What is a Sales by Customer Report for a Distribution Company?

Customer sales reports with breakout by product group are considered critical revenue analysis tools and are used by sales executives and analysts to get a detailed picture of who is buying what and where, and how this has changed over time. Some of the main functionality in this type of report is that it is parameter-driven and the user can run it for any time period. Customers are listed down the rows and they are grouped into domestic and international categories. Major product groups are listed across the columns with each one containing actual monthly sales, sales for the same month in the prior year, variance % and variance amount. The colored arrows act as easy to see indicators of positive and negative variances. You find an example of this type of report below.

Purpose of Sales by Customer Reports

Distribution businesses use Sales by Customer Reports to easily detect year over year variances in how much- and which product types customers are buying. When used as part of good business practices in a Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) and sales department, a company can improve its go-to-market strategies, and it can reduce the chances that customer or product outliers are not quickly detected in order to make timely decisions.

Sales by Customer Report Example

Here is an example of a Customer Sales Report with product detail and variance analysis.

Example of a Sales by Customer Report for a Distribution Company

Example of a Sales by Customer Report for a Distribution Company

You can find hundreds of additional examples here

Who Uses This Type of Report?

The typical users of this type of report are: Sales executives, account managers, territory managers, product managers and analysts.

Other Reports Often Used in Conjunction with Sales by Customer Reports

Progressive Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) and sales departments sometimes use several different Sales by Customer Reports, along with  sales transaction reports, sales dashboards, sales forecasts, sales budgets, profit & loss 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