Total sales

Sales are vital to every business, and there is no doubt that a thriving sales team is a successful business. However, many teams discover that the most challenging part of all is tracking sales numbers. There are multiple factors businesses have to consider when calculating total revenue. Metrics like sales revenue, net sales, gross sales, and gross profit all factor into the financial statements that companies use as their north star. This article will take you through everything you need to know about the “total sales KPI” and why it matters for businesses and organizations.


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What are total sales?

Total sales is a key performance indicator (KPI) used by sales departments to track the total amount of revenue generated from sales over a given period of time. It’s also referred to as total revenue and is a good measure of business health. Sales teams and business owners use this metric to establish a top line and bottom line every year and understand the amount of money they need to increase profit margins. This also allows companies to understand when they can break even.

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How to calculate your total sales

Total sales are also referred to as “total number of units sold” or “Total sales revenue.” It's one of the easiest KPIs to measure and understand, but it's also one of the most difficult ones to improve. Of course, a company will always have some number of sales, however, increasing that number isn't as simple as telling your employees to sell more. Factors like the cost of goods, rate of depreciation, sales discounts, and refunds can all affect the company’s revenue. The best way to improve this KPI is by improving customer satisfaction and gaining repeat business because those are the customers who will be most likely to recommend your company to others.

Total sales formula


Total sales = Number of items sold x Sales price

What is a good number of total sales?

A good number of total sales depends on the size of your business and the industry you are a part of. For example, a company that has historically made billions of dollars in net revenue or net profit will have a much different goal than a small business. To determine a good number of total sales I would average the net income of three to five similarly sized businesses in your industry, and then compare your company to them.

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What is a bad number of total sales?

A bad number of total sales is a number that would be lesser than your operating income or operating expenses. If your company can not generate enough money to operate from month to month, then this is a sign that total sales are too low. Sales of products or services need to increase and your company’s income needs to exceed operating expenses.

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Total sales KPI examples & templates

Add your total sales to these reports for a good view of all your online marketing strategy metrics and overall online performance.

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Ecommerce report template Ecommerce report template

A report with all the most important metrics for your ecommerce site, like shopping cart abandonment, click-through rate, ad costs, and revenue.

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Executive report template Executive report template

This template is filled with business metrics perfect for small business owners and bigger companies executives. Showcase your revenue, new customers, churn rate, and more.

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PPC report template PPC report template

Check your metrics from all your marketing channels and social media platforms from instagram ads, Facebook advertising, google search ads, bing ads, or Linkedin ads. You can also track this data alongside your business metrics and industry benchmark.

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Number of total sales best practices

Here are some of the best practices you should keep in mind to improve your total sales. 

Advertising cost best practices

step 1 icon Set goals

Setting goals will help motivate you and your sales team to continue working hard towards achieving them in order to grow your business even further. When you understand metrics like total sales, you establish tangible benchmarks for your team to beat.

step 2 icon Track your progress

Track your progress against both annual and monthly goals. If your annual net income or gross revenue goal is $1 million, break down that number into manageable $83,000 monthly goals. Then track both numbers over time to see how your business is progressing against those benchmarks, then adjust as necessary if you're off track.

step 3 icon Focus on customer service

Improving customer service experience by listening to their needs and wants will increase loyalty among customers, which will lead them to purchase more from you because they feel appreciated when interacting with your company! Your cash flow and income statements will thank you since most companies generate a majority of their revenue from recurring businesses and recurring sales of goods.

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