Sales Reporting: A Guide to Creating Useful Sales Reports

Tactics post image
Tactics post image

Exceptional sales performances aren’t achieved through sheer willpower — they’re accomplished by understanding goals that are easily tracked and planned out.

Sales reporting helps managers track and monitor progress to keep a pulse on sales cycle profitability. This data functions as a roadmap to maximizing productivity and reducing resource waste.

With B2B sales reports, sales leaders can decide which ways to: 

  • Adapt sales strategies
  • Improve sales rep performance
  • Optimize sales cycles 

Leaders get to see what works well enough to move forward, and what is holding their teams back.

Our post today covers what goes into an accessible and effective B2B sales reporting for your sales team to work off, as a blueprint to victory.

Purposes of a Sales Report

Utilizing B2B sales reports gives sales managers a view of sales performance by department, group, and individual rep.

Let’s say your inbound sales team crushes their deal close quotas for the fifth quarter in a row. In contrast, your outbound sales team misses their quotas again, at a -10% from last quarter. 

With the support of accurate data, an in-depth sales report can help you recognize patterns in sales rep performance activity. And you’ll find that your inbound team operates with a more sophisticated touchpoint management system than your outbound team.

How to Create a Sales Report

B2B sales reports give a clear picture of what’s been missed, what’s on track, and what needs improvement for the future. 

Let’s continue with our example from earlier. A new goal needs to be created to merge touchpoint systems, and have your outbound sales team incorporate it in their day-to-day activities.

Follow these steps to create a sales report unique to your sales team’s needs:

  1. Determine a specific purpose to communicate, and tell a story that connects with your audience.
  2. Understand who you’re presenting to; how do they best intake information?
  3. Decide on timelines to outline—are you showing short-term or longer-term activity (or both)?
  4. Gather accurate information and organize it into appealing visuals.
  5. Find the right templates for your report, or create your own!
  6. Find a way to clearly communicate findings and ideas through text, images, and graphs.
  7. Prepare your report—winging it can ruin your message!

And most importantly—make your report fun and creative! A forgettable report is an ineffective report.

Components of a Good Sales Report

Creating sales reports requires equal parts accurate data, performance history, solidified strategy, and easy-to-read visuals. Here’s what goes into an effective B2B sales report:

  • Sales operations overview – What is the general history of past and present sales activities?
  • KPI fails and successes – What indicators are causing missed and achieved KPIs? 
  • Graphics and visuals – Make it pop! But jokes aside, mixing up visual content makes a more effective and engaging.
  • Executive & top-level activity – What C-level company activity should your team be aware of, and how does it trickle down to sales goals? 
  • Gameplans for the future – Based on previous goals, what needs to happen moving forward? What needs to be adapted in sales strategies?

TIP! Use these equations to get more technical with your report:

Sales opportunity score(s), Customer lifetime value (CLV), Churn rates, Lead to opportunity ratio, and Opportunity to win ratio

Metrics to Track in Sales Reports

Much like a ripple effect, certain tasks and systems in a sales rep’s day affect their weekly, monthly, and yearly performance. Tasks that are done poorly or ineffective tools can snowball into missed quotas—which can explain why nearly half of sales reps fail to meet their quota.

The following metrics can be included in a sales report, and can be broken down into what exactly needs to be tracked:

Short-term sales metrics

  • Engagement response time
  • Number of touchpoints made
  • Amount of new leads added to lists

Read more about team-wide sales engagement – How Can Sales Teams Use Engage? 

Long-term sales metrics

  • Average transaction size (including the average number of units sold)
  • Amount of cross and up-sells closed
  • Number of sales by region and channel
  • Average sales cycle length
  • Revenue by lead source

Both short and long-term sales metrics

  • Amount of meetings per sales rep
  • Number of closed deals
  • Lead conversion rate
  • Number of calls made (by inbound and/or outbound) Did you know? One out of two B2B sales reps fears making cold calls.
  • Number of SQLs taken on vs MQLs

What are sales qualified leads (SQLs)?

Lead activity that occurs above the sales funnel starts when marketing teams real them in. They have their own process to analyze possible leads for a purchase—those that are fit are called marketing qualified leads (MQLs).

And if they’re deemed ready to begin the buying process, they hand them off to sales teams as sales qualified leads (SQLs). 

Sales Reports Get Your B2B Sales Teams on Track for Success

A full, three-dimensional B2B sales report needs accurate data pulled from trusted sources—which comes from in-house intelligence or from a B2B data provider.

The metrics you choose to present, using this data, are unique to your sales team. Tracking sales performance is more than just seeing hit or missed quotas. Performance indicators need to be broken down to smaller bits so they’re more digestible in goal-chasing. 

With this in mind, paired with visual organization, makes an effective B2B sales report for future successes.

Keep your eyes peeled for our next analytics post on marketing! Until then, here’s come content to keep you at the top of your game.