A sales report helps business track their sales and revenue. It helps businesses track their sales volumes and revenues. It’s usually a tool that salespeople use to track their performance and commissions.
But, sales reports are much more than just tracking tools that a company could use to track the success of its sales team. Sales reporting can do more than determine which salesman gets the most commission. You can use it to increase your revenue and grow your business.
What is a Sales Report?
A sales report is a record of all the products sold during a specific time frame. Sales managers use this report to measure the efficacy and effectiveness of the sales team. It’s also used to evaluate the demand and performance of the company’s product lines.
A standard monthly sales report is a tracking tool. It usually contains the following items:
Quantity Sold – This is the total items sold.
Sales amount - This is the value of all the items sold before returns, taxes, and gratuity.
Quantity Returned – The total items returned.
Returns amount – The total value of the returned items.
Net sales – This is simply computed as the sales amount minus the discounts and returns.
Costs – The cost of all your sold items. How much did you spend in producing, marketing, and shipping your sold items?
Profit – This is computed as sales minus costs. So, if you spent $1,000 for that month and you have total revenue of $1,800, you have a profit of $800.
However, this information is not enough. If you want to increase your revenue and hasten your company’s growth, you must create a detailed and concise sales report that does more than track quotas and sales performance. You must design a report that’s aligned with the company’s goals, visions, and marketing efforts. You must learn how to write a sales report that helps you identify growth opportunities and help increase your revenues.
Sales and Marketing Alignment: The Key to Effective Sales Reporting and Revenue Growth
Before you even start writing your sales report, you have to make sure that your marketing and sales departments are aligned and working towards one goal – revenue growth.
You see, sales and marketing are two different animals. They have different roles and often have different goals.
Marketing people often have long-term goals. Their goal is to increase brand recognition and generate qualified leads.
Sales people, on the other hand, have short-term goals. They often have daily, weekly, quarterly, and monthly quotas to meet.
Alignment between your sales and marketing teams is one of the best ways to improve your business performance and increase your revenue. It improves your marketing ROI (return on investment), growth, and sales productivity. It can lead your business to greater heights and massive success.
To align your marketing and sales teams, you have to use a strategy called “Smarketing”.
Smarketing is a process of integrating your marketing and sales strategies and procedures to form a unified and coordinated approach. It’s a game plan that’s designed to increase your revenue by at least twenty percent.
Here are a few smarketing tips that you can use:
Set a meeting between your key marketing and sales people.
Discuss your company’s sales pipeline. What’s the process of acquiring a sale? What’s the role of marketing in your sales pipeline? What’s the role of your sales people?
Create a marketing strategy that’s tied to the sales goals.
Make sure that your marketing team is aware of your sales team’s strategies and vice versa.
Lastly, try to integrate your marketing and sales reports. This way, you’ll know why you’re not making enough sales. Do you have unskilled sales people? Is there a problem with your sales productivity? Do you need to change your marketing strategy to increase your sales revenue? Are you missing several growth and sales opportunities?
How to Create a Revenue Increasing Sales Report
Not all sales reports are equal. Some reports function as tracker while some are so well-crafted that you can use them as tools in making critical business decisions.
To achieve great entrepreneurial success, it is essential to create a sales report that helps you identify growth opportunities. It is important to craft a report that helps you create solid marketing, sales, and product development strategies.
Here’s how you can do that:
Redefine the purpose of your sales report
Your sales report should be more than just a tracker. To properly identify problem areas, your report must show your sales performance and growth from different angles.
You must prepare a sales report can help you answer important questions like:
How productive are your sales representatives?
What’s your best-selling product?
How much revenue are you earning?
How often are qualified leads forwarded to sales?
Which marketing effort has the highest conversion rate?
Who’s your best-performing sales person?
Are you meeting your sales goals?
Where are your best-converting leads coming from?
Are your sales representatives meeting their daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual quota?
What are the best practices of your top performing salesperson?
What’s your sales forecast?
Are your previous sales forecasts accurate?
Do you have an upward sales trend?
Are your products really in demand?
Is it time to discontinue a product line?
Are you earning more than what you’re spending?
Your sales activity report must help you identify problems that are keeping you from growing your revenues. If your salespeople are not skilled, you need to provide training. You can also ask your best performing agents to mentor the underperforming sales reps. If your newspaper ad is not bringing in new customers, you may want to try social media marketing.
Include the right metrics
As mentioned previously, a standard sales report includes items like quantity sold, sales amount, quantity returned, returns amount, net sales, costs, and profits. You should include these numbers, especially when you’re writing your daily sales report or weekly sales report.
But, if you want a comprehensive and revenue-increasing sales report, you must include the following items:
Sales growth – Is your revenue increasing over the past few weeks or months? A stagnant or negative sales growth rate is usually an indication that there’s a problem somewhere like unmotivated sales representatives or weak marketing strategy. A positive sales growth rate, on the other hand, is an indication that your marketing efforts are working.
Sales target – What are the daily, weekly, and monthly goals of your sales teams?
Sales opportunities – This metric organizes your leads based on probability of closing a sale and estimated purchase value.
Product performance – This metric measures a product’s revenue, purchase value, and units sold. It helps you identify your best-selling products.
Sales per rep – This sales management report metric can help you identify your best performers.
Sales by region – This helps you determine the best performing cities. Let’s say that you sell bags in New York and New Jersey. If your NY store is selling twice as much as your NJ outlet, then maybe you should expand that one. You can decide to close your NJ store if it’s becoming more of a liability.
Pipeline sales metrics – This helps you figure out what’s working and what’s not in your sales and marketing process. This should include average length of the sales cycle or how long it takes to convert a lead into a sale. This should also include the average contract value, win rate, and conversion rate.
You can also include email sales and phone sales metrics such as callbacks, open rate, response rate, engagement rate, and percentage of leads who answered the call. You can also include social media and sales channel metrics. Remember that you don’t have to place all of these metrics in your report. You just have to choose those that are relevant to your business.
Set your sales reporting frequency
You need to decide how frequently you’re going to generate your sales report. Is it daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly? Remember that consistency is the key.
Keep in mind that the data you need for your daily sales report or DSR may be different from your monthly sales report or MSR. Why? Well, your DSR must track raw metrics like number of items sold by person or team. Your MSR, on the other hand, should include important metrics like sales growth.
Start with the summary
Not everyone has the time to read a lengthy report, so make sure to write a summary that covers all the important areas.
The summary must also briefly explain the meaning of your data. Numbers cannot tell the entire story. This is why you have to put your data I into context. Did your sales increased this month? Is your product in demand?
Reading a sales report is not a very pleasant experience. It can get a bit boring. This is why you should use graphs and visuals. Graphs illustrate trends and help you make excellent business decisions. For example, if your sales growth rate is trending downward for a few weeks, you might want to change your marketing and sales strategies.
As mentioned earlier, the alignment between the sales and marketing teams is critical to business success and revenue growth. This is the reason why you should work with various people from different departments during the sales reporting process.
Remember the end goal
Take note that profit is the end goal of a business. Keep that in mind when preparing your sales report. You should cut the fluff and include metrics that are aligned with your end goal.
Your sales report is more than just a piece of paperwork. It is a tool that you can use to grow your business and increase your revenue. But, you have to put a lot of effort in creating your sales report. Be thoughtful about what information to include. Finally, use a sales management reporting process that works for you. You can use the good old Excel. You can purchase a sales management reporting software, or you can get a sales activity report template online.