You can't fix manufacturing sales strategy with a new email prospecting program alone.
You can't create a digital marketing strategy for industrial sales by starting a blog and running some ads.
You can't conceive and execute a digital strategy for manufacturers without really understanding global markets, business trends, finance, and technology trends.
Developing a manufacturing strategy is a creative journey that will challenge some long-standing assumptions. It will touch on your markets, products, financial model, workforce, customers, sales and marketing.
It's exhilarating....but it's more than hiring a sales trainer or marketing agency.
Sometimes. Actually, often.
But that's not where we start. Lots of inbound marketing agencies talk of experience in manufacturing and capital equipment, boast of sales training capability, and offer to make marketing easy.
And none of it matters if you're not making the right products to sell to the right buyers in the right ways.
We normally start at the beginning.
But how do you know that's what you need?
In most cases strategy needs to be clarified. Then, with an understanding of buyers, a sales process identified.
Your sales team might be perfect, or they could be ill-suited for the requirements regardless of training.
And even if everything else is properly developed, you might need a sales consultant instead of a sales trainer.
I'm biased - because I know the threads that I pull together to make it work.
But in answer, I'd say:
We'll plan that together.
But make no mistake. This is the CEO/president/GM's project.
There will be input from team members and senior staff, but this is about planning the direction of your company.
But I disagree.
This may mean we're not a good fit.
But let's back up for a minute. Is there any chance that your customers, or your customers' customers might see an opportunity to use it?
Then it will impact your industry.
Maybe it doesn't replace your factory, but it could certainly change how your customers run theirs.
It's crazy to ignore it.
We'll be able to figure out where you are, where the market's headed and how to adjust course to close the gap pretty quickly - 3-4 months
But if the answer is an acquisition, and you will need a year to digest that, it will take longer. Similarly if you have to turn over most of your sales and marketing team, hire new R&D talent, build new partnerships, etc., then the execution of the strategy will take time.
Because it's misused.
And that misuse is a clear and immediate signal that the people doing so simply don't understand what strategy is.
Tactics are the steps you execute in pursuit of the big picture strategy.
When someone talks about manufacturing sales strategy or digital marketing strategy and jumps in anywhere downstream from your market, just run away.
Probably in the range of $100K in advisory services over the course of the first year.
Additional resource requirements (staff, technology, etc.) additional.