Q:

How should a monthly sales report be written?

A:

A monthly sales report has a number of format options, so the format in which it should be written depends on the company's preferences. However, there are some standard pieces of information common to all sales reports.

Most sales reports start with the biggest accomplishment of the month. If a company exceeded its sales goals or increased business accounts by 10% or whatever the biggest accomplishment was for the month, that's what should start the report. This is then followed by the sales numbers. Managers can track numbers by product, salesperson or another method specific to the company. Following the numbers should be an explanation of why any goals weren't met. For instance, if a company projects $10,000 in sales for the month but only attained $9,000, the sales report should list the reasons why the goal was not met. It's also helpful to list an action plan for meeting future goals rather than listing excuses about why the goals weren't met.

A sales report should never include "fluff." A good sales report is brief and gives managers and salespeople the most up-to-date numbers. It also provides insight that allows managers and executives to make decisions before a downturn in sales turns into something more serious.

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