Sales reports are one of the less obvious but more important aspects of running a successful business. Many business owners just want to get on with the day to day running of the business, and their goal is to simply “be successful” – but how can you measure success?
From a purely capitalist point of view, a successful business is a business that makes enough money to support itself (i.e. pay the bills, employee wages, and so on) and makes a profit above that. The more profit, the more successful the business could be considered to be.
However, getting to the stage where the business is making that amount of money isn’t always easy, and at any time a profitable business could slip back into unprofitability. The question for many is, “How do I know where my business is and protect myself from failing?”
Sales Reporting Software Provides the Information You Need
Even when sales reporting software is used, the primary focus is not always where it should be. Managers will obsess over the current month of sales figures and not see the big picture, not being able to put the numbers into perspective.
Of course, the current figures are important. But what is more important is the progress of the sales team over time. The software can show you how the sales have gone over a period of time – this month, the last 3 months, the last year, and so on.
You’ll be able to clearly spot trends which will throw extra light on the figures for this month. If around this time every year the sales drop, but this year they have remained constant – that’s an improvement. Maybe one month always does better during the year, or perhaps you’ll see that the overall price of sales has gone up incrementally every month for the last six months.
The total figures may not be where you wanted them to be, but they are certainly going in the right direction – or alternatively, maybe they aren’t. Maybe you think you’re making a great profit, but it’s getting smaller every month.
That’s not a great situation to be in, but it can be dealt with and managed if you know it’s happening. If you remain oblivious to the facts, your business will never be able to make progress.
Automate Your Sales Processes
Your sales team will always do two things consistently. They’ll sell your products and bring the money in, but simultaneously they will be a source of frustration for you. The problem is, when they make a sale, their figures will go up. But because they are so busy selling, they will often forget to send sales figure reports through to their managers.
Luckily, sales reporting software can automate this step for them. At a predefined date and time, the software can automatically generate a report and send it to whoever needs it by email. It’s simply a matter of opening the report, and all the information is there.
This keeps managers right up to date on where the team has got to and allows an action to be taken whenever it is needed – and not two months later when it is too late.
Track Your Sales Team
Another feature integrated into sales reporting software is the ability to track the progress of individual team members. Enhanced information can be stored relating to the performance of each member, including how many calls they make, emails they send, and so on – in addition to how many sales they have made and the value of those sales.
This makes it easy to see how team members are performing (even if they are working remotely) and allows comparisons of performance. Is one team member outperforming all the others because of their skill? Or is it the products they are focusing on, or even the area they are selling to?
Lead Tracking with Sales Reporting
With a comprehensive software product, following potential customers through the sales process becomes a possibility. Not only will you build a profile of your ideal customer, you can also see how interactions with particular salespeople may have affected the outcome.
Is there something you can do that will guarantee higher sales? Or something you need to avoid to prevent lowering the opportunities to make sales?
Do you know who your best customer is? If you have all the figures available, you easily be able to determine the answers to these questions.
Just as importantly, you can track each individual lead through the sales process. While the sales figures are very important, lining up new customers to complete sales to is also important. By identifying where everyone is in the sales process, you’ll be able to determine what you need to focus on next (nurturing existing people within your sales process, attracting new leads with advertising, etc.) and make your business more efficient.
Do Small Businesses Need Reporting Software?
Yes, possibly even more so than large businesses do. A smaller business is less likely to have someone dedicated to monitoring sales, and is more susceptible to fluctuations in the amount of sales that are made.
Because of this, staying on top of the figures and making the right decisions to give the business a better chance of making more sales is vital. While a large business can weather a poor month or two, a small business facing a similar situation could end up closing down.
If you want your business to thrive and continually post a profit, you need to know exactly where your business is, how it has been performing previously, and the ability to use this data to forecast how the business will perform in the coming months.
Accurate predictions will help you plan more effectively, and making decisions that are based on the facts surrounding your business will drive you to success after success.
Automating parts of the process and being able to track individual salespeople will give you an advantage over the competition, as your sales team will have more time to focus on selling and all the repetitive work is taken care of automatically.
Need a reporting software that performs everything mentioned above? Then why don’t you give LeadSquared a try?