key metrics like average response time and satisfaction scores. These insights are useful for increasing efficiency, improving customer experience, and reducing churn.
  6. Data analysts. The CRM dashboard is an excellent source of business intelligence data for analysts looking to identify trends and guide their organization to better decisions.
  7. Business leaders. C-level executives can use CRM dashboards to assess overall business health and monitor progress toward key business goals.

Key benefits of CRM dashboards

The clear benefit of a CRM dashboard is that it gives you the power to slice and dice your data in almost any way you can imagine. CRM dashboard functionality lets you examine performance from different angles and drill into the metrics that matter most. But there are also plenty of less-obvious reasons for using a CRM dashboard:

  • Real-time updates. Unlike CRM reports, which are static documents, a CRM dashboard updates in real time based on changes in your data—so you always know the information is current.
  • Better team alignment. A CRM dashboard gives every team member access to the insights they need to stay on track—without clicking around in the CRM software or wading through tons of data.
  • Consistent strategic guidance. At any given moment, CRM dashboards provide a clear picture of where things stand—and where the sales team should focus their attention—which can lead to better overall sales performance.

4 reasons to customize your CRM dashboards

Ways to customize CRM dashboards.

Because every business is unique, most modern CRM software platforms give you the option to customize your CRM dashboards. Customization provides an added level of flexibility to highlight the data that’s most important to you, organize it how you want, create granular data visualizations, and drill into exactly what you need to see.

While pre-built CRM dashboards deliver common insights every business needs, there are some compelling reasons to customize your dashboards. These include:

  1. More flexible analysis: Custom dashboard widgets allow you to display data over any given time frame, for a more granular view of sales activity, pipeline status, sales forecasts, and progress toward goals. For example, you could customize your dashboard to show lead source over the last 30 days, opportunity value in the current quarter, or year-to-date deal volume.
  2. Better data filtering: Tweaking the data that’s displayed in your CRM dashboard can dramatically increase its usefulness. For instance, you might filter your sales data to show closed deal volume by team, individual, or region. You could compare actual sales numbers against revenue goals to analyze performance by team, individual, or region.
  3. Easier viewing of high-priority data: Customization lets you tailor the layout of your CRM dashboard as well as the types of data being displayed. You can rearrange the order of dashboard widgets or resize various elements so it’s easy to see the data that’s most important.
  4. Versatile data visualization: In a custom dashboard, CRM data can be displayed in a variety of visual designs—including bar graphs, line graphs, pie charts, tables, and speedometer-style gauge charts. So you’re free to choose the graphic style that best aligns with the data you’re analyzing. For example, a gauge chart is a great choice for displaying progress toward a quarterly sales goal, while year-over-year revenue comparisons are easy to digest in a bar graph.

Considerations for dashboard customization

As you design your custom CRM dashboard, it’s important to make sure it will meet your needs and the needs of your extended team. Consider the following when creating and customizing your CRM dashboard:

  •  Sales process and customer lifecycle. Your CRM dashboard should encompass the most important business activities throughout the sales cycle, including post-sale communication and support.
  • Important KPIs. Selling is a complicated process with plenty of metrics—but that doesn’t mean they should all show up in your CRM dashboard. Focus on the KPIs that are most critical to your team’s success, so your dashboard provides a meaningful overview of business performance.
  • Appearance. CRM dashboards contain a lot of information, so it’s best to keep the layout simple. Maximize white space whenever possible and stick to a limited color palette that aligns with your corporate brand.
  • Ease of use. Your CRM dashboard should provide an easily digestible snapshot of the metrics that matter most. Make sure the widgets you select are organized to tell a clear and compelling story—without unnecessary clutter.

Remember—while it’s easy to modify a CRM dashboard, constant tinkering will only cause confusion—and eat up precious time. Instead of making tweaks on the fly, invest the time up front to create a dashboard that aligns with your business needs, then set a schedule for testing and modification so you can optimize your dashboard on a regular basis. Gathering feedback from team members will help to ensure your CRM dashboard is working as effectively as possible.

Bring your CRM data to life with Insightly CRM dashboards

Every paid Insightly CRM plan comes equipped with dashboard functionality to help you visualize key metrics, share information across your organization, and make smart, data-powered decisions. Plans at the Plus level include a set of standard dashboards, while Professional and Enterprise accounts also give you the ability to create your own custom dashboards.

Insightly standard dashboards

Three standard dashboards are included with every paid Insightly CRM plan. Each of these pre-built dashboards contains a set number of widgets—or Dashboard Cards—that allow you to visualize your CRM data through charts and graphs. Standard dashboards can’t be modified, but they include the most common—and most useful—data points for any organization. 

  • Opportunities Dashboard is the largest of the standard dashboards with 10 cards to help you track sales performance, including Total Sales, Sales Pipeline Funnel, Top Sales Reps, Win Rate, and more.
  • Projects Dashboard includes four cards to analyze projects as they move through the sales funnel: Project Pipeline Funnel, Projects by Status, Projects by Rep and Status, and Projects Completed by Month.
  • Leads Dashboard also has four cards for monitoring lead gen activity: Leads by Status, Leads by Source, Leads by Month, and Top Reps by Lead.

Insightly custom dashboards

In addition to the three standard dashboards, higher-level Insightly CRM plans allow you to create and modify your own custom dashboards. Professional plans allow up to 100 cards on each dashboard, while Enterprise customers can add an unlimited number of cards to their dashboards. 

Creating a new dashboard is a simple drag-and-drop process. Just follow the step-by-step instructions for building your dashboard, then populate it with Dashboard Cards to visualize your most important data. You can also add, delete, resize, or rearrange your cards at any time. 

Following are some common data points and metrics you might want to incorporate into your custom CRM dashboard:

  • Sales team activities
  • Sales pipeline data
  • Sales performance/quota progress
  • New leads
  • Closed deals
  • Conversion rate
  • Sales cycle length
  • Customer retention/churn
  • Customer satisfaction/NPS

Ready to get started?

Insightly is the only CRM solution that offers robust customization on a shared data platform to deliver a single, unified view of every customer. Our simple, scalable platform aligns cross-functional teams for better decision-making and a seamless end-to-end customer experience.

Get started with a free trial of Insightly CRM today, or request a personalized demo to see how our solution can help your company achieve its business goals.