"The fuel that drives your sales performance is the quality and quantity of gathered relevant data."
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What An Optimal Sales Performance Report Should Include

Confusing and overly complex reports are a sore (but essential) sight for people in sales. The long-term health of your sales pipeline, the number of opportunities to reach your {insert time period} goals, which of those opportunities to prioritize, and many other objectives - all need to be addressed in your sales performance report. It is vital that you, the head honcho of sales, have the necessary information in order to steer your business away from sales-breaking potholes and continue on the fine-paved road to growth and success.

So what are the key metrics and attributes that separate high performing sales teams from underperforming ones? Let’s take a look.

sales performance reportImage credit: Handshake

How to improve your sales performance report

All of the information largely depends on your sales cycle. The longer it takes to close a deal, the more information the report should cover and expand over that time period. Time-wise, the numbers may vary at first but hit the mark at the end or the other way around. In either case, you get accurate information if your reps are meeting their goals.

With any sales report, it’s only natural there are certain expectations. Whether it’s the number of total sales per rep, the average number of orders or something else, the minimum threshold and exact goals need to be met. Once the numbers start dancing around in front of your eyes, questions arise, especially if what you see is short of projections. You start wondering if there are enough opportunities in the sales pipeline to begin with. If your sales pipeline isn’t feeding your salespeople enough leads, there likely won’t be enough closed deals. Thus, going on a prospect hunt and establishing a free-flowing stream in your sales pipeline comes off as a top priority.

Next, managing those leads requires an added layer of attention. By nature, some opportunities deserve (not to mention merit) more engagement. These are not just leads that haven’t been touched on but also those that veritably present more chances of closing a deal. Identifying the leads that represent the most attainable opportunities by factoring in their current needs with historical data arises as another challenge begging to be solved.

How do you do it? One simple yet seemingly complex answer: provide the data your team needs.

Sales performance reporting shapes leadership’s decision-making processes and represents a valuable information management step for every SMB out there. The same goes for every link in the sales chain on a proportionate scale. B2B salespeople have a lot on their hands, from keeping their CRM fresh to managing every consumer-related detail. It’s a slow process that takes a lot out of them. With the help of available technology, they can exercise much-needed control and reduce their inefficiencies. According to SalesForce, 79% of sales teams currently use or are planning to use sales technology to increase efficiency. That way, by uncovering deep sales insights regarding lead generation and quality, businesses adopt a more data-driven approach to their decision-making and, in turn, greater visibility for sales leaders.

Sales performance reportingImage credit: HubSpot

From there on, you can further widen your scope to make your competition a part of your sales effort. High performers definitely do as they shape their strategy to include a thorough understanding of the competitive landscape, be it for prospecting or direct sales.

Metrics you should use

Sales is, after all, a performance-based business. Just like Shakira’s hips, the numbers don’t lie and with a broad overview of your team’s sales performance, there’s bound to be a lot of different KPIs at play. Depending on your goals, some will matter more than others. Some are universal, like the opportunity-to-win ratio where you get quantifiable numbers for each rep on how effective they are at closing their opportunities, or revenue and overall sales within a defined period of time.

What you might not need is social media usage to see if your sales reps are active in social media or the number of follows-up made by them. The list goes on and on in both directions. This all depends on what data you value the most - beacons along the way that show your salespeople are doing what needs to be done in order to be successful. With that in mind, it’s important to get a full picture: the hard numbers that show both the beginning (i.e. the number of leads generated) and the end points (for example, customer lifetime value) of the journey your salespeople take, as well as everything in between: the opportunities that your sales reps made or missed (such as total conversion rate).

Wrap up

A sales performance report helps you get a better understanding of your company's strengths and weaknesses, as well as where opportunities lie, showing you market trends and forecasts for key sales metrics. As opposed to the product or service your company is selling, this information can be priceless to the management of your sales department and the main factor to driving key business decisions.

The fuel (or electricity, depending on your preference) that drives your sales performance is the quality and quantity of gathered relevant data. That’s the flavor-rich ingredient in your special sauce that makes every meal better. While top sales teams are already realizing numerous benefits of adopting tech-based selling tactics into their operations, others yet stand to make significant rewards from creating a deeper, more personalized relationship with customers. That’s the side you want to be on so your sales performance report can truly be optimal.