A small business may spend 20% of its revenue chasing sales leads. The figure can reach up to 45% for newer companies. With so much money going toward sales, it is natural that you want to see overviews of the sales metrics. That’s where the creation of a sales report comes in.
A sales report is a document summarizing the sales activities of a business. The report includes information on leads, sales volume, new accounts, costs, and revenue for a given period. It might also assess this information along every step of the sales funnel to indicate the performance or gaps in the performance of your sales team.
The sales reports will help your enterprise make changes to the sales approach and other activities. They can even provide:
- Insights into predictions of future sales data.
- Sales methodology successes.
- Assessment of performance compared to previous years.
- In-depth understanding of consumer motivations.
Companies that don’t have time to design a sales report from scratch can use a sales report template. A template offers a well-structured skeleton where you only need to fill in your information and data. It will save you a lot of effort and time while ensuring that you have an organized sales report.
Helpful tips for writing a sales report
Define the purpose of a sales report
Sharing a weekly report with your sales team and presenting a monthly or yearly sales report for the stakeholders and senior management is not the same. The scenarios have different audiences, and therefore, demand a different approach. The objective of a sales report is to help the audience what information is relevant to them. For instance, if you are preparing a sales report for the marketing department, you must include data relevant to the marketing team, like a marketing campaign’s ROI or conversion rate.
Define a timeline
Defining a timeframe or timeline is vital as it allows you to present a specific and accurate picture. It is also easier to analyze trends, make comparisons and come to rational conclusions. For example, if you are working on a monthly sales report, there’s no reason to go through data from the beginning of the year, and you can focus on assessing the sales performance of the particular month.
After the objective and timeline of the sales report have been established, the next step is to gather relevant data. The collected data will form the basis of your report. The data points to include are calls made, lead response time, leads generated, conversion rate, deals won, revenue generated, and deals won per sales representative.
Errors in sales data can result in revenue loss. So, ensure your sales data is highly accurate. The absence of accurate sales data can impact your sales assessment and report.
For gathering accurate data, you need to perform regular audits. Also, ensure to identify outdated or poor data. Also Read – 7 Steps To Create A Business Blog And Boost Your Internet Sale
Visually illustrate data
Even though sales is a numbers game, it doesn’t mean that you can simply put some numbers together and call it a sales report. A sales report is about telling a story to your senior managers or stakeholders about the performance of your sales team. It is about presenting the numbers in such a way that engages the audience. Hence, the use of visuals is important. Visual demonstration is crucial as it communicates the message clearly to the audience without overwhelming them.
Some of the data visualization tools that you can leverage are graphs, infographics, and charts. These tools can help present data visually and make it easier for the audience to identify key trends, digest information, and emphasize important points. For instance, you can use pie charts to demonstrate various sales channels or use line graphs to illustrate daily sales numbers.
Contextualize and present your assessment
You have collected and visually demonstrated data, but the process doesn’t end there. You need to define what the data means clearly. Whether you are presenting your sales report to your managers or subordinates, they are eager to interpret the presented data. The sales performance needs to be analyzed, the patterns assessed, and comparisons have to be made to identify gaps in the sales process and find new opportunities. It is vital to explain the reason behind the presented data and provide context so that the audience can make sense of the sales report.
Craft a summary
It is a good practice to start the sales report with a one-page summary as it provides the audience with an overview of what to expect. Ensure to highlight the key takeaways and the timeframe from the report in the summary. It will be helpful for the senior management or top-level executives who don’t have the time to go through the entire report. Also, the summary needn’t be text-heavy. You can use visuals to capture the attention of the audience.
End your sales report with an action plan
The best sales reports are action-oriented, and they offer a clear-cut plan based on sales performance assessment. For example, if your sales are falling, it is crucial to mention an action plan asserting the strategy that one can expect in the coming weeks and how you plan to boost sales. So, ensure to end the report with a plan of action that addresses all the loopholes and gaps. The action plan will hold your team accountable and effectively track progress.
Sales reports are vital tools that help in decision-making and drive your team in the right direction. The report can help boost the performance of your sales team and identify all the gaps and opportunities. But, sales reports have a reputation of being boring and uninteresting. You don’t have to follow suit, but create reports that get the message across in an engaging manner. So, apart from collecting all the relevant data and putting them together, you must also develop creative ways to present your data and analysis.