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The Problem With Reports

Date - 20 June 2016/ Category - How To Sell
How to sell

To me reporting is super important because it’s the only way that you can separate the good from the bad and focus on getting better.

Most people are scared of reporting and as such they bend it to their own will, showing only the stats that help prove their point but this is wrong
You see a great conductor shouldn’t be afraid of the bad things, in fact they should want their reporting to how the bad things because then they can work on them but alas we’re all afraid of in turn looking bad and how that might affect our jobs prospects or bank balance.

That’s why you have to embrace the bad and actively encourage or reward people for showing it to you along with the good. How many times you read reports that have don’t do or say anything?

“This month we will improve because we’re doing this” is the typical rubbish that gets written time and time again. There’s simply no science to it, it’s just said to give the illusion that something is going on.

It’s a sad fact but most board members would rather have “something fluffy” than something bad, so let’s get it straight then, fluff is worse than bad, it’s the act of doing nothing!

There’s another feature of bad reporting that winds me up too; reporting for the sake of reporting.

What’s the point in someone that sells apples reporting on how many DVDs they sold last month? None, but the fact is that next to the generic fluff about getting better they collect and create amazing diagrams with information that has no importance. Worse still they then go and re-show the same information over and over rather than just saying it as it is.

I can give you a million examples of this, be it people who re-define the definition of a lead to suit the number they need to hit, or leave something out to skew the cost of acquisition. For example a sales team might say they spent £10,000 on leads and they got 1000 clients to apply, meaning their cost of application is £10. But what they forget to mention is that of the 1000 applications, only half bought anything, raising the cost of acquisition to £20, and each one got a £25 welcome bonus and only made the company £5 profit meaning the cost of acquiring a client was actually £45, and they only made £5 back!

It’s so easy to make reports say what you want them to say it’s scary, and that’s why reporting is largely useless.

It’s really important then that you follow some basic reporting principles when you’re setting up your reports so that you can add real value.

1. Base all your sales reporting around the profit generated by an activity (all in).
2. Only report on the things you think you can affect (i.e. don’t report on something you can’t create an action from).
3. Reward people for showing you the bad stuff and the good stuff.
4. Celebrate the good
5. Create actions to resolve the bad. Actions with milestones or figures that can be measured, not forgotten.

Chapter Summary:

• Some people report for the sake of reporting
• Reports often miss key facts because they are focused on one area
• Selecting or designing reports can help prove a bad idea

Read our next blog post “Five ways to improve your sales”.

Tags :

ideas, reports, facts,