How a Sales Performance Report Can Boost Sales
Managing sales reps in any industry is challenging. In wholesale, however, it’s arguably even more difficult, given the fact that most sales reps are out in the field and rarely working from one centralized location. A sales performance report can be a huge help in creating much-needed accountability among sales reps and helping you, the sales manager, make key decisions. With clear, updated performance reports on all of your reps, you’ll be able to boost your team’s sales numbers and know what steps to take to correct any problems they may be experiencing.
The Sales Performance Report and Social Pressure
How can reporting automatically increase your sales? The answer is social pressure. This may seem like a negative point, but it can actually have a positive impact on both your sales reps and your business. While many sales managers prefer to have reporting functionality on the backend (so that only they can see the numbers), you may benefit from making that information open and transparent among your reps. Whether you share rep performance in real time, over regular emails or during in-person meetings, this kind of transparency can quickly drive improved performance. Rather than keeping each of your reps siloed, providing visibility into everyone’s performance can be a good way to not only provide visibility for those reps who are doing an outstanding job, but also create an environment of healthy competition.
Setting More Specific Expectations
Sales reports paint a picture of what your team is doing on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly basis. With reporting comes expectations. As a sales manager, you need to set minimum activity benchmarks for your sales reps, whether it’s total sales per rep, number of orders written, or average order size. Are you looking to get your reps to grow order value year over year or visit over visit? Do you want your reps to focus on upsell? Without these concrete expectations, sales reps may only be doing the necessary minimum to hit their goals. But if their manager is providing them with real, hard numbers that provide them with a path to success, there is no excuse for these metrics not to be hit by individual reps.
For managers, reporting can also help with understanding what problems are in need of addressing. If certain sales reps are underperforming, talk to them to see what you can do to turn things around. Do your reps need more training? Are they having trouble with certain customers? Can you strategize new ways to improve their relationships with those retailers? Another issue you may want to resolve is making sure that you’re getting the most return on investment from a trade show. You can look at the performance of each of your reps at a recent trade show and decide to send only your highest performing reps next year.
Tracking the numbers
This is probably the biggest concern on your mind. How can you reliably track your field sales team’s performance and keep those reports up to date without doing an enormous amount of work? Well the most ideal scenario would be if your reps were using an order writing software tool that includes a reporting feature. The great thing about this is, if all your orders go through an order management platform anyway, you’ll have up-to-the-minute reporting information on sales rep performance as well. You can look at sales totals by date range or by sales rep (or both), top customers, top manufacturers, top product categories, and top products (by amount or by units). This information can be invaluable to not only how you manage your sales team, but also to driving key business decisions. Do you have a reporting system in place for your sales team? Tell us about it in the comments below.