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The Role of a Salesforce Metrics Dictionary in Promoting Team Cohesion

Salesforce Metrics meeting

To understand Salesforce metrics challenges, let’s evaluate a common situation. Your executive leadership asks Sales, Marketing and operations to present last quarter’s results. Everyone shows up with slides and reports pulled from Salesforce or a Business Intelligence platform like Tableau. Frustration grows, as presented numbers and statistics may not align or contradict each other. Instead of discussing strategy and tactical adjustments to improve performance, time is wasted asking for clarification on the validity of information. If this sounds like your experience you are not alone. Prioritized, correct, and consistent information does not happen overnight. In this article we will explore our approach to help create a better foundation, working with the people, process, and technology you already own.

Salesforce Metrics Meeting

Most enterprises have multiple sources and approaches to acquire data and transform it into information. We love Salesforce because of the relative speed and ease to build and make changes to process, with clear and easy reporting. There are over 150K organizations like yours that have standardized marketing, sales and/or revenue operations on the Salesforce platform. So why would a team with a system of record and  “source of truth” from Salesforce still struggle reporting and understanding and maintain continuity of information as change happens?

Avoiding people, process, and communication blame game

If you have been a part of reporting and analytics initiative that goes sideways, it’s sometimes based on these factors:

  • Flawed requirement gathering
  • Change management or lack thereof during implementation
  • Incomplete or incorrect definitions
  • Lack of consensus across lines of business for goals and metrics
  • Data completeness, availability, and quality

Building an inventory of metrics and KPIs can be an exhaustive process leading to gaps in requirements as a result of not having the right people or experience on hand. In other cases, data quality and availability becomes a friction point that leads to failure. Modern data and analytics technology will help you move faster, dig deeper, model and blend data but not solve un-resolved definition and alignment problems.

In many organizations, there isn’t a solution in place to maintain a unified record and historical log of goals, metrics and data relationships together. Documents, PowerPoints and Excel are typically the system of record for metrics and KPIs until they are coded into data and analytics tools.

If your previous data lake, analytics, and business intelligence initiatives fell short, the blame is all to often put on process, people, and communication often encapsulated sometimes as “poor requirement gathering”. Experienced and tenured data and analytics leaders understand this excuse wont fly in 2024, so our team learned into these challenges to see how we can help!

Our DataTools metrics glossary approach

1. How do we capture and encapsulate the previous work that has happened inside of Salesforce to understand existing metrics and KPIs are adopted and in-use?

2. From this understanding, what is the knowledge that we need to capture and resulting information assets that we need to produce and distribute? One of those key information assets is Salesforce Metrics Documentation

.3. Eliminate most if not all of the manual and redundant work that typically occurs between teams that can be easily extracted from Salesforce metadata?

4. Knowing that this is a live, organic, information asset how do we understand and surface changes that stakeholders should be aware of?

From those questions, we constructed our vision of a metrics glossary that not only captures the metrics but all of the relationships that stem from those metrics.

Lean more about DataTools Pro

Automated Salesforce Metrics Glossary

We took these questions and built a Metric Analyst tool that attempts to automate most of the process.

Live Salesforce Metrics Documentation

One of the important pieces of information that anyone in your enterprise wants to know is “what’s important”? A metric and KPI glossary can exist as a word document, spreadsheet, email, or application that organizes the business definitions. Salesforce metrics documentation should inventory the definitions semantics for metrics where data originates in Salesforce. This document should serve as a knowledge asset and guide to to help cross organization collaboration for business, data, analytics, and technology teams. When properly implemented it should ensure everyone speaks the same, specific language in business terms. A metrics glossary can also include technical / data details to help understand some lineage details.

What are Salesforce metrics?

Salesforce metrics are quantifiable measurements that track business processes, and activities that occur in Salesforce. Salesforce is much more than a customer relationship management platform. Some companies run their entire end to end operations on Salesforce. A metric can encompass anything from sales pipeline health to customer support resolution times. However, with a vast amount of data and numerous metrics available, ensuring consistent understanding and interpretation becomes crucial. Learn more: Analytics, Metrics and AI. Oh My!

Why do you need a Salesforce metrics dictionary?

Let’s revisit the scenario at the beginning of this article. If we take a simple measurement for “Lead conversion”, you can imagine the many variations and iterations of this metric. For example marketing could consider a marketing qualified lead, where sales considers “sales qualified” leads. Conversationally they can be interchanged, but at an organizational level, this misunderstanding could be simple semantics and labeling. A Salesforce metric dictionary acts as source of truth ensuring everyone speaks the same language when clarity and precision is mandatory.

  • Standardization: Defines clear and consistent definitions and calculations for all metrics.
  • Improved Communication: Eliminates confusion and fosters better collaboration across teams.
  • Enhanced Data Accuracy: Reduces errors by ensuring everyone uses the same metrics and formulas.
  • Streamlined Analysis: Makes data analysis faster and more efficient by providing a central reference point.

What Does a Salesforce Metric Dictionary Include?

An effective Salesforce metric dictionary should encompass the following key components:

Mandatory definitions that are managed and governed across lines of business

Metric Name: The name of the metric, clear and concise. There should be 1, official name that ties to a definition. If there are multiple names for the same metric, that is captured and tracked independent of the official name.

Definition: In simple terms what is the metric measuring. This definition may require some detail to how it is calculated but should be readable and understandable to business information consumers and owners.

Ownership: Who is the person ultimately responsible for the metric? The premise is that if there is no clear ownership and accountable person to sign off or accountable for the metric then it shouldn’t be managed.

Important context and ownership information to support usage of definitions

Description (optional): A detailed explanation of what the metric measures and its significance to your business goals. In a world with AI agents, my recommendation is the longer the description and the more context, the better!

Calculation (optional): The specific formula or steps used to calculate the metric. This ensures everyone understands how the value is derived. This work can be time consuming and requires salesforce admins to acquire these definitions.

Target Value/Benchmark: (optional): A target or benchmark to measure your metric against is common practice. Not all metrics will have a target, but a KPI absolutely should!

More reading on metrics, OKRS and KPIs: Analytics, Metrics and AI. Oh My!

Salesforce Metrics Dictionary Template

While Salesforce doesn’t provide a built-in metric dictionary, you can create using a spreadsheet tool like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets, and now a live connected Metric Dictionary like DataTools Pro. The following table showcases a sample structure:

Additional Tips for Managing Salesforce Metrics

  • Maintain and Update: Schedule regular reviews to assess the dictionary’s accuracy and completeness. As Salesforce evolves and your business needs shift, update metric definitions, calculations, and target values to reflect these changes. This is an important component for information stewardship, governance, and safeguarding the integrity of your organization’s management information systems.
  • Access and Distribution: Don’t let your metric dictionary become a hidden and outdated document. Share it widely with all Salesforce users – sales reps, marketing teams, customer service agents, and anyone who interacts with your CRM data. This is a big part of fostering a culture of data literacy and ensures everyone interprets metrics consistently.


By implementing a Salesforce metric dictionary, you empower your organization to leverage the true potential across teams and lines of business using a language that should be universal (business performance and outcomes). Standardized metrics ensure clear communication, accurate analysis, and ultimately, data-driven decision-making that fuels business success. Here are some resources to help you take control of your Salesforce metrics today and unlock the key to a more informed and strategic CRM strategy.

Creating a Metrics Mind Map with DataTools Pro

Metrics Mind Map

One of the best tools for visualizing and conceptualizing relationships between any topic is a mind map. We with a mind map when we started DataTools Pro in late 2023. The mind map is easy to conceptualize visually as we connect the dots between people, process, metrics, and data. This is something that all enterprises struggle with while transitioning from service and product based businesses to information based businesses. Businesses are not static, so managing complex relationships that change regularly requires building and understanding these relationships at the speed business happens!

As we started turning our mind map concept into reality, we knew relationships between metrics, topics, data and analytics assets like reports and understanding changes that occur is hard enough.

That is where data visualization delivers immense value to bring data to life. The same way data professionals understand “Entity Relationships”, business professionals should have “Metrics Relationships” to understand how business initiatives, operations, and strategy connect.

That is why we created our Metrics Map visualization, powered by DataTools Pro to systemize this process. The first iteration makes each metric the center of the universe (in our visualization visualization). From a single metric we want to know what influences a metric or KPI and what the metric has influence over. With this starting point to discover, understand and relate metrics, we can work backwards to data and forwards to outcomes!

Metrics Map

Many analytics industry tech companies have focused on solving problems for accelerating data acquisition, transformation, and delivery. Generative AI, without contextual metrics glossaries jam packed with meta data will produce negligible results. It is the equivalent of hiring a data analyst and not explaining goals, metrics and analytics relates to the decisions out outcomes they influence.

We are excited to work with a number of like-minded partners in the realm of AI and data management to demonstrate profound improvements we are seeing when feeding our soon to be released metric maps API into generative AI analyst agents!

Create your first Metrics Mind Map from Salesforce and Tableau Pulse!

DataTools Pro is freely available for individuals and supports Salesforce and Tableau Pulse to build metrics glossaries and metrics maps.

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Learn more about DataTools Pro

Webinar Alert: Introducing DataTools Pro Metric Analyst for Salesforce

DataTools Webinar

We were thrilled to extend an invitation to the unveiling of DataTools Pro Metric Analyst for Salesforce – your key to transforming your Salesforce organization into a beacon of metrics and KPI excellence.

Webinar Date: March 13 2024
9:30 AM PST / 12:30 PM EST

Register to get access to the recording – Week of 3-18-2024

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In just 40 minutes, discover how to revolutionize the way you align and agree on KPIs, all with the speed and precision that only AI-aided automation can offer. This is more than a webinar; it’s a doorway to enhancing productivity and insights within your Salesforce org.

What you will Learn?

  • Plug and Play Salesforce Connected App: Seamless ways to incorporate DataTools Pro into your existing Salesforce org with 1 click.
  • AI-Aided KPI Alignment: How our batch, AI enhanced meta data analysts fast-tracks consensus on crucial KPIs, making your team more unified and focused.
  • Real-World Applications: Insightful demonstrations on leveraging DataTools Pro to elevate your organization’s data analysis and decision-making tools.
  • Interactive Q&A: Have your questions answered in real-time.

New ChatGPT Store is Proving Ground for DataTools Pro GPT

DataTools Pro GPT

OpenAI unveiled a new ChatGPT Store and teams subscription, further asserting their dominance in mass adoption of Generative AI. The new OpenAI GPT Store is rolling out after a huge surge of creativity from a community of creators. There are over 3 million custom GPTs. OpenAI is initially rolling out this new store to ChatGPT Plus, Team, and Enterprise users.

ChatGPT Store
Photo Credit-

Our First New ChatGPT Store Release: Marketing Metrics DataTools Pro

To participate in this exciting GPT Store launch, we released Marketing Metrics DataTools Pro GPT. This was a great opportunity to use our own curated metrics database. Participating in the excitement and initial launch of ChatGPT store is a great opportunity to safely test. Additionaly, we are using our own GPT for internal product marketing competency, design and rollout of DataTools Pro metrics glossary.

New ChatGPT Teams

The second exciting announcement from OpenAI is the release of ChatGPT Teams. For $30/month, this license provides an affordable solution for any business. We ae betting big on collaborative AI and AI agents. These ChatGPT releases are not the point of arrival for AI mass adoption. It is one point along a path to help you boost adoption, understanding, and competency with AI.

Keeping Pulse on AI Agents Advancements

At DataTools Pro, our vision and role is to help curate critical semantic data in the form of intelligent metrics glossary. When you adopt AI agents, creating awareness fluency in your business terminology is what will make or break your AI experience. If you ae trying to make sense of OpenAI ChatGPT, Azure GPT, or Salesforce GPT we are here to help you de-mystify and plan accordingly. Our team is working to simultaneously support them all!

DataTools Pro Beta3 is Here for the Holidays

DataTools for the Holidays

Just in time for the holidays, we hit our final beta release milestone before we officially launch DataTools Pro in early 2024! Our approach to product is release early and often so we can get feedback and incorporate it into our roadmap. DataTools Pro milestone to exit beta is our release into the Salesforce App exchange. We look forward to formally delivering a webinar in January to celebrate our launch. We have a jam packed roadmap to deliver in 2024. We can’t wait to help connect your Salesforce, data, and analytics teams and accelerate your data cloud initiatives.

Dec LinkedIn Newsletter: DataTools Pro Holiday Special

Salesforce Entity Relationship Views

A simple and effective tool to classify your Salesforce objects, our new views features allows you to organize objects and create custom entity prelateship diagrams aligned to business topics, organizations, and initiatives.

Data Tools Object and ERD Views

ARTICLE: Salesforce Entity Relationship Diagrams Makes Visual Storytelling Simple

Metrics Enhancements

We have continued to button up our metrics glossary tools to simplify the the process for managing metrics and KPI glossaries and their lineage to Salesforce dashboards and reports. We added support for custom links.

Improved Metrics Bulk Batch Import

Bulk Editing Metrics Records

Fine Grained User Permissions and Sharing

In preparation for team-based work in DataTools Pro, we added fine grained permissions. Next, we are working to refine the experience and standardize roles to make permissions and sharing simple.

Managing User Permissions and Sharing

DataTools Metrics API

An impotent aspect of DataTools Pro is not only automating most aspects of metrics glossary creation and management, but also securely distributing it across your enterprise. We have been quietly experimenting with our own DataTools API to build new integrations. Those will come in the form of add-ons, open source projects, and direct integrations in 2024.

ARTICLE: Using DataTools Pro to Create New Microsoft Copilot Studio Custom Actions

Support and User Onboarding Resources

We have added contextual help, more documentation, and new support engagement options to work with our team. This is just the start as we work on guided onboarding videos to help deliver best practices from our team and other users.

New Community and Social Resources

DataTools Pro Flash Newsletter
Join our monthly newsletter on LinkedIn

Join us on Reddit

New DataTools LinkedIn Page

Coming in January!

Our development is razor focused on self-service onboarding. Additionally, we have some very exciting, novel features for our metrics glossary that will go into private preview. Our first webinar to officially launch DataToolsPro and is also planned for January. We look forward working with our early adopter beta users to deliver overwhelming incremental value to your Salesforce data cloud initiatives for 2024!

Salesforce Entity Relationship Diagrams Makes Visual Storytelling Simple

Salesforce ERD

One of the most useful tools in the admin or data professional’s toolkit are Salesforce entity relationship diagrams. Understanding conceptual and physical data models is difficult enough. A business stakeholder responsible for sales, marketing, and revenue typically has little interest in the Salesforce data model. When information coming out of Salesforce is incorrect, sometimes you need to revisit your existing data model.

Bringing Salesforce admin, data and business professionals together, sometimes a conceptual entity relationship diagram is very useful to algin to the same level of understanding to make the right forward decision. To help explain and prioritize data work for a client, I recently used our entity relationship diagram to pinpoint and explain the root cause of reporting problems.

Salesforce entity relationship diagrams

Real World Lead Attribution Use Case with Salesforce ERD

Lead attribution is one of the most important and challenging aspects of running your “got to market” stack. To do so requires attention to data consistency and quality. One of our customers had an ambitious and practical approach to connects Leads, Accounts, and Opportunities with a junction object called “Vintage”. The ability to automatically track a lead vintage (when the lead enters the funnel), is very useful to report funnel conversion and lifetime value. Reports for revenue and lifetime value by lead source is important for planning and budgeting independent of campaign activity.

To communicate the issue, I used the following DataTools Pro ERD Diagram to demonstrate the additional data relationships that were maintained. Additionally, I explained how existing reporting requirements could easily be achieved without the vintage object. The following is the exact picture I painted to describe the specific linkage that was effectively broken in the Lead Attribution Funnel.

Salesforce Attribution Diagram

Resolution with Empirical Proof

There were some objections to remove the Vintage object. During the meeting, I clicked to demonstrate where those data relationships are maintained. It was very effective to satisfy most objections in real time.

There was one objection we had to clear to deprecate the Vintage object. Using historical data analysis I discovered the Vintage objection use case occurred 1 in every 500 opportunities which made it a true edge case. Sometimes you engineer a solution to account for anticipated scenarios that rarely occur in real life; this was one of those cases.

The consensus was the vintage object and all of the processes needed to maintain it could be deprecated. Rather than trying to accomplish detailed lead attribution from the lead object, campaign and campaign members are used to capture clients that enter the funnel multiple times from multiple channels.

How to Build a Salesforce entity relationship diagrams for Free

Salesforce provides an out of the entity diagram for Salesforce administrators to visualize and manage the Salesforce data model. I find them useful for administration but not for sharing and distribution.

Build better, easier to visualize ERDs with DataTools Pro: Our desire to build a better ERD for Salesforce led us to create ERDs. Here are some of reasons you may want to check out the free diagraming capabilities we offer:

  • Simpler, minimal design
  • Exportable to single page document (SVG)
  • Connected directly to Salesforce
  • Custom views aligned to business topics and tech modules.

Essential Salesforce Metrics & KPIs Guide

Futuristic Salesforce Metrics and KPIs Dashboard

Salesforce metrics and KPIs are important tools to define how you will manage and monitor your Sales and Marketing efforts. Metrics and KPIs playing a crucial role in aligning strategies with business goals. In this article, we dive into vital Salesforce Lead and Opportunity Pipeline Metrics, emphasizing the importance of consistency and clear definitions. Whether a stakeholder, Salesforce admin, or a member of a data analytics team, here, you’ll gain insights, answers to common questions and examples.

5 Salesforce Lead Metrics you Should be Tracking

While different organizations and industries have varying definitions for leads, prospects, and customers, the following metrics are designed for organizations where lead generation and handoff occurs inside of Salesforce.

  1. Qualified Leads Generated – How many qualified leads are delivered to sales? The qualification definition will vary per organization, as some use MQL (marketing qualified leads) and others use SQL (sales qualified leads). Having the qualification definition also helps identify un-workable leads which creates a feedback loop to improve lead generation channels.
  2. Lead Generation to Response Time – How fast are you making contact with leads after a prospect is delivered to your sales organization? Turn time for some businesses are measured in hours but for some they are measured in minutes.
  3. Lead Conversion Rate – How many leads need to be worked to generate a deal with revenue potential? Many organizations convert leads and create opportunities different stages of the Sales cycle. We recommend measuring from a key, well defined the point in your Sales funnel that is unlikely to change over a long period of time.
  4. Lead to Close Win Ratio – How many leads do you need to generate to close deals?
  5. Cost per Lead and Closed Won – What are your marketing campaign costs relative to lead generation and deal closure? For organizations that track their marketing campaigns and spend inside of Salesforce, this metric can be tracked using Salesforce campaigns. Not all organizations track marketing spend inside of Salesforce unfortunately.

5 Salesforce Opportunity Pipeline Metrics you Should be Tracking

It goes without saying the count of won opportunities, revenue and margin are important and common sales metrics. Here are 5 additional metrics that you can look to for inspiration.

  1. Deal Win Rate – How many fully qualified Sales opportunities are closed? This metric is used to measure the effectiveness of your sales team.
  2. Outbound Activities to Close – Measuring how many phone calls, emails, and SMS are required to close deals is effective at aggregate to measure top and bottom performers and understand globally what it will take to move customers through each stage to a win.
  3. Average Deal Size – Understanding your average and potential median deal size are important to understand market shifts, targeting, sales effectiveness and is typically a driver for forecasting and predicting future deals.
  4. Lifetime Value $ – For every customer, what is the total average value over time?
  5. Churn Rate – For customers that are won, how many of them churn at the end of their service period or no longer make second purchases within a specified timeframe?

3 Salesforce Metric Tips for Success

  1. Consistency of your metrics and KPIs are measured over time is most important. If the definitions change often, your ability to effectively use the metrics diminishes. Ensure you use clear definitions for points in your sales process.
  2. Clear and concise metric definitions will ensure your business stakeholders, Salesforce admins, and your data and analytics team are aligned.
  3. Ownership of every metric helps ensure accountability not only for monitoring. This also helps ensure changes in definitions and assumptions have a point person for approval.

Common Salesforce Metric and KPI Questions

What is a Salesforce Metric

A Salesforce metric measures performance over time where Salesforce is typically the system of record where the business process and transaction occurs. Salesforce metrics like sales revenue or lead conversion rate are created, calculated and measured with reporting inside of Salesforce or using 3rd party reporting and dashboard tools directly integrated with Salesforce.

What is a Salesforce Metric vs KPI?

A Salesforce metric tracks measurements over time while a KPI or Key Performance Indicator typically has not only a definitive target, but also a timeline and linkage to business goals and objectives.

A KPI should indicate the current and historical performance (Sales revenue is a common KPI for sales), while metric could help identify the leading indicators that influences sales (outbound calls, talk time).

How do I manage Salesforce metrics?

Many organizations simply manage Salesforce in Excel or word, which is fast and easy but requires a tremendous effort and cross functional ownership. There are a number of free solutions that help automate and streamline collecting, organizing and sharing metrics and tracking changes over time.

How do I ensure consistent Salesforce metrics?

Consistency in naming and consistency in measurement are two very common challenges within Salesforce. Tracking and managing aliases or synonyms for metrics over time is important but the measurements and application of metrics in reports needs to be consistent.

How do I design Salesforce KPIs?

The best advice is to ask your business leadership first what is the objective or goal that is most important? From there what are the top 3 things we should do to reach that goal? That is the framework for your KPIs. Setting a target and timeline to achieve the target in many sales organizations are monthly or quarterly. The most important thing is not to get hung up on terminology. If you are setting and agreeing to measurable goals and outcomes, that is most important. Consistency in terminology and approach is most important.

What is DataTools for Salesforce Metrics?

We built DataTools Pro to help inventory, manage, and track implementation of metrics and reporting inside of Salesforce. Bringing the same techniques we use for large scale enterprise Business Intelligence solutions, we have paired it down to make it very simple for Salesforce users.

  • Inventory metrics
  • Track aliases / synonyms for metrics
  • Align dashboards and reports to metrics
  • Detailed definitions and ownership
  • Align metrics to topics and lines of business

How do I create Salesforce Metric and KPI Dashboards?

Salesforce provides powerful and flexibility reporting and dashboard tools that ship standard with Salesforce. As the sophistication of your reporting and tracking requirements grow or complexity of calculations increase you may need a solution like Tableau (owned by Salesforce) or one of the many powerful point solutions.