Consider this. You wouldn’t design a building from the top floor down. Imagine doing all that work only to find out the foundations had been faulty all along.
So, how can we apply this sentiment to sales reporting?
Focus on the foundations (your salespeople) and give them value by providing visibility into their data and business health. Deeper and more reliable reporting to your management team will naturally follow.
Sales reporting is much more effective and anticipatory when based on our salespeople’s behaviours, trends and insights.
So, for starters we need a reporting system designed for each of our salespeople; a system that accounts for their moving efficiency, behaviours and idiosyncrasies. Then, your sales reporting can be formed from an extrapolation of those live reports.
The top level conversation changes from “Hey, look what happened” to “Hey, look what’s happening”. A small, but ultimately crucial change in the way we look at our teams.
It’s useful to think of each salesperson as having their own business. In this business, they’re the CEO. They’re accountable for the daily running, output and performance. And most importantly, they have total visibility into their sales. What we end up with is lots of businesses coming under one umbrella, all with their own quirks and ways of working.
Here’s why you should give this approach a try.
Digging Deeper – If we spot a worrying top-level trend, we need to be able to get granular. Crucially, this granularity needs to be partnered with context i.e. what that piece of information means at that particular level.
Actionable – The performance of a business isn’t defined by calls from the top. It’s defined by the ability to make hundreds of small decisions based on hundreds of relevant data-points that are all geared towards the end goal. Real-time decisions based on moving data sets enable us to anticipate rather than react.
Understanding – So your close rates are declining. We could either look at the trend and devise theories as to why. Or, we can prove theories by looking at the trends in our salespeople’s individual businesses. If individuals buck the trend, how can we use this to better understand the problem at hand?
Repeatable – To make our business and process repeatable, first we need to understand the areas where they are not. Good reporting at salesperson level will shine a light on discrepancies in their ways of working.
Data Capture – Give value to your salespeople and in turn they will recognise the importance of good data capture in their CRM. Pretty soon we will be making 99% of our decisions based on data, so improving the systematic nature of entry now is imperative.
Accountability – Make your salespeople accountable for their results by giving them total visibility into the whys and hows of their own sales performance. Now you will know exactly why they missed their number and can identify the specific parts of their business that need to improve.
Download our free sales metrics eBook for more on how to capture effective data from your salespeople.
Turn the plans the right way up. Focus on the foundations (your salespeople) and give them value by providing visibility into their data, business health and overall sales performance. Deeper and more reliable sales reporting to your management team will naturally follow.