Are Manufacturers Tracking the Right Sales Metrics?

By: Tim Meuschke Manufacturing, Sales Analytics, Sales Productivity

Many manufacturing companies today consist of multiple business units (BUs) with disparate sales organizations and go-to-customer strategies. Chief revenue officers (CROs) need to know the health of each of these sales organizations to guide their executive focus but simply can’t track every metric for every business unit. World-class manufacturing organizations create executive sales dashboards and concentrate on a few crucial metrics to understand the health of sales. But how does a CRO know which sales metrics they need to monitor? Winning manufacturers start by following these three key steps to build an effective sales dashboard:

  1. Establish a current state metrics inventory
  2. Select the critical executive sales metrics
  3. Develop a one-page executive sales dashboard

Step 1: Establish a current state metrics inventory

The Alexander Group has collected a list of the top 60 sales dashboard metrics that manufacturing companies are using to check on the sales health of their BUs. CROs do not have the time or the resources to track every one of these metrics. The first step to building an executive sales dashboard is to survey each BU to collect an inventory of which metrics each BU currently tracks, would like to track or is not applicable/valuable to that BU.

Step 2: Select the critical executive sales metrics

Sales leaders can then use the inventory of sales metrics to select the five to 10 most important metrics across BUs to track for their organization. CROs should focus on both forward-looking metrics (e.g., number of leads, customer face time) and backward-looking metrics (e.g., close rate, average deal size) to get a clear understanding of the past as well as what’s coming down the road.

Step 3: Develop a one-page executive sales dashboard

Build a simple dashboard that will be easy for executives to read and quickly understand any potential issues. If it takes more than two minutes to grasp, the dashboard is too complex.

A clear concise executive sales dashboard introduces sales metrics reporting and monitoring as a part of the daily dialog, frames executive focus and organizes vital information for action.

Visit the Alexander Group’s Manufacturing practice page to learn more about best practices in the industry. Contact one of our practice leaders to find out how Alexander Group can help your company design and implement the right sales metrics dashboard.

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Tim Meuschke

Tim Meuschke is a manager in the New York office. Tim has management consulting experience working with clients across multiple industries including media, manufacturing, industrial products, life sciences and professional services.

Prior to joining the Alexander Group, Tim was a senior consultant at a consulting firm where he focused on strategy and transformation engagements. Tim has also worked in sales as a vertical account manager, selling solutions to major OEMs to increase machine productivity in various industries including packaging, mobile equipment, renewable energy, material handling and specialty machine builders. Tim has nine years of direct sales experience. Tim holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and a B.S. in Industrial Engineering at Purdue University.