So you're doing a fantastic job from week to week; you're meeting goals and making money for the company. Of course, keeping that information to yourself is like having a tree fall in the middle of the forest when no one is around to witness it. That's where a top-notch sales and marketing report steps in to spread the word. Having such a report allows you underpin your hard work with numbers that smile. Here's how to successfully build one.
According to the Houston Chronicle's Small Business Division, there are four elements critical to a sales and marketing report: an introduction, sales figures, marketing efforts, and overall achievements. Here at Slidebean, we highly recommend one more section for good measure -- projections for the future.
Let's explain each section:
Introduction (aka Highlights)
If there's one word that describes most employees these days it's "busy." No doubt, this rule applies to everyone who will read your report. As such, it's important that you to craft the introduction much like you would an elevator pitch -- an easily understood summary of all the important details you want someone to know about.
In one paragraph or in a bulleted list, summarize what you've accomplished. Highlight improvements and successes. In a nutshell, you should use this space to justify where the marketing money is going.
Then, quantify the results. This might include:
- Total x% of customers who closed
- Generated x new clients
- Marketing reach expanded by x%
- Online sales increased by x%
- Visitors to the website went up by x%
Since your report is geared toward a specific audience, make sure that the data provided aligns with the person's goals. While tossing marketing jargon around reinforces the notion that you're an expert in your field, it does little to assuage any concerns that the money is well spent. Instead, balance marketing lingo with those specifics the reader would want to know and can understand.
Depending on the frequency of your reports, this may be a useful place to insert the department's goals and state whether the goals were met. To conclude this section of the report, make recommendations on what you think needs to be completed or addressed before the next report.
Sales Figures (aka Numbers)
Though you quantified results in the introductory summary, this is where you really delve into what those numbers mean for the company. Here, you should display an overview of trends and data that impact the bottom line.
First and foremost, zero in on what social media avenues your leads and customers are coming from. It's helpful to pull this information from Google Analytics, which allows you to compare this month's results with the previous month's.
Again, since each client establishes their own goals, the charts and graphs you include will vary between reports. Here are some metrics you may want to use on a dashboard:
- Website visits according to source (SEO, organic, email marketing) and how well each source pays off
- A side-by-side comparison of marketing sources with only two columns (organic versus paid) -- this should prove that paid marketing is more effective than organic searches more often than not
- The number of people that signed up for a given offer
- Product and revenue according to source
- Page views
- Most popular landing spaces
Whatever metrics you use, it's helpful to compare them side-by-side with both last month and last year.
At this point, you can focus on the specific marketing efforts you're making. There are two main things your readers will want to see: the number of potential customers you've brought in and, more importantly, the number of leads that led to actual sales.
Given that your efforts will likely be spread among different campaigns, it's helpful to separate each one in your reporting. That way you can assess which areas need more work and where your time is best spent. If you determine an approach that hasn't been very successful, it provides you with concrete evidence to justify a shift.
There are a number of areas to report on within each marketing strategy. Here are some possible metrics, though this list is far from comprehensive:
- Number of opens
- Opt-out rate
- Bounced emails
- Links followed
- Click-through rate
- List growth rate
You may want to use: Mail Chimp, Hub Spot, Dex Media, Constant Contact
You may want to use: Hoot Suite, Twitter Analytics, Moz, Facebook Insights, Google Analytics
- Domain authority
- Most improved search rankings
- Rank indexes
You may want to use: Advanced Web Ranking, Moz, Mention.net, Google Analytics
- Conversion rate
- Click-through rate
- Cost per click
- Average position
- Gross profit
- Top-performing keywords
You may want to use: Google Adwords
This is where you get to toot your own horn. Don't be shy about it, as this reveals whether your work is worth the cost. There are two main rules when it comes to identifying achievements: quantify everything and show your readers how the numbers matter to them.
While you can simply say you achieved X percent of the sales goal, that doesn't put it in perspective in a quick, concrete way. In fact, it raises more questions than it provides answers. Instead, follow this method:
- State the result obtained and include what you did to achieve it ("Developed 110% of 2017 sales target by pursuing a new-to-company email marketing campaign targeting Millenials").
- Expand on your previous statement by identifying the challenges, obstacles, steps, and results that were involved ("Addressed a decades-long trend of declining sales performance by embedding a new-to-company email marketing campaign targeting the Millenial generation, resulting in an 110% to 2017 annual sales target").
Projections for the Future
Wrap it all up with a forecast for the future. What can your readers expect from you in the next month, quarter, or even year? How will your efforts impact the financial future of the company? What do you need to exceed your readers' expectations?
While there is a lot of information here to develop a sales and marketing report from scratch, there are templates available to help as well. Just keep your attention focused on what your company's goals are and how you helped achieve them.