Benchmark Charts or Budget Charts are a great way to show your actual sales versus your benchmark in a graphical way, highlighting the strong v weak months.

I will show you how to do this using Using Excel 2010.

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STEP 1: Enter your data into three columns, the month, the actual sales and the benchmark sales

STEP 2: Click inside your data and go to the ribbon and choose Insert > 2-D Clustered Column

STEP 3: Select the Benchmark series chart and Right Click and choose the Change Series Chart Type

change chart type excel 2010

STEP 4: This will bring up the Change Chart Type dialogue box and you will need to select Line and Line with Markers

change chart type to line excel 2010

STEP 5: Click on the line chart and press CTRL+1.  This will open up the Format Data Series dialogue box

STEP 6: Select the Marker Options and choose Built In, select the horizontal line type and increase the Size to 10.  You can also format the color of the line.

marker options excel 2010

STEP 7: Select the Line Color and choose No Line and press OK!

line color excel 2010

Benchmark Chart Excel 2010

HELPFUL RESOURCE: 

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