If you’re managing a medical sales team or sales department, you may already be familiar with sales reporting. It’s a perfectly normal business process for any sales team to create and log reports.
However, the question is: “Are those reports effective for improving sales results?”
Like any sales management tool, medical sales reports are commonplace. Also like any other tool, some sales teams can fall into bad habits when it comes to writing and using those reports—which can lead to reporting issues that negatively impact sales team performance in the long run.
In this blog, we’ll cover some of the reasons why writing medical sales reports is important, highlight the anatomy of a good report, and provide some tips for writing these reports.
Did you know that roughly 48% of under-performing organizations have informal (or non-existent) processes while half of successful, high-performing organizations have strongly enforced processes?
Well, according to Process Street, it’s true.
Having formal processes that are strongly enforced is crucial for ensuring consistency in any organization. Medical sales reporting gives team leads the data they need to track sales rep progress towards goals and enforce sales department policies. These reports can also be useful for making “course corrections” whenever sales team performance starts to dip.
Another use for sales reporting is tracking individual sales rep activities to see if there’s a strong correlation between specific sales practices and results. For example, do sales reps who reach out to prospects via email have more success than ones who reach out via phone? In addition, could reps who contact prospects ten times have more success than ones who give up after two attempts to contact?
Sales activity reports could give you the information you need to answer these questions. Then, you could make changes to your sales training program to encourage sales reps to follow the best practices you identify.
Sales reports can be incredibly varied depending on the goals of the person assembling them. Some sales team leads might want more information about sales activities and will add extra process data to their reports. Others might want to focus more on end results and will choose to restrict the report to sales performance goals.
The differing goals of sales team and department leads may change the contents of a sales report template. However, there are some elements that you can commonly find in sales reports.
Sometimes used to benchmark performance in a sales performance report, sales forecasts or sales goals are a common part of a sales report. When sales reps fall short of the numbers indicated by the sales forecast or pre-set goals, sales leaders can meet with them to determine the cause and create a plan of action to improve future performance. If the whole team fails to meet sales goals or forecasts, then the goals/forecast may need revision.
Used primarily for reports used by sales and marketing leadership, customer acquisition cost (CAC) is a useful metric, when combined with customer lifetime value (CLV), for determining if current marketing and customer outreach efforts are sustainable.
A list of key performance indicators (KPIs) that highlight the results of sales efforts. Deals closed, average deal value, and total revenue generated would be examples of sales KPIs.
A list of sales activities that reps need to complete. By tracking how often reps perform specific tasks and comparing that to sales results, best practices can be identified which may be useful for improving sales training.
How much money has the sales team generated, both before and after accounting for sales team and marketing costs? Net sales (the total money made) and gross sales (money made after removing operating costs) are often important in sales and marketing reports to leadership. Gross sales in particular can be important for identifying if course corrections are necessary.
When assembling a report on the performance of a specific sales rep or team of reps, the report needs to include identifying information to make it easy to track. This can include data like sale rep names, employee numbers, and report dates.
What period of time does the report cover? Goals are typically time-bound in common goal-setting frameworks, so it’s important that the time frame of the report is accurately reflected.
Some reports, especially ones meant to be presented to senior-level execs, may include a summary that provides an overview of the major positives and negatives that are detailed in the report. These summaries can help execs save time by presenting them with the key takeaways without them having to personally parse all the data in the report.
Not every sales report will feature all of these data points. When assembling a pharmaceutical or medical device sales report, it’s important to consider the audience and intent of the report.
So, what should your sales reports look like? The style of the report can be almost anything you like. However, it’s important to make sure that the information you need is presented in a clear and concise manner.
Following a set template for each type of sales report you use can help you ensure that your reports are both consistent and useful. Here are a couple of sales report templates that you can use as a base for your own reporting efforts:
This is a report that highlights the performance of a specific sales rep in a given month. The basic outline of this report typically includes:
This report can be easily modified to cover the activity for a whole team of sales reps by aggregating the data for the whole department.
This report is often used to track the overall rate at which leads are converted into customers. Because leads are generated by marketing efforts, this is often a collaborative report between marketing and sales, and may be used by leadership from both teams to find ways to improve performance.
A typical conversion report outline includes:
This report is often useful for identifying gaps in the sales funnel where a large number of potential customers drop off.
For example, if there are too few follow-ups with sales qualified leads, that could indicate that there isn’t enough time or labor being dedicated to allow sales reps to follow up with leads.
Meanwhile, if there’s a large drop between follow-ups and meetings scheduled, then there may be an issue with the lead qualification process that needs fixing.
When writing a pharmaceutical or medical sales report, it’s important to follow a few best practices to keep the report as useful as possible. So, how can you write better reports? A few sales reporting tips to follow include:
While creating a long and detailed report sounds great, it can easily lead to wasted time and effort. A dense, overly long report that covers multiple topics can be draining to read (leading to people missing important information). So, try to keep the report focused on a few related things instead of covering every aspect of sales.
When creating goals and writing reports, it’s important to focus on objective rather than subjective data. For example, a metric like “rep attitude” sounds nice on paper for ensuring reps have a positive attitude in interactions, but a rep’s attitude would be a subjective observation. Also, it’s really hard to collect data about sales rep attitudes outside of a survey of the prospects the rep interacted with. Objective information, such as time spent on calls, deals closed, and number of calls made can be collected much more easily.
When writing the report summary, try to give an interpretation of the data that makes it easy for readers to understand what is going on and why. For example, is the whole sales team failing to meet goals? They may need additional training or are being told to meet unachievable goals. Or, are some sales reps seeing much more success than others? Try to identify what the successful reps have in common that the less successful reps don’t for the reader.
When creating reports, it’s important to be as consistent as possible from one report to the next. Changing terminology between reports can be a major cause of confusion as readers try to find the same data they were looking for in previous reports. Standardizing metrics helps to prevent confusion by keeping them consistent between reports.
For each type of sales report you make, it’s important to follow a consistent report template. Report elements should appear in the same place (or as close to it as possible) on every report. Any changes to the template should be noted for readers in both the report and any communications containing links or report files to minimize confusion.
Need help improving sales performance for your medical or pharma sales team?
Reach out to Axxelus and ask about our contract sales services. We specialize in pairing highly skilled and motivated sales reps with medical and pharmaceutical companies where they can excel.
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