Opening a Window on the Sales Pipeline

“We all need to see the same information about what sales opportunities are in progress – and how we’ve performed on past pursuits.”


A multidisciplinary sales team adopted a centralized CRM system to enter and track opportunities. Takeup of the system was variable – although opportunity reports could (with some effort) be extracted from the CRM, many team members continued to use various informal reports to drive their sales meetings. This helped perpetuate a cycle of poor-quality data in the CRM system. Leaders had difficulty prioritizing the most valuable sales pursuits, and could not reliably determine how and where to improve the sales process.


The team needed to practice greater rigor and consistency in managing their sales pursuits. An important prerequisite was to give everyone the same view of current and past opportunities in the CRM. This “single window” needed to be easy to access and use – sales team members should not have to extract and format opportunity reports from the system. At the same time the window needed to be customizable, allowing individual team members to focus on opportunities relevant to them


We started with a small team of sales professionals who were already holding regular pipeline meetings based on manually produced reports. Using SAP Business Objects integrated with the CRM system, we developed an online real-time dashboard for this team. The dashboard included multiple tabs, each providing a different view of sales pipeline, including:

  • All open and closed Opportunities
  • Opportunities opened and closed within the past week
  • Opportunities segmented by sales person
  • Standard year-to-date sales KPIs in use by the team

Each tab of the Dashboard included pre-configured filters that enabled a team member to tailor the view for their own purposes – by geography, by service, by days open, etc.

We trained team members on using the dashboards. We created hyperlinks and desktop shortcuts that gave the team one-click access to their data


Initially, the Dashboard allowed the team to eliminate a full day per week in manually creating sales reports. Once the process was established, leaders and their team members gained real-time access to relevant and current opportunity information – helping them:

  • Increase revenue: Focus efforts on opportunities with highest potential return and strategic value
  • Reduce costs: eliminate time and effort spent chasing low value, low probability opportunities