Revenue team reporting may be tedious, but it’s a necessity if you want to know if your sales and marketing efforts are yielding any results. Here are ten tips to keep in mind when building reports for sales & marketing teams.

 

1. Cover the Entire Revenue Team

The revenue team includes everyone involved in generating revenue for the company. That includes marketing, sales, and customer success. Each of these departments needs to work with each other, so it’s important that they are accountable on the same report.

The top of the revenue funnel starts with awareness of your brand (often measured by traffic) and moves through a number of conversion stages before it becomes booked revenue. The core of your report should be a numerical representation of the number of individuals that achieved each stage in your reporting period.

Here’s an example: (Your company might have more or fewer stages.)

Marketing
1500 – Unique Visitors
300 – Prospects
150 – Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs)

Sales
120 – Sales Accepted Leads (SALs)
100 – Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs)
50 – Discovery Calls Set
40 – Discovery Calls Attended
30 – Strategy Sessions Set
25 – Strategy Sessions Attended
15 – Deals Closed
$30,000 – Booked New Revenue
$20,000 – New Monthly Recurring Revenue

Customer Success
100 – Active Customers at Beginning of Period
10 – Cancellations During Period
15 – New Customers Acquired During Period
105 – Active Customers at End of Period

 

2. Create an Executive Summary

In addition to the full report, it’s important to have an executive summary that’s easy to scan and only contains rolled-up data with the most important key performance indicators.  Start with the general numbers in the categories above.

For founders, investors and upper management, the executive summary might be all they will ever look at.  Middle management and individual contributors are responsible for digging into the details of each category for ways to improve.

 

3. Goal vs. Actual

Display your actual performance compared to the goal for each stage of the funnel in a few different ways:

Absolute
How far over or under your goal are you in absolute terms? For example, if you have a monthly goal of 100 MQLs and you currently have 60, this column would display -40, meaning that you need 40 more MQLs to reach your goal.

Absolute Percentage
In the above example, you are under your goal by 40%.

Pace
“But wait,” you say, “we have half of the month to go!” Calculating your pace compared to goal levels the playing field. In the above example, our goal was 100 MQLs this month. If we’re halfway through, the goal was to have 50 leads by now. Since we have 60, we’re 10 MQLs ahead of pace!

Pace Percentage
In our example, we’re 20% ahead of pace.

 

4. Conversion Ratios

The next metric to track is your conversion ratios at each stage of the funnel.  This will help you find bottlenecks that might be hindering your progress toward your goals.

 

5. Choose Either Monthly or Weekly Reporting

Early on in the process, you’ll want to make a decision whether to track results weekly or monthly.  Tracking both adds some unnecessary complications to the process.

For example, each month has an odd number of weeks.  So, instead of simply adding up four or five weeks to make a month, you end up making two separate calculations.  It basically doubles your work.

Instead, choose one or the other.  Either report monthly and roll up three months to make a quarter, or report weekly and roll up thirteen weeks into the quarterly report.

 

6. Track Quarter over Quarter and Year over Year

In addition to tracking your progress compared to goal for each stage of the revenue funnel for the current week or month, you’ll want to track quarter over quarter and year over year progress for your most important key performance indicators.

 

7. Calculate Average per Business Day

Here’s a great tip I learned from one of my most respected mentors.  Calculate your average performance per business day for each of your key performance indicators.

When comparing one week or one month to another, it’s important to realize that all periods are not created equal.  One may include more business days than the other because of the occurrence of weekends and holidays.

Calculating an average per business day balances out the differences.

In the example above, if you had 31 days in a month with 10 weekend days and 1 holiday, you’d end up with 20 business days in the month.  100 MQLs divided by 20 is an average of 5 MQLs per business day.

 

8. Color-Code Your Data

Reports with lots of data can easily get overwhelming to look at.  Make it easier on your readers by color-coding your data.  Green for good and red for bad.

It’s as simple as putting your results that are at or over your goal in green and those that are behind your goal in red.

 

9. Don’t Get Too Granular

Getting too granular is counterproductive.  At some point, you have to rely on your individual employees to use their data to work on individual issues.

For example, in your revenue team report, you might be tracking inbound leads by the following channels:

Organic Search
Organic Social
Paid Search
Paid Social
Referral

You start to notice that paid social is lagging behind.  You could get even more granular and report the individual campaigns, but instead, you simply ask the person in charge of paid social to evaluate the individual campaigns on their own using data from the ad platforms and analytics software.

Taking the time to transfer even more data to your report would just take more time than is necessary.

 

10. Segment by Initial Source

There are a lot of different ways to segment data in revenue reports, but I find the most useful way is by initial lead source.  How did the prospective customer first hear about you?

I use the following broad categories on my executive summary:

Inbound
Outbound
Referral

In the detailed report, I break down inbound like this:

Paid Online
Paid Search
Paid Social
Paid Display

Paid Offline
Television
Print
Radio
Trade Shows

Organic
Direct Traffic
Organic Search
Organic Social
Referring Websites

You might break down outbound by:

Cold Email
Networking
Manual List Building

 

Example

Here’s a slimmed down example of some of the concepts I’ve outlined above.

Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 11.25.31 AM

I hope you enjoyed these tips and I’d love to hear about what you like to see on your revenue reports.