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Sales activity report
Most sales managers want to keep tabs on the company’s growth, but at times, it can be hard to pinpoint the major contributor to the success or failure of the company. Well, there are many roles that are essential in rolling the gears in the sales process, and this is a perfect cue for the sales activity reports.
What are Sales activity reports and why are they essential?
Managing a sales team goes beyond recording revenues in a week, month or a quarter. To become a competent sales manager, you have to know the sales process that entails the activities needed to close a deal, the time that the deal spends in the sales pipeline, where it is stuck and so on.
The sales activity report provides insights into the process and is an effective basis of successful sales operations, strategy, and analysis. It helps in tracking the information at every step of the sales process.
It also analyzes the data to enable the prediction of the exact position of the company’s success. Sales activity reports assist in determining where to improve the results. Gaugin the growth of the company goes beyond the number of sales made. You have to know the driving force behind those sales and identify ways of maintaining and improving them as the market grows.
After you understand the driving force behind those sales, you will get a clearer picture of where to focus the efforts of the sale team and make a sound decision on the quantity of production, timelines, employment needs, pricing and other essentials that enhance the good performance of the business.
Sales report can assist you in understanding the following:
- The reasons why members of the team have many prospects but are yet to close deals
- Why one sales member is about to break sales record while another cannot get a deal beyond the second stage of the pipeline
- You can ascertain if the company is on the right trajectory of hitting the targets and where you need to make a drastic connection to the sales process.
Since sales personnel loves to have a little competition, show them their position about everyone else so that they can promote higher performance across the entire team.
What to report on, how to report it and the frequency of reports
Sales metrics indicate how each aspect of your sales operation is performing optimally and whether you are hitting your targets. With metrics, you are able to identify where you are with your inefficiencies and efficiencies. You can report on many things, but it all comes down to the growing needs of the company as well as the things that will assist you to make the best decisions in business. Do not waste time on irrelevant metrics that do not mo0ve your leads forward. Consider the following important data points when you are starting your sales activity report:
- The number of prospective deals
This indicates the number of sales you have in every stage of the pipeline it is important to know the number of prospective deals and where they are as well as the time they are expected to close. Ascertain that they have a potential of becoming good revenue generators for your company.
- The magnitude of the deal
There are different valuations that depend on several factors. However, you have to determine the average size of the deal I the pipeline for making fast and informed sales estimates and strategies
- Close rate
This is the average number of the open deals you have to close a deal, based on the previous results
- Sales velocity or the cycle time
This is the average time it takes for a lead to get into the pipeline and go through the sales process until the closing stage. The faster the sales cycle, the better it becomes for your team.
It is important to have a set of averages and targets for every sales process stage. It can become tricky to understand them especially if you are starting out. However, remember that it takes time to achieve great results. Embrace the process, and once you have tracked the process for some time, you will be able to see the value of the sales activity reports.
Managing the sales activity reports
You are at liberty to use tools such as the Customer Relationship Management software (CRM) that has default sales reporting abilities. It allows for consistency in data tracking and visualization it gets you to a position where you can succeed since it offers a real-time review of the sales activities and allows you to understand the performance of your team, compare results and identify opportunities for improvements in utter clarity. If you do not prefer CRM, the Excel File can work better.
The importance of sales activity reports
The sales process can be long and unwinding. Some of the prospects take longer to close while others take less time. Some of the prospects need a different approach to selling. On the other end, the functioning styles of your sales personnel vary a lot. There are those who struggle with simple tasks whereas others encounter problems at a given point in the cycle where things go sideways, and potential customers are lost. You have to keep tabs on the information in every step of the sales cycle. You have to use the information to improve your results. Sales activity reports is a sure way of doing exactly that, and this is why they are important.
With sales activity reports, you access valuable data generated by your team as the work. Sales activity reports help you to discover the following:
- Ability to know who your customers are
- The source of your leads
- The prompt prospects to buy
- What prevents prospects from buying
- The success rate of a campaign
- Conversion rate
Sales managers have to look into the daily endeavors of each sales person to see whether they are meeting their targets and daily goals. They also have to track the time spent on different activities as well as keeping track of the interactions of the sales personnel with the clients and prospects. Sales activity reports show you the number of leads touched in a single day and the prospects that are being spoken to. There are prospects that are easy to pin down, whereas others will need frequent reminders. You can check on the frequency of the calls and follow-ups based on the nature of the prospects and the level of persuading they need. It also gives you the idea of the nature of these calls, the results, and the average length of the entire call.
The analysis of sales activity
Sales activities are the techniques used by sales personnel to meet their targets and objectives. A sales activity analysis is the review if sales activities within a specific period to identify trends and compare the actual performance with the desired performance.
- Identification of the activity
The analysis begins with the identification of sales that are essential to achieving the desired results. For inside sales representatives, it is common to measure the number of sales telephone calls, decision maker contacts, and the average time in every call. For field sales personnel you can gauge the number of one-on-one visits, the number of sales demos, and the number of sales proposals.
- Activity reporting
Sales teams whose performance is higher than the average can be tracked weekly, monthly, quarterly or on annually. Creating these reports demands the sales analysts to manually extract data from in-house systems. They can also rely on automated reporting that is available through customer relationship management software.
- Activity review
Any sales leader who values success ought to review sales activities at employee, team, and department levels. He then compares the actual performance with the desired performance and prior performance. It is essential to understand the causes of variance in performance.
- Action plan
An action plan can hinge on sales analysis findings, and the sales manager can use this to create an action plan that improves and maintains sales activity performance. It is essential to give positive and developmental feedback to the sales personnel based on these reports.
These activities do not exempt the sales managers from overseeing the activities of the sales team personally. Numbers will not always tell the true story, and big numbers do not necessarily indicate that sales are taking place. There should be a qualitative and quantitative analysis and report to corroborate the sales process. Watch the team and let them answer your questions to understand areas that need improvement. This may help the team to see where they fall short statistically but they may not know how to improve unless they know the real cause of the issue. Sales activity reports assists in preventing guesswork out of your business decisions. It provides a clear view of the position of your company at every stage of the sales process. Focus on the measurable activities, clear outcomes and add value to the team and the entire company.