Let's face it.
Industrial sales teams don't like to be held accountable. They are accustomed to being left to do their own thing - their way.
In the past, perhaps, that was OK. Today, though, there's a better way. And many sales teams miss quota. Consistently.
So whether they like it or not, it's time to do the right thing for the business and build a revenue growth structure around the manufacturing marketing and industrial sales best practices that work today.
Great salespeople will embrace the opportunity. Average salespeople will self-select out.
And hopefully, they'll bring the energy, accountability, creativity, and willingness to adopt new technology and techniques.
But the bottom line is the vitality of the business, not the delight of your veteran sales team. And you should be prepared for the fact that some will resist.
Will you hold your salespeople accountable?
Will you invest in technology that's easy for them to use, makes them more effective and supports the customer experience first?
In other words, if you solve for buyers, and empower your sales team, the technology will work and top sales talent will embrace it.
But it's got to be built for them, and you've got to hold them accountable.
While sales training is important, it must be built on a strategy, along with systems, technology, and process.
I help industrial manufacturers with those pieces, and once the foundation is in place, and you have the right sales team, then maybe you'll want to find a sales trainer.
The best answer is I work with B2B companies with complex sales processes. That includes professional services and products.
I have particular expertise in the industrial manufacturing space, particularly with capital equipment.
Transforming Industrial Sales With Strategic Blueprint for Superior Performance
As the industrial sales landscape continues to evolve, it becomes increasingly evident that a strategic direction shift is beneficial and essential for companies seeking to maintain a competitive advantage. This transformation requires a thorough reevaluation of the company's activities and a move towards a more integrated approach to business strategy and corporate strategy.
Embracing a Competitive Strategy for Long-Term Success
The heart of this transformation lies in the development of a competitive strategy that leverages the unique strengths of the business unit. This involves identifying and capitalizing on competitve advantages that set the company apart in the market. Operational effectiveness, while crucial, is no longer the sole determinant of success. To truly excel, companies must perform activities differently, carving out a valuable position in a landscape often characterized by zero-sum competition.
Strategy Development: Beyond the Status Quo
Strategy development in this context goes beyond maintaining the status quo. It's about understanding the myriad different ways in which a company can deliver superior performance. This requires many managers to think outside the box, challenging conventional wisdom and exploring new avenues for growth and innovation.
The Role of Business Units in Strategic Direction
Each business unit within a company plays a pivotal role in this journey. They are the building blocks of a robust corporate strategy, each contributing in different ways to the overall competitive strategy. By aligning the goals and operations of these units with the larger strategic direction, companies can create a cohesive force that drives forward towards common objectives.
Operational Effectiveness and Competitive Advantage
Operational effectiveness is a significant part of gaining and maintaining a competitive advantage. However, it's crucial to recognize that this alone is not enough. In today's dynamic market, companies must also strive to perform activities differently, offering something unique that cannot be easily replicated by competitors.
Valuable Position: The Key to Avoiding Zero Sum Competition
Avoiding zero-sum competition is about finding and maintaining a valuable position in the market that competitors have not exploited. This involves a deep understanding of the market, the competitors, and the company's own strengths and weaknesses. A valuable position is one that delivers real value to customers in a way that others cannot.
Superior Performance: The End Goal
The end goal of all these efforts is superior performance. This doesn't just mean better financial results, but also a stronger brand, greater customer loyalty, and a more significant market share. Achieving this requires a long-term commitment to not just doing things better, but doing better things.
Challenging the Company's Activities for Growth
For real growth and transformation, it's essential to challenge the current company's activities. This means scrutinizing every aspect of the business, from production to sales, and asking whether there is a better, more efficient, or more innovative way to operate.
Moving Beyond the Status Quo
Moving beyond the status quo is essential for companies looking to make a real impact in their industry. This requires not just an acceptance of change but an eagerness to embrace it. Companies that cling to outdated methods and ideologies will find themselves left behind in an ever-evolving market.
The Role of Managers in Driving Change
Many managers play a critical role in driving this change. They are the ones on the ground, implementing strategies, and inspiring their teams to strive for more. Their ability to see and enact change is crucial for the successful transformation of the company.
Different Ways to Achieve Success
Finally, it's essential to recognize that there are different ways to achieve success. There is no one-size-fits-all strategy. Each company must find its path, leveraging its unique strengths and capabilities to carve out a place in the market.
In conclusion, transforming industrial sales in today's competitive environment requires a comprehensive reevaluation of business and corporate strategies. By focusing on creating a unique competitive strategy, aligning business units with strategic direction, and challenging the status quo, companies can position themselves for long-term success and superior performance.
In other words, can you isolate the sales piece and hold off on the marketing piece?
Not if you want results.
So much of today's sales happen through marketing channels and is supported by sales enablement (managed by marketing and sales operations) that without an overhaul of marketing and reallocation of resources, you'll see minimal results and churn top sales talent.
They want to create something homegrown that is inadequate and can't be supported. If you're comfortable with that, fine.
But if you want to deliver the experience buyers expect, then remind IT that you run the business and select from the top systems out there like HubSpot.
Indirect sales channel is often an important piece of the industrial sales and revenue growth engine.
Yes, we often incorporate channel sales elements in our work.
Be prepared, though, that just like your direct salespeople, often channel resists making the required changes.
There's zero return on just thinking or talking about it.
In order to see the impact on your topline results and bottom-line profit, you have to be willing to embrace the change management, say goodbye to some longtime employees, and press ahead even when you hear whispers that it won't work in your industry or with your buyers.
And in some cases, the return will be maintenance - as buyers change and your competitors who don't keep up simply deteriorate.
But done well, and energetically, these approaches will deliver improved results.