What is a Sales by Product Report?

Product sales reports are considered sales analysis tools for items and product groups and are used by sales executives and analysts to review variances and trends by detailed product and class. 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. Items are listed down the rows and they are grouped by item (product) class. The columns show sales for current month, same period last year and variances. Each of the year-to-date (YTD) columns can be expanded to see sales by individual month. The far right columns shows YTD actual versus plan (budget or forecast). The colored arrows act as easy to see indicators of positive and negative variances. At the bottom of the report the user can use the charts to analyze the same metrics as listed in the report section above. You find an example of this type of report below.

Purpose of Product Sales Reports

Distribution businesses use Product Sales Reports to track trends and variances in detailed product sales. When used as part of good business practices in Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A), purchasing and sales departments, a company can improve its sales and product strategies, and it can reduce the chances that product outliers are not quickly detected in order to make timely decisions.

Product Sales Report Example

Here is an example of a Product Sales Report with item detail and trend analysis.

Example of a Sales by Product Report for a Distribution Company

Example of a Sales by Product 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, product managers, purchasing managers and analysts.

Other Reports Often Used in Conjunction with Product Sales Reports

Progressive Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A), purchasing and sales departments sometimes use several different Product Sales Reports, along with  sales transaction reports, customer and territory sales reports, sales dashboards, sales forecasts, sales budgets, inventory reports, 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 management systems or 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