Most businesses rely on daily sales reports to take the pulse of sales and revenue within an organization.
These reports include key performance indicators (KPIs), sales goal progress, sales volume, and oftentimes, predictions about upcoming periods of activity within the business.
Mastering your daily sales report is vital if you want to work more efficiently, make better decisions, and bring your organization together.
So how do you do that?
I’m here to show you. Let’s dive in!
How better daily sales reports can improve your business
Daily sales reports might just be something you currently throw together as a straightforward routine at the end of your day.
But improving your approach to creating sales reports can help your business in several ways:
- Forecasting and predictions. The primary purpose of most daily sales reports is to assist with forecasting and predictions. Better data, packaged more effectively, will lead to consistently more accurate predictions — and therefore better planning.
- Better decisions. Better sales reports lead to better decision-making. Upper management gets a peek into daily sales events and can improve strategies accordingly.
- Accountability. Reviewing information and submitting it to others is an act of accountability. As a sales manager, you’ll take accountability for your management decisions and your team — and you can hold individual members of your team accountable for their successes and failures.
- Interdepartmental collaboration potential. Sales and marketing must work closely together in most organizations. With improved sales reports, you can better align the goals of these departments — and open the door to more collaboration.
- Higher efficiency. You’re going to produce daily sales reports no matter what. You might as well save time by doing them efficiently. Improving your sales report generation process can save you hours (in the long run).
10 tips for better daily sales reports
Follow these strategies to make better daily sales reports in your organization:
1. Know your goals
Your daily sales report isn’t just about checking a task off your to-do list. It’s meant to inform and direct your strategy and communicate critical information to higher-ups.
So what are you ultimately trying to achieve?
More sales is a given, but what will you accomplish en route to that? More calls per day? Better lead qualification?
The better you know your goals, the better your reports will be.
2. Use the right tools
Next, you’ll want to use the right tools. There are hundreds of software tools designed to make it easy to create, modify, and distribute daily sales reports — and not all of them are worth using.
Select a tool that’s well designed and intuitive, with ample features to make your report easier to parse.
Also, the more automation features you get, the better.
3. Document and repeat your process
Daily sales reports need to be consistent if they’re going to be effective.
That means you’ll need to submit them around the same time, in the same format, with similar information and similar quality.
To do that, you should have a consistent process in place (and formally documented). The documentation process will force you to consider how you assemble your reports and could serve as valuable training material in the future.
4. Tailor the report to your audience
You may submit daily sales reports to different teams or different individuals. You’ll want to customize your report to suit your audience.
For example, marketing may be more interested in lead quality and the front end of your sales strategy, while upper managers may be more interested in bottom-line metrics and high-level strategy.
5. Include both a high-level and detailed section in your daily sales report
Some people won’t have time to read the report in full. That’s why it’s a good idea to include both a high-level and a detailed section.
In the high-level section, you can list out a few bullet points you think are worth mentioning. In the detailed section, you can provide more detailed metrics.
6. Incorporate visuals
Statistics for KPIs like email response time are much more comprehensible when presented in a visual format.
Most people are visual learners, so try to include charts, graphs, and other visuals when you can.
7. Automate everything you can
Automation can save you hours if you use it consistently; a few minutes here and there may not seem like much, but if you’re saving that time every day, it quickly adds up.
Try to automate everything you can in the daily sales report process, including collecting information, generating reports, and distributing those reports, as long as it doesn’t encumber you or compromise the integrity of the report.
8. Talk about the whys, not just the whats
Too many sales managers focus exclusively on the “what” questions and not the “why” questions.
For example, there’s a dip in total calls made today – but why? Speculation is fine as long as you’re acknowledging it as speculation.
9. Make recommendations
You may not be the one making the final call on strategic decisions, but making recommendations is a display of authority and accountability — and it could help you get the results you’ve always wanted.
Explain your ideas and the reasoning behind them to make more of an impact.
10. Get feedback on your daily sales report
Finally, get feedback on your daily sales reports. What do your senior managers think? What do people in the sales and marketing departments think?
Do they have suggestions on new data points you can include or new ways you could package and present your information?
You may not master the art of the daily sales report with your first foray into improving your daily sales report workflow, but that’s okay.
If you’re consistently working to provide upper management with better data and help the organization work more efficiently, you’ll eventually find the right process and the right format for your work.