Deciding where to allocate time and resources to meet sales targets has always been key to business success. Now, in the middle of a pandemic and with Brexit around the corner, making the most of every opportunity is crucial.
Whilst everyone knows it’s easier to sell more to existing customers than to find new ones, deciding exactly where to focus sales efforts to make this work for you needs to be more than just a shot in the dark.
The fact is, you have all the information you need, right there in your business systems but getting to it is quite a different matter.
Your accounting software and other systems hold all the sales data for previous periods along with purchasing patterns, sales team performance and market trends.
Which is all very well but not much help unless you can access it quickly and easily, enabling you to find the hidden sale opportunities locked up in your customer base.
Frankly, accounting software isn’t designed to give you this level of reporting and until now, most businesses have had no choice but to rely on spreadsheets to make sense of their data.
Slow, laborious and difficult to use, spreadsheets can’t give you the insights you need to match trends to customers. Only business reporting software can do that.
Business reporting software links together accounting; stock management; production; CRM software – in fact all data sources, including spreadsheets – into a single database, automatically finding the cross connections and updating the whole data-set, automatically, every day or in real time.
With business reporting software managing your business data you can run reports to instantly see:
- how sales are performing against target – by individual product line; product group; sales area or sales team – in fact, by any metric which can be calculated from your data…
and by checking performance weekly – or even daily in the case of fast moving goods – you can move quickly to adjust stock levels and pricing to maximise profit and reduce excess stock;
- how sales of any product have changed over a given period…
giving you a reason to call the customer and dig deeper to find you why – and if by nudging them along or offering a deal, you can recover the sale;
- from your product groupings, which clients you should be targeting for sales across your whole product range…
you know your own market sector and, provided you can see who is buying which goods, you will instantly spot the customers who could be buying other goods from your product range, knowing they must be buying them from somewhere;
- across any given date range, which customers have unexpectedly reduced the quantity or even ceased to buy specific products…
which is particularly relevant when your customer base typically makes regular purchases of mixed quantities of goods. This “missing sales” report will instantly show you what they didn’t buy in any period by comparison to any previous period. By running this report on a regular basis, you can be in contact with customers before a competitor has had opportunity to build a significant relationship which could bar you out;
- which products are delivering the best gross margin….
every manager knows that not every sale is worth having!;
- which discounts are delivering best results…….
maybe your sector uses loss leaders or offers discounts for quantity or product bundles. If you do then it is of critical importance to know exactly how much profit you are surrendering to win the sale. Even more important is to know which elements of the campaign are the drivers to success and which don’t work so well: timing; methodology; discount and/or mix of products. By comparing one campaign with another across different periods, you can quickly and easily work out the most successful combination for your business;
- which sales team; product group or geographical area is achieving the highest sales and why……….
business reporting software is designed to link every piece of your data to every other piece: so you are able to look across and through the whole dataset to find answers to any of these questions plus any others that matter to your business, meaning that you can immediately spot the best opportunities and focus efforts in that direction.
Octelas business reporting software is designed specifically for SMEs like you: its clever design means easy to use tailored reports meeting your exact needs are live in your business in just a few days, completely eliminating reliance on spreadsheets. With no need for any special data skills, Octelas gives every user the opportunity to run reports across the whole dataset meaning informed decisions are just one click away.
Needing only the most basic familiarity with internet based devices, reporting is truly self service and available on any web enabled device – phone; tablet or PC .