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August 14, 2018

4 Sales Reports You Need But Probably Aren’t Using

When tasked with managing sales, we often get into a certain rhythm – or maybe it’s a rut – with the way that we manage the program. And when it comes to sales reports, we have probably gotten used to the same ones… reports like:

  • Sales vs. goal
  • Sales vs. same period last year
  • Sales by sales rep
  • Basic sales call reports, etc.

And while those are a good place to start, let me suggest 4 other sales reports that you should add to your management arsenal… reports that will give you a deeper view of what’s really going on with your sales effort.

#1 – Proposals vs. Wins

That is, how many RFPs did you respond to in a given time period… and of those, how many turned into projects? And look at it by sales rep. When you look at a report like this, you get a sense of how successful your sales reps are in getting the opportunity to win new business… and maybe which sales reps are better at it than others.

In addition, look at the commonalties of the projects you win… what trends do you see? Are there certain services you’re providing, certain industries or certain types of clients you have better luck with?

Finally, if you’re persistent in following-up on those proposals you didn’t win… you’ll learn ‘why’ you didn’t win them – information you can use to improve your sales process moving forward. Hint: do not assume it’s ‘price!’

#2 – Revenue by Service Line

I’m amazed at how few firms in our industry keep an eye on this. Most leaders have a ‘sense’ of this based on osmosis – just picking up details from what’s happening in the office around them. But what’s impossible to see – if you’re not looking at the numbers – are the trends that might be developing within certain service lines. And if you start tracking it over time (not just months, but years) then you really get a sense of what happening in your business.

#3 – Revenue by Industry

Like Revenue by Service Line, this is another sales report that virtually no firms track… and yet, the perspective it provides can be “eye opening.” If you don’t really specialize in certain industries, for example, this report will provide insight you’ve likely not seen before. If you do specialize, are the industries you specialize in still ‘special’… or is there a new one creeping up that could become a game-changer for you?

#4 – Revenue by Key Account

You’re familiar with the Pareto Principle, right… the old 20/80 rule? In this case, it suggests that 20% of your clients account for 80% of revenue. And it’s amazing how this rule is true far more often than not. Which begs the question, what are you doing to keep and grow the top 20% of your clients (call them your Key Accounts)? A great place to start a Key Accounts strategy is to begin tracking monthly revenue across those Key Accounts… and trending that over time. Without seeing those hard numbers if front of you, it’s difficult to get a sense of the trends in the business coming from just a few clients. Don’t wait until it’s too late… if your business with a Key Account is starting to slide, a sales report like this will give you the chance to jump in and save the account.

Conclusion

As the ‘sales manager,’ your job is to provide direction to your sales team. But what direction? Without the appropriate sales reports providing you the information you need to make smart decisions… you’re just guessing. The good news is… between your CRM and accounting software, virtually all of the sales reports you’ll need to be successful are available at the push of a button.

Good luck.

 

Did I miss any? Are there any sales reports you use that you’ve found to be particularly helpful? If so, please share with our readers. Thanks.

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