If you manage a sales team, the truth is that you create a lot of sales reports. These reports are critical: they guide pivotal decisions, expose issues, and track progress.
But they are also time-consuming; especially if they need to be redone regularly.
It's time for you to automate your sales reports with an automated reporting system.
What is report automation?
A report automation process entails setting up and scheduling a report to refresh automatically. Also, these reports can be automatically delivered in a variety of places, such as:
- Versioning systems (PDF, HTML),
- Databases or spreadsheets (Excel, Google Sheets, Airtable, Postgres, Salesforce)
- Interactive dashboard,
- or over email.
The platform that does all of this is called an automated reporting system.
What is an automated reporting system?
An automated reporting system helps managers to organize their data and share monthly, quarterly, and annual reports on a scheduled basis, without having to manually update the data. Using a system like this, you can create automated reports that will update periodically based on predefined rules, using real-time data.
So if a sales manager want's to look at their weekly sales data, they can use this system to set up rules and to schedule the report to run every Monday at 7am.
Some reporting systems would even enable you to merge different data sources, so that you can analyze data from multiple sources within one report.
Benefits of automated reports in sales
Imagine how many hours it takes for you to collect and organize all the data for your reports.
Your company may store some data in a CRM, and you might store some other data locally in an Excel file. Then, every time you need a report, you either tap your data scientist colleague to connect everything together using python scripts, or you spend a painful amount of time doing everything Excel, wishing you were instead getting your teeth drilled by the dentist.
Often, you may have the data in one place, but it might be inaccurate, so you need to do periodic checks.
At the end, you’ll need to group these insights into various reports, and then submit these reports to whoever needs them – perhaps your colleagues, maybe the entire company, or maybe even the C-suite. Since the reporting doesn’t happen just once, you end up repeating the same steps every time someone needs to look at some sales data.
With automated reports, on the other hand, you can create data workflows that only need to be set up once.
You could save time, and invest in more valuable decision-making processes. Your managers and colleagues will always have access to the latest reporting data, and human error will be minimized.
In the next paragraph we’ll show you an example of an automated sales report using Intersect Labs.
Quarterly sales reports
Let's say you work at a large retail chain. At the end of every quarter, you receive a spreadsheet with sales numbers broken down by each week, and the store + department in your region.
In your sales reporting, you want to show average sales per square foot and the total weekly sales accumulated by each store, store type, and department. This means that you need to create 3 different sales reports.
While the sales activity comes to you in a local Excel spreadsheet, the square foot data is in your database. Also, your Excel spreadsheet is not structured like you need at this point, so you need to apply a few data processing steps. Finally, you want to analyze these reports every Monday, so you can schedule your app to fire up at 7am on Mondays, sending the three reports on your email.
You can either do this manually or use an automated reporting system.
For these automated reports we used Intersect Labs automated reporting platform. It took us about 20 minutes to set up the steps, integrate and visualize the data, and download the reports. The next time we need this, it won't take us 20 minutes. It’ll take seconds to generate a new report with the updated data.
To see how we did it, we show you the step-by-step tutorial on the video below:
More ideas for automated sales reports
You can automate all your sales reports using Intersect Labs. Some examples of sales reports that our customers automate are:
- Sales per square foot report
- Sales pipeline and funnel report
- Sales rep daily reports
- Average deal size
- Won and lost deal analysis
- Churned customers
They all rely on our powerful building blocks and integrations with various databases like PostreSQL, Google Sheets, Excel files, MongoDB, Shopify, Snowflake, Redshift, Sendgrid, Salesforce, Typeform and DOMO.