Selling engineered and complex capital equipment and manufactured industrial systems is different than selling a software license.
But probably not as different as you think.
There's a great opportunity to take best practices from industries that scale quickly under pressure from investors and apply those appropriately to manufacturing revenue growth.
Relatively simple but really hard.
This journey - from a traditional field sales-heavy structure to a customer-focused revenue growth team - is reasonably simple.
That doesn't mean it will be easy.
There will be some of your sales team who moan and urge for a return to what worked - with an increase in print advertising.
Sales leadership will resent reallocation of budget and headcount to marketing functions, and many will resist the insights that come from screenings and training that reflect new skill requirements.
Of course, that hasn't been a reason not to implement an ERP or quality program. Those required cultural change too - and because they seemed more core to your product, you proceeded.
It's time to proceed with this too!
Of course there are differences. You can't simply create a new machine the way they can a new license.
But the sales challenges and environment are similar - complex, large buying teams, competing priorities, competition.
And investors expect consistent, predictable, top line revenue growth.
We can apply similar best practices to your business too.
Then train them.
And if they resist, replace them.
It's that simple. The market expects it.
Normally not. Companies often benefit from resources to support tactical execution.
However, in some cases we find that vendors are "one-trick ponies" - that they have a checklist to blog once a week, for instance, to drive traffic without any context for whether they're actually supporting the revenue growth effort.
Sales trainers that simple coach teams to regurgitate "About us" decks are similarly irrelevant in today's market.
That's why a framework is so important - it helps to evaluate the resources required and the outcomes that are important. And then, in that context, shift the focus of existing vendors or replace them.
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.
You can't reasonably forecast based on a likelihood of close percentage ascribed to issuing a "quote."
You have to understand, in detail, how companies buy. And then understand in detail how each active prospect will buy.
And as you create this detailed understanding, then you'll be much better positioned to forecast each deal at any point in time.
And that's the key to your aggregate forecast - the accuracy of prediction for each project.
Of course, it is a bit different.
But it's also much more similar than you might realize.
The commonalities are based on how buying teams make decisions - about the problems to solve, the solutions to consider and the vendors to select.
In that way, your industry is not unique, and there's huge value in understanding contemporary best practices.
No. Marketing tactics like SEO, content marketing, paid ads, account-based marketing, data management, blogging, and others can be very effective.
Similarly, training on specific sales techniques can yield great results.
The issue is that those typically don't change top line revenue results.
They may lead to a boost in traffic or leads, for example, but absent a fully engineered framework for qualifying, nurturing, and selling the leads, there's little impact.
That's why a revenue growth framework is so critical in today's complex capital equipment sales environment.
It's not easy, but again, it's simple.
Research and conversation.
We need to understand the buying team - which is certainly much larger than you assume.
Then we need to understand the buying journey.
A clear matrix of problems you solve needs to overlay on problems companies have - those they're aware of and those they're not.
And then to largely do the same again...for their buyers.
How long is your sales cycle?
How long does it take your customers to allocate capital?
How quickly will your sales team adapt?
How rapidly can you reallocate resources, build an inside sales team, ramp up sales enablement marketing, implement technology, etc.?
We can create the plan for the framework in a quarter or two, and many of the steps can begin in parallel. But we often find that sales teams, for instance, will refuse to use CRM even after an enthusiastic initial response.
Remember, this is a change management project for you and your executive team.