Salesforce dashboard: The detailed guide with examples

Salesforce dashboard is one of the biggest unique selling point of the product. Apart from the default dashboards that come with the service, Salesforce developers have also provided several add on th Salesforce dashboard. In this article, we are going to give you the detailed guide of Salesforce dashboard as well as introduce the list of best ones.

What is a Salesforce Dashboard?

A Salesforce dashboard is an abstraction over reports. To clarify, it needs at least a report to pull its data from. Salesforce dashboard can be also based on multiple reports too. In addition, Salesforce provides granular control over who has access to viewing specific dashboards and reports. Then, sharing is accomplished through folders. So, people who have access to the folders in which a dashboard exists can view it. Folder access permissions can be configured from the Salesforce administration panel.

Above all, building a custom dashboard is as easy as dragging and dropping components based on underlying reports. And, each component is a metric or a chart. Default Salesforce dashboard also falls broadly into two categories

  1. Sales and marketing dashboards
  2. Customer service dashboards

How to create a Salesforce dashboard

So you have your plan, you know your audience, the data they need to see, and roughly how you want your dashboard to look. Now it’s time to put it all together.

A Salesforce Dashboards has three ingredients:

  1. Firstly, Source Reports: there are reports that feed the data into the visual components. Each component is fed by a single source report. The fields available for filtering your dashboards are the same fields available in your reports that feed those components. You create those reports in the Salesforce Report Builder.
  2. Secondly, Filters: allow the people using the dashboard to limit the data they want to see in the dashboard to a particular view.
  3. Thirdly, Components: are the widgets which display the data you want to see in a visual format. These components consist of Chart (Bar, Stacked Bar, Line, Donut, Funnel, Scatter), Gauge, Metric and Table.

Moving to step by step guide

Step 1: Firstly, from the Dashboards tab click New Dashboard.

Step 2: Secondly, you’ll be asked to give the Dashboard a name, a description, and choose the folder location where it’s saved. Give it a reasonably descriptive name, include a summary of the dashboard in the description. Then, place it in a folder that everyone who needs to use it has access to. By default Salesforce will save the dashboard into your “Private Dashboards” folder. (See below)

salesforce dashboard
Step 3: Now you have a blank dashboard, it’s time to add components. To add a component to the dashboard click the + Component button

1. Firstly, Choose a report that will provide the source data to the component and click Select.

2. Secondly, choose the type of data display from the Display As Depending on the type of output of your source report you’ll have different options for the component type.

3. Thirdly, customize the data being displayed. What you can customize is dependant on the display type. For instance, a table component and a donut component have different customization options. You can also choose between a Light and Dark theme for the component.

4. Then, click Add.

5. If you want to edit your settings at any time, click the Pencil icon in the top right of the component.

6. Next, you can resize and reposition your components based on the default 12 column grid of the dashboard canvas. (The Spring ‘19 release saw the original 9 column changed to 12 by default. You can switch to 9 via the settings menu if you prefer.) Use the drag handles to resize. Then, click and drag the component to reposition within the grid.

7. Repeat steps 3a to 3f as needed to build in all the components you want.

Step 4: To add a filter, click the “+ Filter” button.

1. Select the field you want to filter on from the Field drop down list. To clarify, the drop down list contains all of the fields that can be applied across all of the components in your dashboard. Moreover, if there are equivalent fields you can filter by hovering your mouse over the circular “ i “ icon to see them. (Shown below)

2. Enter the Display Name that will be shown above the filter drop down on your finalized Dashboard.

3. Define your filter values by clicking the Add Filter Value button, inputting your values, and clicking the Apply These values utilize the typical reporting filter operators: equals, not equal to, less than, greater than, less or equal, greater or equal, contains, does not contain, starts with and between.

Step 5: To modify the advanced settings for the dashboard, click the gear icon to open the Dashboard Properties menu.

1. Update NameDescription and Folder if you would like to make changes to what you entered during Step 2.

2. In the View Dashboard As section you can choose who your audience can view the dashboard as (and all of the source reports). You may need to be a little bit careful here as it is possible to show more data to audience members than they would normally have access to with their account settings. Most important, be sure you aren’t showing sensitive data to someone who shouldn’t be seeing it. Your options here are:

Me – People will see the dashboard exactly as you do.

Another person – People will see the dashboard as someone else you choose. Click the X icon to make a change from the default, which is you.

The Dashboard Viewer – People will see the dashboard using their own credentials and be subject to their normal access restrictions. In addition, these kinds of dashboards are typically called dynamic dashboards and come with some specific limitations:

– Firstly, up to 5 dynamic dashboards for Enterprise Edition

– Secondly, up to 10 for Unlimited and Performance Editions

– Thirdly, up to 3 for Developer Edition

– Not available in other editions.

– Then, cannot be saved in Private Folders.

– Next, it must be manually refreshed.

– More limitations

Let dashboard viewers choose whom they view the dashboard as, as well as let the individual (with appropriate permissions) determine who they view the dashboard as.

3. Click the Save button

Step 6: To switch from the default 12-column grid, to the legacy 9-column grid, click the gear icon to open the Dashboard Properties menu.

1. Dashboard Grid Size – select 12 columns or 9 columns

2. Click the Save button.

Salesforce Dashboard grid size

Step 7: To change the theme or color palette, click the gear icon to open the Dashboard Properties menu. From here you can choose between Salesforce’s light or dark theme, and also select one of the 14 available color palettes.

1. Dashboard Theme – select between Light to sets the theme for the entire dashboard.
Most important, here is a pro tip: you can set the theme for individual components by editing the component itself by clicking the pencil icon.

2. Dashboard Palette – choose one of the 14 available color palettes.
Pro tip: Choose the Mineral theme if you need a high-contrast accessible theme.

3. Click the Save button.


Step 8: Click the Save button in the top right.

Step 9: Click the Done button in the top right.

Also read: Salesforce outsourcing service: Reasons for choosing it for your business

Salesforce Dashboard Unique Tips

As with all things Salesforce, there are tips, tricks as well as features to take it to the next level. Here’s a quick collection of some.

Change your reporting from pull to push with subscriptions.

Now that you’ve got your dashboard up and running. Then you’ve saved it in a public folder, your audience can visit the dashboard at any time, and manually refresh it to see the latest results. However, what if you could make sure that the dashboard is in your bosses inbox every Monday morning right before her big meeting with all the top executives?

  1. Firstly, From the Dashboard click the Subscribe
  2. Secondly, Select the Frequency you want the email to be sent (daily/weekly/monthly)
  3. Thirdly, Select the individuals or groups you want to receive the email by clicking Edit Recipients.

Important Note: You will not be able to email the dashboard if you have it saved in the “Private Dashboards” folder. In addition, if any of your reports are saved in your “Private Reports” folder, anyone who is not viewing the dashboard as you will not see components that rely on your private reports for data. Most important, always save dashboards and dashboard reports in public folders.

There’s an app for that.

Above all, Mmaking Dashboards can be an incredibly rewarding experience. It’s actually pretty fun to fiddle with the different types of charts and components as well as change color schemes and themes. However, chances are you’re on a time crunch. Luckily for you the Salesforce AppExchange can help. There’s over 85 pre-built Dashboards and Reports available on the AppExchange, and 60 of them are completely free.

Moreover, Salesforce Labs has made three very useful dashboards available completely free:

  1. Salesforce CRM Dashboards – Includes a pack of dashboards for Executives, Reps, Sales, Support and More.
  2. Lead and Opportunity Management Dashboards – Includes a pack of dashboards for leads and for opportunities.
  3. Sales Activity Dashboard – A dashboard pack for tracking sales rep activity against opportunities.

It’s definitely worth checking out, even if you just want to see how other dashboards are built.

The best Salesforce Dashboard list

Leaderboard Dashboard

The primary purpose of this dashboard is to motivate your sales employees by adding a competitive spirit to their day to day work. The dashboards display the current top salesman by revenue. Above all, the main focus of this dashboard is sales performance and in helping, sales managers keep close control over their teams. The underlying reports include closed/won opportunities by revenue, the number of demos, etc.


Pipeline Trend

This dashboard shows the size of the pipeline in various stages for each month. It helps organizations to keep track of whether their sales pipeline is increasing or decreasing. The main focus of this dashboard is to take necessary actions and motivate the marketing and sales teams if the trend appears to be in a downward trajectory. 

Executive Daily View Dashboard

This dashboard helps the senior managers in their day to day work aggregating data from various sales representatives and territories. Moreover, it provides a snapshot of the status of all sales activities under your control at any point in time. It also helps you to pinpoint low performing employees or sectors and motivate them. In addition, it can help you in discussions with your senior management in deciding the budget allocations for each sector. 

Executive Daily View Dashboard

Sales Funnel Dashboard

The sales funnel dashboard has traditionally been used to understand the value of sales in various stages. The initial stage of any sales lead is the prospect stage. The leads then get into the investigation stage and proposals are made based on the investigation. The last stage before conversion is the negotiation stage.  As the name suggests, this chart is mostly funnel-shaped. The variation of this chart stems from their values in different stages as well as companies use this information to ascertain whether their prospects are of big enough value to meet their forecasts.

Marketing Executive Dashboard

The marketing executive dashboard is meant for senior management to keep track of the marketing activities. To clarify, it helps them to discover what difference is made by marketing campaigns in generating and converting leads. This dashboard is a great tool to coach and mentor the marketing analysts and hold them accountable for the effectiveness of their marketing activities. Underlying reports include lead, sales, Inventory levels, billing status, etc. This report is also a part of the built-in dashboards provided by Salesforce. 

Marketing Executive Dashboard

Forecast Dashboard

The forecast dashboard helps organizations get a clear picture of the sales forecasts for the quarter and help them track where they are, concerning their targets. It helps companies to train and coach their employees by holding them accountable for meeting the forecasts. The key focus areas of this dashboard are sales quotas and the quota attainment rates. It uses multiple underlying reports related to forecasts by employees. Forecast by a representative, forecast by the team, forecast by stage, and forecast by territory is used in generating this dashboard.

Forecast Dashboard

Customer Service Supervisor Dashboard

This report is tailor-made for the managers who lead customer service teams. It gives them a direct view of the performance of their team in resolving customer issues. The dashboard displays the top performing agents, the average age of the open cases, open cases by priority, etc.

Customer Service Supervisor Dashboard

Service KPIs Dashboard

This dashboard is a very helpful tool for senior managers in charge of providing customer service. It differs from the previous dashboard because that dashboard was more aligned towards a team’s performance, while this works based on the entire organization’s service KPIs. It provides insights into key metrics like the trend of closed cases, cases closed by channel type, case distribution by type and priority, etc.

Age of Leads Dashboard

Even though this is technically a report rather than a dashboard, many organizations use this report in dashboard mode because of the criticality of information conveyed by this report. It shows the age of the leads and activities in each lead. This helps the senior management to assess the quality of the leads in the sales funnel. It also helps them understand whether the sales executives have been prompt in taking actions about a lead.

Sales Activities KPI Dashboard 

This dashboard provides organizational level metrics for analyzing the performance of the sales team in profitability related areas like margin, dealer discounts, sales activities, the pace of conversion, etc.  Such metrics are key to understand whether secured sales make a difference in the profit of the company.

Salesforce Dashboard


Dashboards are incredibly flexible and powerful. They can also be incredibly time consuming and at times a bit difficult to understand exactly how to get the right source reports to provide the data you want to display. I recommend that you go into your dashboard projects with your eyes wide open.

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