Dashboards and an Abdication of Accountability

There is a hidden danger in CRM dashboards, those collections of metrics and hard, objective data displayed so beautifully on a screen. The intention is to be able to see information in real time, to be able to make decisions that improve results. Even though this is possible, and occasionally it even happens in real life, the hidden danger is felt daily. That danger is a lack of accountability.

It’s one thing to put information into a system in Omaha and have it magically appear on the screen in Boise. It’s another thing to have to make a phone call from Omaha to Galactic headquarters in Boise to recount what you did over the prior week during a weekly call with your sales manager.

Having no appointments in one week isn’t the end of the world (two weeks is the end of the world). Having a manager see this on a dashboard and say nothing about it, not even an inquiry to make sure everything is alright, is either negligence, apathy, or laziness on the sales manager’s part. If sales is really about creating and capturing new opportunities, this ought to be important enough to talk about every week.

The dashboard doesn’t create accountability. Consequences do. If you care about reaching your goals, then you must hold people accountable for the work that produces the results you need. If you want to be good at holding people accountable, then you help them do the things that you are going to hold them accountable to, having real conversations, troubleshooting issues and challenges, and coaching people up so they can do their best work.

No one should be surprised that they are off course. They should not be allowed to believe they are okay because no one has said anything about the metrics that showed up on the dashboard until it was too late to do anything about those metrics (unless you have a time machine).

Filed under: Sales 3.0, Sales Knowledge

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