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.
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.