What is the best way to track call activity in Salesforce? Can you create a dashboard from the activity log?
You can make sure the Call type is used, which can then be used for running a filtered report.
It's also best if you can use a CTI adpapter that will integrate with your phone system and automatically log calls. This can be a pretty big project, unless there's an adapter for your existing phone system.
As Jon said, it is good to integrate your salesforce to cti, but it is a big project, depend on the existing phone system and infrastructure.
+1 for Jon. For the second part of your question, yes you can create a dashboard showing calls. I'm not sure specifically what you're end goal for that is, but here is a common use case. You could create a task and events, make a filter in the report of "type equals call". If you’re a small enough org, you could technically even do it by name, but that has it’s pros and cons versus my team or by role, but I disgress. Make it either a summary or matrix report (depending on how you like to read data), and then group it by assigned.
Then you can make a dashboard showing how many calls your call services reps made during a period of time that you specify. You could also do it by territory, by another task type like “call with conversation”, etc. I hope that helps.
If you are using landlines I think automatic tracking might be tricky but for softphones there are many alternatives for automatic tracking and for mobiles check out Liid (http://liid.com/).