So you’ve been asked to write a sales report, and you’re probably wondering “Sales reporting? Where do I even start?”
Don’t worry, we’re here to help. Sales reporting is crucial for showing you and your organization if quotas are being met, how your team has been performing, and helping to guide your team’s sales efforts going forward.
As many as 48% of under-performing organizations have non-existent or informal sales processes (B2B Sales Management). Effective sales reporting processes will help your organization to improve productivity and fast-track client growth. That’s why we’ve penned this blog, complete with handy report templates—to help your team sell harder, better, faster, and maybe even stronger.
“Reporting is the most important factor when it comes to holding your team accountable for their efforts on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. You need to make sure the efforts are there to achieve the results you’re looking for. Expecting results without the accountability is insanity.”
Table of Contents
How to Write a Sales Report In Six Easy Steps
In the next couple sections, I’ll be outlining six easy-to-follow steps to help you break down the process of sales reporting. These six steps will take you through choosing an audience, gathering metrics, reporting for time-frames, using graphics, and finally adding context.
Step 1: Know Your Reporting Audience
First of all: it’s important to know who you’re writing your report for. Sales managers need different information than new salespeople in order to make the right decisions. Consider who will be reading this sales report.
What information is most important to them?
For example, someone in a senior management role will likely want to see numbers relating to the value of their investment compared to the measurable outcomes from their sales team. In contrast,, a sales manager reporting to their sales team may want to focus on the progress toward your forecasts and the productivity of the team.
Salespeople can also benefit from doing reporting of their own. Regular reporting can help salespeople to refine their pitches, focus their efforts toward personal and team goals, and track their income.
Knowing who will be reading your report will help you to focus on information that contributes to their role. Figure out what your reader wants from you, and deliver it!
Step 2: Gather Relevant Sales Metrics
Now that you’ve identified your audience, you can focus on gathering the most helpful information—both qualitative and quantitative. After all, reporting doesn’t end once you’ve flashed some numbers. Presenting qualitative information helps to contextualize and reinforce trends and results, whether they’re good or bad.
If you’ve never tracked sales before or you’re just starting out, start by asking yourself what you’re trying to accomplish. Tracking your sales metrics will help you to answer the big questions such as:
- How close are you to closing a specific deal?
- What stages are certain clients at?
- Where are your unqualified leads coming from?
- How do we get clients out of the pipeline?
- Which salespeople are performing best? Which ones are falling behind?
Google sheets and Microsoft Excel are great tools for beginners in learning how to organize your sales data. But, if you’re not a spreadsheet wizard, a dashboard system is the perfect tool to start sales reporting.
Getting set up with a dashboard will certainly give you useful reporting data such as:
- Hot leads
- What stage of the process your prospects are sitting
- Prospects in your pipeline
- Calls made
- Meetings booked
- Emails sent
...and much more.
Want to learn how to simplify more than just your reporting? Check out how you can automate your entire sales process through an automated sales dashboard.
Click here to learn how you can automate your sales process!
Furthermore, remember that the goal of a report is to create a comprehensive picture of what’s going on at a certain point in time and will help you understand what needs to happen in the future. The information you choose should be closely related to performance outcomes, day-day sales operations, and key performance indicators (KPIs).
Step 3: Choose Your Reporting Time Frame
You’re going to want to cram everything in—don’t.
Less is MORE.
Establishing a time frame will help you select the right information to report and will allow for easy comparison from period to period.
Your report should focus on the objectives you’re trying to meet and the numbers that relate directly to them. For example, if your objective is to grow the value of your existing customers, you may want to lengthen your call time with your existing customers during weekly calls.
Step 4: Use Graphics and Illustrations
Including graphics such as bar charts and line graphs can simplify dense information and show change over time at a glance. You don’t want to put your audience to sleep, and almost no one wants to stare at a spreadsheet for too long—no matter how helpful they can be. The information you’re presenting isn’t always common knowledge, so it’s important to make it succinct and digestible.
A well-placed chart can make all the difference in how your sales people change their actions for the future. A bar chart may help you illustrate target vs. actual achievement, or a pie chart may demonstrate how each product has contributed to overall sales.
Add helpful illustrations to your report and there will be no confusion when you are presenting your numbers. Besides, everyone likes to see those lines going up and to the right! ?
Step 5: Cut Out The Clutter
Analyze your report and cut unessential information. There’s no reason to share information with people who don’t need it and won’t use it. Your audience should feel like you’ve given them value after reading your report, so make sure it’s easy to skim and pull out the most important information.
Step 6: Add Context To Your Data
Presenting your data in a spreadsheet is necessary, but adding context to your numbers is what will really grab someone’s attention. For example, if your lead conversion ratio is down from the month before, it’s important to use the opportunity to discuss the quality of the leads coming in, or reasons why the leads coming in aren’t closing.
Connect the data to the performance.
Showing the numbers is one thing, but explaining why these numbers are crucial to day-day objectives is going to lead to a more informative report and more profitable outcomes for the future. Your numbers are the foundation, but it’s up to you to paint a clear picture of overall performance, what areas are suffering, and what you can improve.
3 Types of Sales Report Templates:
Some metrics and data don’t always fit certain time frames, so it’s important to be familiar with various time periods.
Daily Sales Reporting
To make a daily sales report, choose information that relates to daily progress. As an example, you probably wouldn’t include enterprise closes in your daily report, as more often than not that number would be a zero, adding unnecessary clutter to your report, but instead include lead data that came in that day.
“The #1 driver for your sales team is the alignment between compensation, and the behavior that you need the team to accomplish their goals on a daily basis" - Doug Campbell, VP of Revenue.
A few criteria that you should consider reporting are:
- Talk time
- Calls made
- Meetings booked
- Emails sent
- Quality of leads
Click here to explore various templates for daily sales reporting!
Weekly Sales Reporting
Weekly reports help to track and measure your productivity week by week allowing you to see trends over time without having to wait for monthly reports to roll around. Managers are going to be looking at sales tactics, successes, wins that week, and who is leading in sales and why.
Some criteria you’ll want to report on will be:
- Weekly revenue
- Number of new clients acquired that week
- Comparing numbers to the previous week.
- What stage are clients sitting in the pipeline
Click here to access a weekly sales reporting template!
Monthly Sales Reporting
A monthly sales report is meant to provide a broader perspective of sales performance and an idea of what to expect for the rest of the quarter. Monthly reporting can be a competitive time, especially when determining who is the top closer of the month.
Important criteria to report on are:
- number of deals closed
- number of contracts in hand
- number of closes in place
- how to get people moving through the pipeline.
Click here to browse various templates for monthly sales reporting!
There you go! That’s six easy-to-follow steps to start sales report. To summarize, you should know your audience, gather information, pick your time frame, use clear illustrations, be concise, and remember to add context. Don’t put it off any further—sit down right now and just start! Take a look at the reporting examples including in this blog to get some ideas for starting your own. I challenge you to set yourself up with a dashboard and start your sales reporting today. It’ll only simplify your life for the better and help you stay on track.