Sales call reports are easy to forget in the day-to-day sales shuffle because they aren't the most glorious part of selling. But they are still necessary to help your sales team members improve their results.
The sales calls your reps make provide useful information that tracks the most important details of a call for future reference.
There are many ways to write sales call reports, and the way you choose to record the information on your calls is ultimately up to you as you consider what is most valuable to your organization.
Let's review some simple tips and guidelines for creating and implementing sales call reporting into your sales process, as well as templates and technology that help you automate repetitive reporting tasks.
What Is Sales Call Reporting?
Sales call reporting refers to the information a salesperson documents after a call for future reference. The sales call report makes it easy to keep track of the calls and correspondence that takes place between sales reps and leads.
These reports offer sales leaders insight into individual reps and team performance. They can come in various shapes and sizes with varying levels of details.
Sales call reports shouldn’t be something that takes your salespeople hours to complete, but they should be thorough and thoughtful without taking away from more important sales tasks.
5 Benefits of Sales Call Reports
Here are the five benefits you can take advantage of when you start using sales call reports.
1. They Make It Easy to Identify Competition and Product Trends.
Prospects often mention different trends in your industry that your company may not be aware of. This can help shed some light on the flaws in your service or product and the changing preferences related to consumer behavior.
Reps that document these points about competitors and trends can help you to find a way to make them into actionable insights for your entire company. You can also learn about the competitive edge you have in your industry.
2. They Provide Insight Into Sales Reps Who May Need Extra Help.
Most often, the sales call issues your organization experiences aren’t team wide. It is usually individual reps who aren’t performing at the expected level. Figuring out what the exact problems are can be difficult without the context that sales call reporting provides.
The way a sales rep writes their sales call report can tell you a lot about what they are missing.
If their reports aren’t thorough or up to standard, you can sit down with them and ask questions to find a legitimate area of concern.
3. They Can Help You Train More Efficiently.
Similar to the point mentioned above, sales call reports allow you to identify gaps in understanding, skill, or knowledge. Collectively, the reports can be used for directing organizational change.
They give you the insight you need to positively impact training methods because you’ll find the common problems and points that you need to emphasize to your sales reps.
4. They Help Your Sales Team Members Stay Accountable.
It’s impossible to know what your team members are doing every second of every day. Your sales team likely has goals to hit with how many deals they close, but also with how many calls they make.
Sales call reports help create a physical or digital record that keeps your sales team members accountable for the things they do and say on their calls.
5. They Give You an Innate Understanding of Your User’s Experience.
Sales calls allow you to see where your leads are in the sales funnel when you monitor phone calls, and you can see what they go through as a client.
You get a better idea of what their frustrations are when it comes to your product, service, or support, and what they require to become your new customer.
More importantly, you get to see what your top sales team members do that works.
6 Essentials You Need to Include in Sales Call Reports
Here are some of the items you must include in your sales call reports so you can gain the most value.
1. Prep Notes
Before the call, record some of the notes you have from the research you did on the prospect. This can be anything that will help you build rapport with the customer.
Outline your talking points and the purpose of the call in your prep notes.
2. Contact Name, Organization, and Role
Start by documenting who you are speaking to and what their role is within their organization. You should also write their contact information and any other relevant characteristics. For instance, make a note if this person is up for a promotion that gives them more power to make decisions within their organization.
If there is anyone else on the call or someone who transferred your call, record their names as well.
3. A Synopsis of the Call
Write down a short paragraph that reviews some of the points you went over in the call and some of the points or questions the prospect mentioned to you.
This helps to jog your memory later on when you need to follow up with a lead so you aren’t repeating unnecessary information.
4. Feedback From the Call
Add your feedback about the success of the call. Your success on the call is usually determined by the result. Write down any verbal cues, booked appointments, and, of course, closed deals.
5. Follow-Up Materials and Notes
Include information about what you’d like to talk about or offer when you follow up with a prospect. Include any information about the materials you’d like to send them to nurture them during the sales process.
Keeping track of your calls this way allows you to personalize each conversation you have with a prospect, which allows you to provide them with more value throughout the sales process.
You’ll know what they want, how they want it, and what drawbacks they have because you’ll have a record to jog your memory the next time you speak with your prospects.
6 Sales Call Reporting Tips
Review these six best practices to help you make the most out of your sales call reports.
1. Find the Right Technology for Sales Call Reporting.
Although you likely see the value in sales call reporting, manually creating sales reports can shift your sales reps' attention away from their core responsibilities.
Maintain the balance and productivity in your sales teams' work day by using technology that supports detailed sales call reporting.
Choose technology that provides you with more than a brief overview on your sales calls. There are many different types of technology that allow you to listen to call recordings, and analyze performance vs. task goals.
This way, you can identify problem areas and coach your team members effectively to improve the sales process.
2. Start With the Basics.
Your sales call reports should be one of the most simple reports you create. For instance, a sales call report can even be as basic as your sales reps writing notes about a call.
Some of the basics you can start with to create a more structured sales report include:
- Contact name
- Phone number and email
- Call date, time, and duration
- Call summary
A good practice for sales call reporting is to use templates that help speed the process along while going in-depth about what happens on the call.
3. Track the Length of Each Stage of the Sales Process.
Tracking how long each stage of the sales process is and what is going on in those stages allows your sales reps to plan their calls better.
For instance, you may find that your sales reps are taking too long on the initial contact phone call because they are doing more talking than listening. This may cause your leads to ignore other follow up calls and emails.
You can then develop call scripts for sales connect calls to improve the odds of having another meeting with the lead.
4. Determine How the Reports Will Be Used.
You should provide your salespeople with reasons why you are using the sales call reports. The answer shouldn't be because it is industry standard or because the sales manager said so.
Filling out sales call reports can be mundane and cause sales reps to lose momentum when they don't understand how or why they are being used.
Outline how the reports will be used and how it can positively impact the bottom line to encourage and motivate your team to create reports.
For even better responses from your sales team, highlight real world examples and success stories.
5. Encourage Your Team to Record Their Analysis of Calls.
Have your sales reps include a section on the sales reports for just their thoughts on a sales call. They can include elements like the tone the prospect had, any tension over the phone, rapport-building points, and even the projected likelihood that the prospect will close.
The more notes a sales rep includes about a call, the better you can leverage the information for later success.
6. Weave Your Call Reports Into Your Sales Materials.
Sales call reports shouldn't be looked at once and filed away for safe keeping. Instead, you can use them to inspire other sales materials like call scripts.
Sales managers can easily look through reports on their CRM to search for key performance indicators (KPIs) that help to inform the sales strategy for the whole team.
3 Sales Call Reporting Templates
Take a look at three templates to see which ones work best for your sales team.
Source: Find Word Templates
This is an extremely simple template that asks your sales reps for the most basic information to be recorded from a sales call. This template is good to use if you want to see how many calls your sales team members make and how often.
It's a basic overview that likely won't provide you with in-depth insight, but it is useful if you are just starting off.
Source: Find Word Templates
This call report is much more comprehensive than the call report above. It includes the call plan, results, follow up information, and spaces for more than one contact name.
You can use this template for more than one call. It's especially helpful for B2B businesses since they often have more than one or two contacts with a client.
Source: Fit Small Business
This template gives your sales reps enough space to write in a thorough call analysis or summary. It even provides a section for call prep and follow up notes for a later call if there is one.
5 Best Sales Call Reporting Software
1. HubSpot Sales Hub
HubSpot Sales Hub is a comprehensive sales CRM platform that equips sales teams with what they need to manage their pipeline, close more deals, and deepen relationships.
Sales Hub includes great call tracking and sales activity reporting tools that allow you to gain insights into your team's productivity and efficiency so you can help them improve their outreach.
2. Tenfold Sales Connect
Their automatic call logging ensures that sales reps fill out all the information that's relevant to the call with the least amount of clicks so salespeople can spend more time on important tasks.
Ringba is an inbound call tracking platform that uses automation and artificial intelligence to track and report sales calls. Their sales call analytics and reports are highly advanced and provide you with the insights you need to ensure your sales team is at their best.
Wingman does the work for your salespeople so they don't have to spend time on more administrative reporting tasks.
5. Phone Burner
Phone Burner is a tool that allows you to automatically track calls and call outcomes. You can also build comprehensive reports to identify team members who are performing well and team members who are struggling.
These reports can be automatically sent to your inbox so you don't have to generate the reports each and every time you want to review them. This platform also allows you to record sales calls for later use.
Your sales reps can truly get the most out of their efforts when they fill in sales call reports. The reports can be used as jumping-off points for the sales conversations to come.
Sales leaders can help struggling reps identify and rectify issues on sales calls to increase performance since sales call reports are the best reference points for this. Ultimately, they provide you with insights.
And as you know, insights in sales can only help you to drive better results as you adapt your techniques and process.