The new sales manager’s guide to sales reporting
Here's why sales reporting is essential for every data-driven company. Plus, the five most important sales reports for new sales managers.
Published October 3, 2019
Last updated September 21, 2020
Congratulations! You've been promoted to sales manager within your company. Among many responsibilities, your boss is now counting on you to crunch the numbers and complete sales reporting.
Sales reports are essential for every data-driven company. They help you easily track deals from start to finish. You can use sales reports to determine how to replicate past sales success and close more deals or identify problems in the sales process. In short, sales reporting gives you a 360-degree view of sales operations so you can improve revenue.
To help you create amazing, insightful sales reports, here's our 101 guide for sales managers to use in their first 30 days.
What is sales reporting?
Sales reporting is a documentation of sales operations over a specific timeframe. There are many different kinds of sales reports, but they track things like:
- Sales rep activities (e.g., number of emails sent, calls made, tasks completed)
- Health of your sales pipeline (e.g., number of incoming deals, qualified deals, won deals)
- Individual and team sales goal progress (e.g., won deals by individual sales reps and sales team)
- Sales forecasting comparison (e.g., compare forecasted sales with actual sales)
By tracking data, sales reports allow you to see trends in your team's performance and potential areas of improvement.
For example, you might compare the number of won deals from August through October. You notice that the numbers are steadily decreasing for your entire team. Instead of being surprised by a dip in revenue months later, you can proactively dig into the reasons why deals aren’t being won and correct the issue.
By analyzing sales reporting, you’ll know if your team is on track for success or if you need to implement some changes. Whether your company is a startup or a medium-sized business, sales reporting is an important process as it gives insights to the health of your sales department and company as a whole.
The 5 most important sales reports
Sales reporting is best done through the use of a sales customer relationship management tool (CRM). Most CRMs offer a number of helpful reports that are automated so you don’t have to manually collect and analyze data. Information is also consolidated into the most important points and visuals so both you and your executives can make informed company decisions about sales strategy and tactics.
The five CRM sales reports detailed below offer the most helpful high-level insights, including the number of quality deals you’re closing and your performance against goals. Learn how to use each one to improve sales operations.
1. Sales funnel analysis report
The sales funnel analysis report lets you see the number of leads or deals and conversion rate between each stage of the sales pipeline.
With this data, the report will help you strengthen lead generation and increase the number of closed deals.
The sales funnel stages can be customized in your CRM, but the report typically shows you the percent of:
- Leads qualified
- Qualified leads given a quote
- Quotes moved into the contract phase
- Contracts won
If leads continually drop off at a certain stage, you can pinpoint the reason and make improvements. For example, if you see a high level of leads converting but never being quoted, you can use the sales funnel analysis report to determine if your qualification process needs repair or if follow-up is the problem. Or if you see an inordinate amount of business was lost between “Pitched” and “Won,” it might be time to coach your rep on closing the deal.
Use the funnel report to identify stages where your team may need additional coaching, as well as how individual reps are performing at each stage. The team as a whole may struggle with moving leads from quotes to contracts, but the report would also identify the salesperson who is strongest in that area.
Refer to your sales funnel analysis report often to ensure that your sales pipeline is healthy and that sales rep performance is up.
2. Incoming deals volume report
It’s essential to have a healthy amount of incoming deals so your sales team is able to meet sales goals. If there aren’t enough incoming deals, this might indicate that marketing is a sales bottleneck.
Maybe certain marketing campaigns have been put on hold or leads aren’t being qualified correctly, which has resulted in a drop in deals.
Whatever the case, the incoming deals volume report helps identify how many leads or deals are actually coming in from marketing. It breaks down the number of deals registered over a period of time and percentage of total deal count.
Use the report to calculate exactly how much business the marketing team is bringing to the table and ensure current marketing efforts are effective. If incoming deals are low, it might be time for a meeting with marketing managers to determine solutions.
3. Forecasting sales report
Sales forecasting reports show the number of expected sales and how they compare to actual sales.
Use this report to determine whether or not your team is on track to reach forecasted sales. The analysis will pinpoint which deals your team should be focusing on based on their anticipated revenue and help you reach your forecasting goal.
4. Sales goals report
Want to get an overall visual of whether or not your team is on track to meet sales goals? That’s where the Sales Goals Report comes in. This high-level report shows you if your entire team and individual reps will meet previously set revenue goals or if they’re falling behind.
In the Sales Goals report, the green flagline indicates that your team and reps are on target to meet goals. The red flagline indicates that a rep is falling behind.
To build this report, Sell’s CRM allows you to set individual team member goals for sales revenue. You can select monthly, quarterly, or annual intervals for your goals.
Set revenue goals by sales reps to view in the Sales Revenue report
As a sales manager, you’ll likely reference the sales goal report more often than the others on this list. After all, revenue generation is why your team exists!
5. Won deals report
With the Won Deals report, you can see exactly how many deals sales reps and teams are closing.
As long as you’ve already set “Won deal goals” for your sales reps, a deal that is added to the “Won” stage in the pipeline will show up in this report. This sales report also paints the bigger picture of how your whole team is doing and if they are meeting their deal quota for the quarter.
Set goals for number of deals won by sales rep. These goals will then be visible in the Won Deals report.
Notice that one person is pulling the weight of the entire team? Pick their brain — learn what they are doing differently and how others on the team could learn from them. Or maybe everyone on the team is performing similarly and could use the stimulus of a friendly competition. Use the information in the Won Deals report to celebrate good performance and to motivate even better performance.
With these five reports, you have both a high-level and low-level view of sales operations. You can see what activities sales reps are completing, if these efforts are meeting sales goals, how many deals are coming in and being moved through the pipeline, and if your sales forecasts are accurate.
How to create sales reports in your CRM
The best practice for creating and managing sales reports is using a CRM. Although you can use a spreadsheet to organize sales metrics and create sales reports, a CRM automatically collects information and turns it into helpful visuals so you can immediately pinpoint problems. It makes the sales reporting process simple.
Let’s break down how to generate any sales report with Sell’s CRM:
Go to the Sell CRM dashboard. Click on the “Reporting” widget on the top bar.
Use the left sidebar to navigate through reports, including the ones highlighted in this article. For example, hover over the gauge widget to view a list of “Sales Performance” reports such as the Forecasted Sales report.
Select the report you want to view. You’ll then be directed straight to the report. Finally, experiment with the different filters such as timeframe, team, and individual sales rep. You can also select how you want to view the report (e.g., a chart or just the data).
In addition to the five reports we detailed above, Sell offers access to many more helpful reports such as the Stage Distribution Report, Sales by Customer, and Call Outcomes. Reports are also organized by categories such as Pipeline Analysis, Advanced Sell Insights, and Marketing Effectiveness, making each report easy to locate and review!
Leverage sales reporting to improve sales operations
Without the right tools and too much data, it’s easy for sales managers to become overwhelmed by sales reports. A CRM makes this process easier.
With these tips and reports, you’re well on your way to acing sales reporting. If you would like to create your own sales reports and don’t have a Sell account, we offer a free trial where you can access and experiment with our features. Give us a try today!