Nucleus Blog

Collaboration is a Winning Sales Strategy for Manufacturers

Posted by James Grieve on Nov 2, 2016 10:00:00 AM

 

In recent decades, sales representatives for manufacturers have relied on their individual talents to prospect new sales leads, develop relationships with customers, and close deals. For many strong sellers, their product knowledge and emotional intelligence was enough to fill the sales pipeline, generate hefty commissions, and satisfy managements prescribed sales targets.

Today, the rules of engagement for sales have changed, and ‘lone ranger’ salespeople are no longer as effective as they used to be. Today’s hyper-connected digital economy has provided consumers with fast access to information that helps them make informed purchase decisions without having to rely on the expertise that sales reps used to provide.

Sales representatives' new formula for success is collaboration with product and marketing teams to understand market dynamics, consumer behaviour, and preferences to build broader solutions that add value for their customers. Sales presentations, sample kits and show rooms have given way to critical thinking, exercises in judgment, technology, and networking to generate business, and build and position broader solutions for customers.

The transactional aspects of sales are disappearing. Brent Adamson, and Matthew Dixon, co-Authors of the seminal book ‘The Challenger Sale’ have documented an extraordinary shift in the relationship between individual achievement and business unit profitability in the article ‘Why Individuals No Longer Rule on Sales Teams’. This is a good read that emphasises why manufacturers must embrace a more flexible and collaborative approach to sales that focuses on insight, judgment and networking.

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Topics: strategy for manufacturing, sales and marketing collaboration, marketing for manufacturing

Manufacturers Must Maintain Customer Focus as Their Business Grows

Posted by James Grieve on Oct 19, 2016 10:00:00 AM

 

For most manufacturers, identifying and capitalizing on new market opportunities as a means of increasing sales is a strategic imperative. As these companies grow and expand distribution by adding new branch offices or dealers in new geographical locations, there is a risk of losing focus on what matters most – the customer.

There is a great saying, “don’t ever forget where you came from otherwise you will never remember where you are going”. This is invaluable advice for manufacturers seeking to grow quickly without wisely taking the time it takes to develop customer centered sales and marketing best practices, design service processes, and support sales teams and dealers so that they can consistently deliver experiences that support the company’s brand promise.

Achieving sustainable growth requires a disciplined focus on your customers’ experience with your company at all levels, at any time and in any place, and meeting this challenge takes discipline and leadership. The manufacturers that remain true to their roots and are obsessive about continuous improvement that will create, deliver, and capture value will reap the benefits of improved loyalty and increased sales.

Chris Zook’s article, ‘Maintaining Your Focus on the Front Lines as Your Company Grows’ identifies four practices that can help leaders remain focused on the front line as they grow.

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Topics: strategy for manufacturing, service design, marketing for manufacturing, sales and marketing collaboration

How To Choose the Right Marketing Tactics to Attract New Dealers & Connect with Your Existing Ones

Posted by Sean Shepherd on Oct 3, 2016 12:38:26 PM

With new marketing trends and technologies appearing seemingly every day, it is increasingly difficult for manufacturers to wade through the deluge to determine which tactics would be most beneficial to implement. This is especially true when you're trying to attract more quality dealers and connect better with existing ones.

We hear many of the same questions over and over from our clients: Should we switch solely to digital? If not, which traditional marketing tactics should we keep employing? Which digital tactics should we be using?

Avoid the mistake of thinking tactically first. Instead, think strategy.

Ask yourself, what do my dealers need and want to know? Where do they live and play? What about my company resonates with them? Where and how do we add value to their businesses and lives?

These questions are particuarly difficult when manufacturers apply them in the context of marketing to potential and existing dealers.

The B2B relationship is much different from that of their B2C relationship at the retail level.

Your dealers have much different aspirations, needs, and interests (within the scope of their business) and you need to consider these before deciding upon which marketing tactics are right for you.

To help you create a useful framework for making these decisions, I've included a great article by Lisa Shepherd on how you should go about creating your B2B dealer marketing strategy...

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Topics: co-op marketing, sales and marketing collaboration

Sales and Marketing Collaboration Benefits Manufacturing Marketing

Posted by The Nucleus Team on Jan 12, 2016 4:33:23 PM

 

When manufacturers’ salespeople and marketers work together, the results can be very powerful. The common objectives of these two business functions are quite simple: create customer value and drive company results. On the surface, realizing these objectives seems basic, but for manufacturers, it is not an easy task.

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Topics: marketing for manufacturing, sales and marketing collaboration