Excel Sales Report: 5 Reasons to Abandon It for good

excel sales

Sales report in Excel

I bet every salesperson knows this scenario: a new month has started and the manager is already charging for the delivery of the previous month’s sales report.

And then that routine begins:

  • open the Excel spreadsheet;
  • collect data on all deals closed;
  • Fill out the report, being aware of possible errors and celebrating the fact that you already have the spreadsheet programmed to do all the calculations.

The time taken to compile and fill in this information could be spent talking to that customer X or sending a quote to customer Y, right?

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That’s when your routine already includes sales reports in Excel, so you can throw all the information into the spreadsheet and let technology do the hard part. But the data still needs to be manually computed or transferred later for the computer to perform this task.

For the manager, who receives a report from each salesperson, analyzing all the reports can be a daunting task, especially on large sales teams.

In addition, he also spends time compiling all the information to present in meetings with his superiors.

In short: a lot of time spent on something that, however necessary and essential to track the team’s results, could be done more effectively (adopting tools such as CRM software, for example).

And attention is still needed in case you need to update the report after it is sent. Imagine this scenario: the salesperson sends the report to the manager and, after sending it, realizes that there is wrong information.

Using Excel, it is necessary to correct the error and send the updated file back to the manager, as he will not have access to these updates. In other words, in addition to the rework for correction, it is also necessary to send the file once more.

CRM Sales Report: Automated and More Effective Processes

Whether for a salesperson or manager, the adoption of a sales CRM in the commercial routine optimizes, among other things, the preparation of sales reports.

CRM centralizes information for all salespeople on the team, automatically computes and compiles the data entered, and also brings pre-configured metrics for evaluation, as well as ready-made report templates.

CRM platforms provide a more intuitive environment for inputting information. Excel spreadsheets are good for compiling data, but for daily use, it can be impractical and demanding.

Both to produce it and to analyze it, an automated and always available report brings a series of advantages to the commercial team’s routine.

See how:

1. Optimized time

Let’s start with the basics: time optimization.

In CRM, salespeople can leave pre-configured metrics that, once entered, are computed automatically. This makes it possible to generate a report with a single click!

With automated information gathering for sales reporting, the salesperson can use the time to focus on closing new deals.

And the manager, in turn, has more time to take care of more strategic actions and the management of his team, instead of spending it taking care of operational activities.

2. Best performance benchmark over time

In sales reports in CRM, the manager can collect information from longer periods, such as quarterly or semi-annually, without having to open several different tabs and documents to analyze this data, since the information is all centralized.

This possibility makes the performance analysis more intelligent, as it points out factors such as seasonality or peak sales periods, for example.

In addition, you can evaluate previously used strategies and compare results more clearly and quickly, aligning the plan when necessary.

3. Preconfigured quantitative metrics

CRM tools offer pre-configured metrics that are commonly used in sales reports. Managers can take advantage of these metrics and even create new ones, according to what is used with their team.

For managers who are still aligning their commercial management, this point can be useful to get a better idea of ​​what to evaluate in each report.

This pre-configuration also eliminates problems such as differences in interpretation in the concept of each metric, avoiding noise in the team’s communication.

4. More complete analysis of the team and sellers

For large sales teams, thinking of a results sheet for each salesperson can be unfeasible and ineffective in terms of evaluation.

In addition to comparing results over time, with reports in CRM, it is also possible to evaluate individual performance of each salesperson in a single screen, since the information is concentrated on the platform.

In this way, it is clear to the manager who is contributing more or less to the team’s earnings. And he can look at the reasons why a salesperson is having a hard time closing certain deals.

For the seller, analyzing the progress of their sales is also beneficial, both to motivate them in the search for better results, and to better understand issues such as sales opportunities and reasons for loss.

5. More objective meetings

See if this routine is familiar to you: another week begins and the manager brings the team together to talk about the results of the previous week and talk about activities related to the week that begins.

With Excel, it needs to open files or various tabs to go through all the points discussed, while in CRM, it has a weekly summary of past results and a full report showing all the metrics needed to discuss the tasks of the next days.

Relying on metrics that have already been established and information centralized and available at the click of a button, CRM makes activity meetings more objective as well.

This monitoring helps salespeople to calculate the weekly quotas necessary to reach the goal of a period, without the risk of miscalculations, for example.

The manager, on the other hand, is able to generate daily and weekly reports, monitoring the progress of closed deals more frequently. And it also allows you to quickly compile all the necessary information in a presentation of results to the board, for example.

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Examples of reports available in CRM

Another advantage of creating reports in CRM is that these spreadsheets are not restricted to analyzing the team’s performance and number of deals closed.

There are other possibilities for reports that can be created within the platform, such as:

Expense report

For external or mixed sales teams, an expense report is very useful to analyze spending on visits and travel, for example.

It is also possible to optimize the ratio of expenses and sales made, by seeing points where it is possible to save in the negotiation process.

Potential Customer Contact Reports

With reports that show visits, emails, follow-ups and scheduled meetings, it is possible to understand where each negotiation is going, if there are ways to optimize the team’s sales funnel or if there is any contact pattern that works better than another to close deals.

Business Closing Forecast

Through the start and end dates of each deal closed by the sales team, it is possible to more accurately measure the average length of the sales cycle.

In addition, it is also possible to predict when the current trades will be concluded and, therefore, what value will be sold by the end of a certain period.

Origin of opportunities and reasons for loss

Understanding where the most profitable business opportunities come from helps to define which channels to invest in and correct or even eliminate those that do not bring such interesting results.

Another important analysis factor is the reason for lost business. A better understanding of why a potential customer did not follow through helps to redefine not only sales plans, but also product plans, positioning the company in the market, and so on.

Automating and getting more assertiveness

While reporting in Excel is already a step toward effectiveness, CRM takes sales strategy even further.

The wealth of information concentrated in one place, combined with the customization of metrics relevant to the company’s reality and more frequent monitoring make business management smarter.

This is without counting the time that the manager and salesperson save on operational tasks, being able to focus on more important activities, such as their own sales and good team management.