What is a sales report and how to create one?

by | Aug 4, 2023

What is a sales report and how to create it to boost your business?

A sales report is an essential tool for any business looking to measure and analyze its performance in terms of sales. It provides a detailed view of transactions made, revenue generated and other relevant data that helps in making informed decisions. In this article, we’ll learn what a sales report is, plus we’ll give you top tips for creating one that will effectively help drive your company’s growth.

Without a concrete and detailed assessment, you can’t get a clear picture of where your business stands. Having accurate data will help you make decisions at key moments for your company, it will also help you drive the strategies that have the best results. The best way to get this data and information is with the sales report. So, read on to understand all about this indispensable tool.

What is a Sales Report?

A sales report is a document that compiles and presents data related to a company’s sales activities in a specific period. The objective of a sales report is to evaluate certain situations of the company, to provide data for decision making.

This report provides a clear and detailed snapshot of how the sales teams are performing and what areas can be improved to achieve the established objectives.

Some of the key data included in a sales report are:

  • Total revenue generated.
  • Number of units sold.
  • Best products or services sold.
  • Most effective sales channels.
  • Sales trends over time.
  • Future sales forecasts.

Importance of Sales Reports

Sales reports are fundamental to evaluate your business performance and make strategic decisions. Not only do they collect data on sales, they also collect data on sales teams and customer relationships. Specifically, here are some reasons why they are important:

  • Performance analysis: A sales report allows you to identify which strategies are working and which ones need adjustments to improve results.
  • Accurate forecasting: By having historical data, you can more accurately forecast future sales and plan accordingly.
  • Identify opportunities and challenges: Sales reports help you identify growth opportunities and potential challenges in the market.
  • Sales team performance: You can evaluate individual and team performance to provide adequate training and resources.

Key elements of a sales report

No matter what type of business you have, a sales report has some basic elements to help you meet your objectives, elements that you can then adapt to better understand your situation and set new goals.

These are the 3 key elements

Sales summary: this is the most important section and basically concentrates data on sales in a given period. It usually specifies sales region, channel or product.

Profit and loss: these are a couple of data that are usually omitted in a sales report, but they are important if you want to understand the expenses involved in sales and how they are reflected in the losses.

Customer information: placing information in the report that details where customers are in our sales funnel helps to find new business opportunities and understand where more work needs to be done and which customers require more attention.

Create your Sales Report in 5 steps

If you have already implemented a CRM in your business then you already have an automatic sales report that the CRM does for you, but you can always improve this report or use it as a base to customize your own report, these steps will help you to customize this report.

If you don’t have a CRM yet or want to create reports from scratch, you can do it from spreadsheets like Excel or Google Sheets. No matter what software you use to create it, check out this step-by-step that will help you with this job.

Step 1: Define the report objectives

Before you begin, it is crucial to establish the objectives and specific questions you want to answer with the report. This way, you can focus your efforts on gathering the data most relevant to your business needs.

It is also important that you define the time you will spend on your sales report, remember that it can be daily, weekly, monthly or analyze several months at a time. Depending on your needs, you can make daily or weekly reports, and then put them together and make an evaluation over a longer period of time.

Step 2: Collect accurate data.

Be sure to use reliable and accurate data sources to avoid reporting errors. This may involve integrating sales and CRM systems to get a complete picture of your business activities.

Don’t forget to do a review of your sales funnel and the data you have for each element of the funnel, so you can analyze the flow of customers within your sales process. It is also important that you motivate your sales team to provide the necessary data for the report.

Step 3: Selecting key metrics

This is one of the most important steps to a successful sales report, so determine what data you will need. Identify key metrics that align with your objectives. Some metrics you can include in your report are: revenue per product, conversion rate, sales per territory, abandonment rates, among others.

Step 4: Data visualization.

Use graphs and tables to present data in a clear and understandable way. Visualizing information makes it easier to identify patterns and trends. Including graphs in your report will make it easier to interpret the data. A report that is just crammed with data is useless if there is not something that clearly compiles the data; graphs are best for this.

Step 5: Analysis and interpretation.

Once you have created the report, spend time analyzing the data and drawing meaningful conclusions. Look for areas of improvement and opportunities for growth. Finally, based on the report’s findings, implement specific actions to improve performance and follow up regularly to measure progress.

Turn your sales report into results

Having your sales report ready is only the first step, now the next step is to know how to use the information you have obtained, to transform this data into results. A sales report will help you identify mistakes, areas of opportunity and improve results.

Set clear and achievable objectives: once you have the report ready, you can identify areas of opportunity. With the data you have from your report you will be able to set realistic objectives, on which to start working, and you will also be able to delimit the time to achieve them. For example, increase the volume of sales in a certain area in one week, or decrease the number of “abandoned carts” in the online store.

Make the data work for you: having a clear sales report, with easy-to-interpret and well-organized data, will help you save a lot of work. The data you obtain should allow you to make projections and above all to forecast revenue forecasts.

A sales report is a valuable tool for any business, regardless of its size. By creating effective sales reports and analyzing the data properly, you will be able to make informed strategic decisions and maximize your company’s growth potential. Remember, the key is to define objectives, collect accurate data, and visualize the information in a clear and understandable way to take full advantage of the power of sales reporting. Tell us, do you have any other sales reporting tips?

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