1- Find the easiest to learn and fastest to use sales reporting tool ever. Sales reps consider reporting to be a necessary evil at best or a waste of time at worst. Sales reps will not use a tool that is difficult to learn and hard to use. To give yourself a chance of getting your sales reps to do reports, you need the fastest and easiest sales reporting tool ever.
2- Find a reporting system that seamlessly integrates tools that improve sales rep productivity
Sales reps often find themselves involved in tasks they don't consider part of their sales responsibility: preparing quotes, administrative tasks, dropping off samples, organizing support, picking up checks, sending literature and organizing follow-up. Sales reps consider that these tasks take away from valuable selling time and thereby reduce commissions. The sales rep is rewarded for completing sales reports because these tasks are now automatically assigned to a support team, and no longer taking away from selling time.This feature rewards the rep for creating sales reports.
3- Find a reporting tool that integrates marketing and lead generation.
Sales reps appreciate new prospects and leads. It provides them a new opportunity for increased revenue and higher commissions - the basis of a sales reps success. (Remember the movie Glengarry Glenn Ross) By synchronizing your lead generation system into your sales reporting tool, sales reporting compliance will increase dramatically. New leads can only be assigned to sales reps that are participating in the reporting system and additional leads will only be provided as past leads are worked on, closed, or cancelled. Results: more sales reps will get involved in your sales reporting system and the feedback and insight regarding your lead generation system will have a huge impact on your marketing department.
4- Find a reporting system that returns insightful information back to the sales rep from sales report data
Sales managers continue to preach the importance of completing sales reports to their sales teams. They stress how important this information is to better understand customers, gain competitive information and provide product enhancements, and so on. This is all good and valuable information for the company but not so great for the sales rep. A reporting system that provides information back to the sales res that can be used to improve performance has value. This information may include close ratios and sales amounts, pre-arranged appointments versus cold calls or phone calls, closed ratio and sale amounts based on who was contacted - the owner, the manager, or purchasing department, reports identifying an increase or decrease in sales or product issues, benchmarking information comparing top preforming reps and how they do their job. This kind of information has value to the sales rep value and increase participation in the sales reporting system.
5- Find a reporting tool that makes sales reps accountable
Accountability: the dirty word in sales reporting, often called big brother. Does a company have the right to expect sales reps to provide a full day of work? Can a company afford a sales team that is not accountable and productive? Research has shown that 75% of sales reps work less than a 6 hour day and 60% less than 5. A sales reporting tool that has a real time component that provides insight into sales rep activity as its happening is critical. Sales reps should expect to work a full day and to be accountable just like every other employee. Good reps want the company to know what they are doing.