What is a Monthly Sales Trend Report?

Monthly sales reports are considered trend analysis tools and are used by sales managers and executives to track sales by channel by month. Some of the main functionality in this type of report is that it automatically displays sales for each month up to the current period. The rows show sales by channel (direct, distributor, reseller) with roll-ups and totals by region. On the right side the report compares the year-to-date (YTD) sales against last year with a percent variance and color highlighting of positive and negative variances. The chart on the top of the report shows aggregate monthly sales. You find an example of this type of report below.

Purpose of Monthly Sales Trend Reports

Technology companies use Monthly Sales Trend Reports to monitor trends and exceptions in sales as well as to compare performance across their channels. When used as part of good business practices in Sales departments, a company can improve its revenues by optimizing tactical sales decisions, and it can reduce the chances that weak performance in any area goes undetected.

Example of a Monthly Sales Trend Report

Here is an example of a Monthly Sales Trend Report with variance analysis and metrics by channel.

Example of a Monthly Sales Trend Report for a Technology Company

Example of a Monthly Sales Trend Report for a Technology Company

You can find hundreds of additional examples here

Who Uses This Type of Report?

The typical users of this type of report are: Budget Managers, Revenue Officers, Sales Executives, Regional Managers.

Other Reports Often Used in Conjunction with Monthly Sales Trend Reports

Progressive Sales departments sometimes use several different Monthly Sales Trend Reports, along with detailed sales reports, sales dashboards, budget models, sales forecasts, open and paid sales orders reports and other management and control tools.

Where Does the Data for Analysis Originate From?

The Actual (historical transactions) data typically comes from enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems like: Microsoft Dynamics 365 (D365) Finance, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (D365 BC), Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics SL, Sage Intacct, Sage 100, Sage 300, Sage 500, Sage X3, SAP Business One, SAP ByDesign, Acumatica, Netsuite and others.

In analyses where budgets or forecasts are used, the planning data most often originates from in-house Excel spreadsheet models or from professional corporate performance management (CPM/EPM) solutions.

What Tools are Typically used for Reporting, Planning and Dashboards?

Examples of business software used with the data and ERPs mentioned above are:

  • Native ERP report writers and query tools
  • Spreadsheets (for example Microsoft Excel)
  • Corporate Performance Management (CPM) tools (for example Solver)
  • Dashboards (for example Microsoft Power BI and Tableau)

Corporate Performance Management (CPM) Cloud Solutions and More Examples