Sales database – set up and used correctly
How does sales analysis work?
In many businesses, sales drive revenue and prosperity. As such, it is necessary that in most organizations sales processes are efficient and productive, so that revenues rise. It is not as easy as it sounds to just increase sales, there are a number of various tasks that have to go into the sales process that make it efficient and profitable. Especially in die indirect sales to consumers.
However, a key component of success and goal achievement is tracking the milestones and activities along the span of the project. The way this happens is through sales reporting.
What is a Sales Database all About?
A sales database is an analytical database that provides a very detailed and comprehensive record of all the sales activities being carried out in a company over a predetermined span of time. It keeps a systematic record of whatever operations have taken place, strategies utilized, and also can provide analysis of sales activities, all with the intention of giving relevant insights into the entire sales process.
This report is so important as it serves as a reflection of any trends over a time period, whether long term, short term or cyclical. It also gives insight into the performance of the participants in the sales team for important assessment.
Traditionally Analyses for Sales will have various features
- A market overview – whatever background information is necessary for the reader/viewers to properly understand what they are being presented. Information here needs to be brief but ensure proper comprehension. Usually, this part may include background of the market perhaps the goals intended. Depending on who may need to read the report, it may have varying levels of detail from a higher-level management to a lower operational level, as individual requirements necessitate.
- A breakdown of data – data needs to be tracked with some form of metric that is measuring in an understandable way and efficient. This is not to say it should be spreadsheets and spreadsheets of numbers, as details are great but sometimes endless details can be boring or overwhelming. Data should be broken down and sorted into relevant smaller pieces with relevant headings to track different purposes. Here, data visualization is key, because graphics and charts are a lot more easily digestible by the eye. Graphics also make it easier to easily identify trends, discrepancies and areas that need improvement.
- Analysis of results – next, no matter what the purpose of the report is, the data should not just be left alone here. There should be some analysis done, after stating objectives and collecting the data. The data needs to indicate something about the bigger picture of the goal or the sales of the business in general. Automated systems are often capable of providing some amount of analysis according to pre-set targets. This can be done by looking at the data as is, or it can be compared to previous data to see any progress.
- Next steps – after noting the data and analyzing the results, there should be some actionable steps. This could be red flags that indicate areas of attention from an automated system that then need to be discussed by the team of executives who can take the data and assess. Alternately or additionally, there needs to be a discussion or indication about the next suitable actions. This could be corrective action to remedy an issue, or it can be next steps to achieving a new goal or simply improving upon a certain area. The point is, there needs to be something actionable happening with the data retrieved that can enhance the company’s efficiency, effectiveness and profitability.
Points to Consider Before creating a Sales Analysis
For this database to be purposeful, the goal must first be properly and clearly defined. Sales metrics are indicators commonly used to help target a specific part of the sales operations to see how it is performing, to then set goals to achieve these targets.
Of course, these metrics are for the purpose of measuring performance enhancing activities for the business.
Some things to consider:
- Channel and partner size – each channel partner or distributor need to be assessed within their own reasonable size and capacity. Difference sized partners can be assessed differently, so this could be an easy initial differentiation factor which can help to make quick and sound sales forecasts and strategies.
- The number of customers and sell thru – sales can be done usually in two ways, targeting new dealers and selling more via current customers. When analyzing the retailers, you work with, or those you wish to work with to expand your reach, it is an easy metric to bear in mind comparing prospected deals or sales to those that were actually successful.
- Sales velocity – this is an important thing to bear in mind. Sometimes the end does not always justify the means. Sales velocity speaks to how long it takes to develop a partner from the initial contact till the final success. It is not only necessary to know how many partners are active at the end of a period, but also how long it took to develop. Cost spend here is also very necessary to analyze because if the costs of the deal outweigh the benefits of the deal/sale, then adjustments in strategies need to be made. Either way, knowing the average sales cycle time is a good metric to have on hand.
- Overall conversion rate – this is an overall metric that measures how many partners are closed on average within a specific time frame. Tracking these figures is important, for comparison with the past, and also while setting goals. It will help to keep goals realistic, and also notice any trends that may affect these conversion rates.
Examples of informations for Sales Managers
- Sales revenue
- Average revenue per rep/distributor/channel partner
- Stock Reporting
- Profit earned
- Weekly sales revenue
- Percentage of target
- The average revenue per unit
Tips to Manage a Database for Sales Efficiently
Sales databases are fabulous measurement instruments that can really make a difference. Information is really at the core of any type of growth. It is, of course, not an easy task to construct these reports, and ensure that they are effectively conveying the proper data that is important to analyze.
Here are some tips to help:
- Have automation assist – this point cannot be overstated. Collecting and sifting through relevant data to present it in a beneficial way is a long and tedious process. Do not ignore the great benefit of getting an assistive tool that can do the bulk of the data collection and sifting process faster and more accurately than you can. The system can ensure up to date data with automatic updates and make the report more straightforward. The software tool can even make data visualization a lot easier than a human can by hand.
- Look for reports with a set goal in mind – this is another major issue sometimes with reporting. If the sales reports are not constructively helping to gather information on a specific activity, to enhance a specific goal to boost the company in any way, then it is a waste of time. The goals and benchmarks should be set prior to report generation and even data gathering. Having a specific goal in mind will help to streamline the data searched for and presented, and it will be able to be interpreted so much easier.
- Schedule a specific time frame with which to analyze – the absolute most important part of generating a sales report is using it within a practical time frame! Data should be collated within a specified time frame, to track progress for a certain time period. In addition to this, the reports should be analyzed in a timely fashion as well. Executives should set aside time to spend analyzing the sales reports so that any changes that need to be made for the next sales cycle can be made in time. The whole point of the sales report is to provide helpful insight to better the company, so executives should meet with one another or with whomever can help provide actionable insight and help to devise strategies to improve company growth.
- In indirect sales, it is particularly important to have a clear idea of the sales successes of trading partners. This is the only way to make strategic decisions to improve these sales.
- Sales databases are assistive by keeping a systematic record of sales activities over a particular period.
- Sales reports should be tailored to the reader, by providing streamlined information that can be easily understood and is relevant to the goals of the department or company in entirety.
- Sales databases consists of a wide range of insights and metrics which provide key information about sales performance within the team.
- Sales reports generally include an overview, insightful data, interpretation of results, and suitable actionable suggestions.
- A software solution can be incredibly helpful for sales reporting by taking on the hard task of data collection and can even sort and present the information in an easy-to-understand manner. Utilizing data visualization can really enhance the user’s understanding and enhance easier trend identification or disparity recognition.
You’re now ready to tackle your sales report efficiently and knowledgeably!