How sales managers should use the 5 most important sales reports

Sales reporting is essential for every data-driven company. These reports don’t just make your Monday morning meetings more informative; they make your everyday decisions more effective.

Visually, each CRM reports on information differently, but all can quickly capture a large amount of information on everything from leads to goal tracking, sales to follow-ups. Use them to understand when your process is working and when it’s not, which of your sales reps needs more training or is ready for a promotion, what outreach methods are earning the highest ROI, and more.

Your CRM can run a number of helpful reports. The five detailed below offer the most helpful high-level insights, including the number of quality deals you’re closing and your performance against goals. Below, learn how to use each of the five most important sales reports to be a successful sales manager.

1. Strengthen lead generation and increase closed deals with the sales funnel analysis report

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Think of the sales funnel analysis report as your 30,000-foot view of each step in the sales funnel:

  • Percent of leads qualified
  • Percent of qualified leads given a quote
  • Percent of quotes moved into the contract phase
  • Percent of contracts won

As the potential customer makes his/her way through the sales funnel, they become more qualified, and their chance of conversion increases. If leads continually drop off at a certain stage, you can pinpoint the reason and make improvements.

Not only can you see how the team as a whole is performing, but you can also drill down to see each individual’s experience within the funnel as well. Use it to identify stages on which your team may need additional coaching, as well as the individual whose success would make them a great trainer. 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.

Additionally, 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.

2. Ensure marketing efforts are effective with the incoming deals volume report

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How did that recent marketing campaign work out? Are the newsletters still generating opportunities? Should we still be using Twitter?

Neither you nor the marketing team wants to leave anything to chance. The information in the incoming deals volume report differentiates between what generates interest and what generates business. Use it to calculate exactly how much business the marketing team is bringing to the table.

The report breaks down the number of deals registered over a period of time and percentage of total deal count. With a CRM, you can also filter the incoming deals report by team member or tag.

3. Determine which unclosed deals will most benefit the company financially with the sales forecasting report

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Sales forecasting doesn’t just predict expected revenues — how much money your team can realistically expect to bring in over a specified date range and from where. Sales forecasting also helps you pinpoint which deals you should be focusing on closing and is an excellent motivator for your sales reps.

This report pools data on the deals your reps create and estimates the likelihood of closure based on where the deal stands in the pipeline. Allocate your resources accordingly to efficiently reach your sales goals in the short- and long-term.

Bonus: If your CRM platform has the capability, also look at forecasted sales by source to understand where your lead came from, whether it be word of mouth, your website, a referral, or some type of ad. Combine these insights with the incoming deals report data when working with marketing (see above).
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4. Track your sales goals progress with the sales revenue goals report

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As a sales manager, you likely reference the sales revenue goals report more often than the others on this list. After all, revenue generation is why your team exists. You should always know how well you’re doing that, which is possible only if you’ve set specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based sales goals. Your CRM will help keep you honest.

When you input sales revenue goals into your CRM dashboard, you create a benchmark for performance and give your team members something to strive for. When your goals change, update the CRM to reflect the new numbers. Your CRM should be as on-board and up to date about revenue goals as your CEO is.
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Sell’s CRM allows you to set individual team member goals for sales revenue and number of deals won. The dashboard offers a quick snapshot of progress for a given reporting period — you can select monthly, quarterly, or annual intervals for your goals. Sales revenue goal reporting will let you know which reps on your team are excelling at their jobs and which ones could use a nudge.

5. Identify who makes the most sales with the won deals goals report

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How is the new guy working out? Is Jane still closing the most deals? Put personality, politics, and perceptions aside and use the won deals report to find out exactly what each of your team members is bringing to the table. It shows you who is making the most sales and who is struggling over any period you choose.

The won deals report also paints the bigger picture of how your whole team is doing and if they are meeting their deal quota for the resolution period. With Sell, the cumulative team goal is displayed at the top of the bar graph, making it easy to determine if your team is on track or if it’s time to get cracking.
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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.

Leverage sales reports

When it comes to sales reporting, don’t rely on estimations or gut instincts. Use these five important, detailed sales reports to bring facts to the table and optimize prospects and processes.

Don’t settle for a CRM that doesn’t offer a high level of insight, and don’t overlook the opportunity to use it. Make your team meetings meaningful and your conference table contributions count. The whole company benefits when the sales team thrives – that’s the bottom line.

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