Feeling frustrated at the rollercoaster ride of sales flowing into your company? Your sales team are doing their thing every week but you’re unsure exactly what they are doing and what deals are coming in.
One rep has just signed up a big customer out of nowhere and another rep is complaining that they’ve not signed up a new customer this month because the “leads are awful”.
Things feel all over the place, the team are running around like headless chickens chasing deals with varying degrees of success and no one knows what strategies and tactics work best because there is no visibility over what their colleagues are doing.
This is a common problem for startups and growing businesses that are tackling scaling sales for the first time.
When your business goals are growth and scalability, the sales reports and meetings you setup should act as the measuring stick of progress and a platform of enablement for your team.
These reports will contain key data insights that help you to better understand what works well in the sales function of your business, improve your conversion rates, highlight bottlenecks in your sales pipeline and manage your sales team effectively.
But how should you get started with sales reporting?
If you do not have any sales reporting setup at all, you’ll want to start with the basics to track your sales pipeline, conversion rates and make sure your meetings are productive and insightful for your team.
Once you’ve got the basics setup, you’ll want to start looking into more advanced reporting metrics based around activity to get a benchmark of your average inputs and outputs. You’ll also want to implement forecasting at this stage if you haven’t already done so.
So, let’s take a look at basic and advanced sales reporting for SMBs, starting with the basics.
Basic sales reporting for SMBs
To start with, your business should have a defined linear sales process that is clear for you and your team. If you do not have this in place and you are uncertain on what your sales funnel and process look like, you have to do this first. You can then begin to setup your basic sales reporting.
At a basic level, we’re looking to obtain data on how many new leads are being generated and moving through your sales funnel and pipeline. We’re also looking to collect data on the conversion rate at each stage of your pipeline. Once you have these data points, you’re able to make much better decisions on how to improve your sales process for your business and your team.
Tracking your sales pipeline
In your CRM system of choice you should have your sales process defined by differnt stages in your pipeline. For example, your sales pipeline stages may look something like this:
- New Lead
- Scheduled Initial Consultation
- Follow Up
- Contract Signed
We’d recommend that you have a weekly sales meeting every Monday where you can update your team on the current pipeline situation for the business and figure out who needs help or assistance to achieve their goals.
As a bare minimum, before the meeting you should take a snapshot of how many leads you have at each stage of your pipeline to share and disucss. If you collate these weekly snapshots over time, you’ll get a good piture for whether your pipeline is growing, declining or staying stagnant.
Ideally, you CRM system will have a reporting feature built in that means you do not have to keep track of these snapshots manually. You should be able to pull reports in your sales tools that will show you these numbers that can be filtered by dates, lead types, sales rep and much more.
Set trackable conversion rates
As the owner of a business or the manager of a busy sales team, it’s important to know if there are any gaps where leads are being lost along the pipeline.
A basic sales reporting tactic that can help to identify this is to set a trackable conversion rate percentage to monitor data over time.
For example, in a simple sales process, you may have 10 leads a week, of which:
- 8 leads moved to the discovery call stage
- 3 leads moved to the quote stage
- 1 lead turned into a sale
By analysing the data over time, you’ll see patterns emerge and know where efforts are needed to plug any leaks in the pipeline. We’d also advise collating this data and splitting it by sales representatives to highlight to each team member any areas of individual focus.
These reporting strategies cover the basics of sales reporting, but for a more granular approach, there are more advanced sales reporting techniques that can be implemented.
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Advanced sales reporting for SMBs
Creating a sales forecast
One of the biggest challenges of a sales team is forecasting revenue, as it’s difficult to estimate which leads are most likely to convert and at what stage.
While we can’t offer a magic bullet that predicts sales forecasts perfectly, we can recommend a weighted sales pipeline to create a truer picture of how likely leads are to convert.
By weighting the pipeline with a conversion rate percentage, you’re acknowledging that not every lead will result in a sale and also assigning a value to each opportunity depending on which step of the pipeline it’s at.
The general principle is that the further along the funnel a lead is, the higher the chance of a conversion. A simple four-step weighted sales pipeline could be constructed as follows:
- Lead = 10% Weight
- Discovery Call Booked = 25% Weight
- Quotation Issued = 50% Weight
- Sale Completed = 100% Weight
A weighted pipeline is based on probabilities and will provide an intelligent overview of the current opportunities to build a more accurate revenue forecast.
Sales rep activity reports
We don’t want to come across as ‘Big Brother’ but it’s well documented that a little healthy competition within the sales team can be a good thing!
By reporting on the activity of each rep and providing them with their own data, they will be armed to make better decisions.
A key way to measure the effectiveness of your sales team is to use a VOIP system that logs call numbers and the amount of talk time to track their closing rates. If a team member makes a healthy amount of calls per day and closes a high proportion of deals, these tactics can be shared amongst the team, which will help to develop those team members who need to improve their closing rate. Win-win!
By reporting on each interaction as a prospect moves through the pipeline, you can build a clear picture of the touch points that matter most to your customers – and improve the process behind any interactions that turn buyers off.
For example, if you make 5 calls and convert 4 customers, this provides a better touchpoint than sending 10 SMS messages and converting 3 customers.
Touchpoint analysis also provides an overall picture of the number of interactions that a prospect receives. It could be that it takes 8 calls, 3 emails and 2 SMS messages to convert a lead – and this data allows you to place resource where it will be most effective.
Let’s get started…
Now you understand the differences between basis and advanced sales reporting, we’re sure you are keen to get started. And the good news is that you may already have the tools you need to boost your reporting and analysis.
If you have a CRM system, there are likely to be sales and forecasting solutions already in the system that are intelligent, visual and fast. If you’d like some help in implementing these reports and tailoring them to your business — contact our team for advice.
If you would like help in specifying and implementing a CRM system that will take all the hard work out of sales reporting, we’re on hand to advise, implement and train you to get the best from a CRM system. Want to know more? Book a discovery call with our experts and begin the journey towards effective and accurate sales reporting.