Sales reports: Everyone “should” do them but are they really that important? Are these reports worth the time they take from salespeople who could be selling rather than working on a spreadsheet? The short answer: Yes.
These reports are vital to the health and success of a company as a whole. So, how can you make the most of your sales reporting without wasting your time?
Why Create Sales Reports?
Before you create your next sales report, understand who the report is for. The sales report doesn’t just benefit the salesperson, it affects the future needs of the entire company.
Let’s imagine you have a sign shop and an outside sales guy, but you don’t have sales reporting. Consequently, there is no way to gauge how many proposals your salesperson is putting out there or how close he is to closing a sale. And if he was to close a sale, how would you be able to provide adequate services to that client? You would lack ability to meet the needs of your client because you lack information.
Your salesperson could also have three or four different deals in progress and a 50% average close rate. If he has this much business in the funnel, it might be time to hire a new employee, but without sales reporting, how would you know?
With effective sales reporting, an organization knows how likely and how soon they will close a sale. Then, they can start making hiring decisions and production planning decisions. The sales report is a direct reflection of future business.
An Effective Sales Report
Sales reports are the leading performance indicator for a company that relies on sales. If you don’t know when your sales are going to happen, everything else is just a guessing game. By including these elements in the report, and by automating those as much as possible, you set your company up for success. In order to maximize your sales reports, make sure they include:
- A summary of closed deals
- A summary of pending deals
- An activity report
- The number of dials
- The number of proposals
3 Insights to Gain from Sales Reports
Now you know the importance of creating sales reports and what they should include, but what information should you be pulling from them? These three valuable insights are often overlooked.
Sales reporting done well sheds light on who is motivated and interested in the job and who is not. When management identifies under-productive salespeople, they can either try to re-energize the employee or terminate the employment. Low prospecting volume serves as a red flag for unmotivated employees.
Future Inventory Prediction
If you’re in a commodities business, sales reporting is essential to your product turnaround. If products have to be shipped or manufactured and you don’t have adequate sales reporting, you may not be ordering or producing enough inventory for the demand. It’s all connected.
Real Data = Real Insight
Just because a salesperson documented calls or prospects on a spreadsheet doesn’t mean those events actually happen. There have been too many meetings when I talk with the salesperson about all these deals he claims are in motion. Then, we try to contact that prospect and we can’t get in touch with them because the deal isn’t real.
It’s like the joke goes: one guy owed another some money. The second guy says, “Just cut me a check” to which the first replies, “I got checks. That’s no problem. It’s money I don’t have.”
Rather than rely on self-reporting, you need to get the data from the source. This is one of the biggest reasons we created Callproof: to automate sales reporting.
When an organization receives data automatically with the number of calls, number of face-to-face meetings, opportunities, emails back and forth from clients and prospects, and where the salespeople are on a map, they will naturally be more honest and more productive. Plus, you’ll save both time and energy.