Sales growth in manufacturing is driven by better intelligence - here’s how your business can access it.
In the last two decades, sales analytics has become a lighthouse that guides strategy for the manufacturing industry. Be it planning capital expenditure, product lines, or distribution channels, data-driven decision-making has proved invaluable to the executives in this industry.
However, the methods of collating sales data from Salesforce silos and delivering analytical reports are far too dated.
Increasing irrelevance of spreadsheets and dashboards
While your spreadsheets and Salesforce dashboards can offer some perspective on your business, they only offer a cursory glance.
The irrelevance of spreadsheets and dashboards is linked to the competitive landscape and data-deluge that organizations find themselves in. Every business churns out gigabytes and terabytes of data regularly. Sifting through the mountains of data for an actionable insight is no more within the capabilities of simple dashboards.
Simultaneously, the lag time between data collection and actionable insights is too large to remain competitive in today’s business environment. On the one hand, companies are moving towards agile capabilities and on the other, the business intelligence that drives sales transformation is still in the reams of spreadsheets and dashboards.
Add the possibility of human errors, data overload, and lack of team collaboration, dashboards do not fare well in a dynamic competitive organization.
Adding sales intelligence to decisions
Core sector organizations in manufacturing require a continuous flow of sales intelligence across functions to make critical decisions. The range of data that a company is dealing with can span from sales data for retailers across the country or the demand forecast for specific product categories. To manage the complexity, scale, and disparity in these sources of data, organizations are looking towards intelligence tools - with advanced analytics, AI and ML frameworks to power them.
These platforms not only provide analysis at scale, but they also cull down noise from the data and allow managers to focus only on what is important. Further, with auto-generated trend detection, it becomes easier to arrive at actionable insights that boost business efficiency and profitability across all verticals.
Powering sales through advanced forecasting
A study states that retailers lose $1.75 trillion a year because of overstocking and understocking the products. Additionally, successful sales planning can have positive spillovers into other areas of the business. It helps:
- • Reduce inventory shrink by 10-20%
- • Improve customer service by 2 to 5 percentage points
- • Increase revenue by 2-5%2
Advanced business intelligence platforms can help teams develop a strategy for sales planning in real-time. For instance, businesses can utilize their Salesforce sales data to identify which products are selling faster than others or the sales channel and geographies are underperforming. These insights can contribute to their internal efforts on tracking product outlooks and determining marketing spends to arrive at high-impact decisions.
While functions across the entire gamut of a manufacturing business can enable higher efficiencies and competitiveness, the emerging use case of advanced analytics is for sales.
Sales monitoring helps sales teams identify the productivity of sales reps, tracking the highest performers across geographies. This puts them at an advantage relative to their competitors who could be slow movers and might take a while to respond to the product demand.
Moreover, spreadsheets can contribute to the incongruence between different datasets that legacy dashboards fail to consider. In such dashboards, it is easy to mistake correlation for causation and get faulty insights.
This underscores the need for modern business intelligence platforms that allow:
- • Better intelligence - with push analytics for AI-generated, industry-tailored intelligence.
- • Faster access - with conversational intelligence, where you can ask the platform for analytics and get the right insights immediately.
Additionally, to scope items that generate the highest impact on sales, teams need custom dashboards with a range of sales metrics - not just for one person but the entire team. A business intelligence that builds insights and not just dashboards.
Looking to use your Salesforce data to make business decisions that are fast, reliable, and cost-effective? Find out more here: https://lumenore.com/salesforce