Measure sales against target using salesforce in 2016

Tracking performance against target is a fundamental aspect of managing any sales team.

But there’s no Sales Target tab in salesforce.

And that means many managers lack critical information on sales against target at the individual rep, sales team and company level. Yet without this information, sales executives are flying blind when it comes to managing revenue growth.

So here are three ways to measure sales versus target in salesforce.

Option 1 — Salesforce Dashboard Gauge

Use a salesforce dashboard gauge to indicate overall achievement against sales target.

The arrow indicator showing the current performance is fed by an underlying matrix or summary report. This report summarises the value of deals that have been won. The red, amber and green segments are created by setting the relevant breakpoint values in the dashboard edit function.


  • Simple and easy to set up.
  • Provides a quick and powerful summary indicator of overall sales performance against target.


  • It’s a blunt instrument. There’s no visibility of individual rep or sales team performance against sales target.
  • The breakpoint values need to be manually re-calibrated for each target period.
  • The potential contribution of pipeline deals is not shown. There’s nothing to tell us whether we’ll achieve our target if, for example, 30% of the pipeline deals are won.

It’s the right choice if:

  • You need to set something up quickly.
  • You need to measure top level performance against sales target and are happy to create (or don’t need) similar gauge’s for individual sales people and teams.
  • Targets apply to annual or quarterly time periods. Or taking the time to re-set the red, amber and green breakpoint values on a monthly basis isn’t going to be a problem.

Using a simple dashboard gauge is a viable option for relatively straightforward target measurements and forecast requirements. The gauge can be used in conjunction with other dashboard charts and reports to gain full visibility of the sales performance and pipeline.

Option 2 — Salesforce Forecasts Tab

The Forecasts tab offers a sophisticated and advanced level of targeting and performance measurement. It’s available as a standard tab in Professional, Enterprise and Unlimited Editions — if you can’t see it, click on the + sign at the end of the series of tabs and then ‘Customize My Tabs’.

The Forecasts tab provides advanced functionality for tracking sales performance against target. It combines this with forecasting features that give managers a high quality, top-down view of projected revenue.


  • The ability to set targets at individual, team, company and product family level.
  • Performance against target based on won, committed, pipeline and best case deals can be measured.
  • Managers can override forecasts submitted by their direct reports in order to modify the projected performance against target for their team.
  • Forecast history allows users to view the forecasts submitted in the past.
  • Extensive drill down capability to understand performance against target at individual rep and team level.


  • The functionality is relatively complex to set up and use.
  • Requires detailed training for sales reps and sales managers.
  • High levels of user adoption by managers and sales people is necessary to secure the benefits.

It’s the right choice if:

  • You have sophisticated target measurement requirements.
  • Managers need the ability to overwrite the forecast sales performance submitted by their reports.
  • You have a mature sales team with a good level of existing salesforce user adoption.
  • Can commit to providing appropriate training for users.

The salesforce Forecasts Tab provides robust target tracking and forecasting capabilities. But bear in mind that successful roll-out requires appropriate planning and configuration effort.

Option 3 — Custom solution

A custom solution offers an automated way to measure sales against target that requires significantly less user training than the Forecasts tab. It enables sales reps and managers to track sales against target both including — and excluding — the anticipated revenue from pipeline sales deals.

The sales targets are entered into a custom object for each sales person for each month. In the example above, we’re looking at the sales target for Michael Watson, for April 2015.

The lower portion of the screen shows the Opportunities that have been automatically linked to this target record using Apex code. The code looks at the Close Date of the Opportunity and the Opportunity Owner, and links the Opportunity to the relevant target. If the Close Date or the Opportunity Owner change, then the Opportunity is unhooked and linked to the newly relevant target record.

The embedded chart on the left hand side of the page shows Michael’s target in blue, his Closed Won deals in green and the Expected Revenue of his April 2015 pipeline deals in orange. The purple bar shows that based on these numbers, Michael has a shortfall against his target.

The doughnut chart to right provides analysis of Michael’s April pipeline by Opportunity Stage. This provides additional clarity on the likelihood of Michael achieving his target based on his pipeline deals.

The information is also be summarised at team and company level Dashboards with drill down to individual sales people.

The dashboard chart shows over / under performance against monthly sales target at the company or team level. Drilling down to the underlying report shows the sales rep target, the value of Closed Won deals, Expected Revenue from the pipeline, and comparison with the individual sales target.


  • Easy to for sales reps use. Opportunities are automatically linked to relevant targets.
  • Provides highly visual information on performance against target.
  • Shows detailed information including performance against target with and without anticipated revenue from pipeline deals.
  • Drill down to detailed information from dashboard summaries.
  • Easy to maintain. Target values can be inserted or modified by importing from a spreadsheet.
  • Option to link Orders or Invoices from ERP or transactional systems to targets.


  • Requires configuration and code for initial setup.
  • Cannot be used in salesforce Professional Edition.

It’s the right choice if:

  • You need a powerful solution that is simpler and more graphical than the Forecasts tab.
  • You want to link revenue to targets using data from an ERP, Finance or other back-end system.

We’ve expanded further on this option in another blog post, Is Your Sales Funnel Big Enough to Make Your Revenue Target. We’ve also a short video that shows the solution in action.

You can also download a Powerpoint version of this blog post by viewing the accompanying SlideShare, How To Manage Sales Targets in Salesforce.

The principle of using Expected Revenue for creating a robust sales forecast in salesforce is explained here How And Why To Use Expected Revenue for Sales Forecasting.

We have implemented each of the options described in this blog post for customers. If you’d like to find out more about how each can be applied to the specific needs of your business then we’re happy to help. Just ask.

Recorded Webinar

Listen to Gary Smith and Nick Ambrose on this recorded webinar as they demonstrate the three solutions in action.

Or if you liked this article then review lots more high impact, actionable advice on how to grow your funnel and boost revenue by visiting our Funnel Guru blog.

Originally published at on January 8, 2016.