What You Need from Sales Reporting Software Today

Sales Reporting Software
Sales Reporting Software: a critical tool for efficient sales management and control in B2B.

Reporting sales has become a fact-of-life for B2B sales managers. Selecting a sales reporting software can make or break any sales operations. Companies can no longer underestimate its importance.

The sales reporting should include the most critical key performance indicators (KPI) of the sales force. You should reduce the number of KPI to the minimum possible.

Key Performance Indicators show whether sales operations work effectively, and it should provide the management with a powerful controlling instrument.

The sales reporting software should enable the sales managers to timely take corrective actions. Furthermore, it should suggest what measures to undertake using predictive analytics.

The best sales reporting software should help your organisation to increase the lifetime value of your customers and should support your account managers to prioritise and be more successful.

Let’s discuss together some of these points.

Your Sales Reporting Software should include Predictive Analytics.

The best sales reporting software should not just tell you what happened yesterday. The best reporting software should predict what is going to happen in the upcoming months.

Offering predictive sales analytics does not only mean creating accurate and reliable sales forecasts, no. Your reporting software should provide you with easy ways to apply advanced data mining methods using your ERP and CRM sales data.

To achieve the best time-to-value in today’s sales operations complexity your need more than just one sales forecast formula or “magic dashboard”. The set of predictions you need should at least include pipeline forecasting and lead scoring, pricing analytics, churn risk analysis and cross-selling strategies.

Sales reporting without predictive analytics is useless and should not be an option for your team.

I would like to talk to you about my sales reporting software.

Your Sales Reporting Software should increase the lifetime value of your customers.

Not all customers are equally valuable to your business. The primary goal of using sales reporting software should be to increase your customer lifetime value (CLTV, CLV or LTV).

How can your sales reporting software help you to improve CLV? First, it should allow you to calculate historical CLV and to predict it in the future.

Second, your sales reporting software should help you to implement strategies to improve lifetime value. These strategies can include targeted improvements in pricing, customer retention and cross-selling.

Reducing your costs of sales also can have a remarkable effect on CLTV.

Your reporting software should help you to prioritise the activities and customers with higher impact on profits.

Your Sales Reporting Software should fit your Sales Operations.

What is the point of buying a sales reporting software if it does not fit into your sales operations? If it doesn’t, you will end up buying something nobody in your sales team will happily use.

Beware. Fitting into your sales operations should not mean a custom-made solution, please, no. Your sales reporting software must be simple to implement and easy to use and must follow B2B sales best practices.

Adopting B2B sales best practices from a sales reporting software might sound paradoxical; it is not.

Select a reporting software closer to your sales operations and buy the standard version first. Quickly implementing a standard tool could be an excellent opportunity to gain the commitment of your sales team before investing further.

Do not underestimate the importance of this fit. Finding and fitting your reporting software will improve your ability to quickly put it to use it and to target a high ROI on your implementation.

Your Sales Reporting Software should provide you with standard sales KPI.

Sales reporting is a critical tool for sales planning and controlling. However, if you need your IT department to implement sales KPI in your reporting software, you don’t have good reporting software.

Creating sales dashboards is not part of the job of a sales manager. The role of a sales manager is to sell more. A sales reporting software is just a tool. It is only a means to an end: sell more – faster and thus improving customer lifetime value.

It is therefore essential to reduce your subsequent effort to a minimum, while still reporting meaningful Key Performance Indicators (KPI) for your sales team and management.

Using standard sales KPI might require dealing with compromises, but it is worth it. Chose a sales reporting software that delivers you with a reduced set of sales KPI without huge customisations or implementations.

Your Sales Reporting Software should make your account management more successful.

In the end, the success of your company depends on the success of your customers. Your sales reporting software should strongly underline your account management activities.

How can a sales reporting software help you to manage your accounts better? A reporting software should help you to prioritise the activities and customers with higher impact on profits. Do not confuse this point with increasing the lifetime value of your customers. Increasing lifetime value is a strategic asset, here we talk about every day’s tactical decisions.

Intelligent reporting software provides you today with specific recommendations for actions and automated notifications. The solution should convert any account manager into a top sales professional, without manual effort.

Studies show that sales employees spend 25% of their working time on sales reporting in Excel. Frustrating, what a waste of money this is, isn’t it? Let’s assume that your sales team consists of 10 employees. Including salary, commissions and sales costs, your company costs sales reporting around 250,000 euros a year. Here you can learn more about the ROI of your sales team.

Your Sales Reporting Software offers fast implementation.

Finally, you cannot wait for months for your sales reporting software. How long will it take before the software is up and running, so that your business can start reaping the benefits?

Many solutions, especially appealing data visualisation solutions make a great first impression yet take ages to be fully implemented, meaning you could be waiting for months before seeing the first sales report.

If implementing a sales reporting software will need weeks or months before your company gets any real value and insights, it’s probably not the one to buy.

The best sales reporting tools deliver fast time to value, allowing your business to start swiftly using it and to experience its benefits sooner.


What You Need from Sales Reporting Software Today – Summary:

Your sales reporting software should be fast to implement, and it should make your account management more successful.

Reporting is a vital part of any B2B sales operations. A reporting software should fit yours and help you to increase the lifetime value of your customers.

Reporting sales can no longer be only past-looking. Nowadays, the best sales reporting software include several predictive analytics functions such as forecasting, pricing analytics and churn risk.

Any sales reporting software should allow sales management to take corrective actions on time. Moreover, it should suggest to them precisely what steps to make.

Are there any other wishes you have for your sales reporting software? Let us know today.

I want to start today.

Download free eBook: Guide to Sales Key Performance Indicators for B2B Controlling

The unstoppable digital trend in B2B sales also affects how managers should select sales metrics for successful controlling.

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Further Read:

Scheed, B und Scherer, P. (2018) Strategic sales management: B2B sales in the digital age (in German). Springer-Verlag

Jordan. J, and Vazzana, M. (2011). Cracking the Sales Management Code: The Secrets to Measuring and Managing Sales Performance. McGraw-Hill Education Ltd.