In this blog, we explore some Looker use cases for sales analytics, how companies are using Looker to analyze their Salesforce data, and how you can embed analytics to create an automated, data-driven analytics solution for your sales teams.

Amplifying Sales Analytics

Reporting and analysis in your CRM can only take you so far. Reports in a tool like Salesforce are static and don’t provide effective visualizations, making it hard for sales teams and leaders to really gain useful insights to improve their sales strategies.

Modern analytics platforms like Looker make it easy to amplify your sales analytics and give your sales teams the ability to visualize near real-time data, accurately forecast pipelines, manage quotas, and prioritize opportunities.

When you integrate Looker with your existing tools and applications like Salesforce and Marketo, you get more out of your analytics investments by truly understanding what’s working and how to optimize your time and resources. Automating analysis and the resulting reports drives even more precise, granular results to guide your sales decisions.

Enrich Your Sales Data by Integrating Salesforce and Looker

Here are some advantages to using an analytics platform like Looker to analyze your sales data:

  • Improve upon native Salesforce analytics: You’re probably already familiar with the limitations of Salesforce. You can get a static snapshot of your pipeline, but you can’t integrate the data from multiple applications or do complex analysis. By analyzing your Salesforce data using Looker, you access insights beyond the native analytics capabilities built into Salesforce.
  • Integrate data from other applications: To take analysis even further, you can enhance your Looker analysis with data from additional applications and systems to get a richer, more contextualized understanding of sales performance and how to improve. You can also trigger actions and responses based on the insights you’re surfacing. Automated reporting comes out-of-the-box with Looker, so you can immediately start generating complex insights.
  • Get a complete picture of pipeline activity: When you integrate Looker with Salesforce, you get more than a static view of your sales pipeline. You can track your pipeline and leads through various stages and look closely at conversion rates. You can compare this information across sales representatives, teams, or the entire sales organization to understand your pipeline health across a variety of dimensions.
  • Measure marketing influence on closed deals: By also integrating data from your marketing automation systems like Marketo or HubSpot, you’ll gain insight into the true path from campaign to lead generation to closing a deal. Looker helps you understand the complete trajectory of your sales activities for a given deal. For example, it will show you all the stages of the sales cycle. Say a typical sales cycle consists of 20 emails that are sent out as part of a campaign, followed by 10 qualifying phone calls, and then two pitches to the prospect. By knowing which stage your potential customers are in, you can target them with the right activity at the right time and move the deal along more efficiently and methodically.
  • Improve sales forecasting: Integrating Looker with Salesforce also helps you track and analyze sales performance against quotas for more accurate forecasting. You can automate performance check-ins by setting thresholds in Looker. For example, if a sales rep is under a certain percentage of their quota at a specific time in the quarter, or you have performance outliers, Looker will automatically notify appropriate parties.
  • Optimize customer service: Looker also helps you monitor and stay on top of customer health and communication by tracking and automating touchpoints. You can set up reports to let you know how often you’re communicating with customers in the context of your quarterly sales goals, touchpoint goals, or customer value. The customer outreach data can be automated and triggered with built-in connectivity to your other applications as well.

By analyzing your sales data in a rich analytics platform like Looker, you get an up-to-the-minute, contextualized understanding of your sales pipeline and performance from whatever perspective you need—by rep, by opportunity, by campaign, by region—so you can take constructive action to meet your sales targets, forecast accurately, and ensure you communicate with customers at an optimal cadence. And you can do it all with automated workflows.

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Embedded Analytics: Making it Convenient to be Data-Driven

Embedded analytics reduces the number of applications or touchpoints your users need to sign in by placing the analytics into a target application like Salesforce. It makes workflows more productive, reducing the number of times your users need to physically switch between applications and the number of times they need to mentally context-switch.

Looker is built for embedded analytics. Being entirely a cloud-based BI platform, Looker makes it easier to work with than other BI tools who have embedded analytics as an afterthought.  Embed Looker directly into Salesforce to showcase data from other sources, pull data from salesforce into other applications to get a single source of truth, or all of the above.  You still need to make sure your data is in a good place to be accurate, but once it is, the sky is the limit.

Once everything is connected, you’ll get enhanced sales data right inside Salesforce and be able to see the full lifecycle of customer activity. You can also leverage pre-built Looker blocks to help as starting points to accelerate your analytics. Looker blocks are pre-built pieces of code that help you rapidly build analysis for things like retention analytics, funnel analysis, or repeat purchase patterns. You can start with the blocks and start customizing from there.


Using a Looker Salesforce Block makes it easy to create and customize comprehensive sales analytics dashboards (credit: looker.com)

For some organizations, embedded analytics can even be harnessed to offer analytics as a service to your customer base.

Read about monetizing your analytics and other ways to build your case for modern BI.

Increased Collaboration and Truly Data-Driven Sales Analytics

By integrating Salesforce data with Looker and taking advantage of a more sophisticated data platform that offers advanced analytics capabilities, automation, and embedded analytics, you can take your sales analytics to the next level. You can also increase collaboration by giving access to other teams who could add valuable insights, such as sales engineering, support reps, product teams, and finance.

When you blend data from all relevant data sources and make it accessible in a single place, you empower your sales team to be truly data-driven.

We can help you get there by leveraging the combined power of Looker with your existing data assets.


Josh Goldner
Josh is Analytic8’s Looker Practice Lead and is also a certified LookML Developer. Josh implements modern analytics solutions to help his clients get more value from their data. Josh is an avid outdoorsman and balances his professional work with hunting and teaching his coworkers how to fish.

Sean Costello After careers in proprietary trading and business valuation, Sean finally found his calling as a data analytics consultant. He graduated the University of Illinois with a degree in Engineering and is a certified Looker data analyst. In his free time, Sean enjoys working on cars, watching the Green Bay Packers, and exploring the local restaurants and pubs of Chicago.
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