Let’s face it – in sales, there are few easy closes.
In fact, only 2% of first meetings culminate in an on-the-spot sale, leaving 98% of leads to be followed up with, entertained, advised, and generally nurtured through your sales process.
When your customer count is in the single-digits, all you need to keep track of these crucial activities is a spreadsheet, a weekly meeting, and a little discipline.
But as a business grows, sales team and pipeline included, it’s all too easy to lose your overview of this crucial process. Especially if you have responsibilities beyond sales too.
That’s why businesses need a system of sales reporting.
Done right, sales reports let managers quickly analyze performance, spot issues, and take action to help their business sell more, faster.
And that's not all:
Good sales reports provide the kind of insight that’s desperately needed elsewhere in any business – feeding into income forecasting, budgeting and resourcing decisions.
The bottom line? Sales reports are utterly invaluable. Here are three types reports no sales team should do without.
The 3 Sales Reports Every Business Needs
Real-time sales reports come in a variety of exciting flavors. But these are the three, easy to create, reports we would recommend making central to your sales strategy:
1. Daily Sales Report
Forget revenue and conversion rates for now. Your daily report isn’t about the outcomes. It’s all about the number of activities done in the last 24 hours with your prospects or leads.
It is essential to know how many calls and emails your team is sending each day. That way you can monitor sales team performance and identify any inefficiencies.
This ensures that you and your team are doing the day in and day out activities needed to be successful. If there is an issue with your daily sales key performance indicators, you’ll start to see it in your…
2. Weekly Sales Report
Pulling back from the granularity of your daily reports, your weekly reports will begin to reveal any immediate trends that need to be addressed with your sales process or team, and help you address them before business is lost.
But weekly sales reports have another function; they provide a fine reason for a sales team meeting.
Having good reports allows you to easily see and show, to anyone in the company, what is happening. It also allows you to have direct and data based conversations with your team.
Sitting down and sharing your weekly report with your team has multiple positive effects.
Firstly, it encourages a little healthy competition between sales team members.
Secondly, it gives your team a chance to speak up and share their own thoughts on what’s going well, what’s not going well, and what can be improved.
Lastly, it forces individuals to be accountable. If reps never have to “own” their performance, it is hard to hold them accountable.
3. Monthly Sales Report
Your monthly report isn’t about immediate, preventative action – any issues it unearths probably already have had their affect on your business. It does, however, provide a vital overview of long-term trends. This is the report that will help you understand:
- The state of your funnel
- Your conversion rate
- Your overall team performance
And as the months pass and the reports rack up, those insights are only going to get deeper. They are slowly building up your sales performance trajectory and shedding light on any seasonal trends.
Sales Reporting Done Right: Where to Start
The best sales reports use metrics to let you know how deals are progressing.
Here are some things you’ll almost certainly want to measure:
- Number of leads in the pipeline – That’s the total number of leads in all stages of your pipeline (including initial conversations, pitches, proposals and closed deals). You’ll also want to know how many are at which stage, and how long they’ve been there. Bonus points for knowing how many new leads have entered your pipeline over a given time.
- Value in the pipeline – Different leads are worth different amounts to your business. Even if you have to estimate, it’s worth putting a value on every lead. It will help build an accurate revenue forecast and shape your business strategy.
- Sales activities – For example, calls made, emails sent, meetings set up, and deals closed.
- Close rate – That’s how many leads you close for every lead that’s open. A great, quick measure of your sales strategy’s overall performance.
- Sales cycle – AKA how long it takes a lead to travel through the sales pipeline. A short lead time is a strong indicator of an efficient sales process.
As noted above, presenting your weekly report in person is ideal. If your team’s always out on the road, however, send it out in the same form, at the same time, every seven days. If you can include individual success stories, do so. It will make the reports even better.
Tools to Create the Best Sales Reports
As a company grows, working from spreadsheets gets complicated quickly. Creating insightful, timely sales reports is infinitely easier with purpose-built tools. This is where a good CRM comes into its own.
You’ll want a CRM that combines detailed sales reporting with a user-friendly interface. One that empowers your team to feel in control of their targets, while giving you the tools to manage your sales pipeline, and not forcing you to follow its own sales management logic.
Sales Reporting Summed Up:
While data and reports are important to keep tabs on your sales process and team, it is just the starting point of conversations with your sales reps.
Data cannot and will not solve problems but they are good starting points for conversations about how individuals and teams are performing.
Daily, weekly, monthly… or all together; these three crucial sales reports cover the full spectrum of sales performance, from individual activities to macro trends.
Use them wisely, and they’ll not only help you tweak your sales process to perfection. They’ll help you guide your business forward.
Why not check out our Global Sales Performance Review for a global insight into how others sell.