A Sales Report Tell Us:
As a former full-time field seller, I received comprehensive sales reports every two weeks and mini reports every week.
These, “tell it like it really is” statements told me and the rest of the company how I was doing in every single category compared to a year ago, a month ago and a week ago.
I could not wait to get this information because I knew it was going to tell me “what do do next.” The sales reports I recieved offered a wealth of information that would help me design a “road map” to success.
Here are just a few of the things that sales reports tell us about our past, our present and our future.
1. How big our sales force is at any given time.
We all know that the greater the number of people out selling our products, the more we sell. Customers who have ordered, according to the sales report, should become official active members of our sales force and should be working hard in some way to sell for us
No, they don’t have to write orders, but they can talk about us, give testimonials, offer referrals and countless other things to help increase sales of the company they are buying from.
Unfortunately, few if any of them are “selling” because they are not asked to sell.
When a field seller sees a customer’s name on the sales report as having placed an order, that should set into action a series of events that gets the customer into the “selling mode.” This indicator will tell us what our chances of reaching our sales goals are, any time during the sales season.
If few people have orders in, then we have very few people selling for us. That means that our chances of making sales goals are pretty slim.
2. How often a customer thinks about us, our company and our products
The size of each customer order tells us how high our perceptions are in the customer’s mind and how strong the relationship is between the two of us. The higher the perceptions, the stronger the relationship, the less chance of losing our customers no matter what kind of problem occurs.
Perceptions have to be raised before a sale occurs and the higher the perceptions, the larger the order. Therefore, order size alone can tell us what our next steps in advertising need to be.
3. Which customers and prospects have not been called on enough
Almost every single prospect and customer can be sold, if a field seller spends enough time with that customer or prospect. Therefore, you can analyze a sales report and see where you should be spending more of your time.
Customers who purchase small amounts have not spent enough time with the seller, the company or its products.
The larger the order, the more time a field seller has been spending with that customer. It takes extra time to build perceptions and relationships that are strong enough to get larger orders. This sales report indicator tells how much a time a field seller has been spending with each customer.
4. Which of Your so-called current customers are selling against you.
Those so-called “customers” who bought last year but have not ordered anything this year or only bought a minimal amount of seed are actually selling against you.
They are capable of doing anything, including leaving your company for someone else because they are not committed. Non-commitment spells potential death.
The pathways to failure are paved with non-commitments.
This indicator tells you who your main competition is, and it should never be your own customers. Get that current business written first.
5. How efficient you are in your territory
Sales reports are the most obvious indicator of a territory rep’s ability to manage his or her time. It’s hard enough to manage all of today’s duties without allowing customers to interfere with your ability to be efficient.
But look at your sales report and see who is not buying enough product to justify the cost of the time you spend with them.
Take a look at each customer and ask yourself, how much should they be buying in order to pay for the time you give them. You will find yourself needing to eliminate a number of customers so that you can give more of your valuable time to those who are willing to pay for it.
The sales report carries all of the crucial information you need on how to grow your seed business. The problem is, people are either not trained to read them properly or they don’t spend the necessary time doing it.
The reason why so many company managers and field sellers don’t look at sales reports is because they are “paper tattle tales”, and one of the few reports that speak the truth.
Sales reports are hard and fast measures of the true condition of a territory, a company and it’s profitability.
Don’t ignore these reports.
Dissect their meanings and use them as a road map. After all, they tell it like it really is!