4 Metrics Industrial Manufacturers Need from CRMs


by Margery Murphy on February 10, 2015

Blog post was updated May 4, 2021.

Ok, so you're aware that a robust CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system is essential to your industrial manufacturing business' sales and marketing strategy. But are you aware of which CRM metrics are the most important? Don't worry, we're here to help guide you so you can successfully utilize your CRM. Here are the 4 metrics industrial manufacturers need from CRMs.

#4 ROI (Return on Investment)

While the ROI metric may seem like an easy decision, in terms of your CRM, it's a bit more complicated than that. In terms of industrial manufacturing, there are numerous costs and expenses you incur on equipment, maintenance, supplies, etc.. But in your CRM, only sales and marketing costs and expenses should be factored into the ROI equation.

ROI calculation in your CRM is a very detailed way to show upper level management and C-suite execs how well your sales and marketing efforts are (or aren't) working. CRM ROI only shows sales and marketing costs and sales and marketing customers! It's a great way to show how your team is helping bring in revenue to your B2B manufacturing business. 

Sales and marketing related costs and expenses. Advertising dollars, printing costs, lead generation efforts like purchasing a contact list, and sales team travel costs, time spent on tasks and projects, and the salaries of your sales and marketing team members are all considered sales and marketing costs and expenses. 

Revenue from clients gained as a result of those activities. If you spend money on one of the above mentioned activities, upper level management is sure to ask how that panned out! Knowing where your leads originated from is key to ROI calculation and determining if your sales and marketing efforts converted leads into paying customers. For example, were they a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) from advertisements on Google? Or were they a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) from a purchased email list your sales team reached out to? If you set up your CRM correctly, it should be able to track these activities and conversions.

Once you've laid the groundwork, your CRM will accurately calculate ROI. You can create dashboards with a click of a button that update automatically, making it easy to send reports and show off your efforts!

Does your CRM track how each of these costs lead to (or don’t lead to) customers? Be sure to set up your CRM to track this so you can receive an accurate ROI calculation. Are leads coming in from your website and actually becoming customers? Or are your real customers coming from that trade show you did last year? Track numbers, email addresses, personnel reporting, and more to create a database that shows ROI. If your CRM is set up correctly, it should be able to track these costs, activities, and clients seamlessly!

#3 Lead Scores

Yes, turning leads into opportunities, and opportunities into clients, is the goal of all sales processes. But let's face it, some B2B industrial manufacturers are wasting time manually tracking their leads (or simply not managing leads at all!)

B2B lead management is an important step in the sales process because it allows you to allot your time properly. Lead management allows you to see who is ready to convert into a paying customer and spend time on that targeted group, thus increasing your efficiency and encouraging ROI. Lead management also allows you to see who is not ready to convert, which is equally important!

Why spend valuable time on leads who aren't ready and don't drive revenue, when you could be spending valuable time on leads who are ready and will convert to revenue? That's why lead scores is a metric industrial manufacturers need from CRMs! 

Lifecycle stage, contact info, actions taken on your website, number of touches, email opens and clicks, blog post views and visits can all be assigned values that can be used to calculate lead scores. Once you assign values to actions or attributes in your CRM, it will calculate it automatically moving forward.

#2 Customer Engagement

Customer engagement signifies interest, which is why it's an important metric you need from your CRM. Purchases, visits, clicks, phone calls, customer service chats, and email conversations, are all examples of customer engagement. The average lead engages with your website numerous times before they reach out to a salesperson. The more they engage, the more likely they are to become a paying customer.

A robust CRM stores data on all customer interactions and provides real-time information. This data allows you to build relationships with new customers, to nurture current ones, and of course - to continue earning revenue!

A few examples of customer engagement include:

  • If customers are purchasing a particular product or service, concentrate on that. If they aren't, why would you dedicate resources to it? 
  • Do they engage regularly with your website, telephone support, or in-person customer service? If your customers are repeatedly calling regarding a software glitch, fix the glitch!
  • If customers are going to your website to view help videos, be sure they shine.

#1 Campaign Reports

Campaign reports are a great way to see how your sales and marketing channels collectively impacted your business. Most industrial manufacturers have a diverse audience - some leads only open emails on their cellphones, some can only be reached via Google Advertising, some can only be chased down with a phone call.

When you put all of your efforts under one campaign, you can see the overall success of the initiative. Your CEO isn't going to want to see which social media posts got 100 likes, they're going to want to see a high level report on this campaign and a brief summary overview of your activities.

That's why campaign reports are a CRM metric industrial manufacturers need. Take some time to ask your upper-level management what types of details they want to see - most CRMs will allow you to customize your campaign reports (and even show ROI, lead management, and engagement!)

CRM Best Practices for Industrial Manufacturers

ROI, lead scores, customer engagement, and campaign reports are the four metrics industrial manufacturers like you should concentrate on within your CRM. In addition to those metrics, here are a few general CRM best practices to help guide you:

  • Make sure you choose a CRM that accurately reflects your manufacturing needs  and allows you to perform the activities that will help you drive revenue. For example, you might have an outside sales team that is always on the go. You'll need a CRM system with smartphone and/or tablet apps so your team has the ability to immediately enter leads and customers into your CRM.
  • Take the time to set up your CRM, integrate it with your website, and perform regular maintenance checks. For example, your shop floor equipment requires regular maintenance checks just to make sure you have quality output and throughput. The same goes for your CRM - it's a best practice to conduct frequent tests and checks to ensure everything is running smoothly.
  • CRMs are great for automating manual tasks, so take the time to set it up so you can save time and money in the long run. For example, dedicating a few hours to creating a sales sequence that you can enroll contacts in at the push of a button is much more time efficient than manual email.
  • Data out is only as good as data in - make sure everyone collecting lead or customer data is on the same page! For example, let's say your Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM) wasn't calibrated correctly. When you receive the measurement reports, you won't have the right outcomes! They will be skewed, and your output is no good. The same goes for your CRM. 

CRMs can be a company's greatest asset, but without the right tools, support and integration, your CRM may be costing you customers. If your CRM is not currently meeting your reporting needs, feel free to contact us to discuss alternate solutions!

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