Chances are that by now you know sales analysis is important — but maybe you still don’t know quite where to start. Some small companies believe that this level of analysis is only beneficial to larger companies while others believe their broad customer base makes sales analysis more difficult. The truth is that analysis can benefit any company, regardless of their size of industry. So let’s break the system down once and for all.

Sales analysis can give you details on just about anything. Understanding what results reflect and how you can use them to grow your business is a huge part of strategic planning. With most analysis programs and services, you’ll be given access to four types of analytics.

  1. Actual Sales — This is pretty straightforward. These are your actual sales over a given period of time. It can reveal season spikes and drops in sales as well as the effects of certain campaigns or efforts you make in order to bring customers in.
  2. New vs. Repeat Customers — This doesn’t only include how often individual customers come back. This type of analysis can also be applied to specific groups of customers. This type of analysis is helpful for business that have a diverse customer base and want to know which segments or demographics use their products or services most.
  3. Product Demand — This type of analysis can do more than just tell you what’s flying off the shelves. It can highlight problems with long-time favorites that have declining sales over time. Could a competitor be offering a similar product? Is your message not reaching the right people? Spotting changes in demand can tell you where you need to take a closer look.
  4. Estimates of Market Prices — This analysis won’t fit every industry but it’s still versatile. For industries like real estate or cars understanding local and nation trends in marketplace prices can be illuminating. Find out how your pricing and service compares on a local level as well as nationally or even worldwide.

Once you’re ready to begin experimenting with analysis, check out the analysis tools available for newcomers. These can help business owners develop a better understanding of what analytics can offer so that they’re able to invest in the best sales forecasting inventory tool and analysis software for their budget, their company and their future goals.