A small business may spend up to 20% of its revenue pursuing sales leads on average. This figure can reach 45% for newer businesses. With all of this cash flowing toward sales, it’s only normal that you and your sales team, managers, executives, or external investors would want to see regular sales metrics overviews. This is where sales reports come in handy. Let’s the different types of sales report and how to create the right format for reporting our sales.
What is a Sales Report?
A sales report, also known as a sales analysis report, is a document that summarizes the sales activities of a company. This report typically includes data for a given period’s sales volume, leads, new accounts, revenue, and costs. It may also analyze this data at each stage of the sales funnel and indicate the performance of your sales team (or any gaps therein).
These reports may assist your company in revising its strategy and other growth initiatives. They can provide additional insight into sales analysis successes, future sales data predictions, performance comparisons to previous periods, and a better knowledge of customer motivations.
Types of Sales Reports Formats
There are no two sales reports that look the same. Different types of sales reports concentrate on various sales metrics, needs, or strategies. Here are a few examples of report types:
#1. Sales Forecasts
This type of report forecast how many sales your team will make in a given time period. You can use them to anticipate seasonal slowdowns or to plan for potential business issues.
#2. Sales Funnel Analysis.
This type of report indicates how close a lead is to purchase your product or service. Sales funnels can assist you in determining how to best nurture leads and, ultimately, convert them into customers. You can detect vulnerabilities in your sales pipeline by comparing back-to-back sales funnel reports.
#3. Conversion Reports
These reports are similar to sales funnel reports in that they analyze the progress of leads through the sales funnel, but they focus on the conversion of leads to customers rather than the status of leads through the funnel. A typical conversion tracking report includes information regarding contacts, leads generated and qualified, and wins, as well as period-to-period change rates.
#4. Reports on opportunity scores.
The Einstein opportunity score is used to generate opportunity score reports. This statistic, which is determined by artificial intelligence, evaluates leads from one to 99, with a higher score indicating a higher possibility of a sales win. These reports might help you decide how to divide your team’s time spent investigating leads.
#5. Reports on upselling and cross-sell opportunities.
These reports provide information on the quantity and value of items that were upsold or cross-sold to clients. These reports can be used by your team to identify future upselling and cross-selling opportunities, or they can be used to identify specific products and services that are especially suited for these sales approaches.
#6. Reports on sales calls
These reports cover calls made to leads, prospects, and customers to persuade them to make a purchase. You can learn about your reps’ performance and the qualities of your leads by using these reports.
Sales Report Schedule
Sales reports can be scheduled at various intervals and linked to key performance indicators (KPIs), allowing you to track your progress over time. Here are some examples of common frequencies:
#1. Daily Sales Reports
A daily sales report can track key performance indicators (KPIs) such as a rep’s number of daily calls and leads generated.
#2. Weekly Sales Reports
A weekly sales report can track key performance indicators (KPIs) such as the total number of deals closed or revenue earned by the sales team.
#3. Monthly Sales Reports.
A monthly sales report can provide a longer-term overview of the metrics tracked in daily or weekly sales reports.
#4. Annual Sales Reports.
An annual sales report is a particularly lengthy, detailed version of a monthly report. This might be the most useful for determining a subsequent year’s sales quotas. This can also enable you to identify sales management issues, indicate seasonal variations, monitor the effects of marketing campaigns, and recognize especially successful sales reps.
What are the Most Important Elements of a Sales Report Format?
The important elements vary according to the type of report. However, in general, sales reports should include the following figures:
- Relevant KPIs as established by the aforementioned criterion
- Volume of sales
- Net sales
- Gross sales (net sales minus the cost of sales)
- Change in KPI percentage compared to the prior reporting period
You’ll observe that this list of data is relatively small, despite the fact that you may have a large number of KPIs to include in your report. This is because remaining concise is essential; you don’t want to overload the individuals reading your report right away.
Figures alone, however, do not constitute a sales report. You must also provide a written explanation of what these figures indicate and how they should push the corporation to respond. This phase will be covered in greater detail in the report-writing instruction that follows.
How should a sales report be written?
To build a sales report format, follow these steps:
#1. Determine the format of your sales report.
A sales report format should be more than just a list of figures and explanations. It should also be visually appealing and easy to read without feeling overwhelming. To accomplish this, you can utilize a report template or your customer relationship management (CRM) software to easily create a variety of report kinds.
#2. Consider your target audience.
If you’re a high-ranking sales team member presenting a report to your sales director, you might want to include a lot of KPIs. Executives may prefer a more concise summary. Furthermore, a CEO may be interested in data that a CFO is not. Your CRM software should be capable of assisting you in reformatting your sales data for any audience.
#3. Include the necessary details.
You can select whether to include or exclude particular data sets, such as sales income and costs, period-to-period KPI change, progress toward sales targets, sales by product or service, sales forecasts, and future sales plans, once you know your audience and the depth of reporting needed.
#4. Calculate your current and prior periods.
Given the frequency criteria given above, you should decide whether the information you wish to convey is best given annually, monthly, weekly, or daily. You should then compare your data for this period to data from a previous era. For example, if you’re providing sales data for February 2021, make a note of percentage changes in this period’s KPIs compared to the entire month of January 2021, not just the last week.
#5. Compile your Information.
Once you’ve determined your information requirements and data period, it’s time to begin compiling your data. This stage normally entails logging into your CRM software and retrieving data, which is then either downloaded for use in another program or converted into reports directly from your CRM dashboard. In any case, sales reporting does not end with gathering your data in one location.
#6. Present your facts in an appropriate manner.
Sales reports should be more than just a list of numbers. You should use a lot of graphs and other pictures to help your audience understand these facts. Of course, you must use the appropriate type of graph. A line chart, for example, would be required in an annual report to demonstrate revenue month over month. Your CRM program may be able to generate these charts automatically, or you can utilize Excel to help with graph development.
#7. Check your data and details again.
After you’ve compiled your data and developed charts and graphs, return to steps one and two to evaluate your audience and include relevant information. You may not realize you’ve included too much or too little material until after you’ve completed your initial draft of a report. Don’t be hesitant to copy information, recreate graphs, or seek assistance from a fellow sales team member. Remember that everyone requires the services of an editor. It’s critical to create a balance between understanding and overabundance well in advance of your meeting.
#8. Describe your data.
This is possibly the most critical stage. Again, simply presenting data is only half the battle; you must also put words to your data in order for it to be meaningful to your audience.
For example, if your monthly report indicates a sales decrease from the prior period for the first time across several months, don’t presume your audience will figure out why. Provide evidence that the reduction is the result of a seasonal slowdown exacerbated by an economic slump. You should also begin your report with a written overview of previous period data.
Your textual explanations must both explain and be justified by your figures. They should also include a description of the fixes that your team intends to execute. For example, if a key competitor’s limited-time promotions have lowered your sales, explain how you plan to recoup those customers. Even the most troubling data can be presented in a useful way if an actionable, fixable root cause is identified.
When writing a sales report, select a format and examine your audience, information, and time period before concluding with written observations and context. If you take action, your sales may increase. That is where the report adds value.