Many businesses implement CRM software to effectively manage their sales pipeline and keep track of customer information. However, another very useful CRM feature is the ability to generate sales reports. With advanced CRM reporting capabilities, you can track your progress against sales goals, identify bottlenecks, reduce costs, and optimise your operations. The wealth of data at your disposal helps you better understand your business and make more informed decisions about where to allocate your resources. We dissect how to use CRM sales reports, including some of the key features in the following article.
What Is A CRM Sales Report?
Your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system tracks all the data related to your customers, including their contact information, interactions, phone calls and purchase history. This data is then used to generate custom reports that can give you insights into your sales process. Reports are a core part of any CRM system and are used by businesses of all sizes to track their progress and sales performance. Generally, reports will include three main types of data:
- Sales data – This data is specific to your sales teams, such as the number of deals closed, the value of deals, and the average deal size.
- Customer data – This data pertains to your customers, such as their demographic information and purchase history.
- Marketing data – This data measures the success of your marketing efforts, such as the number of qualified leads generated, the conversion rate of leads, and the cost per lead. It can be used to generate campaign performance reports and a lead source report.
What Kind Of CRM Sales Reports Can You Generate?
There are several different kinds of essential CRM reports you can generate, depending on the information you need and what you want to use that information for. Some of the most commonly used reports are highlighted below.
A pipeline report shows the status of your deals, including the number of deals in each stage of your sales cycle. You can use this data to track your progress against sales goals and identify any bottlenecks in your sales process. There are different types of pipeline reports you can generate, but they usually fall into one of three categories: Sales Funnel, Pipeline Development and Stage Distribution.
This type of CRM reporting shows the number of activities, such as calls, emails, and meetings, that have been completed for each deal in your pipeline. This allows you to track the progress of your sales reps and identify any areas where deals are stagnating. With an activity report, you can also see which deals your team is committing more time towards and which ones are being neglected.
Perhaps the most important type of report, performance reports, show you how your sales reps are performing against their goals. This includes data such as the number of deals closed, the value of deals closed, and the average deal size. You can use this data to identify top-performing salespeople and compare the performance of different sales teams.
Lead Source Report
Often used by marketing professionals, this report shows the number of leads that have been generated from each lead source. You can use this data to track the effectiveness of your sales and marketing campaigns and identify which lead sources are the most successful.
Case Log Summaries
A case log report — often referred to as a call report or a contact report — shows the number of cases logged for each customer. This contacts report is a way to analyse how your sales team members are cultivating customer relationships, but it can also offer insight into customer satisfaction levels and the reasons why customers are contacting your company. With this information, you can monitor the customer experience and identify areas to improve customer service.
This type of CRM reporting shows the profitability of your deals based on how much revenue is generated and the costs associated with each deal. If you have a large number of deals in your pipeline, you can use a profitability report to identify your truly profitable customers and the deals that are costing you money.
Sales Funnel Report
A sales funnel report tracks conversion rates as your prospects move through your pipeline. For each stage of your pipeline, you can see how many prospects entered that stage, how many moved on to the next stage, and how many were lost (i.e. fell out of the sales funnel). You can use this report to monitor your sales cycle and identify problem areas where prospects are being lost.
Sales Forecast Report
A sales forecast report is similar to a pipeline report, but it also includes data on the expected close date for each deal and the predicted sales figures for each month. You can use this report to anticipate future sales and identify any trends in your sales figures.
Who Uses CRM Sales Reports?
CRM reports are used by businesses of all sizes to track their progress and campaign performance. Whether you’re a B2C (business-to-consumer) or B2B (business-to-business) company, chances are that you generate reports on a regular basis if you use a CRM system.
Reports are used from the highest level of the company all the way down to the front-line sales reps. Sales managers and executives use reports to track the progress of their sales reps and make decisions about how to direct their efforts. A sales or goal progress report is also very useful for marketing departments because it’s useful for tracking the success of campaigns and identifying opportunities for improvement. Individual sales reps can also use reports to track their own performance and identify areas where they need to improve.
What Are CRM Reports Used For?
You can use reporting and analysis for a wide variety of purposes within your business. Here are some of the most common uses.
Tracking Progress Towards Goals
If a team of sales representatives has a goal to close 50 deals in the next quarter, they can use a report to track their progress. By generating a goal progress report that shows the number of deals closed each week, they can see how they are progressing towards their objectives and make adjustments as required.
Identifying Areas For Improvement
Reports can be used to identify areas in the sales process that need improvement. For example, if a sales team has a low conversion rate, they can use a report to identify the stage of the sales process where most deals are falling out and then rectify the issue accordingly.
Measuring The Success Of Marketing Campaigns
Marketing departments have a number of ways to measure the success of their campaigns, including the volume of website traffic, numbers of leads generated, and sales closed. However, reports can also be used to provide a more direct measure of the success of marketing campaigns.
Benchmarking The Performance Of Individual Salespeople
Salespeople are often working to set targets and goals. By generating reports that show the number of deals closed and their value, sales managers can benchmark the performance of individual salespeople and identify top performers while providing support to those that may not be quite there yet.
Forecasting Future Sales
Not only do most CRM reporting systems have the capacity to generate reports based on current data, but also to create a future sales forecast. This sales forecast is produced by using the data from past sales to identify patterns and trends.
How To Use CRM Sales Reports
For optimal results, businesses need to have some idea of their current performance. If used properly, top CRM reports can be a powerful growth enabler that allows your business to track total revenue in a contextually useful way. By analysing and understanding the data generated by these reports, you have the knowledge to inform your future business-critical decisions such as budgeting and recruitment.
Remember, reports should be used as a starting point for further analysis. When reviewing reports, be sure to ask yourself the following types of questions:
- What is the data telling me?
- Is there anything unexpected?
- Are there any patterns?
- What do these patterns mean?
- What are the implications for my business?
By asking these types of questions, you can ensure that you’re using reports to their full potential and making the best decisions for your business.
How To Get The Most Out Of Your CRM Sales Report
Now that you have insight into how to use some essential CRM reports, it’s time to look at how you can get the most out of your reports.
Use Multiple Data Points
In the process of CRM reporting, it’s beneficial to use multiple data points to get a comprehensive picture of your sales. Isolated data points can be misleading and may lead to incorrect conclusions. For example, if you only look at the number of deals closed, you might conclude that your sales reps are performing well. However, if you also look at the value of those deals, you might see that the average deal size is decreasing, and your team needs to refocus their sales efforts toward the most profitable customers.
Most CRM reporting systems allow you to filter your data to enhance understanding. You can narrow down your data by time period, sales stage, product, or a range of other criteria. By filtering your data, you can get a more targeted view of your performance and can eliminate irrelevant data points.
Use Trend Data
When you are looking at a CRM report, it is also helpful to look at trend data. This shows you whether your sales are increasing, decreasing, or staying the same over time. Trend data is especially helpful when you are trying to forecast future sales.
Sales data can be complex and difficult to understand, but by using visualisations, you can make your data more accessible and easier to interpret. Visualisations also help you to identify patterns and trends that may not immediately be apparent. Most CRM reporting systems offer a range of visualisation options, so be sure to experiment to find the ones that work best for you.
Maximise Performance With CRM Sales Reports
As you can see, CRM reports are a valuable tool for sales reps and marketing teams when used correctly. From tracking progress towards goals to identifying areas for improvements, measuring the success of marketing campaigns, benchmarking the performance of individual reps, and even forecasting future sales, they offer powerful functionality that can facilitate business growth. Follow the tips above to get the most out of your reports.